Current Affairs

17 August, 2021


Hakainde Hichilema Elected as the New President of Zambia

Hakainde Hichilema was declared as the President-elect of Zambia after defeating the Incumbent President Edgar Lungi in the 2021 Presidential Elections. He is the 7th elected president of Zambia since independence in 1964. Hichilema belongs to the United Party for National Development (UPND), which is the largest opposition party of Zambia. It was Hichilema’s 6th attempt at winning the presidency of Zambia.

About Zambia
It is a country in the African continent
President Elect – Hakainde Hichilema
Capital – Lusaka
Currency – Zambian kwach

India chairs BRICS Working Group on Agriculture 2021; Represented by Sanjay Agarwal

India virtually chaired the meeting of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Working Group on Agriculture 2021 on the theme ‘BRICS Partnership for Strengthening Agro Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Security’. India was represented by India’s Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, India’s Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW). During the meeting, BRICS nations agreed to strengthen agro-biodiversity to ensure food and nutrition security.

The Ministers of Agriculture from Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa participated in the meeting along with India’s Abhilaskha Likhi, Additional Secretary, MoA&FW and Ms. Alaknanda Dayal, Joint Secretary, MoA&FW.
About BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa):
2021 Chair– India
Theme for India’s Chairship– BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus


NCPCR Released Report on Minority Schools of India; Recommended to Include Minority under RTE

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) conducted a nationwide assessment of minority schools and released a report titled ‘Impact of Exemption under Article 15 (5) with regards to Article 21A of the Constitution of India on Education of Minority Communities’.

Objective: To study the impact of Article 15(5) and Article 21A of the Constitution of India regarding the exemption of minority schools and education of minority communities’ children. National Commission for Minorities (NCM) under the NCM Act, 1992 has notified Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis), Jains as the Minority Communities of India.

About National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR):
It is a statutory body under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (CPCR) Act, 2005 under the administrative control of the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
Establishment -2007
Headquarters – New Delhi
Chairperson – Priyank Kanoongo

‘SonChiraiya’ – A Logo and Brand launched by MoHUA for Products of Urban SHGs

Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Durga Shankar Mishra has launched a logo and brand named “SonChiraiya” to promote market products of Urban Self Help Groups(SHG). This would enhance women participation and make them financially empowered.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)
i.The mission was launched in 2013 and is implemented by MoHUA.
ii.Aim – To uplift the livelihood of urban poor by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development.
iii.It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and therefore the funding will be shared between the Centre and the States in the ratio of 75:25. For North Eastern and
Special Category – the ratio will be 90:10.
iv.There are 2 components of DAY-NULM, one for urban India and other for rural India. Urban component named as Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana is being implemented by MoHUA. Rural component named Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana is being implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri (Rajya Sabha, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS) – Kaushal Kishore (Mohanlalganj, Uttar Pradesh)

India, EAC sign Action Plan to boost Trade

A Joint Action Plan was signed between India and East African Community (EAC) to boost trade activities and faster clearance of goods of both the parties. It was signed during a virtual ceremony. The signing of the agreement will lead to a full Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the two sides. India has been selected as a partner due to the principle of Mutual Recognition & Steady trade between EAC and India. Over the past five years (2014 – 2018), before the Covid-19 disruptions, trade between the two entities amounted to over USD 30 billion. The MRA once realised, will benefit companies under the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) Programme run by the EAC Partner States. AEO is a programme run by EAC countries based on Principle of Mutual recognition and fair trade practices.
East African Community (EAC)
The EAC is an intergovernmental organization of 6 countries- named as Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda,South Sudan,Tanzania and Uganda
About East Africa Community (EAC)
Chairperson of the Summit – Uhuru Kenyatta( President of Kenya)
Headquarters – Arusha, Tanzania

Overview of PM Narendra Modi’s Address on India’s 75th Independence Day Celebrations

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi on occasion of India’s 75th Independence Day Celebrations. PM Modi laid the vision for the country for the next 25 years, he stated “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas”. He launched several initiatives on the occasion.

Pradhan Mantri ‘Gati Shakti’ National Master Plan for Infrastructure: Gati Shakti will act as the ‘National Infrastructure Master Plan’ and will help in setting a holistic and integrated approach in infrastructure construction. INR 100 Lakh Crore will be allotted for the Gati Shakti programme.
75 Vande Bharat Trains
National Hydrogen Mission
PM Modi announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission to make India the global production hub for clean hydrogen fuel production and exports.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana completes 7th Anniversary

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (National Mission of Financial Inclusion) completed its 7th Anniversary on 15th August, 2021. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 28, 2014.
i.As per government data, PMJDY now has 42.89 crore beneficiaries (basic bank account holders) with INR 1,43,834 crore total balance. More than 50% of them are women – 23.76 crore, while 28.57 crore belong to rural and semi city areas. The average balance of PMJDY accounts stands at around INR 3000-3500.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
i.It is implemented by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance. Slogan of the Scheme is “Mera Khatha, Bhagya Vidhatha” (My account, fate restorer).

Objective – To ensure access to various financial services like availability of basic savings bank account, access to need based credit, remittances facility, insurance and pension to the excluded sections i.e. weaker sections & low income groups.
About Ministry of Finance
Union Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman(Rajya Sabha,Karnataka)
Minister of State(MoS): Dr S Bhagwat Karad(Rajya Sabha, Maharashtra) and Shri Pankaj Chaudhary( Maharajganj, Uttar Pradesh)


BoM Tops PSU Banks in Q1 FY22 in Terms of Loan, Saving Deposit Growth

As per the data of the Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), BoM emerged as the top performer among Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks in terms of loan and savings deposit growth in the first quarter (Q1) of FY22 i.e (April to June 2021). BoM recorded a 14.46 percent increase in gross advances at Rs 1,10,592 lakh crore. It was followed by Punjab & Sind Bank with a 10.13 percent growth in advances. The Current Account Savings Account (CASA) for BoM was also increased by 22 percent, the highest among the PSU banks.

RBI Cancelled the License of Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cancelled the license of Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank Ltd., Panvel, Maharashtra, due to the bank not having adequate capital and earning prospects to pay its present depositors in full.

About Banking Regulation (BR) Act 1949:
i.It has a total of 56 sections.
ii.Section 22: Every Banking Company in India needs to obtain a license from RBI under this section to start a banking business. RBI will cancel the license granted to a banking company under Section 22(4) of the BR Act.

iii.Section 47 A: Provisions under this section empowers RBI to impose a penalty.

GIC Re to Shut Down Dubai Office; Shifts to GIFT City in India

General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re), the sole reinsurer in the domestic reinsurance market, is set to shut down its Dubai Office since the Dubai Authority failed to renew its licence. The GIC Re has decided to shift its operation to Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), the only International Financial Services Centre in India. The GIC Re has decided to place its Dubai Branch into a runoff because of non-renewal of Licence, non-compliance insolvency requirement.
About General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re):
Chairman and Managing Director– Devesh Srivastava
Head Office– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Incorporated on 22 November 1972


India’s Raunak Sadhwani wins Spilimbergo Open Chess Tournament 2021

Indian Chess Grandmaster (GM) Raunak Sadhwani won the 19th Spilimbergo 2021 Open Master by drawing the final round against GM Adam Gozak (Hungary). The tournament was held in Spilimbergo, Italy from 11th August to 15th August 2021 Raunak Sadhwani is the 65th GM of India. He was born in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Sadhwani remained Undefeated in the tournament with 5 wins and 4 draws. Indian Woman GM R. Vaishali finished in 14th place with 6 points. She was the best among the Women Competitors. In July 2021, the 15 year old GM Raunak Sadhwani won the 40th St Veiter Jacques Lemans Open 2021.
About All India Chess Federation:
President – Sanjay Kapoor
Founded – 1951
Headquarters – New Delhi

Neeraj Chopra ranked 2nd in World Athletics Men’s Javelin Throw Ranking 2021

Indian Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra was ranked 2nd (up from 16) in the recently released World Athletics Men’s Javelin Throw Ranking 2021. Neeraj was also ranked 129th in the Men’s Overall Athletics Ranking. Neeraj Chopra won Gold Medal in Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Germany’s Johannes Vetter (World No. 1) continued to be Number 1 in the Men’s Javelin Throw Ranking. The World rankings for Athletics are issued by the Sports governing body ‘World Athletics’.

Neeraj Chopra: Neeraj Chopra was born in Panipat, Haryana. His Gold Medal is India’s 1st Medal in a Track & Field event. He threw the Javelin to a distance of 87.58m to win the Gold Medal. Overall, it is only India’s 2nd individual Gold Medal in an Olympics. India’s 1st individual Gold Medal was won by Abhinav Bindra in 10m Air Rifle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
About World Athletics
Founded in 1912
President – Sebastian Coe
Headquarters – Monaco


Dr Jitendra Singh launched India’s 1st & World’s largest Cattle Genomic Chip ‘IndiGau’

i.Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (MoS-Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences released ‘IndiGau’, India’s first and world’s largest Cattle Genomic Chip for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole etc.
ii.The chip was developed by the scientists of National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad (Telangana). It is an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST).
About Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST):
Dr Jitendra Singh Constituency– Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir
Departments– Department of Science & Technology (DST), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR)
Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India– Dr. Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan

Muhyiddin Yassin PM of Malaysia Announced his Resignation

Muhyiddin Yassin(Full name- Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Mahiaddin bin Md. Yasin), 8th Prime Minister(PM) of Malaysia submitted his resignation to Al-Sultan Abdullah, Yang di-Pertuan Agong (The Supreme Head of Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after losing majority support to govern. He became the shortest ruling leader (18 Months) in the History of Malaysia. Yang di-Pertuan Agong has appointed Muhyiddin as Caretaker PM until the appointment of the New PM.

About Muhyiddin Yassin:
i.Muhyiddin Yassin took charge as the Prime Minister of Malaysia in March 2020.
Previously he has served as the Deputy PM under former PM Najib Razak from 2009 to 2015.
ii.He co-founded the Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Malay: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia), abbreviated PPBM and served as its President.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia:
i.Malaysia has a unique system of monarchy, the role of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is rotated every 5 years among the 9 Malay Sultans.
ii.Al-Sultan Abdullah, the current Yang di-Pertuan Agong is from Pahang. He took the throne in 2019.
About Malaysia:
Capital– Kuala Lumpur
Currency– Malaysian Ringgit

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