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Important Current Affairs 2nd September 2021

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INTERNATIONAL

Sri Lanka declared food emergency

• Sri Lanka has declared a state of emergency as the food crisis worsened after private banks ran out of foreign exchange to finance imports. With the country suffering a hard-hitting economic crisis, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he ordered emergency regulations to counter the hoarding of sugar, rice and other essential foods. The Sri Lankan rupee has fallen by 7.5% against the US dollar this year.

• Rajapaksa has named a top army officer as “Commissioner General of Essential Services to coordinate the supply of paddy, rice, sugar and other consumer goods”. The move followed sharp price rises for sugar, rice, onions and potatoes, while long queues have formed outside stores because of shortages of milk powder, kerosene oil and cooking gas.

NATIONAL

Sarbananada Sonowal launched ‘Y-Break’ application

• The Union AYUSH Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal has launched ‘Y Break’ Yoga protocol mobile application in New Delhi. The app has been developed by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY). The app was launched as a part of the week-long activities and campaigns organised by the Ministry of Ayush to commemorate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav from August 30 to September 5, 2021.

• The Y-Break (or the “Yoga Break) mobile application is a unique five-minute Yoga protocol app, designed especially for working professionals to de-stress, refresh and re-focus at their workplace to increase their productivity, and consists of Asanas, Pranayam and Dhyana.

• While on one hand the app will facilitate doing yoga and meditation with ease anywhere in just 5 minutes, it will also bring awareness about different Yoga practices.

Assam decided to remove Rajiv Gandhi’s name from Orang national park

• The Assam cabinet has decided to remove the name of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi from the Orang National Park. Since the name Orang is associated with the sentiments of the Adivasi and tea-tribe community, the cabinet has decided to rename the Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park as Orang National Park.

• Located on the North Bank of Brahmaputra, Orang National Park spread over 78.80 sq km is the oldest forest reserve in the state. It was named a wildlife sanctuary in 1985 and declared a national park in 1999.

IIT Ropar developed world’s first ‘Plant based’ smart air-purifier

• Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), Ropar and Kanpur and Faculty of Management Studies of Delhi University have jointly launched a living-plant based air purifier named “Ubreathe Life”. This air purifier will boost the air purification process in indoor spaces, such as hospitals, schools, offices and Homes. It is the world’s first, state-of-the-art ‘Smart Bio-Filter’ that can make breathing fresh.

• The Ubreathe Life technology works through the air-purifying natural leafy plants. The room air interacts with leaves and goes to the soil-root zone where maximum pollutants are purified.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

JB Mohapatra appointed as the Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman

• IRS officer JB Mohapatra was appointed as the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes. His appointment was approved today by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). He has already served as the acting chairman of the CBDT.

• A 1985-batch IRS officer, Mohapatra was given the additional charge as CBDT chairman after the tenure of incumbent PC Mody ended this year in May. Earlier, Mohapatra had served as the principal chief commissioner of Income Tax for the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana region.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

India Hosted 8th Meeting of Agricultural Experts of BIMSTEC Countries

• India hosted the 8th Meeting of Agriculture Experts of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Countries through video conferencing. The meeting was chaired by Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research & Education & Director General of ICAR. BIMSTEC comprise of seven Member States including five from South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka), and two from Southeast Asia, including Myanmar and Thailand.

• During this meet, Chairman highlighted the UN Food System Summit 2021 and transformational aspects that are happening across agriculture and food systems globally. The BIMSTEC Member States also appreciated the greater engagement of India in offering six slots of scholarships for Master and PhD programmes in agriculture and other initiatives for capacity development & training.

OBITUARY

Indian Actor & Bigg Boss 13 winner Sidharth Shukla passed away

• Bigg Boss 13 winner actor Sidharth Shukla has passed away. He has been a part of films like Humpty Sharma Ke Dulhania. The actor’s last screen outing was Ekta Kapoor’s popular show ‘Broken But Beautiful 3’ in which he played the role of Agastya.

• He is known for his roles in daily soaps such as “Balika Vadhu” and “Dil Se Dil Tak”. He is also popular for his tints in reality shows such as “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 6”, “Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi” and “Bigg Boss 13”.

Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani passed away

• Veteran Kashmiri separatist leader and former chief of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away. He was 91 years old.

• Syed Ali Gilani was born on September 29, 1929, to Syed Peer Shah Gilani of Zoori Munz village in Tehsil Bandipora. Gilani received his early education at Sopore and finished his studies at the Oriental College, Lahore Pakistan.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Axis Bank partnered with BharatPe for PoS business

• Axis Bank has partnered with BharatPe for the point of sale (PoS) business of BharatPe named BharatSwipe. Under the partnership, Axis Bank will be the acquiring bank for BharatSwipe and will provide acceptance of credit and debit cards for merchants associated with BharatPe. The partnership will help BharatPe to expand its merchant acquiring business in India.

• BharatPe’s PoS machine BharatSwipe has an installed base of 100,000 across 16 cities, processing around Rs 1,400 crore per month. BharatPe clocked an annualised transaction value of $2 billion on PoS terminals at the end of FY21. The company has set a target of $6 billion in transaction processed value (TPV) by FY22.

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