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Important Current Affairs 24th August 2021

NATIONAL

Haryana’s Hisar Airport renamed as Maharaja Agrasen International Airport

• Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has announced to rename the Hisar Airport as Maharaja Agrasen International Airport.

• The Hisar Airport is a domestic airport and the first DGCA licensed Public Aerodrome of the State. This airport is presently under up-gradation to be transformed as an international airport by 30 March 2024.

India’s largest Floating Solar in Andhra Pradesh

• NTPC has commissioned the largest floating solar PV project in India of 25MW power on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme. This scheme was notified by the Government of India in 2018. NTPC is also planning to set up a hydrogen-based micro-grid system on a pilot basis at Simhadri.

• NTPC’s floating solar installation covers 75 acres of the Simhadri reservoir’s surface. It will produce power from more than a lakh of solar PV modules for lighting 7,000 households. The project will annually save 46,000 tonnes of CO2 emission and 1,364 million litres of water, which is adequate to meet the requirement of 6,700 households in a year.

Highest herbal park of India inaugurated in Uttarakhand

• India’s highest altitude herbal park has been inaugurated at Mana village in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The herbal park is situated at a height of 11,000 feet was and is close to the Indo-China border. Mana is the last Indian village in Chamoli bordering China and is adjacent to Badrinath temple. The herbal park has around 40 species found in high altitude alpine areas in the Himalayan region.

• The main aim of this high altitude herbal park is to conserve various medicinally and culturally important alpine species and to do research on their propagation and habitat ecology.

• The park has been developed on an area of three acres given by Mana Van Panchayat by the Research Wing of Uttarakhand Forest Department.

Finance Minister N. Sitharaman launched ‘Ubharte Sitaare Fund’

• Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has launched an ambitious ‘Ubharte Sitaare Fund’ -USF for export-oriented firms and startups in a program at Lucknow. The Fund aims at arranging funds for the promotion of micro, small and medium companies. The fund has been set up by Exim Bank and SIDBI. This scheme will be successful in Uttar Pradesh as the state has the highest number of MSMEs.

• India Exim Bank’s Ubharte Sitaare Programme (USP) identifies Indian companies that have the potential to be future champions in the domestic arena while catering to global demands.

• The fund is a mix of structured support, both financial and advisory services through investments in equity or equity-like instruments, debt (funded and non-funded) and technical assistance (advisory services, grants and soft loans) to the Indian companies.

Onam, Harvest Festival celebrated in Kerala

• Onam is the most revered and celebrated festival of Kerala, is celebrated every year by the Malayali community across the world. The 10-day long festival marks the beginning of harvest season as well as the appearance of the Vaman avatar of Lord Vishnu along with the homecoming of King Mahabali.

• The festival begins from Atham (Hasta) nakshatram, and ends on Thiruvonam (Shravana) nakshatram. This year, the harvest festival began on August 12 and will conclude on August 23. The 10 days of the festival are named on the names of astrological stars as per the Malayalam calendar.

• The celebration of Onam begins with Atham. People in Kerala decorates their home with yellow flowers known as Pokkalam.

Finance and Corporate minister N. Sitharaman launched the National Monetisation Pipeline

• Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has launched the asset monetisation pipeline of Central ministries and public sector entities: ‘National Monetisation Pipeline’.  Asset Monetisation, means a limited period license/ lease of an asset, owned by the government or public authority, to a private sector entity for upfront or periodic consideration.

• The National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) lists out assets and asset classes, under various infrastructure ministries, which will be monetised over a period of time. Which means assets will be monetised.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Nakul Chopra appointed as the CEO of BARC India

• Television monitoring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) has announced the appointment of Nakul Chopra as its chief executive officer (CEO) effective 25 August 2021. Former CEO Sunil Lulla has resigned to pursue his ambition as an entrepreneur. This announcement comes as Sunil Lulla has decided to resign from the position of CEO to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions.

• Chopra had joined the BARC India Board in 2016 and had been elected as the Chairman during 2018-19. In January 2020, he was appointed as a member of BARC’s Oversight Committee. The media and advertising industry veteran had earlier served as the CEO, India and South Asia of Publicis Worldwide for over a decade.

OBITUARY

PT Usha's coach OM Nambiar passes away at 89

• O.M. Nambiar, the man who transformed a village girl P.T. Usha into Asia’s Golden Girl, passed away. One of India’s most famous coaches, Nambiar spotted Usha at a very young age in 1976 and soon began coaching her at the Kannur Sports Division.

• Under his guidance, Usha began winning medals at the Asian level but his best move was making the sprinter switch to the 400m hurdles before the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Water Week 2021: 23-27 August

• The World Water Week is an annual event organized by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) since 1991 to address the global water issues and related concerns of international development.

• The World Water Week 2021 has been organised from 23-27 August, in entirely digital format. The theme for World Water Week 2021 is ‘Building Resilience Faster’.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Paytm & HDFC Bank in payment tie up

• HDFC Bank and Paytm have partnered to build comprehensive solutions across payment gateway, point of sale machines and credit products. This includes Paytm Postpaid which is a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solution, Eazy EMI and Flexi Pay. The partnership will also deliver enhanced SmartHub solutions to the market. HDFC Bank SmartHub solutions is an integrated platform offering merchants a one-stop solution shop for all their business needs payments.

• First: HDFC Bank will drive merchant partnerships across India, to whom Paytm will offer its existing range of Android POS devices. Here, HDFC Bank will be the payment partner, while Paytm will be the distribution and software partner.

Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund - World Bank Group

• The World Bank has launched a new ‘Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund’, to better roll out cybersecurity development agenda in a systematic manner. The new fund has been developed as an associated trust fund under the broader Digital Development Partnership (DDP) umbrella program.

• World Bank has partnered with four countries, namely Estonia, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands, to launch the fund. The main aim of this new fund is to enhance cyber and digital security capability and capacity in World Bank member countries, with the development of global knowledge, country assessments, technical assistance, capacity building and training, along with necessary investments in infrastructure and technology.

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