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Important Current Affairs 21st August 2021

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NATIONAL

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched Defence India Startup Challenge- DISC 5.0

• Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh launched Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 under Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) initiative, on August 19, 2021, in New Delhi. The Ministry of Defence has earmarked Rs 1,000 crore for domestic procurement through the iDEX initiative for the financial year 2021-2022. The Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence has approved budgetary support of Rs. 498.80 crore for iDEX for the next 5 years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

• DISC is a platform wherein the Government, Services, think tanks, industry, startups and innovators can work together to help the defence & aerospace sectors reach full potential by creating a strong, modern & well-equipped military and equally capable & self-reliant defence industry.

Faridabad Smart City Limited turns to comic heroes Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu for help

• Faridabad Smart City Limited has roped in an unlikely collaborator to help promote its initiatives on social media – comic hero Chacha Chaudhary. The social media campaign’s objective will be to promote the steps taken by the agency. The initiative will involve excerpts of Talking Comics. Each social media post will depict Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu, his loyal sidekick, guiding and teaching people on effectively using the infrastructure put in place.

• The objective of the social media campaign would be to promote the steps the agency had taken, including the installation of CCTVs for surveillance, traffic rules, road safety, and waste management.

• The Centre has selected 100 cities to be developed as smart cities with each city getting Rs 100 crore per year on an average over a five-year period to complete the developments. Faridabad was selected to be part of the Smart City Mission in May 2016. Faridabad Smart City Limited was “incorporated” as a special purpose vehicle that September.

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated Centre for Research & Innovation in AI set up at IIT- Hyderabad

• Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has virtually inaugurated the Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence set up at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H). He also inaugurated the first Academic Building of the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgical Engineering, High-Performance Computing Centre and High-Resolution Electron Microscopy Facility.

• The Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency-JICA is the best example of international cooperation. The University has an agreement with Honeywell Technology Solutions for setting up the lab.

Delhi-Chandigarh Highway has become the first EV-friendly highway in India

• With a network of solar-based electric vehicle charging stations, the Delhi-Chandigarh Highway has become the country’s first EV-friendly highway in the country. The network of stations was set up by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) under the FAME-1 (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) & Electric Vehicles) scheme of the Ministry of Heavy Industries. Union Minister of Heavy Industries (MHI) Mahendra Nath Pandey remotely inaugurated the state-of-the-art charging station at Karna Lake Resort.

• The EV charging station at Karna resort is strategically located at the midpoint of the Delhi-Chandigarh highway. It is equipped to cater to all types of e-cars currently in the country.

CM Arvind Kejriwal will inaugurated country’s first smog tower on 23rd August 2021

• Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will inaugurate the country’s first smog tower on August 23, 2021, at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place. The smog tower will clean 1,000 cubic metres of air every second and reduce PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels in Delhi.

• The smog tower will work with full force after the monsoon season. The scientists of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee will accordingly assess the performance of the tower and present a monthly report.

Amazon Alexa launched the voice of the 78-year-old Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan

• Amazon has launched the voice of the 78-year-old Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as a part of its efforts to amuse existing users and attract new consumers to use its voice assistant over Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. With the new launch, the US tech giant has also brought its celebrity voice feature to India. The feature initially arrived in the US with the voice of American actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson in 2019.

• Amazon has made Amitabh Bachchan’s voice available on Alexa at an introductory price of Rs. 149 (MRP Rs. 299) for one year. Once the payment is confirmed, you will be able to start interacting with the actor’s voice. Amazon worked on enabling Bachchan’s voice on Alexa for the last few months. The experience is aimed to please his fans and attract new users to the voice assistant.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO developed advanced chaff technology to protect IAF jets from enemy radar threats

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have jointly developed an advanced chaff technology to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from enemy radar threats. Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune, have developed the chaff cartridge meeting qualitative requirements of IAF. The Indian Air Force has started the process of induction of this technology after the completion of successful user trials.

• Chaff is primarily an electronic counter-measure technology used by militaries worldwide to protect high-value targets such as fighter jets or naval ships from radars and radio frequency (RF) guiding mechanisms of the enemy missiles. The chaff deployed in the air reflects as multiple targets for the missile guidance systems, thus misleading the enemy radars or deflecting adversary missiles. Chaff is a critical defence technology used to protect fighter aircraft from hostile radar threats.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

ISRO: BRICS signed deal on cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing

• Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) signed an agreement for cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The pact inked on August 17 enables building a virtual constellation of specified remote sensing satellites of BRICS space agencies and their respective ground stations will receive the data.

• This will contribute in strengthening multilateral cooperation among BRICS space agencies in meeting the challenges faced by mankind, such as global climate change, major disasters and environmental protection. The agreement was signed under India’s BRICS Chairship.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “OPERATION KHUKRI” authored Major General Rajpal Punia & Ms Damini Punia

• CDS General Bipin Rawat was presented a book “OPERATION KHUKRI” by authors Major General Rajpal Punia & Ms Damini Punia. The book highlights the Indian Army’s successful rescue mission in Sierra Leone as part of the United Nations. The year was 2000, Sierra Leone, in West Africa, had been ravaged by years of civil strife. With the intervention of the United Nations, two companies of the Indian Army were deployed in Kailahun as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

• Operation Khukri was one of the Indian Army’s most successful international missions, and this book is a first-hand account by Major Rajpal Punia, who, after three months of impasse and failed diplomacy, orchestrated the operation, surviving the ambush of the RUF in prolonged jungle warfare twice, and returning with all 233 soldiers standing tall.

RANKING

Crypto Adoption Worldwide: India ranked second in terms of crypto adoption

• India has ranked second in terms of crypto adoption worldwide behind Vietnam, but ahead of countries such as the US, UK, and China, according to the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. This comes even as worldwide crypto adoption grew by 880% between June 2020 and July 2021, according to the report.

• A report by US-based research platform Finder released this month corroborated that the top five countries in terms of crypto adoption were all from Asia.

• The company surveyed 47,000 users worldwide and 30% of those surveyed in India said they owned cryptocurrencies.

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