Current Affairs

4 August, 2021


Italy Hosted 1st G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting 2021

The 1st G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting 2021 was held in July 2021, virtually in Rome, Italy. It was hosted by Italy as it assumed the G20 2021 Presidency on 1 December 2020. From India, Meenakashi Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture participated in the meeting. The Culture Ministers adopted the 1st G20 Culture declaration ‘Rome Declaration of the G20 Culture Ministers’ for submission to the G20 Leaders’ 2021 to recognize the economic value of Culture and advocate the introduction of Culture within the G20 process. Meenakashi Lekhi addressed the meeting and highlighted various measures taken by India to develop the culture and creative sectors like the ‘One District One Product’ scheme of Uttar Pradesh, Tourism circuits, promotion of Yoga and Ayurveda etc.

About the G20:
i.G20 members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.
ii.G20 members account for more than 80 percent of world GDP, 75 percent of global trade and 60 percent of the world population.
About Italy:
Capital – Rome
Prime Minister – Mario Draghi
President – Sergio Mattarella
Currency – Euro

UN created Permanent Forum of People of African Descent to address Challenges of Racism

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) approved the establishment of Permanent Forum of People of African Descent to provide expert advice on addressing the challenges of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. The forum will consist of 10 members’ viz. five elected by the UNGA from all regions and five appointed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) following consultations with regional groups and organizations of people of African descent.

About Forum:
i.The first session of the forum will take place in 2022.
ii.Annual reports will be made on the forum’s activities and the evaluation of its operation will be done by UNGA after four sessions.
iii.The forum will serve as a platform for improving the safety and quality of life and livelihoods of people of African descent.
iv.The mandates for the forum include the ensuring of full political, economic and social inclusion of people of African descent, and providing expert advice and recommendations on addressing racism to the UNHRC, UNGA’s main committees and UN agencies.
Point to be noted:
i.The forum’s establishment comes during the International Decade for People of African Descent, established by the General Assembly, which began on January 1, 2015, and ends on December 31, 2024. It is focusing on the themes of recognition, justice and development.

ii.This creation of the forum also comes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
About United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR):
It replaced the former United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Establishment– 2006
Members– 47 UN Member States
President– Nazhat Shameem Khan


INR 120 Crore released in FY 21 under National SC/ST Hub to support Entrepreneurs

During a session in Parliament, Union Minister for MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises), Narayan TatuRane stated that funds of INR 120 Crore were released in FY 21 under the National Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Hub (NSSH), to provide financial support to SC/ST Entrepreneurs. It is a 50% increase compared to INR 79.65 crore allocated in FY 20.

i.Central Government has set up 15 National SC/ST Hub Offices (NSSHOs) across India for mentoring and handholding SC/ST entrepreneurs across areas like bid participation, finance facilitation, e-tender training, GeM (Government e-Marketplace), Udyam registration. According to the MSME Sambandh portal, SC/ST entrepreneurs share in the public procurement has remained around 0.55 per cent since FY19 against the 4 per cent annual sub-target set for central ministries, departments, and PSUs to procure out of their 25 per cent annual target from MSEs.

ii.Under the capacity building programme of NSSH, around 26,360 SC/ST candidates have been trained.
National SC/ST Hub
The National SC/ST Hub was set up in October, 2016 to provide support to SC/ST Entrepreneurs to fulfil obligations under the Central Government Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises Order 2012, adopt applicable business practices and utilize the Stand Up India initiative. The National SC/ST Hub is operated by National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of MSME.

About National SC/ST Hub (NSSH)
Chairperson of High Powered Monitoring Committee – Union Minister for MSME (Narayan TatuRane)
Headquarters – New Delhi

PM Narendra Modi Launched e-Voucher Digital Payment Solution e-RUPI

On August 02, 2021, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi virtually launched a prepaid electronic voucher-based digital payment solution named ‘e-RUPI’ to strengthen the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and the financial inclusion of unbanked citizens. e-RUPI, the ‘person and purpose-specific’ one-time cashless and contactless digital payment vouchers was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on its UPI (Unified Payments Interface) platform, in association with the Department of Financial Services (DFS), National Health Authority (NHA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), and partner banks.

The e-RUPI e-Voucher/coupon could be shared in the form of an SMS-string or QR code (instead of Money) to the beneficiaries’ mobile for a specific purpose (health, education, subsidies, etc). The beneficiaries could redeem the voucher at the service provider (i.e. the merchants that accept e-RUPI) and it doesn’t need a card, digital payments app, bank account, internet banking access, and other traditional payment modes to complete the transaction.

About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO -DilipAsbe

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar releases Report on Power distribution sector

NITI Aayog’s (National Institute for Transforming India) Vice chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar released a Report on the Power Distribution Sector titled ‘Turning around the Power Distribution Sector- Learnings and Best Practices from Reforms’. The report is co-authored by NITI Aayog, RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute), and RMI India. The report provides ways to transform India’s Power distribution sector.

About NITI Aayog
It was established on January 1, 2015.
Chairperson – Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi)
Vice-Chairman– Dr. Rajiv Kumar
Headquarters-New Delhi
About RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute)
An Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) established in 1982.
CEO – Jules Kortenhorst


IndusInd Bank got Empanelled as Agency Bank to RBI; RBI Imposed Rs 50.35 lakh Penalty on Janalaxmi Co-operative Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has empanelled IndusInd Bank, the private sector lender, as an ‘Agency Bank’ to facilitate transactions related to government (govt) businesses. RBI has allowed IndusInd Bank to handle transactions related to revenue receipts under Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) on behalf of the state/central govt. On behalf of state govts, it will collect state taxes such as professional tax, VAT (value-added tax), state excise duties, etc. RBI imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 50.35 lakh on Janalaxmi Co-operative Bank, Nashik, Maharashtra.
About IndusInd Bank:
Establishment – 1994
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Sumant Kathpalia

SEBI revised Minimum Application Value, Trading Lot for REITs & InvITs

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) reduced the minimum application value of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) to the range of Rs 10,000-15,000 from earlier requirement of Rs 50,000 for REITs and Rs 1 lakh for InvITs. It also revised the trading lot to one unit for REITs and InvITs from earlier 100 units for initial listing. In this regard, allotment to any investor is required to be made in the multiples of a lot.

Minimum Unit Holders Requirement:

SEBI also introduced a minimum unit holders requirement for unlisted InvITs i.e. other than the sponsor(s), its related parties and its associates, there will be 5 holders, and together and collectively they hold at least 25% of the total units of the InvIT, at all times.
Points to be noted:
i.REIT comprises a portfolio of commercial real assets, a major portion of which is already leased out.
ii.InvITs comprise a portfolio of infrastructure assets such as highways and power transmission assets.
ii.As of March 2021, a total of 15 InvITs and 4 REITs were registered. Of these, 6InvITs and 3 REITs were listed on the stock exchanges.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment– 1992
Chairman– Ajay Tyagi
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

SBI General ties up with Manipal Business Solutions to expand reach in Rural Areas

The SBI (State Bank of India) General Insurance collaborated with Manipal Business Solutions, the promoter of SahiPay to expand its non-life penetration in rural areas. As SahiPay provides digital and financial services in the semi-urban and rural parts, SBI General will utilize this customer base to maximise its non-life penetration in rural areas by providing a number of non-life insurance solutions.

Reason behind this partnership:
Over 65% of the Indian population is residing in rural areas and to make them aware about the benefits of insurance, affordable and technology based products this partnership has made.
About SBI General Insurance:
Managing Director (MD) & CEO (Chief Executive Officer)– Prakash Chandra Kandpal
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Suraksha Aur Bharosa Dono


Nepal Cricketer Paras Khadka retires from International cricket

Former Nepal Cricket Team Captain Paras Khadka(34) announced his retirement from International cricket. He is the 1st Nepalese batsman to score a century in both ODI and T20 formats.

i.He has played 10 One Day internationals (ODIs) and 33 Twenty 20 International (T20Is) scoring 1114 runs and 17 wickets.
ii.Khadka represented Nepal in three Under-19 World Cups in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and led his country in 2014 ICC (International Cricket Council) Men’s T20 world cup.
iii.He served as the Captain of Nepal from 2009 to 2019, making him the longest-serving captain in Associate Cricket at the time of resignation from the role.
About International Cricket Council (ICC)
Chairman – Greg Barclay
Headquarters – Dubai
Chairman of ICC’s Cricket Committee – Anil Kumble

Part-I: Overview of Ongoing Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Part-I: Overview of Ongoing Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

The 32nd Edition of Olympic Games is taking place in Tokyo, Japan from 23rd July, 2021 – 8th August, 2021. The Specific Motto of the Tokyo Olympics is ‘United by Emotion’. Japanese Emperor Naruhito officially declared the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics open, while Japanese Women’s Tennis Players lit up the Olympic Cauldron. The Opening ceremony took place at the newly-built National Stadium, Tokyo.

India’s Performance
India has won 2 medals – 1 Silver, 1 Bronze till August 3, 2021.
MirabaiChanu wins Silver Medal in Weightlifting
MirabaiSaikomChanu (Manipur) won the Silver Medal in 49kg Weightlifting category with a total lift of 202 Kg. She became 1st Indian Weightlifter to win Silver in Olympics.
P.V. Sindhu wins Bronze Medal in Badminton
P.V. Sindhu (Telangana) won the Bronze Medal in Women’s Badminton after defeating China’s He Bingjiao in the Bronze Medal match. She became the 1st Indian Woman and 2nd Indian overall to win 2 Olympic Medals


US approves sale of Harpoon Joint Common Test Sets to India

The United States has approved the sale of one Harpoon Joint Common Test Set (JCTS) and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 82 million (~ INR 609 Crores).
i.The deal also includes Harpoon Intermediate Level maintenance station; spare and repair parts, support and test equipment. Boeing Company will be the Principal Contractor of the deal. The Foreign Military Sale is expected to improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats.

ii.Harpoon is an anti-ship missile system developed and manufactured by Boeing Defence, Space & Security.
About Boeing
President & CEO – David L. Calhoun
Headquarters – Chicago, USA

Myanmar’s Military Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing Declared Himself as PM

Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the Chief of Myanmar’s Military has declared himself as the Prime Minister(PM) of Myanmar. The state administration council of Myanmar has been reformed as the “Caretaker government of Myanmar” headed by Min Aung Hlaing as the PM. He will lead Myanmar as PM under the extended state of Emergency until the election which will be held by 2023.

Special Envoy for Myanmar:
i.The efforts of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) to negotiate between the military government and its opponents are stalled following the agreement to appoint a special envoy for Myanmar.
ii.VirasakdiFutrakul, Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Thailand was selected as the envoy.
About Min Aung Hlaing:
i.5-star general Min Aung Hlaing has served as the Chairman of the State Administration Council of Myanmar which makes him the de facto leader of Myanmar.
ii.He is also a member of the National Defence and Security Council (NDSC).
In February 2021, He has taken power in Myanmar after removing the government headed by State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
About Myanmar:
Prime Minister– Min Aung Hlaing
Capital– Naypyitaw
Currency– Myanmar kyat

Indian Cricketer MS Dhoni becomes 1st Brand Ambassador of HomeLane

HomeLane, Home Interiors Company has signed a 3-year strategic partnership with Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni(MS Dhoni) as the equity partner and brand ambassador.
MS Dhoni became the first brand ambassador of HomeLane.
HomeLane is the online interior design and furniture company owned byHomevista Decor and Furnishings Pvt Ltd.
Features of the partnership:
i.As a part of the strategic partnership, MS Dhoni will own equity shares in HomeLane.
ii.This partnership will enable HomeLane to enhance its reach and connect with the customers.
iii.MS Dhoni will work with HomeLane on a new campaign which will be released during the new Indian Premier League (IPL) Season.
Additional info:
i.HomeLane is set to expand to 25 new Tier II and Tier III cities in the next 2 years and has designated Rs 100 crore in marketing to support the expansion.
ii.At present HomeLane is operating across 16 cities which includes, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, NCR, Kolkata, Pune, Coimbatore, Vizag and Mysore.
About HomeLane:
CEO- Srikanth B Iyer
Co-Founder & COO– Tanuj Choudhry
Established in 2014
Headquarters– Bengaluru.

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