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Important Current Affairs 16th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

China started construction of world’s first commercial small modular reactor

•China has officially begun the construction of the world’s first commercial modular small reactor ‘Linglong One’ at the Changjiang Nuclear Power Plant in the country’s Hainan Province. The project is based on China National Nuclear Corporation’s (CNNC’s Linglong One (ACP100) technology.

•The multi-purpose, 125 MWe SMR is a pressurised water reactor designed for electricity generation, urban heating, urban cooling, industrial steam production, or seawater desalination.

•CNNC began the development of the Linglong One in 2010, and it was the first SMR project to pass an independent safety assessment by International Atomic Energy Agency experts in 2016.

NATIONAL

Cabinet approved continuation of NAM scheme implemented from April 01, 2021

•The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘National AYUSH Mission (NAM)’ for another five years. The scheme will now be implemented from April 01, 2021, to March 31, 2026. The Centre has allocated Rs. 4607.30 crore (Rs 3,000 crore as Central Share and Rs. 1607.30 crore as State Share) for the scheme to be invested over five years.

•The NAM Mission was first launched on 15 September 2014.The National AYUSH Mission is being implemented by the Ministry of AYUSH.

•The objective of the mission is to provide cost-effective AYUSH Services by focusing on core competency areas of AYUSH like Ayurveda, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, Unani and also Homeopathy (ASU&H) which are a treasure house of knowledge for preventive, promotive and curative healthcare.

PM Modi inaugurated ‘Rudraksh’ convention centre in Uttar Pradesh

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the International Cooperation and Convention Centre “Rudraksh”, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The centre will become an attractive destination for conferences and pull in tourists and businesspersons to the city. The international cooperation and convention centre has been named “Rudraksh” and has as many as 108 Rudraksha at the centre. Its roof is shaped like a ‘Shiva Linga’.

•The objective is to provide opportunities for social and cultural interactions between people at the international convention centre. The convention centre has been built with the assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency. An environment-friendly building, the centre is equipped with adequate security and safety systems. It features a regular entrance, a service entrance and a separate VIP entrance, making it an ideal destination for holding all types of international events.

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa unveiled bike taxi scheme for state

•Karnataka Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa has unveiled the Karnataka Electric Bike Taxi scheme-2021. This will serve as a bridge between public transport and daily commuters. The scheme aims to reduce travel time and inconvenience in reaching bus, railway and metro stations. It will allow people, partnership firms and companies to participate.

•The authority concerned will issue licences under this scheme. Vehicles registered under this scheme will be in the transport category for which the government has given several exemptions like permits, tax and financial benefits for electric vehicles manufacturers.

•The Karnataka Electric Bike Taxi Scheme-2021 will boost self-employment, promote an eco-friendly environment, fuel conservation, strengthen public transport and encourage establishing related industries.

India’s first ‘Grain ATM’ open in Haryana

•The country’s first ‘Grain ATM’ has been set up as a pilot project in Gurugram, Haryana. It is an automatic machine, which works just like a bank ATM. This machine has been installed under the ‘World Food Programme’ of the United Nations (UN), and is called the ‘Automated, Multi Commodity, Grain Dispensing Machine’.

•This automatic machine is equipped with the biometric system with a touch screen, where the beneficiary will have to enter the Aadhaar or ration card unique number.

•On biometric authentication, the foodgrain prescribed by the government to the beneficiaries will be automatically filled in the bags installed under the machine.

•Three types of grains — wheat, rice and millet — can be distributed through this machine. At present, the distribution of wheat has been started from the ‘Grain ATM’ machine installed at Farrukhnagar.

SPORTS

Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam becomes fastest batsman to score 14 ODI centuries

•Pakistan captain Babar Azam has altered the record books with the century he scored against England during the third ODI at Edgbaston. He became the fastest batsman to notch up 14 ODI centuries in terms of innings, surpassing the likes of Hashim Amla, Indian captain Virat Kohli and Australian batsman David Warner.

•The Pakistan captain reached his 14th ton in his 81st ODI innings. Former South Africa opening batsman Amla had previously held the record who took 84 innings to reach this feat. Warner had taken 98 innings to get his 14th ODI ton while Kohli took 103 innings.

AR Rahman launched Tokyo Olympics cheer song “Hindustani Way”

•Singer Ananya Birla has teamed up with music maestro AR Rahman to launch a cheer song for Indian sports personalities as they gear up for Tokyo Olympics. Titled “Hindustani Way”, the song has been sung by Ananya and composed by Rahman. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur also present in the launch of the song.

•The video of the song follows a family from 1996 to the present day as they cheer for Indian sports personalities across different Olympic seasons. The video features archival footage from Atlanta (1996), Athens (2004), Beijing (2008), London (2012), Rio (2016) and some exclusive training footage of this year’s contingent. The archival footage features winning moments of Leander Peas, Vijender Singh, Abhinav Bindra, Mary Kom, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, among others.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

ISRO successfully conducted third test on Vikas Engine for Gaganyaan Program

•The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted the third long-duration hot test of the liquid propellant Vikas Engine for the core L110 liquid stage of the human-rated GSLV Mk III vehicle, as part of the engine qualification requirements for the Gaganyaan Programme.

•The engine was fired for a duration of 240 seconds at the engine test facility of ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu. The performance of the engine met the test objectives and the engine parameters were closely matching with the predictions during the entire duration of the test.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Vice President of India M.Naidu receives book entitled ‘Urdu Poets and Writers – Gems of Deccan’

•Vice President M. Venkaih Naidu has received a book entitled ‘Urdu Poets and Writers – Gems of Deccan’ authored by senior journalist, J.S. Ifthekhar. Mr Naidu commended the author for the book which traces the rich literary and cultural traditions of the Deccan.

•The book is an anthology of prose and poetry that encapsulates the life and works of 51 outstanding poets and writers of the Deccan region. The book traces the rich literary and cultural traditions of Deccan, right from the time of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, the founder of Hyderabad, to the present times.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI canceled licence of Dr Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar Urban Co-operative Bank

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Dr Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd, Nilanga, Latur, as it does not have adequate capital and earning prospects. The Maharashtra-based bank with its current financial position would be unable to pay its depositors in full, the central bank said while announcing the cancellation of its licence. The bank ceases to carry on banking business, with effect from the close of business.

•With the cancellation of its licence, the bank has been prohibited from conducting the business of ”banking” that includes acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits with immediate effect.

RBI imposed restrictions on Mastercard Asia from adding new customers from 22nd July 2021

•The Reserve Bank of India has imposed restrictions on Mastercard Asia/Pacific Private Limited for adding new domestic customers from 22nd July 2021. MasterCard will not be allowed to add customers, be it for debit, credit or pre-paid cards onto its network as the entity has failed to comply with the directions on Storage of Payment System Data.

•This order will not impact existing Mastercard customers, RBI asked the company to inform all card-issuing banks and non-banks to conform to these directions. It may be recalled that RBI had issued a circular in April 2018, directing all system providers to ensure that all information related to payments systems operated by them are stored in India. All the firms were given a period of six months to comply and report compliance to RBI.

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