Current Affairs

1 July, 2021


World Health, IP, Trade Bodies Launch Platform To Tackle COVID-19 Pandemic

The World Health Organization(WHO), World Intellectual Property Organization(WIPO) and World Trade Organization(WTO) have launched a joint platform to tackle COVID-19 Pandemic.

ii.This platform will help countries plug the gaps in accessing Covid-19 vaccines, treatments and technologies.
iii.Full range of expertise on access, intellectual property and trade matters will be available on this platform.
About WHO:
Establishment – 7 April 1948
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Members – 194
About WTO:
Establishment – 1 January 1995
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
Members – 164
About WIPO:
Established – 1967
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Members– 193

Bengaluru ranked 6th among Top 10 Established Technology Submarkets in APAC, Beijing topped: Colliers Report

In accordance with the report by Colliers titled ‘Growth engines of innovation: How Asia Pacific’s technology hubs are reshaping regional real estate’, Outer Ring road of Bengaluru (Karnataka) has been ranked 6th in the top 10 established technology submarkets in APAC (Asia Pacific) for companies to set up operations. The HITEC (Hyderabad Information Technology and Engineering Consultancy) City of Hyderabad (Telangana) ranked grabbed the 10th The list has been topped by Beijing (China).

India ranked 20th in Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021, US Tops

StartupBlink released the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2021, which ranks countries & cities depending on the Startup Environment. In the country-wise ranking, India with a score of 8.833 was ranked 20th out of 100 countries. The United States (US) topped the index followed by the United Kingdom (UK) & Israel.
i.In the City-wise ranking – San Francisco Bay, USA topped the ranking followed by New York, USA & Beijing, China. A total of 1000 cities were ranked in the index.

Bengaluru, Karnataka was the highest ranked Indian City at 10 (up from 14 in 2020). Overall 43 Indian cities featured in the list, out of which 9 were new.

ii.India was ranked 23rd in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2020.
iii.The Global Startup Ecosystem Index by Startup Blink has been updated annually since 2017, it is based on 3 parameters – Quantity, Quality & Business Environment.
Country-wise Rankings 2021



Index Score













City-wise Rankings 2021



Index Score


San Francisco Bay, USA



New York, USA



Beijing, China



Bengaluru, India


About StartupBlink
Founder & CEO – Eli David
Headquarters – Tel Aviv, Israel

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan becomes World’s Most Expensive City, Mumbai Ranked 78th: Mercer Survey 2021

According to Mercer’s 2021 Cost of Living City Rankings – Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan has become the world’s most expensive city for foreign workers (Expatriates) followed by Hong Kong, Hong Kong (SAR) & Beirut, Lebanon. Mumbai, Maharashtra was ranked at 78, making it India’s most expensive city for expatriates (a fall of 18 places compared to 60th rank in 2020 Mercer Survey). The rankings are based on Mercer’s 27th annual Cost of Living Survey. Around 209 cities across 5 continents have been ranked in the survey. New York City, which was ranked 14th on the list, was used as the base city for the survey.
Global Rank
Mumbai, Maharashtra 78
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 1
Hong Kong, Hong Kong (SAR) 2
Beirut, Lebanon 3

Indo-UK FTA can help in Achieving Atma Nirbhar Bharat: UKIBC Report

According to the report ‘Road to a UK-India Free Trade Agreement: Enhancing the Partnership and achieving Self-Reliance’ released by UK India Business Council (UKIBC) – An Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India & United Kingdom (UK) will help in achieving India’s vision of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
i.Both countries have agreed for an Enhanced Trade Partnership. They have agreed to start FTA negotiations by the end of 2021 with the goal of doubling trade by 2030.
ii.The report includes 5 recommendations to make the Atma Nirbhar campaign a success, which includes sharp focus on innovation and on digital and data sectors, India should remain open to free and fair trade.
About UK India Business Council (UKIBC)
Chair – Richard Heald
Head Office – London, UK


SERB-DST, Intel India launch ‘FIRE’, 1st of its Initiative to Advance Deep Tech Research in India

Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body under Department of Science & Technology (DST) in partnership with Intel India has launched the 1st of its kind research initiative called ‘Fund for Industrial Research Engagement (FIRE)’ to advance deep tech-based research in India. It will help the Indian research community to pursue industry-relevant research opportunities in areas of deep technologies (like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Language (ML), cloud, edge, and security) which are novel, transformative and have a ground-breaking impact on a national & global scale. ‘FIRE’ is a joint government and industry initiative with a co-funding mechanism. Under the program, research projects which have breakthrough potential at a national or global level will be selected in every cycle (once or twice a year).Best researchers in academia will be supported with funding, mentoring, and industry connections.

About Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB)
Secretary – Professor Sandeep Verma
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Intel
CEO – Pat Gelsinger
Headquarters – California, USA

VK Paul released NITI Aayog’s Study on ‘Not-for-Profit’ Hospital Model

As India’s policies and programmes are aimed at achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030, NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog released the Study on Not-For-Profit Hospital Model in India-Web providing insight into their operation model. As of June 2018, these hospitals account for only 1.1% of treated ailments. The report was released by Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog. A Not-for-Profit Hospital Sector provides affordable and accessible healthcare.

Aim of Study:
i.To understand the operating model of the prominent Not-For-Profit Hospital institutions in India, including their premise of service, human resource availability, cost containment levers, and the challenges they face.
ii.To help policymakers in planning how they can assist this sector to grow, and to reach the unreached sections of society.
About NITI Aayog:
Establishment– 2015
Chairperson– Prime Minister of India (Currently- Narendra Damodardas Modi)
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Amitabh Kant
Headquarters– New Delhi

Glacial Lake Atlas of Ganga River Basin Released; NHP –Bhuvan portal of NRSC also Launched

i.The Glacial Lake Atlas of Ganga River Basin was virtually released by Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (DoWR, RD & GR), Ministry of Jal Shakti.
ii.This atlas mapped 4,707 glacial lakes in the Ganga River basin with a total lake water spread area of 20,685 ha will provide information on their type, hydrological, topographical, and associated glaciers.
iii.During the event, Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman ISRO launched the NHP– Bhuvan portal of NRSC which can be accessed at
About Ministry of Jal Shakti:
Union Minister– Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Constituency- Jodhpur, Rajasthan)
Minister of State (MoS)– Rattan Lal Kataria (Constituency- Ambala, Haryana)

States, UTs to Implement ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ by July 31, 2021: Supreme Court Order

The Supreme Court(SC) directed States and Union Territories (UT) to extend the implementation of the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme (ONORC) by July 31, 2021, to ensure food security, cash transfers and other welfare measures for migrant workers under COVID-19. The bench of justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah mentioned the difficulties faced by 38 crore migrant workers around India, who form one-fourth of the country’s population during the second wave of COVID-19 due to lack of ration cards. It also directed that the process of registration of the unorganised labourers / migrant workers be completed at the earliest, but not later than December 31, 2021.
About ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ (ONORC) scheme:
i.It was started in June 2019 to enable migrant workers and their family members to buy subsidised ration from any fair price shop anywhere in the country under the National Food Security Act(NFSA), 2013.
ii.As of March 2021, 17 states have implemented the scheme, the 4 States/UT (Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi & West Bengal) were not yet covered under the scheme.
iii.ONORC is based on technology that involves details of beneficiaries’ ration card, Aadhaar number, and electronic Points of Sale (ePoS).


Industrial Credit Growth in FY21 Remained Negative: RBI

The publication of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), ‘Quarterly Basic Statistical Returns (BSR)-1: Outstanding Credit of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs), March 2021’, reported a ‘negative credit (loan) growth in industrial sector’ in FY21 due to COVID-19.

SEBI Board Approved List of Amendments, Initiatives=

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved the amendments and frameworks that are made relating to independent directors(IDs), mutual fund (MF) regulations, and others at its board meeting.
About Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Establishment – 1992
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi

Ujjivan SFB Partners with LoanTap

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) partnered with LoanTap Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd., a digital lender, to provide personal loans to salaried professionals. This partnership of Ujjivan SFB is a part of its API (Application programming interface) banking initiative, through which it has over150 APIs for offering fast and secure tie-ups for digital lending, digital liabilities, and payments to fintech.

Objective: To extend the bank’s services to its customers via LoanTap’s fast and convenient platform.

Personal Loan: Ujjivan SFB offers personal loans on the LoanTap platform ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh with a maximum tenure of 48 months.

LoanTap is a mobile and web-based platform to provide instant personal loans digitally with minimal documentation.

About LoanTap Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd.:
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
CEO and Co-Founder – Satyam Kumar
About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB):
Establishment – 2017 (set up by Ujjivan Financial Services Limited)
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
MD & CEO– Nitin Chugh
Tagline – Build a better life

Axis Bank made Agreement with AWS for Digital Transformation

Axis Bank Ltd, India’s 3rd largest private sector bank, made a multi-year agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing arm of Amazon to build a portfolio of new digital financial services with technology changes, and new payment modes for better banking experiences to customers. Axis Bank has selected AWS as a cloud provider to meet the digital banking service demand of its over 200 million customers.

About Axis Bank:
Establishment –1993 (Commenced operation –1994)
MD & CEO – Amitabh Chaudhry
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – Badhtika Naam Zindagi


Anshula Rao first woman cricketer to get dope ban

Madhya Pradesh all-rounder Anshula Rao became the first women cricketer to be handed a four-year ban after failing the dope test. She was handed the ban by the panel of the National Anti-Doping Agency for faking a dope test which dates back to July 2020.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to be Held in UAE

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, originally slated to be held in India, will now be shifted to the UAE. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which holds the hosting rights of this year’s event, will inform the International Cricket Council (ICC) in this regard. The T20 World Cup was postponed last year due to the pandemic.


India Presented 10 Translated Books of Modern Indian Literature to SCO

Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri presented 10 Translated Books of Modern Indian Literature to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) Secretary General Vladimir Norov at the SCO secretariat in Beijing,China.
About SCO:
Founded: 15 June 2001
Secretary General: Vladimir Norov
Headquarters: Beijing, China
Official language: Chinese and Russian

Microsoft Officially Launched ‘Windows 11’

Microsoft officially launched its new Windows operating system ‘Windows 11’ on June 24, 2021. It is being called the “next generation” of Windows. The release comes nearly six years after the current latest Windows Operating System ‘Windows 10’ was launched in July 2015.

Office of Principal Scientific Adviser Launches ‘Atmanirbhar Krishi App’

The Office of Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India launched the Atmanirbhar Krishi app under the KisanMitr initiative. The app aims to equip farmers with actionable agricultural insights and provide early weather alerts.
i.The app collects Data related to soil type, soil health, moisture, weather, and water table and generates personalized insights related to crop selection, fertilizer requirements, and water needs for each farmer.
ii.It has been designed and built by the Tech Mahindra Makers Lab team, the Research & Development arm of Tech Mahindra.
iii.The data for the app is being provided by various Government departments,

Type of data


Weather & Weather-based Information

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)

Land surface information, Vegetation index & Crop

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Soil Type and Soil Health

Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmer Welfare (DACFW), The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

Surface Water & Ground Water

National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC), Includes Central Ground Water Board (CGWA)
About Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA)
It is the chief advisor to the Government on matters related to scientific policy.
Principal Scientific Adviser to GoI – Professor K VijayRaghavan
Headquarters – New Delhi

Standard Life Sold Rs 6783 Cr Worth Shares of HDFC life

The Standard life Mauritius holdings 2006 Limited, a subsidiary of the Standard Life Aberdeen PLC, the promoter of the HDFC life insurance company has sold its Rs 6783 crore worth shares of HDFC Life. Standard Life sold its 3.46% stake in HDFC life worth Rs 6,783.59 crore through open market transactions. At present Standard life owns an 8.88% stake in HDFC life insurance company.

Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant Gets 1 Year Extension, till June 2022

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension in tenure of Amitabh Kant as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Niti Aayog for a period of one year up to 30.06. 2022. Initially he was appointed as the CEO of Niti Aayog on February 17, 2016 for a period of 2 year and was later extended several times.

About Amitabh Kant:
i.Amitabh Kant is a 1980 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre.
ii.Previously,he worked as the Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
iii.He was also responsible for introducing new technology (fiberglass crafts and outboard motor) in the fisheries sector and launching beach level auctions which substantially enhanced returns to traditional fishermen.
About Niti Aayog:
Chairperson – Prime Minister (Narendra Modi)
CEO – Amitabh Kant
Headquarters – New Delhi

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