Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

Daily Current Affairs Updates in English: 20th and 21st Aug 2021

Important Days

World Mosquito Day observed on 20th August

World Mosquito Day is observed on 20 August annually to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented. This day is observed to highlight the efforts of healthcare officials, NGOs, and others in fighting diseases caused by malaria.

On World Mosquito Day every year, awareness is created around diseases caused by mosquitoes.

This year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the theme of World Mosquito Day 2021 is “Reaching the zero-malaria target”.

The day also commemorates the discovery made by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross in 1897 that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. In 1902, Ross won Nobel Prize for Medicine becoming the first British person to receive the award.

Sadbhavana Diwas: 20 August

Every year India observes Sadbhavana Diwas on August 20 to commemorate the birth anniversary of late erstwhile Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.

This year on 20th August 2021, we are going to celebrate the 77th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The Indian National Congress instituted Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award in 1992, a year after his death.

Every year this day is celebrated in the memory of the late Rajiv Gandhi who was the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40 years. In lieu of paying tribute to his vision for India, on this occasion contributions to society betterments are made.

Akshay Urja Diwas 2021: 20 August

Akshay Urja Diwas (Renewable Energy Day) is observed every year on 20 August to raise awareness about the developments and adoption of renewable energy in India.

The Akshay Urja Day was initiated by the Indian Ministry for New & Renewable Energy Sources in 2004. Energy such as Biogas, Solar Energy, Wind energy, hydroelectrical power is a few examples of Akshay Urja.

The main motive of Akshaya urja Diwas is to make people aware that they have to think about renewable energy (Akshaya Urja) apart from traditional energy.

Indian Akshay Urja Day was established in 2004 to support renewable energy development programs and promote its use instead of traditional sources of energy. The very first event relating to Akshay Urja Diwas was organized in New Delhi.

World Humanitarian Day: 19 August

World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is observed every year on 19 August to pay tribute to humanitarian personnel and those workers who lost or risked their lives while doing humanitarian service. In 2021 we are celebrating the 12th WHD.

The theme for 2021 WHD is #TheHumanRace: a global challenge for climate action in solidarity with people who need it the most.

World Photography Day: 19 August

World Photography Day is celebrated on 19 August every year to promote photography as a hobby and also inspire photographers around the globe to share a single photo with the rest of the world. The first official World Photo Day was observed on August 19, 2010.

The origin of World Photo Day comes from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837.

It was on August 19, 1939, that the French government purchased the patent of the Daguerreotype process and announced the invention as a gift “free to the world”.

National

India launches UNITE Aware Platform in collaboration with UN

India has launched a tech platform named “UNITE Aware”, in collaboration with the UN, for improving the safety and security of the UN peacekeepers. The platform was launched in the presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the UN headquarters.

The launch of the UNITE AWARE platform came as India assumed the Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council for the month of August.

India has contributed USD 1.64 million for UNITE Aware. UNITE Aware platform will provide terrain-related information to the United Nations military personnel (Blue Helmets) in the line of duty. India has developed the technology platform in partnership with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Operational Support.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations; Jean-Pierre Lacroix;
  • Department of Peacekeeping OperationsFounded: March 1992;
  • Department of Peacekeeping Operations Headquarters: New York, United States.

Odisha to become 1st Indian state to Provide Smart Health Cards

Odisha is all set to launch India’s first ‘Smart Health Cards scheme’ covering its 3.5 crore people of 96 lakh families under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana.

The information for the same was provided by Odisha Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik while addressing the 75th Independence Day celebrations in Bhubaneswar.

The objective behind Smart Health Cards is to provide hassle-free quality treatment at the best available health care facilities. These cards will work like debit cards for a certain amount.

Through this scheme, Central Government health benefits can also be accessed.

The beneficiaries of National and State Food Security Schemes, Annapurna and Antyodaya schemes will get this card and henceforth each family can avail treatment cost up to Rs 5 lakh per annum.

Women members can avail of benefits up to Rs 10 lakh annually.

The health benefits under this scheme can be availed in more than 200 hospital chains of the country including Odisha.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Odisha: Naveen Patnaik and Governor is Ganeshi Lal.

Delhi-Chandigarh Highway first EV-friendly highway in India

With a network of solar-based electric vehicle charging stations, the Delhi-Chandigarh Highway has become the country’s first EV-friendly highway in the country.

The network of stations was set up by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) under the FAME-1 (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) & Electric Vehicles) scheme of the Ministry of Heavy Industries.

Union Minister of Heavy Industries (MHI) Mahendra Nath Pandey remotely inaugurated the state-of-the-art charging station at Karna Lake Resort.

The EV charging station at Karna resort is strategically located at the midpoint of the Delhi-Chandigarh highway. It is equipped to cater to all types of e-cars currently in the country.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to inaugurate country’s first smog tower

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will inaugurate the country’s first smog tower on August 23, 2021, at Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place. The smog tower will clean 1,000 cubic metres of air every second and reduce PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels in Delhi.

The smog tower will work with full force after the monsoon season. The scientists of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee will accordingly assess the performance of the tower and present a monthly report.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal; Lieutenant Governor of Delhi: Anil Baijal.

Appointments

PR Sreejesh to be the brand ambassador of Kerala adventure tourism

Olympian Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh (PR Sreejesh), goalkeeper and former captain of the Indian National Hockey team is set to be named as the brand ambassador of adventure tourism in Kerala.

Sreejesh was a part of the Indian Hockey team that won the bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. PR Sreejesh hails from Ernakulam, Kerala.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kerala CM: Pinarayi Vijayan;
  • Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan.

Defence

Army organizes 400 Km “JAZBAA-E- TIRANGA” Relay Marathon in J&K

In Jammu and Kashmir, the Army organised a 400 Km “JAZBAA-E- TIRANGA” Relay Marathon. The event was flagged off by Major General Rajeev Puri, General Officer Commanding, Ace of Spades Division, who led the relay, closely followed by other military personnel. More than 300 troops took part, carrying the Indian Tricolour all along the Line of Control (LoC).

The run inculcated the spirit of brotherhood, as each soldier carried the symbolic National Flag of comradeship across the Area of Responsibility (AOR), handing it over to other units which stand shoulder to shoulder in war.

Indian Navy Conducts Bilateral Maritime Exercise with Vietnam

The Indian Navy and Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) undertook a bilateral maritime exercise in the South China Sea, to strengthen the defence ties among the two navies.

From India, INS Ranvijay and INS Kora took part in the exercise and from the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN), frigate VPNS Ly Thai To(HQ-012) participated in the drill.

The bilateral interaction aims to consolidate the strong bond shared by the two navies and would be another step towards strengthening India-Vietnam defence relations. Regular interactions between the two navies over the years have enhanced their interoperability and adaptability.

DRDO develops advanced chaff technology to protect IAF jets

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have jointly developed an advanced chaff technology to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from enemy radar threats.

Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL), Pune, have developed the chaff cartridge meeting qualitative requirements of IAF.

The Indian Air Force has started the process of induction of this technology after the completion of successful user trials.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman DRDO: Dr G Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Established: 1958.

An all-women team of three armed forces summits Mt Manirang in Himachal

An ‘All Women Tri-Services Mountaineering Team’ successfully scaled Mt Manirang (21,625 ft) in Himachal Pradesh on August 15, 2021, and unfurled the national flag as a part of commemorative activities for ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’, to celebrate the 75 years of Independence.

The 15-member expedition team was flagged off on August 01, 2021, from Air Force Station, New Delhi, by the Indian Air Force. The team was led by Wing Commander Bhavana Mehra of the Indian Air Force.

Rajnath Singh launches Defence India Startup Challenge- DISC 5.0

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh launched Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) 5.0 under Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) initiative, on August 19, 2021, in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Defence has earmarked Rs 1,000 crore for domestic procurement through the iDEX initiative for the financial year 2021-2022.

The Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence has approved budgetary support of Rs. 498.80 crore for iDEX for the next 5 years from 2021-22 to 2025-26. 

DISC is a platform wherein the Government, Services, think tanks, industry, startups and innovators can work together to help the defence & aerospace sectors reach full potential by creating a strong, modern & well-equipped military and equally capable & self-reliant defence industry.

Economy

Ind-Ra revises GDP growth projection to 9.4% in FY22

India Ratings (Ind-Ra) has projected the GDP growth rate for India for FY22 at 9.4%. Earlier Indi-Ra had projected the rate at between 9.1-9.6%. It would be 15.3 per cent in the first quarter, 8.3 per cent in the second quarter and 7.8 per cent in each of the remaining two quarters of the year.

The agency’s estimate suggests that 5.2 million daily doses would have to be administered from now on to fully vaccinate more than 88 per cent of the adult population as well as to administer single doses to the rest by March in the current financial year.

Ranks and Reports

India ranks second in terms of crypto adoption in the world

India has ranked second in terms of crypto adoption worldwide behind Vietnam, but ahead of countries such as the US, UK, and China, according to the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index by blockchain data platform Chainalysis.

This comes even as worldwide crypto adoption grew by 880% between June 2020 and July 2021, according to the report.

A report by US-based research platform Finder released this month corroborated that the top five countries in terms of crypto adoption were all from Asia. The company surveyed 47,000 users worldwide and 30% of those surveyed in India said they owned cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is the most popular coin in India, followed by Ripple, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, according to the report.

Crypto adoption in India has also been led by smaller towns in the country. The largest crypto exchange in the country by trading volume, WazirX, said last week that it had seen more than 2,648% growth in user sign-ups from tier II and tier III cities in India.

Business

SBI Life launches new-age term insurance policy “SBI Life eShield Next”

SBI Life Insurance announced the launch of a unique new age protection solution called ‘SBI Life eShield Next’, which ‘levels up’ the protection coverage as the insured achieves life’s major milestones.

This means that the policy is neither linked to the stock market nor shares any profit or dividends with the policyholders.

It is an individual, non-linked, non-participating, life insurance pure risk premium product and works by ‘levelling up’ the required insurance protection, through an increase in sum assured linked to the significant ‘level-up milestones in one’s life, like getting married, becoming a parent or buying a new house.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Life Insurance CEO: Mahesh Kumar Sharma;
  • SBI Life Insurance Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • SBI Life Insurance Founded: March 2001.

Banking

RBI to introduce ‘Regulatory GAAR’ for round-tripping

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has come up with a draft rule with modifications in the existing regulation related to foreign investment to discourage round-tripping. The central bank is looking to tweak the existing regulations and has come up with draft rules around round-tripping.

Some of the largest Indian companies, startups and multinationals with an India presence have put their outbound investment, fundraising and restructuring plans on hold as the RBI looks to introduce fresh regulations around “round-tripping.”

According to the draft rule, any investment made outside India is an entity, in turn, invests in India will be treated as round-tripping if the purpose is to escape tax. This is as the same definition and rationale used by the tax department under General Anti Avoidance Rule (GAAR) which companies have been complaining about are quite broad in its scope.

RBI to put in place a “PRISM” to strengthen compliance by lenders

The Reserve Bank of India is putting in place a Platform for Regulated Entities for Integrated Supervision and Monitoring (PRISM), a web-based end-to-end workflow automation system, to strengthen compliance by supervised entities (SEs).

This is aimed at helping supervised entities to strengthen their internal defences and resilience and bringing focus on root cause analysis (RCA).

PRISM will have various functionalities (inspection; compliance; incident functionality for cybersecurity; complaints; and returns functionalities), with built-in remediation workflows, time tracking, notifications and alerts, management information system (MIS) reports and dashboards.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

Summits and Conferences

Piyush Goyal chairs 5th meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has chaired the fifth meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers and called for expanding the horizon of the New Development Bank (NDB). India holds the Chairship of BRICS for 2021.

This year, India chose the theme of ‘Intra BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’ for its chairship.

The BRICS ministers called for the need to adopt emerging new technologies, recognising it as an important tool for modernisation and transformation of industry, and promotion of economic growth.

They also committed to play a constructive role towards the promotion of IPR and expressed their intention to collaborate with NDB.

The meeting concluded with the ministers committing to work together as a group, share best practices and move ahead in a positive and constructive manner to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Agreements

BRICS signs deal on cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) signed an agreement for cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The pact inked on August 17 enables building a virtual constellation of specified remote sensing satellites of BRICS space agencies and their respective ground stations will receive the data.

This will contribute in strengthening multilateral cooperation among BRICS space agencies in meeting the challenges faced by mankind, such as global climate change, major disasters and environmental protection. The agreement was signed under India’s BRICS Chairship.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ISRO Chairman: K.Sivan.
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • ISRO established: 15 August 1969.

Books and Authors

A book on “OPERATION KHUKRI” released by CDS Gen Rawat

CDS General Bipin Rawat was presented a book “OPERATION KHUKRI” by authors Major General Rajpal Punia & Ms Damini Punia. The book highlights the Indian Army’s successful rescue mission in Sierra Leone as part of the United Nations.

The year was 2000, Sierra Leone, in West Africa, had been ravaged by years of civil strife. With the intervention of the United Nations, two companies of the Indian Army were deployed in Kailahun as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Sports

World Athletics U20 Championships begins in Nairobi

The 2021 edition of the World Athletics U20 Championships has been started in Nairobi, Kenya. The impact of Covid on teams travelling and logistics of moving vital equipment around the world has proven to be a challenge, the governing body said in a release.

The event was originally scheduled for 2020. The World U20 Championships were held from 17 to 22 August 2021.

Odisha to sponsor Indian hockey teams for 10 more years

The Odisha government will sponsor the Indian Hockey teams for 10 more years after the current sponsorship ends in 2023, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced. The state government started sponsoring the national hockey teams in 2018.

The teams have scripted history with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics,” the chief minister said, handing over a cash award of Rs 10 lakh to each player.

Science and Technology

Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates Centre for Research & Innovation in AI set up at IIT-H

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has virtually inaugurated the Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence set up at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H).

He also inaugurated the first Academic Building of the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgical Engineering, High-Performance Computing Centre and High-Resolution Electron Microscopy Facility.

The Centre for Research and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency-JICA is the best example of international cooperation. The University has an agreement with Honeywell Technology Solutions for setting up the lab.


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