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Jitendra Singh released ‘Biotech-PRIDE’ Guidelines, 1st of its kind by DBTi.On July 30, 2021, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science & Technology released ‘Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) Guidelines’ developed by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology.
ii.These Guidelines will be implemented through Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) at Regional Centre for Biotechnology supported by DBT.
iii.The Minister also launched the website of IBDC.
iv.Biotech-PRIDE is the 1st of its kind by the DBT.
About Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
Establishment– 1986 under the Ministry of Science & Technology
Secretary– Dr. Renu Swarup
Headquarters– New Delhi
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JICA Tie up with IITH for Technical Cooperation Project – FRIENDSHIP Phase IIIn July 2021, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a Record of Discussions with the Indian government to strengthen its technical cooperation project with the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) – Phase 2 of FRIENDSHIP (Future Researchers at IITH to Enhance Network Development with Scholarship).
- Under Phase 2 of FRIENDSHIP, JICA experts will be dispatched to IITH for launching the Japan Desk at IITH, conducting student exchange programmes, and providing JICA research funds to enhance research and technology development and industrial collaboration between India and Japan.
Collaboration between JICA and IITH:
i.JICA and IITH started their collaboration in 2007 and so far, they have worked under different projects for technical cooperation, research, public-private partnership, etc. They have also offered Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loans for campus development.
ii.FRIENDSHIP is the core project between them, it was initiated from 2nd January 2011 for a period of 8 years till 31st March 2020 to establish a sustainable platform for academic and industrial collaboration between India and Japan at IITH.
iii.So far under Phase 1 of FRIENDSHIP, IITH has signed 32 MoUs with Japanese universities and 15 MOUs between IITH and Japan industries. The project has provided scholarships for 116 beneficiaries, and exchanged 271 faculty members between Japan and IITH.
About Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA):
Headquarters – Tokyo, Japan
President – Shinichi Kitaoka
Intel Launched ‘AI For All’ Initiative In partnership with CBSE
Intel collaborated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and launched the initiative ‘AI For All’ under its ‘AI For Citizens’ programme to create a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for Indian people. It plans to introduce AI to 1 million people in its 1st year of launch.
- The 4-hour self-paced learning programme ‘AI For All’ will explain AI in an easier way, it is available in 11 vernacular languages and it is divided into two sections such as AI Awareness (1.5 hours) and AI Appreciation (2.5 hours).
36th Edition of CORPAT held between Indian and Indonesian NaviesThe 36th Edition of Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) was held between the Navies of India and Indonesia from July 30-31, 2021 in the Indian Ocean region (IOR).
i.Indian Naval ship (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) along with Indonesian Naval ship KRI Bung Tomo took part in the coordinated patrol.
ii.It aims to enhance the maritime cooperation between the two navies and forge strong bonds of friendship across the Indo Pacific region.
iii. The patrol was held in “A non-contact, at sea only” format in view of the pandemic.
iv.Under SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region) mission, Indian Navy has been actively partnering with countries in the littoral states of Indian ocean to enhance maritime security in the region.
- SAGAR was launched in 2015, It is India’s strategic vision for IOR.
- Coordinated Patrol has been conducted twice a year since 2002 by India and Indonesia along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
- It ensures safety and security for commercial shipping, international trade and conduct of legitimate activities in the Indian Ocean region.
About Indian Navy
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) – Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Navy) – New Delhi
President – Joko Widodo
capital – Jakarta
currency – Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
Overview of US Secretary Antony Blinken’s visit to IndiaThe Secretary of State of the United States (US), Antony Blinken visited India from July 27-28, 2021. This is Blinken’s 1st visit to India after assuming charge as Secretary of State.
- The visit is aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two countries and to expand cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region under the Quad Framework (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue).
USD 25 million for India’s COVID-19 Vaccination Programme
The US Government announced an additional USD 25 million (~ INR 186 Crores) to support India’s COVID-19 Vaccination programme. The fund will be provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
US, India Agree to Expand Multilateral Security Partnership
India and the US agreed to expand their Multilateral Security Partnership. Both countries are concerned about the growing influence of China in the Asia-Pacific & Indo-Pacific region.
About United States (US)
Capital – Washington, D.C.
Currency – United States Dollar (USD)
President – Joe Biden
>>Read Full News
Lok Sabha passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment Bill), 2021The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment Bill), 2021 presented by Minister of State for Corporate Affairs, Rao Inderjit Singh was passed in the Parliament without any discussions. The bill proposes a pre-packaged insolvency resolution process for Corporate debtors under the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) Development Act, 2006.
- It will replace the Insolvency Amendment Ordinance 2021 promulgated by the President Ram Nath Kovind on April 4, 2021.
- The Ordinance amended the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
i.The bill specifies a minimum threshold of not more than INR 1 crore for initiating the pre-packaged insolvency resolution process (Government has already prescribed the threshold of INR 10 Lakh for this purpose).
ii.It provides penalty for fraudulent or malicious initiation of pre-packaged insolvency resolution process or with intent to defraud persons.
About Ministry of Corporate Affairs
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman (Rajya Sabha – Karnataka)
Minister of State – Rao Inderjit Singh (Lok Sabha – Gurgaon, Haryana)
>>Read Full News
NFL & RCF sign MoU with IFFCO for ‘Transfer of Technology’ of Nano Urea Liquid
National Fertilisers Limited (NFL) & Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Ltd (RCF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) for ‘Transfer of Technology’ of fertiliser Nano Urea Liquid.
- The MoU will enhance the adaptability of Nano Urea by farmers which will help in increased saving to farmers and Government subsidies.
- Nano Urea is manufactured by IFFCO; India is the 1st country globally to start commercial production of Nano Urea.
Improper use of Chemical Fertilizers is causing water pollution and air pollution, Nano urea being an eco-friendly product will protect the health of the soil and will result in reducing the use of urea by upto 50%.
India chaired 6th meeting of BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group 2021On July 28-29, 2021, the 6th meeting of the BRICS Counter Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) 2021 was held virtually which was chaired by Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary for Counter-Terrorism, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).India Chaired the Meeting.
- During the meeting they finalized the BRICS Counter Terrorism Action Plan.
- All BRICS nations viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa participated in the meeting.
i.During the meeting BRICS countries exchanged views on terrorism threat assessment at national, regional and global level.
ii.They also agreed to further enhance counter terrorism cooperation in line with the Action Plan of the BRICS Counter Terrorism Strategy which was BRICS leaders in 2020.
iii.The Action Plan is one of the key deliverables during India’s Chairship of BRICS for increasing intra-BRICS collaboration on combating terrorism, radicalisation, financing of terrorism, misuse of the Internet by terrorists.
- It will also curb travel of terrorists, strengthen border control and protect soft targets.
iv.The BRICS CTWG meeting was preceded by the five thematic sub-working groups on misuse of Internet for terrorist purpose, deradicalisation, countering terrorist financing, capacity building and countering foreign terrorist fighters, held on July 26-27, 2021.
BRICS represents 41 per cent of the global population, 24 percent of the global GDP and 16 per cent of the global trade.
2021 Chair – India
2021 India’s Theme – ‘BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’.
Mumbai, Bangalore Ranked above 100 in QS Best Student Cities 2022Mumbai, Maharashtra and Bangalore, Karnataka ranked above 100 in the ‘QS Best Student Cities 2022’ ranking of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, they became the only 2 cities to get ranked from India.
- Mumbai ranked as 52nd among the top 100 cities globally in the ‘employer activity’ indicator and Bangalore, Karnataka ranked 42nd among the top-10 under the indicator of ‘affordable cities’ for students.
- QS Best Student Cities 2022 is the annual ranking used to provide an overview to international students for the best places to live and study around the world based on the current students’ opinions on affordability, quality of life, and the standard of University.
Overall QS – Best Student Cities 2022 Ranking:
|1||London (United Kingdom)|
|3||Seoul (South Korea) and Tokyo (Japan)|
About QS Quacquarelli Symonds:
Establishment – 1990
Headquarters – United Kingdom
Founder and CEO – Nunzio Quacquarelli
Rajnath Singh Attends SCO Defence Ministers Conclave 2021 held at Dushanbe, TajikistanDefence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Dushanbe, Capital of Tajikistan from July 27-29, 2021 to participate in the annual meeting of the Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states.
i.The SCO Defence Ministers Meeting 2021 was held on 28th July 2021. It was chaired by Tajikistan (2021 SCO Presidency Chair).
ii.During the visit, Rajnath Singh reviewed the progress of the key Highway being built by India’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in Dushanbe.
iii.The next meeting of the Defence Ministers was agreed to be held in Uzbekistan in 2022.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
Secretary-General – Vladimir Norov
Headquarters – Beijing, China
Chairmanship of 2021 – Tajikistan
Total Members – 8 (China,India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)
>>Read Full News
BANKING & FINANCE
MSME Loan Disbursals Rise 40% in FY21: SIDBI-TransUnion Cibil MSME Pulse ReportAs per the report of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) lender SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) and Transunion-Cibil, MSME Pulse – Edition XII, the value of new loans disbursed to the MSME sector in FY21 (COVID-19 period) was Rs.9.5 lakh crore, 40% higher than Rs.6.8 lakh crore in FY20 (pre-COVID-19 period).
- It was mainly supported by the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), the government’s initiative under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat programme.
- Credit Growth: India’s total on-balance sheet commercial lending exposure in March 2021 stood at Rs 74.36 lakh crores with a YOY (Year-on-Year) growth rate of 0.6 percent in which, the MSME sector’s credit exposure was about Rs 20.21 lakh crores with 6.6 percent YOY growth rate.
- NPA Rate: Due to the strong credit inflow, the NPA (Non-Performing Assets) rates of MSMEs in March 2021 was controlled at 12.5 percent compared with 12.6 percent in March 2020.
About Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS):
i.It was launched by the Finance Ministry in May 2020 as a part of the Government’s ‘Atma Nirbhar’ to provide credit Rs 3 lakh crore unsecured loans to COVID-19 hit MSMEs.
ii.Under ECLGS 3.0, the scope of ECLGS was extended to new sectors, such as hospitality, travel and tourism, and the lending under it was extended till September 30, 2021.
iii.Under ECLGS, 100 percent guarantee coverage was provided by NCGTC (National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company) to public and private banks and NBFCs (Non-banking Finance Companies).
>>Read Full News
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
‘Guido Bellido’ becomes the new Prime Minister of PeruPeruvian President Pedro Castillo named Guido Bellido as the New Prime Minister of Peru. He will hold power from 2021-26.
i.Bellido belongs to the Free Peru party and previously worked in the statistics agency of the Peru government.
ii.On 28th July, Pedro Castillo Terrones took charge as the 63rd President of Peru
iii.The Peru parliament is known as Congress.
Fact – Peru is the World’s No. 2 Copper producer (Chile is leading Copper producer).
Capital – Lima
Currency – Sol
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
OMERS Acquired 19.4% Stake in Azure Power Global for $219 million from IFCCanadian pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (OMERS) acquired a 19.4 percent stake in Azure Power Global for $219 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and IFC GIF Investment Company.
- Azure Power was India’s 1st renewable energy company to get listed on the US stock market (New York Stock Exchange).
- It is OMERS 2nd direct infrastructure investment in India after the 2019 investment of $121 million for a 22.4 percent stake in the IndInfravit Trust toll road platform.
- In May 2021, India has granted income tax exemption to OMERS Administration Corporation for infrastructure investments in India.
- Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Brookfield Asset Management were some of the other Canadian investors in India.
i.India has set a target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro-power.
ii.The Central Electricity Authority estimated India’s power requirement in 2030 by 817GW with more than half from clean energy and 280GW from solar energy.
Note – PTT Public Company Limited (PTT Group) announced its acquisition of a 41.6 percent stake in Avaada Energy Pvt. Ltd for around $454 million.
About Azure Power Global
Headquarters – New Delhi
CEO – Ranjit Gupta
About International Finance Corporation (IFC):
It is one of the 5 organizations of the World Bank (WB).
Headquarters – Washington DC, United States (US)
MD – Makhtar Diop
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Ordnance factory Tiruchirappalli launched high-tech carbine ‘TriCa’The Ordnance factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT) in Tamil Nadu launched a new high-tech and low sound weapon called TriCa (Trichy Carbine), a mini version of the Trichy Assault Rifle (TAR). It was unveiled by General Manager of OFT Sanjay Dwivedi, IOFS (Indian Ordnance Factories Service) during a function.
- It was developed by the in-house research and development unit of the Ordnance Factory.
Features of TriCa:
Size: 7.62 X 39 mm portable weapon launched on the carbine platform
Weight: 3.17 kg (including the magazine) and
Range: 150 to 175 metre
i.TriCa is lighter as compared to the assault rifles with a range more effective than a typical sub-machine gun.
ii.It is a compact weapon to be packed in the jacket of security personnel.
iii.It is designed for the infantry combat vehicle, helicopter crew, security personnel for operations, and also for paratroopers, police and security personnel guarding highly secure facilities such as airports, and for use by the Special Operation Forces.
iv.TriCa has a special muzzle booster which helps in hiding the flash and mitigating the sound when fired.
v.It can use ammunition, magazines as well as the interchangeable parts of general assault rifles (TAR and AK-47-Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947).
About Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT):
It is under the aegis of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Ministry of Defence (MoD), Government of India.
ESA launches ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ – World’s 1st Commercial Re-Programmable Satellite into SpaceEuropean Space Agency (ESA) launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ – the world’s 1st commercial reprogrammable satellite into space aboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. It is a fully flexible software-defined satellite.
i.The satellite has been developed under an European Space Agency partnership project with satellite operator Eutelsat, Airbus & Surrey Satellite Technology.
ii.An reprogrammable satellite allows the user to repurpose it even after being launched into orbit. It can be reprogrammed in real-time to suit the changing purposes of the user.
iii.The Quantum satellite is capable of responding to changing demands for data transmission and secure communication during its lifespan of 15 years and will cover the areas from West Africa to Asia.
>>Read Full News
Bangladesh Folk Singer Fakir Alamgir Passes Away
Bangladesh’s folk singer Fakir Alamgir passed away in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was born in Faridpur, Bangladesh. He was awarded Ekushey Padak (Bangladesh’s 2nd highest civilian award) in 1999 by the Government of Bangladesh. His popular songs include ‘O Sokhina Gesos Kina’, ‘Shantahar’, ‘Nelson Mandela’, ‘Naam Tar Chhilo John Henry’, ‘Banglar Comrade Bondhu’, etc.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Captain Ramesh Babu Authored a New Book Titled “My Own Mazagon”
Captain Ramesh Babu, has authored a new book titled “My Own Mazagon: The History of a Little Island in the Bombay Archipelago”. The book published by Indus Source Books features the history and story of Mazagon, the island which was merged into a single entity as Bombay.
- The book was jointly released by Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad(retired), Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited
- Capt Ramesh Babu, from Kerala, has retired from his engineering career in the Indian Navy and Mazagon Dock.
- Other books authored by Capt. Babu: “After You Sir: A Collection of School Stories” and “Calicut Heritage Trails”.
Sanjay Gubbi’s Book on Leopard- ‘Leopard Diaries – the Rosette in India’ Wildlife Biologist, Sanjay Gubbi authored a book about Leopard titled ‘Leopard Diaries – the Rosette in India’, in which he says about the food habits, ecological context, and conservation of Leopard along with the suggestions to overcome leopard–human conflict.
- The book also details Sanjay Gubbi’s practical engagement as a conflict manager, adviser to the State government, and leopard PR (Public Relations) person.
- The book was published by Westland
About the Author:
i.Sanjay Gubbi is a wildlife biologist, Scientist (Western Ghats), working on the conservation of large carnivores like tigers and leopards.
ii.He was awarded Whitley Award (popularly known as the Green Oscars) (2017) and the Co-Existence Award (2019) among several others, for his work.
Leopard: It is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the cat family, Felidae. As per the government’s report, Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of leopards, about 26 percent of the total number estimated in the country.
World Ranger Day 2021 – 31 JulyWorld Ranger Day is annually observed across the globe on 31st July to commemorate the Rangers who are injured or killed in the line of their duty. The day also recognises the contribution of rangers across the globe in protecting the natural and cultural heritage.
The day also marks the foundation of the International Ranger Federation (IRF). IRF was founded on 31st July 1992.
The theme of World Ranger Day 2021 is “Ranger Safety and Wellbeing”.
i.World Ranger Day is an initiative of the International Ranger Federation (IRF) promoted by its official charity Thin Green Line Foundation.
ii.The first-ever World Ranger Day was observed on 31st July 2007, the 15th Anniversary of the founding of the IRF.
About International Ranger Federation (IRF):
President– Chris Galliers
Founded on 31 July 1992 in Peak National Park in the United Kingdom.
>>Read Full News
Karnataka, 1st Indian state to provide 1% Horizontal Reservation for Transgender in Govt ServicesKarnataka has become the first state in the country to provide 1% horizontal reservation for the transgender in each category of general, Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) for all government services after amending the Rule 9 Sub Rule (1D) Karnataka Civil Service (General Recruitment) Rule, 1977.
- The information for the same was provided to the division bench of the Karnataka high court headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka.
- The notification for the same was already issued on July 6, 2021.
i.1% reservation specifies all general as well as reserve categories for the third gender.
- In case of non-availability of transgender candidates, the job could be given to male or female from the same category
ii.There should not be any discrimination to the transgenders in the process of selection.
Initially, the state government proposed to consider reservation for transgender persons under one of the OBC categories. This amendment is the result of Jeeva NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) petition who sought reservation for transgender persons in a horizontal manner.
- A draft notification issued on May 13, 2021 proposed to amend Rule 9 for the purpose.
Chief Minister– Basavaraj Bommai
National Parks- Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoological Park, Bandipur National Park, and Bannerghatta National Park
MSIP Signed MoU with Invest India to Boost Meghalaya’s tradeMeghalaya State Investment Promotion (MSIP) Society has signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Invest India, an investment promotion agency under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to promote the trade and industries of Meghalaya.
- The MoU was signed in Delhi, in the presence of Conrad K Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, His advisor Thomas A Sangma and Government Chief Whip Marcuise N Marak.
CM Conrad K Sangma emphasized promoting trade with neighbouring countries through formalising the existing system.
To support the investment opportunities in the development sectors to enhance the trade and industries in Meghalaya.
Features of the MoU:
i.Under this MoU, Invest India will support the planning of the global value chain.
ii.This targets both short and long term plans, which will enhance the entrepreneurial system across the state along with focusing on promoting one product, one district programme.
iii.The immediate targets are focused on promoting the startups along with the value addition of products like Lakadong Turmeric, Eri Silk, Mushroom, Pineapple and Jackfruit.
Additional info: The Northeast Desk of Invest India has been working on creating market linkage of Lakadong turmeric and import substitution with other products like pineapple and honey from Ri Bhoi, Meghalaya.
Governor– Satya Pal Malik
Wildlife Sanctuaries– Siju Wildlife Sanctuary; Narpuh Wildlife Sanctuary; Baghmara Pitcher Plant Wildlife Sanctuary; Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary
National Parks- Nokrek Ridge National Park; Balpakram National Park
About Invest India:
Managing Director & CEO– Deepak Bagla
Headquarters– New Delhi
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 1 & 2 August 2021|
|1||MoS Jitendra Singh released ‘Biotech-PRIDE’ Guidelines, 1st of its kind by DBT|
|2||JICA Tie up with IITH for Technical Cooperation Project – FRIENDSHIP Phase II|
|3||Intel Launched ‘AI For All’ Initiative In partnership with CBSE|
|4||36th Edition of CORPAT held between Indian and Indonesian Navies|
|5||Overview of US Secretary Antony Blinken’s visit to India|
|6||Lok Sabha passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment Bill), 2021|
|7||NFL & RCF sign MoU with IFFCO for ‘Transfer of Technology’ of Nano Urea Liquid|
|8||India chaired 6th meeting of BRICS Counter-Terrorism Working Group 2021|
|9||Mumbai, Bangalore Ranked above 100 in QS Best Student Cities 2022|
|10||Rajnath Singh Attends SCO Defence Ministers Conclave 2021 held at Dushanbe, Tajikistan|
|11||MSME Loan Disbursals Rise 40% in FY21: SIDBI-TransUnion Cibil MSME Pulse Report|
|12||‘Guido Bellido’ becomes the new Prime Minister of Peru|
|13||OMERS Acquired 19.4% Stake in Azure Power Global for $219 million from IFC|
|14||Ordnance factory Tiruchirappalli launched high-tech carbine ‘TriCa’|
|15||ESA launches ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ – World’s 1st Commercial Re-Programmable Satellite into Space|
|16||Bangladesh’s legendary folk singer Fakir Alamgir passes away|
|17||Captain Ramesh Babu Authored a New Book Titled “My Own Mazagon”|
|18||Sanjay Gubbi’s Book on Leopard- ‘Leopard Diaries – the Rosette in India’|
|19||World Ranger Day 2021 – 31 July|
|20||Karnataka, 1st Indian state to provide 1% Horizontal Reservation for Transgender in Govt Services|
|21||MSIP Signed MoU with Invest India to Boost Meghalaya’s trade|