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Current Affairs 17 July 2021

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Varanasi, UPPrime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi paid a one-day visit to his constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. During the visit, he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for multiple development projects worth INR 1500 crores.

  • He inaugurated Projects worth around INR 744 crores which includes 100 bed Mother & Child Hospital (MCH) wing in Banaras Hindu University (BHU), multi-level parking at Godauliya, Ro-Ro (Roll-on/Roll-off) Vessels for tourism development on River Ganga and 3 lane flyover bridge on the Varanasi-Ghazipur Highway.
  • He laid Foundation stones for several projects and public works worth INR 839 crores. It includes Centre for Skill and Technical Support of Central Institute of Petrochemical Engineering and Technology (CIPET), 143 rural projects under Jal Jeevan Mission and Mango and vegetable integrated pack house in Karkhiyaon.
  • Rudrakash’ – an International Cooperation and Convention Centre was also inaugurated by PM Modi. The centre has been built with financial assistance from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) at a cost ~ INR 200 crores.
  • Several projects under PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive) scheme were also inaugurated.

About Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath
Governor – Anandiben Patel
Capital – Lucknow
>>Read Full News

IAHE signs pact with University of New South Wales for setting up Centre of Excellence ‘CATTS’ at IAHE, NoidaOn July 15, 2021, an agreement has been inked between Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE), under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH) with University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia for setting up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) i.e. ‘Centre for Advanced Transportation Technology and Systems (CATTS)’ at IAHE, Noida (Uttar Pradesh).

  • As a part of agreement, there will be capacity building, technology transfer and creation of an enabling environment for establishment of CATTS in IAHE.

Signatories:
It was signed during a virtual ceremony in the presence of Union Minister Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Ministry of MoRTH; Minister of State (MoS) Gen (Retd) Dr Vijay Kumar Singh, Ministry of MoRTH; Sanjeev Kumar, Director IAHE; Professor Ian Jacobs, Vice-Chancellor of UNSW, Professor Vinayak Dixit, Director Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (UNSW) along with other senior officials of MORTH, IAHE and UNSW.
About upcoming CATTS:
i.Under CATTS, UNSW will build India specific Macro Model (Computable Equilibrium Model) for the entire Nation Highway network and in-principle National Highways.
ii.UNSW will also build India specific Urban Pervasive Data Model for Noida including coding of simulation software, calibration & validation and scenario analysis.
iii.There will be 6 workshops on UNSW certified course on smart transportation systems and modeling. Three workshops will be held in India while three will be in Australia.

  • Each of the workshops will be of five days consisting of 40 participants.

iv.It will also promote industries and startups from Australia and India in the transportation sector.

India, Sri Lanka & Maldives conduct TTX-2021, ‘Exercise Shield’ on Maritime SecurityDefence Officials from India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives participated in a virtual Trilateral Tabletop Exercise 2021 (TTX-2021), ‘Exercise Shield’ on Maritime Security. TTX-2021 was organized by Maritime Warfare Centre, Mumbai from July 14-15, 2021.

  • Enhancing mutual understanding, exchanging best practices & procedures for countering common transnational crimes like curbing narcotics and assistance in maritime search and rescue were discussed.
  • India is holding discussions with countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as per its ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’ policies.

Operation Sagar Aaraksha II
Recently, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in coordination with Sri Lankan Navy & Airforce executed ‘Operation Sagar Aaraksha II’ to fight a major fire onboard the MV X-Press Pearl, a chemical laden container vessel anchored off Colombo.
About Sri Lanka 
President – Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Capital – Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Currency – Sri Lankan Rupee
>>Read Full News

Union Minister Bhupender Yadav chaired 7th BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ MeetingBhupender Yadav chairs 7th BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meetingi.On July 15, 2021, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Labour & Employment Ministers’ (LEMM) Meeting was held under the India’s Presidency which was chaired by Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Ministry of Labour and Employment.
ii.During the meeting, BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Declaration 2021 was adopted.
iii.During the meeting, discussion on four priority areas of cooperation were held viz. Promoting Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS Nations; Formalisation of Labour Markets; Participation of Women in the Labour Force; and Gig and Platform Workers: Role in the Labour Market.
About Ministry of Labour & Employment:
Minister of State– Rameswar Teli (Constituency – Dibrugarh, Assam)
>>Read Full News

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar Addressed 16th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India & Africa project partnership Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, addressed the inaugural session of 16th edition of virtual ‘Confederation of Indian Industry – Export Import Bank of India’ (CII-EXIM Bank) Conclave on India & Africa Project Partnership, which was held on July 13 to 15, 2021.
Theme: ‘Harnessing the Africa-India Opportunity: Connect, Create and Collaborate’
S. Jaishankar’s Address:
i.He stated 4 domains to be focused through collaboration (under post-Covid scenario) viz, public health, digital delivery, skilling and capacity building, and green economy.
ii.He mentioned about India’s engagement with Africa through the Kampala Principles, the e-Vidya Bharti and e-Arogya Bharti network on tele-education and tele-medicine, and the participation of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) during cyclone Idai (2019) in Mozambique.
iii.Around 39 percent of Government of India’s supported Lines of Credit (LoC) are directed to Africa for infrastructure development, industrialisation, agriculture and agro-processing projects, etc.
iv.An Exim Bank’s Report on ‘India Africa Healthcare: Prospects and Opportunities’ was released in the session.
Address by V. Muraleedharan:
i.He mentioned the assistance provided by India to several African Countries under Mission Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) I and II.

  • In November 2020 Indian Naval Ship Airavat delivered food aid to foreign countries to overcome natural calamities and COVID-19 under Mission SAGAR II.

ii.He also noted the African continent as the 2nd largest recipient of India’s overseas assistance and currently, India is the 3rd largest trading partner and the 5th largest investor in Africa, with cumulative investments of more than US$ 54 billion.
About CII- EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership:
i.It was launched by CII in partnership with EXIM Bank with the support of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to build partnerships and enhance the economic engagement between India and Africa.
ii.The 1st CII- EXIM Bank Conclave on India Africa Project Partnership was held in 2005.
iii.African Continent: It is the world’s 2nd largest and 2nd -most populous continent in the world. It has 55 countries.

Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda Launched the nationwide campaign ‘COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan aur Uddyam’Arjun Munda, the Tribal Affairs Minister, virtually launched the nationwide campaign named ‘COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan aur Uddyam’ to increase the speed of COVID-19 vaccination among the tribal people in India.
Key Points:
i.The campaign is launched in partnership with WHO (World Health Organisation) and UNICEF’s (United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund) equity approach to survival, growth and development of children.
ii.The campaign would be implemented by the ‘Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India’ (TRIFED) under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for 10.5 crore tribal community people across India.
iii.The campaign intends to make the VDVK and villages become the 1st to be declared COVID-19 free.
iv.3 Highlights of the Campaign: Jeevan (Life), Jeevika (Livelihood) and Jaagrookta (Awareness).
v.Arjun Munda also launched the Digital Directory under TRIFED’s ‘Digital Connect Programme’, a two-way communication process, which is proposed to be established with all tribal beneficiaries associated with Van Dhan Vikas Yojana and Retail operations of TRIFED.
Note – India has the 2nd largest tribal population in the world and also has a large number of tribal people.
About Van Dhan Vikas Yojana:
i.It is the scheme launched on April 14th, 2018 with TRIFED as the nodal agency at the national level to create livelihood generation for tribal gatherers and transform them into entrepreneurs.
ii.Each VDVK cluster that is set under the scheme will contain 15 tribal SHGs (Self Help Groups) i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Cluster, and the government provides Rs 15 lakhs for each cluster.
About Tribal Co-operative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED):
It is a national level cooperative body under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
Establishment – 1987
Head office – New Delhi
Managing Director – Pravir Krishna

NCW signs MoU with BPR & D for Gender Sensitisation of Police PersonnelThe National Commission for Women (NCW) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR & D) for Gender Sensitisation of Police personnel across India.
Objective – To bring changes in attitude & behaviour of police officers dealing with crimes against women.

  • The programme will be fully sponsored by the NCW and facilitated by BPR&D with a special module in coordination with its units and other stakeholders.
  • Training will be conducted for a duration of 3-5 days as a short intensive course with expected training of 18-24 hours in total.
  • The training will focus on Gender issues, women related laws, role of implementing agencies along with sharing of best practices.

About National Commission for Women (NCW)
Chairperson – Rekha Sharma
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR & D)
It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs
Director General – V. S.K. Kaumudi
Headquarters – New Delhi

MoE, MoTA, Jointly Launched Program for Teachers – SIATP On July 16, 2021, Education Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Tribal Affairs Minister, Arjun Munda, jointly launched a training program for school teachers named ‘School Innovation Ambassador Training Program’ (SIATP).

  • The program is formed by the Ministry of Education’s(MoE) Innovation Cell, Ministry of Tribal Affairs(MoTA), CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education), and AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education).
  • Under the training module of SIATP, 50,000 school teachers will be trained online in the field of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Intellectual property rights (IPR), Idea generation, etc.

About Ministry of Education:
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS) – Annpurna Devi (Constituency – Kodarma, Jharkhand), Rajkumar Ranjan Singh(Manipur), and Subhas Sarkar (Bankura, West Bengal).
>>Read Full News

IIT Madras, Sony India to conduct National Hackathon ‘SAMVEDAN 2021’

IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation (IITM-PTF) in partnership with Sony India Software Centre Pvt. Ltd is set to conduct a National Hackathon called ‘SAMVEDAN 2021 – Sensing Solutions for Bharat

  • It aims to inspire Indian citizens to solve India-specific problems of societal interest using the IoT Sensor Board.
  • Winners will get prize money as well as an Entrepreneurial support scheme by IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation.
  • National mission on interdisciplinary cyber physical systems aims to develop an ecosystem to solve problems of National importance. The challenge is an effective method to identify, nurture and commercialise solutions for them.

India targets Rs 100 Billion Blue Economy through Deep Ocean Mission

Minister of State (I/C) for Earth Science, Jitendra Singh, announced India’s target of attaining over Rs 100 billion Blue Economy through Deep Ocean Missions (DOM) and conducting deep sea explorations. The ministry also partnered with ISRO for integrating science oriented departments from various ministries.
DOM plans to explore various mineral resources present unexplored in the ocean, which can be used for commercial purposes to generate newer economic forms.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Commonwealth Countries lost Trade worth USD 345 billion in 2020: Commonwealth Trade Review 2021Commonwealth countries lose trade worth $345 billionAccording to a recent review ‘Energising Commonwealth Trade in a Digital World: Paths to Recovery Post-COVID‘ released by the Commonwealth Association, due to COVID-19 commonwealth countries lost trade worth USD 345 billion worth of trade in 2020, including USD 60 billion in intra-Commonwealth trade.

  • Among the developing nations, only India recorded higher overall Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in 2020. FDI inflows increased by more than USD 13 billion in 2020, a 29.5% increase over the average annual inflows for 2017-19.
  • Globally, COVID-19 has impacted all Commonwealth members’ economies and led to USD 1.15 trillion in past GDP in just one year.

Regarding India 
ii.According to the analysis, in 2019, India was the 2nd largest global exporter of ICT services (after Ireland). Among the Commonwealth countries, India was the largest ICT exporter with service exports totaling USD 70 billion.

  • The value of India’s ICT services exports to Commonwealth countries has increased from USD 9 billion in 2010 to USD 17 billion in 2019.

Commonwealth Countries
Exports
Compared to pre-pandemic growth trends, commonwealth economies contracted by ~ 10%.
Asian economies suffered the largest decline in exports (at USD 146 billion).
FDI
The FDI inflows are expected to decline by 18% in 2021, and a further 7% in 2022.
About The Commonwealth 
Secretary General – Patricia Janet Scotland
Headquarters – London, UK
Members – 54
>>Read Full News

Electricity demand Growing Faster than RE Capacity: IEA ReportAccording to the mid-2021 edition of ‘Electricity Market Report’ released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the demand for electricity is growing faster than the production of Renewable Energy (RE). This is leading to an increase in usage of heavily polluting coal, threatening the efforts made by countries to reach Carbon neutrality.

  • Electricity demand is expected to grow by 5% in 2021, which is 1% more than the drop experienced in 2020 due to COVID-19.
  • Renewable power production increased by 7% in 2020. IEA expects RE production to grow by 8% in 2021 and by more than 6% in 2022.

i.Despite increase in RE production, renewables will serve only around 50% of projected growth in global demand in 2021 and 2022.
ii.It will leave fossil fuel power stations to cover around 45% of extra demand in 2021.
iii.Emissions from Coal-fired power stations are expected to hit record high in 2022.
iv.The report states that in order to limit climate change, Use of coal needs to decrease by more than 6% a year.
About International Energy Agency (IEA)
Executive Director – Dr Fatih Birol
Headquarters – Paris, France

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI Restricted MasterCard; RBL Bank tie-up with VISA to Issue Credit Cards

The restriction imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)on MasterCard from on-boarding new domestic customers (debit, credit or prepaid) onto their card networks from July 22, 2021, have imposed a higher impact on the card issuer’s (bank) business growth.

  • RBL Bank, which has issued credit cards only on the Mastercard payment network, has now entered into an agreement with Visa Worldwide Pte Ltd to issue credit cards on Visa’s payment network.
  • YES Bank, and Bajaj Finserv, that have all their credit card business with MasterCard also got affected. HDFC Bank has 3 co-branded cards with Mastercard while State Bank of India (SBI) has 2.
  • RBL Bank is the 5th largest credit card issuer in India.

FEDDY – AI-powered virtual customer assistance launched by Federal Bank

FEDDY, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered virtual assistant was launched by Federal Bank to provide 24*7 assistance to its customers on banking related queries. FEDDY is a State-of-Art tool that can also be integrated and accessed through Alexa, Google Assistant and WhatsApp.
Notably, Federal Bank previously launched

  • FedSelfie”- a user-friendly tool that allows users’ to open a bank account by taking selfies.
  • Federal 24*7” – Users can open bank accounts through Video Call

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

CIL hires Accenture for Digitalization of Mine ProcessCoal India Limited(CIL), state-owned coal mining and refining corporation has appointed Accenture Solutions Private Limited (Accenture) as a consultant to enhance their performance through digitization of 3 mines of South Eastern Coalfields Limited(SECL) and 4 mines of Northern Coalfields Limited(NCL), subsidiaries of CIL.
This is a first of its kind initiative by the company to utilise digitalisation to increase coal production.
The 7 identified mines are,

  • SECL: Kusmunda, Gevra and Dipka
  • NCL: Nigahi, Jayant, Dudhichua and Khadia

Aim:
To use the available data analytic techniques to increase mine productivity and project efficiency through effective system management.
Contract:
Accenture has quoted assurance of a 100 million tonne increase in the production of the 7 selected mines in the financial year 2022-2023(FY2023) over the baseline coal production figure.

  • Binay Dayal, Director Technical of CIL signed the agreement on behalf of CIL & Amit Verma signed on behalf of Accenture.

Features of the collaboration:
i.Accenture will assist CIL in improving the efficiency and project monitoring of the 7 mines.
ii.Accenture will also support CIL to create a Business continuity plan leading to Mining 4.0 – with Digital technology.
iii.This will facilitate the CIL to achieve the target of producing 1 Billion Tonnes by 2024.
About Coal India Limited(CIL):
Chairman Cum Managing Director– Pramod Agrawal
Headquarters– Kolkata, West Bengal
Established in November 1975

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Launched AI-powered Grievance Management AppOn July 15, 2021, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application called ‘CPGRAMS (Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System) app’, it was developed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) along with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur.

  • This web-based application is the 1st system developed based on AI, data science, and Machine Learning (ML) techniques to improve the public grievance redressal system of the Government.
  • The AI-enabled CPGRAMS app would be more beneficial to analyse and address the lakh of complaints that are received on CPGRAMS, the web-based system over NICNET (National Informatics Centre Network).
  • The AI tool of the app has the ability to understand the content of the people’s complaints (grievances) and would automatically analyse it.

Note – CPGRAMS is the online web-based system over NICNET, it was developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) in association with the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) and the Directorate of Public Grievances (DPG).
About Ministry of Defence(MoD):
Union Minister – Raj Nath Singh (Constituency – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Ajay Bhatt (Constituency – Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)
>>Read Full News

Digital Platform ‘Kisan Sarathi’ launched to help FarmersThe digital platform ‘Kisan Sarathi’ was jointly launched by Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar and Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw to help farmers get ‘right information at the right time’ in their desired language.

  • The portal was launched virtually on the occasion of 93rd Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Foundation Day i.e 16th July, 2021.
  • The initiative will help in addressing the location specific information needs of the farmers as well as Agricultural Extension, Education and Research activities of ICAR.
  • The portal is powered by Interactive Information Dissemination System (IIDS), Digital India Corporation (DIC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

About Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY)
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha – Odisha)
Minister of State – Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Rajya Sabha – Karnataka)
>>Read Full News

SPORTS

Karnataka set to host 2nd Edition of Khelo India University Games in March 2022Karnataka, the host of 2nd edition of Khelo India University Games (KIUG) announced that the 12-day long event will be conducted from 5th March 2022 in Bangalore. Decisions were taken to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Chief Guest for the event’s inauguration, which is planned to be held at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore, Karnataka.
i.A total of 18 sporting events will be conducted in KIUG, with the inclusion of 2 new indigenous games – Yogasana & Mallakhamb

  • Hosts – Karnataka in partnership with the Association of Indian Universities

ii.Over 6000 persons & 158 universities are expected to participate in the event, with an estimated budget of Rs 40 crore
Khelo India Program:
i.Annually 1,000 sports person will be selected for Khelo India Scholarship, who will receive Rs 5 lakhs as financial assistance for their training for a period of 8-years
ii.1st Edition of Khelo India University Games (KIUG) was conducted at KIIT University (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology University) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
iii.Panjab University – Chandigarh was the Champion of the 1st edition KIUG that was held in 2020.

Madhya Pradesh Cricketer Anshula Rao becomes 1st Woman Cricketer to be banned for doping

Anshula Rao, a woman cricketer from Madhya Pradesh, was banned for 4-years by the National Anti-Doping Agency after failing a dope test. She is the 1st Woman Cricketer to be banned for use of illegal substances, for intentionally using 19-Norandrosterone, a performance-enhancing steroid.

Bangladesh’s Mahmudullah retires from Test Cricket

Bangladeshi Cricketer Mahmudullah announced retirement from Test Cricket in the middle of the ongoing Test Series between Bangladesh & Zimbabwe, after scoring a century in his 50th International Test match. He has scored 2914 runs from 50 test matches. He also represented Bangladesh in 197 ODIs and 89 T20Is.

OBITUARY

National Award Winning Actress Surekha Sikri Passed AwayVeteran Theatre and television actress Surekha Sikri, 3-time national Award winner passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She was born on 19th April 1945 in New Delhi, British India.
She was well known for her role in Badhaai Ho, starring Ayushmann Khurrana.
About Surekha Sikri:
i.Surekha Sikri debuted as an actress in the 1978 film “Kissa Kursi Ka”.
ii.She has starred in various films like Tamas, Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Mammo, Sardari Begum and Zubeidaa.
iii.She has worked with filmmakers like Rituparno Gosh, Aparna Sen and Mani Kaul.
iv.She has also starred in television series like Sanjha Chula, Kabhie Kabhie, CID and Balika Vadhu.
v.She has starred in the Netflix anthology ‘Ghost Stories’ (2020) by Zoya Akhtar.
Awards:
i.She won her first National Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Tamas (1988) and she won the National Award for Best Supporting actress in 1995 for Mammo and 2018 for Badhaai Ho.
ii.She has also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1989 for her contributions to Hindi theatre.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Kanti Bajpai Authored a Book Titled ‘India Versus China: Why They Are Not Friends’ Kanti Bajpai authored the book ‘India Versus China: Why They Are Not Friends’ to showcase the differences between India and China. The book was published by Juggernaut Books.
About the book: 
i.The book has a short version of the history of India-China ties.
ii.The author points out 4 crucial areas that affect the 2 nation’s relationship viz, the perceptions and prejudices about each other, Continue disagreements over the border, Changing partnerships with America and Russia, and the growing power asymmetry between them.
About Author: Kanti Bajpai is an Indian academic, international affairs analyst, in 2012 he has received the ‘K Subrahmanyam Award’ for excellence in research on strategic and security issues.

STATE NEWS

Karnataka inked MoUs with 23 companies, to attract over Rs 28 lakh crore InvestmentsRs 28 lakh crore investmentsi.On July 15, 2021, during the ‘Invest Karnataka’ event the Karnataka government announced signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with 23 companies covering sectors such as Electric Vehicles, data centres, aerospace and Defence to attract investments worth over Rs 28,000 crore and generate nearly 15,000 direct jobs.
ii.The MoUs were signed in the presence of Chief Minister (CM) Bookanakere Siddalingappa Yediyurappa and Large and Medium Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar among others.
About Karnataka:
Folk Dance – Yakshagana, Dollu Kunitha, Kamsale, Huli Vesha, Gombe Aata.
National Parks – Atal Bihari Vajpayee Zoological Park, Bandipur National Park, Bannerghatta National Park, Kali Tiger Reserve, Kudremukh National Park, Nagarahole National Park
>>Read Full News

Meghalaya CM Launched Face Recognition Mobile App for Pensioner’s Life Certificatelife certificate using faceConrad K Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, has launched a face recognition mobile app ‘Pensioners’ Life Certificate Verification’ to help the pensioners of Meghalaya to get a life certificate.
The app was developed by the National Informatics Centre(NIC) in collaboration with the Finance Department, Government of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya has around 29000 state government pensioners.
About ‘Pensioners’ Life Certificate Verification’:
Technologies used:
Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence(AI) technology is used to authenticate the pensioner from real-time photographs.

  • Face Verification Technology will be used to verify their identity.

Features:
i.The app will enable an interface for the pensioners with the pension disbursing authority to prove that they are alive.
ii.The frequency of face verification for the pensioners is once in 6 months or twice a year.
iii.This app will assist the pensioners of the State government to submit their life certificates through mobile phones and receive their pension during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Note:
The data on the pensioners are not shared with foreign-based servers.
Chatbot:
To provide a better end to end delivery of service, MEDA, a chatbot has been incorporated in the app, which allows pensioners to make queries and provide suggestions to improve the service of the app.

SAP & UNDP to Foster Digital Skills, Social Entrepreneurship to Empower Women & Youth in KarnatakaSAP Labs India and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India have collaborated with the Government of Karnataka to enhance access to career guidance, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities and to promote the digital skills to empower the women and youths of Karnataka.

  • As part of the World Youth Skills Day (WYSD 2021) celebration on 15th July 2021, Manjushree, IAS, Mission Director of National Livelihood Mission in Karnataka Initiated the “Code Unnati” registration drive for women.

Objective:
To impart digital literacy to women and youth from rural Karnataka.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Administrator– Achim Steiner
Headquarters– New York, United States of America
Established in 1965 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
>>Read Full News

ITRA Signed MoU with Govt of Gujarat to Strengthen Ayurveda EducationInstitute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda(ITRA), an institution of National Importance under the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy(AYUSH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with the Government of Gujarat to unite all the institutions functioning in the Ayurveda campus, Jamnagar, Gujarat under the umbrella of ITRA and strengthen the education system in all branches of Ayurveda.

  • Prof. Dr Anup Thakar, Director of ITRA and H.P. Zala, I/C Registrar of Gujarat Ayurveda University exchanged the MoU in the presence of Nitinbhai Patel, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat and Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush.

Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda(ITRA) Bill 2020:
i.The Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda(ITRA) Bill 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Ministry of AYUSH.
ii.This enabled the establishment of the state of the art Ayurvedic institution called the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA) at Jamnagar, Gujarat.
iii.The Bill merged 3 Ayurveda institutes into the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda. The 3 institutions were,

  1. The Institute of Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar.
  2. Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Jamnagar.
  3. The Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jamnagar.

About Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda(ITRA):
Director- Prof. Dr Anup Thakar
Location- Jamnagar, Gujarat

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no Current Affairs 17 July 2021
1 Overview of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Varanasi, UP
2 IAHE signs pact with University of New South Wales for setting up Centre of Excellence ‘CATTS’ at IAHE, Noida
3 India, Sri Lanka & Maldives conduct TTX-2021 on Maritime Security
4 Union Minister Bhupender Yadav chaired 7th BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meeting
5 External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar Addressed 16th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India & Africa project partnership
6 Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda Launched the nationwide campaign ‘COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan aur Uddyam’
7 NCW signs MoU with BPR & D for Gender Sensitisation of Police Personnel
8 MoE, MoTA, Jointly Launched Program for Teacher – SIATP
9 IIT Madras and Sony India to host national-level hackathon
10 India aims over Rs 100 Billion Blue Economy through Deep Ocean Mission
11 Commonwealth Countries lost Trade worth USD 345 billion in 2020: Commonwealth Trade Review 2021
12 Electricity demand Growing Faster than RE Capacity: IEA Report
13 RBI Restricted MasterCard; RBL Bank tie up with VISA to Issue Credit Cards
14 FEDDY – AI-powered virtual customer assistance launched by Federal Bank
15 CIL hires Accenture for Digitalization of Mine Process
16 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Launched AI-powered Grievance Management App
17 Digital Platform ‘Kisan Sarathi’ launched to help Farmers
18 Karnataka set to host 2nd Edition of Khelo India University Games in March 2022
19 Madhya Pradesh Cricketer Anshula Rao becomes 1st Woman Cricketer to be banned for doping
20 Bangladesh’s Mahmudullah retires from Test Cricket
21 National Award Winning Actress Surekha Sikri Passed Away
22 Kanti Bajpai Authored a Book Titled ‘India Versus China: Why They Are Not Friends’
23 Karnataka inked MoUs with 23 companies, to attract over Rs 28 lakh crore Investments
24 Meghalaya CM Launched Face Recognition Mobile App for Pensioner’s Life Certificate
25 SAP & UNDP to Foster Digital Skills, Social Entrepreneurship to Empower Women & Youth in Karnataka
26 ITRA Signed MoU with Govt of Gujarat to Strengthen Ayurveda Education