Current Affairs 20th July 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS   

International Chess Day – Observed on July 20

  • The International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, the day the International Chess Federation was founded, in 1924.
  • This year FIDE’s motto is, “Teach someone how to play chess.” 
  • The idea to celebrate this day as the international chess day was proposed by UNESCO, and it has been celebrated as such since 1966, after it was established by FIDE.
  • Chess is one of the ancient games with a combination of sport, scientific thinking, and elements of arts.
  • As we know that sports have helped humanity to survive in times of crisis by improving mental health and reducing anxieties.

Science Exploration Day – Observed on July 20

  • Science Exploration Day: a gathering on the campus of SUNY Buffalo of scientists, engineers and healthcare professionals where each presents a brief glimpse into the world of science, technology, and healthcare in Western New York to the next generation of prospective scientists and the everyday citizens who will be asked to support science in the 21st century.
  • Science Exploration Day is open to students from public and private schools throughout Western New York school districts.
  • Main Objective is to “tune them in to science”, so they will continue their studies in science and become part of the future in the mathematics, science, engineering, and medical fields.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : NATIONAL NEWS

Government to set up a world-class ‘Indian Institute of Heritage’ at Noida:

  • Government to set up a world-class ‘Indian Institute of Heritage’ at Noida to focus on conservation and research in India’s rich tangible heritage.
  • The government has decided to set up the ‘Indian Institute of Heritage’ at Noida, Gautama Buddha Nagar.
  • This will impact higher education and research in the field related to rich Indian heritage and its conservation leading to Masters and Ph.D courses in History of Arts, Conservation, Museology, Archival Studies, Archaeology, Preventive Conservation, Epigraphy and Numismatics, Manuscriptology etc. as well as conservation training facilities to in-service employees and the students of the Indian Institute of Heritage.
  • The Institute is being set up as Deemed to be University by integrating Institute of Archaeology (Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology), School of Archival Studies under National Archives of India, New Delhi, the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC), Lucknow, National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology (NMICHM) and Academic Wing of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi.
  • These shall become various schools of the Institute.
  • Indian Institute of Heritage will be a world-class university that would focus on the conservation and research in India’s rich tangible heritage, while offering research, development and dissemination of knowledge, excellence in the education of its students and activities associated with heritage that contribute to the cultural, scientific and economic life of India.
  • This would be a standalone Institution of its type in the country.

104 startups from different sectors have currently on boarded on the Startup India Showcase Platform

  • 104startups from different sectors such as Food-Tech, Green energy, Defence, Ed-Tech, Health-Tech, etc are currently on board on the platform.
  • Startup India Showcase is an online discovery platform for the most promising startups of the country.
  • These innovations span across various cutting-edge sectors such as Fintech, EntrepriseTech, Social Impact, HealthTech, EdTech, among others.
  • Ecosystem stakeholders (Investors/Accelerators, Corporates/PSUs, Start-ups) have evaluated, nurtured, and supported these start-ups.
  • Each startup has a profile page with detailed pitch about their product, innovation, and USP in forms of Videos and PDF links. This provides unique visibility to them in front of the entire startup ecosystem.
  • Each startup profile is linked with Social Media Pages, LinkedIn URLs of founders and a direct Connect button which facilitate networking opportunities between users. This enables platform users to connect better and explore further business opportunities.
  • The platform is powered with various tools from a powerful search to an intuitive filter which will enable seamless discovery of startups for stakeholders.
  • Startup India Showcase is an all-star repository as the platform contains startups who have already proved their capabilities via different means (winning competitions, selling on GeM etc), they will also be a potential priority choice for government and corporate buyers, facilitating their business growth.

Government launches National Logistics Excellence Awards

  • With a view to turn the spotlight on the logistics sector, the Government announced the launch of National Logistics Excellence Awards.
  • Awards will give due recognition to various players involved in the logistics supply chain
  • Awards will be an opportunity to laud the extraordinary measures taken by Organizations to address the deficiencies exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The framework of awards has been finalised in consultation with the logistics associations and forum user industry partners.
  • The awards are in two categories, the first group includes logistics infrastructure/service providers and second one is for various user industries.
  • The awards will highlight best practices including consolidation, process standardisation, technological upgrade, digital transformations, and sustainable practices.
  • While the Indian logistics sector has been growing at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 10.5%, reaching approximately USD 215 billion in value in 2020, there are systemic, interconnected problems that must be addressed to enhance its efficiency.
  • Comprehensive logistics costs amount to almost 14% of India’s GDP.

Indian Panorama calls for entries for 52nd edition of IFFI

  • The 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has announced a call for entries for Indian Panorama, 2021.
  • Indian Panorama is a flagship component of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) under which best of contemporary Indian films are selected for the promotion of film art.
  • The 52nd edition of IFFI will be held in Goa from 20th to 28th November, 2021.
  • The last date to submit applications online is 12th August, 2021, and the last date of the receipt of the hard copy of the online submitted application, along with other requisite documents is 23rd August, 2021.
  • A set of guidelines have to be followed while submitting films for the 2021 Indian Panorama.
  • The date of CBFC or completion of production of the submitted film should be during the last 12 months preceding the festival, i.e. 1st August, 2020 to 31st July, 2021.
  • Films not certified by CBFC and produced within this period can also be submitted.
  • All films must carry English subtitles.
  • The Indian Panorama has ever since been completely devoted to showcasing the best of the Indian films of the year.
  • The aim of the Indian Panorama, organized by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, is to select feature and non-feature films of cinematic, thematic and aesthetic excellence, for the promotion of film art through the non-profit screening of these films in international film festivals in India and abroad, Indian Film Weeks held under Bilateral Cultural Exchange Programmes and Specialized Indian Film Festivals outside cultural exchange protocols, and special Indian Panorama festivals in India.

Chief Labour Commissioner of India reviews implementation of Labour Laws and new Labour Codes with Project officials in Srinagar

  • Chief Labour Commissioner of India Shri DPS Negi reviewed the status of sensitization and implementation of labour laws in labour codes in various developmental projects in Srinagar. 
  • In separate meetings with State Government and senior project officials from Airports Authority Of India (AAI), NHPC, BRO, NHIDCL, Power Grid, HPCL, CPWD, etc., Shri Negi enquired about the prevailing labour issues at their project sites.
  • Senior officers of state Government and GMs in-charge of the projects briefed the CLC(C) regarding the compliance with various labour laws.
  • Shri Negi expressed satisfaction about the compliance status of labour laws at their projects.
  • He explained to the officials and contractors about the importance of implementation of labour laws and new labour codes.
  • He elucidated how compliance with new labour codes is a win-win situation for all – the Government, the employees and the employers.
  • He emphasised and elaborated the keenness of GOI to ensure the safety, security and welfare of all sections of workers – in both the organised and unorganised sectors.
  • Shri Negi told the officials present that it is all the more important to implement Labour Codes because the majority are PSUs of GOI and they all must keep in mind the last worker who is standing in line.

Lower stunting among children with mothers who had access to midday meal scheme: Nature Communications Study

  • Lower stunting among children with mothers who had access to free school lunches, shows data from 1993-2016.
  • Girls who had access to the free lunches provided at government schools, had children with a higher height-to-age ratio than those who did not, says a new study on the intergenerational benefits of India’s midday meal scheme published in Nature Communications.
  • Using nationally representative data on cohorts of mothers and their children spanning 23 years, the paper showed that by 2016, the prevalence of stunting was significantly lower in areas where the mid scheme was implemented in 2005.
  • More than one in three Indian children are stunted, or too short for their age, which reflects chronic undernutrition.
  • The fight against stunting has often focussed on boosting nutrition for young children, but nutritionists have long argued that maternal health and well-being is the key to reduce stunting in their offspring.
  • Noting that “interventions to improve maternal height and education must be implemented years before those girls and young women become mothers”, the study has attempted a first-of-its-kind inter-generational analysis of the impacts of a mass feeding programme.
  • The paper was authored by a researcher from the University of Washington and economists and nutrition experts at the International Food Policy Research Institute. 
  • It found that the midday meal scheme was associated with 13-32% of India’s improvement in height-for-age z-scores (HAZ) between 2006 and 2016.
  • The linkages between midday meals and lower stunting in the next generation were stronger in lower socio-economic strata and likely work through women’s education, fertility, and use of health services

Successful trial of movement of train between Jaynagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal undertaken on 34.5 km-long rail section

  • On July 18, 2021, a successful trial of movement of trains was undertaken between Jaynagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal.
  • The length of the rail section is 34.50 and this is the first section of the rail line links between the two countries which connects Kurtha in the Mahottari district of Nepal to Jaynagar in the Madhubani district of Bihar
  • The total cost for this rail section is 619 crores.
  • IRCON has set up the The Jayanagar – Kurtha Railway under the India – Nepal friendship rail project which was financed by the Indian government.

About IRCON

  • Ircon International or Indian Railway Construction Limited (IRCON) is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways and a construction & engineering corporation which specializes in infrastructure used for transport.
  • The subsidiary was established in 1976 with the primary aim of construction of various railway projects in India as well as abroad.
  • At present, Ircon has successfully completed over 1650 major infrastructure projects in India and over 900 major projects around the world in 31 countries.
  • M. K Singh is the current chairman of Ircon.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE NEWS

Haryana govt launch ‘One Block, One Product’ scheme

  • Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala stated To encourage and promote small industries in the rural areas, the Haryana government will soon introduce the ‘One Block, One Product’ scheme.
  • Under the scheme, the state government plans to connect every block of the state with some industrial vision and the government is working expeditiously on this scheme, he added.
  • The Deputy Chief Minister informed that in the last one year, Haryana’s ‘One District, One Product’ Scheme which is being implemented under MSME, has come up as a model across the country.

About Haryana:

  • Haryana is a North Indian state surrounding New Delhi on 3 sides.
  • The Yamuna River runs along its eastern border with Uttar Pradesh.
  • Shared with Punjab, the state capital Chandigarh is known for its modernist buildings and gridlike street plan designed by Swiss architect, Le Corbusier.
  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya
  • Chief minister: Manohar Lal Khattar
  • National parks: Sultanpur National Park, Kalesar National Park

Meghalaya Cabinet nods proposed Meghalaya Youth Policy 2021

  • Meghalaya cabinet approved the Meghalaya Youth Policy 2021, a framework that envisages towards achieving the government’s vision to create pathways for Meghalaya’s youth in achieving their fullest potential and becoming engaged, skilled, creative, responsible and empowered members of the local and global community.
  • The policy will be notified by the Government soon.
  • Drafted by the Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Government of Meghalaya, the policy is in sync with the government’s vision for the state to transform Meghalaya to be amongst the top 10 states in 10 years in GSDP per capita and SDG ranking.
  • The policy aims to address major issues and concerns of the youth based on nine identified key thrust areas that includes Education, Health & Wellbeing, Counselling & Mentoring, Employment Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Sports, Cultural & creative industries, Engagement & Leadership, Inclusion and Environmental Consciousness.

About Meghalaya:

  • Meghalaya is a state in Northeast India.
  • Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972.
  • Capital: Shillong
  • Governor: Satya Pal Malik
  • Chief minister: Conrad Sangma
  • National Parks: Balpakram National Park

Assam govt announced to provide jobs to National Games medallists

  • The Assam Government has decided to provide jobs to National Games medalists.
  • Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that along with Olympics, Asian and Commonwealth games medalists the medal winners in National Games would also get government jobs.
  • The Chief Minister mentioned that all those who won medals in National Games so far for Assam would be given Sports Pension by the State Government.
  • Mr. Sarma hoped that this decision would help the sportspersons of the state.
  • The Chief Minister also announced that the house would send a goodwill message to boxer Lovlina Borgohain who will vie for a medal in Tokyo Olympics.

About Assam:

  • Assam is a state in northeastern India known for its wildlife, archeological sites and tea plantations.
  • In the west, Guwahati, Assam’s largest city features silk bazaars and the hilltop Kamakhya Temple.
  • Umananda Temple sits on Peacock Island in the Brahmaputra river.
  • The state capital, Dispur, is a suburb of Guwahati.
  • The ancient pilgrimage site of Hajo and Madan Kamdev, the ruins of a temple complex, lie nearby.
  • Capital: Dispur
  • Chief minister: Himanta Biswa Sarma
  • Governor: Jagdish Mukhi
  • National parks: Kaziranga National park , Manas National park, Dibru-Saikhowa National park, Nameri  National park and Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS NEWS

Google Cloud unveiled second ‘Cloud Region’ in India

  • With this new region, Google Cloud customers operating in India will benefit from low latency and high performance of their cloud-based workloads and data.
  • Google Cloud announced expanding its footprint in India with its second ‘Cloud Region’ in the country.
  • Located in Delhi-NCR to further serve customers and the public sector in India and across Asia-Pacific, this is the company’s 26th Cloud Region globally, and 10th in Asia Pacific.
  • It also would support organizations’ digital transformation efforts and India’s economic recovery, Google Cloud’s India managing director Bikram Singh Bedi wrote in a post.
  • The Delhi region has three availability zones and offers a service portfolio that includes Google Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and Cloud Spanner.

About Google Cloud Platform:

  • Google Cloud Platform, offered by Google, is a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Google Search, Gmail, file storage, and YouTube.

FDI limit in NPS fund managers increased to 74%

  • The government may hike foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the pension sector to 74 per cent and a Bill in this regard is expected to come in the next Parliament session, according to sources.
  • Last month, Parliament approved a Bill to increase FDI limit in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent. 
  • The Insurance Act, 1938 was last amended in 2015 which raised FDI limit to 49 per cent, resulting in foreign capital inflow of Rs 26,000 crore in the last 5 years.
  • Amendment to Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Act, 2013 seeking to raise FDI limit in the pension sector may come in the monsoon session or winter session depending on various approvals.

About FDI:

  • A foreign direct investment is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. 
  • It is thus distinguished from a foreign portfolio investment by a notion of direct control.

India emerges as 5th largest foreign exchange reserves holder in world 

  • With India’s forex reserves at $608.99 billion as on June 25, 2021 stood, India has emerged as the fifth largest foreign exchange reserves holder in the world after China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia.
  • This was stated by Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary.
  • The Minister stated that India’s foreign exchange reserves position is comfortable in terms of import cover of more than 18 months and provides cushion against unforeseen external shocks.
  • Government and RBI are closely monitoring the emerging external position calibrating policies or regulations to support robust macroeconomic growth.
  • Giving more details, the Minister stated that RBI takes regular steps for diversification of forex reserves by scaling up operations in forex swap and repo markets, acquisition of gold and exploring new markets/products, while adhering to safety and liquidity standards.
  • Variation in India’s forex reserves is primarily the outcome of RBI’s intervention in the foreign exchange market to smoothen exchange rate volatility, valuation changes due to movement of US dollar against other international currencies in the reserve basket, movement in gold prices, interest earnings from deployment of foreign currency assets and inflow of aid receipts.

About Foreign exchange reserves:

  • Foreign exchange reserves are assets held on reserve by a central bank in foreign currencies.
  • These reserves are used to back liabilities and influence monetary policy.
  • It includes any foreign money held by a central bank, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING NEWS

Maruti Suzuki India ties up with Bank of Maharashtra 

  • The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India stated it has tied up with Bank of Maharashtra for offering inventory financing to its dealer partners.
  • This is the first time that Bank of Maharashtra will be offering dealer inventory financing to the company’s dealers.
  • Bank of Maharashtra’s Mahabank Channel Financing scheme will provide comprehensive financing opportunities for MSIL’s dealer partners across the nation under the partnership.
  • MSIL Senior Executive Director, Marketing and Sales, Shashank Srivastava stated the collaboration with Bank of Maharashtra will offer new-age banking and finance solutions for the company’s dealer partners.
  • There is a business requirement to induct more finance partners for dealer inventory funding keeping in mind long term business requirements and contingencies”.

About Maruti Suzuki:

  • Maruti Suzuki India Limited, formerly known as Maruti Udyog Limited, is an Indian automotive manufacturer company, based in New Delhi, India.
  • It was founded and owned by the Government of India between 1981 until 2003.
  • It was sold to Suzuki Motor Corporation by the Government of India in 2003.
  • CEO: Kenichi Ayukawa
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

About Bank of Maharashtra:

  • Bank of Maharashtra is a major Indian government owned bank under the ownership of the Ministry of Finance.
  • The bank had 15 million customers across the country with 1,900 branches as of 25 March 2021.
  • It has the largest network of branches of any public sector bank in the state of Maharashtra.
  • Headquarters: Pune
  • CEO: A. S. Rajeev
  • Tagline: Ek Parivaar, Ek Bank (One Family One Bank)

GST payable only on profit earned from resale of gold jewellery: Karnataka Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR)

  • Jewellers will have to pay GST only on the profit earned on resale of second-hand gold jewellery, Karnataka AAR has ruled.
  • The application to the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) was filed by Bengaluru-based Aadhya Gold Private Ltd seeking clarity on whether GST is to be paid only on the difference between the selling and purchase price if it purchases used/second- hand gold jewellery from individuals and there is no change in the form/nature of goods at the time of sale.
  • The Karnataka bench of the AAR observed that GST is payable only on the margin between the sale price and the purchase price, since the applicant was not melting the jewellery to transform it to bullion and then recreating it into new jewellery, but rather cleaning and polishing the old jewellery without changing the form of the jewellery purchased.
  • This ruling will reduce the GST payable on resale of second-hand jewellery.
  • The industry usually charges GST at three per cent rate on the gross sale value received from the purchaser.
  • The Karnataka AAR’s decision to charge GST only on the difference between the purchase price and the selling price will have a significant impact on the industry to lower the tax cost to the final consumer.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENT AND RESIGNATION NEWS

Deepinder Goyal joins Magicpin Board as independent director

  • Online business discovery and rewards platform Magicpin stated Zomato co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Deepinder Goyal has joined its board as an independent director.
  • Goyal joins the existing board and advisors that consist of Bejul Somaia (Managing Director of Lightspeed Venture Partners), Vivek Gambhir (CEO of Boat Lifestyle), and Manish Kheterpal (Managing Director at Waterbridge).
  • Founded by Anshoo Sharma and Brij Bhushan in 2016, Magicpin connects hyperlocal merchants and brands with consumers.
  • It is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Waterbridge, and Samsung.
  • It has over 1.5 lakh merchants on the platform, serving 50 lakh consumers.

Shiv Nadar steps down as HCL Tech MD and appointed as Chairman Emeritus

  • Shiv Nadar, the founder of HCL Technologies Ltd, and its chief strategy officer, has tendered his resignation as managing director , as well as a director, with effect from 19 July, on completing 76 years of age.
  • Nadar will, however, continue to guide the company in the capacity of Chairman Emeritus and strategic advisor to the board for five years.
  • C. Vijayakumar, president and chief executive officer, has been appointed as the managing director for five years.
  • HCL Tech, during its first quarter earnings announcement, retained its guidance.

About Emeritus:

  • Emeritus, in its current usage, is an adjective used to designate a retired chair, professor, pastor, bishop, pope, director, president, prime minister, rabbi, emperor, or other person who has been “permitted to retain as an honorary title the rank of the last office held”.
  • CEO: Mohan Kannegal

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi appointed as Deputy Leader of House in Rajya Sabha

  • Union minister of minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was appointed as the deputy leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Naqvi will be succeeding Union minister of commerce Piyush Goyal, who has now taken over as the leader of House in the Rajya Sabha.
  • His appointment as the deputy leader of the Rajya Sabha came on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament.
  • The session will go on till August 13.
  • Naqvi, was elected to Rajya Sabha in 2016 and is known for his vast knowledge of parliamentary affairs.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS

2-Indian organisations bags UNDP Equator Prize 2021

  • United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) mentioned Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Limited and Snehakunja Trust are among the 10 awardees of the prestigious Equator Prize for their work in the field of conservation and biodiversity
  • The UNDP gives a biennial award to recognize community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
  • “Two communities from India bag this year’s prestigious UNDP Equator Prize, for their exceptional achievement in showcasing local, innovative, nature-based solutions for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change and achieving their local development goals”.

About UNDP Equator Prize:

  • The Equator Prize, organized by the Equator Initiative within the United Nations Development Programme, is awarded biennially to recognize community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

India’s Payal Kapadia bags best documentary award in Cannes 2021

  • Director Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing won the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) award for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.
  • The Mumbai-based filmmaker’s first feature bagged the prestigious prize in a formidable field made up of 28 documentaries presented across various sections of the festival.
  • A Night of Knowing Nothing screened as part of the Directors’ Fortnight, a section that runs parallel to the festival.
  • The award was instituted in 2015 by LaScam (the French-Speaking Writers’ Society) and Bertuccelli in collaboration with the Cannes Film Festival and its general delegate Thierry Fremaux.

About Cannes Film Festival:

  • The Cannes Festival, until 2003 called the International Film Festival and known in English as the Cannes Film Festival, is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres, including documentaries, from all around the world.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU’s AND AGREEMENTS

Prasar Bharati and IIT-K signed MOU for NextGen Broadcasting Technology Center of Excellence

  • Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, signed between Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), a Center of Excellence for Media and Broadcasting Technologies will be established at IIT Kanpur.
  • Subsequent to the collaboration agreement, three areas have been identified to be taken up under the aegis of the Center of Excellence – Direct to Mobile Broadcasting and Convergence with emerging 5G standards, Artificial Intelligence and advanced algorithms for audio-visual media.

The following research projects will be taken up by IIT Kanpur in these three areas leveraging funding provided by Prasar Bharati : 

  • Next Generation Broadcast Technology Trial (Direct to Mobile Broadcasting, Convergence with 5G)
  • Automatic Speech Recognition for Speech Subtitling (Making Broadcast Content in various Indian Languages Accessible)
  • Archival Content Retrieval through Audio and Text Query

About Prasar Bharati :

  • Prasar Bharati, is India’s largest public broadcasting agency, headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It is a statutory autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio, which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • CEO: Shashi Shekhar Vempati

CURRENT AFFAIRS : DEFENCE NEWS

INS TABAR COMPLETES MARITIME PARTNERSHIP EXERCISE WITH FRENCH NAVY

  • INS Tabar, on completion of port visit to Brest, France undertook maritime partnership exercise with FNS Aquitaine, a French naval  Frigate in the Bay of Biscay on 15 and 16 Jul 21.
  • A twin engine helicopter (NH 90) from FNS Aquitaine and four Rafale fighter aircraft from French Navy also participated in the exercise.
  • A wide range of operations like Anti – Submarine,  Surface Manoeuvers, Replenishment at Sea approach, Firing on target, Visit Board Search & Seizure (VBSS), Steam Past, Air Defence, Air Picture Compilation, Vertical Replenishment and cross deck operations were exercised by the ships.
  •  The exercise was mutually beneficial in enhancing interoperability and towards consolidating combined operations against maritime threats.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

CCI approves Summit India Tripura’s 23.5 % stake in OTPC               

  • Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 23.5 percent stake in ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd by Summit India (Tripura).

About Competition Commission of India (CCI) :

  • Founded: 14 October 2003
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • First executive: Dhanendra Kumar
  • Chairperson : Ashok Kumar Gupta
  • Director General : Dr Atul Verma

CURRENT AFFAIRS : SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

IIT Madras Develops AI-based algorithm to identify Cancer-causing Alterations

  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed a mathematical model called ‘NBDriver’ to identify cancer-causing alterations in cells.

Researchers Team :

  • This research was led by Prof. B. Ravindran, Head, RBCDSAI, and Mindtree Faculty Fellow IIT Madras and Dr. Karthik Raman, Faculty Member, Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and AI (RBCDSAI), IIT Madras, and also the Coordinator, Centre for Integrative Biology and Systems Medicine (IBSE), IIT Madras. Mr. Shayantan Banerjee, a Master’s Student at IIT Madras, performed the experiments and analysed the data.
  • The results have been recently published in the reputed peer-reviewed International Journal Cancers.
  • The algorithm, driven by artificial intelligence, uses an unexplored technique of leveraging DNA composition.
  • The new algorithm will help to pinpoint genetic alterations responsible for cancer progression.
  • The model will help in identifying the most appropriate treatment strategy for a patient through an approach known as “precision oncology” and “tailoring treatments” not only to a specific illness but also to a person’s genetic make-up is challenging and requires extensive cataloguing of the ‘driver’ variants of interest.

About Cancer :

  • Cancer is caused due to the uncontrolled growth of cells driven mainly by genetic alterations.
  • In recent years, high-throughput DNA sequencing has revolutionised the area of cancer research by enabling the measurement of these alterations.

About Indian Institute of Technology Madras :

  • Established : 1959
  • Chairman : Pawan Kumar Goenka
  • Director : Bhaskar Ramamurthi

CURRENT AFFAIRS : BOOKS & AUTHORS

A new book titled ‘The India Story’ by Former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan

  • A new book titled The India Story Written by Former RBI governor Bimal Jalan.
  • The Book was Published by Rupa, & the book will be released on 21 July on ‘SoftCover’

About the Book :

  • The Book focuses on India’s economic history and aims to provide lessons for the future of India’s political economy.

About Bimal Jalan :

  • Bimal Jalan was a nominated member of the Upper House of India’s Parliament, the Rajya Sabha during 2003–2009.
  • He was the Governor of Reserve Bank of India for two terms.
  • He was also Finance Secretary & Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.
  • Jalan also served as India’s representative on the boards of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank from 2014 to 2016.
  • Previously he has written three books on various aspects of India’s economic and political history, namely ‘India Then and Now’ (2020), ‘India Ahead’ (2018) and ‘Politics Trumps Economics’ (2012), the latter co-authored with economist Pulapre Balakrishnan.

A New Book Titled  ‘A Kashmiri Century – Portrait Of A Society In Flux Authored by Former cabinet minister Khem Lata Wakhlu                  

  • Former cabinet minister Khem Lata Wakhlu Authored a book titled ‘A Kashmiri Century – Portrait Of A Society In Flux.
  • The Book was published by Harper Collins India, released on Soft Cover.

About the Book :

  • The Book deals with the lives of Kashmiris Hindus and Muslims alike and how their existence revolved around the simple pleasures of life.

About Khem Lata Wakhlu :

  • Khem Lata Wakhlu is a writer, a political leader and a social worker.
  • She has served as a member of the J&K legislative assembly for 12 years.
  • From 1984 to 1986 she served as the Minister of Tourism in J&K.
  • She was chairperson of the state’s welfare board and a cabinet minister from 2010-2014. 
  • Currently she is serving as the senior advisor to the J&K Congress Committee.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : OBITUARIES

Cartoonist, Writer & Filmmaker Gautam Benegal Passes away

  • On July 16, 2021, National Award-winning writer, cartoonist, animation filmmaker Gautam Benegal passed away.
  • He was 56.

About Gautam Benegal :

  • He was born in Kolkata in 1965.
  • At the age of 16, he was invited to write and illustrate for the iconic Bengali children’s magazine Sandesh, by Satyajit Ray. 

Achievements :

  • In 2010, he won the National Award for best animation film for a one-hour animation film titled The Prince and the Crown of Stone.

Other Books :

  • 1/7 Bondel Road

Daily CA On July 18 & 19 :

  • Nelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday with the theme of “One Hand Can Feed Another”
  • Shri Arjun Munda, Minister of Tribal Affairs, virtually launched the nationwide campaign “COVID Teeka Sang Surakshit Van, Dhan aur Uddyam”to accelerate the pace of COVID vaccination among tribals, in India.
  • Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda launched “School Innovation Ambassador Training Program” for 50,000 school teachers.
  • The United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, have agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government is all set to bring in ‘pod taxis’ that will connect commuters from Greater Noida to the Noida International Airport in Jewar using the driverless mode of transport, popular in many western countries.
  • Farmers in Rajasthan will get a monthly grant of Rs 1,000 under the ‘Kisan Mitra Urja Yojna’ which was launched by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
  • Ministry of Law and Justice informing that the ‘long-winding and cumbersome’ nomenclature ‘Common High Court of UT of Jammu and Kashmir and UT of Ladakh’ have been changed to ‘High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh’. 
  • Bonalu, the traditional folk festival of Telangana, began at the Jagadambika Temple at the Golconda Fort in Hyderabad.
  • The Andhra Pradeshgovernment has issued fresh orders for the implementation of 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) in education and employment, in accordance with the Constitution 103 Amendment Act.
  • Adani Group has taken over the management control over Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
  • The Next-generation digital banking solutions that are now available allow banks to seamlessly integrate their services across multiple channels.
  • The 2021 CannesFilm Festival officially came to an end with the awards ceremony in which this year’s competition jury named the best films and performances of the festival.
  • The research to develop nutraceutical products from seaweeds for the treatment of lifestyle diseases including diabetes has brought national recognition to Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) principal scientist Kajal Chakraborthy.
  • Global Power Synergy Public Co Ltd, a unit of Thailand’s state-owned utility major PTT, has acquired 41.6% stake in Avaada Energy Pvt Ltd, an Indian renewable energy producer.
  • The two-day trilateral tabletop exercise TTX-2021, among the top defence officials from India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives was held from July 14 to July 15.
  • Vice President Venkaih Naidu received a book entitled ‘Urdu Poets and Writers – Gems of Deccan’ authored by senior journalist, J.S. Ifthekhar & the Book is Published by Woven Words Publishers OPC Private Limited.
  • A New Book Titled India Versus China: Why They Are Not Friends Authored by Kanti Bajpa & the Book was Published by the Juggernaut publishers.
  • The Haryana  Chief Minister unveiled a Coffee Table Book titled ‘UNTOLD stories’ of Haryana Police in Panchkula, Haryana.
  • LA Polo Delhi in collaboration with Himalayan sports and cultural development organization and Polo Promotion Committee Kargil are working on a promotional documentary in Ladakh.
  • On July 18, 2021, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain), won the British Grand Prix 2021 for a record-extending eighth time at the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom.

Daily CA On July 20 :

  • The International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, the day the International Chess Federation was founded, in 1924.
  • Science Exploration Day Observed on July 20, Main Objective is to “tune them in to science”, so they will continue their studies in science and become part of the future in the mathematics, science, engineering, and medical fields.
  • Government to set up a world-class ‘Indian Institute of Heritage’ at Noida to focus on conservation and research in India’s rich tangible heritage.
  • 104startups from different sectors such as Food-Tech, Green energy, Defence, Ed-Tech, Health-Tech, etc are currently on board on the platform.
  • With a view to turn the spotlight on the logistics sector, the Government announced the launch of National Logistics Excellence Awards.
  • The 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has announced a call for entries for Indian Panorama, 2021.
  • Chief Labour Commissioner of India Shri DPS Negi reviewed the status of sensitization and implementation of labour laws in labour codes in various developmental projects in Srinagar. 
  • According to Nature Communications Study Lower stunting among children with mothers who had access to midday meal scheme
  • On July 18, 2021, a successful trial of movement of trains was undertaken between Jaynagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal, and the length of the rail section is 34.50 and this is the first section of the rail line links between the two countries which connects Kurtha in the Mahottari district of Nepal to Jaynagar in the Madhubani district of Bihar
  • Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala stated To encourage and promote small industries in the rural areas, the Haryana government will soon introduce the ‘One Block, One Product’ scheme.
  • Meghalaya cabinet approved the Meghalaya Youth Policy 2021, a framework that envisages towards achieving the government’s vision to create pathways for Meghalaya’s youth in achieving their fullest potential and becoming engaged, skilled, creative, responsible and empowered members of the local and global community.
  • The Assam Government has decided to provide jobs to National Games medalists.
  • With this new region, Google Cloud customers operating in India will benefit from low latency and high performance of their cloud-based workloads and data & it announced expanding its footprint in India with its second ‘Cloud Region’ in the country.
  • The government may hike foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the pension sector to 74 per cent and a Bill in this regard is expected to come in the next Parliament session, according to sources.
  • With India’s forex reserves at $608.99 billion as on June 25, 2021 stood, India has emerged as the fifth largest foreign exchange reserves holder in the world after China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia.
  • The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India stated it has tied up with Bank of Maharashtra for offering inventory financing to its dealer partners.
  • Jewellers will have to pay GST only on the profit earned on resale of second-hand gold jewellery, Karnataka AAR has ruled.
  • Online business discovery and rewards platform Magicpin stated Zomato co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Deepinder Goyal has joined its board as an independent director.
  • Shiv Nadar, the founder of HCL Technologies Ltd, and its chief strategy officer, has tendered his resignation as managing director , as well as a director, with effect from 19 July, on completing 76 years of age.
  • Union minister of minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was appointed as the deputy leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.
  • United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) mentioned Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Limited and Snehakunja Trust are among the 10 awardees of the prestigious Equator Prize for their work in the field of conservation and biodiversity
  • Director Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing won the Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) award for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival.
  • Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, signed between Prasar Bharati, India’s Public Service Broadcaster and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT Kanpur), a Center of Excellence for Media and Broadcasting Technologies will be established at IIT Kanpur.
  • INS Tabar, on completion of port visit to Brest, France undertook maritime partnership exercise with FNS Aquitaine, a French naval  Frigate in the Bay of Biscay on 15 and 16 Jul 21.
  • Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 23.5 percent stake in ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd by Summit India (Tripura).
  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have developed a mathematical model called ‘NBDriver’ to identify cancer-causing alterations in cells.
  • A new book titled The India Story Written by Former RBI governor Bimal Jalan.
  • Former cabinet minister Khem Lata Wakhlu Authored a book titled ‘A Kashmiri Century – Portrait Of A Society In Flux.
  • On July 16, 2021, National Award-winning writer, cartoonist, animation filmmaker Gautam Benegal passed away.

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