Current Affairs

7 August, 2021


Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Represents India at G20 Digital Ministers Meeting 2021

Union Minister for the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Ashwini Vaishnaw led the Indian Delegation at the G20 Digital Ministers Meeting 2021 held virtually from Tieste, Italy. The meeting was hosted by Italy (G20 2021 Presidency).

About G20
Established – 1999
Members – 19 countries & the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and The United States of America
2021 G20 Presidency – Italy

Bangladesh, Canada Joined Coalition on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure

Bangladesh and Canada joined the Coalition on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), an initiative of India launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019. India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar has welcomed both nations as partners under CDRI.

About CDRI:
CDRI: It is the global partnership of national governments, UN (United Nation) agencies and programmes, multilateral development banks and financing mechanisms, the private sectors, and knowledge institutions, to promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks in support of sustainable development
Members of CDRI
After the inclusion of Bangladesh and Canada, CDRI has 25 countries and 7 international organisations as its members.
i.Member Countries of CDRI (as of July 2021) – Afghanistan, Africa, Argentina, Bhutan, Brazil, Chile, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, Peru, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK, USA, Bangladesh, Canada
ii.7 member Organizations – Asian Development Bank (ADB); World Bank Group; United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR); ARISE, the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies; Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI); European Union.
Note – In March 2021, Narendra Modi addressed the 3rd Edition of the Annual Conference of International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure 2021 (ICDRI 2021). During the event, the 27-member European Union joined the CDRI.
About Coalition on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI):
Headquarters – New Delhi
Director-General – Sandeep Poundrik


India’s first Water Villas will be set up in Lakshadweep

For the first time in India, water villas will be set up in the Union Territory (UT) of Lakshadweep with an outlay of Rs 800 crore. Similar to water villas in Maldives, these will be solar-powered and eco-friendly to provide world-class facilities. The decision behind this development is to develop Lakshadweep like Maldives in order to promote tourism and to benefit local residents.
About Lakshadweep:
It is India’s smallest Union Territory (UT).
Capital– Kavaratti
Governor– Praful Khoda Patel

Cabinet Approved Bill to Restore Power of States, UTs to Make ‘OBC list’

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the Constitution (127th) Amendment Bill, which will restore the power of States and Union Territories (UTs) to make their own Other Backward Class (OBC) lists. The bill will be passed for parliament approval in the upcoming parliament session, after approval, the amendments will be made over the Article 342-A and 366(26) C of the Constitution. Article 366(26C) gives the definition for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC).

i.Through the 102nd Constitution Amendment Act of 2018, Articles 338B and 342A were included in the constitution to remove the powers vested with States and UTs to create their own OBC list.

Articles 338B: It deals with the structure, duties and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

Article 342A: It empowers the President to notify a particular caste as SEBC and also enables the Parliament to change the list.

iii.By referring to Article 342A, the Supreme Court has barred the Maharashtra government from granting reservations to Marathas and stated the Centre’s only power to draw up a single ‘central’ OBC list.
About National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC):
It is a Constitutional Body under Article 338B of the Constitution of India under the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
Chairman – Bhagwan Lal Sahni
Headquarters – New Delhi


Highlights of the Third Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy of FY21-22

The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) 6-members Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had met on 4th, 5th and 6th August 2021 and released its third bi-monthly monetary policy statement for FY22 (April 2021 – March 2022).

Policy Rates:
The Policy rates were kept unchanged, which are as follows:

Category Rates
Policy Rates
Policy Repo Rate 4.00%
Reverse Repo Rate 3.35%
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate 4.25%
Bank Rate 4.25%
Reserve Ratios
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) 4.00%
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) 18.00%
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

NFDB inks MoU with PNB to extend Financial Assistance to Fisheries sector

i.National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) has signed MoU with Punjab National Bank to extend financial assistance to the fisheries sector through the bank’s 10,641 branches, 13,781 delivery channels and 12,518 Business Correspondents.

ii.The PNB’s Hyderabad Zonal Office will be the nodal office for all the technically approved proposals received by NFDB across the country.
iii.The MoU was signed by M Arul Bosco Prakash, Executive Director (Infra), NFDB, and Sanjeevan Nikhar, General Manager (GM) and Zonal Head, PNB, Hyderabad, Telangana.
About National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB):
Establishment– 2006
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying
Headquarter– Hyderabad, Telangana
About Punjab National Bank (PNB):
Establishment– 1895
Amalgamated Banks in PNB– Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank of India (UBI)
Tagline– The name you can bank upon

IMF Governors approved its largest US$650bn SDR allocation

.In order to boost global liquidity and to curb COVID-19 impact, the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) equivalent to US$650 billion (about SDR 456 billion) w.e.f. August 23, 2021.
ii.It is the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Establishment– 1944
Managing Director– Kristalina Georgieva
Economic Counsellor and Research Department Director– Gita Gopinath
Members– 190 Countries (Including India)
Headquarters- Washington, D.C, United States (US)


India at Tokyo Olympics 2020, Aug 6 Highlights: Aditi Ashok finishes fourth, narrowly misses bronze

India at Tokyo Olympics 2020: India woke up at 4 am today to watch Aditi Ashok in action in women's individual strokeplay. The young golfer surprised everyone with her stunning performance in the first three rounds, she was tied at the 2nd place. She narrowly missed the bronze medal after finishing fourth in the last round.

Aditi Ashok not only made a strong comeback from her 41st place finish in Rio Olympics but also created a historic moment, as no other Indian golfer has ever achieved this before. Though she missed the bronze, her performance will be remembered for a long time to come.

Chess: Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda wins FIDE World Cup 2021

Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) defeated Sergey Karjakin (Russia) to win the 9th Edition of FIDE (International Chess Federation) World Cup 2021. FIDE World Cup 2021 was held at Sochi, Russia from July 12 – August 6th, 2021.
i.Grand Master (GM) Magnus Carlsen (Norway) finished 3rd in the World Cup defeating GM Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia).
ii.The top 2 finishers of the tournament (Jan-Krzysztof Duda & Sergey Karjakin), aside from World Champion Magnus Carlsen have qualified for the 2022 Candidates Tournament 2022.
iii.The Indian challenge at the FIDE World Cup 2021 ended as Vidit Santosh Gujrathi lost to Jan-Kryzstof Duda in the second game of the Men’s quarterfinals.
Inauguration Edition of FIDE Chess World Cup for Women
Alongside FIDE World Cup 2021, The Inaugural edition of a women’s only version of the FIDE World Cup 2021 took place in Sochi, Russia from 12th July – 3rd August, 2021.

Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) defeated Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia) to win the Inaugural edition of the Women’s World Cup.
About FIDE (International Chess Federation)
President – Arkady Dvorkovich
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland


SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, and 3 other Banks buy stakes in IBBIC

6 Banks namely State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank, Indian Bank, Yes Bank, IDBI Bank, and ICICI Bank have brought Equity Stakes in Financial Technology Platform IBBIC (Indian Banks’ Blockchain Infrastructure Co). The 6 Banks have picked up 5.55 percent stake each, representing 50,000 shares in IBBIC, for cash at INR 5 lakh each.

IBBIC platform offers Distributed Ledger technology (DLT) solutions (also known as Blockchain Technology) to the Indian Financial services sector. The equity ownership of IBBIC is aimed at providing DLT solutions for the financial services sector.

Dhriti Banerjee Appointed Director of ZSI, 1st Women Director in 100 years

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the proposal for appointment of Dhriti Banerjee (51) as the Director of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), She will be the 1st Woman Director of ZSI in 100 years. Dhriti Banerjee will succeed Dr. Kailash Chandra. Born in 1970 at Kolkata, West Bengal. She has had an illustrious career as a scientist, conducting research in taxonomy, zoogeography, morphology and molecular systematics. Since 2012, Dhriti Banerjee has been serving as the coordinator of ZSI’s Digital Sequence Information Project.

i.In 2016, On the occasion of ZSI’s centenary celebrations, Banerjee co-authored the document titled ‘The Glorious 100 women’s Scientific Contribution in ZSI’. It highlights the contributions made by women scientists on studies related to different animal groups.
ii.Although formed in 1916, ZSI started hiring women scientists only from 1949. Mira Mansukhani was the 1st women scientist of ZSI.
iii.Thomas Nelson Annandale was the 1st Director-General of ZSI.
Background History of ZSI starts from the days of Asiatic Society of Bengal which was founded by Sir William Jones on January 15, 1784. Asiatic Society of Bengal was the mother institution to Indian Museum (1875), Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and Geological Survey of India (GSI). Asiatic Society of Bengal started to collect zoological and geological specimens in 1796.

About Zoological Survey of India (ZSI)
Founded in July 1916, It comes under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
Director (Present) – Dr. Kailash Chandra
Headquarters – Kolkata

MGNCRE Recognised Chitkara University as District Green Champion 2020-2021

Mahatma Gandhi National Council of Rural Education (MGNCRE) under the Ministry of Education has recognised the Chitkara University in Patiala as the ‘District Green Champion’ for the academic year 2020-2021.
Dr Madhu Chitkara, Pro-Chancellor of Chitkara University received the award in the presence of Kumar Amit, Deputy Commissioner, Patiala.

The award recognises the colleges that actively participated in maintaining the clean and sanitised campus and contributed to the “Swachh Bharat” mission.The University has established Swachhta Action Plan Committee and adopted the best practices in sanitation, waste management, water management, energy management and greenery management.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award Renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award

The Highest sporting honour of India, “Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award”, has been renamed as “Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award” in honour of the hockey Wizard Dhyan Chand.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the renaming was based on the request from the citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Dhyan Chand
Abotu Khel Ratna Award:
i.The Khel Ratna Award named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was instituted in 1991-1992 and the inaugural award was presented to Vishwanath Anand(Chess).
ii.The award is annually presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
iii.The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a medallion and a certificate.
About Dhyan Chand:
i.Major Dhyan Chand, who was known as ‘The Wizard’, was an Indian Hockey player who represented the Indian hockey team from 1926 to 1949.
ii.He has scored more than 400 goals during his career.
iii.He has won 3 consecutive gold medals in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics.
i.The government of India has honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1956.
ii.Since 2012, the birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand has been celebrated as National Sports Day(29th August).

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