Current Affairs

20 August, 2021


India ranks second in terms of crypto adoption in the world:2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index

According to the 2nd Edition of Global Crypto Adoption Index 2021 released by Chainalysis, a crypto-analysis firm, India with a score of 0.37 ranked 2nd out of 154 countries. Vietnam topped the index. It aims to provide an objective measure of which countries have the highest level of Cryptocurrency adoption. The index ranks countries based on 3 indicators such as On-chain value received, On-chain retail value received and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) exchange trade volume India improved to 2nd rank from 11th in the 2020 Global Crypto Adoption Index.

Ranking Country Index Score
1. Vietnam 1
2. India 0.37
3. Pakistan 0.36
About Chainalysis
Chief Executive Officer – Michael Gronager
Headquarters – Newyork, United States of America

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Launched Aarogya Dhara 2.0

Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare virtually inaugurated the Aarogya Dhara- 2.0 to increase the reach of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) programme to the poorest households of India and to create awareness about the scheme.

He chaired the event – Aarogya Dhara- 2.0, to mark the completion of 2 crore treatments under AB-PMJAY. Treatments worth ~Rs 25000 crore have been provided to patients across 33 States/Union Territories (UTs), through the network of 23000 publics and private empanelled hospitals.

The other initiatives launched during the events were Adhikar Patra, Abhinandan Patra and Ayushman Mitra.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW):
Union Minister– Mansukh Mandaviya(Rajya Sabha- Gujarat)
Minister of State– Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar(Constituency- Dindori, Maharashtra)

BRICS Nations Signed Agreement for Remote Sensing Satellite Data Sharing

The BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have signed an agreement for the cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing. The agreement was signed under India’s BRICS chairship. The agreement was signed by the Heads of BRICS Space Agencies.

The agreement will enable the BRICS space agencies to build a virtual constellation using their specified remote sensing satellites and their respective ground stations will receive the data.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal Chaired the 5th Meeting of BRICS Industry Ministers
i.Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, chaired the “5th meeting of the BRICS Industry Ministers” held on 18th August 2021.
About BRICS:
i.BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
ii.BRICS represents 41 per cent of the global population, 24% of the global GDP and 16%of the global trade.
2021 Chair – India
India’s Theme 2021– ‘BRICS @ 15: Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus’.

India, Australia signed Joint Guidance Document to boost Naval Ties

i.A ‘Joint Guidance for the Australia-India Navy to Navy Relationship’ document was signed between the Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy during a virtual ceremony.
ii.The signing of this document was on the lines of the ‘2020 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP)’ which was agreed between the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during India-Australia Leaders’ Virtual Summit on June 4, 2020.
iii.It was signed by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS-24th), Indian Navy; and Vice Admiral Michael J Noonan, Chief of Navy, Australian Navy.
About Australia:
World’s largest coral reef system “Great Barrier Reef” is located over the coast of Australia
Capital– Canberra


Mines Ministry adopted Scheme for Accreditation of Private Exploration Agencies for Minerals

.The Ministry of Mines (MoM) adopted the scheme for accreditation of private exploration agencies developed by the National Accreditation Board for Education and Training of the Quality Council of India (QCI-NABET).

ii.Under this, QCI-NABET will grant accreditation to private exploration agencies for undertaking prospecting operations of minerals in accordance with the standards and procedures of the scheme.
iii.After the accreditation, the respective private exploration agency apply to the Ministry for their notification under the second provison to sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021.
About Ministry of Mines:
Union Minister – Pralhad Joshi (Constituency – Dharwad, Karnataka)
Minister of State – Raosaheb Patil Dadarao Danve (Constituency – Jalna, Maharashtra)

Cabinet Approvals with Foreign countries on August 18, 2021

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has granted approval to several Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Foreign Countries. They are

i.MoU between India and the United States of America (USA) on cooperation in the field of Geology.
ii.MoU between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in the field of Disaster Management, Resilience and Mitigation.
MoU between India & USA in the field of Geology
The Union cabinet has given its approval for signing the MoU between Geological Survey of India (GSI), Ministry of Mines, India and the Florida International University (FIU) board of trustees on behalf of the Department of Earth, Environment, College of Arts, Science & Education, USA on cooperation in the field of Geology.
MoU between India & Bangladesh in the field of Disaster Management, Resilience and Mitigation
The Union cabinet has given its approval for the MoU signed between the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) , Ministry of Home Affairs, India and the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, Bangladesh for cooperation in the field of Disaster Management, Resilience and Mitigation.
About United States of America
President – Joe Biden
Capital – Washington,D.C
Currency – United States Dollar (USD)
About Bangladesh
PrimeMinister – Sheikh Hasina
Capital – Dhaka
Currency – Bangladeshi Taka

Cabinet Approvals on August 18 2021

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following initiatives on August 18, 2021. The cabinet has approved the ratification of the Kigali Amendment for phase-down of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by India under the Montreal Protocol to prevent greenhouse gas emission. The Cabinet approved the launch of the ‘National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm’ (NMEO-OP) as a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme with a financial outlay of Rs 11,040 crore The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a revival package of Rs 77.45 crore for the revival of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC) Limited. Cabinet notified the MoU signed between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Switzerland in February 2021 to strengthen the scientific and technological collaboration.

About Ministry of Development of North Eastern Regional (MDoNER):
Union Minister – G. Kishan Reddy (Constituency – Secunderabad, Telangana)
Minister of state – B. L. Verma (Constituency – Uttar Pradesh)

Ministry of Tourism Signs MOUs with MakeMyTrip(India) Private Limited and Ibibo Group Private Limited to strengthen hospitality and tourism industry in the country

The Ministry of Tourism has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian travel agencies MakeMyTrip India Private Limited and Ibibo Group Private Limited to strengthen the Hospitality and Tourism Industry of india.

Objective of MoU – To provide extensive visibility to accommodation units, which have self-certified themselves on SAATHI (System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for the Hospitality Industry) on the OTA (OnlineTravel Agency) platform. The main aim is to gain insights, designing evidence based & targeted policy measures to promote safe, and sustainable tourism.

About Ministry of Tourism
Union Minister – G.Kishan Reddy (Secunderabad, Telangana)
Minister of State (MoS) – Shripad Yesso Naik (North Goa, Goa), Ajay Bhatt (Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand)
About MakeMyTrip India Private Limited
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Rajesh Magow
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana

USOF signed pact with BSNL for High Speed Internet Access to NER

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) signed an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for hiring of 10 Gbps (GigaBits) International Bandwidth for Internet Connectivity to Agartala from Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), Bangladesh via Cox Bazar/Kuakata. The reason behind this agreement is to provide high quality and high speed internet in the North Eastern Region (NER) for better access to e-services viz. e-governance, e-education, e-health, e-commerce, e-banking, etc. As a part of agreement, USOF will provide financial support to BSNL for a period of 3 years for hiring the International Bandwidth.

About USOF:
i.The USOF, under the aegis of Department of Telecommunications (Ministry of Communications), was given statutory status by the Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003. The rules for its administration are known as Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2004.
ii.This Fund utilized towards the Universal Service Obligation (USO) which means universal, interdependent and intercommunicating, affording the opportunity for any subscriber to any exchange to communicate with any other subscriber of any other exchange. The universal service is an objective of the Government of India (GoI) laid down in its New Telecom Policy (NTP) of 1999.

iii.It is aimed at providing financial support for the provision of telecom services in rural and remote areas. The funds for the same are raised through universal service levy which is a percentage of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of telecom service providers.


World Bank launches new Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund

World Bank and partners announce a New Global Fund for Cybersecurity named Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund under the broader Digital Development Partnership (DDP) umbrella program. It aims to better define, understand, and systematically roll out the cybersecurity development agenda. The fund will support development of global knowledge on cybersecurity solutions for low and middle income countries. It will fund country assessments, offer technical assistance, support training & capacity development for cybersecurity staff in World Bank partnered countries. The launch of the Trust Fund has been made possible with donor contributions from the countries of Estonia, Germany, Japan, and The Netherlands.

Digital Development Partnership (DDP)
i.The World Bank has launched the DDP in 2016.
ii.This partnership makes digital solutions available to developing countries with an emphasis on Data and indicators, Digital economy enabling environment, Cybersecurity, Internet access for all, Digital government, Mainstreaming digital services, solutions, and platforms
About World Bank
Founded in 1944
Members countries- 189
President – David Malpass
Headquarters – Washington,D.C, United States of America

RBI Issued Revised Guidelines for Locker in Banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued revised guidelines for both new and existing Safe Deposit Locker and Safe Custody Article Facility with the banks. At present, banks do not have any liability towards lockers. The guidelines would come into effect from January 1, 2022.

RBI’s Guidelines:
i.The banks are directed to incorporate a clause in the ‘locker agreement’ for prohibiting the hirer from keeping anything illegal or hazardous in lockers.
ii.Transparency: To ensure transparency in lockers allotment, the RBI mandated banks to maintain a branch-wise list of vacant lockers and a wait-list in Core Banking System (CBS) or any other computerised system compliant with Cyber Security Framework.
iii.Compensation: The banks are instructed to compensate the customers in case of incidents such as fire, theft, burglary, dacoity, robbery, building collapse or fraud committed by the bank’s employees. The compensation has to be an amount equivalent to 100 times the existing annual rent of the safe deposit locker.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

IFSCA Launched Pilot Run of International Bullion Exchange

Injeti Srinivas, the Chairperson of International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), launched the pilot run/soft of ‘International Bullion Exchange’. The exchange was planned to go live on the Foundation Day of IFSCA i.e. on October 1, 2021. Bullion Exchange: It is a market through which the buyers and sellers trade gold and silver. The International Bullion Exchange will act as a ‘Gateway for Bullion Imports into India’. All the bullion imports for domestic consumption will be channelised through the exchange. A holding company named India International Bullion Holding IFSC Ltd . (IIBH) was formed to set up and operationalise the International Bullion Exchange in IFSC, GIFT City. The bullion exchange will provide an integrated common transparent platform (bullion market) for all participants to trade bullion (i.e the gold and silver).

About International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA):
Establishment – April 27, 2020, under IFSCA Act, 2019
Headquarters – GIFT City, Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Chairperson – Injeti Srinivas


Neuberg Diagnostics & Kauvery Hospitals Appointed MS Dhoni as their Brand Ambassador

India’s fourth largest demonstrative lab chain, Neuberg Diagnostics has appointed Indian Cricketer, Former Indian Team Captain & Captain of IPL Team, Chennai Super Kings, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MS Dhoni) as its brand ambassador.

Additional Info:
Kauvery Group of Hospitals has also signed an agreement with Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the brand ambassador in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
About Neuberg Diagnostics-
Chairman and Managing Director: GSK Velu
Headquarter: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Kauvery Group of Hospitals
Managing Director: Dr.Manivannan Selvaraj

Indian GM S L finishes second in RTU Open Chess Tournament 2021

Germany’s Alexander Donchenko won the Riga Technical University (RTU) open Chess Tournament 2021 while Indian Grand Master(GM) S.L.Narayanan came second in the tournament. The tournament was held in Riga (Latvia) from August 7, 2021 to August 15, 2021. It was the 10th RTU tournament. Karthikeyan Murali ended up with 7 points but on the basis of better tie- break scores Narayan tool second position.GM Arjun Kalyan was placed eighth. Among the others, Pranav Anand secured 11th and Pragganandhaa Rameshbabu got 13th rank.

Riga Technical University (RTU) open Chess Tournament
Organizer-Riga Technical University and Latvian Chess Federation
Federation-Latvia ( LAT )


Afghan first Vice President Amrullah Saleh declares himself as caretaker President

Afghanistan’s 1st Vice President (VP) Amrullah Saleh declared himself as ‘the caretaker President of Afghanistan’ after President Ashraf Ghani fled the Taliban captured country. Currently, Afghanistan is under the control of Taliban, capturing Kabul after the U.S led forces left the country. According to the Constitution of Afghanistan, ’In absence, escape, resignation or death of the President, the 1st VP will be the caretaker President’ of the country.

The Taliban : History
i.The word ‘Taliban meaning Students’ in the Pashto language, emerged in 1994
around the city of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
ii.It was one of the factions which were fighting a civil war to rule the country following the withdrawal of the Soviet Union in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of the government in 1992.
About Afghanistan
Former President – Ashraf Ghani
Capital – Kabul
Currency – Afghani

Bloomberg Billionaires Index: D-Mart owner Radhakishan Damani among World’s 100 richest People; Elon Musk topped

Radhakishan Damani, who owns the retail chain D-Mart under Avenue Supermarts has made it to the top 100 richest people in the world. He is now ranked 97 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of 19.3 billion USD (around Rs 1.4 lakh crore).Elon Musk topped the list, followed by Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault. A total of 6 Indians are featured among the top 100, with Mukesh Ambani(12), Gautam Adani(23), Azim Premji(36), Shiv Nadar(52) and Lakshmi Mittal(71). Radhakishan Damani has made a major investment in India Cement over the past 2years with a stake of 12.7% worth Rs 674 crore.

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