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Current Affairs 14 , 15 & 16 August 2022

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MoSJ&E Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar launched ‘SMILE-75 Initiative’

On August 12, 2022, the Union Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJ&E) launched a ‘SMILE-75 Initiative’ at a Shelter Home (Rain Basera) near Nizammudin Metro Station in New Delhi (Delhi), as  a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

  • SMILE is an acronym for Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise.
  • Under this initiative, the Central Government has identified 75 Municipal Corporations to implement comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in the act of begging.

About SMILE-75 Initiative:
The MOSJ&E has allocated a total budget of Rs 100 crore for the SMILE project till 2025-26. It envisions developing a support mechanism for holistic rehabilitation of those engaged in the act of begging and to make sure that no person is forced to beg in order to survive and fulfil their basic needs.
To make cities/town and municipal areas begging-free
How will this project be implemented?
This project includes a sub-scheme of comprehensive rehabilitation for persons engaged in begging which covers identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, and education, skill development for decent job, self-employment / entrepreneurship, and convergence with other Government welfare programs etc.

  • The selected 75 Municipal Corporations in collaboration with NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization) and other stakeholders will implement this.

The identified 75 Municipal Corporations, experts from the field of beggary and eminent NGOs participated in this nationwide launch through online and offline mode.

Income Tax Payers will Not be allowed in Atal Pension Yojana from October 1, 2022No income tax payers in Atal Pension Yojana from October 1i.As per the Ministry of Finance notification, those who pay income tax will not be allowed to enrol in the Government’s Social Security Scheme Atal Pension Yojana (APY) from October 1, 2022.
ii.This decision has been taken to ensure better targeting of pension benefits to underserved sections of the population.
iii.This notification will not apply to subscribers who have joined or join the scheme before October 1, 2022.
iv.In case a subscriber, who joined on or after October 1, 2022, is found to have been an income tax payer on or before the date of application, the APY account will be closed and the accumulated pension wealth till date would be given to the subscriber.
About Ministry of Finance:
Union Minister– Nirmala Sitharaman (Constituency – RajyaSabha, Karnataka)
Ministers of State– Pankaj Chaudhary (Constituency – Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh); Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad (Constituency – Rajya sabha Maharashtra)
>> Read Full News

Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve became 5th  Elephant Reserve in Tamil Nadu

The government of Tamil Nadu notified Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve as its 5th Elephant Reserve with a total area of 1,19,748.26 hectares at Agasthyamalai in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari district on the occasion of World Elephant Day 2022 (12 August). Elephants play a critical role in balancing forest ecosystems.

  • Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve will become the 32nd Elephant Reserve of India.
  • The KMTR (Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve) field director will be the field coordinator of the new elephant reserve.

In 2018, the 30th Singphan ER was notified in Nagaland.
About Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve (ER):
i.The Government of India (GoI) has expressed its consent for the establishment of the ER for the purpose of elephant conservation in July 2022, following which the Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve was designated as India’s 32nd ER and Tamil Nadu’s 5th ER.
ii.The new elephant reserve will ensure the conservation of the rich elephant habitats in the area and also enrich the health and connectivity of the elephant migratory paths in the landscape through proper research and effective management.
iii.According to the notification, the forest areas of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary in Agasthyamalai landscape constitute the most important habitats of Asian elephants in the southernmost part of the western ghats.
Additional information:
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (EF&CC) Bhupender Yadav, announced the notification of one more elephant reserve (ER) in Tamil Nadu during a programme in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala on August 12, 2022.
Elephants in India:
i.It is included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
ii.The Indian elephant is found in 16 states in the country and is showing an increasing trend across its distributional range. The population of the animals had become critically low in 1992.
iii.According to the elephant census conducted in 2017, the population of elephants in India has reached up to about 27,312.

  • According to the 2017 census, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).

Other Elephant Reserves in Tamil Nadu:

  1. Nilgiris – Eastern Ghat (Nilgiri Elephant Reserve: Nilgiris  Erode, Dharmapuri district.
  2. Nilambur  Silent Valley  Coimbatore Elephant Reserve (Nilambur Elephant Reserve ): Coimbatore, Nilgiris  District.
  3. Periyar Elephant Reserve (Srivilliputhur Elephant Reserve):Theni, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli district.
  4. Anamalai – Parambikulam Elephant Reserve (Anamalai Elephant Reserve): Coimbatore, Dindigul district.


Retail inflation softens to 6.71% in July 2022: NSO Data

According to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MoSPI), Retail inflation softened to 6.71% in July 2022 due to moderation in food prices.

  • However, it remained above the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) comfort level of 6% for the 7th consecutive month.

Key Points:
i.The Consumer Price Index (CPI) based retail inflation was at 7.01% in June 2022 and 5.59% in July 2021. It was above 7% from April to June FY22.

  • In Urban areas, the CPI Inflation rate lowered to 6.49% in July 2022 from 6.86% in June 2022.

ii.Food inflation in July moderated to 6.75% as against 7.75% in June 2022.
iii.The government has mandated the central bank to keep retail inflation at 4%, with a tolerance level of plus or minus 2% of that rate, which is 2-6 per cent.
iv.Industrial production rose 12.3% in June 2022 as compared with a 19.6% increase in May 2021.
v.Exports during April-July 2022-23 rose by 20.13% to USD 157.44 billion. While Imports during the four months increased by 48.12% to USD 256.43 billion.

  • India’s exports rose by 2.14 per cent to USD 36.27 billion in July while the trade deficit almost tripled to USD 30 billion during the month due to over 70 per cent rise in crude oil imports.
  • Imports shot up by 43.61% to USD 66.27 billion in July 2022 as compared to July 2021.

vi.The trade deficit stood at record USD 30 billion in July 2022.
vii.The estimated value of services export for July 2022 is USD 24.91 billion, exhibiting a positive growth of 28.69% year-on-year. Imports are estimated at USD 15.95 billion, a growth of 40.02%.
viii.The index grew 12.7 per cent April-June 2022 compared to a growth of 44.4 per cent in the same period a year ago.


London home of Dadabhai Naoroji gets Blue Plaque Honour 

The south London home at 72 Anerley Park, Penge, London, United Kingdom (UK), where Dadabhai Naoroji, a prominent member of the Indian freedom struggle and Britain’s first Indian parliamentarian, lived for around 8 years at the end of the 19th century, was honoured with a commemorative Blue Plaque.

  • The Blue Plaque scheme, run by the English Heritage charity since 1866, honours the historic significance of particular buildings across London.

Key points:
i.He was reported to have moved to Washington House, 72 Anerley Park, Penge, Bromley in 1897.
ii.That red-brick home now has a plaque which reads: “Dadabhai Naoroji 1825-1917 Indian Nationalist and MP lived here”.

  • His key text on Drain of Wealth theory – ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’ (1901) – was published while he was living over there.

iii.According to records, Washington House functioned as an important centre for the Indian community in London – a place where many Indians were invited and where Indians travelled to if they were in distress or in trouble.

  • Fellow Indian nationalists Romesh Chunder Dutt and Sister Nivedita are

known to have been guests at the house.
About Dadabhai Naoroji
i.He was born on  4 September 1825 in Navsari, Maharashtra. He  was an Indian political leader, merchant, scholar, writer and intellectual force in both India and Britain.
ii.He is a prominent member of the Indian freedom struggle and Britain’s first Indian parliamentarian. He is also  referred to as the “Grand Old Man of India” and “Unofficial Ambassador of India”

  • He went on to be elected on a Liberal ticket for the north London constituency of Finsbury Central at the general election of 1892 – making history as the first Indian to sit in the U.K. Parliament.

iii.He was also a member of the Welby Commission, set up by the British government to investigate wasteful spending in India.
iv.He proposed the famous Drain of Wealth theory which formed the basis of the classic Indian nationalist interpretation of British colonialism.

Razorpay Becomes the only Indian Company to be Listed on ‘Forbes Cloud 100 List’ of the Best Private Cloud Companies in the World
Razorpay Software Private Limited, India’s leading full-stack Payments and Banking Platform for Businesses, has become the 1st Indian company to be named in the 2022 Forbes Cloud 100 List of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world.

  • Razorpay has entered the Forbes list for the 2nd time and the rank has been listed at the 49th position for being a Financial Solutions Software. In 2021, Razorpay had ranked 57th position in the Forbes list.
  • Online payments processing company Stripe tops the list for the second consecutive year, valued at $95 billion.
  • This Forbes list has been published for the 6th time in partnership with Bessemer Venture Partners and Salesforce Ventures.

About the Forbes Cloud 100 List:
i.The Forbes Cloud 100 list recognizes extraordinary talents in the technology category from small startups to private-equity-backed giant companies.
ii.The selection panel consisting of 25 judges with majority of public cloud Chief Executive Officers, selected and ranked the top 100 companies using a combination of quantitative and qualitative factors.

  • The selection process involves 4 parameters that includes, estimated valuation (30 percent), operating metrics (20 percent), people and culture (15 percent) and market leadership (35 percent).

Note – Razorpay recently received the Payment Aggregator licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
About Razorpay Software Private Limited:
i.Razorpay, a full-stack financial services company helps Indian businesses with comprehensive and innovative solutions.
ii.Razorpay is the second Indian company to be a part of Silicon Valley’s largest tech accelerator, Y Combinator.
CEO and Co-founder – Harshil Mathur
Co- Founder – Shashank Kumar
Establishment – 2014
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka

Muthoot Finance bags Dun & Bradstreet award

Muthoot Finance Limited won ‘Best Growth Performance Award’ at Dun & Bradstreet’s 22nd edition of ‘India’s Top 500 Companies’ corporate awards under the category of Financial Institutions (FIs) / Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) / Financial Services.
The Dun & Bradstreet Corporate Awards 2022 will be virtually presented across 30+ categories including sectoral, growth-based and special award categories.

  • The theme for the Top 500 Companies 2022 publication is ‘ESG: The only way for sustainable and responsible growth’.

It showcased the growing importance of ‘environmental, social and governance’ (ESG) programmes in measuring long-term value and business resiliency.
Key points:
i.The top-500 list from Dun & Bradstreet, a global provider of business decisioning data and analytics, recognises private and public sector Indian enterprises across 60 sectors, based on their income, net profit, net worth and other financial parameters.
ii.For the first time ever, India’s Top 500 Companies will be ranked based on their ESG performance. The publication features a special listing of leading 500 corporates on their ESG performance.
iii.The  publication also features specific corporate case studies on Sustainability and ESG initiatives.
click here for the complete list of winners
About Muthoot Finance Limited:
Headquarters- Kochi, Kerala
Managing Director-George Alexander Muthoot


ADIA Invests Rs 665 Crore in Aditya Birla Health Insurance

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) will invest Rs 665 crore in Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited (ABHICL) for a 9.99 percent stake value.

  • This transaction has been approved by the board of directors of Aditya Birla Capital Limited (ABCL), the holding company for financial services of the aluminium to telecom conglomerate.

i.ABHICL, a health insurance company is a joint venture between Aditya Birla Capital and Momentum Metropolitan Strategic Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of South-African based Momentum Metropolitan holdings limited.
ii.Out of 99.99 Percent stake, Aditya Birla Capital will hold 45.91 percent and Momentum Metropolitan Strategic Investments will hold 44.10 percent.
iii.ABHICL will use this capital to support growth in the health insurance market in India.
About Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited (ABHICL):
CEO & Whole time Director – Mayank Bathwal
Establishment – 2016


Pooja Ojha wins India’s first ever medal at Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships

On August 5, 2022, Madhya Pradesh (MP) para athlete  Pooja Ojha won the silver medal in VL1 Women’s 200m Race final with a timing of 1:34.18 at the 2022 ICF(International Canoe Federation) Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships

  • The championship was organized in Halifax, Canada (3-7 August 2022). This is the first ever medal India won at the 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships.
  • Germany’s player Lillemore Koper won the Gold medal in VL1 Women’s 200m Race with a time of 1:29.79.

i.Two players from India had qualified for this competition. One is Pooja Ojha and the other is Surendra Kumar. Surendra Kumar finished fifth in the VL1 men’s 200m series. Surendra completed his race in 1:22.97 time.
ii.Pooja Ojha won the gold medal six times in the National Championship and was the first woman from India to qualify for the Worlds.

  • She was ranked 6th in the qualifying championship for the Para Olympics 2021 and currently ranked ninth among the world’s top para canoe players.


Noted Kannadiga Singer Shivamogga Subbanna Passes Away in Bengaluru

The 83-year-old National award-winning singer Shivamogga Subbanna passed away in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
About Shivamogga Subbanna
i.Shivamogga Subbanna was the 1st Kannadiga singer to win a National Award in 1979 for playback singing the song ‘Kaadu Kudure Odi Banditta’ in the film Kaadu Kudure.

  • He became famous in Karnataka after the song, ‘Baarisu Kannada Dindimava’, written by Rashtrakavi Kuvempu.

ii.He is well known for his work in the field of ‘Sugama Sangeetha’, a genre in which a poetry in Kannada is set to music and was also a singer with Akashvani and Doordarshan.

  • He has worked on and sung poetries of famous poets such as Kuvempu and Da Ra Bendre, and got several awards and honours. He had also worked as an advocate.

iii.In late 1970s and 1980s, Shivamogga Subbanna has sung many tatva pada, the songs that convey moral or religious ideas in an easy manner of Saint Shishunala Sharief along with NS Lakshminarayana Bhatta.
i.Awards – He was awarded with Kannada Kampu award (2006), an honorary doctorate from Kuvempu University in 2008 and Sundarashri Award (2009).
ii.In 2009, a biography on Subbanna’s life and achievements titled ‘Gauravaanvita Gaayaka Subbanna’ was published.

  • During the launch event, he was called a ‘synonym for melody and affability’ by the famous Kannada poet GS Shivarudrappa.


World Organ Donation Day 2022: August 13

World Organ Donation Day is annually observed on 13th of August to raise awareness of the need for donating organs and to thank donors for their life-saving contributions.
i.The world’s first – ever organ transplantation (kidney transplantation) operation was conducted on 23rd December 1954.

  • The transplant was performed on identical twins Ronald Lee Herrick (donor) and Richard Lee Herrick (recipient).
  • Kidney was the first organ to be transplanted.

ii.Dr Joseph Murray , the lead surgeon of the operation won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1990.
iii.He shared the prize with Dr E. Donnall Thomas , who won the award for his work in bone marrow transplants.
i.The day also  plays an important role in debunking various misconceptions about donating organs.
ii.Donating organs of the deceased like kidneys, heart, pancreas, eyes, lungs, etc can help save the lives of those who are facing chronic illnesses.
iii.The aim of this day is to sensitize people about organ donation so that they pledge to donate organs after death.
Additional info:

  • India observes the annual National Organ Donation day on 27th November.
  • It is organised by the National Organ & Tissue Transplantation Organisation (NOTTO) , under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

International Lefthanders Day 2022:August 13International Left-Handers Day 2022

International Lefthanders Day is annually celebrated on 13 August to mark the uniqueness of the left-handed people around the world.

  • International Lefthanders Day is designated to raise awareness about the challenges that they face while living in a right-hand-centric world.
  • The year 2022 marks the 31st anniversary of International Lefthanders Day.

i.The International Lefthanders Day was first celebrated in 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, the founder of Left-Handers International Inc.
>> Read Full News

AFI to Celebrate August 7 as National Javelin Day to Honour Neeraj Chopra’s Olympic GoldNational Javelin Day 2022

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) celebrated 7th August as the National Javelin Day across India to commemorate Neeraj Chopra’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic gold medal.

  • On 7th August 2021, Neeraj Chopra won the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in track and field and became the 1st athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in men’s javelin throw.
  • The year 2022 was the first National Javelin Day and the AFI decided to celebrate this day every year since 2022.

National Javelin Day:
i.Background – The decision to celebrate 7th August as National Javelin Day was made by AFI upon Neeraj Chopra’s return from Tokyo with the Gold medal in 2021.
ii.Apart from his commemoration, AFI will also promote the javelin sport at the grassroots level through this initiative.
About Athletics Federation of India (AFI):
President – Adille J Sumariwalla
Establishment – 1946
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
>> Read Full News


Meghalaya to Host 2nd North East Olympic Games 2022; IIT Guwahati Partners with AICTE to Provide Solutions to North-East India Meghalaya to host 2nd North East Olympic Games 2022

Meghalaya will host the 2nd edition of the North East Olympics 2022 in Shillong, from October 30, 2022, to November 06, 2022.

  • This edition has taken on a special significance as 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Meghalaya becoming a state.

i. In 2018, Manipur hosted the first edition of North East Olympics Games, which featured 12 disciplines.
ii.The second edition was supposed to take place in Arunachal Pradesh, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Assam, has collaborated with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to provide solutions to problems of accessing water, electricity and internet for the AICTE-affiliated technical institutions in North-East India.
i. Most institutions in the North-East region are located in remote areas due to the hilly terrain, making access to adequate power and safe drinking water challenging.
Phases of the Project
i. The phase-1 project is slated to be completed in August 2022, while phase-2 has recently begun and will cover 33 new institutions with internet access as well as solar and water infrastructure.
About Meghalaya:
Chief Minister – Conrad Kongkal Sangma
Dance –  Do Dru-su’a; Laho dance; Behdienkhlam
>> Read Full News

Cricketer Rishabh Pant Appointed as Brand Ambassador of Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand Chief Minister (CM) Pushkar Singh Dhami has named cricketer Rishabh Pant as the brand ambassador of Uttarakhand, who would inspire youth in the field of sports.

  • Special Principal Secretary Abhinav Kumar was also present on the occasion.

About Rishabh Pant:
i.Rishabh Pant, wicketkeeper-batter was born in Roorkee, Haridwar district of Uttarakhand and has emerged as one of India’s biggest match-winners in recent matches.
ii.MatchesIn 31 Tests, he has scored 2,123 runs at an average of 43.32 and his individual best score is at 159 runs. Until now, he has scored 5 centuries and 10 half-centuries in the format.

  • In 27 One Day International (ODIs), Rishabh Pant has scored 840 runs in 27 matches with an average of 36.52 with an individual best score of 125. He has scored 1 century and 5 half-centuries in the format.
  • He has also played 54 T20I matches in which he has scored 883 runs at an average of 23.86 with individual best score of 65. He has scored 3 half-centuries in the format.

iii.In the Indian Premier League (IPL), he represents Delhi Capitals and is the captain of the team.


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S.noCurrent Affairs 14 , 15 & 16 August 2022
1MoSJ&E Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar launched ‘SMILE-75 Initiative’
2Income Tax Payers will Not be allowed in Atal Pension Yojana from October 1, 2022
3Agasthyamalai Elephant Reserve became 5th Elephant Reserve in Tamil Nadu
4Retail inflation softens to 6.71% in July 2022: NSO Data
5London home of Dadabhai Naoroji gets Blue Plaque Honour
6Razorpay Becomes the only Indian Company to be Listed on ‘Forbes Cloud 100 List’ of the Best Private Cloud Companies in the World
7Muthoot Finance bags Dun & Bradstreet award
8ADIA Invests Rs 665 Crore in Aditya Birla Health Insurance
9Pooja Ojha wins India’s first ever medal at Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships
10Noted Singer Shivamogga Subbanna Passes Away in Bengaluru
11World Organ Donation Day 2022: August 13
12International Lefthanders Day 2022:August 13
13AFI to Celebrate August 7 as National Javelin Day to Honour Neeraj Chopra’s Olympic Gold
14Meghalaya to Host 2nd North East Olympic Games 2022; IIT Guwahati Partners with AICTE to Provide Solutions to North-East India
15Cricketer Rishabh Pant Appointed as Brand Ambassador of Uttarakhand