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Important Current Affairs 5th July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

ISRO gives nod to parliamentary panel to implement satellite TV classrooms

•Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has given its nod to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education to provide technical assistance for satellite TV classrooms in the country to bridge the learning gap due to C-19-induced lockdown. ISRO scientists have appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Education and made a detailed presentation about the proposed satellite TV classroom for students.

•Vinay Sahastrabuddhe-led parliamentary panel had earlier sought help from ISRO scientists to provide technical assistants to start satellite TV classrooms for students who reported a learning gap in the school syllabus due to the C-19 pandemic. The Committee explored satellite TV classrooms that will broadcast school-based educational programs and students can take advantage of it in cluster classrooms and the issue of smartphone and data connectivity can be resolved, especially in the rural areas.

Indian Army chief to inaugurate war memorial for Indian soldiers in Italy

•Indian Army chief General MM Naravane will embark on an official visit to the United Kingdom (UK) and Italy, during which he will be meeting his counterparts and the senior military leadership of these countries. The highlight of the visit will be Gen Naravane’s inauguration of the Indian Army Memorial in the famous town of Cassino, Italy. In the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II, over 5,000 Indian soldiers laid down their lives while fighting to save Italy from fascist forces.

•Nearly 50,000 Indians were enlisted for Italy’s liberation between September 1943 and April 1945. Both the UK and Italy are important partners for India in the fields of defence, healthcare, aerospace, education, clean technology, renewable energy and information and communication technology among others.

NATIONAL

Government of India extended superannuation age of LIC chairman to up to 62 years

•The government has extended the superannuation age of IPO-bound LIC Chairman, M R Kumar, to up to 62 years by making amendments to the Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations, 1960.

•The changes made in the rules will be called the Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Amendment Rules, 2021, according to a government notification dated June 30, 2021. It is to be noted that the retirement age for the top executives of the majority of PSUs is 60 years, barring a few exceptions, including the State Bank of India (SBI).

SPORTS

Norway’s Karsten Warholm breaks men’s 400 metres hurdles world record

•Karsten Warholm, a 25-year-old athlete from Norway, broke the long-standing world record in the 400m hurdles during the Bislett Games.

•Earlier the record was held by American hurdler Kevin Young for 29 years. His mark of 46.78 seconds was set at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, which was finally broken with an official time of 46.70 seconds by Warholm.

Mithali Raj surpasses Edwards to become highest run-getter

•India captain Mithali Raj became the highest run-getter in women’s cricket across formats, overtaking former England skipper Charlotte Edwards. Mithali became the world’s most prolific batter in women’s internationals, overtaking Edwards’ 10,273 runs. Suzie Bates of New Zealand is third with 7849 runs. Stafanie Taylor (7832) and Meg Lanning (7024) round up the top five.

•Mithali achieved the feat during the third and final inconsequential ODI against hosts England while chasing 220 for a consolation win. In 2020, Raj was named to the ICC’s ODI team of the decade, a fitting honour for her consistency in the sport. She is also the most capped player in the history of the women’s game, having featured in 11 Tests, 216 ODIs and 89 Twenty20 Internationals so far.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

KN Bhattacharjee is the new Lokayukta of Tripura

•Veteran advocate Kalyan Narayan Bhattacharjee has been appointed as the new Lokayukta in Tripura. He has been appointed to the post for three years w.e.f. July 1.

•The Lokayukta Act has been in force in Tripura since 2008 and in 2012, the first Lokayukta was appointed in Tripura. Bhattacharjee is the third Lokayukta in the state and the first to hold the post as a lawyer. Former Gujarat & Guwahati HC judge Pradeep Kumar Sarkar was 1st Lokayukta in Tripura.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Invest India won the most innovative Investment Promotion Agency 2021 award

•Invest India has been awarded the world’s most innovative Investment Promotion Agency 2021 by OCO Global. OCO Global is a leading authority on foreign investment and offers a range of economic development services, products, and unique company assessment tools.

•Invest India, set up in 2009, is a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

•It is the national investment promotion and facilitation agency.

•Invest India focuses on sector-specific investor targeting and the development of new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IOB becomes the second most-valued public lender

•Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has become the second most-valued listed public sector bank (PSB) with a market capitalisation of over Rs 50,000 crore. As Street discounts privatisation of the state-owned lender, its shares have appreciated nearly 80 per cent on the BSE in the past one month. IOB stood with an m-cap of Rs 51,887 crore, pushing PNB (Rs 46,411 crore) and BOB (Rs 44,112 crore) to third and fourth position, respectively, as per data available on BSE.

•In the past month, the market price of IOB has zoomed 57 per cent, as compared to a 4 per cent decline in PNB and a 5 per cent gain in BOB share price. The bank plans to come out of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework by focusing on recovery, low-cost deposits, and less capital consuming advances.

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Important Current Affairs 4th July 2021

NATIONAL

Pushkar Singh Dhami will be the next chief minister of Uttarakhand

•Pushkar Singh Dhami will be the next chief minister of Uttarakhand. He will be the youngest CM of Uttarakhand. 45-year-old Pushkar Singh Dhami, an MLA from the Khatima constituency in Udham Singh Nagar district. He will replace Tirath Singh Rawat, who resigned from the post. He was elected by the state leaders during the legislature party meeting in Dehradun.

•Born on September 16, 1975, in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh, Pushkar Singh Dhami is a two-time MLA from the Khatima constituency. He holds a Postgraduate degree in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations and LLB in Social Life.

•Pushkar Singh Dhami was also associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and also served as the state president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha in Uttarakhand.

•Pushkar Singh Dhami served as the officer on special duty for former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari in 2002.

Jammu & Kashmir ends 149-year-old darbar move tradition

•The LG Manoj Sinha formally put an end to a 149-year-old biannual tradition of shifting offices between summer capital Srinagar and winter capital Jammu. The administration served notice to employees to vacate the ‘Darbar Move’ related accommodations in three weeks in Jammu and Srinagar. Administration cancelled the residential accommodation of “darbar move” employees in Jammu and Srinagar, implying the employees will remain stationed in either Jammu or Kashmir.

•Around 8000-9000 employees working in Civil Secretariats, with headquarters in Jammu and Srinagar, would move along with files twice every year. While Srinagar served as the summer capital, Jammu was the winter capital.

•Dogra monarch Maharaja Gulab Singh is believed to have started the tradition of shifting the capital in 1872. The tradition was continued after 1947 by J&K’s political class, as it acted as a major bridge and a space for interaction between two diverse linguistic and cultural groups of Kashmir and Jammu regions.

SPORTS

Mariyappan Thangavelu named as a flag-bearer for Tokyo Paralympics

•Top para high-jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu was named the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent in the Tokyo Paralympics, which begins on August 24. Thangavelu, who is defending the T-42 gold he had won in the 2016 Rio Paralympics during the August 24 to September 5 showpiece in Tokyo, was picked for the honour by the executive committee of the national body.

•The 25-year-old Thangavelu, who was conferred with the Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sporting award, last year is one of the 24 para-athletes picked by the selection committee for the Tokyo Paralympics. Thangavelu, who hails from Salem district in Tamil Nadu, suffered a permanent disability at the age of five when a bus crushed his right leg below the knee.

Indian Wrestler Sumit Malik gets two-year ban for doping

•Indian wrestler Sumit Malik was banned for two years by the sport’s world governing body UWW after his B sample also returned positive for a prohibited stimulant.

•The 28-year-old has one week to decide if he would accept the sanction or challenge it. He was handed a provisional suspension last month for failing a dope test during the World Olympic Qualifier event in Sofia, where he had qualified for the Tokyo Games in the 125 kg category.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Satish Agnihotri New MD of NHSRCL

•Satish Agnihotri has taken over charge as Managing Director, National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. He comes with more than 20 years of experience in the implementation of mega rail infrastructure projects. He has worked as Chairman & Managing Director, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a schedule ‘A’ CPSE under the Ministry of Railways for close to 9 years.

•During his tenure as CMD/RVNL, RVNL completed 7000 km of project length including 3000 km doubling/3rd line, 880 km conversion of metre gauge track to broad gauge, 3000 km railway electrification, 85 km new line, 6 factories and many important bridges. A 7 km long tunnel was also completed in a record time of 25 months in a new line project in Andhra Pradesh.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Pan Macmillan to publish Nathuram Godse’s biography

•The book titled “Nathuram Godse: The True Story of Gandhi’s Assassin” by Mumbai-based journalist Dhaval Kulkarni will be published by Pan Macmillan India in 2022. A biography of Nathuram Godse, Mahatma Gandhi’s infamous assassin, situates the man and his most defining act in the larger context of modern Indian history and contemporary society and politics.

•The book was acquired at auction by Teesta Guha Sarkar, editorial head at Pan Macmillan India, from Anish Chandy, founder of Labyrinth literary agency. “The book will be a deep-dive account and delve into the cataclysmic chain of events both before and after Gandhi’s murder.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI imposes Rs 25 lakh penalty on Punjab & Sind Bank

•The Reserve Bank of India imposed a penalty of Rs 25 lakh on Punjab and Sind Bank for non-compliance with certain provisions of directions on ‘Cyber Security Framework in Banks. The state-owned bank had reported a few cyber incidents to the RBI on May 16 and 20, 2020, the central bank said while giving details. Accordingly, the central bank had issued a show-cause notice to the bank asking it why a penalty should not be imposed for non-compliance with the directions issued by RBI.

•This penalty has been imposed in the exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of section 47 A (1) (c) read with sections 46 (4) (i) and 51 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Axis Bank tie-up with AWS for powering digital banking services

•Axis Bank has inked a multi-year deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to power the digital transformation programme of the country’s third-largest private sector bank. As part of the agreement, Axis Bank with help of AWS will build a portfolio of new digital financial services to bring advanced banking experiences to customers, including online accounts that can be opened in 6 min & instant digital payment. This will help the bank increase customer satisfaction by 35 per cent and lower costs by 24 per cent.

•To date, Axis Bank has deployed over 25 mission-critical applications on AWS, including a Buy Now Pay Later product and a new loan management system to support it, Account Aggregator, Video-Know Your Customer (V-KYC), and WhatsApp Banking.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd July 2021

NATIONAL

Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched ‘YSR Bima’ scheme

•Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched the ‘YSR Bima’ scheme with new guidelines, where the government itself will directly pay the insurance amount to the family of the deceased to make the insurance claims easier.

•In order to support 1.32 lakh families through the YSR Bima scheme, the State government allocated Rs 750 crores for the year 2021-22. In the last two years, the State government had spent Rs 1307 crore for YSR Bima.

7th IONS Concluded in France

•The 7th edition of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), concluded in France on July 01, 2021. The biennial event was hosted by the French Navy at La Réunion from 28 June to 01 July 2021. From India, Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, Indian Navy, participated in the inaugural session of the event virtually. France is the current chair of the Symposium, which assumed the Chairmanship on 29 June 2021 for a two-year tenure.

•The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is a series of biennial meetings, held between the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region, to enhance maritime cooperation among Navies of the member states, by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues such as maritime security cooperation, discuss regional maritime issues, and promote friendly relationships.

President Kovind Laid Foundation Stone For Ambedkar Memorial And Cultural Centre in Lucknow

•President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone for Ambedkar Memorial and Cultural Centre in Lucknow. The cultural centre will come up at 5493.52 sq meter nazool land in front of Aishbagh Eidgah in Lucknow and have a 25-ft high statue of Dr Ambedkar.

•The centre, to come up at a cost of ₹45.04 crores, will also have an auditorium having a capacity of 750 people, library, research centre, picture gallery, museum and a multi-purpose convention centre.

Digital India completed 6 years of journey from 1 July 2015

•Digital India has completed its 6 years of journey on July 1, 2021. Digital India is a government’s flagship scheme to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. This unique flagship programme of the Government of India was launched on 1 July 2015 with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

•It started as an attempt to improve access to critical Government services by making the country digitally empowered through improved infrastructure and connectivity. The programme has been enabled for several important Government schemes, such as BharatNet, Make in India, Startup India and Standup India, industrial corridors, etc.

•With the help of Aadhaar, Government has provided digital identity to 129 crore people of India. Jandhan bank Accounts, mobile phones, and Aadhaar (JAM) helped the government in providing benefits of the different schemes through digital platforms.

OBITUARY

Former Indian footballer M. Prasannan passed away

•Former Indian footballer M Prasannan has passed away. A gifted midfielder of the 1970s, he shared the dressing room with stalwarts of Indian football like Inder Singh and Doraiswamy Natraj.

•He played for Kerala, Maharashtra, and Goa in Santosh Trophy National Football Championship.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Cooperatives 2021: 3 July

•The United Nations celebrates the International Day of Cooperatives every year on the first Saturday of July to increase awareness of cooperatives. In the year 2021, the International Day of Cooperatives will be celebrated on 3rd July with a focus on the contribution of cooperatives to combating climate change.

•This July 3rd, the International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay) will be celebrated as “Rebuild better together”. Cooperatives around the world will showcase how they are meeting the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with solidarity and resilience and offering communities a people-centred and environmentally just recovery.

•United Nations is celebrating the International Day of Cooperatives every year on the first Saturday of July since 1923. Co-operatives have been acknowledged as associations and enterprises through which citizens can effectively make their lives better by contributing to the economic, social, cultural as well as political advancement of their community and nation. Cooperatives employ 280 million people across the globe which is 10% of the world’s employed population.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

HDFC Bank launcheed ‘Salaam Dil Sey’ initiative for Doctors

•HDFC Bank launched a SalaamDilSey initiative to show gratitude to doctors for their tireless service during the pandemic, to pay tribute to doctors across the country. SalaamDilSey encourages one and all to take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of doctors and provides a platform to show their gratitude to doctors, who are bravely fighting the pandemic, at the risk of their own lives.

•As part of this initiative, the bank has created a web platform www.salaamdilsey.com wherein the general public can logon on to the microsite and share the thank you message for doctors which can be immediately shared via e-mail, social media, and WhatsApp.

ICICI Bank launched ‘Salute Doctors’, banking solution for every doctors

•ICICI Bank has launched India’s most comprehensive banking solutions for medical doctors. Titled as ‘Salute Doctors’, the solution offers customized banking as well as value-added services for every doctor, beginning from a medical student to a senior medical consultant to an owner of a hospital or a clinic.

•The solutions, are mostly digital and instant, designed to cater to the professional, business, lifestyle and wealth banking requirements of doctors and their families. The initiative is powered by ICICI STACK, a digital banking platform with nearly 500 services that helps customers of the Bank to avail the services digitally and seamlessly.

State Bank of India celebrated 66th Foundation Day on 1st July 2021

•The oldest commercial bank in the country, State Bank of India, SBI, is celebrating its 66th year on 1st July. SBI descends from the Bank of Calcutta founded in 1806 through the Imperial Bank of India.

•The Bank of Madras merged into the other two presidency banks, the bank of Calcutta and the bank of Bombay to form the Imperial Bank of India which in turn became the State Bank of India on this day in 1955.

Government keeps interest rates on Small Savings Schemes unchanged for second quarter

•The government of India has announced that the rate of interest on Small Savings Schemes for the second quarter (July-Sept) of 2021-22 will remain unchanged as the last quarter (April-June) of 2021-2022. It must be noted that the Government notifies the Interest rates for small savings schemes on a quarterly basis.

•Various Interest Rates for Quarter-2 (July-Sept) of 2021-22 are-

•Post Office Savings Account-4%

•Post Office Time Deposit (TD) Account – One, two & three (Year ) - 5.5%

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Important Current Affairs 2nd July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World Bank announced additional funding of $8 billion for C-19 vaccines, total $20 billion

•The World Bank has announced additional funding of $8 billion for C-19 vaccines, for developing countries. With this, the total financing available for the C-19 vaccine reaches $20 billion. Earlier the World Bank had announced $12 billion for the same. This funding will be used over the next 18 months till 2022 end.

•World Bank Group President David Malpass has also called on countries with surplus doses to release it for use by developing countries and requested vaccine manufacturers to prioritise the available doses for such developing countries that urgently need them. Further, the Bank also provided over $4 billion for the purchase and deployment of C-19 vaccines for 51 developing countries, half of which are in Africa.

NATIONAL

J&K’s, Lt Governor , Manoj Sinha launched “HAUSLA- Inspiring her growth”

•Lieutenant Governor J&K, Manoj Sinha has launched the “HAUSLA- inspiring her growth”, a comprehensive programme for Catalysing Women Entrepreneurship in UT. The priority of the government is to reduce the gap between women and men entrepreneurs, in a systematic manner and to encourage women who are currently engaged in various professions so that they too can become a part of the ‘Hausla’ program.

•The intent of the innovative initiative is to empower Women as vital drivers of the overall development process in the UT by identifying & empowering Women Entrepreneurs as role models, providing them with markets, networks, training & continuous support and subsequently building an ecosystem to inspire other local women entrepreneurs.

A. K. Mehta Chief Secretary of J&K, inaugurated SDRF first Battalion’s 24×7 mental health helpline ‘SUKOON’

•J&K Chief Secretary, Arun Kumar Mehta, inaugurated SDRF first Battalion’s 24×7 mental health helpline ‘SUKOON’ at its headquarters. This initiative, launched by SDRF First Battalion Kashmir in collaboration with Mission Youth J&K and Tourism department, will guide the caller to avail services of clinical psychologists, therapists, counsellors and psychiatrists.

•‘SUKOON’ is a mental health helpline initiative (toll-free number 1800-1807159) to offer guidance to persons (or their well-wishers) who are experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, panic attack, PTSD, adjustment disorder, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, mental health emergency and pandemic induced psychological stress.

•First, 200 SDRF and 40 NDRF personnel were trained for C-19 care duties and then deployed at Seven hospitals in J&K while the launch of the Sukoon helpline is the second step to support persons facing health issues.

India’s oldest running newspaper, “Mumbai Samachar”, will enter its 200th year

•On July 1, India’s oldest running newspaper, Mumbai Samachar, will enter its 200th year. The Gujarati newspaper, with its office located in an iconic red building at Horniman Circle in Mumbai’s Fort area, was first published in 1822. It was founded by a Parsi scholar Fardoonji Murazban, who had experimented with various other publishing options before landing on this successful print run.

•Formerly called Bombay Samachar, in Gujarati, the paper has always run as Mumbai na Samachar. It started as a weekly edition, primarily covering the movement of goods across the sea and other business news, such as the sale of property, and passed through several hands until bankruptcy turned it over to the Cama family in 1933.

SPORTS

Abhimanyu Mishra becomes youngest ever chess Grandmaster in the world

•Indian-origin American Abhimanyu Mishra has become the youngest-ever chess Grandmaster in the world.

•At 12 years, four months and 25 days, he obliterated the long-standing record held by Sergey Karjakin, who was 12 years and seven months old when he attained the title. Three years ago, India’s R Praggnanandhaa had almost surpassed him but missed the opportunity by a whisker.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari will be new Indian Air Force Vice Chief

•Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari will be the new Vice Chief of Indian Air Force succeeding Air Marshal Harjit Singh Arora. Air Marshal Chaudhari is currently serving as commander-in-chief of the IAF’s Western Air Command (WAC) that looks after the security of the country’s air space in the sensitive Ladakh sector as well as various other parts of north India. Air Marshal Arora retired from service and Air Marshal Chaudhari is likely to take charge of the new assignment.

•An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Air Marshal Chaudhari was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF on December 29, 1982. In a distinguished career spanning nearly 38 years, the officer has flown a wide variety of fighter and trainer aircraft in the inventory of IAF. He has a flying experience of more than 3,800 hours, including operational flying on MiG-21, MiG-23 MF, MiG 29 and Su-30 MKI fighter jets.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World UFO Day 2021: 02 July

•The World UFO Day (WUD) is held on July 2 every year globally. It is a day dedicated to the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) by the World UFO Day Organization (WUFODO).

•WUD aims to raise awareness about the existence of UFOs and encouraging people to think about the possibility of us not being alone in the Universe. Initially, the day was observed on June 24. Later, WUFODO established on July 2 to commemorate the day.

World Sports Journalists Day 2021: 02 July

•World Sports Journalists Day is observed globally on 2nd July every year. The day aims to acknowledge the work of sports journalists & to encourage them to do better at their work. Sports journalists help millions of people in the world to receive information on various sports. This professional has helped in the development of many kinds of games all over the world. These journalists have their associations to maintain their standards in their profession. It was found all over the world and united by the International Sports Press Association.

•World Sports Journalist Day was established by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in 1994 to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the organization. AIPS was formed on July 2 of 1924, during the Summer Olympics in Paris.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Odia poet R. K. Panda bags Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar for the year 2020

•The Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar, the national award instituted in memory of late poet laureate Kuvempu, has been awarded to renowned Odia poet Dr. Rajendra Kishore Panda for the year 2020. The prestigious award carries a cash award of Rs 5 lakh, a silver medal, and a citation.

•Born on June 24, 1944, Dr. Panda writes in the Odia language. He has published 16 poetry collections and a novel. He is a major Indian poet who steered the path of modern Odia poetry to great heights. He was awarded the Gangadhar National Award in 2010, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985. He was awarded a DLitt by Sambalpur University.

•Founded in 1992, Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Trust instituted this national annual literary award in 2013 in the name of Kuvempu to recognize litterateurs who had contributed in any language recognized by the Constitution of India.

RANKING

Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021 : India ranked 20th

•India stands at the 20th spot among the top 100 countries that have been ranked in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021 by Startup Blink. The country was in the 17th spot in 2019, after which it slid six spots down and stood at 23 in 2020. According to the report, India needs to better its infrastructure and Internet speed in order to further strengthen its start-up ecosystem.

•India currently has 43 of its cities listed in the top 1000, globally, with Bengaluru(10th), New Delhi (14th) and Mumbai (16th) in the top 20.

•Like last year, the US, the UK, Israel, Canada and Germany are in the top five spots this year too and continue their lead.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Flipkart launched Shopsy to enable over 25 mn online entrepreneurs

•Flipkart has launched Shopsy, an app that will enable Indians to start their online businesses without any investment. Flipkart aims to enable over 25 million online entrepreneurs by 2023 with the help of Shopsy. Users of Shopsy will be able to share catalogues of a wide selection of 15 crore products offered by Flipkart sellers.

•These users can share catalogues with potential customers via popular social media and messaging apps, place orders on their behalf and earn commissions on the transactions. These range across fashion, beauty, mobiles, electronics and home, with potential customers via popular social media and messaging apps. Shopsy’s objective is to power e-commerce for communities and third-party channels where these users spend time/trust.

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Important Current Affairs 1st July 2021

INTERNATIONAL

China’s Baihetan Dam is world’s 2nd-biggest hydropower dam

•The Government of China officially turned on the first two generating units of the Baihetan Dam, the world’s second-biggest hydroelectric dam, to start generating energy. The Baihetan Dam is set up on the Jinsha River, in southwestern China.

•The dam is a 289-meter-tall (954-foot-tall) double-curvature arch dam, having 16 generating units.

•Each unit will have to generate a capacity of 1 million kilowatts, making it the second biggest in size after the “Three Gorges Dam” opened in 2003 on the Yangtze, with 22.5 million kilowatts of generating capacity.

•Through the Baihetan Dam, the Chinese government aims to curb surging fossil fuel demand by building more hydropower capacity.

•Both the dams have been built by the state-owned Three Gorges Group Corp., the world’s biggest investor in hydro, solar and wind generation.

NATIONAL

PM Modi virtually inaugurated Japanese-style Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at Ahmedabad

•Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated a Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) premises in Ahmedabad. These two new initiatives are part of PM’s vision of creating a ‘Mini-Japan’ in Gujarat. The newly launched Zen Garden in Ahmedabad will showcase several elements of Japanese art, culture, landscape and architecture.

•The Zen garden features a statue of Lord Buddha. The garden is built in partnership with the Japan Information and Study Centre at AMA and Indo-Japan Friendship Association (IJFA), Gujarat, supported by the Hyogo International Association (HIA), Japan.

Central minister Prakash Javadekar has inaugurated Asia’s longest and world’s fifth-longest High Speed Track

•Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Prakash Javadekar has inaugurated NATRAX- the High-Speed Track(HST) in Indore which is the longest such track in Asia. NATRAX, developed in an area of 1000 acres of land, is a one-stop solution for all sorts of high-speed performance tests for the widest categories of vehicles from 2 wheelers to heavy tractor-trailers. Launching the world-class 11.3 km High-Speed Track, Javadekar stated that India is destined to become a hub of automobiles, manufacturing, and spare parts.

•The NATRAX centre has multiple test capabilities like measurements of maximum speed, acceleration, constant speed fuel consumption, emission tests through real road driving simulation, high-speed handling and stability evaluation during manoeuvred such as lane change, high-speed durability testing, etc. and is a Centre of excellence for Vehicle Dynamics.

•According to the ministry, HST is used for measuring the maximum speed capability of high-end cars like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Tesla and so forth which cannot be measured on any of the Indian test tracks. Being centrally located in Madhya Pradesh, it is accessible to most of the major OEMs. Foreign OEMs will be looking at NATRAX HST for the development of prototype cars for Indian conditions. At present, foreign OEMs go to their respective high-speed track abroad for high-speed test requirements.

SPORTS

Indian woman cricketer Shafali Verma became youngest Indian to make debut in all formats

•Opener Shafali Verma has become the youngest Indian cricketer to make a debut in all formats, when India took on England in the first ODI in Bristol. She took 17 years and 150 days to make her debut in all formats. She has become the fifth-youngest cricketer overall in the list of all format debuts.

•The list is topped by Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman at 17 years and 78 days is the youngest player to play all formats, followed by former England wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor. Australia’s Elysse Perry is third on the list, followed by Mohammad Amir.

ISSF shooting World Cup: India’s Rahi Sarnobat wins gold medal in the women’s 25m pistol event

•India’s Rahi Sarnobat clinched the gold medal in the women’s 25m pistol event at the ISSF shooting World Cup. She is the first Indian to win one silver and two bronze medals in the ongoing tournament. She scored 591 out of a maximum of 600 in the qualifying stage.

•France’s Mathilde Lamolle won a silver medal in the final. Russian Vitalina Batsarashkina won the bronze medal. Indian shooter Manu Bhaker finished at 7 positions. This is the last competition before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. ISSF World Cup 2021 is being held in Osijek, Croatia.

OBITUARY

Padma Shri awardee, K.V. Sampath Kumar Passed Away

•Editor of ‘Sudharma’ Sanskrit Daily, K.V. Sampath Kumar has passed away. He, along with his wife, was selected for the Padma Shri honour from the Government of India in 2020 for his contribution to the field of Literature & Education. He has also received several awards like the Siddarudha award, the Shivaratri Deshikendra Media award, the Abdul Kalam award and others.

•Sampath Kumar’s father Pandit Varadaraja Iyengar had launched ‘Sudharma’ in 1970. Sudharma is the only Sanskrit Daily in the world, printed and published from Mysuru.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Chartered Accountants Day 2021: 01 July

•National Chartered Accountants Day or CA Day is celebrated on July 1 every year. This day is celebrated to commemorate the finding of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) by the parliament of India in 1949. Every year on the day of the establishment of the ICAI, CA Day is celebrated to honour the Chartered Accountant.

•ICAI is India’s national professional accounting body and also the second biggest accounting organization in the world. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) was established on this day in the year 1949 under an Act passed in Parliament. The ICAI is the sole licensing and regulatory body for the financial audit and accounting profession in India, and its recommendations are followed by everyone – from the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) to companies and accounting organizations.

National Postal Worker Day 2021: 01 July

•The National Postal Worker Day is marked every year on July 1 globally in recognition of the contribution made by postal workers in our society. The day is a unique opportunity to say ‘thank you not only to postmen but also to all delivery personnel, as online shopping has become a lifeline for many of us.

•The day was initiated by a popular postal service provider from Seattle, the United States of America in 1997 to felicitate and honour the co-postal workers for their dedication.

National Doctors’ Day 2021: 01 July

•The National Doctors’ Day is organized on 01 July annually in India by the Indian Medical Association (IMA). The day is celebrated to honour the great physicians and help us understand the importance of doctors in our lives and value them, to offer them our respects by commemorating one of their greatest representatives.

•The day commemorates the birth anniversary of the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy who was born on July 1, 1882, and died on the same date in 1962.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “Anomalies in Law and Justice” released by CJI NV Ramana

•Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana has released former Supreme Court judge RV Raveendran’s book “Anomalies in Law and Justice”.

•The book is an attempt to explain to the layman that the law and the legal system is still evolving and that it requires more critical thinking to resolve issues that have persisted in the system for a long time. The book covers procedural as well as substantive law relating to civil procedure, electoral reforms and the alternate dispute resolution mechanism.

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Important Current Affairs 30th June 2021

NATIONAL

Andhra Pradesh started a Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation (SALT) Programme

•Andhra Pradesh has started a Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation (SALT) programme to transform foundational learning in government schools for which the World Bank has approved a loan of 250 million dollars. The main objectives of the programme are strengthening foundation schools and providing training and skill development to teachers. Andhra Pradesh’s public school education system has more than 40 lakh children and nearly 2 lakh teachers.

•The five-year programme is result-oriented with the WB releasing funds after key goals are achieved. The government has converted all Anganwadis into pre-primary schools and attached them to the nearest schools.

Law & Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched ‘itat e-dwar’

•Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad has formally launched the e-filing portal of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), ‘itat e-dwar’, in New Delhi. The newly developed e-Filing Portal would enable the parties to file their Appeals, Miscellaneous Applications, documents, paper books, etc., electronically. The portal will enable the online filing of appeals, applications and documents by various parties.

•According to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the launch of the e-filing portal of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), should be seen as a larger narrative of transformation the country is undergoing through the digital medium.

SPORTS

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 now shifted to UAE & Oman

•ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, originally slated to be held in India, will now be shifted to the UAE. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which holds the hosting rights of this year’s event, will inform the International Cricket Council (ICC) in this regard. The T20 World Cup was postponed last year due to the pandemic.

•The BCCI will remain the hosts of the event, which will now be held in Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground, from 17 October to 14 November 2021.

Madhya Pradesh’s all-rounder cricketer Anshula Rao first woman to get dope ban

•Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Anshula Rao became the first women cricketer to be handed a four-year ban after failing the dope test. She was handed the ban by the panel of the National Anti-Doping Agency for faking a dope test which dates back to July 2020.

•Earlier she was also found guilty of consuming a banned anabolic steroid ’19- Norandrosterone. The U-23 cricketer has taken part in several BCCI organised domestic tournaments. She last took part in the 2019-20 U-23 event organised by the governing body.

OBITUARY

National Award-winning Mollywood’s cinematographer Sivan passed away

•Mollywood’s veteran cinematographer and director, Sivan passed away recently. The ace cinematographer rose to fame in the Malayalam film industry with the photographs, he took for a film titled Chemeen. H

•e has won a National Award three times in his career. His popular films include Abhayam, Yagam, Keshu, Kochu Kochu Mohangal, Oru Yathra, etc.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Former judge S. N. Srivastava appointed as the chairman of IFUNA

•Justice (Retd.) Shambhu Nath Srivastava, a former judge of Allahabad High Court and former chief Lokayukta of Chhattisgarh, has been appointed the chairman of the Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA).

•Indian Federation of United Nations Associations, a non-profit organisation to promote objectives of the United Nations and its specialised agencies. IFUNA enjoys special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Asteroid Day 2021: 30 June

•International Asteroid Day is observed globally on 30th June every year. International Asteroid Day aims to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard and to inform the public about the crisis communication actions to be taken at the global level in case of a credible near-Earth object threat.

•In December 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/71/90, declaring 30 June International Asteroid Day in order to “observe each year at the international level the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908, and to boost public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard.”

International Day of Parliamentarism 2021: 30 June

•International Day of Parliamentarism is observed globally on 30 June every year. The International Day of Parliamentarism is a time to review the progress that parliaments have made in achieving some key goals to be more representative and move with the times, including carrying out self-assessments, working to include more women and young MPs, and adapting to new technologies.

•The Day was established in 2018 through a United Nations General Assembly Resolution. This day also acknowledges the formation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the global organization of parliaments that was established in 1889.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Journalist P. Sainath wins Japan’s Fukuoka Grand Prize 2021

•Journalist Palagummi Sainath has been awarded the Fukuoka Grand Prize for 2021. He is a committed journalist who has continued to investigate impoverished farming villages in India and captured the reality of the lifestyle of the residents in such areas. The award, established by Japan’s Fukuoka city and the Fukuoka City International Foundation, is given to individuals and organisations for their work in preserving Asian culture.

•Besides the Grand Prize, there are two more award categories, academics and culture. The Academics Prize was given to Professor Kishimoto Mio, a historian from Japan who specialises in the socio-economic history of China in the Ming-Qing period. Thailand-based writer and filmmaker Prabda Yoon received the Arts and Culture Award.

•Sainath was born in Chennai and has served as the editor of The Hindu and as the vice-editor of political magazine Blitz.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book “Kashmiri Century: Portrait of a Society in Flux” authored by Khemlata Wakhlu released

•A book titled “Kashmiri Century: Portrait of a Society in Flux” authored by Khemlata Wakhlu. She is a writer, a political leader and a social worker, who has devoted the past fifty years to using her many talents to improve a lot of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

•A Kashmiri Century is a powerful and rare compilation of human-interest stories. Spanning a full century, it throws a compassionate light on the innocent and hard-working people who live in the beautiful valley of Kashmir.

•The stories are all based on the author’s personal experiences and her intimate understanding of what it means to be a Kashmiri-speaking native. They cover the period from the late 19th century to the present day.

Book “Policymaker’s Journal: From New Delhi to Washington, DC” authored by Kaushik Basu

•A book titled “Policymaker’s Journal: From New Delhi to Washington, DC” authored by Kaushik Basu released soon. This book charts the course of Kaushik Basu’s career over seven years, as he moved out of the cloisters of academe to the frenetic world of policymaking, first in India as Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian Government and after that as Chief Economist at the World Bank in Washington.

•Kaushik Basu is an Indian economist who was the Chief Economist of the World Bank from 2012 to 2016. He is the C. Marks Professor of International Studies and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. From 2009 to 2012, during the UPA government’s second term, Basu served as the Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India.

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Important Current Affairs 29th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Ashgabat most expensive city for foreign workers in the world

•Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan in Central Asia, has been named the world’s most expensive city for foreign workers. The city topped the list in a 2021 cost-of-living survey by consultancy firm Mercer. Hong Kong was on the second position, followed by Beirut in Lebanon and Tokyo in Japan.

•The annual report ranks 209 cities based on the cost of expenses like housing, food and transport. Most of the cities in the top 10 are those where economic growth has contributed to an increase in the cost of living. Three are Swiss cities, of which Zurich dropped to fifth, followed by Shanghai and Singapore. London was placed 18th.

•Ashgabat is known for its magnificent marble buildings and monuments. It is also home to one of Central Asia’s most colourful bazaars called Tolkuchka Bazaar. Other tourist attractions include the National Museum, White Marble, Turkmenbashi Cableway, Museum of Fine Arts, Alem Cultural and Entertainment Center, and Turkmen Carpet Museum.

•Mumbai remains India’s most expensive city at 78th rank but has dropped 18 places in this year’s ranking “due to a relatively weak Indian rupee in comparison with other cities in the ranking.” Other Indian cities on the list are New Delhi (117), Chennai (158), Bengaluru (170), and Kolkata (181).

NATIONAL

CM Dr. Pramod Sawant announced Goa becomes first state to go rabies free

•Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant announced that Goa has become the first state in the country to be Rabies free. CM informed that not a single case of rabies had been found in the state since the last three years. The team of mission rabies had been very effectively doing its job and had been also conducting vaccination for dogs.

•As per information, no rabies cases were reported in the state in 2018. The progress came on the heels of Mission Rabies, a statewide drive in place since 2014 which saw almost one lakh dogs given the anti-rabies vaccine yearly, and an awareness campaign that educated 5.2 lakh school children and 23,000 teachers about the virus. This included 50,316 vaccinations administered and 78,437 students reached until August 31st this year alone.

RK Sabharwal honoured with the highest civilian award of Mongolia ‘The Order of Polar Star by his excellency 

•Engineers India Limited (EIL) Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), RK Sabharwal has been honoured with the highest civilian award of Mongolia ‘The Order of Polar Star by his excellency. The President of Mongolia recognises the outstanding contribution made by him towards the establishment of the first-ever oil refinery in Mongolia. On behalf of the government of Mongolia, this award was presented by His Excellency, the Ambassador of Mongolia to India, Gonching Ganbold, at a ceremony organised at the Embassy of Mongolia.

•The ‘Order of Polar Star’ is the most desirable and prestigious state award bestowed by the President of Mongolia which is highly valuable and distinguished and recognises individuals who have made an invaluable contribution with their outstanding hard work, intelligence and sincerity to the prosperity of Mongolia and its friendship with other nations, as well for outstanding contributions in the fields of arts, culture, science and humanity.

SPORTS

Fourth win of Verstappen in the 2021 Formula One season

•Max Verstappen (Netherlands-Red Bull) has won the 2021 Styrian Grand Prix. This is the fourth win of Verstappen in the 2021 Formula One season. Also, with this win, Verstappen leads the 2021 driver’s championship standings with 156 points followed by Hamilton (138).

•Lewis Hamilton (Britain-Mercedes) stood second. Valtteri Bottas (Finland- Mercedes) came third.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DRDO successfully flight-tests ‘Agni P’ Ballistic Missile off Odisha Coast

•The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested a New Generation Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile “Agni P (Prime)” from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam island off the coast of Odisha, Balasore. As per Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials, Agni-Prime is a new generation advanced variant of the Agni class of missiles.

•Agni P (Prime) is a new-generation advanced variant from the Agni class of missiles. It is a canisterised surface-to-surface ballistic missile having a range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

P. Sinha appointed as Special Director of Central Bureau of Investigation

•The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Praveen Sinha as the Special Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Special Director is the second senior-most position in the agency after the Director.

•The post was vacant since the last three years and was earlier held by Rakesh Asthana. Sinha is an IPS officer of the 1988 batch from Gujarat-cadre and prior to this, he was posted as Additional Director in the CBI.

Twitter appoints California-based Jeremy Kessel as India Grievance Officer

•Twitter has announced the appointment of California-based Jeremy Kessel as the new Grievance Officer for India. Kessel is the Global Legal Policy Director of Twitter. The appointment of Grievance Officer by social media companies is mandated under the new Information Technology Rules, 2021.

•However, the appointment of Kessel is not seen to be in line with new IT rules guidelines, which mandate that the grievance redressal officer should be a resident of India.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Statistics day 2021: 29th June

•The government of India is celebrated National Statistics day on 29th June on the birth anniversary of Prof. P C Mahalanobis. The Day is celebrated to create awareness among youth about the role of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation. The Day to popularize the use of Statistics in everyday life and sensitize the public as to how Statistics helps in shaping and framing policies.

•End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture (Sustainable Development Goal or SDG 2 of the UN) is the theme of this year’s National Statistics Day.

•National Statistics Day was first celebrated on 29th June 2007. The Government of India decided to celebrate the outstanding contribution made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the field of economic planning and statistical development and hence mark his birth anniversary as ‘National Statistics Day.

International Day of the Tropics 2021: 29th June

•The United Nations observe 29 June as International Day of the Tropics. The International Day of the Tropics celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the tropics while highlighting unique challenges and opportunities nations of the Tropics face. It provides an opportunity to take stock of progress across the tropics, to share tropical stories and expertise, and to acknowledge the diversity and potential of the region.

•The inaugural State of the Tropics Report was launched on 29 June 2014, as the culmination of a collaboration between twelve leading tropical research institutions. The report offers a unique perspective on this increasingly important region. Marking the anniversary of the report’s launch the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/267 in 2016, which declared that 29 June of each year is to be observed as the International Day of the Tropics.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Book“Fiercely Female: The Dutee Chand Story” by Sundeep Mishra

•Journalist Sundeep Mishra’s book titled ‘Fiercely Female: The Dutee Chand Story’ chronicles Chand’s journey with a detailed narrative of the gender-identity controversy that made her an iconic figure in Indian sport. The book was published by Westland Books.

•Dutee Chand, the first openly homosexual athlete from India, scripted history in 2019 when she became the first Indian to win gold in a 100-metre event at the World Universiade in Naples. Coming from a small village in Odisha, Dutee Chand went on to hold the national record in the women’s 100 metres and is only the fifth Indian to participate in the women’s 100 metres at the Olympics when she qualified for the 2016 Rio Games.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Paisabazaar, SBM bank announced to launch Step Up credit card

•Paisabazaar.com, India’s largest lending marketplace & Credit Score platform and SBM Bank India, the youngest universal Bank announced the launch of “Step Up Credit Card” – a credit-builder product designed for consumers with limited access to formal credit, due to ineligible credit score. It is the first product to be launched under Paisabazaar’s neo-lending strategy.

•The Step Up Credit Card, built in partnership with SBM Bank India, is the first product to be launched under Paisabazaar’s neo-lending strategy.

•A secured card provided against a fixed deposit (with SBM Bank India), Step Up Card helps consumers with damaged credit or those with no credit history to steadily build their Credit Score.

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Important Current Affairs 28th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World Bank Approved 125 million financial support for Kerala

•The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved a $125 million support for the ‘Resilient Kerala Program’ to help the state in preparedness against natural disasters, climate change impacts, disease outbreaks, and pandemics. The $125 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14 years including a grace period of six years.

•The heavy monsoons of 2018 were the worst Kerala had seen in nearly a century, triggering devastating floods and landslides. It impacted more than 5 million people, mainly in the Pamba River Basin.

Amazon acquired an American instant messaging app ‘Wickr’

•Amazon has acquired an American instant messaging app ‘Wickr’ to offer secure communications for businesses, government agencies, and individuals, who are moving to hybrid work environments, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It must be noted that Wickr offers the most secure, end-to-end encrypted, communication technology, with advanced security features, that are not available with traditional communications services across messaging, voice and video calling, file sharing, and collaboration.

•Wickr app has been acquired by Amazon.com Inc’s cloud computing unit Amazon Web Services (AWS), for an undisclosed amount.

•Wickr is an encrypted messaging services, founded in 2012, and primarily used by government agencies in the United States.

NATIONAL

Rajnath singh to inaugurate 63 bridge

•From Kungyam village in eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today virtually inaugurated 63 bridges. From Kunjan bridge on Leh-Loma road, Minister inaugurated the bridges built by Boarder Roads Organization (BRO) in Eight States across the country.

•The bridges include, 11 in Ladakh, four in Jammu and Kashmir, three in Himachal Pradesh, six in Uttarakhand, eight in Sikkim, 29 in Arunachal Pradesh and one each in Nagaland and Manipur. BRO used the latest technologies in building of these bridges. These are Class-70 bridges and can bear the load of movement of Tanks and other heavy vehicles. These bridges will facilitate strategic and quicker access not just to Armed forces but to people living in the border villages also.

SPORTS

Deepika kumari bags three gold medals

•Olympic-bound archer Deepika Kumari helped India claim three recurve gold medals in the Archery World Cup Stage-3 here on Sunday.

•Thanks to Deepika’s consistent efforts, India took the top honour in women’s team, mixed team and women’s individual events.

•With one compound gold, the country gathered four gold medals here.

•Deepika first joined hands with Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat to beat Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia, Ana Vazquez and Aida Roman 5-1 in the final and take the women's team title.

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes joint top-scorer in men’s international football

•Cristiano Ronaldo has become the joint-top scoring men’s international player of all time. He is currently tied with Iran legend Ali Daei, who scored 109 times in 149 matches between 1993 and 2006.

•Cristiano Ronaldo scored two penalties to tie the overall men’s scoring record with 109 goals in 176 matches and Portugal advanced to the round of 16 at the European Championship after a 2-2 draw with France.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DRDO Successfully Test Fires Enhanced Pinaka Rocket Off Odisha Coast

•The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired an extended-range version of the indigenously developed Pinaka rocket. The rockets were launched from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. The enhanced range version of the Pinaka Rocket System can destroy targets at distances up to 45 km.

•25 Enhanced Pinaka Rockets were launched in quick succession against different range targets. The Pinaka Rocket system has been developed jointly by Pune based Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE) and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) with manufacturing support from M/s Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Suresh N Patel appointed as acting Central Vigilance Commissioner

•The incumbent Vigilance Commissioner, Suresh N Patel has been appointed as the acting Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) of India in the Central Vigilance Commission with effect. He has been appointed in place of Sanjay Kothari, who completed his term on June 23, 2021. He will remain on the post until the appointment of the new Central Vigilance Commissioner.

•The Central Vigilance Commission is headed by the CVC and can have a maximum of two vigilance commissioners. Currently, Mr Patel is the only VC in the commission. The Personnel Ministry has invited applications for the posts of CVC and a vigilance commissioner.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

JSCA, SAIL-BSL inks MoU for International Cricket Stadium in Bokaro

•The Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SAIL Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL), for the construction of an International Cricket Stadium in Bokaro city. Once the stadium is ready, Bokaro will become the third city in Jharkhand to have an International Cricket Stadium after Jamshedpur and Ranchi.

•The MoU is a lease agreement under which Bokaro Steel Plant will transfer 20.17 acres of its land to JSCA for 33 years, for the construction of an international cricket stadium in the Balidih area of Bokaro. The proposed stadium will also be the first stadium to be constructed in SAIL township.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

French non-fiction author Emmanuel Carrere wins top Spanish award

•French author Emmanuel Carrere, popular for his non-fiction books in a high literary vein, has been granted this year’s Spanish Princess of Asturias Literature Award.

•The 50000-euro award is one of the 8 prestigious prizes by the foundation named after the heir to the Spanish throne, Princess Leonor. The 8 prizes cover different disciplines-arts, social sciences, sports etc.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Ind-Ra revises India’s GDP growth rate for FY22 at 9.6%

•India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has projected the GDP growth rate of India for fiscal year FY22 (2021-22) at 9.6 per cent.

•Earlier this was estimated at 10.1 per cent by the rating agency. This rate is, however, contingent upon India vaccinating its entire adult population by December 31, 2021.

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Important Current Affairs 27th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India and Bhutan jointly launched TIWB

•India and Bhutan have jointly launched the “Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB)”. It has been launched for strengthening the tax administration of Bhutan. It will focus on International Taxation and Transfer Pricing. TIWB programme aims to strengthen tax administrations among developing countries by transferring technical know-how and skills to their tax auditors and by sharing general audit practices & dissemination of knowledge products with them. This programme is another milestone in the relationship between India and Bhutan. It will be completed in 24 months’ duration.

•Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) initiative was launched in 2015.

•Its main aim is to strengthen developing countries’ auditing capacity.

NATIONAL

Tamil Nadu CM announces Rs. 3 crore for gold medal winners

•Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Saturday announced that his government will reward sportspersons who bag medals in the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.

•CM MK Stalin said that sportsperson who win a gold medal will be given Rs 3 crore as prize money, while those winning silver medals will be given Rs 2 crore and Rs 1 crore will be given to bronze medal winners.

•Gagan Narang, a Chennai native who represented India in shooting and won a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics in the Men's 10m Air Rifle event, is still the only individual medallist from the state.

Delhi Govt launched Mukhyamantri C-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana

•Delhi government has launched “Mukhyamantri C-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana” to provide financial assistance to the families who lost a member due to the C-19 pandemic. According to notification by Social Welfare Department, Rs 50,000 ex-gratia will be provided to every family that has lost a member amid a pandemic. A pension of Rs 2,500 per month would also be given to those families that lost the sole breadwinner to the C-19 pandemic.

•Children who lost their both parents or single parent to C-19 will also be provided ₹2,500 per month till they achieve 25 years of age. The Delhi government will also provide free education to them.

LIC launched IT Platform ‘e-PGS’

•Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has launched a centralized web-based workflow-based IT platform called “e-PGS”. The new technology platform, e-PGS, has been designed to provide a centralized collection and payment accounting with a high level of bank integration. It has been designed to provide very innovative features of seamless and integrated banking with automatic reconciliations.

•This system is capable of providing comprehensive self-servicing capabilities through the customer portal. On this portal, corporate customers will be able to view their data, initiate actionable processes and lodge & track claims.

NSDC And WhatsApp Launch “Digital Skill Champions Program”

•The National Skill Development Corporation and WhatsApp announced an alliance to launch the Digital Skill Champions Program that aims to train India’s youth on digital skills, in order to make them employment ready. The partnership identifies two broad areas of collaboration viz., WhatsApp Digital Skills Academy and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra (PMKK) and WhatsApp Business App Training sessions.

•Through this program, school and university students would be coached to imbibe digital and online skills that would culminate with WhatsApp and NSDC awarding ‘Digital Skill Champions’ certification. The course is based on a module format, is comprehensive and intensive in imparting knowledge about important aspects of the online ecosystem, equipping students with technology-based learning on campuses across tier 3 and 4 towns and cities throughout the country.

SPORTS

Neeraj chopra bags bronze medal

•Tokyo-bound javelin thrower from India, Neeraj Chopra on Saturday won the bronze medal at the Kuortane Games in Finland. 

•Neeraj Chopra threw an 83.12m in his first throw and improved it to 86.79m with his second attempt. The Indian's remaining four throws were fouls. 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Microsoft Launched new Windows operating system ‘Windows 11’

•Microsoft officially launched its new Windows operating system ‘Windows 11’. It is being called as the “next generation” of Windows. The release comes nearly six year after the current latest Windows Operating System ‘Windows 10’ was launched in July 2015. Windows 11 is special because it focuses on a new user interface, a new Windows Store, and improvements to performance, including a centre-aligned Taskbar and Start button.

•One of the unique features of Windows 11 is that it will support Android apps via Amazon’s app store. It will work better in touch mode as well.

•Windows 11 operating system (OS) will be available as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users in late 2021, as long as the user has a compatible PC that meets the requirements of Microsoft’s new operating system.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day 2021: 27 June

•The United Nations Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day is held on June 27 since 2017 to celebrate the work of MSME in local and global economies and their contribution to sustainable development. The day also recognises the contribution of these industries in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

•In 2021, the theme is “MSME 2021: key to an inclusive and sustainable recovery.” That is why the UN will be hosting a series of events to explore how MSMEs – the backbone of our economies – can be equipped to ensure an equitable and sustainable post-C-19 recovery.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Jio and Google Cloud to Collaborate on 5G Technology

•Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and Google Cloud are embarking on a comprehensive, long-term strategic relationship with a goal of powering 5G in enterprise and consumer segments nationwide. In addition, Reliance will also take advantage of Google Cloud’s scalable infrastructure thereby enabling its retail business to achieve better operational efficiency, modernize and scale for growth, and deliver better performance and experiences to customers.

•As part of the partnership, Reliance will also augment its compute workload for retail business taking advantage of Google’s AI/ML, e-commerce, and demand forecasting offerings. This will help Reliance to rapidly grow its new commerce business to leverage Google Cloud with increased reliability and performance, as well as scale up as needed to respond to customer demand. Jio will also adopt Google Cloud’s scalable, serverless data analytics platform to advance its data-led innovation strategy.

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Important Current Affairs 26th June 2021

NATIONAL

9th  Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable to be hosted by India in 2022

•International Energy Forum (IEF) announced that India has agreed to host the 9th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER9). The 9th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable will be held in 2022. Dates of this conference will be announced later and it will take forward the understandings reached in the previous meeting in Abu Dhabi during 2018.

•The decision of India to be the host of this Energy Roundtable came after a virtual meeting between IEF Secretary-General Joseph McMonigle and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

•Chief executive officers of Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum Corp, in addition to senior officers from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, were also present at the meeting.

Central government released Smart Cities Awards 2020 winners

•The Central government has declared Smart City awards 2020 in which Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Surat (Gujarat) won the award jointly for their overall development. Whereas Uttar Pradesh emerged on the top among all states, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu under the Smart City award, 2020. The Smart City awards were given across the themes of Social Aspects, Governance, Culture, Urban Environment, Sanitation, Economy, Built Environment, Water, Urban Mobility.

•According to the Centre, of the total, proposed projects under the Smart Cities Mission, 5,924 projects (115% by number) worth Rs.1,78,500 crore have been tendered so far. Whereas work orders have been issued for 5,236 projects (101% by number) worth Rs.1,46,125 crore.

SPORTS

Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown breaks 100-meter backstroke world record with a time of 57.45 seconds

•Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown breaks the 100-meter backstroke world record at the South Australian Aquatic Centre with a time of 57.45 seconds from the previous mark of 57.57 seconds set by American Regan Smith in 2019.

•Emily Seebohm finished second in 58.59 to qualify for her fourth Olympics.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Karnam Malleswari appointed as the First vice chancellor of Delhi Sports University

•The Delhi government appointed former Olympic medalist weightlifter Karnam Malleswari as the first Vice-Chancellor of Delhi Sports University.

•She is the first Indian woman weightlifter to bring home an Olympic medal. She created history at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 by lifting 110 kilograms and 130 kilograms in the ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’ categories. She has also been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2021 : 26th June

•International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed globally on 26th June every year. The day is observed by the United Nations as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.

•The theme of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2021 is “Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives”.

•On 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse by passing a resolution 42/112.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2021 : 26th June

•International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is observed on 26th June every year. This day is observed by the United Nations to raise awareness among the people about human torture that it is not only unacceptable but it is also a crime.

•On 12 December 1997, The UN General Assembly passed a resolution 52/149 and decided to watch 26 June because the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to eradicate torture and therefore the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. it’s to be remembered that pain or suffering caused by the legal penalty isn’t considered as torture. On 26 June 1998, the primary International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Cochin International Airport won honour in airport service quality award

•Cochin International Airport (CIAL) won Airport Council International (ACI) Director General’s Roll of Excellence honour in Airport Service Quality. This recognition is awarded to those airports which, in the opinion of passengers, consistently delivered excellent services.

•Cochin International Airport has consistently delivered excellence in customer service by winning multiple awards for five years in past 10 years. It is one among six airports across the world that will receive recognition in 2021.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Ruskin Bond’s New book ‘It’s a wonderful Life’

•Indian British author Ruskin Bond has authored a new book titled ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is published by Aleph Book Company.

•The book is written in a perceptive, uplifting, deeply moving, and non-fictional way.  He is a recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. His First Novel was the Room on the Roof’.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SBI Card partners with Fabindia

•SBI Card, the country’s second-largest credit card issuer and Fabindia, a retail platform for a wide range of handcrafted products by the artisans of the country, have joined hands to launch an exclusive co-branded contactless credit card named “Fabindia SBI Card”. The card is designed with curated benefits and privileges to offer a rewarding shopping experience to its premium customers and comes in two variants — Fabindia SBI Card SELECT and Fabindia SBI Card.

•The introduction of the new Fabindia SBI Card further bolsters our premium portfolio, reinforces our commitment to enable our customers to embrace digital payments and contribute to the country’s digital economy.

SBI launched Aarogyam healthcare business loan for healthcare sector amid the pandemic

•The State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the Aarogyam healthcare business loan to provide enhanced support to the healthcare sector amid the pandemic. Under this new product, the entire healthcare ecosystem such as hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres, pathology labs, manufacturers, suppliers, importers, logistic firms engaged in critical healthcare supply can avail of loans up to Rs 100 crore (as per the geographic location) repayable in 10 years, the country’s largest state-owned bank.

•The Aarogyam loan can be availed either as a term loan to support expansion or modernisation or as working capital facilities such as cash credit, bank guarantee/letter of credit.

•In metro centres loans under Aarogyam can be availed up to Rs 100 crore, Tier I & Urban centres up to Rs 20 crore and in Tier II to Tier VI centres up to Rs 10 crore.

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