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Current Affairs 30 July 2021

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We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 30 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

Cabinet Approval on July 28, 2021The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved several important initiatives. They are

  • Amendment to the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) Act, 1961
  • Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA)
  • Creation of 2 posts each of judicial, administrative members in Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) benches in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)
  • Amendment to Limited Liability Partnership Act (LLP), 2008.

Amendment to DICGC Act, 1961
Deposit Insurance & Credit Guarantee Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2021 will amend the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) Act, 1961.

  • The new amendment provides account holders access to their deposits of up to INR 5 lakh funds within 90 days of a bank coming under Moratorium imposed by RBI.

Amendment to Limited Liability Partnership Act (LLP), 2008
The Government approved the Limited Liability Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which amends the Limited Liability Partnership Act (LLP), 2008.
About Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC)
Chairman – Dr. M.D. Patra (Deputy Governor of RBI). Nominated by RBI under Section 6(1)(a) of The Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961.
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
>>Read Full News

Gold Reserves in India Estimated at 501.83 MTAs per the data of the National Mineral Inventory, the total reserves/resources of gold ore (primary) in India have been estimated at 501.83 million tonnes (MT) as of April 1, 2015.

  • Recently, the Government of India has amended the Minerals Evidence of Mineral Contents (MEMC) Rules to allow auction of composite licence at G4 level for deep-seated minerals including Gold, and to reduce the cost of gold extraction.
  • As per the Central Electricity Authority data, the total coal receipt to the thermal power stations in FY21 was 596.015 MT, in which 75 percent of coal (444.97 MT) was supplied by Coal India Ltd (CIL).

Recent Related News:
On April 23, 2021, Coal India Limited(CIL) has signed its first solar power purchase agreement for the sale of 100 MW solar
About Ministry of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs:
Union Minister – Pralhad Joshi (Constituency – Dharwad, Karnataka)
Minister of State – Danve Raosaheb Dadarao (Constituency – Jalna, Maharashtra)
>>Read Full News

Dharmendra Pradhan proposes to set up National Research Foundation Union Minister for Education, Dharmendra Pradhan proposed to set up a National Research Foundation (NRF) for strengthening the research ecosystem in India.  The total proposed outlay of NRF is INR 50,000 crores over a period of 5 years.

  • Objective – To seed, grow and facilitate research at academic institutions, where research capacities are in the initial stage.
  • It will fund research projects across 4 major disciplines –Sciences, Technology, Social Sciences, and Arts and Humanities.
  • It will also fund and support high-impact, large-scale, multi-investigator, multi-institution, interdisciplinary or multi-nation projects in collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments, and other Governmental/non-Governmental entities.

National CoE for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics
Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur stated that the Government will set up a National Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics. It will be set up in collaboration with IIT Bombay.

  • The CoE will help in realizing the needs of Indian as well as Global industry.

About Ministry of Education (MoE)
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Rajya Sabha – Madhya Pradesh)
MoS – Annpurna Devi (Koderma, Jharkhand), Dr. Subhas Sarkar (Bankura, West Bengal), Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur, Manipur)
>>Read Full News

Indore -the only Indian city selected for Clean Air Catalyst ProgrammeIndia’s cleanest city Indore has become the only city from India to be selected for International Clean Air Catalyst Programme

  • It is a new flagship programme launched by The U.S  Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with a group of organisations, led by World Resources Institute (WRI) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
  • The project will be rolled out for 5 years with the support of Indore Municipal Corporation and Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board.

Clean Air Catalyst Programme

  •  Objective: To accelerate clean air solutions in low and middle income     countries.
  • This programme will be piloted in two cities- Indore, India and Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Under this project, USAID and partners will work with local communities to identify and raise awareness of local pollution sources and build focussed groups to deliver solutions which leads to cleaner and healthier air.
  • It has several new and  innovative features such as Source awareness, Root cause analysis, Focused Coalition building and others.

About USAID

  • Headquarters – Washington D.C
  • Administrator – Samantha Power

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat releases ODF Plus Manuals under SBM-G Phase-2Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat & Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Prahlad Singh Patel jointly released the ODF (Open Defecation Free) Plus Manuals under Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) Phase-2. It was released during an event organized by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS).

  • Developed by DDWS the manual covers key components of ODF Plus like Grey Water Management, Plastic Waste Management, Faecal Sludge Management and Biodegradable Waste Management.
  • It will help states, districts, and rural local bodies implement solid and liquid waste management initiatives.

SBM-G Phase-2
i.The Phase-2 of the SBM-G was launched in 2020 by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. It aims to achieve comprehensive cleanliness in villages (ODF Plus Status) by focusing on ODF sustainability and ensuring SLWM arrangements in villages.

  • The Ministry of Jal Shakti will support around 2 lakh villages to achieve Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) arrangements through an investment of INR 40, 700 Crore during FY 2021-22.

About Ministry of Jal Shakti
Union Minister – Gajendra Singh Shekhawat(Constituency – Jodhpur, Rajasthan)
MoS –  Prahalad Singh Patel (Constituency -Damoh, Madhya Pradesh), Bishweswar Tudu (Constituency -Mayurbhanj, Odisha)

Jyotiraditya Scindia forms 3 Advisory Group to revive Airlines Industry

Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia formed 3 advisory groups for Airlines, Airports and MROs (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul units). The groups will discuss and find solutions to revive the Airlines Industry.

  • The Group on Airlines will comprise chiefs of all major airlines in India, it will be headed by Jyotiraditya Scindia.
  • The Airports Group will consist of top officials of major Indian airport operators, while the MROs Group will comprise of 4 Industry Executives from MRO, ground handling, cargo and FTO (Flight Training Organisation).
  • Indian airlines faced losses of around INR 21,000 crores in FY21. The estimated losses for FY22 is INR 12,700 crores.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

UN Food Systems Pre-Summit 2021 held in hybrid mode at Rome, Italy; Narendra Singh Tomar participated virtuallyOn July 26-28, 2021, a 3-day United Nations (UN) Food Systems Pre-Summit 2021 was held in a hybrid mode which was organized by the UN and the Government of Italy in Rome, Italy. There India was represented by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) who led the 15-member delegation.

  • The Union Minister virtually delivered the Ministerial Statement which emphasized the importance of Agriculture in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 as 12 out of 17 SDGs are directly dependent on agriculture.

Key Points:
i.It should be noted that the UN accepted the Government of India’s proposal to celebrate 2023 as ‘International Year of Millets’.
ii.India’s efforts of becoming food grain exporter through Green, White and Blue revolutions from a state of food shortages were highlighted during the summit. Other key efforts by India with regards to agriculture are as follows:

  • Creation of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore
  • Formation of 10000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme through which an amount of 1.37 lakh crore has been credited to the bank accounts of 11 crore farmers.
  • Per Drop More Cropscheme for irrigation
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) for organic farming as well as the ‘Soil Health Card’ Scheme to conserve water and soil resources.
  • Pradhan Mantri FasalBima Yojana (PMFBY) to provide insurance protection for covering the risk of farmers.

Other Participants:
UN Secretary-General Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, and Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi along with representatives of various countries.
Indian delegation: Minister of State (MoS) Sushree Shobha Karandlaje, (MoA&FW); Dr. Neena Malhotra, Ambassador of India to Italy, among others and officers from Ministries of Rural Development, Women & Child Development; Fisheries, Agriculture Research and Education, Food & Public Distribution and Education.

WHO releases Global Tobacco Epidemic 2021 ReportThe World Health Organization (WHO) released the 8th edition of the ‘Global Tobacco Epidemic 2021: Addressing new and emerging products’. For the 1st time, the report presents data on e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS).
i.The report states Children and adolescents who use ENDS have high chances of using conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products in the future.
ii.Use of ENDS affects brain development of adolescents, it also has a damaging impact on the cardiovascular and respiratory health of regular smokers.
iii.Currently, just 32 countries (covering 2.4 billion people) have banned the sale of ENDS, while 79 countries have implemented partial measures to regulate ENDS.
Other findings

  • Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year.
  • 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low and middle-income countries.
  • However, smoking prevalence among people aged over 15 years has decreased from 22.7% to 17.5%.

About World Health Organization (WHO)
Director General – Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland

BANKING & FINANCE

Yes Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance inked Co-Lending Agreement for Home LoansYes Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance sign co-lending agreementA co-lending agreement was inked between Yes Bank and Indiabulls Housing Finance for home loans. This collaboration aimed to enhance capabilities of providing seamless experience to retail home loan customers.

  • Under this, home loans will be provided at competitive interest rates.

What is the Co-Lending Model (CLM)?
The framework of co-lending was provided by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with an objective to join the low-cost funding model of a bank with cost-efficient sourcing and servicing capabilities of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) to unserved and underserved sectors of India.

  • The co-lending bank will take its share of the individual loans on a back-to-back basis in their books, while NBFC is required to retain a minimum of 20% share of the individual loans on its books.
  • The CLM is not applicable to foreign banks (including WOS- wholly owned subsidiaries) with less than 20 branches.

Key Points:
i.The partnership is in line with Yes Bank’s strategy of expanding its retail franchise through partnership models for profitable and quality home loan portfolio.
ii.On the other hand, Indiabulls Housing Finance will leverage Yes Bank’s deposit with its technology-led distribution to provide efficient solutions for home loans to a wide base of customers.
About Yes Bank:
Establishment– 2004
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Prashant Kumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Experience our Expertise
About Indiabulls Housing Finance:
Managing Director (MD)– Gagan Banga
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI Released RBI-DPI of March 2021; Digital Payments Grew 30.19% in FY21On July 28, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the RBI – Digital Payments Index (RBI-DPI) in March 2021 at 270.59, increased from 207.84 in March 2020.

  • The digital payments of the country have recorded a growth of 30.19 percent in FY21 due to COVID-19.
  • It is the index launched by RBI in January 2018 with March 2018 as the base period (ie. DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100) to identify the extent of digitisation of payments across the country. The index will be released semi-annually.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
>>Read Full News

RBI Allowed Non-banks to Participate in CPS – RTGS, NEFT On July 28, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed Non-banks to participate in its Centralised Payment Systems (CPS) viz, Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) systems, in a phased manner.

  • In the 1st phase, authorised non-bank Payment System Providers (PSPs) such as Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) Issuers, Card Networks, and White Label ATM Operators will be allowed to participate in CPS as direct members.
  • To be eligible to get direct access to CPS, the Non-bank PSPs need to have a valid Certificate of Authorisation (CoA) from the RBI under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act).
  • Their Net-worth has to be Rs 25 crore or as prescribed as per CoA, whichever is higher.

About RTGS and NEFT:
i.RTGS is a funds transfer system where it allows a continuous and real-time settlement of fund transfers, individually on a transaction by transaction basis (without netting) (introduced in 2004).
ii.NEFT is a nationwide centralized payment system that allows the transfer of funds from one bank’s account to another (introduced in 2005).
iii.The NEFT and RTGS systems were made available 24x7x365 with effect from December 2019 and December 2020.
>>Read Full News

Prest Loans and U GRO Capital partnered to provide MSME Credit in Tier 3 and 4 CitiesGap in Tier 3 and 4 CitiesOn July 28, 2021, Digital lender NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) Prest Loans signed a strategic alliance agreement with U GRO Capital to provide secured business loans to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) units.

  • As a part of tie-up Prest Loans will offer U GRO Capital’s ‘GRO Micro’ product to its small businesses and MSME customers in tier 3 and tier 4 cities who lack the access to formal credit at affordable price without the requirement of too many documents.
  • The cities with population of 20,000 to 49,999 are Tier 3 cities and with 10,000 to 19,999 are Tier 4 cities.

No need of Complex Financial documents for Loans
With the help of Prest Loans algorithm ‘Prest Score’ and its experience, the small ticket collateral-based loans will be disbursed to small businesses without needing complex financial documents like GST (Goods and Service Tax) returns, ITR (Income Tax Return) or audited financials etc.

  • The ‘Prest Score’ algorithm gives weightage to non-financial parameters like family and social information to assess ‘intention to pay’ of the borrower along with ability to pay.

Key Points:      
i.The partnership aims to cater to the unmet need of businesses in specific segments like groceries, pharma, dairy and fruits & vegetables etc.
ii.In this regard, Prest Loans will expand its operations in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Gujarat for these loans where the demand is rising post COVID-19.
About Prest Loans:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Ashok Mittal
Headquarters– New Delhi
About U GRO Capital:
Executive Chairman and Managing Director– Shachindra Nath
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hughes to Connect 1,800 Bank Of India Sites with Satellite Broadband

Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd (HCIPL), the satellite broadband services firm, has made a deal with the Bank of India to connect 1,800 branches of the Bank of India across India using a satellite-based connectivity solution.

  • HCIPL will provide the network connectivity through the Hughes Jupiter system including routers, gateways, and network management with high performance and efficiency, using capacity on the GSAT11 and NSS12 satellites.
  • Through the project, HCIPL provides satellite connectivity to branches of banks that serve rural customers viz, Aryavart Bank, Madhya Pradesh Gramin Bank (MPGB), Vidharbha Konkan Gramin Bank (VKGB), and Bank of India (BoI).
  • So far, HCIPL has connected over 30,000 branches and 40,000 ATMs of 30 nationalised and private banks.

About Bank of India:
Establishment – 1906
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Atanu Kumar Das
About Hughes Communications India Pvt Ltd (HCIPL):
Headquarters – Gurgaon, Haryana
President & Managing Director – Partho Banerjee

FamPay Tie up with Visa Launched India’s 1st Doodle CardsFamPay partners Visa to woo teenagers with personalised doodle cards newFamPay in partnership with VISA launched India’s 1st numberless Visa prepaid card for teenagers with personalised doodles. This card will also be the 1st numberless card of Visa.

  • The card will be available in 2 different designs such as the ‘FamCard’ and ‘FamCard Me’ and it will enable the teenagers to make NFC (Near-field communication)-enabled contactless payments on the Visa network in India.
  • Personalisation: The teenagers could choose from 200+ doodles and signature fonts to create unique designs on their FamCard Me.
  • By using the FamCard and the FamPay App, teenagers could make both online and offline payments without a bank account.

About FamPay:
So far, FamPay has crossed 2 million registered users, in June 2021, it raised one of India’s biggest Series A funding of $38 million.
Establishment – 2019
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
About VISA:
Headquarters – California, United States
Chairman and CEO – Alfred F. Kelly, Jr.

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

India becomes 4th Largest Forex Reserves Holder Globally

India became the 4th largest foreign exchange (Forex) reserves holder globally after China, Japan, and Switzerland. India’s Forex reserves in the week ended July 16, 2021, rose by $835 million to touch a record high of $612.73 billion.

  • India’s forex reserves cover Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs), Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), Gold Reserves and the country’s reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

 Satpura Tiger Reserve won Natwest Group Earth Heroes Award- 2021The Satpura Tiger reserve in the state of Madhya Pradesh has won the Natwest Group Earth Heroes Award-2021 in the Earth Guardian category for best management. 

  • Natwest Earth Heroes Award formerly known as RBS Earth Heroes Award, takes place annually, since 2011.
  • The Awards bring recognition and honour to individuals and institutions who work exceptionally hard to preserve and protect our critical ecosystems.

Gist about Satpura Tiger Reserve
i.Satpura Tiger Reserve is located in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh (India) and it is part of the Deccan bio-geographic zone of India.
ii.It has placed in the tentative list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
About Madhya Pradesh
Governor– Mangubhai Changbhai Patel
Chief Minister – Shivraj Singh Chouhan

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS          

Bharat Bill Pay Appoints Former PayU Executive Noopur Chaturvedi as CEOBharat Bill Payment System(BBPS) appointed Noopur Chaturvedi, a former executive of PayU India and Airtel Payments Bank as its new Chief Executive Officer(CEO). She succeeds the outgoing CEO AR Ramesh.

  • BBPS is a bill payment system conceptualised by the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) and driven by the National Payments Corporation of India(NPCI).

About Noopur Chaturvedi:
i.Noopur Chaturvedi has served as Country Head of Small and Midsize Business (SMB) at PayU India.
ii.She has also worked with Airtel Payments Bank, Samsung, ING Vysya Bank and Citibank at various senior capacities.
Additional info:
i.In April 2021, NPCI transferred all its BBPS transaction mandates to its new subsidiary, the NPCI Bharat BillPay Limited (NBBL).
ii.According to the RBI, the BBPS transactions have increased 16% month-on-month to 45.47 million in June, amounting to Rs 7,934.71 crore.
About Bharat Bill Payment System(BBPS)):
CEO– Noopur Chaturvedi
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Pham Minh Chinh Re-elected as PM of VietnamPham Minh Chinh re-elected as Vietnamese Prime Minister
Pham Minh Chinh was re-elected as the Prime Minister (PM) of Vietnam for 2021-2026 through the 15th National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam.

  • At first, he was elected as PM of Vietnam on 5 April 2021.
  • Pham Minh Chinh, is a member of the Politburo of the 13th Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee (CPVCC), was re-elected with a 95.99 percent approval rate among deputies at the ongoing first session of the 15th NA.

About Vietnam:
Capital – Hanoi
President – Nguyen Xuan Phuc
Currency – Vietnamese dong

Nasir Kamal IPS Appointed as DG of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed Nasir Kamal, 1986 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, as the Director-General(DG) of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security(BCAS), an independent department under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

  • He will hold the post till 31st July 2022, the date of his superannuation.
  • He has previously served as the Director of the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS        

IFC Acquires 4.99% Stake in Federal Bank for Rs 916 Crore

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of World Bank and its 2 investment funds- IFC Financial Institutions Growth (FIG) Fund and IFC Emerging Asia Fund (EAF), has acquired a 4.99% stake in the Federal Bank for Rs.916 crore.

Note – IFC FIG Fund & IFC EAF was managed by IFC Asset Management Company.

This is IFC’s first investment in India in line with Greening Equity Approach.

  • The board of Federal bank approved the issuance of 10.5 crore equity shares of face value Rs 2 each to IFC Group at Rs 87.39 per share.
  • The IFC will pick up 3.1 crore shares to acquire 1.5%, IFC FIG Fund and IFC EAF will acquire 3.6 crore shares each to own a 1.75% stake each.

Key points:
i.This investment will assist the Federal Bank’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards while strengthening its tier 1 Capital Adequacy Ratio(CAR) and expanding its Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) and climate finance portfolios.
ii.As of June 2021, mutual funds held 35.6% in the bank followed by foreign investors (24%) and insurance companies (10.8%). Individual shareholders and others held the remaining 29.3%.
About Federal Bank:
MD & CEO– Shyam Srinivasan
Headquarters– Aluva, Kerala
Tagline– Your Perfect Banking Partner
Incorporated on 23rd April 1931 as the Travancore Federal Bank Limited and renamed as the Federal Bank Limited in December 1949.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Central Govt launched Secured Logistics Document Exchange & Calculator for GHG EmissionsAs a part of efforts for improving the ease of doing business, the Central Government launched the ‘Secured Logistics Document Exchange (SLDE)’ and ‘Calculator for Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions’.

  • While SLDE is to replace the manual process of logistics documents with a digitized, secure and seamless document exchange system, the GHG emission calculator will choose sustainable and right mode of transport for freight movement.
  • These launches are on the lines of Logistics Division mandate of ‘Integrated Development of the Logistics Sector’.

Key Points:
i.The SLDE platform will improve logistics efficiency, reduce logistics cost, promote multi-modality and sustainability, and lower risk of fraud.

  • The proof of concept of the platform has been developed and executed with banks (ICICI, Axis Bank, State Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC Bank) and stakeholders including freight forwarders, exporters, importers and vessel operators.

ii.The GHG Calculator allows for commodity-wise comparison of GHG emissions and total cost of transportation, including their environmental cost, between movement by road and rail.
Participants:
The Launch Event was attended by more than 75 participants including Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce and Industry Pawan Kumar Agarwal and representatives from Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), Container Freight Station Association of India (CFSAI), etc, among others Central Ministries, Banks, IT (Information Technology) companies, international organizations, logistics sector stakeholders and industry bodies.

China plans to build the world’s 1st ‘Clean’ commercial Nuclear Reactor Chinese scientists have unveiled plans for a first of its kind commercial Nuclear reactor which runs on liquid Thorium rather than uranium

  • This prototype reactor being developed by a team of scientists at the Shanghai Institute of Applied physics will be completed by August and the first tests will begin from September
  • A full scale commercial reactor is expected to be ready by 2030.
  • It uses molten salt instead of water for cooling. 

Molten-salt reactors
Instead of using Fuel rods, Molten salt reactors will dissolve thorium into liquid fluoride salt before sending this mixture into the reactor’s chamber which is above 600 degree celsius temperature.
If there is a leak, the molten salt cools enough effectively so that it seals in the thorium and prevents any significant leaks.
 Advantages

  • Thorium is more abundant and much cheaper than Uranium and It cannot be easily converted into nuclear weapons.
  • They will be much safer than traditional nuclear reactors as they will emit less radiation in case any adverse events occur.
  • It can be operated easily in desserts and across the plains as water is not required

Thorium

  • It is a radioactive, silvery metal which are present widely in monazite sand
  • India has the largest reserves of Thorium in the world.

ISRO to Launch Geo-Imaging Satellite ‘EOS-3’ in August, 2021Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch its most advanced Geo-Imaging SatelliteEOS-3’ (also known as GISAT-1) on August 12, 2021. It will be capable of near-real time monitoring of natural disasters like Floods & Cyclones.

  • It is also capable of imaging the country 4-5 times a day and will monitor water bodies, crops, vegetation condition, and forest cover changes.
  • It will be launched into the Geosynchronous orbit by GSLV-F10 Rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Objective of the Satellite:

  • The earth observation satellite will provide the country near real-time images of its borders and also enable quick monitoring of natural disasters.
  • The Satellite would provide near real-time imaging of the large area region of interest at frequent intervals.
  • It will obtain spectral signatures of agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow and glacier and oceanography.

Rescheduled Launches
i.The 1st Developmental flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) has been scheduled for launch in the 4th Quarter of 2021 from SDSC, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

  • SSLV has a payload capability of 500 kg to 500 km Planar orbit or 300 kg to Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit.

ii.The launch of the 1st uncrewed mission as part of India’s 1st Human spaceflight programme ‘Gaganyaan’ has been postponed to 2022.
iii.ISRO will launch the Chandrayaan-3 mission to the Moon in the 3rd Quarter of 2022.
About ISRO
Chairman – Dr.K. Sivan
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka

Russia’s Nauka Module launched to ISS

Recently Russia’s Space Agency ‘Roscosmos’ launched its Largest Space Laboratory ‘Nauka (meaning Science)’ to the International Space Station (ISS) from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

  • ‘Nauka’ will replace the Russian Module ‘Pirs’ on the ISS. Pirs arrived at the Space Station in 2001.
  • It will serve as a research facility and is equipped with an oxygen generator, a spare bed, another toilet, and a robotic cargo crane built by the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • Nauka was sent into orbit using a Proton rocket.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Tiger Day 2021 – July 29 The International Tiger Day is annually observed across the globe on 29th July to create awareness about the Tigers (scientific name: Panthera tigris, belong to genus Panthera), one of the species that is classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The International Tiger Day is also known as Global Tiger Day. 
Aim:
To spread awareness about the decreasing population of tigers and the importance of Tiger conservation and their natural habitats.
Background:
i.On 23rd November 2010, ‘The St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation’ signed during the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia from 21 to 24 November 2010, proclaimed the 29th July of every year as the Global Tiger Day.
ii.The declaration was signed by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, the countries housing the remaining tigers in the wild.
>>Read Full News

Earth Overshoot Day 2021 – July 29 Earth Overshoot Day(EOD) marks the day on which humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in the year exceeds the regeneration capacity of Earth in that year.
The Earth Overshoot Day 2021 falls on the 29th July 2021.
The EOD  is hosted and calculated by Global Footprint Network, an international research organization.

  • The Earth Overshoot Day 2020 was observed on 22nd August 2020.

Calculation of Earth Overshoot Day:
It is calculated with the data from Global Footprint Network’s National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts.
(Planet’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day
Background:
i.Earth Overshoot Day(EOD) is an initiative of the Global Footprint Network.
ii.The idea of EOD was conceived by Andrew Simms of New Economics Foundation, the United Kingdom think tank.
iii.New Economics Foundation partnered with the Global Footprint Network in 2006 to launch the first global Earth Overshoot Day campaign.
>>Read Full News

National Moth Week 2021 – July 17 – 25 The National Moth Week is annually observed across the globe on the last full week of July to celebrate the beauty, lifecycle and habitats of the nocturnal species, moths. The day offers an opportunity for everyone to become a Citizen Scientist and contribute scientific data about moths, a part of the Lepidoptera order of insects.
The National Moth week 2021 observed from 17th to 25th July 2021, marks the 10th National Moth week.

  • The National Moth week 2020 was observed from 18th to 26th July 2020.
  • The National Moth week 2022 will be observed from 23rd to 31st July 2022.

Background:
The National Moth Week is a project of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission (Friends of EBEC), a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education and conservation.
The first annual National Moth Week was held from 23rd to 29th July 2012.
National Moth Week in India:
As a part of the observance of the National Moth week 2021, World Wide Fund for Nature-India(WWF-India), has joined with iNaturewatch Foundation to focus on the increasing appreciation, study and data collection on moths.

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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.no Current Affairs 30 July 2021
1 Cabinet Approval on July 28, 2021
2 Gold Reserves in India Estimated at 501.83 MT
3 Dharmendra Pradhan proposes to set up National Research Foundation
4 Indore becomes only Indian city to make it to Int’l Clean Air Catalyst Programme
5 ODF Plus Manuals under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase II Released
6 Govt. forms three Aviation Advisory Groups for advice on sectoral issues
7 UN Food Systems Pre-Summit 2021 held in hybrid mode at Rome, Italy; Narendra Singh Tomar participated virtually
8 Children, adolescents who use e-cigarettes twice as likely to smoke conventional ones later: WHO
9 Yes Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance inked Co-Lending Agreement for Home Loans
10 RBI Released RBI-DPI of March 2021; Digital Payments Grew 30.19% in FY21
11 RBI Allowed Non-banks to Participate in CPS – RTGS, NEFT
12 Prest Loans and U GRO Capital partnered to provide MSME Credit in Tier 3 and 4 Cities
13 Hughes to connect 1,800 Bank of India sites with satellite broadband
14 FamPay Tie up with Visa Launched India’s 1st Doodle Cards
15 India becomes 4th largest forex reserves holder globally
16 MP Satpura Tiger Reserve bags Natwest Earth Heroes Award
17 Bharat Bill Pay Appoints Former PayU Executive Noopur Chaturvedi as CEO
18 Pham Minh Chinh re-elected as Vietnamese Prime Minister
19 Nasir Kamal IPS Appointed as DG of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security
20 IFC Acquires 4.99% Stake in Federal Bank for Rs 916 Crore
21 Central Govt launched Secured Logistics Document Exchange & Calculator for GHG Emissions
22 China to activate world’s first clean Nuclear Reactor
23 ISRO to launch a satellite for natural disaster monitoring later this year
24 What is Nauka, the module Russia is sending to the ISS
25 International Tiger Day 2021 – July 29
26 Earth Overshoot Day 2021 – July 29
27 National Moth Week 2021 – July 17 – 25