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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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Important Current Affairs 15th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

FM N. Sitharaman launched BHIM-UPI services in Bhutan

•Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has launched BHIM-UPI QR-based payments in Bhutan will further strengthen the cooperation between the two neighbouring nations. With the launch in Bhutan, the payment infrastructures of the two countries are seamlessly connected and will benefit tourists and businessmen from India who travel to Bhutan. This will enhance the ease of living and travelling through cashless transactions.

•The services have started in Bhutan under India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy. She described BHIM UPI as one of the brightest in facilitating digital transactions in India during the pandemic.

NATIONAL

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar unveiled statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Georgia

•External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Georgia at a prominent Tbilisi park. During his two-day visit to Georgia, a strategically important country situated at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Jaishankar held talks with the country’s top leadership & also handed over the relics of 17th century St. Queen Keteva.

•St. Queen Ketevan was a 17th century Georgian Queen who attained martyrdom. Her relics were found in 2005 at the St. Augustine Convent in Old Goa, India, on the basis of medieval Portuguese records.

Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated centre of excellence at National Forensic Science University Gandhinagar

•Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated a research-based centre of excellence at National Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The research-based centre of excellence at the National Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar will help our youths to become free from the addiction of drugs and narcotics.

•This centre will help in research and analysis of drugs and narcotics seized in the different parts of the country and its routes. Home Minister Amit Shah also inaugurated the virtual training model on Investigation of Crime against women for Indian Police.

India’s first national dolphin research centre will come upon in Patna University

•India’s and Asia’s first National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) will come upon the bank of the Ganges in the premises of Patna University. Around 1,455 dolphins have been sighted during a survey conducted in 2018-19 in the river Ganga by the teams of experts. The Gangetic dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal but frequently falls prey to illegal poaching. The presence of dolphins in the Ganga gives a sign of a healthy ecosystem because dolphins live at least in 5 ft to 8 ft deep water.

•The Gangetic dolphin has been declared an endangered aquatic animal and is one of the four freshwater dolphins species in the world as another three species are said to be found in the Yangtze River, the Indus River in Pakistan and the Amazon River globally.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021 Report

•The annual UN-FAO report titled “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2021” states that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020, which is around 161 million more than in 2019. The report was jointly produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

•Number of hungry people in 2020 in the World: between 720 and 811 million

•Asia: 418 million (More than half of world hunger population)

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

ISRO plans to launched geo imaging satellite on August

•The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is getting back into launch activity fully at Sriharikota spaceport with the planned orbiting of geo imaging satellite GISAT-1 onboard GSLV-F10 rocket on August 12. GISAT-1 will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by GSLV-F10 and, subsequently, it will be positioned in the final geostationary orbit, about 36,000 km above earth’s equator, using its onboard propulsion system.

•The 2,268-kg GISAT-1 was originally slated to be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 kms north of Chennai, on March 5 last year but was postponed a day before the blast-off due to technical reasons.

•According to ISRO, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud-free conditions, at frequent intervals.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Union Minister Piyush Goyal appointed Leader of House in Rajya Sabha

•Union Minister Piyush Goyal has been appointed as the Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha. His appointment is effective from July 06, 2021. He will succeed Thawar Chand Gahlot, who has taken charge as the Governor of Karnataka.

•Mr. Goyal, a two-time Rajya Sabha MP, is currently the deputy leader of the NDA as well as the Union Minister in the Cabinet. He is serving as the Union Minister of Textiles, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The Leader of the House is responsible for organizing government meetings and business in the House.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Youth Skills Day 2021:15th July

•United Nations celebrates World Youth Skills Day globally on 15 July every year. The day is celebrated as an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge as well as celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

•The theme of World Youth Skills Day 2020 is “Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic”.

•In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “The Great Big Lion” written by child prodigy Knight

•A book titled “The Great Big Lion” drawn and written by child prodigy Chryseis Knight.  This book is a story about a lion and two children. It talks about friendship, inclusivity, wildlife conservation and the world of imagination. The book was published by Penguin Random House India’s “Puffin” imprint.

•Knight, who is currently residing in Canada, learnt how to read at the age of one, started writing the story of “The Great Big Lion” in her notebook when she was three years old. She then shared it with her family and became determined to do the artwork with the motivation of getting the book published.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Reserve Bank of India Launched ‘Retail Direct Scheme’

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched ‘the RBI Retail Direct’ scheme for retail investors, through which they can directly buy and sell government securities (G-Secs), both primary and secondary.  The bond-buying window was opened to increase retail participation in G-Secs and democratize ownership of G-Secs beyond the managers of pooled resources such as banks and mutual funds. The date of commencement of the scheme will be announced later.

•The RBI Retail Direct scheme is a one-stop solution to facilitate investment in Government Securities (G-Secs) by individual investors.

•This dedicated bond-buying window is a part of RBI’s effort to increase retail participation in government securities.

•The scheme also provides the facility to Retail investors (individuals) to open and maintain the ‘Retail Direct Gilt Account’ (RDG Account) with RBI.

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Important Current Affairs 14th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Sher Bahadur becomes Nepal’s Prime Minister for 5th time

•Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba on 13th July became the country’s Prime Minister for the fifth time. His appointment is in line with the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on 12th July to make way for his claim to the premiership, replacing incumbent K P Sharma Oli.

•Previously, Deuba served as Nepal’s Prime Minister four times from June 2017 to February 2018, June 2004 to February 2005, July 2001 to October 2002 and September 1995 to March 1997.

NATIONAL

Indian Navy received 10th  Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft ‘P-8I’

•Indian Navy received the 10th anti-submarine warfare aircraft P-8I from the US-based aerospace company Boeing. The Defence Ministry had signed a contract for eight P-8I aircraft in 2009. However, later in 2016, it signed a contract for four additional P-8I aircraft. The remaining two aircrafts are expected to be delivered in the last quarter of 2021.

•P-8I is a long-range maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft, and a variant of the P-8A Poseidon used by the US Navy.

•India was the first international customer of Boeing for this aircraft.

•The Indian Navy inducted the first P-8I aircraft in 2013, while the ninth P-8I aircraft was received in November 2020.

SPORTS

Cristiano Ronaldo wins Golden Boot in EURO 2020

•Portugal captain and modern-day great Cristiano Ronaldo won the Euro 2020 Golden Boot after finishing as the top-scorer in the tournament.

•Despite playing just four games, Ronaldo clinched the top honours as he scored five goals. Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick also ended the tournament with five goals but the award went to Ronaldo via the tie-breaker of assists.

India will host 2026 World Badminton Championships

•The Badminton World Federation has allotted the BWF World Championships to India for 2026. This will be the second time that India will host the premier tournament, which is held every year except for the Olympic year. India had hosted the BWF World Championships in Hyderabad in 2009.

•Since then, India has played host to various major badminton tournaments including the 2014 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, the Asian Championships apart from the annual BWF Super 500 event, the Yonex-Sunrise India Open.

Deepak Kabra becomes first Indian gymnastics judge at Olympics

•Deepak Kabra has become the first Indian to be selected for judging the gymnastics competition of the Olympic Games, a life goal achieved for the man who knew he wouldn’t have made it there as an active gymnast because of his not-so-strong fundamentals.

•He will be seen officiating the men’s artistic gymnasts at the Tokyo Games, which gets underway on July 23.

OBITUARY

Former Indian cricketer Yashpal Sharma passed away

•Former Indian cricketer, Yashpal Sharma, who was a member of the Indian team that won the 1983 Cricket World Cup, has passed away. He represented India in 37 Tests and 42 ODIs.

•He was a middle-order batsman, who played during the 1970s and 80s. The Punjab-born cricketer had represented three teams in Ranji including Punjab, Haryana and Railways.

Former WWE Wrestler Paul Orndorff passed away

•The renowned American professional wrestler, Paul Orndorff, who is best known with his nickname Mr. Wonderful, has passed away.

•He was one of professional wrestling’s biggest stars of the 1980s and was famous for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He retired in 2000. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Journalist N N Pillai honoured with the BKS Literary Award 2021

•Journalist and playwright Omchery N N Pillai has been selected for the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam (BKS)’s Literary Award for 2021. BKS president P V Radhakrishna Pillai, general secretary Varghese Karackal and literary wing secretary Firoz Thiruvathra announced the award.

•The Jury was headed by the novelist M Mukundan. Literary critic Dr K S Ravikumar, writer and Kerala Chief Secretary Dr V P Joy, and Radhakrishna Pillai were part of the jury. The award constitutes a cash prize of `50,000 and a citation acknowledging the achievement. The award ceremony will be held later in Delhi. “His enormous contributions as a whole to Malayalam language and literature are remarkable, which ultimately led to this award.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities” by S. S. Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan

•A new book titled ‘The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World’, authored by Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan. The Book is Published by HarperCollins.

•The Book deals with human history, societal control was determined by various hierarchies like military, colonialism, mega-corporations and now by information. This book widely talks about how information warfare is shaping your life and world. Parallelly it deals with the operations of political parties, cybercriminals, godmen, national states in manipulating the thoughts.

Book The Struggle Within: A Memoir of the Emergency authored by Ashok Chakravarti

•A book titled “The Struggle Within: A Memoir of the Emergency” authored by Ashok Chakravarti. He is an economist who has been providing policy advice to countries, mainly in the African region, for the past forty years. He is currently Senior Economic Advisor to the Government of Zimbabwe, based in Harare.

•The Book is Published By Harpercollins India. The Struggle Within: A Memoir of the Emergency book deals with one of independent India’s darkest hours during the emergency period. The Emergency (1975-1977) was one of independent India’s darkest hours. In that period, Over 150,000 people were imprisoned without trial; as many as eleven million forcibly sterilized, and countless killed in police firings or otherwise eliminated.   

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Important Current Affairs 13th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Abiy Ahmed wins Ethiopian election

•Ethiopia’s ruling Prosperity Party was declared the winner of last month’s national election in a landslide, assuring a second five-year term for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

•The National Election Board of Ethiopia said the ruling party won 410 seats out of 436 contested in the federal parliament. Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018 after the former prime minister resigned.

NATIONAL

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attends 3rd G20 finance ministers meeting

•Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman participated virtually in the Third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting under the Italian Presidency. The two-day meeting saw discussions on a wide range of issues including global economic risks and health challenges, policies for recovery from the C-19 pandemic, international taxation, sustainable finance and financial sector issues.

•The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors reaffirmed their resolve to use all available policy tools for as long as required to address the adverse consequences of C-19. Smt. Sitharaman appreciated the Italian G20 Presidency for identifying three catalysts of resilient economic recovery from the pandemic as being Digitalization, Climate Action and Sustainable Infrastructure and shared the Indian experience of integrating technology with inclusive service delivery during the pandemic.

Board of Control for Cricket in India forms 7-member working group for domestic cricket

•The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has formed a seven-member working group, to look into the compensation package for the domestic players and the other aspects of domestic cricket.

•The main focus of the group will be the remuneration of domestic players for the previous season wherein tournaments were cancelled, due to C-19.

SPORTS

England’s Sophie Ecclestone, & New Zealand’s Devon Conway win ICC Player of the Month Award for June 2021

•England Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone has been named as ICC Women Player of the Month for June. She is the second English female to win the title after Tammy Beaumont, who was awarded the title in February 2021.

•In Men’s category, New Zealand opener Devon Conway has bagged ICC Player of the Month for June. He became the first New Zealand player to win the award after an astounding first month in Test cricket.

Indian-American Samir Banerjee defeat Victor Lilov to wins Wimbledon Junior Men’s title

•Indian-American Samir Banerjee has won the Wimbledon Junior Men`s title at Number 1 Court. He defeated Victor Lilov of America by 7-5, 6-3 in the Junior Men`s finals to lift the trophy at All England Club.

•For the first time since 2014, and only the second time since 1977, there was an all-American conclusion to the boys` singles event. Notably, both 17-year-olds were unseeded for The Championships.

Bangladesh all-rounder cricketer Mahmudullah announced retirement from Test cricket

•Bangladesh cricketer Mahmudullah Riyad has announced his retirement from Test cricket in the middle of Bangladesh’s one-off Test match against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club. Mahmudullah made his Test debut in 2009 during Bangladesh’s tour of the West Indies.

•The right-handed batsman in 50 matches and 94 innings has scored 2914 runs at an average of 33.49. The 150 not out in the ongoing Test against Zimbabwe is his career-best figure and has five centuries and 16 half-centuries under his belt.

OBITUARY

Veteran Indian Ayurveda practitioner, Dr P K Warrier passed away

•Veteran Indian Ayurveda practitioner, Dr P.K. Warrier, who was the most respected name in Ayurveda across the world, has passed away. He was 100. He was the chief Physician and Managing trustee of Arya Vaidya Sala, a healthcare centre located in Kottakkal, Kerala, and known for its heritage and expertise in Ayurveda.

•The doyen of Ayurveda, Dr Warrier, was honoured with the Padma Shree in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2010. His autobiography titled Smrithiparvam won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 2009.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Twitter appointed Vinay Prakash as resident grievance officer for India

•Twitter has named Vinay Prakash as the Resident Grievance Officer (RGO) for India, as per the information updated on its website. Users can contact Vinay Prakash using an email ID listed on the page. Earlier the US-based company had announced the appointment of California-based Jeremy Kessel as the new Grievance Officer for India.

•However, as per the new IT rules in India, social media platforms with over 50 lakh users are mandated to appoint three key personnel namely chief compliance officer, nodal officer and grievance officer, and all these three personnel have to be residents in India.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Hyderabad’s Syed Osman Azhar Maqsusi won Commonwealth Points of Light award

•Hyderabad’s hunger activist Syed Osman Azhar Maqsusi, who has been feeding thousands of people every day as part of his food drive ‘Hunger Has No Religion’ was awarded a top UK award recently.

•In order to honour Maqsusi’s efforts, he was conferred with the Commonwealth Points of Light award for his drive that helps to feed 1,500 people on a daily basis. The award is for those ‘outstanding individuals who are making a change in their community.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

‘The Ramayana of Shri Guru Gobind Singh’ written by Baljit Kaur Tulsi

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received the first copy of “The Ramayana of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji” which is written by the late Baljit Kaur Tulsi—the mother of noted lawyer KTS Tulsi.

•The book is published by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts. Apart from this, the Prime Minister also shared the audio of the Gurbani Shabad recital by KTS Tulsi, the sitting Rajya Sabha MP of Congress from Chhattisgarh.

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Important Current Affairs 11th July 2021

NATIONAL

Manipur enters India’s railway map as first passenger train reaches the state

•A passenger train Rajdhani Express from Assam’s Silchar railway station has reached the Vaingaichunpao railway station in Manipur for a trial run, putting the state on the Indian Railways map. The train covered the distance of 11 km between the two northeastern stations, with railway officials onboard.

•The train halted briefly at Manipur’s Jiribam railway station, where railway officials were greeted by local citizens before the national flag was hoisted accompanied by the national anthem. Notably, the Vaingaichunpao-Imphal (capital of Manipur) railway line is also under construction. Once completed, it will be the longest railway tunnel near Imphal.

Karnataka will be develop 46 Kempegowda heritage sites in Bengaluru

•The Karnataka state government has decided to develop 46 Kempegowda heritage sites located in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Ramanagara, Chikballapura, and Tumakuru districts, in a bid to promote tourism. According to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, the sites identified to be in three circuits would be developed at a cost of Rs 223 crore for promoting tourism.

•According to the Authority, these sites are developed to help people acknowledge the contribution of Kempegowda or Nada Prabhu Kempegowda, the founding father of Bengaluru.

National Film Archive of India adds Aamir Khan’s ‘PK’ to its collection

•National Film Archive of India (NFAI) has announced a significant addition of the original camera negative of Rajkumar Hirani’s 2014 film ‘PK’ in its collection.

•The filmmaker handed the negatives over to Director NFAI, Prakash Magdum, in Mumbai. The National Film Archive of India was established as a media unit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 1964.

SPORTS

International Cricket Council released Manu Sawhney as CEO

•The International Cricket Council (ICC) has discontinued the services of Manu Sawhney as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with immediate effect. The decision was taken by the ICC Board during its meeting. Geoff Allardice will continue as Acting CEO supported by the Leadership Team working closely with the ICC Board.

•Sawhney was suspended in March following various allegations in an internal review conducted by an external agency. While Sawhney had referred to the review as a witch-hunt, the ICC Board on Thursday decided to sever ties with the sports management veteran.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Shyam Srinivasan reappointed as MD & CEO of Federal Bank

•Federal Bank shareholders have approved the motion to re-appoint Shyam Srinivasan as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the lender for a period of three years. His reappointment will come into effect from September 23, 2021, to September 22, 2024. Srinivasan took over as Federal Bank MD & CEO in 2010 and has been at the helm since then.

•Srinivasan is among the few foreign bankers who chose to move to smaller Indian banks after fairly long, successful stints in foreign banks (the others include RBL Bank’s Vishwavir Ahuja and DCB Bank’s Murali Natrajan). Over the last decade, Srinivasan has been at the helm of Federal, the bank has transformed into a mid-sized private bank with a strong focus on retail business, including gold loans and funding small and medium entrepreneurs.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “The Pregnancy Bible” by Kareena Kapoor

•Kareena Kapoor Khan has announced her new book titled Kareena Kapoor Khan’s Pregnancy Bible. The actor has also called it her ‘third child. She shared her experience while writing the book.

•She was seen wearing a red slip dress as she kept her hair loose parting it in the middle. She was seen bare feet standing near the kitchen countertop.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI imposed monetary penalty on 14 banks for non-compliance

•The RBI has imposed penalties on SBI, Bank of Baroda, IndusInd Bank, Bandhan Bank and 10 other lenders for contravention of various regulatory norms, including on lending to NBFCs. The penalty imposed on the 14 banks totals Rs 14.5 crore, with a maximum Rs 2 crore fine on Bank of Baroda.

•The central bank imposed Rs 2 crore penalty on the Bank of Baroda, Rs 1 crore each on 12 other banks and Rs 50 lakh on the State Bank of India. RBI imposed Rs 1 crore penalty each on Bandhan Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India, Credit Suisse AG, Indian Bank, IndusInd Bank, Karnataka Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Punjab and Sind Bank, South Indian Bank, The Jammu & Kashmir Bank and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank.

Axis Bank and Max Bupa Health Insurance enter into a partnership

•Max Bupa Health Insurance, a standalone health insurer, has entered into a bancassurance partnership with Axis Bank, the country’s third-largest private sector bank. This partnership will help provide comprehensive health insurance solutions to Axis Bank’s employees and customers. The tie-up will enable millions of Axis Bank customers across 4,500 plus branches to gain access to quality healthcare solutions through a range of health insurance products offered by Max Bupa.

•Max Bupa Health Insurance will offer indemnity as well as fixed benefit products, and their customisable variants to the diverse customers of the bank across the country. Axis Bank also has an existing health insurance tie-up with Aditya Birla Health Insurance. Bancassurance is a relationship between a bank and an insurance company that is aimed at offering insurance products to the bank’s customers.

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Important Current Affairs 10th July 2021

NATIONAL

BDL signs Rs 499-crore deal with the Ministry of Defence

•The Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence for the manufacture and supply of Akash missiles to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The total worth of the deal is around Rs 499 crore. CMD, BDL Commodore Siddharth Mishra (Retd) stated that BDL is supplying Akash Missiles to the Indian Army and Indian Air Force. With the announcement from the Union Cabinet regarding clearance of Akash Weapon System for Export, the Company is exploring offering Akash for export to foreign countries.

•BDL has already received export leads from some countries expressing interest in procuring the Missile. The Company has a well-established infrastructure and expertise to execute these orders and meet the customer delivery schedule.

Kerala government planned to have its own OTT platform

•Kerala government has proposed to have its own over-the-top (OTT) platform. The state government has planned to launch it by November 1. The State government’s proposed foray into the online content streaming space with the launch of an over-the-top (OTT) platform is a cultural intervention, rather than something prompted by the market or revenues.

•OTT players like Netflix and Amazon have been showing more interest in Malayalam cinema. But they are mostly limited to films from which they can get revenue.

•In the last one year, less than 15 Malayalam films, featuring big stars, have been taken up these platforms.

INS Tabar conducts military exercise with Italian Navy

•Indian Naval Ship (INS) Tabar recently participated in military exercises with the frontline frigate of the Italian Navy. INS Tabar joined Italian Navy and entered Port of Naples on July 3 as part of the ongoing deployment in the Mediterranean. Commanding officer Captain Mahesh Mangipudi called on senior officers of Prefect of Naples Authority, regional Italian navy headquarters and coast guard headquarters during the stay.

•This exercise covered several naval operations such as air defence procedures, communication drills, replenishment at sea, and cross deck helo operations by day and night. The exercise was mutually beneficial for enhancing interoperability and consolidating combined operations against maritime threats.

Government of India sets up 25-member development council for cement industry

•The central government has set up a 25-member development council for the cement industry under Dalmia Bharat Group CMD, Puneet Dalmia. The council will suggest ways to eliminate waste, obtain maximum production, improve quality, reduce costs and promote standardization of products.

•Dalmia is the chairman of the council. Its members include Shree Cement Ltd MD HM Bangur, The India Cements Ltd Executive President Rakesh Singh; Birla Corporation Limited CEO Pracheta Majumdar; J.K. Cement Ltd Deputy Managing Director Madhavkrishna Singhania, and JSW Cement Ltd CEO Nilesh Narwekar.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Fish Farmers’ Day 2021: 10 July

•National Fish Farmers’ Day is celebrated every year on 10 July, by the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in association with the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB). The event aims to draw attention to changing the way the country manages fisheries resources to ensure sustainable stocks and healthy ecosystems. This day is made to honour the fish farmers, aquapreneurs, fisherfolks, stakeholders and whoever else is associated in the fishery for their contribution in the fishery.

•The day is commemorated annually in remembrance of scientists Dr K H Alikunhi and Dr H.L. Chaudhury who had invented induced breeding technology of Indian major carps on 10 July 1957. 2021 will mark 21st National Fish Farmers’ Day.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Zaila Avant-garde Wins 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee

•Zaila Avant-garde, an African-American, from New Orleans in Louisiana, has won the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 14-year-old Avant-garde, who is also an accomplished basketball player, is the first African-American contestant to win the prestigious competition in its 93 years history. The 8th-grader Avant-garde correctly spelt “Murraya”, a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees having pinnate leaves and flowers, to win a USD 50,000 prize.

•Zaila is also the first Black contestant to win since Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998. 12-year-old Indian-origin Chaitra Thummala, from San Francisco and 13-year-old Indian-origin Bhavana Madini, from New York, won second and third place respectively.

RANKING

NewsOnAir Radio Live-stream Global Rankings

•NewsOnAir Radio Live-stream Global Rankings was released recently ranking countries where All India Radio (AIR) live-streams on the NewsOnAir app are most popular. In the latest Rankings of top countries in the world (excluding India) where All India Radio Live-streams on NewsOnAir App are most popular, Fiji has jumped from 5th position to 2nd, while Saudi Arabia has made a comeback in the top 10. Kuwait and Germany are new entrants, while France and New Zealand are no more in the top 10. The United States continues to be number 1.

NewsOnAir Top 10 Countries -

Rank

Country

1

United States

2

Fiji

3

Australia

4

United Kingdom

5

Canada

6

United Arab Emirates

7

Singapore

8

Kuwait

9

Saudi Arabia

10

Germany

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book titled “The Light of Asia” by Jairam Ramesh is a biography the Buddha

•A new book titled “The Light of Asia” authored by Jairam Ramesh is a biography of an epic bio-poem on the Buddha.

•Ramesh, the author, Member of Parliament, former Union Minister, and Congress leader, digs deep in his new book to bring out the fascinating story behind the epic 1879 poem, “The Light of Asia” by Sir Edwin Arnold, that took the world by storm and in some ways, brought the Buddha’s story to the world at the turn of the last century.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Axis Bank signs MOU with Indian Army

•The country’s third-largest private lender Axis Bank has signed MOU with the Indian Army offering a defence service salary package under its “Power Salute” initiative. The Defence service salary package will offer different benefits to all ranks of army officers. The benefits of the MoU will cover both serving Defence personnel as well Defence pensioners.

•According to the bank, it will offer–Personal accidental cover of up to Rs.56 lakh to all army personnel; additional up to 8 lakh education grant; total Permanent Disability Cover benefit up to 46 lakh; permanent partial disability cover of up to Rs.46 lakh; air accident cover of Rs.1 crore, and free additional debit card for a family member.

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Important Current Affairs 9th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Jovenel Moise President of Haiti assassinated at his home

•Haiti President, Jovenel Moise was assassinated and his wife wounded in an attack at their home, the interim prime minister announced an act that risks further destabilizing the Caribbean nation beset by gang violence and political volatility. The president faced steep opposition from swathes of the population that deemed his mandate illegitimate, and he churned through a series of seven prime ministers in four years. Most recently, Joseph was supposed to be replaced this week after only three months in the post.

•Moise, a former entrepreneur who set up a string of businesses in the north of the country, where he hails from, burst onto the political stage in 2017 with a message of re-building the impoverished nation. He campaigned on populist pledges, as all candidates in Haiti do, but he kept up the rhetoric even after he was elected in February 2017.

New Guinness World Record: tallest sandcastle constructed in Denmark

•A sandcastle in Denmark has entered into new Guinness World Record for being the tallest sandcastle in the world. The triangular-shaped sandcastle has been built in the town of Blokhus in Denmark. It stands at a height of 21.16 metres (69.4 feet). This new structure is 3.5m taller than the previous record held by sandcastle measuring 17.66 m in Germany in 2019. Dutch creator, Wilfred Stijger, was assisted by 30 of the world’s best sand sculptors.

•The structure is built in the shape of a triangle to avoid collapsing like many others have. A wooden structure was built around it to allow the artist to carve the incredible figures in the sand. This highly decorated monument in the small seaside village of Blokhus, which is reminiscent of a pyramid, is made up of 4,860 tonnes of sand. To ensure the sand sticks on, it was mixed with around 10% clay.

NATIONAL

Ministry of Defence implemented SPARSH System

•Ministry of Defence has implemented SPARSH (System for Pension Administration Raksha), an integrated system for automation of sanction and disbursement of defence pension. This web-based system processes pension claims and credits pension directly into the bank accounts of defence pensioners without relying on any external intermediary. A Pensioner Portal is available for pensioners to view their pension-related information, access services and register complaints for redressal of grievances, if any, relating to their pension matters.

•SPARSH envisages the establishment of Service Centres to provide last-mile connectivity to pensioners who may be unable to directly access the SPARSH portal for any reason. In addition to several offices of the Defence Accounts Department, which are already functioning as Service Centres for pensioners, the two largest banks dealing with defence pensioners – State Bank of India (SBI) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) – have been co-opted as Service Centres.

India’s first movable freshwater tunnel aquarium installed at Bengaluru Station

•Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station also known as Bengaluru City Railway Station has become the first railway station in India with a movable freshwater tunnel aquarium. The state-of-the-art aquarium has been jointly opened by the Indian Railway Stations Development Cooperation Limited (IRSDC) in collaboration with the HNi Aquatic Kingdom.

•The Aquatic Kingdom aquarium is based on the concept of the Amazon River and is 12-feet long. The entrance of the station now gives a glimpse into marine life, with a beautiful dolphin humbly greeting visitors with a slight bow and a smile. A 3D selfie area, 20 feet of glass periphery are also some attractive features of the new facility.

Dept of Public Enterprises brought under Finance Ministry

•The Government of India has decided to bring Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) under the finance ministry. DPE was earlier under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises. It has been brought under the finance minister in a bid to ease coordination regarding future disinvestment plans. The Finance ministry now comprises six departments, after the inclusion of DPE.

Amazon launches its first Digital Kendra in Gujarat

•Amazon has launched its first Digital Kendra in India in Surat, Gujarat. Amazon Digital Kendra was inaugurated by Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat. Digital Kendras of Amazon are centres that will provide micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) the opportunity to learn about the benefits of e-commerce.

•MSMEs can visit the Amazon Digital Kendra and avail of third party services including training on the benefits of eCommerce, GST and taxation support, shipping and logistics support, cataloguing assistance and digital marketing services.

•The company has focused on enabling sellers to reach customers across India and globally, and has made significant investments in technology, logistics, delivery infrastructure and digitising payments that collectively helped more customers and businesses to come online.

SPORTS

Mumbai, Pune will be host 2022 women’s Asian Cup

•Women’s Asian Cup in India will be held in Mumbai and Pune after the Asian Football Confederation dropped Bhubaneswar and Ahemdabad as venues to minimise the travelling time for participants and ensure an “optimum environment” for a bio-secure bubble. The Mumbai Football Arena at the Andheri Sports Complex and the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune have been chosen as the new venues.

•The decision was taken after considering the existing challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and as part of efforts to minimise the travelling time for teams and officials between the venues, whilst ensuring the optimum environment to implement the biomedical bubble for the benefit of all stakeholders.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Indian Army names firing range after Bollywood actress Vidya Balan

•The Indian Army has named one of its firing ranges in Kashmir after Bollywood actress Vidya Balan. The Vidya Balan firing range is situated at Gulmarg in the Baramulla district of Jammu & Kashmir.

•The decision was taken in recognition of her contribution to Indian cinema. Earlier in the year, the actress and her husband Siddharth Roy Kapoor had attended the Gulmarg Winter Festival organised by the Indian Army.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Kaushik Basu has been awarded the Humboldt Research Award for Economics

•Indian economist Kaushik Basu has been awarded the Humboldt Research Award for Economics. The award was conferred on him by Professor Dr Hans-Bernd Schäfer of Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. A former chief economist of the World Bank, Basu is currently a professor of Economics at Cornell University. He also served as the Government of India’s chief economic advisor from 2009 to 2012. Basu is also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India.

•The prestigious award is sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and awarded to as many as 100 recipients each year.

•The Humboldt Research Award honours scientists and economists from across the world for their work. The award entails prize money of 60,000 euros and an offer to carry out research projects at a scientific institution in Germany for up to 12 months.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

DMRC launched India’s first UPI-based cashless parking

•Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has launched India’s first FASTag or Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based parking facility to reduce the time for entry and payment. The facility was launched at the Kashmere Gate metro station. As part of the Multi-Model Integration (MMI) initiative, dedicated Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) lanes for autos, taxis and r-Rickshaws were also inaugurated at the station.

•The facility can accommodate 55 four-wheelers and 174 two-wheelers. The entry and exit and payment of 4-wheelers can be done through the FASTag.

•The parking fee will be deducted through FASTag, which will reduce the time for entry and payment. Only the vehicles with FASTag will be allowed to park in this facility.

Facebook Launched newsletter platform “Bulletin”

•Facebook has announced a set of publishing and subscription tools named Bulletin, aimed to promote independent writers in the US. The bulletin will include support focused on the creation of content, monetisation and audience growth. It also aims to integrate its existing tools to support writing and audio content — from podcasts to Live Audio Rooms in one place.

•Facebook is pushing to compete in the fast-growing email newsletter trend, as high-profile journalists and writers have left media companies over the past year to strike out on their own.

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Important Current Affairs 8th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Jim Whitehurst resigns as IBM president

•Jim Whitehurst has announced he is stepping down as the president of IBM. Whitehurst’s resignation is being seen as one of the several management moves IBM announced.

•The 53-year-old’s exit led to shares of the technological giant falling 4.8 per cent to $139.83, the most in five months. Whitehurst was appointed as IBM’s president last year. This was the first time in decades that the corporation split up the designation of a chief executive officer (CEO) and president.

NATIONAL

Tourism Ministry signs MoU with Yatra to strengthen hospitality, tourism industry

•The tourism ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Yatra to strengthen and enable the tourism and hospitality industry. The event was organised under an arrangement between the Ministry of Tourism and the Quality Council of India (QCI), where the MoU for the Tourism Ministry Yatra tie-up was signed.

•While the MoU is meant to mainly strengthen tourism, it also takes into consideration and provides support for accommodation units.

•The MoU outlines that both parties signing the document would participate in encourage the accommodation units to self-certify themselves on the System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for the Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) on the Online Travel Agency Platform (OTA).

•Earlier this year, the Ministry of Tourism had also signed an MoU with ClearTrip and Ease My Trip. There has been an ongoing effort by the ministry to strengthen the tourism sector in India while extending support to accommodation units.

Government of India launched Mobile app ‘Matsya Setu’ for Indian aqua farmers

•Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh has launched the Online Course Mobile App “Matsya Setu”. The app was developed by the ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA), Bhubaneswar, with the funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad. The online course app aims to disseminate the latest freshwater aquaculture technologies to the aqua farmers of the country.

•Matsya Setu app has species-wise/ subject-wise self-learning online course modules, where renowned aquaculture experts explain the basic concepts and practical demonstrations on breeding, seed production and grow-out culture of commercially important fishes like carp, catfish, scampi, murrel, ornamental fish, pearl farming etc.

•Better Management Practices to be followed in maintaining the soil & water quality, feeding and health management in aquaculture operations were also provided in the course platform.

Government created ministry of cooperation to boost cooperative movement

•The government has created a Ministry of Cooperation to boost the Indian cooperative movement and give a fillip to the indigenous enterprises. India’s first minister of cooperation will also be sworn in once the Union Cabinet reshuffle takes place and the new ministers take the oath of office at the Durbar Hall in President House. The new ministry of Cooperation will work to realise the vision of “Sahkar se Samriddhi” and will provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework to boost the cooperative movement in the country.

•The development will aid the deeping of the cooperatives as true people-based movements with benefits going down to the grassroots. The ministry will be mandated to streamline the processes for the ease of doing business for cooperatives and ultimately aim to broaden and strengthen the multi-state cooperatives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expanded its council of ministers

•The Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expanded its council of ministers. The names in the cabinet reshuffle include several new entrants as well as existing ministers who will be reassigned. The swearing-in ceremony of 43 Ministers was held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on July 7, 2021. In total, 15 Ministers were inducted into the Union Cabinet and 28 Ministers were inducted as Ministers of State. This is the first cabinet reshuffle since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) retained power in 2019.

•The Union Cabinet can have 81 members, as per the rule. There were 53 ministers in PM Modi’s cabinet but a series of them, including Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, resigned hours before the names were announced.

•PM Modi will continue to head the following – Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy; Department of Space; All important policy issues; and All other portfolios not allocated to any Minister

SI. No

Minister

Ministry

1

Rajnath Singh

Minister of Defence

2

Amit Shah

Minister of Home Affairs; and Minister of Cooperation

3

Mansukh Mandaviya

Minister of Health and Family Welfare; and Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers

4

Nitin Gadkari

Minister of Road Transport and Highways

5

 Nirmala Sitharaman

Minister of Finance; and Minister of Corporate Affairs

6

Narendra Singh Tomar

Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

7

Dr S. Jaishankar

Minister of External Affairs

8

Arjun Munda

Minister of Tribal Affairs

9

Smriti Irani

Minister of Women and Child Development

10

Piyush Goyal

Minister of Commerce and Industry; Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; and Minister of Textiles

11

Dharmendra Pradhan

Minister of Education; and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship

12

Pralhad Joshi

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal; and Minister of Mines

13

Narayan Rane

Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

14

Sarbananda Sonowal

Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways; and Minister of AYUSH

15

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Minister of Minority Affairs

16

Dr. Virendra Kumar

Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment

17

Giriraj Singh

Minister of Rural Development; and Minister of Panchayati Raj

18

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia

Minister of Civil Aviation

19

Ashwini Vaishnaw

Minister of Railways; Minister of Communications; and Minister of Electronics and Information Technology

20

Ramchandra Prasad Singh

Minister of Steel

21

Pashu Pati Kumar Paras

Pashu Pati Kumar Paras

22

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Minister of Jal Shakti

23

Kiren Rijiju

Minister of Law and Justice

24

Ra Kumar Singh

Minister of Power; and Minister of New and Renewable Energy

25

Hardeep Singh Puri

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs

26

Bhupender Yadav

Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; and Minister of Labour and Employment

27

Mahendra Nath Pandey

Minister of Heavy Industries

28

Parshottam Rupala

Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying

29

G. Kishan Reddy

Minister of Culture; Minister of Tourism; and Minister of Development of North Eastern Region

30

Anurag Singh Thakur

Minister of Information and Broadcasting; and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports

Government includes Retail and Wholesale Trade in MSME sector

•Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has decided to include Retail and Wholesale trade as MSMEs but only for the limited purpose of Priority Sector Lending. This means that these segments of businesses can now take loans under the Priority Sector Lending arrangement under the MSME category. According to the Retailers Association of India (RAI), this will give retail micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) the support they need to survive, revive and thrive.

•These Retail and Wholesale traders can now register on Udyam Registration Portal. It is a portal by the Government of India for the registration of MSMEs.

SPORTS

Jaipur to get India’s second largest cricket stadium

•The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released a financial grant of Rs 100 crore to the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), which will be used to build India’s second-largest cricket stadium. The facility, which will be second to the recently inaugurated Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, is set to be built in Jaipur. The construction of the new stadium is likely to be completed within 24-30 months from commencement.

•Meanwhile, an amount of Rs 290 crores has been estimated to be spent on the construction of the second-largest cricket stadium in India. This amount will be sourced from; Rs 100 crore from the bank loan, Rs 100 crore from BCCI grant, Rs 90 crore from RCS funds, sale of boxes, seats & sponsorship. The proposed stadium will have a spectator capacity of 75,000.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Chocolate Day celebrated 2021 : 7th  July

•World Chocolate Day or International Chocolate Day is observed on 7th July every year. The day celebrates the existence of chocolate in our lives. It is marked by eating chocolates and sharing with dear ones. The day is an annual global celebration of chocolate, which allows people to gorge and indulge, hopefully guilt-free, in it. On this day, chocolate lovers from all over relish eating different kinds of chocolate or create several dishes with it like cakes, pastries, sinful and gooey brownies, hot chocolate or chocolate mousse, without any guilt.

•World Chocolate Day was first celebrated in the year 2009. However, some even believe that people started marking July 7 as International Chocolate Day because it was the day when chocolate was first introduced to Europe in 1550.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Razorpay partners with Mastercard to launched ‘MandateHQ’

•Razorpay has partnered with Mastercard to launch ‘MandateHQ’. It is a payment interface that will help card-issuing banks to enable recurring payments for their customers. It must be noted that the Reserve Bank of India had issued a framework for processing e-mandates on recurring online transactions. The product by Razorpay is a step in this direction.

•The MandateHQ solution can be fully integrated with any bank within seven days. Razorpay’s Mandate HQ is an API-based plug-n-play solution that reduces the go-live time for any card issuing bank that wishes to enable recurring payments for its customers. MandateHQ will also enable businesses, especially subscription-based businesses, to get access to a wider customer base, who use debit cards, as recurring payments were mostly supported via credit cards previously.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Korean Air wins Air Transport World’s Airline of the Year Award

•Korean Air has been announced the winner of one of the most prestigious honours in the aviation industry: Air Transport World’s (ATW) 2021 Airline of the Year. This year’s award is even more meaningful to Korean Air, as the global industry has been suffering from the unprecedented crisis caused by COVID-19.

•The company’s excellent leadership, its ability to remain operationally profitable through the industry’s worst-ever crisis, its strong commitment to health safety customer service excellence, and its remarkable relationship with employees.” The judges also noted the airline’s “transformational strategic deal to incorporate Asiana and create a larger, more global flagship carrier. Korean Air plans to continue to strengthen its position in the global aviation industry and aims to become one of the world’s top 10 airlines after successfully acquiring and integrating Asiana Airlines.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Paytm launched ‘Postpaid Mini’ to provide small-ticket instant loans

•Paytm has announced the launch of Postpaid Mini, small-ticket loans that will give users the flexibility to access loans ranging from Rs 250 – Rs 1,000, in partnership with Aditya Birla Finance Ltd. The product is an extension of its Buy Now, Pay Later service, driving affordability amongst those new to credit. These small ticket instant loans will give flexibility to users and also help manage their household expenses to maintain liquidity during the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

•Paytm Postpaid is offering a period of up to 30 days for repayment of loans at 0 per cent interest.

•There are no annual fees or activation charges, only a minimal convenience fee. With the launch of Postpaid Mini, the company will offer access to loans ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 1000, in addition to Paytm Postpaid’s instant credit of up to Rs 60,000.

•This could help users pay for their monthly expenses, including mobile and direct to home (DTH) recharges, gas cylinder booking, electricity and water bills, shop on Paytm Mall and more.

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Important Current Affairs 7th July 2021

NATIONAL

Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari becomes “Brand Ambassador” of Khadi Prakritk Paint

•The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways & MSME, Nitin Gadkari, virtually inaugurated India’s first and only paint made from cow dung, under the brand name ‘Khadi Prakritk Paint’. In addition to this, the minister also declared himself as the “Brand Ambassador” of paint, to promote it across the country and encourage young entrepreneurs to take up the manufacturing of cow dung paint.

•The Khadi Prakritk Paint automated manufacturing plant has been set up on the campus of Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI), Jaipur, which is a unit of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

Central Government formed a nine-member panel for the development of ONDC

•The Central Government has formed a nine-member panel for the development of an Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), designed to curb digital monopolies. This ONDC project is initiated by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and will be implemented by the Quality Council of India (QCI).

•The nine-member committee of ONDC will advise the Government of India on measures needed to digitise the entire value chain, standardise operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiencies in logistics and enhance value for consumers, among other things.

KVIC has launched project ‘BOLD’

•KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission) has launched Project BOLD (Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Draught), a first-of-its-kind exercise, to create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones. It is the first of its kind exercise in India which was launched from the tribal village Nichla Mandwa in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Under the project, 5000 saplings of special bamboo species i.e. Bambusa Tulda and Bambusa Polymorpha have been planted over 16 acres approx. of vacant arid Gram Panchayat land.

•Bamboo grows very fast and can be harvested within 3 years.

•These are a group of woody perennial evergreen plants. Although it appears like a tree, taxonomically, it is grass. In India, North-eastern states grow around 70% of the country’s total bamboo production.

SPORTS

Mary Kom, Manpreet Singh will be India’s flag-bearers at Tokyo Olympics

•MC Mary Kom, the six-time world boxing champion, and Manpreet Singh, the men’s hockey team skipper, will be India’s flag-bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, announced Indian Olympic Association (IOA). Bajrang Punia, a silver medallist at the 2018 World Wrestling Championships, will be the flag-bearer at the closing ceremony on August 8.

•In a first, India is having two flag-bearers — one male and one female — at the upcoming Tokyo Games to ensure “gender parity”. The IOA has communicated the decision in this regard to the Organising Committee of the Games.

England’s James Anderson claims 1000th first-class wicket

•Veteran England fast bowler James Anderson has added another feather to his cap as he completed 1000 wickets in first-class cricket. Anderson achieved the rare feat during Lancashire’s County Championship clash against Kent in Manchester. Anderson is the leading wicket-taker among pacers in Test cricket. In 162 Tests, the England great has claimed 617 wickets at an average of 26.67 with 30 five-fors and three 10-wicket match hauls.

•Anderson is only the 14th player to claim 1,000 first-class wickets this century and only the fifth among pacers. Andy Caddick, Martin Bicknell, Devon Malcolm and Wasim Akram were the other pace bowlers to cross the 1000-wicket landmark before Anderson.

WAKO India Kickboxing Federation gets Government recognition

•The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has decided to grant recognition to WAKO India Kickboxing Federation as National Sports Federation (NSF) for promotion and development of the Kickboxing sport in India. To be fully included and accepted in the Olympic movement is important for the recognition and development of the sport of kickboxing.

•It is expected that with government recognition of WAKO India Kickboxing Federation as NSF, the sport of kickboxing will develop at a faster pace in the country. WAKO have been a provisionally recognized member of the IOC Since 30 November 2018. The full recognition of WAKO will be finally decided by the IOC Session in Tokyo in July 2021.

OBITUARY

Legendary Bollywood actor Mohammed Yusuf Khan, known professionally as Dilip Kumar passes away

•Legendary Bollywood actor Mohammed Yusuf Khan, known professionally as Dilip Kumar passed away at 98. He was popularly known as the tragedy king of Bollywood. He was last seen in the 1998 film Qila. He was the first actor to win the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in 1954 and won it a total of 8 times. He and Shah Rukh Khan jointly hold the record for most Filmfare trophies.

•Dilip Kumar was born on 11 December 1922, the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar (present-day Pakistan) to Ayesha Begum and Lala Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

•He debuted in films with 1944’s Jwar Bhata, but the film and his work did not garner much attention. It was with 1947’s Jugnu, also starring Noor Jehan, that he clinched his first box office hit.

•He was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 and Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

Ace filmmaker Richard Donner, best known for helming the original ‘Superman’ passes away

•Ace filmmaker Richard Donner, best known for helming the original ‘Superman’ film, ‘Lethal Weapon’ film series and ‘The Goonies’, has passed away. The 91-year-old filmmaker was at the forefront of some of the most popular genres in the history of mainstream cinema: the superhero movie, the horror flick, the buddy cop romps.

•The legend got his first big directing break with the 1976 cult classic horror film ‘The Omen’, which solidified his foothold in the industry and led to his next major studio film, ‘Superman’ (also the original) that paved the path for countless other flicks, including ‘Goonies’, and all of the ‘Lethal Weapon’ movie series, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Indian-American Neha Parikh appointed as CEO of crowd-sourced navigation app ‘Waze’

•Indian-American, Neha Parikh, has been appointed as the CEO of Waze, a crowd-sourced GPS navigation app and a subsidiary of tech giant Google. The 41-year-old Neha replaces Noam Bardin, who stepped down as the CEO in November 2020, after leading the Israeli company for 12 years.

•The Waze app can give out directions in 56 different languages. The app was founded in Israel in 2008. It was acquired by Google in 2013 for around USD 1.1 billion (110 crores).

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book ‘The Fourth Lion: Essays for Gopalkrishna Gandhi’ authored by Venu Madhav Govindu and Srinath Raghavan

•A book titled ‘The Fourth Lion: Essays for Gopalkrishna Gandhi’ authored by Venu Madhav Govindu and Srinath Raghavan. The book consists of twenty-six essays contributed by individuals drawn from various walks of life and from across the globe.

•Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been an administrator, diplomat, author, and public intellectual of distinction for over four decades. His writings have spanned diverse genres, showcasing both his deep scholarship as well as a profound engagement with issues of politics, history, literature, and culture.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

GST collection dips below Rs 1 lakh crore in June 2021

•GST collection dipped below Rs 1 lakh crore in June after staying above that mark for eight consecutive months. Centre mopped up Rs 92,849 crore GST for the month of June of which CGST is Rs 16,424 crore, SGST is Rs 20,397 crore, IGST is Rs 49,079 crore (including Rs 25,762 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs 6,949 crore (including Rs 809 crore collected on import of goods.

•With eased relaxations following improvement in the overall Covid-19 situation in the country, the government expects GST revenues to rise from July 2021 onwards.

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Important Current Affairs 6th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Sirisha Bandla the Indian-American woman set to fly into space

•India-origin woman Sirisha Bandla will travel to the edge of the space aboard ‘VSS Unity’ of Virgin Galactic, which is scheduled to fly off on July 11 from New Mexico. This is significant as she will be the third woman of Indian origin to go to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.

•Bandla, the vice-president of government affairs at Virgin Galactic in Washington DC, will travel alongside his boss and the group’s founder, billionaire Richard Branson and four others in the company’s spaceflight.

•Bandla will take care of the researcher experience of the Unity22 mission. The 34-year-old hails from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh in India.

NATIONAL

PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the CoWin Global Conclave

•The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated and addressed the CoWin Global Conclave, virtually. The global meet was participated by representatives from 142 countries. The Conclave was jointly organized by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and National Health Authority (NHA) with an objective to extend the Co-WIN platform as a digital public good to the world.

•India has offered its indigenously developed cloud-based CoWIN platform to be made open-source so that it is available to any and all countries.

•The CoWin Global Conclave served as a platform to share India’s learnings and experiences with regards to planning, strategizing and executing the world’s largest vaccination drive through Co-WIN.

52nd  International Film Festival of India to be held in November 2021 in Goa

•The 52nd edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be held in Goa from 20th -28th November 2021. The regulations and poster for the 52nd IFFI were released by Hon’ble Minister of Information and Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javadekar.

•On the occasion of the birth centenary of the maestro of Indian cinema Shri Satyajit Ray, the “Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Cinema” has been instituted from this year to be given at the IFFI every year starting from this year.

SPORTS

Red Bull’s M. Verstappen wins Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix 2021

•Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, the ninth race of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

•Verstappen won the race ahead of Mercedes-AMG’s Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris. Lewis Hamilton – Bottas’ teammate and Verstappen’s challenger for the 2021 Drivers’ championship – came home in fourth place.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Zoonoses Day 2021: 6 July

•World Zoonoses Day is held every year on July 6 to raise awareness of the risk of zoonotic diseases. Zoonoses are infectious diseases (virus, bacteria and parasites) that can spread from animals to humans, and vice versa, either with direct contact with animals or indirectly, vector-borne or food-borne. It was on July 6, 1885, when Louis Pasteur successfully administered the first vaccine against Rabies virus, which is a zoonotic disease.

•World Zoonoses day observed after Louis Pasteur, a French biologist successfully administered the first vaccine against Rabies virus, which is a zoonotic disease. We remembered this day every day to raise awareness against Zoonotic disease.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Flipkart partners with PhonePe to digitise cash-on-delivery payment

•Digital payments platform PhonePe has partnered with Flipkart to launch a contactless ‘Scan and Pay’ feature for Flipkart’s pay-on-delivery orders. Using PhonePe’s QR code solution, the Flipkart customers who earlier opted for cash on delivery can pay digitally through any UPI app at the time of delivery.

•While on one hand, the new feature will help in reducing personal contact as well as ensure safety, on the other hand, it will drive contactless payments for customers who are traditionally more comfortable with cash on delivery.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine” authored by Kavitha Rao

•A book titled “Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine” has authored by Kavitha Rao. This book recovers the stories of India’s first women doctors, often ignored by history. In this excerpt from Kavitha Rao’s ‘Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine, the story of Rukhmabai Raut.

•Rukhmabai was an Indian physician and feminist. She is best known for being one of the first practising women doctors in colonial India as well as being involved in a landmark legal case involving her marriage as a child bride between 1884 and 1888.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI announced change in Government securities auction methodology

•The Reserve Bank of India has announced a change in Government securities auction methodology for benchmark securities. They noted in the latest update that on a review of market conditions and market borrowing program of the government, it has been decided that benchmark securities of tenor 2-year, 3-year, 5-year, 10-year, 14-year tenor and Floating Rate Bonds (FRBs) will be, henceforth, issued using the uniform price auction method.

•For other benchmark securities i.e. 30-year and 40-year, the auction will continue to be multiple price-based auctions, as hitherto. The above arrangement will continue till further review, note the bank.

•In a Uniform Price auction, all the successful bidders are required to pay for the allotted quantity of securities at the same rate, i.e., at the auction cut-off rate, irrespective of the rate quoted by them.

•In a Multiple Price auction, the successful bidders are required to pay for the allotted quantity of securities at the respective price/yield at which they have bid.

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