Current Affairs

13 July, 2021

International

Nepal Signed USD1.3 billion Deal with India’s SJVNL to Develop 679 MW Lower Arun HEP

Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the India’s State-owned hydropower major ‘Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd’ (SJVNL) for the implementation of 679 Megawatt (MW) Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in eastern Nepal at the cost of US$1.3 billion. It is the 2nd project of SJVNL in Nepal after the Arun-3 hydropower project.

About Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd (SJVNL):
Currently it has an installed capacity of 2,016.51 MW and aims to be a 5,000 MW company by 2023.
Headquarters – Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
MD & CEO – Nand Lal Sharma

3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting held in Venice, Italy; Nirmala Sitharaman attended virtually

i.The 3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting (FMCBGs) was held on July 9-10, 2021 in Venice, Veneto (Italy) where India was virtually represented by Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance. This was the first in-person Finance Track meeting since February 2020.Italy hosted the Meeting.
ii.It was held as part of the G20 (Group of Twenty) Leaders Summit 2021, which will be hosted by Italy in October 2021.
iii.The discussions were held on a wide range of issues including global economic risks and health challenges, policies for recovery from the CoVID-19 pandemic, international taxation, sustainable finance and financial sector issues.
About Group of Twenty (G20):
The 2021 G20 is under the Italian Presidency. It is focusing on three broad, interconnected pillars of action: People, Planet, and Prosperity.
Members– 20 (19 countries + European Union)
Establishment– 1999

National

ICCR to Set up a ‘Bangabandhu Chair’ at Delhi University

For the 1st time, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has established the ‘Bangabandhu Chair’ at Delhi University to honour ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’, the father of Bangladesh and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Bangladesh diplomatic relations. The Chair will be occupied by a foreign visiting professor or subject expert on Bangladesh preferably a person of that country’s origin.

Note – The Union government conferred Gandhi Peace Prize to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, for the year 2020 and the Government of Bangladesh has declared the year 2020-21 as the Mujib Year.

Industry Minister Piyush Goyal Co-chaired 21st Session of India-Italy JCEC

21st Session of India-Italy Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) held virtually in July 2021, it was Co-chaired by Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.

About Ministry of Commerce and Industry:
Union Minister – Piyush Vedprakash Goyal(Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Anupriya Singh Patel (Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh), Som Parkash (Hoshiarpur, Punjab)

Nitin Gadkari Inaugurates India’s 1st Private LNG Facility Plant at Nagpur, Maharashtra

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated India’s 1st Private LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) Facility plant at Nagpur, Maharashtra. The Plant has been set up by Baidyanath Ayurvedic Group. Emphasizing the importance of alternate biofuels for diversification of agriculture towards the energy and power sector, Gadkari stated that India is spending 8 Lakh Crore for the import of petrol, diesel & petroleum products. The Government has designed a policy which encourages development of cost effective pollution free and indigenous ethanol, bio CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), LNG and hydrogen fuels. He stated that Surplus quantities of rice, corn and sugar must be used for production of alternative fuels.

About Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH)
Union Minister – Nitin Jairam Gadkari (Lok Sabha – Nagpur, Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Gen. V K Singh (Lok Sabha – Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh)Commerce &

Economy

Exim Bank Lent $35.26 mn Loan to Kalpataru Power Transmission for Senegal Project

The Export-Import (Exim) Bank of India has extended a USD 35.26 million loan for Mumbai based Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd (KPTL) to execute a power transmission project in Senegal.
About Export-Import (Exim) Bank of India:
Establishment – March 1982
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO – David Rasquinha

RBI Approved Equitas SFB to Apply for Amalgamation of Promoter into itself

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the Equitas Small Finance Bank (SFB) to apply for the amalgamation of its promoter ‘Equitas Holdings’ into itself. Equitas SFB is the subsidiary of Equitas Holdings. As per the RBI’s SFB licensing guidelines, the promoter of SFB should exit or cease to be a promoter after a lock-in period of 5 years. In the case of Equitas SFB, the initial promoter lock-in period for Equitas Holdings expires on September 4, 2021, hence the Equitas SFB requested RBI for amalgamation of its promoter before completion of the lock-in period. Now RBI has approved the bank to apply for amalgamation of its promoter into itself.

Note – The promoter of SFB should also have a minimum of 40 percent of the paid-up voting equity capital of the bank.
About Equitas Small Finance Bank (SFB):
Headquarters – Chennai, Tamil Nadu
MD & CEO – Vasudevan Pathangi Narasimhan P N
Tagline – It’s Fun Banking

IMF Board Approved US$650 Billion SDR Allocation Against COVID-19

In July 2021, the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocation equivalent to USD 650 billion, to support the economically vulnerable member nations’ battle against COVID-19. It is the largest allocation in the IMF’s history, it would boost the liquidity and reserves of all IMF member countries and promote the resilience and stability of the global economy. The SDR allocation would be completed by the end of August 2021 and it would allow developing countries to immediately receive more than USD200 billion in support. The IMF will channel the SDRs from wealthier members to poorer and more vulnerable member countries to help their COVID-19 recovery. As per the record of Johns Hopkins University, deaths worldwide due to COVID-19 climbed to 4 million.

Note – Similar to the current expansion, in 2009 IMF approved a USD250 billion expansion in SDR reserves to recover from the 2008 global financial crisis.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
Establishment– 1944
Headquarters – Washington, D.C., United States
MD – Kristalina Georgieva
Member Countries– 190

Sports

Argentina wins Copa America 2021

Argentina won the 2021’s Copa America football tournament against Brazil in the finals on a 1-0 victory. The 2021 Copa America tournament was hosted by Brazil and the finals took place at Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
i.Argentina under the Captaincy of Lionel Messi won the 1st title for the country after a gap of 28 years. This also makes the 1st major International Trophy for Messi.
ii.The winning goal for the Argentinian side was scored by Angel di Maria.
Note – Qatar is set to host the 2022’s FIFA World Cup
Notable Awards: Golden Boot (Top Scorer) Award – Lionel Messi Golden Ball (Best Player) Award – Lionel Messi (4 Goals & 5 assist in 6-Matches) Golden Glove (Best Goalkeeper) Award – Emiliano Martinez (Argentina) Best Player Award – Lionel Messi (Argentina) & Neymar (Brazil) Best Player of Final – Angel di Maria (Argentina)

iii.Copa America is the Oldest-running International Football Tournament, contested among the South American nations.
About FIFA:
It is the highest International governing body of the global football association
Established – 1904
Headquarters – Zurich, Switzerland
President – Gianni Infantino

Vishwanathan Anand finishes 2nd in 2021 Croatia Grand Chess Tour

India’s Vishwanathan Anand finished 2nd in the 2021 Croatia Grand Chess Tour Rapid and Blitz tournament held at Zagreb, Croatia from July 5-12, 2021.Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France finished 1st in the tournament. Vachier-Lagrave finished with 23 points (combined of Rapid & Blitz sections) while Anand finished with 21 points. Croatia Grand Chess Tour is the 2nd Rapid and Blitz event and the 3rd stop on the 2021 Grand Chess Tour (GCT). GCT is a circuit of international events, The inaugural Grand Chess Tour was held in 2015.

FIDE Rankings
According to July rankings of FIDE (International Chess Federation), Norway’s Magnus Carlsen is the World Number -1. Vishwanathan Anand is the top ranked Indian at 15. In the Women’s section – Hou Yifan (China) is the World Number 1. Koneru Humpy is the highest ranked Indian at Number 3.

Football: Italy wins UEFA EURO 2020

The Italy National Football Team won the 16th Edition of ‘2020 UEFA European Football Championship (UEFA Euro 2020)’ by defeating England on penalties in the finals held at Wembley Stadium, London, UK. This is Italy’s 2nd European Championship Title (1st one was in 1968).

UEFA EURO 2020

For the 1st time, The UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Euro 2020 was held across Europe, with 11 host cities in all. 24 European National Teams participated in the Tournament which took place from 11th June-11th July, 2021. UEFA European Championship is a Quadrennial men’s football championship event ( held once in 4 years) organized by UEFA. Defending Champions- Portugal

Awards – UEFA EURO 2020

Category

Winner

Alipay Top Scorer Award
(Also known as Golden Boot Award) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Player of the Tournament
(Also known as Golden Ball Award) Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)
Young Player of the Tournament Pedro González López (Spain)
About Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)
President – Aleksander Čeferin
Headquarters – Nyon, Switzerlan

Tennis – Overview of Wimbledon Championships 2021

The 134th Edition (127th staging of the Ladies’ Singles Championship event, the 53rd in the Open Era) of Wimbledon Championships 2021 was held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, UK from 28th June – 11th July, 2021. It is one of the 4 Grand Slam tennis tournaments (others being Australian Open, French Open and the US Open) and takes place in Grass court. It has been held since 1877. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) & International Tennis Federation (ITF) organized the tournament. The 2020 Wimbledon Championships were cancelled due to COVID-19 (1st cancellation of the Tournament since World War II).

Category Winner Runner-up
Men’s Singles Novak Djokovic
(Serbia)

Matteo Berrettini
(Italy)
Women’s Singles Ashleigh Barty (Australia) Karolina Pliskova
(Czech Republic)
Men’s Doubles Nikola Mektic & Mate Pavic
(Croatian Pair)
Marcel Granollers (Spain) & Horacio Zeballos (Argentina)
Women’s Doubles Elise Mertens (Belgium) & Hsieh Su-wei (Chinese Taipei) Veronika Kudermetova & Elena Vesnina
(Russian Pair)
Mixed Doubles Neal Skupski (UK) & Desirae Krawczyk (US) Joe Salisbury & Harriet Dart (UK Pair)

Miscellaneous

Virgin Galactic’s Unity 22 Human Space Mission – Indian Origin Sirisha Bandla Joins the Mission

US based private Spaceflight company ‘Virgin Galactic’ announced the 6-member crew of its human commercial space mission “Unity 22”. The crew includes Richard Branson – the founder of Virgin Galactic as one of its passengers. Indian origin Sirisha Bandla will be the 4th crew member of the space mission.
Unit 22 Mission:
Objective – To act as a pre-run for all of its future commercial space trips, that will allow passengers to witness the curvature of Earth from space.
Sirisha Bandla – 3rd Indian Origin women to be on Space
Sirisha Bandla took part in the Virgin Galactic’s 1.5-hour trail space mission in July, to become the 3rd Indian Origin woman to be in space (after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams).
About Virgin Galactic:
Established – 2004
Founders – Richard Branson & Burt Rutan
Headquarters – Mojave, California, USA

ISRO to Launch Earth observation satellite, GISAT-1 from SDSC, Sriharikota, AP

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch its Geo Imaging Satellite-1 (GISAT-1), weighing about 2,268-kg, onboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 (GSLV-F10) rocket on August 12, 2021 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. This will be the 14th flight of the GSLV. Sriharikota is regarded as the Spaceport of India.

Points to be noted:
i.It is the first state-of-the-art agile Earth observation satellite which will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by GSLV-F10 and, subsequently, positioned in the final geostationary orbit, about 36,000 km above earth’s equator.
ii.For the first time, a 4 metre diameter Ogive shaped payload will be flown in this GSLV flight.
iii.It will be the second launch of 2021 following the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C51 mission on February 28, 2021. It was launched with Brazil’s earth observation satellite Amazonia-1 and 18 as co-passengers, including some built by students.

Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed ‘s Party Won the Country’s Parliamentary Election

Ethiopia‘s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed‘s Prosperity Party won the country’s parliamentary election by winning 410 of 436 parliamentary seats. The victory assures Abiy Ahmed a 2nd 5-year term as PM. He was appointed as the PM of Ethiopia by the governing coalition in 2018. The election was held on June 21, 2021, it was that country’s first free and fair election after decades of repressive rule. Voting did not take place in 3 of Ethiopia’s 10 regions due to opposition boycott, a war in Tigray, ethnic violence, etc. The key opposition party of ‘Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice’, Birhanu Nega, lost the election. In Tigray, the military has been battling forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), as the fighting has displaced two million people, the United Nations has warned of famine conditions in parts of the region.

Note – He won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in ending the 20-year post-war territorial stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He is the 1st Ethiopian and the first Oromo to awarded a Nobel Prize.
About Ethiopia:
Capital – Addis Ababa
President – Sahle-Work Zewde
Currency – Ethiopian birr

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