Current Affairs 18th August 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL NEWS

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inaugurates ‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’

  • Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw launched the ‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’ to encourage technology solutions developed by Women Entrepreneurs that facilitate Women’s Safety and Empowerment.
  • The aim is to empower women to help them achieve their full potential.
  • Minister hoped for enthusiastic participation in the Shri Shakti Challenge.
  • Mr Vaishnaw stated that the number of incubators and accelerators which is around 100 at present, is not sufficient for a country of over 130 crore populatio
  • He noted, the government will be scaling up the network of incubators and accelerators to phenomenally multiple levels in the next three years.
  • He informed, all of these will be professionally managed and housed in institutions, industries and places where they will add real value.

About the Challenge:

  • “The Government will be supporting the start-ups and entrepreneurs in the most difficult phase, the initial risk phase.
  • Out of 100, even if 20 entrepreneurs grow to the next level, that will be a great journey for the country.
  • A million more entrepreneurs to create more jobs, to make their mark.”
  • Women have a special intuition on what might work.
  • They are far more focused and multitasking comes naturally to them.
  • It is heartening to see that the Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge 2021 is focusing on tech solutions for women’s safety and empowerment.
  • This is extremely important as women will know what the problem is and will solve the problem with technology as an enabler.”

MeitY-NASSCOM Women Startup Entrepreneurs Awards:

  • MeitY-NASSCOM Women Startup Entrepreneurs Awards is the first step to recognize and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit in women and inspire the next generation of women to lead the Indian digital era so as to serve as guiding role models; to encourage promising entrepreneurs who not only contribute to the nation’s economy but also to the social community; And to provide leadership and serve as guiding examples for the emerging and young future entrepreneurs.
  • From MeitY, UN Women, Industry and Academia selected 12 women entrepreneurs as winners, while 2 women entrepreneurs were declared as the Jury Choice Awardees and one woman entrepreneur was felicitated as a special mention.
  • Each winner and Jury Choice Awards were awarded Rs. 2 Lakh.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced New scrappage policy will boost growth of automobile sector

  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has stated that Vehicle Scrappage Policy is a win-win policy for all the stakeholders and for the country.
  • The policy will help bring down the air pollution which is a major concern for all.
  • The policy will boost the growth of the automobile sector, export and will bring competitiveness.
  • The Minister mentioned, the government wants to set up at least one scrapping centre and fitness centre in every district of the country.
  • However, more such centres can be opened in big cities.
  • The centres will generate more employment opportunities for the youth.
  • The National Automobile Scrappage Policy unveiled will benefit all stakeholders as it will boost manufacturing, create jobs and help both the Centre as well as state governments in earning up to Rs 40,000 crore each in GST.

National Automobile Scrappage Policy:

  • Under the National Automobile Scrappage Policy, the Centre has made it mandatory to scrap all state-owned four-wheeler vehicles older than 15 years.
  • Customers with the scrapping certificate could also receive a waiver on registration fees on the purchase of new vehicles.
  • The policy is being debated and will apply to all vehicles, including private, commercial and government owned vehicles.
  • The scrappage policy is expected to bring a change to the Indian automobile market.

A car qualifies for scrappage:

  • Cars eligible for scrapping must have been registered to the owner for at least 18 months prior to scrapping and must be scrapped 60 days before or after the new car is registered.
  • The used car must have a valid NCT certificate or one that expired less than 90 days before being scrapped.

Ministry of Textiles to be set up ten more Handloom Design Resource Centres in country 

  • The Ministry of Textiles has stated that ten more Handloom Design Resource Centres will be set up in the country with the aim to build and create design-oriented excellence in the Handloom sector.
  • It will also facilitate weavers, exporters, manufacturers and designers access design repositories for sample and product improvisation and development.
  • These Design Resource Centres will be set up by National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) at Weavers’ Service Centres of Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kannur, Indore, Nagpur, Meerut, Bhagalpur and Panipat.
  • The Ministry has roped in NIFT keeping in view the fact that it is an in-house organization of Ministry of Textiles of which Handloom also is a part.

To promote Handlooms in a big way, Ministry of Textiles has undertaken many new initiatives:

  • 10 more Design Resource Centres (DRCs) are in the process of being set up by National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) at Weavers’ Service Centres (WSCs)with the objective to build and create design-oriented excellence in the Handloom Sector and to facilitate weavers, exporters, manufacturers and designers access design repositories for sample/product improvisation and development.
  • The Ministry has roped in NIFT keeping in view the fact that it is an in-house organization of MoT, of which Handloom also is a part, and also the expertise of NIFT in fashion and design trends which can be utilized by Handloom Sector for greater market linkage.
  • DRCs are being established by NIFT in all WSCs in a phased manner, wherein vast inventory of designs and resources will be available for use by exporters, Manufacturers, Designers, Weavers and other stakeholders.

Civil Aviation Ministry gave conditional permission to 10 organisations to use drones for various purposes

  • The Civil Aviation Ministry gave conditional permission to 10 organizations, including Mahindra and Mahindra, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Bayer Crop Science, to use drones for various purposes.
  • Karnataka government is one of the 10 organizations and it has got the permission to conduct “drone based aerial survey for creating urban property ownership records in Bengaluru”.
  • Mahindra and Mahindra has got permission to conduct “drone-based agricultural trials” and use drones for precision spraying on paddy and hot pepper crop in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Two organisations — Gujarat-based Blue Ray Aviation and Telangana-based Asia Pacific Flight Training Academy — have been permitted to conduct “remote pilot training using drones”.
  • The National Health Mission in Mumbai has also got the permission to conduct experimental BVLOS (beyond visual line-of-sight) drone flights to deliver essential healthcare items in tribal areas of Jawhar in Palghar district of Maharashtra.
  • Gangtok Smart City Development has got the permission for drone-based aerial survey for its smart city project.
  • Chennai-based Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited has got the permission to conduct “drone-based aerial spraying” to assess crop health and prevent crop disease.
  • The ministry stated Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology to conduct atmospheric research at five different locations in the country.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Zambia Presidential Election 2021: Hakainde Hichilema Won 

  • Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been declared the winner of the presidential election.
  • Mr Hichilema defeated the incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, by a landslide – more than a million votes.
  • It was Mr Hichilema’s sixth attempt at winning the presidency.
  • His supporters have been celebrating on the streets of the capital, Lusaka.
  • Mr Lungu has accepted defeat and congratulated Mr Hichilema.

About Zambia:

  • Capital: Lusaka
  • Currency: Zambian kwacha

India declared new visa for Afghans

  • The government announced a new category of electronic visa to fast-track applications from Afghans who wish to leave the Taliban-controlled country.
  • The new visa category is called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa”.
  • Thousands of people, desperate to flee the land-locked nation, have been thronging capital Kabul’s airport, after the Taliban seized the capital.
  • Five people died in chaos – it is not known yet whether by firing by US forces or a stampede.
  • MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan.
  • A new category of electronic visa called “e-Emergency X-Misc Visa” introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India”.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE NEWS

J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha introduces PROOF App

  • The central government is working in a bid to bring more transparency and accountability to the system.
  • Recently, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in the same regard launched the PROOF ‘Photographic Record of On-site Facility’ app.
  • This application will help in uploading geo tagged photographs while preferring bills in the concerned treasuries against the budget allotted through the BEAMS application.
  • It will monitor and timely complete projects in time duration.

About the App:

  • In this application details of all projects with complete geo-tagged photographs shall now be available for the public through the EMPOWERMENT portal.
  • The Office of Lt. Governor stated that no bills shall be entertained in the treasury unless photographs of projects are uploaded. 
  • “Bringing more transparency & accountability in the system, the details of all the projects with complete geo-tagged photographs shall now be available for the public through the EMPOWERMENT portal.”

About J&K:

  • Capital: Jammu(winter), Srinagar(Summer)
  • Lieutenant Governor: Manoj Sinha
  • National Parks: DachigamNational Park, Salim Ali National Park, Kazinag National Park, Kishtwar High Altitude National Park.

Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray launches charging facility for electric vehicles

  • Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray inaugurated the charging facility for electric vehicles at the parking lot of Mumbai’s Kohinoor building.
  • Thackeray stated, it is heartening to witness that efforts are being made on all fronts to make Maharashtra Electric Vehicle friendly.
  • The State Government had announced its new Electric Vehicle Policy last month with an ambitious target of having 10 per cent share of electric vehicles in the market by 2025.
  • It also aims to achieve 25 per cent share in public transport in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nashik.

About the charging facility:

  • The charging infrastructure has been set up by Power Bank, the EV charging solutions brand from Shuchi Anant Virya – a joint venture between corporate sustainable mobility solutions provider, Lithium Urban Technologies and Fourth Partner Energy, India’s largest solar energy company for commercial and industrial businesses.
  • The charging hub will be maintained and operated by Shuchi Anant Virya’s brand Power Bank.
  • It is estimated that more than 2000 vehicles, monthly, will avail the facility installed in one of the busiest business centres in Mumbai its close proximity to India Bulls Finance Centre will also aid in driving usage of the hub.
  • Power Bank as a brand manages 5 hubs in Mumbai and 10+ independent charging points in Mumbai.

Maharashtra govt:  e-crop survey initiative

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray launched the e-crop survey initiative which will become effective in Maharashtra from August 15.
  • The project, which was initially introduced as a pilot in two districts, is jointly implemented by the departments of revenue and agriculture along with the Tata Trust.
  • Chief Minister stated the concept will be a role model for the country, and the e-crop survey app is yet another initiative to reduce the hardships of the farmers as it would provide them crop-related information without hassles.
  • The CM mentioned his government had already introduced a digitized 7/12 document, which is an extract from the ‘Land Register’ that the farmers can now access on their mobile phones.
  • Earlier, farmers had difficulty accessing their 7/12 document.
  • CM informed that now we need to change with the times and adopt modern technology to ease the hardships of people.

About Maharashtra:

  • Capital: Mumbai
  • Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari
  • Chief minister: Uddhav Thackeray
  • National Parks: ChandoliNational Park, Gugamal National Park, Nawegaon National Park, Pench (Jawaharlal Nehru) National Park, Sanjay Gandhi (Borivali) National Park, Tadoba National Park

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS NEWS

CII made announcement of RoDTEP rates by Govt

  • Confederation of Indian Industry, CII has welcomed the announcement of Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products-RoDTEP rates by the Government.
  • The trade association stated the move will help traders to take advantage of global tailwinds.
  • The decision will help exporters to factor in the rates while finalizing new orders and create a level playing field for them in the international market.
  • The scheme will support India’s mission to achieve 400 billion dollars in exports.

About CII:

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry is a non-governmental trade association and advocacy group headquartered in New Delhi, India, founded in 1895.
  • CII engages business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.
  • It is a membership-based organization.
  • President: T. V. Narendran
  • Purpose: Policy advocacy

Wholesale price-based inflation lessen for 2nd straight month to 11.16% in July

  • The Office of the Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) released index numbers of wholesale prices in India (Base Year: 2011-12) for the month of July, 2021.
  • It noted that annual rate of inflation is 11.16% (Provisional) for the month of July, 2021 (over July, 2020) as compared to (-0.25%) in July, 2020.
  • The high rate of inflation in July 2021 is primarily due to low base effect and rise in prices of crude petroleum & natural gas; mineral oils; manufactured products like basic metals; food products; textiles; chemicals and chemical products etc as compared the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • Primary articles group index increased by (1.05%) to 153.4 (provisional) in July, 2021 from 151.8 (provisional) for the month of June, 2021. Prices of Crude Petroleum & Natural Gas (7.91%), Non-food Articles (2.35%) and Food Articles (0.69%) increased in July, 2021 as compared to June, 2021. Prices of Minerals (-8.11%) declined in July, 2021 as compared to June, 2021.
  • Fuel & power group index increased by (0.53%) to 114.3 (provisional) in July, 2021 from 113.7 (provisional) for the month of June, 2021.
  • Prices of Mineral Oils (5.41%) increased in July, 2021 as compared to June, 2021.
  • Prices of Electricity (-11.61%) declined in July, 2021 as compared to June, 2021. Prices of coal remain unchanged.

About Wholesale Price Index:

  • The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) reflects changes in the average prices of goods at the wholesale level — that is, commodities sold in bulk and traded between businesses or entities rather than goods bought by consumers.
  • A wholesale price index (WPI) measures and tracks the changes in the price of goods before they reach consumers: goods that are sold in bulk and traded between entities or businesses (rather than consumers). Wholesale price indexes (WPIs) are one indicator of a country’s level of inflation.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING NEWS

HDFC introduces ‘Green & Sustainable’ fixed deposit

  • The country’s largest mortgage lender, HDFC Ltd, launched a “green and sustainable” deposits programme for retail clients, funds from which will be used to finance sustainable housing credit solutions and services.
  • HDFC Ltd stated individuals can earn interest at 6.55 per cent on their deposits, whose period can range from 3-10 years.
  • Also, senior citizens will be eligible for an additional 0.25 per cent per annum on their deposits of up to Rs 2 crore. 
  • Further, an additional interest rate of 0.1 per cent per annum will be applicable on these deposits up to Rs 50 lakh if the deposits are made through the company’s online platform.
  • Typically, HDFC Ltd offers 6.65 per cent interest rates on normal deposits.
  • So, people who want to opt for “green and sustainable” deposits will get 10 basis points lower in terms of return on deposits, which translates to Rs 100 on a deposit of Rs 1 lakh.

About HDFC Bank:

  • HDFC Bank Limited is an Indian banking and financial services company, headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • HDFC Bank is India’s largest private sector bank by assets and by market capitalization as of April 2021.
  • It is the third largest company by market capitalization on the Indian stock exchanges.
  • CEO: Sashidhar Jagdishan
  • Tagline: We Understand your World.

RBI introduces the Financial Inclusion Index

  • The Reserve Bank of India has created a composite Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index) to capture the extent of financial inclusion across the country.
  • The announcement regarding the creation of the Financial Inclusion Index was made in the first Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2021-2022 on April 7.
  • The annual FI-Index for the period ending March 2021 is 53.9 against 43.4 for the period ending March 2017.

About FI-Index:

  • The FI-Index will be published annually in July every year.
  • The FI-Index has been conceptualized as a comprehensive index, incorporating details of banking, investments, insurance, postal as well as the pension sector, in consultation with government and respective sectoral regulators.
  • It also captures information on the financial inclusion aspects in a single value ranging between 0-100, where 0 represents complete financial exclusion and 100 indicates full financial inclusion.
  • The FI-Index comprises three broad parameters — Access (35%), Usage (45%), and Quality (20%), with each of these consisting of dimensions computed based on many indicators.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENT AND RESIGNATION NEWS

Amway India appointed Mirabai Chanu as brand ambassador for Amway, Nutrilite range

  • Amway India has appointed Olympian Saikhom Mirabai Chanu as the brand ambassador for its Nutrilite range of products. 
  • Chanu will spearhead the company’s campaigns focused on its foundation range such as Nutrilite Daily, Omega and All Plant Protein amongst others, across platforms.
  • The association with the Olympic medalist is in line with Amway’s focus on consolidating its health and nutrition category, especially targeting women and youth in the country.

Vandana Katariya, India women hockey star appointed Uttarakhand’s Women & Child Development ambassador

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has appointed Team India’s hockey player Vandana Katariya as the brand ambassador of the state’s Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development.
  • The announcement was made at a programme organized to felicitate the recipients of the Tilu Rauteli Award and the Anganwadi Workers Award.
  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami earlier announced a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh to Vandana Kataria for her stellar performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

About Vandana Katariya :

  • Vandana Katariya was India’s top goal-scorer in the 2013 Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup.
  • Kataria has played for the senior national team in more than 200 international matches.
  • She was a part of the Indian team that won a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games and represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
  • During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Vandana Katariya became the 1st Indian woman to score an olympic hat-trick in hockey.

About Uttarakhand :

  • Governor: Baby Rani Maurya
  • Chief minister: Pushkar Singh Dhami
  • National Parks : Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS

Union Minister Piyush Goyal confers National Intellectual Property Awards

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal conferred the National Intellectual Property Awards at an virtual event in New Delhi.
  • Minister stated, technology and ideas are the twin engines of growth, Intellectual Property Rights IPR is the fuel that powers them and this award not only recognizes the innovative ideas of individuals and institutions but also serves as an inspiration for others.
  • He informed there is need to bring an Intellectual Property revolution for Inclusive Progress in the nation and strengthening IPR laws.
  • He mentioned it will boost job creation, quality, competitiveness and manufacturing.
  • The Minister stated that powered by Intellectual Property, India can be the Innovation Powerhouse of the world.
  • Mr Goyal noted that Intellectual Property Rights actually translates into India’s progress in real-time and extend Intellectual Property Right to India’s Prosperity Right.

National Intellectual Property (IP) Awards:

  • National Intellectual Property (IP) Awards are conferred every year by Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to recognize and reward the top achievers, comprising individuals, institutions, organizations, enterprises, police units and other legal entities, for IP creation, commercialization and enforcement, which has contributed towards strengthening IP eco-system in the country and encouraging creativity and innovation.

Odisha CM grants cash awards to hockey stars

  • The men’s team won a bronze, 41 years after it won a medal in the Moscow Olympics, while the women’s hockey team reached the semi final for the first time.
  • The Odisha government signed a Rs.100 crore deal with Hockey India in 2018 to sponsor both the teams for the next five years.
  • The men’s and women’s hockey team of India that put up a sterling performance at the recent Tokyo Olympics landed in Bhubaneswar to a grand felicitation by Odisha government.
  • CM Patnaik felicitated four men and women hockey players of the state and gave them cash awards.
  • He gave cheques of 2.5 crore each to Indian men’s hockey team vice-captain Birendra Lakra and defender Amit Rohidas and Rs.50 lakh each to Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo of women’s team.

Odisha Hockey Team:

  • The Odisha Hockey Team represents Odisha in the national field hockey championships of Hockey India.
  • Hockey Odisha and Hockey Gangpur Odisha are member units of Hockey India.
  • The Odisha Hockey Team has maintained its dominance in field hockey in India being the most successful team of Hockey India Championships.
  • Home ground: Biju Patnaik Hockey Stadium, Rourkela; Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards announced

  • Malayalam writers Sethu and Perumbadavam Sreedharan has been hounoured with Kerala Sahitya Akademi fellowships for the year 2020. 
  • The fellowships comprise a purse of Rs 50,000, a gold locket, a shawl and a memento along with special membership of the Akademi.
  • Actor and former MP Innocent’s book ‘Irinjalakkudakku Chuttam’ was selected as the best book in the satire genre.
  • K R Mallika, K K Kochu, Mambuzha Kumaran, Sidharthan Paruthikkad, Chavara K S Pilla and M A Rahman were selected for the lifetime achievement award by the Akademi.
  • The award is meant for writers above 60 years for their contribution to Malayalam literature.

Awards in various categories include:

  • Poetry: O P Suresh (Taj Mahal)
  • Novel: P F Mathews (Adiyalapretham)
  • Short story: Unni R (Vanku)
  • Drama: Sreejith Poyilkkavu (Dwayam)
  • Literary criticism: P Soman (Vailopilly Kavitha Oru Idathupaksha Vayana)
  • Knowledge literature: T K Anandhi (Marxisaum Feminisavum Charithraparamaya Visakalanam)
  • Biography: K Reghunathan (Mukthakantam VKN)
  • Travelogue: Vidhu Vincent (Daivam Olivil Poya Naalukal)
  • Translation: Anitha Thampi (Ramalla Njan Kandu) and Sangeetha Sreenivasan (Upekshikapetta Divasangal)
  • Children’s literature: Priya A S (Perumazhayathe Kunjithalukal)

The endowments awards were also announced by the Akademi. 

  • P Narayana Menon was selected for I C Chacko award, Professor J Prabhash and T T Sreekumar for C B Kumar award, V Sishupala Panicker for K R Namboothiri Award, Chithira Kusuman for Kanakasree Award, K N Prasanth for Geetha Hiranyan award, Kesavan Veluthattu and V Vijayakumar for G N Pilla award and M V Narayanan for Kuttipuzha award.
  • Geethu S S won the Thunchan memorial essay writing competition of the Akademi.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Adani Group acquires 49% stake in MBCPNL 

  • On Aug 16, 2021, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), Adani Road Transport Ltd (ARTL), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 49 percent stake of Maharashtra Border Check Post Network Ltd (MBCPNL) a Subsidiary of Sadbhav Infrastructure Project (SIPL) an option to acquire additional stake.
  • The Acquisition at an Enterprise Value of Rs 1,680 crore implying an attractive EBITDA multiple of 7x.

About Adani Enterprises Ltd :

  • Owner & Founder : Gautam Adani
  • MD : Rajesh Adani
  • Headquarters: Ahmedabad
  • Founded: 20 July 1988

About Adani Road Transport Ltd :

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • CEO : Krishna Prakash Maheshwari

About MBCPNL :

  • MBCPNL – Maharashtra Border Check Post Network Limited
  • Founded: 2009
  • Founder Chairman and Managing Director : Mr. Vishnubhai Patel
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • MBCPNL is an important gateway connecting Maharashtra with 6 neighbouring states, which covers over 20 percent of the commercial road traffic in India.
  • The firm has 24 integrated checkposts with exclusive service fee collection rights from commercial vehicles for all key traffic routes in and out of Maharashtra.
  • Out of 24 checkposts, MBCPNL has 18 operational, 4 near-operational, one near completion and one under construction.

About Sadbhav Infrastructure Project (SIPL) :

  • Headquarters: India
  • Founded: 2007
  • MD : Vasistha C. Patel

Govt to sell up to 25% stake in National Seeds Corporation via IPO

  • The government of India will sell up to 25 percent stake in National Seeds Corporation (NSC) through an initial public offering (IPO).
  • The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has invited bids from merchant bankers and legal advisors for working on the proposed IPO
  • The government has set a disinvestment target of 1.75 lakh crore for 2021-22 (April-March).
  • So far, it has raised about 8,368 crore by selling stake in Axis Bank, NMDC Ltd and Housing and Urban Development Corp (HUDCO).

About  National Seeds Corporation:

  • The public sector company comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, and produces certified seeds of nearly 600 varieties of 60 crops.
  • Till March 31, 2020, the company’s net worth : Rs 646 crore.
  • Established : 19th March, 1963
  • Headquarters : New Delhi
  • Chairman : Vinod Kumar Gaur

About Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare :

  • Founded: 1947
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Cabinet Minister : Narendra Singh Tomar
  • Minister of State : Shobha Karandlaje, Kailash Choudhary
  • Secretary : Sanjay Agarwal

CURRENT AFFAIRS : DEFENCE NEWS

INS Tabar Participates in Exercise Konkan 2021 in Portsmouth, UK

  • INS Tabar is participating in the bilateral Exercise Konkan 2021 between the Indian Navy and Britain’s Royal Navy in Portsmouth, UK.

Purpose :

  • To  enhance the interoperability, synergy and cooperation between both navies.
  • The harbour phase of the exercise, during which several professional interactions, sharing of best practices and harbour drills were also conducted.

About Exercise Konkan :

  • It has been held every year since 2004 between the Indian and British navies.

About INS Tabar :

  • INS Tabar is the third of the Talwar-class frigates of the Indian Navy.
  • Commanding Officer (CO) : Captain Mahesh Mangipudi .

About UK :

  • Prime minister: Boris Johnson
  • Capital: London
  • Currency: Pound sterling

CURRENT AFFAIRS : RANKING & INDEX

CSE transparency index : Odisha & Telangana pollution control board tops

  • State Pollution Control Board of Odisha & Telangana has been ranked No-1 in Transparency Index rating, according to the Center for Science and Environment(CSE), New Delhi.
  • The performance of all 31 state pollution control boards and pollution control committees operating in the country from 2016-2021 was taken into the assessment process,
  • Out of that only 17 have scored 50% or above in terms of Transparency.

 17 States : 

  • Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Goa, Karnataka, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

CSE transparency index :

  1. Odisha state pollution control board – 67 % Transparency

1.Telangana state pollution control board – 67 % Transparency

  1. TamilNadu state pollution control board – 65.7 % Transparency
  2. Madhya Pradesh state pollution control board – 64 % Transparency
  3. West Bengal state pollution control board – 62 % Transparency
  4. Goa state pollution control board – 60.6 % Transparency

About Center for Science and Environment(CSE) :

  • Founder: Anil Agarwal
  • DG : Sunita Narain
  • Founded: 1980
  • Headquarters : New Delhi

Dr Bibek Debroy unveils : ‘Quality of Life for Elderly Index’ 2021        

  • The Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released by Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
  • The Index has been created by the Institute for Competitiveness (IFC).
  • The Health System pillar observes the highest national average, 97 at an all-India level, followed by 62.34 in Social Well-being.
  • Financial Well-being observes a score of 44.7, which is lowered by the low performance of 21 States across the Education Attainment & Employment pillar, which showcases scope for improvement.

State-wise Rankings:

  • Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are top-scoring regions in Aged and Relatively Aged States, respectively.
  • Chandigarh and Mizoram are top-scoring regions in Union Territory and North-East States category.

About the Index :

  • The report identifies the regional patterns of ageing across the Indian states and assesses the overall ageing situation in India.
  • This index measures the core domains of Economic, health, and social well-being of older people and provides the in-depth situation of elderly people in India.
  • The Index framework includes four pillars: Financial Well-being, Social Well-being, Health System and Income Security, and eight sub-pillars.

About EAC-PM :

  • Chairman : Dr Bibek Debroy
  • Headquarters : New Delhi
  • Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (PMEAC) is a non-constitutional, non-permanent and independent body constituted to give economic advice to the Government of India, specifically the Prime Minister.
  • The council serves to highlight key economic issues facing the country to the government of India from a neutral viewpoint.
  • It advises the Prime Minister on economic issues like inflation, microfinance, and industrial output.

About IFC :

  • Chairman : Dr Amit Kapoor.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : SPORTS NEWS

World Archery Youth Championships: India Clinches15 medals

  • The Indian contingent won 15 medals at the World Archery Youth Championships 2021 in Wroclaw, Poland.
  • With 15 medals ( 8-Gold, 2-Silver, 5- Bronze ) India stands top, followed by France & Mexico second & third place respectively.

About World Archery Youth Championships :

  • Two classes have been contested at the Youth World Championships:
  • Junior (under 20)
  • Cadet (under 17)
  • There are events in cadet and junior categories using the recurve and compound bows.

About World Archery Federation :

  • Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
  • President: Uğur Erdener
  • Founded: 4 September 1931, Lviv, Ukraine

Odisha Government To Sponsor Indian National Hockey Teams For 10 More Years

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that the Odisha Government extended sponsorship of Indian National Hockey Teams by another 10 years after the current sponsorship ends in 2023.

Purpose :

  • Recognition of their achievement and their potential to be the top teams in the world.
  • In 2018, Odisha had signed a 100 crore deal with Hockey India for sponsoring the men’s and women’s teams for 5 years after Sahara India withdrew after getting entangled in legal issues.

About Odisha :

  • Capital: Bhubaneswar
  • Governor: Ganeshi Lal
  • Chief minister: Naveen Patnaik

CURRENT AFFAIRS : OBITUARIES

Sudoku’s creator Maki Kaji Passes away

  • Maki Kaji, the creator of puzzle Sudoku passed away.
  • He was 69.

About Maki Kaji :

  • Kaji was born in 1951 in Sapporo, Japan.
  • He was the president of Nikoli, Ltd.
  • He is a Japanese puzzle manufacturer & he is widely known as “the father of Sudoku” for his role in popularizing the number game.
  • Kaji also invented or introduced various other puzzle games, such as Masyu

Daily CA On Aug 17 :

  • Director Dr Randeep Guleria stated The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi, has become the first hospital in India to house a fire station inside the hospital premises.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to phase out single use plastic by 2022, keeping in view the adverse impacts of littered plastic on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, has notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which prohibits identified single use plastic items which have low utility and high littering potential by 2022.
  • On India’s 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission (NHM).
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government will fortify the rice distributed to the poor via different schemes such as Midday Meal in a bid to address the problem of malnutrition.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that all Sainik Schools in the country will now be open for girls also. 
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has approved proposals for construction of 16,488 houses at the 55th meeting of Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Sekhawat and Minister of State for Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel launched Season-2 of ‘Rag Rag Mein Ganga’.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new advisory group named, The International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO.
  • Malaysia’s Muhyiddin Yassin has stepped down as prime minister after months of political turmoil culminated in the loss of his majority.
  • Chhattisgarh, carved out of Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 2000, became the first State, August 9 to recognize the Community Forest Resource Rights in urban areas.
  • The Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana will enable each family to get up to Rs.5 lakh as treatment cost a year.
  • Tamil Nadu government appointed trained aspirants of all castes as priests in temples
  • On August 14, Tamil Nadu will become the third state after Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to have a separate agricultural budget.
  • In a major relief to consumers, the price of petrol in Tamil Nadu has been slashed by Rs.3, State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan announced during his budget speech.
  • The Vice President of India Shri M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the foundation stone of Innovation and Development Centre of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, JNCASR in Bengaluru.
  • Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the world’s second-largest refurbished National Gene Bank at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Pusa in New Delhi.
  • Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited has launched door-to-door delivery of ‘High-Speed Diesel’ to meet the growing demand.
  • The Dharwad-headquartered Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB), in association with the Karnataka government, has launched ‘Farmer Registration and Unified Beneficiary Information System’ (FRUITS) portal.
  • HDFC Bank stated the bank plans to raise capital by additional tier- I (AT1) bonds in the overseas market to fund its business growth.
  • Eminent poet Prabha Varma has been selected for this year’s Padmaprabha Literary Award.
  • Homegrown auto major Tata Motors stated it has partnered with Bank of Maharashtra to offer retail financing for its passenger vehicles.
  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition by Lighthouse India Fund III, Limited (Fund III) and Lighthouse India III Employee Trust (Lighthouse Employee Trust) of Bikaji Foods International Limited (Target) under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
  • On the Occasion of World Elephant Day 2021, Environment, Forest and Climate Change minister Bhupender Yadav released the all India Elephant and Tiger population estimation protocol.
  • A New Book Tiled Art Cinema And India’s Forgotten Futures: Film And History in the PostColony” authored by film historian Rochona Majumdar.
  • A New book titled , “The Dream of Revolution: A Biography of Jayaprakash Narayan” to explore life and works of independence activist Jayaprakash Narayan.
  • In World Archery Youth Championships 2021, Komalika Bari became the new under-21 recurve world champion in Wroclaw, Poland.
  • Harshit Raja, the 20-year-old youngster from Pune Maharashtra, has become the 69th Grandmaster of India in Chess after drawing his game against Dennis Wagner at the Biel Masters Open 2021.
  • The 15-year old Young Indian Grandmaster Raunak Sadhwani 19th Spilimbergo Open chess tournament by draw in the ninth and final round against GM Adam Kozak of Hungary.
  • Germany’s Alexander Donchenko won the title of  International Chess Festival “RTU Open 2021” with 5 points from nine rounds in Riga, Latvia
  • On Aug 14, 2021, Prominent Gujjar leader and Padma Bhushan awardee Mian Bashir Ahmed Passed away.

Daily CA On Aug 18 :

  • Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw launched the ‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’ to encourage technology solutions developed by Women Entrepreneurs that facilitate Women’s Safety and Empowerment.
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has stated that Vehicle Scrappage Policy is a win-win policy for all the stakeholders and for the country.
  • The Ministry of Textiles has stated that ten more Handloom Design Resource Centres will be set up in the country with the aim to build and create design-oriented excellence in the Handloom sector.
  • The Civil Aviation Ministry gave conditional permission to 10 organizations, including Mahindra and Mahindra, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Bayer Crop Science, to use drones for various purposes.
  • Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has been declared the winner of the presidential election.
  • The government announced a new category of electronic visa to fast-track applications from Afghans who wish to leave the Taliban-controlled country.
  • In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha unveiled a mobile application named PROOF, to bring more transparency and accountability in the governance system.
  • Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray inaugurated the charging facility for electric vehicles at the parking lot of Mumbai’s Kohinoor building.
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray launched the e-crop survey initiative which will become effective in Maharashtra from August 15.
  • Confederation of Indian Industry, CII has welcomed the announcement of Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products-RoDTEP rates by the Government.
  • The Office of the Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) released index numbers of wholesale prices in India (Base Year: 2011-12) for the month of July, 2021.
  • The country’s largest mortgage lender, HDFC Ltd, launched a “green and sustainable” deposits programme for retail clients, funds from which will be used to finance sustainable housing credit solutions and services.
  • The Reserve Bank of India has created a composite Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index) to capture the extent of financial inclusion across the country.
  • Amway India has appointed Olympian Saikhom Mirabai Chanu as the brand ambassador for its Nutrilite range of products. 
  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has appointed Team India’s hockey player Vandana Katariya as the brand ambassador of the state’s Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal conferred the National Intellectual Property Awards at an virtual event in New Delhi.
  • The men’s team won a bronze, 41 years after it won a medal in the Moscow Olympics, while the women’s hockey team reached the semi final for the first time.
  • Malayalam writers Sethu and Perumbadavam Sreedharan has been hounoured with Kerala Sahitya Akademi fellowships for the year 2020. 
  • On Aug 16, 2021, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), Adani Road Transport Ltd (ARTL), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 49 percent stake of Maharashtra Border Check Post Network Ltd (MBCPNL) a Subsidiary of Sadbhav Infrastructure Project (SIPL) an option to acquire additional stake.
  • The government of India will sell up to 25 percent stake in National Seeds Corporation (NSC) through an initial public offering (IPO).
  • INS Tabar is participating in the bilateral Exercise Konkan 2021 between the Indian Navy and Britain’s Royal Navy in Portsmouth, UK.
  • State Pollution Control Board of Odisha & Telangana has been ranked No-1 in Transparency Index rating, according to the Center for Science and Environment(CSE), New Delhi.
  • The Quality of Life for Elderly Index was released by Dr Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
  • The Indian contingent won 15 medals at the World Archery Youth Championships 2021 in Wroclaw, Poland.
  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that the Odisha Government extended sponsorship of Indian National Hockey Teams by another 10 years after the current sponsorship ends in 2023.
  • Maki Kaji, the creator of puzzle Sudoku passed away.

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