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Important Current Affairs 16th August 2021


WHO forms Advisory Group named “SAGO”

• World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new advisory group named, The International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO. The function of SAGO will be to systematically study the emergence of future emerging pathogens with pandemic potential, and advise the development in this regard to WHO.

• WHO has made an open call for nominations to SAGO from the member countries, thus providing a transparent foundation for the new scientific advisory group. The group will also work towards finding the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Delhi AIIMS Becomes First Hospital To Have Fire Station Inside Hospital Premises

• The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi, has become the first hospital in India to house a fire station inside the hospital premises, its Director Dr Randeep Guleria said on Sunday. Making the announcement at a function to mark the 75th Independence Day, he said that the AIIMS has joined hands with the Delhi Fire Service for the purpose.

• The fire station, meant for quick response in case of fire emergency, will have its infrastructure developed by the AIIMS, while the fire tender, equipment, and manpower will be managed by the DFS. 

Bihar CM announces 11pc DA hike for govt employees, pensione

• Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday, August 15, 2021, announced the Dearness Allowance (DA) hike for state government employees and pensioners on Independence Day.

• While addressing the gathering at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan after the flag hoisting ceremony, CM Kumar said the Bihar government will hike DA by 11% to 28% for state government employees and pensioners from July 1, 2021, on the lines of the Centre’s announcement.

• The 7th Pay Commission announced earlier that all Central government employees would be receiving a 28 per cent hike in their DA beginning from July 2021.

Kolkata’s tram turns into a museum on freedom struggle

• Commemorating the 75th Independence Day, West Bengal’s Transport Department on Sunday launched a mobile museum on freedom struggle and partition of Bengal by turning two trams into galleries.

• This museum on wheels has been curated by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust in collaboration with the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC).

• It will be on display at Esplanade in the heart of the city till December. It will move to other parts of the city from January 1.

Kaziranga becomes India’s first national park with satellite phones

• Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam has become the first national park in India to be equipped with satellite phones. Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua handed over 10 satellite phones to the forest personnel of the Kaziranga National Park. The satellite phones will boost the anti-poaching measures in the park. BSNL will be the service provider of these phones.

• The park which has been spread over a massive 430 sq km area and divided into six ranges in upper Assam, has certain areas with poor to no connectivity.  The satellite phones, given to the officials of Kaziranga Parks, which draw signals from the satellites instead of mobile towers will ensure connectivity in most of the remote locations. The move will also boost anti-poaching measures undertaken by the park.

4 more sites in India added to Ramsar list

• Four more wetlands from India have been added to the list of Ramsar sites, giving it the status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’. With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India have reached 46, covering a surface area of 1,083,322 hectares. The sites have been recognised as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Two of these sites are in Haryana, while the other two are in Gujarat.

Four sites are:

• Thol, Gujarat

• Wadhwana, Gujarat

• Sultanpur, Haryana

• Bhindawas, Haryana

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar begins 4-day visit to New York on Monday

• Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will begin a four-day visit to the United States from Monday to attend a number of UN Security Council events, including a terrorism briefing to be held under the Indian presidency of the powerful body.

• Announcing the visit on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said Jaishankar would also chair an open debate on peacekeeping at the UNSC.

• His visit to New York comes against the backdrop of the Taliban’s rapid attack on Afghanistan and the issue is expected to feature in his talks with UN officials.


Komalika Bari becomes new Under-21 Recurve world champion in Archery

• Archery, Komalika Bari became the new under-21 recurve world champion at the Youth World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland yesterday. India’s Junior recurve archers also bagged gold in the men’s and the mixed team event. In the U21 men’s recurve team final the Indian team of Dhiraj Bommadevara, Aditya Choudhary, and Parth Sushant Salunkhe clinched the gold medal in a very exciting fashion.

• Indian trio came from behind to clinch the 5-3 win against Spain. Parth Salunkhe later joined Komalika Bari in the mixed team event, to capture another gold for India. The duo produced a brilliant comeback against the Spanish duo to win 5-3 after being down 2-0 in the match. Earlier in the under-21 women’s team bronze medal match, the trio of Komalika Bari, Tanisha Verma, and Tisha Punia lost 1-5 against Ukraine in what was India’s first loss of the day.


ARWU Rankings 2021: Calcutta University secures second position

• "on the momentous occasion of the 75th anniversary of country's independence, we, the University of Calcutta fraternity, have yet another cause of celebration. Shanghai Ranking - Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), 2021 has adjudged the University of Calcutta as the best among all universities across India. Among all the Universities and Institutes in the country, the University of Calcutta is second only to the prestigious Indian Institute of Science. This success and international recognition should be seen as a result of the sustained efforts of brilliant members of faculty.

• As per the ARWU Ranking 2021, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) stood on the number one rank while the University of Calcutta was on the second spot among all premier higher educational institutions in the country.

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