Current Affairs

12 September, 2021


OneWeb & Hughes Network System Signed MoU to Distribute Satellite Services in India & US

Bharti group backed OneWeb and United States (US) company Hughes Network System has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a collectively hosted session at Satellite 2021 in Maryland,US for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite service in US and India. It is a strategic agreement for distributing satellite service networks in India to large enterprises, small and medium businesses, government, telecoms and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the rural and remote parts of the country.

About the Agreement-
i.OneWeb and Hughes will collaborate to expand the distribution of Satellite Network at global level, with Hughes offering OneWeb’s low-latency, high-speed connectivity for markets such as enterprise, government, commercial aviation and maritime, cellular backhaul, and community Wi-Fi hotspots.

ii.EchoStar, the parent company of Hughes, is an investor in OneWeb, building its initial constellation of 648 LEO Satellites. Service will be soon started in this year of 2021 to the Arctic region including Alaska, Canada and the United Kingdom.

iii.By late 2022, OneWeb will be offering its high-speed, low latency connectivity services, globally.
About satellite Internet Network and LEO Technology
i.Positioning of Satellites: LEO satellites are positioned around 500km-2000km from earth, compared to stationary orbit satellites which are approximately 36,000km away.
ii.Latency: Latency, or the time needed for data to be sent and received, is contingent on proximity.
iii.As LEO satellites orbit closer to the earth, they are able to provide stronger signals and faster speeds than traditional fixed-satellite systems.
About OneWeb
Chief Executive Officer– Neil Masterson
Headquarters- London, United Kingdom

India Participated in A Military Exercise Zapad 2021, Hosted by Russia

14 days long, Russia’s Multi Nation Exercise Zapad 2021 is conducting from 3rd to 16th September at Nizhniy in Russia. Indian Army took part in ‘ZAPAD 2021’ with 200 personnel mainly from the Naga Regiment participated as an all ‘Arms Combined Task Force’ for the exercise, which is one of the theatre levels exercises of the Russian armed forces. The aim of the conducting exercise focuses primarily on operations against terrorists.More than dozen countries from Eurasia and South Asia will also participate in the same exercise.Zapad, meaning “west”. One of the main event Russian-Belarusian strategic exercisewill be conducted on September 10-16 at nine sites in Russia, the Baltic Sea, and also five sites in Belarus. For the first time, Armenia participated in Russia’s Zapad2021 strategic drills, after the military defeat of 2020. The exercise met symbolic contingents from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and Sri Lanka, and observers are to be sent by China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.


SPI and GIZ Tied up with MNRE to Extend role in Decentralised Renewable Energy

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) tied a partnership with Smart Power India (SPI), an arm of Rockefeller Foundation & Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to encourage Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) innovations.The partnership was the part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav in the lines to become Atmanirbhar Bharat.
About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE):
Minister – Raj Kumar Singh (Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State- Bhagwanth Khuba (Bidar, Karnataka)

India & Denmark Launch ‘Centre of Excellence on Offshore Wind’ as part of Green Strategic Partnership

Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy R. K. Singh & Danish Minister for Climate, Energy, and Utilities Dan Jorgensen jointly launched ‘Centre of Excellence on Offshore Wind’ as part of the Green Strategic Partnership during their meeting in New Delhi.
Target- India has set a target of 450 Gigawatt(GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030.India’s whole renewable energy portfolio is already at 146 GW.
Note- India is the only G-20 country whose actions are in consonance with the Paris Climate agreement with regard to global rise in temperature.
Background – The two countries already have an agreement on ‘Strategic Sector Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy with a focus on Offshore Wind Energy’.Click here to read about the India – Denmark Green Strategic Partnership.

France’s Naval Group and India’s GRSE Made Collaborations to Offer Surface Ships

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., (GRSE), a Mini Ratna Category 1 Defence PSU leading warship building company of India, and Naval Group, European Naval Defence Industry from France signed MoU in the field of offering high-end surface ships which based on the sea-proven “Gowind” design and to fulfil the requirements of India and international naval forces. The agreement emphasizes the potential of strategic relations between France and India in the Indo-Pacific region.

About Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE)
GRSE is a shipbuilding company in India under the Ministry of Defence, primarily catering to the shipbuilding requirements of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.
Headquarters – Kolkata, India
Chairman and MD – Rear Admiral V K Saxena, IN (Retd.)

MoS Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2021 & Released SSG 2021 Protocol Document, Dashboard & Mobile App

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State(MoS), Ministry of Jal Shakti presided over the virtual launch of Swachh Survekshan Grameen(SSG) 2021 under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) (SBM(G)) Phase- II during the event organised by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS).
The SBM(G) Phase II is aimed to achieve the goal of comprehensive cleanliness or Sampoorna Swachhata by addressing Open Defecation Free (ODF) Sustainability and SLWM issues.
Release of SSG 2021 Protocol, Dashboard and Mobile app:
Prahlad Singh Patel MoS, Jal Shakti ministry has also released the SSG 2021 Protocol document; SSG 2021 Dashboard and the mobile App for Citizens feedback.
About Ministry of Jal Shakti:
Union Minister- Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Constituency- Jodhpur, Rajasthan)
Minister of State- Prahlad Singh Patel (Constituency- Damoh, Madhya Pradesh); Bishweswar Tudu (Constituency- Mayurbhanj, Odisha)

MoHUA Partnered With MeitY To Launch ‘Main Bhi Digital 3.0’ Campaign

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in association with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) launched the “Main Bhi Digital 3.0” -A special Campaign for Digital Onboarding and Training for street vendors under Pradhan Mantri Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) Scheme on the pitot based in 223 cities in the country. It was collectively launched by Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra and Electronics and IT Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney virtually. The drive is in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of “SabkaSaathSabkaVikas”

Participating agency-
BharatPe, Mswipe, PhonePe, Paytm, Aceware are participating in this drive to issue UPI IDs, QR codes and provide digital training.
About PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi)
It was launched by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in 2020. It empowers Street Vendors for their holistic development and economic upliftment. It facilitates capital loan upto Rs 10,000 with interest subsidy of 7% without paying any collateral. It provides the facility for street vendors to avail a loan of ₹20,000 and ₹50,000 in the second and third tranches respectively on timely repayment of the loan. To encourage digital transactions a cash back up to ₹1,200 on digital transactions at ₹100 per month is provided to the street vendors under the scheme.

MoE Dharmendra Pradhan released 6th NIRF Rankings 2021 for HEIs; IIT-Madras Topped Overall

.Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Ministry of Education (MoE) released the 6th NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework) Rankings 2021 of Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) of India in 11 categories from New Delhi.
ii.The ranking has been topped by IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Madras, Tamil Nadu in the overall category which is followed by IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Bengaluru, Karnataka at 2nd and IIT Bombay, Maharashtra at 3rdplace.
iii.All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi retains top slot in Medical for the 4th consecutive year.
About National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF):
Establishment– 2015
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Education (MoE)
Headquarter– New Delhi


Paytm Money Partnered with WealthDesk To Launch “WealthBaskets”

Paytm’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Paytm Money, is launching a wealth and investment advisory marketplace on its platform to offer curated advisory services and products to retail investors. Paytm Money has partnered with start-up WealthDesk to offer investment portfolios called ‘WealthBaskets’ as the first step to build up the advisory ecosystem. A ‘WealthBasket’ is a custom portfolio of stocks and exchange traded fund created by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)-Registered investment professionals and users will be able to invest in multiple Wealthbasket.

RBI enhances scope of tokenization to CoFT to ensure security of card data

In order to ensure security of transaction card data, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the scope of tokenization from device-based tokenization to card-on-file tokenization (CoFT) services. This enhancement will bar merchants from storing actual card data while online transactions.

RBI had issued the directive under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).

Enhanced Features:

With this, RBI also permitted card issuers (such as Rupay, Visa, and Mastercard) to act as token service providers (TSP).

RBI also refused to extend its deadline for card tokenization beyond January 1, 2022 means no entity in the card transaction, other than the card issuers or card networks, will store the actual card data.

Tokenisation of card data shall be done with explicit customer consent requiring Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) validation by card issuer. For transaction tracking and / or reconciliation purposes, entities can store limited data – last four digits of actual card number and card issuer’s name – in compliance with the applicable standards.

What is Tokenization?
Introduced in March 2020, Tokenization aims at improving the safety and security of the payment system. It replaces actual card details with a unique alternate code ‘token’, which is unique for a combination of card, token requestor and identified device. This will act as a security as in case of leakage of card details there will only be random numbers instead of card details. Saving of card details is called card on file (CoF) which refers to card information stored by payment gateway and merchants to process future transactions.

Background: The RBI in March 2020 had stipulated that authorised payment aggregators and the merchants engaged by them should not store actual card data. On a request from the industry, it extended the deadline to end-December 2021 as a one-time measure.


130th edition of Durand Cup kicks off in Kolkata

The 130th edition of the Durand Cup kicked off at the Vivekananda Yubabharati Krirangan in Kolkata. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee kicked the ball and inaugurated the tournament. 16 teams are playing in this edition of the oldest club football tournament in Asia while two clubs East Bengal and Mohun Bagan are not participating. The final match will be held on 3rd October.

Guinness World Records recognise Ronaldo for most goals scored

Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo has broken the world record for most goals scored in men’s international football. Ronaldo surpassed Iranian striker Ali Daei’s long-held record of 109 international goals by scoring a brace against Ireland in a World Cup Qualifier. Ronaldo at 36 years of age is now a Guinness world record holder of most international goals of all time with 111 goals.

Indian T20 World Cup 2021 squad: Ashwin in, Shikhar Dhawan, Chahal out, MS Dhoni to mentor team: Check full Indian squad!

Indian Squad for T20 World Cup 2021: R Ashwin has returned to the Indian squad for T20 World Cup 2021, while few key players including Shikhar Dhawan, who had captained India recently during its ODI & T20 tour of Sri Lanka. Check full Indian squad for T20 World Cup here.


‘Orca’- World’s Largest Plant Capturing Carbon Dioxide From Air Starts In Iceland

The World’s Largest Plant to Capture Carbon Dioxide(CO2) from air, ‘Orca’ Starts Operating in Iceland.The Plant will suck in CO2 and store it underground in the form of rock. It was started by a Swiss startup Climeworks AG in partnership with Icelandic carbon storage firm Carbfix. The plant can capture up to 4,000 tons of CO2 per year.

About the Orca plant-
i.The ‘’Orca’’ refers to the Icelandic word ‘Orka’ for meaning “energy”. The plant consists of eight large containers similar in looks to those used in the shipping industry, which employ high-tech filters and fans to extract carbon dioxide.
ii.The plant has four units, each made up of two metal boxes.
Highlights: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global CO2-emissions totalled 31.5 billion tonnes in 2020. Therefore this plant will help in sucking the polluted carbon from the atmosphere. They developed a plant that can capture 4000 tons of CO2 per year. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that equates to the emissions from about 870 cars.

i.For the collection of CO2, the plant uses fans to draw air into the collector, which has filter material inside.
ii.Once the filter material is filled with CO2, the collector is closed and the temperature is raised to release the CO2 from the material after which the highly concentrated gas can be collected.
iii.The CO2 is then mixed with the water before being injected at a depth of 1,000 metres into the nearby basalt rock where it is petrified.
About Carbfix
Chief Executive Officer– Dr. Edda Sif Pind Aradottir
Headquarter – Reykjavík, Iceland.

DRDO handed over MRSAM to IAF; India’s 1st Emergency Landing Facility of IAF Plane on NH inaugurated on NH925, Rajasthan

i.the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) handed over the first deliverable Firing Unit (FU) of Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM)/”Barak-8″ System to Indian Air Force (IAF) at Air Force Station, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

ii.MRSAM (IAF) is an advanced network centric combat Air Defence System developed by DRDO in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and PPP (Public Private Partnership) in Indian industry.
iii.The Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) inaugurated a 3-km emergency landing strip or Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) at Satta-Gandhav stretch on National Highway 925 in Barmer, Rajasthan for IAF planes.NH-925 is India’s first national highway to be used as ELF of IAF aircraft.
iv.The ELF strip has been developed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in association with IAF.
About Ministry of Defence:
Rajnath Singh Constituency– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Minister of State– Ajay Bhatt (Constituency- Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

S.Korea tests first submarine-launched ballistic missile; becomes 8th country to do the same

The South Korean military conducted its first successful underwater test of a Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM). The test was conducted by the new Dosan Ahn Chang-ho submarine that was inducted into service in August 2021. The submarine launched a Hyunmoo-2B ballistic missile, with a 500 km range. Dosan Ahn Chang-ho is South Korea’s first 3,000-ton class submarine which is equipped with six launch tubes for ballistic missiles.

CCI Approved Acquisitions – Inflow by Savex; ONGC Tripura Power Company Limited by GAIL & Indiabulls AMC by Groww

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of 100% equity share capital of Inflow Technologies Private Limited (Inflow) by Savex Technologies Private Limited (Savex).
GAIL to acquire 26% stake in ONGC Tripura Power Company from IL&FS group entities:
CCI approved the acquisition of 26% equity share capital of ONGC Tripura Power Company Limited by GAIL (India) Limited from Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) group entities under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002. The stakes are acquired from IL&FS Energy Development Company Limited and IL&FS Financial Services Limited.

Groww acquires 100% Stake in Indiabulls AMC & Indiabulls Trustee:
CCI has approved the acquisition of 100% shareholding of (Indiabulls AMC) and Indiabulls Trustee Company Limited (Indiabulls Trustee) by Nextbillion Technology Private Limited, doing business as Groww.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Chairperson– Ashok Kumar Gupta
Director-General– Dr Atul Verma
Headquarters– New Delhi
Established on 14th October 2003

President Ram Nath Kovind Appointed Governors of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Uttarakhand

Ram Nath Kovind, President of India has appointed new governors for 4 states – Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Uttarakhand.
The following appointments will take effect from the date they assume changes in their respective offices.

Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Tamil Nadu who has been holding the additional charge of Governor of Punjab has been appointed as regular Governor of Punjab.

Ravindra Narayan Ravi (RN Ravi), Governor of Nagaland has been appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Governor of Assam, has been given additional charge to discharge the functions of the Governor of Nagaland in addition to his duties until regular arrangements are made. Lieutenant General (retired) Gurmit Singh, former Deputy Chief of Army Staff has been appointed Governor of Uttarakhand.

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