Current Affairs

12 August, 2021


PM Narendra Modi Chaired UNSC Open Debate on Maritime Security; UNSC Adopted PRST on Maritime Security

In August 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually chaired the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) High-level Open Debate on ‘Enhancing Maritime Security – A Case for International Cooperation’. As India holds the presidency of the UNSC for the month of August 2021, Narendra Modi presided over the maritime security debate. Narendra Modi was the 1st Indian PM to preside over a UNSC Open Debate. PM’s Remarks: He outlined 5 principle frameworks to preserve and use the common maritime heritage, and to frame a global roadmap of maritime security cooperation. The 15-member body, UNSC unanimously adopted the Presidential Statement (PRST) on Maritime Security, which was given by Narendra Modi. This is the 1st comprehensive UNSC document on maritime security.

About United Nations Security Council (UNSC): UNSC is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions like imposing sanctions and authorizing use of force. India is the non-permanent member of the UNSC.
Establishment – 1945
Headquarters – New York, United States
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN – TS Tirumurti

India ranked 122nd in Global Youth Development Index 2020, Singapore tops: Commonwealth Report

The Commonwealth Secretariat released its triennial rankings of Global Youth Development Index (YDI) 2020, it measures the progress in 181 countries across 6 factors of youth development. In the country wise ranking, India ranked 122nd out of 181 countries. Singapore topped the Index for the 1st time.

The rankings are based on 27 indicators across the 6 domains (over the period 2010-18) – Health and Wellbeing, Education, Employment & Opportunity, Political & Civic participation, Peace & Security and Equality & Inclusion. The 2020 YDI highlights that the global average youth Development Score improved by 3.1% between 2010 and 2018 period with 156 out of 181 countries recording improvements in their scores.
Rank Country Overall Score
122 India 0.626
1 Singapore 0.875
2 Slovenia 0.866
3 Norway 0.862
About Commonwealth Secretariat
Headquarters – London
Secretary General – Patricia Scotland


India, US sign MoU to Improve Weather and Monsoon forecasts

India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) & National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of US have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monsoon data analysis and cooperation to improve weather forecasts in the region. It was signed byA. Ramadass, Director of NIOT & Craig McLean, U.S. Assistant Administrator for Research and Acting Chief Scientist, NOAA. The MoU will enhance technical cooperation in the development of the Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) and the Ocean Moored buoy Network in the northern Indian ocean (OMNI). The development of RAMA & OMNI will help in improving weather and monsoon forecasts between NOAA and India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences. The MoU is a follow up to the MoU signed between the Ministry of Earth Sciences and NOAA in October, 2020 for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.
About National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT)
An Autonomous body under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
Established in November 1993
Director – G.A.Ramadass
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
About National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Administrator – Richard W. Spinrad
Headquarters – Washington DC, US

MNRE launched Interest Subvention Scheme for Waste to Energy Biomethanation Projects

i.A webinar was held on the occasion of World Biofuel Day i.e. on August 10, 2021 where ‘Organic Waste Streams for Industrial Renewable Energy Applications in India’, a GEF-MNRE-UNIDO project, launched its financial scheme and GIS (Geographic Information System) Waste Mapping tool.
ii.These were launched by Dinesh Dayanand Jagdale Joint Secretary, MNRE. MNRE is acronym for Ministry of New and Renewable Energy GEF stands for Global Environment Facility UNIDO is United Nations Industrial Development Organization

About Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE):
Union Minister– Raj Kumar Singh (Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS)– Bhagwanth Khuba (Bidar, Karnataka)

2021 Census to be India’s 1st-ever digital Census: MHA

Minister of State for Home Affairs (MHA) Nityanand Rai stated in the Parliament that the 16th Indian Census (to be undertaken in 2021) will be India’s 1st-ever Digital Census. Data for the Census 2021 will be collected through mobile Apps and will be uploaded on the portal directly. The Data from the census will be made available by 2024-25. Government of India conducts Census every 10 years.The last census was conducted in 2011.

Historical background: Census of India
The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India (RGCCI) under MHA has been conducting the Census of India since 1949. The first census of Independent India was conducted in 1951. Censuses are conducted under Census of India Act,1948.
About Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India (RGCCI)
Registrar General and Census Commissioner – Vivek Joshi
1st Census Commissioner of India – W. W. Plowden
Established – 1961
Headquarters – New Delhi

IAF builds One of the World’s Highest Mobile ATC tower in Ladakh

One of the world’s Highest Mobile Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers has been built by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the Nyoma area of Ladakh at the Advanced Landing Ground. Main purpose of ATC is to control the operation of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters in the East Ladakh region. It will help in controlling China’s activity in the Pangong Tso region of Ladakh and boost surveillance in Line of Actual Control (LAC). India is also planning to develop Airfields in locations of eastern ladakh such as Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), Fukche and Nyoma.
Strategic locations in ladakh
Siachen Glacier – Located in east Karakoram range, it is one of the World’s highest battle grounds. Also called ‘’3rd pole of the world’’.
Pangong Tso – World highest salt water lake.
Reported Areas of Stand-Offs between India & China
About Indian Air Force (IAF)
Founded: 8 October 1932
Commander-in-Chief: President Ram Nath Kovind
Chief of Air Staff: Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria

PM Narendra Modi launches PMUY 2.0 from Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 2.0 (PMUY 2.0) Scheme from Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh. Under PMUY 2.0, an additional 10 million LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) connections will be provided to the beneficiaries. Lakhs of Migrant Families are also expected to benefit from the scheme.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
PMUY is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG). It was launched on 1st May 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Objective – To make clean cooking fuel such as LPG available to the rural and deprived households.
Financial assistance of ₹1,600 per household given by the centre to eligible households.
About Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG)
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha – Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of state- Rameswar Teli (Lok Sabha – Dibrugarh, Assam)


PPBL Became the 1st Bank to Cross 1 Crore FASTags

Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) became the 1st bank in India to achieve the milestone of issuing 1 crore FASTags. It has ~28 percent share as FASTag issuer bank. As per the data of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), around 3.47 crore FASTags were issued by all banks together till the end of June 2021. PPBL also exists as India’s largest acquirer of toll plazas under the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program. As per PPBL data, out of the total 851 toll plazas across the national and state highways 280 were using PPBL payment gateway to collect toll charges digitally.

SIDBI Launched ‘Digital Prayaas’ App to Offer Loans to Entrepreneurs; SIDBI Tie-up with BigBasket

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched the programme ‘Digital Prayaas’ an App based end to end digital lending tool platform to sanction loans to entrepreneurs from low income group(especially the people at the bottom of the pyramid) by the end of the day. The process of – onboarding borrowers’ e-KYC (Know-Your-Customer) and sanctioning loan through credit score and analytics will get executed on an end-to-end basis digitally. The post sanction documentation such as e-signing and e-stamping of the documents will also be done digitally through the App.

SIDBI-BigBasket Initiative: SIDBI also partnered with a major aggregator BigBasket to on board its delivery partners across the country and provide loans to the youths of the urban areas at an affordable interest rate for the purchase of environment friendly e-vehicles (e-Bikes and e-Vans).
Note – Debasish Panda, IAS and Secretary, Department of Financial Services has launched the above two initiatives of SIDBI.
About Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
Establishment – 1990
Headquarters – Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Chairman & Managing Director – Sivasubramanian Ramann

NABARD Signed MoU with SBI, JKGB for JLG Financing

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Bank of India (SBI) and Jammu and Kashmir Gramin Bank (JKGB) in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the UT of Ladakh.

Objective: To finance 1000 Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) and to enhance the flow of credit to tenant farmers, oral lessees, sharecroppers, Small and Marginal farmers (SF/MF), etc.

The MoUs on JLG financing were signed and exchanged between NABARD J&K Regional Office, SBI, and JKGB.

The people who are suffering from reverse migration under COVID-19 will be provided credit facilities through the JLG formation. The formation and credit linkage of 1000 JLGs will benefit around 5000 households in J&K.Participants: The MoU was presided over by A.K Sood, CGM, NABARD; Surender Singh, General Manager, NABARD, Ajitav Parashar, Deputy General Manager SBI, and Sudhir Gupta, Chairman, JKGB, have participated and represented NABARD, SBI, and JKGB in the MoU.
About National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD):
Establishment – 1982
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – G.R. Chintala
About State Bank of India (SBI):
Establishment – 1st July 1955
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Dinesh Kumar Khara
Tagline – The Banker to Every Indian


Vinesh Phogal temporarily suspended by Wrestling Federation of India for indiscipline: Know why here!

Vinesh Phogat, India's star wrestler has been temporarily banned by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for indiscipline during her Tokyo Olympics campaign.

The Wrestling Federation of India issued a notice to Vinesh on August 10, 2021 announcing the temporary ban on three charges, most importantly for a breach of contract. Vinesh Phogat has been given time until August 16 to reply to the notice.

The Wrestling Federation of India has also issued notice to Sonam Malik for misconduct.

Why has Vinesh Phogat been temporarily suspended?
The Wrestling Federation of India has temporarily banned Vineet Phogat on three charges-

1. Refusing to stay with the Indian team in the Olympics village
2. Refusing to train with the Indian team.
3. Refusing to wear an Indian Olympic Association wrestling singlet with the team sponsor's logo and competing in a singlet with a personal sponsor Nike's logo, which was a breach of contract.
What does the temporary ban mean?
Vinesh Phogat has been temporarily banned from competing in any national or domestic event until she files a reply and WFI takes a final decision.
What was the issue? Vinesh Phogat had expressed displeasure at not being allowed a physiotherapist to accompany her and other athletes to the Games before the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Vinesh Phogat, who had travelled to Tokyo from Hungary, had also "created a ruckus" when she was allotted a room near the rooms of her teammates from India including Sonam Malik, Anshu Malik and Seema Bisla. She had argued that she might contract COVID-19 as these wrestlers had travelled to Tokyo from India. Vinesh was one of India's medal hopes at the Tokyo Games but she suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Belarus' Vanesa Kaladzinskaya in a freestyle 53-kg event.

Fit India Freedom Run 2.0 to begin from August 13

Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur on August 13, 2021, will launch a nationwide program of Fit India Freedom Run 2.0, informed Usha Sharma, Secretary of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
Union Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Nisith Pramanik along with organizations such as CISF, BSF, CRPF, NYKS, NSG, ITBP, SSB, and Railways will join the launch event virtually. As per the official release by the Ministry, the event will witness 75 physical events at different historical locations on the launch day of the program.
What is Fit India Freedom Run 2.0?
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has organized the Fit India Freedom Run 2.0 as a part of the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – India @ 75.
The Freedom Run 2.0 will commemorate the 75th Independence Day across the country.
The campaign is based on the concept that one can run anywhere, anytime.
Individuals can register themselves on the Fit India web portal run by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
When will it be held?
This year, the Fit India Freedom Runs 2.0 will be held from August 13, 2021, till October 2, 2021.
The first Fit India Freedom Run was held from August 15, 2020, till October 2, 2020.
How it will be conducted?
Each week programs will be held in 75 districts and at 75 villages in each district till October 2, 2021.
Fit India Freedom Runs will be organized in 744 districts, 75 villages in each of the 744 districts, and 30,000 educational institutions across the country.
The Initiative will reach more than 7.50 crores youth and citizens.
Purpose of Fit India Freedom Runs 2.0
The aim of Fit India Freedom Runs 2.0 aims to encourage people to take up fitness regimes such as sports and running in their daily lives and attain freedom from laziness, obesity, anxiety, diseases, stress, etc.
The campaign aims to motivate citizens to make a resolve to do a physical activity of at least 30 minutes daily in their lives and live by the motto ‘Fitness ka Dose, Aadha Ghanta Roz’.
About Fit India Movement
•The Fit India movement was launched by PM Narendra Modi on August 29, 2019, with a mission to promote fitness, spread awareness about fitness activities through campaigns, promote indigenous sports, aid in making fitness regimens reach every school, college, universities, village, etc.


SATNAV Policy 2021 drafted for Effective Development of India’s satellite Navigation Sector

i.As a part of Department of Space’s (DoS) space reforms, the draft Indian Satellite Navigation Policy – 2021 (SATNAV Policy 2021) was uploaded on DoS website seeking public consultation till August 29, 2021.
ii.The key objective of this policy is to achieve self-reliance in satellite-based navigation and augmentation services while ensuring availability & quality, enhancing usage, and promoting research & development.
iii.Under this, DoS will also push global usage of Indian Navigation systems viz. NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) on the lines of Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
About Department of Space (DoS):
Establishment– 1972
Secretary– Kailasavadivoo Sivan
Headquarter– Bengaluru, Karnataka

JK Tires Appoints India’s 1st F1 Racer Padma Shri Narain Karthikeyan as Brand Ambassador

JK Tyre & Industries Limited has appointed India’s first Formula One (F1) racer, Padma Shri Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan as its brand ambassador. As the brand ambassador of JK Tyres, he will be the face of the brand and highlight the company’s efforts to promote innovation and excellence in the industry.

About Narain Karthikeyan:
i.Narain Karthikeyan hails from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
ii.He was the first Indian racing driver to participate in F1 racing, he made his debut as an F1 racer in 2005 for the Jordan team.
iii.He has competed in more than 48 races and has won multiple races in A1 Grand Prix (A1GP), British F3, World Series by Nissan, AutoGP, Formula Asia, British Formula Ford & Opel series.
The government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, in 2010 for Sports.
Bvlgari Appoints Priyanka Chopra Jonas as Global Brand Ambassador: Italian luxury brand Bvlgari has appointed Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas as its Global Ambassador. As the brand ambassador, she will be promoting the brand across the globe with a focus on themes of women empowerment, diversity and inclusion.
About JK Tyre & Industries Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director– Dr Raghupati Singhania
Managing Director– Anshuman Singhania
Head Office– New Delhi

BD Mishra & Ganga Prasad Given Additional Charge As Governor of Mizoram & Manipur

Brigadier (Dr.) B. D. Mishra (Retd), governor of Arunachal Pradesh has been given additional charges as the Governor of Mizoram. In addition to his duties, Mishra will discharge the function of the Governor of Mizoram, Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati, during his absence.
Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad given additional charge of Manipur:
Ganga Prasad, Governor of Sikkim has also been given additional changes as the Governor of Manipur. In addition to his duties, Ganga Prasad will discharge the function of the Governor of Manipur, Dr Najma A Heptulla, during her absence.
These appointments are with effect from the dates they assume charge in their respective offices at Mizoram and Manipur.
About Mizoram:
Chief Minister- Pu Zoramthanga
National Park- Murlen National Park; Phawngpui National Park
Wildlife Sanctuary- Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary; Ngengpui Wildlife Sanctuary
About Manipur:
Chief Minister– Nongthombam Biren Singh
National Park- Keibul-Lamjao National Park
Wildlife Sanctuary- Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary; Khongjaingamba Ching Wildlife Sanctuary

West Bengal Government gets 4 SKOCH awards for various schemes

The West Bengal Government has been honoured with 4 SKOCH Awards for various schemes under Ease of Doing Business Initiatives. The awards are given by Skoch Foundation to recognize top performing government organisations. Platinum Award – to ‘Silpasathi’ – the online single window portal Gold Award – Scheme for Auto Renewal of Enlistment through online system for urban Areas Silver Award – Scheme for Online issuance of Trade licences in rural areas and the E-Nathikaran : the online system for registration, preparation and submission of deeds.

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Daily Current Affairs | 19th January 2022

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