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Important Current Affairs 15th September 2021

NATIONAL

India and US launched the Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue

•India and the United States of America (USA) have launched the “Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)”. It will strengthen India-US bilateral cooperation on climate and environment. The dialogue was launched by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Bhupender Yadav and Mr John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) in New Delhi.

•“Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)” is one of the two tracks of the India-U.S. Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership launched at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April 2021. The other track is Strategic Clean Energy Partnership.

•CAFMD will demonstrate how the world can align swift climate action with inclusive and resilient economic development, taking into account national circumstances and sustainable development priorities.

SPORTS

England’s Joe Root, Eimear Richardson named ICC Players of the Month for August 2021

•England Test skipper Joe Root and Ireland’s Eimear Richardson have been voted as the winners of the ICC Players of the Month for August 2021. Root was voted the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August for his consistent performances in the Test series against India that was part of the next cycle of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC).

•In women’s cricket, Ireland’s Eimear Richardson has had a sensational August as well and was adjudged the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for August 2021. During the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe qualifier, Richardson won the Player of the Tournament award for her superb performance with the bat and the ball, starting off against Germany, she returned figures of 2/6, as the Irish cruised home to a comfortable 164-run victory.

Srilankan Pacer Lasith Malinga announced retirement from all forms of cricket

•Lasith Malinga has announced his retirement from T20 cricket after 295 matches where he picked 390 wickets. He had already retired from Tests in 2011 and from ODIs in 2019. The Sri Lanka pacer had also announced his retirement from franchise cricket in January this year after being released by Mumbai Indians.

•Malinga was the first bowler to bag 100 T20I wickets before ending with 107 scalps. He finishes fourth in the highest wicket-taker category in the list behind Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir and Sunil Narine.

•Malinga, one of the best T20 bowlers of all time, was a crucial figure in the teams he represented in the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League, Caribbean Premier League, and other franchise tournaments. He was part of four of the five IPL championship wins with Mumbai Indians but had opted out of the 2020 tournament.

International Olympic Committee Suspended North Korea From Beijing Olympics

•North Korea was formally suspended from the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 10th Sept as punishment for refusing to send a team to the Tokyo Games citing the C-19 pandemic.

•IOC president Thomas Bach said the North Korean national Olympic body will also now forfeit money it was due from the previous Olympics. The unspecified amount — potentially millions of dollars — had been withheld because of international sanctions.

MS Dhoni will be mentor Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021

•BCCI announced that the former India captain MS Dhoni will mentor the team for the tournament, which will be played in UAE and Oman in October and November. He announced his retirement from international limited-overs cricket on August 15, 2020.

•Dhoni had last played for India in the 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Dhoni, who leads Chennai Super Kings, is a three-time IPL-winning captain and has brought home three major ICC trophies — World T20, Champions Trophy and World Cup.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Lymphoma Awareness Day 2021: 15 September

•The World Lymphoma Awareness Day (WLAD) is observed globally on September 15 every year. The day is dedicated to raising awareness about lymphoma and the particular emotional and psychosocial challenges facing patients and caregivers suffering from different forms of lymphoma.

•World Lymphoma Day was initiated in 2002 by the Lymphoma Coalition(link is external), a worldwide network of 83 lymphoma patient groups based in Ontario, Canada, whose mission is enabling global impact by fostering a lymphoma ecosystem that ensures local change and evidence-based action. One of their key activities is to provide a centralised hub of reliable current information and a platform for member organisations to share resources, best practices, policies and procedures.

National Engineer’s Day 2021 : 15 September

•In India, Engineer’s Day is celebrated on September 15 every year. The day is celebrated to recognise the contribution of engineers in the development of the nation. The day marks the birth anniversary of the engineering pioneer of India, Sir Mokshagundam Vishweshvaraya, (popularly known as Sir MV). He was awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ for his exceptional contribution to the building of India in 1955. He has also conferred the British knighthood and served as Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.

•In 1968, the Indian government declared Sir M Visvesvaraya’s birth anniversary as Engineers’ Day. Sir MV was regarded as the “Father of Modern Mysore”. Since then, this day is celebrated to honour and acknowledge all engineers who have contributed and still do so to build a modern and developed India.

International Day of Democracy 2021: 15 September

•International Day of Democracy is observed globally on 15th September every year. It was established through a resolution passed by the UN General Assembly in 2007, for promoting and upholding the principles of democracy and provide an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.

•The theme for 2021 International Day of Democracy is “Strengthening democratic resilience in the face of future crises”.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Anand Kumar(Mathematician) Awarded with Swami Brahmanand Award 2021

•Mathematician Anand Kumar was conferred with the Swami Brahmanand Award 2021 for his contribution in the field of education through his ‘Super 30’ initiative, which prepares underprivileged students for the IIT entrance exam. He received the award from professor Roop Kishore Shastri, the vice-chancellor of Haridwar’s Gurukula Kangri deemed university, at a function in the Rath area of Hamirpur district of Uttar Pradesh.

•The award carrying Rs 10,000 in cash, a bronze medal, a bronze statue of Swami Brahmanand and a certificate is given every year to people who have done special work in the education sector or for the welfare of the cow.

•‘Super 30’ is a coaching programme of Kumar’s Patna-based Ramanujan School of Mathematics. It hunts for 30 meritorious students from among economically backward sections of the society and shapes them to clear the test to get into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT).

Hyderabad: ICRISAT conferred “AFRICA FOOD PRIZE 2021”

•Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has been awarded the Africa Food Prize for 2021 for improving food security in sub-Saharan Africa. The Tropical Legumes Project developed 266 varieties of improved legumes and half a million tons of seeds for a range of legume crops, including cowpeas, pigeon peas, chickpea, common bean, groundnut, and soybean. The improved seeds benefitted over 25 million farmers in climate-resilient approaches and to control pest outbreaks across the region.

•ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political public international research organisation that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘Human Rights and Terrorism in India’ by Subramanian Swamy

•A book has titled ‘Human Rights and Terrorism in India’ authored by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy. He has come out with a book “Human Rights and Terrorism in India” which traces how the combating of terrorism can be harmonised with human and fundamental rights within reasonable restrictions that are permitted by the Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court.

•It is the thesis of this study that to deter terror, India as a nation must foster a concept of identity. The release of three dreaded terrorists in exchange for hijacked Indian Airlines passengers in Afghanistan’s Kandahar in 1999 is the “worst capitulation” to terrorists in India”s modern history.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

DBS Bank tie-up with SWIFT

•DBS Bank has launched real-time online tracking for cross-border payments for its corporate clients, in partnership with SWIFT Global Payments Innovation (GPI). The service can be availed using the bank’s corporate online banking platform ‘DBS IDEAL’. DBS is the first bank in India and Asia-Pacific to offer this service to corporate clients, at no additional cost.

•The new inbound tracking service by DBS Bank will allow corporates customers to see when a payment is on its way and when it is arriving at the beneficiary, which in turn will reduce operational costs and inefficiencies.

•The initiative is expected to benefit around 4,000 corporate and small business clients in India, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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Important Current Affairs 10th September 2021

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NATIONAL

India will host the G-20 summit in 2023 for the first time

•India will hold the G20 presidency from December 1, 2022, and will convene the G20 leaders’ summit in 2023 for the first time.

•Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Minister has been appointed as India’s Sherpa for the G20 in 2023 (18th edition). A sherpa is a diplomat who undertakes preparatory work prior to a summit conference. The 2021 edition of the G20 meet will be held in Rome, Italy. The 2022 G20 meet will be held in Bali, Indonesia.

Gujarat rolls out ‘Vatan Prem Yojana’ for rural development

•The Government of Gujarat announced, that it plans on undertaking public welfare projects worth Rs. 1,000 crores jointly with non-resident Gujaratis by December 2022. The projects will be under the state government’s ‘Vatan Prem Yojana’. The Yojana was launched in Gujarat focusing on rural development through public and state contributions.

•The state government will undertake various rural development projects and activities.

•This scheme will be undertaken with 40% state government’s contribution and 60% contribution from the general public.

•The state government has invited Non-Resident Gujaratis and NRIs are also invited to contribute.

SPORTS

Guinness World Records recognise Ronaldo for most goals scored in international football by an individual

•Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo has broken the world record for most goals scored in men’s international football. Ronaldo surpassed Iranian striker Ali Daei’s long-held record of 109 international goals by scoring a brace against Ireland in a World Cup Qualifier. Ronaldo at 36 years of age is now a Guinness world record holder of most international goals of all time with 111 goals.

•The Guinness world book of records has recognised Cristiano Ronaldo as a world record breaker for the most goals scored in international football (soccer) matches scored by an individual (male). Ronaldo achieved the feat scoring goals for his native Portugal between 2003 and 2021 proactively over a span of 18 years with a career still going strong as he looks to overcome yet another new challenge after his move away from Turin with a year left on his contract with the Bianconeri.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Andhra Pradesh Government appointed Rajnish Kumar as economic advisor

•The Andhra Pradesh government has appointed Rajnish Kumar as its economic advisor. A former SBI chairman, Rajnish Kumar’s tenure in the cabinet rank position is for two years. Rajnish Kumar who had retired as SBI chairman in October 2020, is an independent non-executive director at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. He joined SBI as a Probationary officer in 1980.

•The appointment comes amid the growing concerns over the state’s financial situation which has been badly hit by the Covid pandemic, even as the opposition has been critical over the sops and freebies being distributed by the Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led state government. Rajnish Kumar’s appointment is expected to help the state government steer through the financially tough juncture.

Neeraj Chopra appointed as the brand ambassador of Tata AIA Life names

•Tata AIA Life Insurance has announced the signing of a multi-year brand partnership with Indian athlete and Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, as its brand ambassador. This association also marks the very first brand partnership to be signed with the champion javelin thrower, post his historic win at the recent Tokyo Olympics.

•Neeraj Chopra closely embodies Tata AIA’s vision of enabling dreams and inspiring healthier and happier lives and its core value of passion for excellence. He has consistently set high benchmarks and pioneered change through dedication to his sport. Over the next few years, Neeraj will support Tata AIA’s efforts in offering solutions to its consumers across the country.

Central Government  appointed G.S Pannu as Officiating ITAT President

•The Central Government has appointed G.S. Pannu as President of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. G. S. Pannu is presently a Vice-President, ITAT, New Delhi and will be Officiating President of ITAT with effect from September 6, 2021, till the appointment of regular President.

•Mr. Pannu was born on 01 Aug 1962 at Hoshiarpur (Punjab), he is a C.A and joined Government Service 14 September 2000. Presently posted as Vice-President at ITAT, New Delhi. Before joining ITAT, practised as a Chartered Accountant at New Delhi from 1986-2000.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Suicide Prevention Day 2021: 10 September

•International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) observes World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on 10 September every year. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented. The theme for the 2021 World Suicide Prevention Day is “Creating hope through action”.

•The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host World Suicide Prevention Day with various activities around the world since 2003.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

V. Vaidyanathan is re-appointment of IDFC FIRST Bank as MD & CEO

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted its approval for the re-appointment of V. Vaidyanathan as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (‘MD & CEO’) of the IDFC First Bank.

•Vaidyanathan has been appointed for a further period of three years, which will be effective from December 19, 2021. He first took charge as the MD & CEO of IDFC FIRST Bank in December 2018, after the merger of IDFC Bank and Capital First.

Government appoints 10 merchant bankers to manage IPO of LIC

•The government of India has appointed 10 merchant bankers for managing the Initial Public Offering of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). The IPO of LIC is likely to be launched in the January-March quarter of 2022. The role of merchant bankers in the case of IPO is of Issue management, Promotional activities, Credit syndication, Project counselling, and Portfolio management, etc.

Ten merchant bankers:-

•Goldman Sachs (India) Securities

•Citigroup Global Markets India

•Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities India

•SBI Capital Market

•JM Financial

•Axis Capital

•BofA Securities

•JP Morgan India

•ICICI Securities

•Kotak Mahindra Capital Co Ltd.

RBI removes restrictions on UCO Bank, lending curbs removed after 4 years

•Reserve Bank of India has taken public sector lender UCO Bank out of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework on improvement in financial and credit profile. This decision gives the bank more freedom for lending, especially to corporations and grow the network, subject to prescribed norms. The Kolkata-based lender was placed under PCA in May 2017 on account of high Net Net-Performing Assets (NPAs) and negative Return on Assets (RoAs).

•Following UCO Bank’s exit, two banks — Indian Overseas Bank and Central Bank of India — remain under PCA. The central bank uses the PCA framework to rein in banks that have breached certain regulatory thresholds in bad loans and capital adequacy. PCA entails curbs on high-risk lending, setting aside more money on provisions and restrictions on management salary.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd August 2021

International

Nikol Pashinyan Re-appointed as Prime Minister of Armenia

•Nikol Pashinyan has been re-appointed as the prime minister of Armenia by President Armen Sarkissian on August 02, 2021.

•Pashinyan, the leader of the Civil Contract Party, won the majority of seats in parliamentary elections in June 2021. The 46-year-old Pashinyan was first appointed as the prime minister in 2018. 

Min Aung Hlaing is appointed as interim Prime Minister of  Myanmar

•The Chief of the Myanmar military, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has taken over as the interim prime minister of the country. He is also the Chairman of the State Administration Council (SAC) which has been performing the duties of the government in Myanmar, after the February 01, 2021 coup, which overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party.

•This SAC has been reformed as the caretaker government of Myanmar in order to perform the country’s duties fast, easily and effectively. Min Aung Hlaing is also been the commander-in-chief of Defence Services of Myanmar since March 2011. Hlaing has pledged to hold elections by 2023.

National

C-19 Vaccination: Bhubaneswar becomes first Indian city to vaccinate 100%

•Bhubaneswar has become the first Indian city to achieve 100 per cent C-19 vaccination. The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) had launched a massive vaccination drive against C-19. This milestone is credited to the BMC running 55 centres at all times for vaccines.

•BMC has a record of around nine lakh people who are above 18 years of age in the city. Which includes around 31 thousand healthcare workers, 33 thousand front-line workers. 5 lakh 17 thousand people are in the age group of 18 to 44 years. Three lakh twenty-five thousand people are above 45 years of age.

Science & Technology

ISRO-NASA joint mission NISAR Satellite will be launched in 2023

•The ISRO-NASA joint mission NISER (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite, aimed at making global measurement of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging, is proposed to be launched in early 2023. It is a dual-band (L-band and S-band) radar imaging mission with the capability of full polarimetric and interferometric modes of operation to observe minor changes in land, vegetation and cryosphere.

•NASA is developing L-band SAR and associated systems while ISRO is developing S-band SAR, spacecraft bus, the launch vehicle and associated launch services. The major scientific objectives of the mission are to improve understanding of the impact of climate change on Earth’s changing ecosystems, land and coastal processes, land deformations and cryosphere. NISER is one of the crucial collaborations of the ISRO and NASA. India and the U.S. had agreed upon this mission during then-President Barack Obama’s visit to India in 2015.

Books & Author

Kunal Basu’s ‘In An Ideal World’ will be released in 2022

•Renowned novelist Kunal Basu’s new work of fiction, In An Ideal World, will be released next year, Penguin Random House India (PRHI) announced. The book, scheduled to be released under the publishing house’s ‘Viking’ imprint, is touted to be a “powerful, gritty and fast-paced literary novel” exploring a variety of themes relevant to the current times — college, politics, family, crime investigation and fanaticism.

•According to the publishers, the story of his upcoming book revolves around the disappearance of a member of the Liberal Party of a college in Manhar. The prime suspect of this abduction is the leader of the Nationalist group of the same college.

Banking & Economy

HDFC Bank launched ‘Dukandar Overdraft Scheme’

•HDFC Bank announced the launch of an overdraft facility for small retailers in partnership with CSC SPV. Known as ‘Dukandar Overdraft Scheme’. The scheme by HDFC Bank is aimed at helping shopkeepers and merchants ease their cash crunch. According to the bank, retailers operating for a minimum of three years are eligible for the scheme by providing six months bank statement from any bank.

•HDFC Bank will approve an overdraft limit from a minimum of Rs 50,000 to a maximum of Rs 10 lakhs based on the statements. Importantly, HDFC Bank won’t seek collateral security, business financials, and income tax returns from retailers who apply for the scheme.

State  Bank of India launched ‘SIM Binding’ feature for YONO and YONO Lite apps

•India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a new and enhanced security feature for its YONO and YONO Lite apps, called ‘SIM Binding’, to protect customers from various digital frauds. Under the new SIM Binding feature, the YONO and YONO Lite apps will work only on those devices which have SIM of mobile numbers registered with the Bank. The main aim of the new version of the platform is to provide enhanced security to customers and help them with a convenient and safe online banking experience.

•SBI customers will have to update their mobile app, to get access to the new version of YONO and YONO Lite with enhanced security features.

LIC Cards Services Limited (LIC-CSL) has partnered with IDBI Bank

•LIC Cards Services Limited (LIC-CSL) has partnered with IDBI Bank to launch ‘Lumine’ Platinum Credit Card and ‘Eclat’ Select Credit Card on the RuPay platform. The cards will initially be available to LIC policyholders, agents, as well as employees of the corporation and its subsidiaries. The cards will offer a wide range of benefits to users.

•Lumine and Eclat cardholders will have a credit limit that suits their lifestyles. The cardholders will earn 3 ‘delight’ points on every spend of Rs 100 via the Lumine card and 4 points on the Eclat card.

•The cards also offer a special benefits of 2x reward points while paying the renewal insurance premiums of LIC. The cards also have a ‘Welcome Aboard’ offer for initial customers.

PM Modi will launch e-RUPI digital payment solution by video conferencing

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch e-RUPI, an e-voucher-based digital payment solution, via video conferencing. The e-RUPI initiative will be one of the programmes launched over the years to limit touchpoints between the government and the beneficiary and “ensure that the benefits reach its intended beneficiaries in a targeted and leak-proof manner”.

•e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payments. It acts as an e-voucher based on a QR code or SMS string, which is delivered to the mobile phones of the beneficiaries.

•e-RUPI connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface. It also ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd August 2021

NATIONAL

Haryana govt lowers power tariff by 37 paise per unit for consumers

•Haryana government has announced reduction in power tariff by 37 paise per unit for consumers in the state. The announcement in this effect was made by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar yesterday. With this, electricity consumers will get relief of about 100 crore rupees per month.

•An official spokesman said that the power distribution companies have achieved a substantial reduction in the average power purchase cost of about 46 paise per unit during 2020-21 over the previous year due to better planning and scheduling. This has also been reflected in FSA (fuel surcharge adjustment) calculations done by the state power regulator. Hence to pass this benefit in reduction of cost to the consumers particularly during the Covid time, the state government has decided to waive the 37 paise FSA being charged from the consumers henceforth.

Uttarakhand inaugurates North India’s first Orchid Conservation center

•North India’s first orchid conservation center was inaugurated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, in a milestone step towards the conservation of Orchids, an exquisite, yet threatened plant species, on 30th July (Friday).

•Orchids are a flowering plant species, found in abundance in tropical regions, all over the world.

•Its traces can be found in the Himalayan foothills, in the Indian state of Uttrakhand, and in parts of the northeast.

•The resplendent Orchid flower derives its name from the Greek word (orchis) because of the characteristic features of the root tubers found in some species of the genus Orchis.

Defence Expo to be held in Gandhinagar in March

•Gujarat will host its first Defence Expo, the flagship event of the Ministry of Defence for the domestic and global industry interested in the Indian arms market. The event will be held in Gandhinagar next March, with the theme of ‘India as a defence manufacturing hub’.

•Past editions of the show have been held at New Delhi, Goa, Chennai and Lucknow. The decision to choose Gujarat was taken after interacting with all interested states that gave presentations to the defence ministry. Goa and Telangana had also been shortlisted for the show that brings thousands of representatives from global arms companies, Indian private sector players and officials from the armed forces.

SPORTS

Sri Lanka's cricketer Isuru Udana announces retirement

•Sri Lanka fast bowler Isuru Udana has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect on Saturday.

•Udana, who played 21 ODIs and 35 T20Is for Sri Lanka in his 12-year international career, in an official statement said that the time has come for him to make way for next generation of players.

•‘’It is with immense pride and passion, and unfathomable commitment that I have represented and served my country.

Vandana becomes first Indian woman to score Olympic hat-trick in hockey

•Vandana scored in the first, second and fourth quarters of India's last match in Pool A of the Tokyo Olympics to etch her names on the history books and become the first Indian woman to score an Olympic hat-trick.

•Vandana Katariya became the first Indian woman hockey player to score an Olympic hat-trick as India beat South Africa by 4-3 at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday to keep their quarterfinal hopes alive. Vandana scored in the first, second and fourth quarters of India's last match in Pool A of the Tokyo Olympics to etch her names in the history books.

Rajasthan Royals owners acquire Barbados franchise

•The owners of Rajasthan Royals have acquired a majority stake in CPL team Barbados Tridents, becoming the third IPL franchise to be associated with the Caribbean league after Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings.

•Royals Sports Group (EM Sporting Holdings Ltd), the owners of the Rajasthan Royals, made the announcement on Friday.

•The two-time CPL champions will be rebranded as the Barbados Royals.

•Royals Sports Group Chairperson, and the Lead Owner of Rajasthan Royals, Manoj Badale, said: “We are delighted to have signed this deal with Manish Patel, to acquire a majority stake in the Barbados CPL franchise.”

OBITUARY

Centenarian sprinter Man Kaur dies of heart attack

•Centenarian sprinter Man Kaur has died of a heart attack, her son Gurdev Singh said on Saturday.

•Man was 105 and is survived by two sons and a daughter.

•Born on March 1, 1916, Kaur was known as the "Miracle Mom from Chandigarh".

•She shot to fame after winning the 100 metre sprint at the World Masters Games in Auckland in 2017.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Muslim Women Rights Day 2021:

•Muslim Women Rights Day is observed on August 1. It was on this very day in 2019, the passage of the triple talaq bill in Parliament.This year marks the second anniversary of that historical bill which is officially known as the Muslim Women Act (Protection of Rights on Marriage) passed in the Rajya Sabha.

•The law made the ‘triple talaq’ a criminal offence. It was seen as a crucial step as it ensured Muslim women protection against gender inequality, and empowerment by lawfully bidding adieu to the practice of instantaneous ‘talaq’. Hence the day is aptly held as Muslim Women Rights Day. The law is meant to promote women’s self-reliance, self-respect, and boost self-esteem as it strengthens the fundamental and democratic rights of Muslim women.

World Breastfeeding Week 2021: 01 – 07 August

•The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is marked every year in the first week of August, between 1 to 7 August, to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants. The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2021 is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility”. The annual week is organized by WABA, WHO and UNICEF since 1991.

•Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Cyrus Poonawalla wins Lokmanya Tilak National Award

•Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman of the Pune-based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), has been selected for the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021. He has been named for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic, by manufacturing the Covishield vaccine. He will receive the award on August 13. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a memento.

•The Lokmanya Tilak national award is given annually since 1983 on August 1, the death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak, by the Lokmanya Tilak Trust. However this year the date has been changed due to the coronavirus situation.

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Important Current Affairs 1st August 2021

NATIONAL

Rajasthan Government launched ‘Mission Niryatak Bano’ campaign to promote aspiring exporters in the state

•The Rajasthan government’s industries department and the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO) have launched the ‘Mission Niryatak Bano’ campaign to promote aspiring exporters in the state. The campaign is aimed at registering and handholding the local traders willing to expand their business to foreign countries, in six steps. This shall cover assistance from training, securing necessary documentation, registration in Rajasthan Export Promotion Council and even support in exports and trade operations.

•The state government in consideration of the challenges of small businesses had waived off the need for several state-level clearances for the initial three years of upcoming businesses. The exporter assistance campaign shall be another step in helping the local business develop understanding towards the procedures and increase their business.

SPORTS

Rs 1756 cr allocatedunder Khelo India Programme

•The Union Government said, it is promoting sports in 13 states which includes Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas, Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern states.

•Replying to supplementaries in the Lok Sabha, Youth Affairs and Sports minister Anurag Thakur said under the Khelo India programme, 1,756 crore rupees has been allocated and 272 sports infrastructure projects are in the pipeline. Across the country, 360 Khelo India Centres have been developed and 24 Centres of Excellence have been identified.

•The Minister informed the house, Sports Ministry accepts the proposal for hosting international sports tournaments and events. Mr Thakur said, this time India’s contingent to Tokyo Olympics is largest ever squad in the history.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Noopur Chaturvedi is the new CEO of Bharat BillPay

•Bharat Bill Payment System has appointed former PayU and Airtel Payments Bank executive Noopur Chaturvedi as its new chief executive officer. Chaturvedi, prior to this appointment, was the country head for small and medium businesses at PayU. In a career spanning nearly two decades, she has worked with Airtel Payments Bank, Samsung, ING Vysya Bank and Citibank in various senior roles.

•Bharat BillPay is an interoperable and integrated bill payment system for online as well as agent-based settlement of recurring bills. On April 1 this year, NPCI transferred all its BBPS mandates to a newly set up subsidiary called the NPCI Bharat BillPay Limited (NBBL), effectively hiving off its automated billing business. Founded in 2013.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle will get prestigious Maharashtra Bhushan award 2021

•The Maharashtra Bhushan Selection Committee chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has unanimously selected legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle for the prestigious award. Asha Bhosle is best known for her playback singing in Hindi cinema, although she has a wider repertoire. Bhosle’s career started in 1943 and has spanned over seven decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand movies.

•Asha Bhosle was officially acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history. The Government of India honoured her with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008. Bhosle is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and belongs to the prominent Mangeshkar family.

Graphic artist Anand Radhakrishnan won the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Award

•Graphic artist Anand Radhakrishnan has won the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Award, considered the Oscars equivalent of the comics world. The Eisner Awards are given out annually and the award won by Radhakrishnan “Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)” recognises the creator of a graphic novel’s art and images.

•Radhakrishnan shares the award with UK-based colourist John Pearson. They won for their work on UK-based author Ram V’s 145-page graphic novel Blue In Green, published in October 2020 by Image Comics.

•The Eisner Awards were founded in 1988 by American comics editor Dave Olbrich, in response to the discontinuation of the popular Kirby Awards for comics in 1987. The Eisners are named in honour of the pioneering writer and artist Will Eisner. The awards are announced each year at the San Diego Comic-Con.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

India’s three biggest private lenders, HDFC Bank, ICICI and Axis pick up stake in blockchain start-up

•Three of India’s biggest private lenders – ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank have taken stakes in the blockchain financial technology firm IBBIC Pvt Ltd. HDFC Bank and Axis Bank invested Rs.5 lakh each for the shares. ICICI Bank also said it has subscribed to 49,000 fully paid-up equity shares of face value Rs.10 each of IBBIC constituting 5.44 per cent of the issued and paid-up share capital. It paid Rs.4.9 lakh for the shares.

•IBBIC was incorporated on May 25 this year as a financial technology company with the objective of providing a platform for exploring, building, and implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions for the Indian financial services sector. About 15 banks have come together to set up IBBIC, with an aim to expand the use of blockchain applications in financial sector transactions.

Prime Minister of India launched Academic Bank of Credit and Artificial Intelligence programme

•Prime Minister Modi has launched multiple educational initiatives including the Academic Bank of Credit that will provide multiple entries and exit options for students in Higher education. Academic Bank of Credit is envisaged as a digital bank that holds the credit earned by a student in any course.

•Academic Bank of Credit is a major instrument for facilitating multidisciplinary and holistic education and multiple entry and exit in higher education. Academic Bank of Credit and the Artificial Intelligence programme to make the youth future-oriented and open the way for an AI-driven economy.

Central government’s fiscal deficit touches 18.2% of annual target at the end of June

•The central government’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 2.74 lakh crore or 18.2 per cent of the full year’s Budget estimate at the end of June, according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA). The fiscal deficit at the end of June 2020 was 83.2 per cent of the Budget Estimates (BE) of 2020-21.

•The fiscal deficit or the gap between expenditure and revenue for 2020-21 was 9.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), better than 9.5 per cent projected in the revised estimates in the Budget in February.

•As per CGA data, the government received Rs 5.47 lakh crore (27.7 per cent of corresponding BE 2021-22 of total receipts) up to June 2021. The amount comprises Rs 4.12 lakh crore of tax revenues, Rs 1.27 lakh crore of non-tax revenues and Rs 7,402 crore of non-debt capital receipts. The receipts were 6.8 per cent of BE at the end of June 2020. Out of the total revenue expenditure, Rs 1.84 lakh crore was for interest payments and about Rs 1 lakh crore was on account of major subsidies.

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Important Current Affairs 31st July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Maldives’ Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th UNGA, Maldives will hold the office of President at the UNGA

•FM of Maldives Abdulla Shahid won the Presidency of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This is for the first time in the history of the United Nations (UN), Maldives will hold the office of President at the UNGA. Abdulla Shahid’s victory at the UNGA Presidential election is a “proud accomplishment” and “a step forward in elevating the country’s stature on the global stage”.

•Maldives’ decision to join the UN in 1965, immediately after its independence, sparked a debate on how a “microstate”, could possibly contribute to the organisation. Over the years, Maldives has cleared all the doubts by raising its voice on issues of concern and playing a prominent role in the UN as well as in the other multilateral organisations including the Commonwealth.

NATIONAL

36th edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia is being held on 30 and 31 July 2021

•The 36th edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia is being held on 30 and 31 July 2021, in the Indian Ocean region. The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel and Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Bung Tomo is undertaking coordinated patrol (CORPAT).

•Besides this, Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both nations are also participating. The exercise is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. India and Indonesia have been conducting the Coordinated Patrols along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) since 2002 twice a year.

•The basic aim of CORPAT is to keep the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping, international trade and conduct of legitimate maritime activities. CORPATs help build understanding and interoperability between navies and facilitate the institution of measures to prevent and suppress Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.

14 Tiger Reserves of India get (CA|TS) Recognition on the occasion of International Tiger Day

•From India, 14 tiger reserves have received the accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS), on the occasion of International Tiger Day on July 29, 2021.

•The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recognized the ‘BaghRakshaks’ for their efforts in protecting Tigers and forests. The NTCA’s quarterly newsletter STRIPES was also released during the event.

Intel launched ‘AI For All’ initiative in collaboration with Central Board of Secondary Education

•Intel in collaboration with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Ministry of Education, announced the launch of the AI For All initiative with the purpose of creating a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for everyone in India.

•Based on Intel’s AI For Citizens program, AI For All is a 4-hour, self-paced learning program that demystifies AI in an inclusive manner. It is as applicable to a student, a stay at home parent as it is to a professional in any field or even a senior citizen. The program aims to introduce AI to 1 million citizens in its first year. Partnerships and Initiatives at Intel.

SPORTS

Vantika Agarwal Won the national women online chess title with the score of 9.5 points

•Vantika Agarwal has won the National Women Online Chess title. She scored 9.5 points from 11 rounds. Arpita Mukherjee of West Bengal took the second spot and Tamil Nadu’s Sreeja Seshadri secured the third spot in the competition.

•In the absence of over-the-board events due to the ongoing pandemic, the All India Chess Federation has decided to consider the performance of this online event for the selection of players for the Asian individual championship and other events.

OBITUARY

Former England Cricketer Mike Hendrick passed away

•Former England and Derbyshire bowler, Mike Hendrick has passed away. He played a major role in two of England’s Ashes-series victories and took 87 wickets in 30 Tests for his country between 1974 and 1981.

•Hendrick, who took 770 wickets in 267 first-class matches and 35 wickets in 22 ODIs, was also the first professional coach of Ireland.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Ranger Day 2021: 31st July

•World Ranger Day is observed every year on 31 July to commemorate the Rangers killed or injured while on duty and to celebrate the work that Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage. World Ranger Day offers a chance to support their vital work, which ranges from environmental campaigning to education. The day is also an opportunity to pay tribute to rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

•A Ranger is a person tasked with preserving and protecting parklands and natural protected areas. A Ranger typically refers to a forest ranger or a park ranger. It was on this day in 1992 that International Ranger Federation (IRF) was founded. World Ranger Day was created by the International Ranger Federation and was first held in 2007.

International Day of Friendship 2021: 30th July

•International Day of Friendship is observed globally on 30th July. This day is celebrated to mark the importance of friends and friendship in life. The day also advocates the role that friendship plays in promoting peace in several cultures across the world.

•In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the International Friendship Day with an aim to forge a strong bond of friendship of people of various countries irrespective of race, colour, gender, religion, etc. The International Day of Friendship is an initiative that follows on the proposal made by UNESCO defining the Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes and behaviours that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems. It was then adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI cancelled licence of Madgaum Urban Co-operative Bank limited Margao

•The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the licence of Madgaum Urban Co-operative Bank Limited, Margao, Goa, as the bank with its current financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in full. According to the RBI, as per the data submitted by the bank, about 99 per cent of the depositors will receive full amounts of their deposits from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC). The bank ceases to carry on banking business with effect from the close of business on July 29, 2021.

•The Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Goa, has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank. On liquidation, every depositor would be entitled to receive deposit insurance claim amount of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of Rs. five lakh from the DICGC subject to the provisions of the DICGC Act, 1961. With the cancellation of licence and commencement of liquidation proceedings, the process of paying the depositors of the bank as per the DICGC Act, 1961 will be set in motion.

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Important Current Affairs 30th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Vaidehi Dongre crowned Miss India USA 2021

•Vaidehi Dongre, a 25-year-old girl from Michigan, has been crowned Miss India USA 2021 at the beauty pageant. Arshi Lalani from Georgia was declared the first runner up and North Carolina’s Mira Kasari was declared the second runner up. Dongre, who has majored in international studies, won the ‘Miss Talented’ title in the pageant for giving a flawless performance of Indian classical dance from Kathak.

•Former Miss World Diana Hayden was the chief guest and chief judge for the pageant. There were 61 contestants from 30 states participating in three different pageants – Miss India USA, Mrs India USA and Miss Teen India USA. The winners of all three categories get complimentary tickets to travel to Mumbai, India to take part in worldwide pageants.

NATIONAL

Indian chillies, Bhoot Jolokia from Nagaland exported to London

•A consignment of ‘Raja Mircha’, also referred to as King Chilli or Bhoot Jolokia, from Nagaland, has been exported to London for the first time.

•Naga king chilli is constantly on the top five in the list of the world’s hottest chillies based on the Scoville Heat Units. It got a GI tag in 2008. It was declared the hottest chilli pepper in the world by Guinness World Records in 2007.

Kerala police launched ‘Pink Protection’ project

•The Kerala Police launched a new initiative called the Pink Protection project for the protection of women in public, private and digital spaces. The Pink Protection project aims to prevent dowry-related issues, cyber-bullying & humiliation in public places. It has 10 components, one of which is activating the existing Pink Police Patrol system, named Pink Janamaithri Beat.

•They will collect information from panchayat members, neighbours and other locals and hand it over to the Station House Officers for further action.

•The Pink Beat system, in which specially trained women police officers have been deployed, will be present at Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private buses and in front of schools, colleges and other public places including bus stops.

•Pink control rooms have been set up in all 14 districts to coordinate the activities.

Test Kit “COVIHOME” developed by IIT Hyderabad

•India’s first Rapid electronic C-19 RNA Test kit that allows self-testing at home called ‘COVIHOME’ has been developed by a research group at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad. The kit has been validated by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and can be used to check for C-19 trace at the comfort of home.

•This test kit can produce results within 30 minutes for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

•The major benefit of this testing kit is that it does not require RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), an expert human resource, and a BSL 2 lab facility for the extraction of RNA, so it has the potential for one to take the test at home without expert supervision.

Government announced 27% reservation for OBCs

•The centre has announced 27% reservation for OBCs and a 10% quota for students from the economically weaker sections (EWS) for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses under the All-India Quota (AIQ) scheme. Under the AIQ scheme, 15% of seats at the UG level and 50% seats at the PG level are kept domicile free in government medical and dental colleges against which students from other states to are offered admission while the rest of the seats are kept only for students from within the state.

•This will immensely help thousands of our youth every year get better opportunities and create a new paradigm of social justice in our country. A statement by the government said that the decision would benefit nearly 1500 OBC students in MBBS and 2500 OBC students in PG while it will also impact around 550 EWS students in MBBS and around 1000 EWS students in PG medicine.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Colliers appointed Ramesh Nair as New CEO for India

•Property consultant Colliers has appointed Ramesh Nair as the chief executive officer (CEO) for India and managing director, market development, for Asia. Nair’s experience and leadership skills will be particularly relevant to its clients in the region and around the world as they seek opportunities in the post-C-19 economy.

•Nair joined Colliers from JLL India, where he held the position of CEO & country head, leading over 12,000 people. Based in Mumbai, Ramesh will partner with Sankey Prasad, chairman & managing director of Colliers in India, to lead the business.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2021: 30th  July

•United Nations observes 30 July every year as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. In 2013, the General Assembly designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.

•The 2021 theme for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is Victims’ Voices Lead the Way. This year’s theme puts victims of human trafficking at the centre of the campaign and will highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

BIAL signs a deal with IBM for ‘Airport in a Box’

•Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), has signed a ten-year partnership with the company IBM to set up the ‘Airport in a Box’ platform. The partnership is designed to help Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) improve its productivity, automate its information technology services, increase operational flexibility to handle future growth in passenger traffic and reduce costs.

•The airport operator chose IBM Global Business Services, IBM hybrid cloud capabilities and Kyndryl, the new, independent company that will be created following the separation of IBM’s Managed Infrastructure Services business, to design and implement a next-generation architecture with a dynamic delivery model. The new platform will enable it to improve employee productivity, upgrade utilisation of IT assets, reduce costs through streamlined inventory control and improve incident management.

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Important Current Affairs 29th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil’s site received UNESCO World Heritage status

•The Sitio Burle Marx site, a landscape garden in Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. The garden features more than 3,500 species of plants native to Rio and is considered a laboratory for botanical and landscape experimentation.

•The site has been named after Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape architect whose designs of parks and gardens made him world-famous. The Sitio Burle Marx site was his home until 1985.

NATIONAL

Government will set up center for animation, visual effects, gaming

•The Union Government has decided to set up a National Centre of Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics for creating a world-class talent pool in India to cater to the Indian as well as a global industry. It will be set up in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur said this in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

•In order to support skilled manpower in the animation and VFX sector, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and Film and Television Institute of India run courses on Animation and VFX. The Minister also informed that India has also audio-visual co-production treaties with 15 countries.

Madhya Pradesh government made ‘Devaranya’ scheme

•In order to promote AYUSH in Madhya Pradesh and to link it with employment, the government has made the ‘Devaranya’ scheme. The scheme has been made to provide employment to the people living in the tribal areas of the state. A complete value chain for the production of AYUSH medicines will be developed in the state through Devarnya Yojana. Self-help groups will also play an important role in this work.

•In this, Agriculture Producer Organization, AYUSH Department, Forest Department, Rural Development Department, Horticulture Department, Tourism Department, Agriculture Department, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Department, Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion Department and Tribal Affairs Department will work together in mission mode. For this, medicinal plants should be cultivated in the beautiful plains of the villages.  AYUSH and tourism will be brought together.

Puri becomes India’s first city to provide quality drinking tap water on 24 hour basis

•Puri has become the first city in India where people can avail high-quality drinking water directly from the tap on a 24-hour basis. It has enabled the people of Puri to collect quality drinking water directly from the tap. Henceforth, people need not have to store or filter drinking water.

•The project would benefit 2.5 lakh citizens of Puri and 2 crore tourists who visit the tourist place every year. They need not have to move around with water bottles. Puri would no more be burdened with 400 metric tonnes of plastic waste. Water fountains have been developed at 400 locations in Puri.

Indore selected for International Clean Air Catalyst Programme

•The Indore city of Madhya Pradesh, or the cleanest city of India, has become the only city from the country to be selected for International Clean Air Catalyst Programme. The project will be operated for a period of five years to purify the air in the city with the cooperation of Indore Municipal Corporation and Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board. Under the project, USAID and partners will work with local communities to better understand local pollution sources and identify, test, accelerate, and scale solutions for cleaner, healthier air.

•Clean Air Catalyst is a new flagship programme launched by The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and a global consortium of organisations, led by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to combat air pollution in low and middle-income countries by accelerating clean air solutions.

SPORTS

Momiji Nishiya youngest gold medal winners in Olympic

•Japan’s Momiji Nishiya became one of the youngest individual Olympic champions in history when she won the inaugural women’s skateboarding gold at the age of 13 years and 330 days. Rayssa Leal (13 years and 203 days) of Brazil won silver and Funa Nakayama (16 years) of Japan clinched the bronze.

•The youngest gold medalist was Team USA’s Marjorie Gestring at the 1936 games in Berlin. Gestring, only 13 years and 268 days old at the time, won gold in the women’s diving competition.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

(BSF)’s (DG) Rakesh Asthana appointed as Delhi Police Commissioner

•Border Security Force (BSF) Director General (DG), Rakesh Asthana has been appointed as the Delhi Police Commissioner, with immediate effect. His appointment comes just three days before his superannuation on July 31, 2021. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has extended Asthana’s service initially for a period of one year beyond the date of his superannuation or until further order, whichever is earlier.

•Asthana, a 1984-batch IPS officer, had earlier served as the Special Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation. He was the Narcotics Control Bureau chief when actor Rhea Chakraborty was arrested in a drugs case in Mumbai. During his stint in the CBI in 2018,  Ashtana was engaged in an unsavoury spat with the then CBI Director Alok Verma. Both the officers were removed from the central probe agency and Asthana was subsequently cleared of the charges.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Tiger Day 2021: 29th  July

•Global Tiger Day or International Tiger Day is observed on 29th July every year to raise awareness about the declining population of wild cats and making efforts to conserve them. The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues. This year marks the 11th International Tiger Day.

•The theme/Slogan for the 2021 International Tiger Day celebration is “Their Survival is in our hands”.

•The Global Tiger Day came into being during the signing of the Saint Petersburg declaration by 13 tiger range countries in 2010 in Russia. The governments of these tiger range countries had resolved to encourage the conservation, protecting natural habitats and double the number of tigers by 2022. Poaching and the illegal trade of tiger body parts like bone, the skin has posed the biggest threat to wild tigers. The demand for tiger body parts has increased the poaching and trafficking of wild cats.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Reserve Bank of India is working plans digital currency pilots soon

•The Reserve Bank of India is currently working on a phased implementation strategy for its own digital currency, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), and will launch it in the wholesale and retail segments soon. India is already a leader in digital payments, but cash remains dominant for small-value transactions. RBI is currently examining the scope of CBDCs, the underlying technology, the validation mechanism, distribution architecture and degree of anonymity etc.

•The primary idea for the RBI is to protect consumers from the appalling level of volatility seen in some or many of the virtual currencies that have no sovereign backing. Though the phased rollout of digital currency augurs well for India, it will come with its own challenges.

•Digital currencies are gaining more and more traction by the day, and there are countries that have launched or are going to be launching digital currencies, including Ecuador, Tunisia, Senegal, Sweden, Estonia, China, Russia, Japan, Venezuela, and Israel.

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Important Current Affairs 28th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Uzbekistan Will be host the ‘Central-South Asia conference 2021

•Uzbekistan has hosted a high-level International Conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” at Tashkent. The conference was an initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. It was attended by President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, Ministers from Central Asian, West Asian and South Asian countries, including Minister of External Affairs of India Dr. S. Jaishankar. Delegates from over 40 countries and about 30 international organizations, and heads of think tanks participated in the conference.

•Ashraf Ghani underlined the historical proximity of two regions and the importance of strengthening it on the basis of mutual trust and interests.

•President Mirziyoyev said the world has entered an era of global geopolitical transformations and that the ‘revival of mutual ties between Central and South Asia, where about two billion people live today, is becoming an ever more demanding and objective process’.

NATIONAL

Chief minister of Assam H.B. Sarma lays the foundation stone of bamboo industrial park

•The chief minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma has laid the foundation stone of a bamboo industrial park at Manderdisa Village, Dima Hasao. The project will be implemented with Rs 50 crore from the DoNER ministry. The project, once completed, would usher in a new era in the economy of the region and create vast employment opportunities for the local youth.

•Bamboo produced in Dima Hasao were earlier mostly exported to paper mills, however, with the completion of the park new avenues would open to use bamboo for the production of tiles, incense stick, ceiling etc., which would bring more economic benefit to the people.

Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme

•Union Home Minister, Amit Shah along with chief minister Conrad K. Sangma inaugurated the much-awaited Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme at Sohra in East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. The Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme was conceptualised by the Meghalaya government and an amount of Rs. 24.08 cr was sanctioned by the DoNER ministry in 2019 under North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS). He also planted tree saplings in Sohra as part of the Sohra Afforestation Project of the Assam Rifles.

•This is a first of its kind initiative of the Government of Meghalaya to bring together the Ministry of Home Affairs, Defence officials, and village communities for a novel and humanitarian purpose in the field of Natural Resource Management in a very important and ecologically fragile landscape.

Indian Naval Ship Talwar participated in Exercise Cutlass Express 2021

•Indian Naval Ship Talwar is participating in Exercise Cutlass Express 2021, being conducted from 26 July 2021 to 06 August 2021 along the East Coast of Africa. The exercise is an annual maritime exercise conducted to promote national and regional maritime security in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

•The exercise focuses on East Africa’s coastal regions and is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security and increase interoperability between the regional navies.

•As part of the exercise, the Indian Navy, together with other partners, shall undertake the training of contingents from various participating countries in various fields across the spectrum of maritime security operations.

Dholavira inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List

•A Harappan-era metropolis, Dholavira in Gujarat has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Now Gujarat has three world heritage sites, Champaner near Pavagadh, Rani ki Vav in Patan and the historic city of Ahmedabad. Dholavira is now the 40th treasure in India to be given.

•The ongoing 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has already given India a new world heritage site in the form of the Rudreswara/ Ramappa Temple in Telangana, which dates back to the 13th century. This session of the World Heritage Committee is being chaired from Fuzhou in China.

SPORTS

Japan’s Yuto Horigome has won the first-ever skateboarding

•Japan’s Yuto Horigome has won the first-ever skateboarding competition at the Olympic Games, taking gold in men’s street event at the Ariake Urban Sport in Tokyo. Yuto overcame a shaky start to pocket the gold with 37.18 points. Kelvin Hoefler of Brazil won silver in the men’s street skating competition, while Jagger Eaton of the United States clinched the bronze.

•Skateboarding’s inclusion into the Olympics marks a turning point for the sport, which has its roots in youth street culture and has influenced everything from art to fashion.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Basavaraj Bommai will be the new Chief Minister of Karnataka

•The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) legislature party has unanimously elected Lingayat MLA Basavaraj S Bommai as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka. The 61-year-old will succeed BS Yediyurappa, who resigned on July 26, 2021.

•He will be sworn in as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka on July 28, 2021. Prior to this, Basavaraj Bommai was the Home Minister in the BSY government. He is a two-time MLC and three-time MLA from Shiggaon in the Haveri district.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Nature Conservation Day 2021: 28th  July

•World Nature Conservation Day is observed on 28th July every year. The main objective of celebrating this day is to raise awareness about protecting nature and adopting best practices for conserving our natural resources.

•The Earth is supplied a limited amount of properties that we all rely upon each day like water, air, soil and trees.

World Hepatitis Day celebrated 2021: 28th  July

•World Health Organization is observed on 28th July every year as “World Hepatitis Day”. This day is celebrated to enhance awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer. This year theme of World Hepatitis Day 2021 is ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’.

•The date of 28 July was chosen because it is the birthday of Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E. Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of death, with 1.3 million lives lost each year.

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Important Current Affairs 27th July 2021

NATIONAL

WTO: India Entered Top 10 Agricultural Produce Exporters in 2019

•India has entered the top ten list of agricultural produce exporters in 2019 with a significant share within the export of rice, soya beans, cotton and meat, according to a World Trade Organisation (WTO) report on trends in world agricultural trade in recent 25 years. In 2019, India ranked ninth with a share of 3.1% in global agricultural exports. Earlier this place was New Zealand.

•While the US, which topped the list in 1995 (22.2%), was overtaken by the European Union in 2019 (16.1%). Brazil maintained its ranking as the third-largest exporter, increasing its share from 4.8% in 1995 to 7.8% in 2019. China climbed from the sixth spot in 1995 (4%) to fourth in 2019 (5.4%).

SPORTS

Priya Malik wins Gold at World Cadet Wrestling Championship 2021

•Indian Wrestler Priya Malik has won a Gold Medal at the 2021 World Cadet Wrestling Championship in Budapest, Hungary.

•She defeated Kseniya Patapovich 5-0 in the summit clash of women’s 73kg weight category to win the yellow medal. The Indian team bagged as many as 13 medals, including 5 Golds at the Championship, to make the country proud.

Para shuttler Pramod Bhagat named Differently abled Sportsman of the Year 2019

•World No. 1 para shuttler Pramod Bhagat was named Differently Abled Sportsman of the Year at Indian Sports Honour for 2019. The delay in the announcement was due to the C-19 pandemic. Indian Sports Honours are awards given annually by the RPSG Group in association with the Virat Kohli Foundation to outstanding sports personalities of India. The awards were founded in 2017.

•Bhagat, who won two gold medals and a bronze at the Dubai Para-Badminton Tournament this year, will be participating in singles and mixed doubles events at the Paralympics which opens in Tokyo from August 24.

OBITUARY

Veteran Actress Jayanthi passed away

•The well-known southern actor Jayanthi, has passed away due to age-related ailments. She started her acting career in 1963 and had starred in over 500 films that span across five languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi.

•She was fondly known as ‘Abhinaya Sharadhe’ meaning the ‘Goddess of acting’, in the Kannada film industry. She won several awards including the Karnataka State Film Awards seven times and the Filmfare Awards twice.

Bangladesh’s legendary folk singer Fakir Alamgir passed away due to C-19

•Bangladesh’s legendary folk singer, Fakir Alamgir has passed away due to complications from C-19. He was born on February 21, 1950, in Faridpur, Alamgir began his music career in 1966. The singer was a key member of cultural organisations ‘Kranti Shilpi Gosthi’ and ‘Gana Shilpi Gosthi’ and played an important role during Bangladesh’s 1969 uprising. During Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War, Alamgir joined the ‘Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra’ and performed frequently to inspire freedom fighters.

•Some of his popular songs include “O Sokhina Gesos Kina”, “Shantahar”, “Nelson Mandela”, “Naam Tar Chhilo John Henry”, “Banglar Comrade Bondhu”, among others. He also founded the cultural organization ‘Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi’ in 1976, and also served as the president of Gono Sangeet Shamanya Parishad (GSSP). Alamgir was conferred with the Ekushey Padak, the country’s second-highest civilian award, in 1999.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Lulu Group’s chairman Yusuffali will be vice-chairman of Abu Dhabi CCI’s

•Lulu Group chairman, M A Yusuff Ali has been appointed as the Vice-Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI). Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi & Dy. Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces issued a resolution to form a new Board of Directors for Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI).

•HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan recently had honoured Yusuffali with the ‘Abu Dhabi Award 2021’, the highest civilian honour for his almost 5-decade long contributions in the fields of economic development & philanthropy.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa Resigns

•Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa has announced his resignation from the top post on July 26, 2021, when his government completed two years in the state, after being elected to power in 2019.

•The 78-year-old Yediyurappa, often called by his initials BSY, served as the 19th Chief Minister of Karnataka. He had served as the chief minister of Karnataka for four terms and was the only chief minister to do so in Karnataka history.

IMPORTANT DAYS

CRPF observed 83rd  Raising Day 2021 on 27th July

•The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), observed its 83rd Raising Day on 27 July 2021. CRPF is India’s largest Central Armed Police Force, under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

•Its headquarter is located in New Delhi. It came into existence as the Crown Representative’s Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on the enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Central Reserve Police Force signs an MoU with C-DAC 

•The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has signed an MoU with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing C-DAC to train the manpower of the force in advanced technologies and undertake joint projects. The MoU aims at augmenting the technical capabilities of CRPF by training its manpower in advanced areas like the Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity, AI, etc.

•The agreement will also provide the expertise of C-DAC in the form of a Technology Partner and Knowledge Partner in developing various ICT solutions of CRPF. The MoU will go a long way in providing CRPF personnel with customised advanced courses aligned to the needs of the field and practical applications.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

HDFC Ltd got a loan of $250 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC)

•HDFC Ltd has got a loan of $250 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group, to be used by India’s largest housing finance company for green housing. Green housing is regarded as a luxury market in the country but has climate benefits. Its partnership with HDFC would help change perceptions about the market. At least 25 per cent of the funding is for green affordable housing.

•IFC’s $250 million loans to HDFC Ltd will support its moves to grow its affordable housing and emerging green affordable housing portfolio by improving access to such housing for people on lower incomes.

•Aligned with the government of India’s goal to provide ‘Housing for All,’ the funding will also help generate jobs,”. Green affordable housing can help India on its path to deliver on its commitments under the Paris Agreement, to reduce a third of its carbon emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels.

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