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Important Current Affairs 15th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

FM N. Sitharaman launched BHIM-UPI services in Bhutan

•Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has launched BHIM-UPI QR-based payments in Bhutan will further strengthen the cooperation between the two neighbouring nations. With the launch in Bhutan, the payment infrastructures of the two countries are seamlessly connected and will benefit tourists and businessmen from India who travel to Bhutan. This will enhance the ease of living and travelling through cashless transactions.

•The services have started in Bhutan under India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy. She described BHIM UPI as one of the brightest in facilitating digital transactions in India during the pandemic.

NATIONAL

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar unveiled statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Georgia

•External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Georgia at a prominent Tbilisi park. During his two-day visit to Georgia, a strategically important country situated at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Jaishankar held talks with the country’s top leadership & also handed over the relics of 17th century St. Queen Keteva.

•St. Queen Ketevan was a 17th century Georgian Queen who attained martyrdom. Her relics were found in 2005 at the St. Augustine Convent in Old Goa, India, on the basis of medieval Portuguese records.

Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated centre of excellence at National Forensic Science University Gandhinagar

•Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated a research-based centre of excellence at National Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The research-based centre of excellence at the National Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar will help our youths to become free from the addiction of drugs and narcotics.

•This centre will help in research and analysis of drugs and narcotics seized in the different parts of the country and its routes. Home Minister Amit Shah also inaugurated the virtual training model on Investigation of Crime against women for Indian Police.

India’s first national dolphin research centre will come upon in Patna University

•India’s and Asia’s first National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will come upon the bank of the Ganges in the premises of Patna University. Around 1,455 dolphins have been sighted during a survey conducted in 2018-19 in the river Ganga by the teams of experts. The Gangetic dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal but frequently falls prey to illegal poaching. The presence of dolphins in the Ganga gives a sign of a healthy ecosystem because dolphins live at least in 5 ft to 8 ft deep water.

•The Gangetic dolphin has been declared an endangered aquatic animal and is one of the four freshwater dolphins species in the world as another three species are said to be found in the Yangtze River, the Indus River in Pakistan and the Amazon River globally.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 Report

•The annual UN-FAO report titled “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021” states that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020, which is around 161 million more than in 2019. The report was jointly produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

•Number of hungry people in 2020 in the World: between 720 and 811 million

•Asia: 418 million (More than half of world hunger population)

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

ISRO plans to launched geo imaging satellite on August

•The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is getting back into launch activity fully at Sriharikota spaceport with the planned orbiting of geo imaging satellite GISAT-1 onboard GSLV-F10 rocket on August 12. GISAT-1 will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by GSLV-F10 and, subsequently, it will be positioned in the final geostationary orbit, about 36,000 km above earth’s equator, using its onboard propulsion system.

•The 2,268-kg GISAT-1 was originally slated to be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 kms north of Chennai, on March 5 last year but was postponed a day before the blast-off due to technical reasons.

•According to ISRO, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud-free conditions, at frequent intervals.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Union Minister Piyush Goyal appointed Leader of House in Rajya Sabha

•Union Minister Piyush Goyal has been appointed as the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. His appointment is effective from July 06, 2021. He will succeed Thawar Chand Gahlot, who has taken charge as the Governor of Karnataka.

•Mr. Goyal, a two-time Rajya Sabha MP, is currently the deputy leader of the NDA as well as the Union Minister in the Cabinet. He is serving as the Union Minister of Textiles, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The Leader of the House is responsible for organizing government meetings and business in the House.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Youth Skills Day 2021:15th July

•United Nations celebrates World Youth Skills Day globally on 15 July every year. The day is celebrated as an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge as well as celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

•The theme of World Youth Skills Day 2020 is “Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic”.

•In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “The Great Big Lion” written by child prodigy Knight

•A book titled “The Great Big Lion” drawn and written by child prodigy Chryseis Knight.  This book is a story about a lion and two children. It talks about friendship, inclusivity, wildlife conservation and the world of imagination. The book was published by Penguin Random House India’s “Puffin” imprint.

•Knight, who is currently residing in Canada, learnt how to read at the age of one, started writing the story of “The Great Big Lion” in her notebook when she was three years old. She then shared it with her family and became determined to do the artwork with the motivation of getting the book published.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Reserve Bank of India Launched ‘Retail Direct Scheme’

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched ‘the RBI Retail Direct’ scheme for retail investors, through which they can directly buy and sell government securities (G-Secs), both primary and secondary.  The bond-buying window was opened to increase retail participation in G-Secs and democratize ownership of G-Secs beyond the managers of pooled resources such as banks and mutual funds. The date of commencement of the scheme will be announced later.

•The RBI Retail Direct scheme is a one-stop solution to facilitate investment in Government Securities (G-Secs) by individual investors.

•This dedicated bond-buying window is a part of RBI’s effort to increase retail participation in government securities.

•The scheme also provides the facility to Retail investors (individuals) to open and maintain the ‘Retail Direct Gilt Account’ (RDG Account) with RBI.

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