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Important Current Affairs 3rd September 2021

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NATIONAL

J&K LG Manoj Sinha inaugurates initiative for women

• In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has launched a Rural Enterprises Acceleration Programme titled ‘Saath’ for Self Help Group (SHG) women. The programme aims to transform the lives of women and make them independent and strong in social and financial aspects, by mentoring the women associated with SHGs and create market linkages of products created by these women.

• Jammu and Kashmir already has 48000 SHGs, with around four lakh women connected to these SHGs. The J&K administration further aims to create 11000 more SHGs in the coming year. This will transform the lives of these women and make them independent and strong in social and financial aspects.

Ladakh announces snow leopard as state animal, black-necked crane as state bird

• The Union Territory of Ladakh has declared snow leopard (Panther unica) as the new state animal and black-necked crane (Grus nicricollis) as the new state bird. The notification in this regard was released by Shri Radha Krishna Mathur, Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh on August 31, 2021.

• The decision was taken keeping in view bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh into separate administrative divisions in 2019. In the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, the black-necked crane and Kashmir stag (Hangul) were the state bird and animal respectively.

PM Modi releases special Rs 125 coin on ISKCON founder's

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually unveiled a special commemorative coin of Rs 125 to mark the 125th birth anniversary of ISKCON founder Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In July 1966, Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) commonly known as the ‘Hare Krishna movement’. The spiritual leader was born as Abhay Charan De on September 1, 1896, in Calcutta and later came to be known by the honorific A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

SPORTS

Tokyo Paralympics: Avani Lekhara won two medals

• Avani Lekhara won the bronze medal in the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1 event with a score of 445.9 to become the first Indian woman to win two medals at the Paralympics. Lekhara had also won gold in the 10m air rifle standing SH1 event.

• India’s medal tally now stands at 12 at these Paralympics. It has now won two golds, six silvers and four bronze medals. This is India’s best tally at a single edition of the Para Games. It had won four medals at Rio 2016 and four at the 1984 Paralympics.

Tokyo Paralympics: Praveen Kumar wins silver medals

• Praveen Kumar became India’s fourth medallist in men’s high jump and 11th medallist overall at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 as he won silver with an Asian record jump of 2.07m. Praveen cleared the Asian record with a 2.07m jump, finishing behind Great Britain’s Jonathan Broom-Edwards, who managed the best jump of 2.10m on a rain-soaked track at the Olympic Stadium.

• Praveen is India’s fourth medallist in men’s high jump at Tokyo Games after Nishad Kumar, Mariyappan Thangavelu, and Sharad Kumar.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

IPS officer Pankaj Kumar Singh takes charge as new BSF chief

• Pankaj Kumar Singh, a 1988-batch IPS officer from the Rajasthan cadre, has taken charge as the new Director General (DG) of the Border Security Force (BSF). Prior to this, he was serving as the special DG at the BSF headquarters in Delhi. The 58-year-old Pankaj Singh replaces IPS officer and Indo-Tibetan Border Police Director General (DG) SS Deswal who was holding the additional charge of BSF DG since July 2021.

• Apart from this, Sanjay Arora, a 1988-batch IPS officers from Tamil Nadu cadre, has taken over as the new DG of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

OBITUARY

Senior Journalist and former Rajya Sabha MP Chandan Mitra passes away

• Former Rajya Sabha MP and senior journalist Chandan Mitra has passed away. He was the Editor and Managing Director of The Pioneer newspaper in New Delhi. Mitra was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha from August 2003 to 2009.

• In June 2010, Mitra was elected to another term in the Rajya Sabha by BJP from Madhya Pradesh. His term ended in 2016. In July 2018, he resigned from the BJP and joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Alejandro Prieto wins Bird Photographer of the Year 2021

• Mexican photographer Alejandro Prieto has emerged as the winner of the Bird Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) 2021. He has won for capturing a photograph of a greater roadrunner staring up at the barbed-wire-clad border wall between the USA and Mexico, with what almost looks like a sense of bewilderment.

• The image has been given the title as ‘Blocked’. The Bird Photographer of the Year comes with a cash prize of £5,000. He was chosen from among 22,000 entries from 73 countries.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

RBI to set up five-member panel on NUE licences

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will set up a committee to scrutinize applications and give recommendations on New Umbrella Entity (NUE) licenses. The 5 member committee will be headed by Shri. P. Vasudevan. The committee will be responsible for looking into several aspects of NUE, from the macroeconomic impact of such a step to the security risks. The committee’s recommendations will be taken into consideration before doling out the licences.

• NUEs will establish their own payment infrastructure to compete with the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI). The government hopes to build a settlement system similar to the unified payments interface (UPI) with the NUEs. The system will be focused on small and medium enterprises, merchants and consumers. The RBI had in August 2020 issued guidelines for creating “for-profit NUEs”.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd September 2021

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INTERNATIONAL

Sri Lanka declared food emergency

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

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

NATIONAL

Sarbananada Sonowal launched ‘Y-Break’ application

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

JB Mohapatra appointed as the Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman

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

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

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

India Hosted 8th Meeting of Agricultural Experts of BIMSTEC Countries

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

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

OBITUARY

Indian Actor & Bigg Boss 13 winner Sidharth Shukla passed away

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

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

Veteran Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani passed away

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

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

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Axis Bank partnered with BharatPe for PoS business

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 1st September 2021

NATIONAL

Maharashtra government  launched “Mission Vatsalya” for women’s who lost their husbands to C-19

• Maharashtra government launched a special mission called “Mission Vatsalya” in order to help women who lost their husbands to C-19. Mission Vatsalya will provide several services and some 18 benefits under one roof to those women. It been designed for widows, with a special focus on widows coming from rural areas, poor backgrounds and deprived sections. Under this mission, schemes like Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana and Gharkul Yojana will benefit those for women.

• Under this scheme, 8,661 women have applied for the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudan Yojana, 405 for the Shravanbal Seva State Pension Scheme and 71 for the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme.

Indian Navy ship INS Tabar participates in maritime exercise

• The Indian Naval Ship, INS Tabar, is on her goodwill visit to the number of ports in Africa and Europe since June 2021 till September 2021. As a part of this visit, INS Tabar took part in the Maiden Maritime Partnership Exercise with Algerian Navy, off the Algerian coast, in the Mediterranean Sea. The Algerian Naval Ship ANS Ezzadjer participated in the exercise.

• The objective of the exercise was to enhance interoperability, understand the concept of operations followed by each other, and opened the possibility of increasing interaction and collaboration between the two navies in the future.

• INS Tabar is a Talwar-class stealth Frigate built in Russia for the Indian Navy. The ship is a part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet, based in Mumbai.

NPS entry age limit may be raised to 70 years, exit to 75

• The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has increased the entry age for the National Pension System (NPS) from 65 years to 70 years. Earlier the eligible age to invest in NPS was 18-65 years which has now been revised to 18-70 years. As per the revised norms, any Indian Citizen, resident or non-resident and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) between the age of 65-70 years can join NPS and continue or defer their NPS Account up to the age of 75 years.

• If a person joins NPS after 65 years, then the Normal Exit shall be after 3 years. Exit before 3 years will be considered premature exit. There is also a limit on the amount that can be exposed to equity in case the NPS is open after 65 years. The maximum equity exposure is 15% and 50% under Auto and Active Choice respectively.

SPORTS

South African cricketer Dale Steyn announced retirement from all forms of cricket

• South African cricketer Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect on August 31, 2021, ending his 20 years long cricket journey. The 38-year-old Proteas (South Africa national cricket team) pacer last played for South Africa in T20 vs Australia in February 2020. He had also played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

• Since making his international debut in 2004, He played 93 Tests, 125 ODIs and 47 T20Is. The right-arm pacer, who holds the record for the fastest bowler to 400 Test wickets (80 matches), bagged 439 wickets in the longest format, 196 wickets in the ODIs and 64 wickets in T20 internationals.

Indian All-rounder Stuart Binny announced retirement from all forms of cricket

• Indian all-rounder cricketer, Stuart Binny has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on August 30, 2021. He had represented Team India in six Tests, 14 ODIs and three T20Is, scoring a total of 459 runs and 24 wickets. Binny is the son of Roger Binny, a former India selector who was part of the 1983 world cup winning squad.

• In the Indian Premier League, he played for the Rajasthan Royals. Binny holds the record of the best bowling figures in ODI format. He produced a sensational spell taking 6/4 in just 4.4 overs as India bowled out Bangladesh for 58 after having themselves being shot out for 105 in a low-scoring affair.

Paralympics 2020: Singhraj Adhana wins bronze medal 

• At the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics 2020, Indian shooter Singhraj Adana has won the bronze medal in the P1 Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 final on August 31, 2021. Adana shot a total of 216.8 to finish at third place.

• China dominated the finals with defending champion Chao Yang (237.9 — Paralympic record) and Huang Xing (237.5) winning the gold and silver medals respectively.

Paralympics 2020: Devendra Jhajharia Wins silver medal 

• At the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics 2020, India’s greatest paralympian, Devendra Jhajharia won the silver medal in the men’s javelin throw – F46 final event on August 30, 2021. The 40-year-old Devendra performed his best throw of 64.35, for the silver.

• In the same event, Sundar Singh Gurjar won the bronze medal, with his best throw of 64.01. With this, the total medal tally of India at the Paralympics 2020 Games reaches to seven.

Paralympics 2020: Yogesh Kathuniya wins silver medal 

• India’s discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya has clinched the silver medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics in the men’s Discus Throw F56 final event.

• Yogesh claimed the second spot with a throw of 44.38m. Batista dos Santos from Brazil won gold, setting a Paralympic record with a throw of 45.59m. L. Diaz Aldana from Cuba bagged bronze.

OBITUARY

Former Indian cricket coach Vasoo Paranjape passed away

• Former India cricketer and coach, Vasoo Paranjape has passed away. He was considered a mentor of stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma to name a few. He also gave Gavaskar the nickname ‘Sunny’.

• Paranjape was born on November 21, 1938, in Gujarat, Paranjape was a former Ranji Trophy player and a coach at the National Cricket Academy. He was the father of former India and Mumbai cricketer Jatin Paranjape.

RANKING

Rabobank 2021 Global Dairy Top 20 Report : Amul ranks 18th

• Amul, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has dropped two places to rank 18th in Rabobank’s 2021 Global Top 20 Dairy Companies list. Amul was placed at 16th spot in 2020. Amul has achieved an annual turnover of $5.3 billion.

• French-based dairy company Lactalis has topped the list as the world’s largest dairy company with a turnover of US $23.0 billion. It has unseated Switzerland-based global behemoth Nestle, which dominated the list for decades.

• Rabobank’s Global Dairy Top 20 Report   is released annually to rank the dairy industry upon their sales data and financial statements.

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Important Current Affairs 31st August 2021

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NATIONAL

Government introduces a new registration mark for new vehicles

• Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has introduced a new registration mark for new vehicles i.e. “Bharat series (BH-series)”. The vehicles bearing the BH-series mark will not have to require the assignment of a new registration mark when the owner of the vehicle shifts from one State to another.

• Earlier, under section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, if a person moves from one state to another, a person is allowed to keep the vehicle for not more than 12 months in any state other than the state where the vehicle is registered, but a new registration with the new state- registering authority has to be made within the stipulated time of 12 months.

• This facility is available on a voluntary basis to Defense personnel, employees of Central Government/ State Government/ Central/ State Public Sector Undertakings and private sector companies/organizations, which have their offices in four or more States/Union territories.

LIC Launches “Ananda Mobile App” For Agents & Intermediaries

• The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has launched the mobile application of its digital paperless solution, “ANANDA” for LIC agents. ANANDA stands for Atma Nirbhar Agents New Business Digital Application. The ANANDA mobile app was launched by LIC Chairperson MR Kumar, through Video Conferencing.

• The ANANDA Digital application was launched in November 2020 for LIC Agents / Intermediaries.

• With Mobile App in place, the usage level of ANANDA among the Agents / Intermediaries will go up and help LIC to take the New Business fortunes to bigger heights.

• The ANANDA tool enables LIC agents to register new LIC policies from the comfort of their homes.

• Prospective customers can avail the facility of taking a New Life Insurance Policy in the comfort of their homes/offices without having to meet the agent in person.

• It is built on a paperless KYC process using Aadhaar based e-authentication of the Life Proposed.

PM Modi to inaugurate renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh incident

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated to the nation the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh Smarak in Punjab’s Amritsar, to mark 102 years of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The historic garden is a memorial of national importance, preserved in the memory of countless revolutionaries, sacrificers, fighters, who were killed in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, which occurred on the festival of Baisakhi on 13 April 1919.

• Apart from this, PM Modi also inaugurated four museum galleries developed at the Smarak, to showcase the historical value of events that unfolded in Punjab in 1919. PM also announced multiple development initiatives taken by the government to upgrade the complex.

SPORTS

Sumit Antil shatters own record thrice, wins gold medal

• India’s Sumit Antil has won the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw F64 final event at the Tokyo Paralympics, and in the process set a new world record throw of 68.55m. The 23-year-old Sumit hails from Sonepat in Haryana. Michal Burian of Australia won the silver medal (66.29m), while Sri Lanka’s Dulan Kodithuwakku won the bronze medal.

• This is the second gold medal for India at the ongoing Tokyo Games and now the total medal tally of India has reached 7. Earlier, the bronze medal won by Vinod Kumar in the discus throw F56 final was declared as ineligible by the classification panel.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

HSBC has appointed former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar as a non-executive director

• The former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman, Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as an independent director of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Asia entity on August 30, 2021. He has also been appointed as a member of the Audit Committee and Risk Committee of the company.

• Mr Rajnish Kumar retired as SBI Chairman in October 2020 after a 40-year career at the SBI. His international tenure included stints at SBI’s UK and Canada operations. Kumar is also currently a director of India’s Lighthouse Communities Foundation, an independent director of Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a senior advisor of Baring Private Equity Asia Pte. Ltd in Singapore and an advisor of Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd in Mumbai.

Nine new Supreme Court judges take oath, strength rises to 33

• Nine new judges, including three women, have been administered the oath of office as judges of the Supreme Court by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana. The strength of the Supreme Court would go up to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34, after the swearing-in of the nine new judges. Three out of these nine new judges — Justice Vikram Nath and Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice PS Narasimha — are in line to become the chief justice of India.

• This is the first time that nine judges were sworn in together in the history of the top court. Traditionally, new judges take the oath of office in the CJI’s courtroom, but due to that Covid pandemic, the swearing-in ceremony would be held in the auditorium of the Supreme Court’s additional building complex.

Nine new judges of the Supreme Court-

1.  Justice Vikram Nath:  Justice Nath, who was the chief justice of the Gujarat High Court, is in line to become the CJI upon the retirement of sitting top court judge Justice Surya Kant in February 2027.

2. Justice BV Nagarathna: Justice Nagarathna was a judge of the Karnataka High Court. Justice Nagarathna is in line to become the first woman CJI in September 2027.

3. Justice PS Narasimha: Justice Narasimha was a senior advocate and former additional solicitor general. Justice Narasimha would succeed Justice Nagarathna as the CJI and would have a tenure of over six months.

4. Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka: Justice Oka was the chief justice of the Karnataka High Court).

5.  Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari: Justice Maheshwari was the chief justice of the Sikkim High Court.

6.  Justice Hima Kohli:  Justice Kohli was the chief justice of the Telangana High Court

7.  Justice CT Ravikumar:  Justice Ravikumar was a judge of the Kerala High Court

8.  Justice MM Sundresh:  Justice Sundresh was a judge of the Madras High Court

9. Justice Bela M Trivedi:  Justice Trivedi was a judge of the Gujarat High Court

OBITUARY

Noted Bengali author Buddhadeb Guha dies at 85

• Eminent Bengali writer Buddhadeb Guha, has passed away. He was the author of many notable works such as “Madhukari” (Honey Gatherer), “Koeler Kachhe” (Near the Koel bird) and “Sobinoy Nibedon” (Humble Offering).

• He also won several awards including Ananda Purashkar in 1976, Shiroman Purashkar and Sharat Puraskar.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

• The International Day for People of African Descent is celebrated for the first time on 31 August 2021. The United Nations aims to promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.

• The year 2020 marked the midterm of the International Decade for People of African Descent. While some progress has been made at legislative, policy and institutional levels, people of African descent continue to suffer intersectional and compounded forms of racial discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion. On 19 June 2020, the Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on the “Promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers”.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

PhonePe receives insurance broking licence from Irdai

• Flipkart-owned digital payments platform PhonePe has received an insurance broking licence from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). This means that with the new ‘direct broking’ licence, PhonePe can now distribute insurance products from all insurance companies in India, on its platform.

• Earlier in January 2020, PhonePe entered the insurtech sector, but with a limited insurance ‘corporate agent’ licence, which restricted it to partner with only three insurance companies per category. Prior to getting a broking licence, PhonePe, from January 2020, operated as a corporate agent and launched several offerings across general insurance, term insurance and health insurance. However, as a corporate agent, it was only restricted to partner with three insurance companies per category.

Indo-Nepal Remittance: RBI enhances per transaction ceiling

• The Reserve Bank of India has increased the limit of fund transfer under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility Scheme from Rs 50,000 per transaction to Rs 2 lakh per transaction. Earlier there was a ceiling limit of 12 transactions in a year. Now, this limit has also been removed. However, for cash-based transfers under the Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility, the per transaction limit of Rs 50,000 will still be present with a maximum number of transfers in a year allowed at 12.

• Indo-Nepal Remittance Facility is a fund transfer mechanism from India to Nepal (not otherwise) that operates on NEFT. It was started by RBI in the year 2008. It is managed by SBI in India and Nepal SBI Bank Limited (NSBL) in Nepal.

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Important Current Affairs 30th August 2021

NATIONAL

Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Announces Campaigns under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

• Union Ayush Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has announced a bouquet of activities and campaigns of Ministry of Ayush to commemorate Azadi ka Amrit Mahaotsav. This includes national launch of Y Break App fromVigyan Bhawan, yearlong campaigns of cultivation of medicinal plants in farmland and distribution of medicinal plants to households, sensitisation of School and College going students on Ayush systems.

• Shri Sonowal said that the week-long activities and campaigns, from August 30 to September 5, will aim at ultimately reaching to remote areas of the country and address all categories of our population, from children to our old people, from farmers to corporate.

President Kovind inaugurates 'Ramayana Conclave' in Ayodhya

• President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday inaugurated the Ramayana Conclave in Ayodhya and spoke about the UP Government's efforts towards bringing Ramayana closer to common people through art and culture. Addressing the audience at the conclave, he lauded UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his party for their efforts.

• President Kovind further spoke about Mahatma Gandhi's contribution towards India and said that it was he who visualised 'Ram Rajya' as an ideal India and also implemented the ideals of Lord Rama in public life.

SPORTS

India's Nishad Kumar Wins Silver In Men's High Jump (T47)

• India’s Nishad Kumar has clinched a silver medal in the men’s high jump T47 event at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. This is the second medal for India at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The 23-year-old Nishad made a jump of 2.06m, and in doing so created an Asian record. He also equalled his jump with USA’s Dallas Wise, who also took home silver.

• Another American, Roderick Townsend, won the gold with a world record jump of 2.15m. T47 class is meant for athletes with a unilateral upper limb impairment resulting in some loss of function at the shoulder, elbow and wrist.

Tokyo Paralympics, table tennis: Bhavina Patel wins silver, first Indian paddler to achieve the feat

• In table tennis, Indian paddler Bhavinaben Patel has claimed the historic silver medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games at Tokyo, in the women’s singles summit clash. The 34-year-old Patel lost to Chinese paddler Ying Zhou, 0-3, in her maiden Paralympic Games. This is the first medal for India at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympic Games.

• Patel is the only second Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics, after Deepa Malik, who claimed silver in shotput at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Avani Lekhara wins historic gold for India in shooting

• Shooter Avani Lekhara has scripted history as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event. The 19-year-old from Jaipur, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, finished with a world record-equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.

• Avani is only the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016) and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016).

F1 Standings - Verstappen wins Formula 1 Belgium Grand Prix

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) has been declared the winner of the Belgian Grand Prix 2021. The Belgian Grand Prix was stopped due to rain and only two laps were completed.

• The winner was decided based on progress made in these two laps. George Russell Williams came second and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes came third.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Small Industry Day 2021: 30th August

• In India, the National Small Industry Day is celebrated on 30 August every year, to support and promote small Industries for their overall growth potential and opportunities received for their development in the year. The industry day is a medium to provide balanced growth to existing small, medium and large scale enterprises and render assistance for setting up new industries to boost the state’s financial health.

• Small scale businesses and cottage industries have worked a vital part in the Indian economy. The best quality gains have been produced in the base and cottage manufacturers of India. Although this area like other Indian businesses experienced a huge drop in British rule, it has grown at a very fast step after independence.

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances 2021: 30th August

• United Nations observes International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances globally on the 30th of August every year. The day is being observed to express deep concern about the rise in enforced or involuntary disappearances in different regions of the world including the incidents of arrest, detention and abduction.

• All of the above incidents result in an increasing number of reports pertaining to harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared. UN General Assembly declared the 30th of August as International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances and the day was observed for the first time in the year 2011.

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Important Current Affairs 29th August 2021

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INTERNATIONAL

China, Pak, Thai, Mongolia to hold military exercise

• The armed force of the country China, Pakistan, Mongolia and Thailand will take part in a multinational peacekeeping exercise named “Shared Destiny-2021”. The exercise will be held in China in the month of September 2021. The four countries will take part in the first multinational peacekeeping live exercise “Shared Destiny-2021” at the combined-arms tactical training base of the PLA in Henan’s Queshan county.

• All the four countries will dispatch more than 1,000 troops to participate in the drills, involving units of infantry, fast response, security, helicopter, engineering, transportation and medical services. The scenario of the exercise is joint operations of multinational peacekeeping forces and the exercise will be held in a close-to-real battlefield environment set in accordance with the international, professional and realistic combat standards.

NATIONAL

‘Mera Watan Mera Chaman’ Mushaira Held

• Union Minority Affairs Ministry organised “Mera Watan, Mera Chaman” “Mushaira” in New Delhi as a part of “Amrit Mahotsav” of 75 years of India’s Independence where renowned poets of the country mesmerised the audience through their poetry and couplets.

• These renowned poets presented their poetry and couplets on the “celebrations of 75 years of India’s Independence” while remembering the sacrifices made by the great freedom fighters. They also made the people aware of “horrors and pains of the Partition” through their poetry in the Mushaira.

• The Union Minority Affairs Ministry is organising “Mera Watan, Mera Chaman” “Mushairas” and “Kavi Sammelan” across the country till 2023, where renowned as well as emerging poets are giving effective messages full of glorious memories related to India’s Independence movement.

e-Shram portal: A database for unorganised sector workers

• Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched e-Shram Portal to link Unorganised Workers with social security schemes being implemented by the Central and State Governments. Minister for Labour and Employment, Bhupender Yadav has launched the portal where 38 crore Unorganised Workers can register themselves and in turn benefit from various social security schemes.

• Every unorganised worker who registers on the eSHRAM Portal will get Rs 2.0 Lakh Accidental Insurance cover. (Rs 2.0 Lakh on death or permanent disability and Rs 1.0 lakh on partial disability).

• Upon registration on the eSHRAM Portal, the worker will get an eSHRAM card with a unique 12 digit Universal Account Number (UAN) and will be able to access the benefits of the various social security schemes through this Card anywhere anytime.

• eSHRAM Portal will help in the creation of a National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW).

Union WCD Minister Smt. Smriti Irani Addresses The First Ever G20 Ministerial Conference On Women’s Empowerment

• The First-ever G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment was held at Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. It was held in mixed format i.e people participated in physical form and via video conference also. The Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt. Smriti Irani addressed the meet on behalf of India. The Union Minister reaffirmed India’s commitment towards addressing gender and women-centric issues through mutual cooperation.

• G20 Conference on Women Empowerment acknowledged the common objectives and shared responsibilities to advance the goals of equality and development of women and girls in all spheres including STEM, Financial and Digital Literacy, Environment and Sustainability.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Sonu Sood to be ambassador for Delhi govt's 'Desh ke Mentor'

• Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has announced that Bollywood actor Sonu Sood will be the brand ambassador of the Delhi government’s ‘Desh Ke Mentors’ programme. The programme will be soon launched by Delhi Government. The programme entails “adopting” one to ten government school students who can be mentored by citizens who are successful in their respective fields.

• Mentors will take out 10 minutes every week to guide students over the phone. Interested citizens can adopt between one to ten children studying in the city’s government schools as part of the initiative.

Mansukh Mandaviya takes charge as Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board on August 26

• Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya has taken over charge as the Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board. He has replaced Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan as the chairman. India aims to end TB by 2025 while the UN aims to end TB by 2030.

• The Stop TB Partnership is a United Nations-hosted partnership program that aims to fight against tuberculosis collectively. The Stop TB Partnership also welcomed the incoming Board Vice-Chair Austin Arinze Obiefuna. He will take over as the Board Vice-Chair from 1 January 2022 for a period of three years.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2021

• The World Economic Forum’s annual Sustainable Development Impact Summit will take place on September 20-23, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s event will focus strongly on inclusively revitalizing economies.

• The United Nations General Assembly, the summit convenes under the theme “Shaping an Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery”. It will welcome almost all leaders from government, business and civil society who will work together to drive action and build momentum for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Sports Day 2021: 29th August

• Every year, 29th August has been observed as National Sports Day in India. The first National Sports Day was celebrated on 29th August 2012, on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand who was the star of hockey team of India. The day is used as a platform to launch various sports schemes as well as organise various sporting events and seminars to spread awareness about the importance of physical activities and sports in life.

• National Sports Day is also called with the name Rashtriya Khel Divas in some parts of India. In 1979, the Indian Postal Department paid tribute to Major Dhyan Chand after his death and renamed the National Stadium of Delhi as Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, Delhi. In 2012, it was announced that a day must be celebrated as National Sports Day with the motive of spreading awareness about the spirit of sportsmanship and propagating the message of various sports. And for this again a tribute was given to Major Dhayan Chand on his birth anniversary and announced 29th August as National Sports Day in India.

International Day against Nuclear Tests 2021: 29th  August

• The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed globally on 29th August. The day aims to increase awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

• On 2 December 2009, the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35. 2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

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Important Current Affairs 28th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India signs pact with Maldives for $500 million Greater Male Connectivity Project

• The Government of India and Maldives inked the contract for the mega Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP). The Greater Male Connectivity project (GMCP) is the largest-ever civilian infrastructure project in the Maldives. The Government of India is funding the implementation of GMCP through a USD 400 million Line of Credit (LoC) and USD 100 million grant. The USD 400 million LoC will be provided by the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank).

• The project will be developed by Indian construction and engineering firm, AFCONS, based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) comprise of 6.74 km long bridge and causeway link that will connect the national capital Male with three neighbouring islands namely: Villingili, Gulhifahu and Thilafushi.

NATIONAL

Niti Aayog, Cisco launched next phase of Women Entrepreneurship Platform

• NITI Aayog in partnership with Cisco has launched the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) titled “WEP Nxt” to foster women entrepreneurship in India. WEP, which was launched by NITI Aayog in 2017, is a first-of-its-kind, unified portal that brings together women from diverse backgrounds and offers them access to a multitude of resources, support, and learning.

• WEPNxt Platform is the next phase of this WEP and will be driven by evidence-based decision-making based on a focused study of Indian women entrepreneurs and their most urgent needs across six key verticals – community and networking, skilling and mentorship, incubation and acceleration programs, and financial, compliance, and marketing assistance.

ECI organizes 2 day SVEEP Consultation Workshop to review State SVEEP Plans for forthcoming elections

• The Election Commission of India (ECI) organized the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Consultation Workshop. As a part of this workshop, the Chief Election Commissioner, Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar unveiled a new initiative.

• The main objective of the two-day workshop was to review State SVEEP Plans, conduct extensive deliberations on the important aspects of SVEEP and formulate a comprehensive strategy for future elections.

'India's Election To CA And POC Of Universal Postal Union Noteworthy': EAM S Jaishankar

• India has won the elections for membership of two key bodies of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), during the 27th UPU Congress in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. India got elected to the Council of Administration(CA) with 134 votes, out of 156 countries. The country received the highest votes in CA elections from South Asia and the Oceania region.

• Apart from this, India has also been elected to the Postal Operations Council (POC) with 106 votes. India will now work with all to strengthen cooperation in the Universal Postal Union.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

RBI clears appointment of Hitendra Dave as HSBC India CEO for three years

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Hitendra Dave as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HSBC Bank (India). RBI has accorded the approval for a period of three years with effect from August 24, 2021. In June 2021, HSBC had announced the appointment of Hitendra Dave as the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India.

• Dave succeeds Surendra Rosha who, after three years, is moving to Hong Kong as the Co-Chief Executive of HSBC, Asia-Pacific. Hitendra Dave, formerly Head of Global Banking & Markets of HSBC India.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Niti Aayog releases NER District SDG Index report; East Sikkim tops chart

• NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region have launched the North Eastern Region District SDG Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22, with technical support from UNDP. The index is based on NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index.

• According to the report, the East Sikkim district of Sikkim has topped the North Eastern Region (NER) District SDG Index 2021-22 while the Kiphire district of Nagaland was ranked last amongst 103 districts in the ranking. Gomati, North Tripura is second, West Tripura is third in the ranking.

• The Index measures the performance of the districts of the eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura on the Sustainable Development Goals and ranks these districts on the basis of the same. NER District SDG Index is the first of its kind in the country as it focuses on the North Eastern Region.

MANTHAN 2021: BPR&D & AICTE collaborate to bring India’s first hackathon on national security

• The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in collaboration with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have launched a unique national Hackathon named ‘MANTHAN 2021’. The basic objective of this hackathon is to identify innovative concepts and technology solutions for addressing the security challenges of the 21st century faced by the intelligence agencies of the country and empower these enforcement agencies.

• The Hackathon is scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 01, 2021, in an online mode.

• The winning team will receive a number worth Rs. 40 Lakh.

• The Hackathon will be held under 6 themes for 20 different challenge statements using new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Augmented reality, Machine Learning among others.

OBITUARY

Ted Dexter: Former England and Sussex captain dies aged 86

• Former England and Sussex captain Ted Dexter has passed away. Dexter, nicknamed “Lord Ted”, was an aggressive batsman and part-time seam bowler who played 62 tests for England after making his debut in 1958 against New Zealand and was captain between 1961-1964.

• After retiring, he helped devise a ranking system for Test players and was chairman of selectors for England. Dexter was also a regular on the BBC’s TV coverage of England home Test matches and was a newspaper columnist. The ranking system was adopted by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and formed the basis of today’s system.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’ written by Mr Alphons

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received a book titled ‘Accelerating India: 7 Years of Modi Government’ by former Union Minister, K J Alphons.

• The book is about all the areas of India’s reform journey, written by Mr Alphons. K J Alphons is the former Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), in office from 3 September 2017 to May 2019.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

RBI extends PIDF scheme to street vendors covered under PM SVANidhi in tier 1, 2 centres

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced to include street vendors of tier-1 and tier-2 centres, identified as part of the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi Scheme) as beneficiaries under the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme. Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme was launched by RBI to encourage deployment of Points of Sale (PoS) infrastructure (both physical and digital modes) in tier-3 to tier-6 centres and northeastern states.

• So now RBI has specifically allowed street vendors of Tier-1 and Tier-2 centres, to be part of PIDF Scheme. The street vendors in tier-3 to tier-6 centres will continue to be covered under the Scheme by default. PIDF presently has a corpus of Rs. 345 crore.

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Important Current Affairs 27th August 2021

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INTERNATIONAL

Dubai sets up money laundering court

• Dubai Courts announced the establishment of a specialised court, focused on combating money laundering, within the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal. This court ties into a string of initiatives aimed at reducing financial crimes and follows the recent establishment of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering & Countering the Financing of Terrorism.

• This move will enable our stakeholders to raise their efficiency in effectively implementing the National AML/CFT Strategy and National Action Plan and achieving its goals through an empowered and sustainable system.

NATIONAL

NCDEX Launches GUAREX – India's First Agri Sectoral Index

• India’s first sectoral index in the Agri commodities basket i.e. GUAREX was launched by the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX). GUAREX is a price based sectoral index that tracks the movement in the futures contracts of guar gum refined splits and guar seed on a real-time basis. This index product will offer a lot of opportunities to the value chain.

• The weightage of guarseed and guar gum refined splits in the index will be 63 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively. The index futures will be cash-settled. Initially, Guarex futures contracts expiring in September and October will be made available for trading.

• India is the world’s largest guar producer accounting for 80-85 per cent of the output, while Rajasthan is the country’s top producer with 80 per cent market share. Guar seed was sown on 1.81 million hectares so far this year, down from 2.25 million hectares logged in the same period last year.

Finance Minister unveils 4th Public Sector Bank Reforms Agenda, EASE 4.0 agenda

• Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has unveiled the fourth edition of the Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda ‘EASE 4.0’ for 2021-22. The major theme for EASE 4.0 is “Technology-enabled, simplified, and collaborative banking.” EASE stands for Enhanced Access & Service Excellence (EASE).

• EASE 4.0 aims to further the agenda of customer-centric digital transformation and deeply embed digital and data into PSBs’ ways of working. EASE 4.0 sets the agenda and roadmap to transform all PSBs into digital-attacker banks working hand-in-hand with key constituents of the financial services ecosystem to offer industry-best customer experience.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

Reserve Bank of India has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as Managing Director and CEO of ICICI

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank. This will be with effect from October 15, 2021, till October 3, 2023. The shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on August 9, 2019 had already approved the appointment of Mr Bakhshi for a period effective from October 15, 2018, up to October 3, 2023.

• Bakshi, who was hand-picked by his mentors- KV Kamath and N Vaghul, took over the charge in October 2018, after his predecessor Chanda Kochhar’s exit following the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan controversy.

OBITUARY

Former Indian footballer Olympian Chandrasekharan passed away

• Former India footballer O Chandrasekharan, popularly known as Olympian Chandrasekharan in his home state Kerala, passed away.

• Chandrasekharan, who played as a defender, was a member of the Indian team in the 1960 Rome Olympics the last time the country participated in football at the Games.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Dog Day 2021 : 26th August

• International Dog Day is observed every year on August 26 to raise awareness about dog adoption and the importance of providing rescue dogs with a safe and loving environment.

• The day was started as National Dog Day in the US in 2004 by pet & family lifestyle expert, animal rescue advocate, conservationist and dog trainer Colleen Paige. August 26 was chosen as on this day, Paige’s family had adopted their first dog “Sheltie” from an animal shelter when she was just 10 years old.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

SBI becomes Overall winner of the EASE Reforms Index Award 2021

• Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the EASE 3.0 Awards. State Bank of India is the Overall winner of the EASE Reforms Index Award 2021 (EASE 3.0 Awards). Bank of Baroda is second and Union Bank of India is third.

• Indian Bank won the award for the best improvement from the baseline performance. SBI, BoB, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank won the top awards in different themes of the PSB Reforms Agenda EASE 3.0.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

Family pension of bank employees set at 30% of last drawn salary: Govt

• Central Government has approved the Indian Banks’ Association’s (IBA) proposal to increase the family pension to 30% of the last salary drawn. The immediate benefit of this approval will be an increase of 30,000 to 35,000 in the family pension of public sector bank employees from a maximum of 9,284 per month, depending on the last drawn salary of the deceased bank employee.

• The other big announcement is an increase in the employer banks’ contribution to the pension fund of employees under the NPS (National Pension System) from the existing 10 per cent to 14 per cent. Approximately 60% of public sector bank employees are covered under NPS

RBI extends scope of tokenisation to laptops, wearable devices

• In 2019, RBI had permitted authorized card payment networks to offer card tokenisation services to any token requestor (i.e., third-party app provider) through mobile phones and tablets. Now RBI has extended the scope of tokenization to include consumer devices – laptops, desktops, wearables (wristwatches, bands, etc.), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, etc.

• The permission for tokenization extends to various channels [e.g., Near Field Communication (NFC) / Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) based contactless transactions, in-app payments, QR code-based payments, etc.] or token storage mechanisms (cloud, secure element, trusted execution environment, etc. The ultimate responsibility for the card tokenization services rendered rests with the authorized card networks.

BharatPe launched ‘12% Club’ app, eyes $50 mn lending AUM

• BharatPe has launched a “12% Club” app that will allow consumers to invest and earn up to 12 per cent annual interest or borrow at a similar rate. BharatPe has partnered with LenDenClub (RBI-approved NBFC) for this app and lending arrangement.

• Consumers can invest their savings anytime by choosing to lend money on the “12% Club” app. Apart from this, consumers can avail of collateral-free loans of up to Rs 10 lakh on the 12 per cent Club app for a tenure of 3 months.

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Important Current Affairs 26th August 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Infosys becomes fourth Indian firm to touch $100 billion market cap

• The shares of Information Technology major, Infosys hit a record high during intraday trading, which helped the company cross $100 billion in market capitalisation. Infosys is the fourth Indian company to achieve this milestone. Reliance Industries (m-cap of $140 billion), Tata Consultancy Services (m-cap $115 billion) and HDFC Bank (m-cap $100.1 billion) are the other Indian firms in the club with Infosys.

• Infosys has been one of the fastest-growing companies in India, providing business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services. In the quarter ending June 2021, Infosys reported a net consolidated profit of ₹5,195 crores, showing a growth of 2.3 per cent.

NATIONAL

Anurag Thakur to start off 'Iconic Week' as part of Azadi Ka Amrit

• Union minister for information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur has kicked off a series of activities to celebrate the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ starting August 23. The series of events will go on till August 29. The activities organised by the ministry will aim to ‘showcase the convergence of the values and glories of the freedom struggle of the past with the aspirations and dreams of a young, new and iconic India’.

• Thakur kicks off the ‘Iconic Week’ which attract participation from across the country under the overall spirit of ‘Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan’. During the Iconic Week, the ministry showcases the journey of new India and celebrate the contribution of freedom fighters, including the ‘Unsung Heroes of the freedom struggle, through massive outreach activities.

Ministry of Jal Shakti launched 100 days 'SUJALAM' Campaign

• Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched a ‘100 days campaign’ named SUJALAM to create more and more Open Defecation Free (ODF) Plus villages by undertaking wastewater management at the village level.

• The Campaign would help in the management of the wastewater and in turn, would help to revive the water bodies through the creation of 1 million Soak-pits and also other Greywater management activities. The campaign started on August 25, 2021, is part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations.

BRICS NSA meeting: Ajit Doval raises cross-border terrorism issue

• The 11th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives Responsible for National Security was held, via video conferencing. The National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval hosted the meeting since India is the chair for the 2021 BRICS summit. The 15th BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in September 2021. The BRICS meeting of the NSA provided a platform for the five countries to strengthen political-security cooperation.

• Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Gen Patrushev, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jeichi, South African Deputy Minister of State Security Ncediso Goodenough Kodwa and Gen Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, Minister of State and Head of the Institutional Security Cabinet of the Presidency of Brazil attended the high-level meeting.

India-Kazakhstan joint training exercise 'KAZIND-21' to commence on August 30

• The 5th edition of Indo- Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise, “KAZIND-21” will be held from August 30 to September 11, 2021, at Training Node, Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan. The joint training exercise will boost the bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan Armies. The Exercise is also a platform for the Armed Forces of India & Kazakhstan to train for Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations in the mountainous, rural scenarios under UN mandate.

• The Indian Army contingent represented by a battalion of the Bihar Regiment consists of a total of 90 personnel led by a Contingent Commander. The Kazakhstan Army will be represented by a company group. The scope of Joint Exercise includes professional exchange, planning & execution of the operation in counterterrorism environment at sub-unit level and sharing expertise on skills at arms, combat shooting and experiences in Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations.

SPORTS

Tokyo Paralympics: Javelin thrower Tek Chand lead India's charge during Opening Ceremony

• Mariyappan Thangavelu, 2016 Rio Paralympic Games gold medalist will be replaced by Asian Games gold medalist Tekchand as the new flag-bearer of India at the opening ceremony. The Paralympic Committee of India reported, “On his flight to Tokyo, Mariyappan came in close contact with a Covid positive foreign passenger.

• Though on reaching the village he has been tested for 6 days and all his reports are negative, but the Organizing Committee has advised not to make Mariyaapan participate in the Opening Ceremony. India will be represented by 54 para-athletes.

OBITUARY

British comedian Sean Lock passed away at 58

• British comedian Sean Lock has passed away. He was one of Britain’s finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work, marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.

• In the year 2000, Sean Lock had won the gong at the British Comedy Awards for the best live stand-up performance.

Olympian and former national football coach SS Hakim passed away at 82

• Syed Shahid Hakim, former India footballer and member of the last national team that played in the 1960 Rome Olympics, passed away. Hakim ‘saab’, as he was popularly known, was 82 years old. In his more than five-decade association with Indian football, Hakim, a Dronacharya Awardee, has also been an assistant coach to late PK Banerjee during the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.

• Hakim has been a FIFA badge holder international referee having officiated in Asian Club Cup games and was also conferred with the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award. A former Squadron Leader of the Indian Air Force, Hakim was also a Regional Director of Sports Authority of India and his last assignment was as Project Director in charge of scouting before the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Sri Basava International Award for seer of Bhalki Hiremath

• Karnataka government has selected Sri Basavalinga Pattaddevaru, senior seer of Bhalki Hiremath, for the prestigious Sri Basava International Award. Minister for Kannada and Culture V. Sunil Kumar will present the award at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bengaluru. The septuagenarian seer has spent over five decades in the Lingayat religious institution in the Bidar district.

• The centre was set up in 2003 when an abandoned baby from Ujani village near Aurad in Bidar district was adopted. The seer moved the court to adopt the child. The Central and State governments later recognised the centre as an authorised Central adoption resource agency.

RANKING

India emerges as second most attractive manufacturing hub globally

• India has emerged as a global manufacturing hub and effectively surpassed the United States to become the world’s second most desired manufacturing destination. This indicates the growing interest in India by manufacturers as a preferred manufacturing hub over other countries including the United States and the manufacturing giant nation, China. India’s ranking was reflected in Cushman & Wakefield’s 2021 Global Manufacturing Risk Index. The index ranks 47 countries across Europe, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific.

• Based on the most favourable locations for international manufacturing, Cushman & Wakefield’s Manufacturing Risk Index report ranks countries based on a range of factors including:

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Important Current Affairs 25th August 2021

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NATIONAL

NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute India Jointly Launch ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India

• NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute (WRI), India, jointly launched the ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India. NITI Aayog is the implementing partner for India. The aim of the project is to bring down the peak level of GHG emissions (transport sector) in Asia (in line with a well below 2-degree pathway), resulting in problems like congestion and air pollution.

• The Forum has been launched under the NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project. The NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA 2020-2023) is a joint programme of seven organizations that will engage China, India, and Vietnam in promoting a comprehensive approach to decarbonizing transport in their respective countries.

India's Afghanistan evacuation mission termed 'Operation Devi Shakti'

• The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has given a name to India’s complex mission of evacuating its citizens from war-torn Afghanistan, as ‘Operation Devi Shakti’. The name of the operation was known when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar mentioned it in a tweet on August 24 while referring to the arrival of a fresh batch of 78 evacuees in Delhi.

• India began the complex evacuation mission by airlifting 40 Indians from Kabul to Delhi on August 16, a day after the Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital city. So far, India has evacuated over 800 people amid a deteriorating security situation in Kabul and scramble by various nations to rescue their citizens.

Festival Wanchuwa celebrated in Assam 2021

• Tiwa tribesmen perform their traditional dnac eas they take part in Wanchuwa Festival in Assam. This festival is celebrated by Tiwa tribesmen to mark their good harvest. It comes with songs, dances, a bunch of rituals and people clad in their native attires.

• Tiwa is also known as Lalung is an indigenous community inhabiting the states of Assam and Meghalaya and are also found in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. They are recognized as a Scheduled tribe within the state of Assam. They practice Jhum or shifting cultivation.

SPORTS

Shaili Singh bags Long Jump silver in WAU20 Championships

• Shaili Singh claimed the women’s Long Jump silver medal in the World Athletics U20 Championships. Her slight wind-aided effort of 6.59m was only 1cm short of the gold medal jump by Sweden’s Maja Askag but her silver medal ensured that Indian athletics continues to showcase the progress it has been making.

• Shaili Singh’s was India’s third medal in the World Athletics U20 Championships, coming after the bronze won by the Mixed Team in the 4x400m Relay and the silver by Amit Khatri in the men’s 10,000m Race Walk. India finished 21st on the medal table, aware that a gold would have lifted it to the top 15.

APPOINTMENT & RESIGNATION

A K Singh appointed as the joint secretary in Ministry of Cooperation

• Abhay Kumar Singh has been appointed as joint secretary in the Ministry of Cooperation. This ministry was recently formed with an aim to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country. The appointment of Abhay Kumar Singh has been cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Modi.

• Singh, a 2004-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Bihar cadre, has been appointed as joint secretary in the ministry for a combined tenure of seven years against the newly created post.

SUMMIT'S & MOU's

Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2021

• The World Economic Forum’s annual Sustainable Development Impact Summit will take place on September 20-23, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s event will focus strongly on inclusively revitalizing economies. The United Nations General Assembly, the summit convenes under the theme “Shaping an Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery”. It will welcome almost all leaders from government, business and civil society who will work together to drive action and build momentum for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

• The meeting will examine four interdependent areas and bring together communities of purpose to advance ongoing project work.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book “Mission Domination: An Unfinished Quest” authored by Boria Majumdar & Kushan Sarkar

• A new book titled “Mission Domination: An Unfinished Quest” authored by Boria Majumdar & Kushan Sarkar. The Book Published by Simon & Schuster Publisher India Private Limited.

• The Book talks about the short story of several Indian cricketers life events such as Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, R. Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara.

Book titled ‘Battlefield’ authored by Vishram Bedekar

• A book titled ‘Battlefield’ has been authored by Vishram Bedekar, translated from the Marathi original Ranaangan by Jerry Pinto.

• The book is the story of a shipboard romance between an Indian man and a German-Jewish woman, both fleeing Europe before the Second World War.

Book ‘Address Book: A Publishing Memoir in the time of COVID’ by Ritu Menon

• A book titled has ‘Address Book: A Publishing Memoir in the time of COVID’ by Ritu Menon. Menon, who co-founded Kali for Women, India’s first feminist press in 1983, is founder-director of Women Unlimited, an associate of KfW.

• Weeks after the March 2020 lockdown began, Menon started to write a diary.

RANKING

Safe Cities Index 2021

• Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, has been named as the world’s safest city from among 60 global cities, in Safe Cities Index 2021, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Copenhagen scored 82.4 points out of 100, to top the fourth edition of the EIU’s biennial index, which measures the level of urban safety. Yangon is at the bottom of the index, as least safe city, with a score of 39.5.

• New Delhi and Mumbai have found a place in the index. New Delhi is placed at 48th position with a score of 56.1, while Mumbai is at 50th place with a score of 54.4.

World’s top 5 Safest cities

• Copenhagen

• Toronto

• Singapore

• Sydney

• Tokyo

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