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Current Affairs 20 July 2021

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 20 July 2021, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2021 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

India’s First Pod taxi to be Launched in UP Between Noida Airport, Film CityIndia to get its first pod taxi service

India’s 1st Pod taxi service to be launched in Uttar Pradesh (UP) between the upcoming ‘Noida International Airport’(NIA) (Jewar airport) and the proposed ‘Film city’ in Uttar Pradesh (UP). ‘Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority’ (YEIDA) has reported about the final Detailed Project Report (DPR) about the Project.

  • The project will cost Rs.862 crore and it will run around 14.5 km between the airport and film city.
  • On July 17, 2021, Zurich Airport International AG, the Swiss company, signed a shareholder agreement with Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL) for the development of the NIA in Jewar, UP.

About Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA):
Establishment – 2001 (Formerly Taj Expressway Industrial Development Authority)
Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Chairman – Arvind Kumar
>>Read Full News

2nd Edition of CII Conference & Exhibition ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Self-Reliance for Renewable Energy Manufacturing’ held virtually2nd Edition of CII Conference & Exhibition “Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Self-Reliance for Renewable Energy Manufacturing”i.On July 15-16, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized the second edition of Digital Conference & Exhibition ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Self-Reliance for Renewable Energy Manufacturing’ virtually in collaboration with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) under its RE-INVEST agenda and Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
ii.As a part of Conference a 15-day Digital Exhibition also initiated showcasing the latest from the Renewable Energy world.
iii.Union Minister Raj Kumar Singh announced that India will exceed its target of reducing carbon emission to 33% set by 2030 under the Paris agreement.
iv.During the inaugural session, a report on ‘A Roadmap for Self-Reliance in RE Manufacturing’ was released which was developed by CII-in partnership with PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt Ltd).
About Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
Establishment– 1895
Director General– Chandrajit Banerjee
Headquarter– New Delhi
Theme 2021-22– Building India for a New World: Competitiveness, Growth, Sustainability, Technology
About Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA):
It is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Government of India Enterprise under the administrative control of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
Establishment– 1987
Headquarter– New Delhi
>>Read Full News

Uttarakhand Celebrates Shravan Harela Festival 2021, Marks the Beginning of MonsoonUttarakhand celebrates Harela festival as the monsoon startsShravan Harela festival 2021, an important folk festival celebrated across the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand on 16th July which marks the beginning of the monsoon. The word Harela means “Green Leaves”. 

  • The day also symbolises the new harvest and it is celebrated by planting the saplings.
  • The Harela festival also commemorates the wedding of Hindu Gods Shiva and Parvathi.

Celebration of Harela Festival:
The Harela is celebrated thrice every year,

  • First Harela is celebrated during Chaitra Navratri in the month of Chaitra,
  • Second Harela is celebrated during Sharad Navratri in the month of Ashwin
  • Third, Shravan Harela is celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Shravan (late July).

Events:
On the occasion of Harela festival, Pushkar Singh Dhami, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand planted saplings at the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) Battalion Headquarters at Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
About Uttarakhand:
Rivers– Saryu River, Ganga, Yamuna river, Alaknanda River
UNESCO Sites– Valley of Flowers National Park, Nanda Devi National Park

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Singapore Unveils One of the World’s Largest Floating Solar Panel Farms

Singapore implemented one of the world’s largest floating solar panel farms, spanning an area equivalent to 45-hectare (111.2 acres) and producing electricity to power the island’s 5 water treatment plants.

  • The project would generate electricity from the 122,000 solar panels on the site.
  • The project aims to multiple its solar energy production by 4 times by 2025 to tackle climate change.
  • Floating solar farms will perform between 5 percent to 15 percent better than land solar farms because of the cooling effect of the water.

Qatar Airways Became 1st Airline from Middle East to Join IATA’s Turbulence Aware Platform

Qatar Airways joined the Turbulence Aware platform of the International Air Transport Association(IATA), a data resource to help airlines avoid turbulence. It became the first airline from the Middle East to join the IATA Turbulence aware platform which was launched in 2018.

  • The platform helps the airlines to reduce the impacts of turbulence, the main cause of passenger and crew injuries and higher fuel costs.
  • The platform shares the anonymized turbulence data collected from multiple participating airlines which will allow the pilots to choose an optimal flight path avoiding turbulence and fly at optimum level to increase fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emission.

BANKING & FINANCE

SEBI Introduced EL-based Rating Scale for CRAsTo protect the interest of investors in securities, the ‘Securities and Exchange Board of India’ (SEBI) has devised a certain new standardised rating scale viz. Expected Loss (EL) based RatingScale for the Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs).

  • The EL based RatingScale has to be used by the CRAs while rating projects/instruments associated with the infrastructure sector.
  • The EL-based rating symbols and their definitions provided by the CRAs were divided into a scale of 7 levels, spanning from lowest to highest expected loss.

7 Levels of EL Based Rating Scale:

Rating Symbol Definition for Instruments based on the rating symbol over the life of it
EL 1 Instruments Rated ‘EL 1’will indicate the lowest EL, over the life of the instrument
EL 2 Very low EL
EL 3 Low EL
EL 4 Moderate EL
EL 5 High EL
EL 6 Very high EL
EL 7 Highest EL

About Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs): 
i.CRAs will be regulated by SEBI through the SEBI (CRA) Regulations, 1999, but SEBI will not be involved in the assessment made by the rating agency.
ii.Credit Rating and Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) is India’s 1st CRA.
>>Read Full News

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

Overview of 74th Cannes Film Festival 202174th Cannes Film Festival 2021The 74th Cannes Film Festival 2021 was held from July 6-17, 2021 at Palais des Festivals et des Congrès Convention Center in Cannes, France.
i.American director & Screenwriter Spike Lee served as Jury President of Cannes Film Festival 2021.
ii.French Actress Doria Dillier was the host of the 74th Cannes Film Festival.
iii.‘Night of Knowing Nothing’ directed by India’s Payal Kapadia won the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) award for best documentary at the Film Festival.
iv.Former Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the virtual ‘India Pavilion’ during the 74th Cannes Film Festival, organized by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting jointly with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
Cannes Film Festival

  • It is an Annual Film Festival held in Cannes, France, and has been held since 1946.
  • The Palme d’Or & Grand Prix are the 2 major awards given at the festival.
  • The 2020 Cannes Film Festival was cancelled.

Major Awards 2021
Palme d’Or – Titane, Director – Julia Ducournau
Best Director – Leos Carax, Annette
Best Screenplay – Ryusuke Hamaguchi & Takamasa Oe, Drive My Car
Best Actress – Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in The World
Best Actor – Caleb Landry Jones, Nitram
>>Read Full News

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS          

Eswatini’s King Mswati III Appointed Cleopas Dlamini as New PM of EswatiniKing of eSwatini appoints newMswati III, the King of Eswatini and the head of the Swazi Royal Family has appointed Cleopas Dlamini as the new Prime Minister(PM) of Eswatini (commonly known as Swaziland), Africa’s only remaining absolute monarchy.

  • Cleopas Dlamini succeeds Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, who died on 13th December 2020.
  • He takes over from Themba Masuku who has been serving as the acting prime minister of Estawani since the death of Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini.
  • Previously, he has served as the Chief Executive of the Public Service Pension Fund.

About Eswatini:
Prime Minister– Cleopas Dlamini
Capital– Mbabane & Lobamba
Currency– South African Rand & Swazi Lilangeni

Lebanon’s PM-designate Saad Hariri Resigned as Crisis EscalatesLebanon Prime Minister (PM)-designate ‘Saad Hariri’ resigned due to an intense political crisis and inability to form a government.
Key Points:
i.He resigned in the middle of months of deadlock and years-long turmoil over the country’s economic collapse, hence it might create greater instability in the country.
ii.Initially, he became the PM of Lebanon in 2009, after resigning in October 2019 following countrywide anti-government protests.
iii.He was reappointed in October 2020, but he failed to form a government over the past 8 months.
iv.Due to the prevailing situation, at least half of the population has fallen into poverty, and food inflation in the country also shot up to more than 400 percent.
v.After his step down, the Lebanese pound hit a new all-time low exceeding 21,000 to the US dollar.
Note – According to Mercer’s 2021 Cost of Living City Rankings –Beirut, the capital of Lebanon has become the world’s 3rd most expensive city for foreign workers (Expatriates).
About Lebanon:
Capital – Beirut
President – Michel Aoun
Currency – Lebanese pound

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ICCR launches ‘Kala Vishwa’ Virtual Platform for Traditional & Folk ArtistsKala Vishwa – a virtual platformIndian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) launched a new Virtual Platform called ‘Kala Vishwa’ to reach out to traditional folk artists, local artists/artisans. It was launched from ICCR’s Mumbai Centre.

  • The ‘Kala Vishwa’ campaign aims to give artists coming from rural areas a virtual platform to perform during the challenging time of COVID-19.
  • ‘Kala Vishwa’ series will be in the virtual mode and can be viewed on ICCR’s social media platforms.
  • Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, President of ICCR & Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children and Youth & Sports inaugurated the first programme under the ‘Kala Vishwa’ campaign.
  • Kala Vishwas is a special campaign under the ‘Horizon Series’ and will be held for a duration of 6 months. It will focus on Traditional art forms of Maharashtra and Goa.

About Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
It is an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of External Affairs.
Director-General –  Dinesh K Patnaik
Headquarters – New Delhi
>>Read Full News

Russia Test Fires Zircon Hypersonic Cruise MissileRussia successfully test-fires ship-based Zircon hypersonic cruise missileRussia successfully test-fired the Zircon (also known as Tsirkon) Hypersonic Cruise Missile from Russian Navy’s Admiral Gorshkov warship in White Sea.
The missile successfully hit a target situated more than 350 Kms (217 miles) away.

  • Zircon meaning ‘Invincible’ is a winged, anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile.  During the testing, the missile reached speeds of up to Mach 7.

Zircon Missile
Tsirkon hypersonic Cruise Missile is developed & manufactured by NPO Mashinostroyeniya.

  • It is capable of hitting targets at sea and on land, it has a range of 1000 kms and is capable of flying at the speed of Mach 9.
  • It is set to be deployed on both warships and submarines.

About Russia
President – Vladimir Putin
Capital – Moscow
Currency – Russian Ruble
>>Read Full News

CJI NV Ramana launched FASTER to Securely and Electronically transmit Bail and other orderselectronically transmit bail and other ordersi.The Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana led bench has initiated a secure electronic transmission mechanism namely FASTER (Fast and Secure Transmission of Electronic Records) that will fast forward the process of bail i.e. instantaneous delivery of Supreme Court (SC) orders to concerned prisons, District Courts, High Courts through a secure communication channel in order to save time and efforts.
ii.The bench also had Justices Lavu Nageswara Rao and Ajjikuttira Somaiah (AS) Bopanna.
About Supreme Court of India (SCI):
There are 26 judges in SCI including CJI.
Establishment– 1950
Headquarter– New Delhi
>>Read Full News

OFT hands over 25 Indigenous SRCG Systems to Indian Navy & ICGOrdnance Factory, Tiruchirappalli (OFT) handed over the 1st Batch of 25 Indigenously produced 12.7 mm Stabilised Remote Control Gun (SRCG) systems to the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
i.C.S. Vishwakarma, Director-General of Ordnance Factories and Chairman of Ordnance Factory Board handed over the 1st batch to K.S.C. Iyer, Director-General of Naval Armament, Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence, Navy (IHQ, MoD, Navy).

  • 15 SRCG were handed over to the Indian Navy & 10 to ICG.

ii.SRCG has been assembled at OFT through Transfer of Technology (ToT) initiative with the support of Elbit Systems, Israel.
iii.OFT is the nodal unit for Indigenous production of the SRCG system. The induction of the system is expected to enhance maritime security of India.
About Ordnance Factory, Tiruchirappalli (OFT) 
General Manager – Sanjay Dwivedi
About Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)
Director-General Ordnance Factories & Chairman, OFB – C.S. Vishwakarma
Headquarters – Kolkata, West Bengal
>>Read Full News

SPORTS

Cricket – ICC Welcomes Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland as New MembersICC welcomes Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland as new membersMongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland were inducted as Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) during ICC’s 78th Annual General Meeting.
With this, the total number of ICC members stands at 106 (12 Full Members, 94 Associate Members).

  • Mongolia and Tajikistan were inducted as the 22nd and 23rd Members of the Asian region, whereas Switzerland is Europe’s 35th Member.
  • Mongolia is set to host the International Youth Green Games in September 2021 in which Cricket has been selected as one of the participating sports.

Background
ICC was established in 1909 (originally called the Imperial Cricket Conference).  England, Australia and South Africa were the initial members.

  • India joined ICC in 1926.

About International Cricket Council (ICC)
Chairman – Greg Barclay
Headquarters – Dubai, UAE

F1: Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix 2021Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (Britain) won the British Grand Prix 2021 held at Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, United Kingdom (UK). This is Hamilton’s 8 victory at the British GP (his victory coming in 2008) & overall 99th GP victory.

  • Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (Monaco) finished 2nd while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (Finland) finished 3rd.
  • F1 Drivers’ Championship leader Mercedes’ Max Verstappen (Netherlands) crashed out of the race after a collision with Lewis Hamilton.
  • The F1 Championships are organised by Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

1st-ever F1 Sprint Qualifying Race
At the 2021 British GP, for the 1st time ever, a Sprint Qualifying Race was conducted to decide the Grid for the Race (Starting Position of Cars in a race).
About Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA):
President – Jean Todt
Headquarters – Paris, France

OBITUARY

Cartoonist & National Award Winning Filmmaker Gautam Benegal Passed Away Filmmaker, designer and artist Gautam Benegal dies at 55Gautam Benegal, National Award-winning animation filmmaker and cartoonist passed away. He was born in 1965 in Kolkata, West Bengal.
He won the National award (Rajatkamal) – Best Animation Film for 2010 for his film “The Prince and the Crown of Stone”.
About Gautam Benegal:
i.Gautam Benegal has been working as a freelance columnist and illustrator from the age of 16.
ii.He has contributed to the kid’s magazine “Sandesh” at the invitation of Satyajit Ray, renowned director and editor of Sandesh.
iii.In 2012, He held an exhibition in Bombay’s Cool Chef Café with the theme, “Irani Cafes – the vanishing old world charm of Bombay.”
Books:

  • 1/7 Bondel Road (short stories)
  • The Green of Bengal and Other Stories

IMPORTANT DAYS

Nelson Mandela International Day 2021 – July 18 The United Nations(UN)’s Nelson Mandela International Day is annually observed across the globe on 18th July to recognise the contributions of Nelson Mandela towards justice, peace and dialogue and his role in Africa’s struggle for liberation and unity.
The day also marks the birth anniversary of Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela who played a major role in creating a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.
The day is also known as “Mandela Day”. 
The 2021 Mandela Day marks the 103rd birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela.
The theme of the 2021 Nelson Mandela International Day is “One Hand Can Feed Another”.
Background:
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/64/13 on 10th November 2009 and proclaimed July 18th of every year as Nelson Mandela International Day.
ii.The first UN’s Nelson Mandela International Day was observed on 18th July 2010. 
iii.The resolution also acknowledged the international campaign of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and other related organisations on observing the birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela as “Mandela Day” on 18th July 2009.
>>Read Full News

STATE NEWS

Rajasthan Developed Mobile App ‘Raj Kisan Organic’ –  for Sale, Purchase of Organic ProduceOn July 18, 2021, Lalchand Kataria, the Agriculture Minister of Rajasthan, launched a mobile application named –  ‘Raj Kisan Organic’ to enable the farmers and the consumers of the state to make online purchases and sale of organic products in the state.

  • The app was developed by the agriculture department of Rajasthan.

Key Points:
i.This online platform will support the farmers to find buyers to sell their organic produce viz, grains, vegetables, spices and fruits.
ii.By using the app individual farmers/farmer groups could register themselves in the app and sell their products directly to registered buyers.
iii.To date, 160 farmers and 29 buyers have registered on the app.
iv.Around 90 organic producer groups are registered and certified under the ‘Rajasthan State Organic Certification Agency’ (RSOCA) of the state, through which it has associated over 20,000 farmers.
v.The farmers are directed to enter the details of the certificates issued by RSOCA, which would help the interested buyers to contact the farmers.
About Rajasthan State Organic Certification Agency (RSOCA):
It is an integral part of the Rajasthan State Seed & Organic Certification Agency (RSSOCA).
Establishment – 2005
Headquarters – Jaipur, Rajasthan
Chairman –  Bhaskar Atmaram Sawant
About Rajasthan:
Lakes:

  • Sambhar Salt Lake – It is the largest inland salt- lake in India.
  • Jaisamand/Dhebar Lake – It is the 2nd largest man-made sweet water lake in Asia.
  • Pushkar Lake – It is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites.

Yami Gautam Dhar Partners with the HP Govt for ‘Baccho Ka Sahara, Phone Humara’ Initiative

Bollywood actor Yami Gautam Dhar partnered with the launch of Himachal Pradesh (HP) government state’s initiative, ‘Digital Saathi-Baccho Ka Sahara, Phone Humara’, India’s 1st state-led phone donation campaign for online learning.

  • Baccho Ka Sahara, Phone Humara is an initiative launched under ‘Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan’ of HP, to donate smartphones to needy children who cannot afford smartphones for education.
  • Under the initiative, more than 1100 mobile phones have already been donated to various stakeholders.
  • HP is also running the ‘Har Ghar Pathshala programme’ to facilitate students under COVID-19 (Till now covered 80 percent students).

Andhra Pradesh Govt Plans to Launch ASAP Startup Promotion SchemeThe Andhra Pradesh(AP) government plans to launch a flagship startup promotion scheme to ‘Accelerate Startups in AP’ (ASAP) for early-stage startups to offer plug-and-play office space and access to a network of investors and mentors.

  • The scheme was launched under AP’s Information Technology Policy 2021-24.

Key points:
i.For funding startups, the state plans to set up a Rs 100 crore ‘Fund of Funds(FoF)’, in partnership with a consortium of Venture Capitals and Private Equity firms and universities.
ii.Under the scheme, the Startups that work on the different technologies viz augmented reality, virtual reality, Internet of Things, Machine Learning(ML), Artificial Intelligence(AI), Data Science, Robotics, etc will be provided with incubation centers, Centers of Excellence(CoE) and prototyping labs on a variable charge.
iii.More than 55,000 jobs creation is expected over the next 3 years through the scheme.
iv.Development of Integrated Technology Park in Visakhapatnam and three ‘IT Concept Cities’ was announced under the 2021-24 policy.
v.Direct employment through the 2021-24 Policy is expected to infuse around 2000 crore revenue every year.
About Andhra Pradesh:
Capital – Amaravati
Chief Minister – YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
Governor – Biswabhusan Harichandan

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S.no  Current Affairs 20 July 2021
1 India’s First Pod taxi to be Launched in UP Between Noida Airport, Film City
2 2nd Edition of CII Conference & Exhibition ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat – Self-Reliance for Renewable Energy Manufacturing’ held virtually
3 Uttarakhand Celebrates Shravan Harela Festival, Marks the Beginning of Monsoon
4 Singapore unveils one of the world’s biggest floating solar panel farms
5 Qatar Airways Became 1st Airline from Middle East to Join IATA’s Turbulence Aware Platform
6 SEBI Introduced EL-based Rating Scale for CRAs
7 Overview of 74th Cannes Film Festival 2021
8 Eswatini’s King Mswati III Appointed Cleopas Dlamini as New PM of Eswatini
9 Lebanon’s PM-designate Saad Hariri Resigned as Crisis Escalates
10 ICCR launches ‘Kala Vishwa’ Virtual Platform for Traditional & Folk Artists
11 Russia Test Fires Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile
12 CJI NV Ramana launched FASTER to Securely and Electronically transmit Bail and other orders
13 OFT hands over 25 Indigenous SRCG Systems to Indian Navy & ICG
14 Cricket – ICC Welcomes Mongolia, Tajikistan and Switzerland as New Members
15 F1: Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix 2021
16 Cartoonist & National Award Winning Filmmaker Gautam Benegal Passed Away
17 Nelson Mandela International Day 2021 – July 18
18 Rajasthan Developed Mobile App ‘Raj Kisan Organic’ –  for Sale, Purchase of Organic Produce
19 Yami Gautam Dhar Partners with the HP Govt for ‘Baccho Ka Sahara, Phone Humara’ Initiative
20 Andhra Pradesh govt to launch flagship startup promotion scheme