Current Affairs

24 August, 2021


India to host 2nd UNWGIC in 2022 at Hyderabad, Telangana

India is all set to host the 2nd United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) in October 2022 in Hyderabad, Telangana on the theme ‘Towards Geo-enabling the Global Village’. It will be organized as a part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (Celebration of 75 Years of Indian Independence)’. This information was provided during the curtain raiser event which was organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) on the lines of 11th Session of the United Nation Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) to be held during the end of August 2021. It was inaugurated by Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

What is Geospatial data?
Also known as geodata, it contains location information, such as an address, area, or ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) code, linked to a dataset. This data can also be obtained from Global Positioning System (GPS) data, geospatial satellite imagery, telematics devices, Internet of Things (IoT), and geotagging.
About United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC):
The United Nation Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) organizes UNWGIC every four years to enhance international collaboration in the area of Geospatial information management and capacities. The first UNWGIC was organized by China in October 2018.

About Ministry of Science and Technology:
Minister of State (Independent Charge)– Dr. Jitendra Singh (Constituency- Udhampur (Jammu and Kashmir))
Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India– Professor Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan

India among 33 Asian nations where Children at Extremely High Risk of Climate Crisis impacts: UNICEF

i.In accordance with the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) report titled ‘The Climate Crisis Is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index’ (CCRI), India is among the 33 extremely high-risk countries where approximately 1 billion children are most at risk of the impacts of climate change that will affect their health, education, and protection.
ii.The four South Asian countries named in the list are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and India with ranks of 14th, 15th, 25th and 26th respectively.
About UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund):
Executive Director– Henrietta Holsman Fore
Headquarters– New York, USA
India Representative– Dr Yasmin Ali Haque


India’s first Smog Tower Inaugurated by Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi

India’s first smog tower launched in Delhi as a pilot project by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Baba Kharak Marg, Connaught Place.It was developed by IIT-Delhi and IIT- Bombay.

Objective – To improve the air quality.

Nodal Agency – Delhi Pollution Control Committee(DPCC).

About the Smog Tower:

i.The new tower- It is about 20m tall, set up to improve the air quality in a radius of around 1 km.

ii.Financial Outlay-The tower was built at the cost of INR 20 crores, which was financed by the government of Delhi.

iii.The towers have 1200 air filters. Which are developed by experts of University of Minnesota of the United States.

About Delhi:
Festival: Bhai Dooj Festival, Chhat Festival, Lohri
Stadium : Arun Jaitley Stadium (Previously known as ‘Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium’), Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium , Thyagaraj Sports Complex
Capital: Delhi is the capital of India

FM Nirmala Sitharaman launches INR 250 crore Ubharte Sitaare Fund

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has launched Ubharte Sitaare Fund (USF) of Corpus INR 250 crore with a green shoe option of INR 250 crore for Export oriented Small & mid sized companies across the country. USF is jointly funded by Export and Import (EXIM) Bank of India & Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) It is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) with a contribution of INR 40 crore each by EXIM Bank & SIDBI has been registered with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in July 2021.

Ubharte Sitaare Fund (USF)
i.Objective: To identify and Invest in small and mid-sized companies in the Manufacturing and Services sector with good Export potential that could be future champions of export & handhold them through the growth phase.
ii.The Fund would invest by way of equity, and equity like products in export-oriented units, both in the manufacturing and services sectors, across the country
About Small Industries Development Bank of India SIDBI
Establishment – April 1990.
Chairman & Managing Director – Sivasubramanian Ramann
Headquarters– Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
About Export and Import (EXIM) Bank of India
Establishment – 1982
Deputy Managing Director – Harsha Bangari, N.Ramesh
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Regulated by Reserve Bank of India

PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates & Lays Foundation Stone for Various Projects in Somnath, Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has Inaugurated & laid foundation Stone for various projects in Somnath, Gujarat Virtually.
i.PM Modi inaugurated the following projects The Somnath Promenade, The Somnath Exhibition Centre Reconstructed Temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath.

ii.The Prime Minister laid the foundation Stone of Parvatimata Temple in Somnath Temple premises.
iii.Multiple projects under implementation in the state of Gujarat under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme are Development of Pilgrimage Amenities at Maa Ambaji Temple, Banaskantha & Development of Public Plaza/Entry plaza at Somnath.
About Somnath Temple: It is located in Veraval in Saurashtra, Gujarat. It is believed to the 1st among the 12 Jyotirlinga Shrines of Shiva The chairman of Somnath mandir trust is PM Narendra Modi

Fact: In the 2019-Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index released by World Economic Forum (WEF), India ranked at 34th place from 65th in 2013.
About Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) Scheme Launched in 2015 & comes under Ministry of Tourism It aims Integrated development of Pilgrimage destinations in planned, prioritised & sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience.

About Gujarat
Governor – Acharya Devvrat
National Park – Gir, Blackbuck and Marine
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Girnar, Pania, Ratanmahal sloth bear and Purna


NABARD extended Rs 24.90 lakh grant for IMFFS project in Cuddalore, TN

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) extended Rs 24.90 lakh grant for Integrated Mangrove Fishery Farming System (IMFFS) project in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. This project is implemented by the S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) to enhance the adaptive capacity of the fishing community.

What is IMFFS?
Under IMFFS, mangroves are integrated with fish culture wherein conventional earthen aquaculture ponds are modified to provide about 30% of the area for raising mangroves and the remaining for fish cultivation. This system mitigates the impact of rising sea levels along with the sustained harvest of fish.

NABARD’s Loan Extension in FY21 Rose by 25.2%

As per the annual report of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for FY21, the total loans and advances extended by it in FY21 grew by 25.2 percent year-on-year (YOY) compared with 11.5 percent of FY20. The balance sheet size of NABARD reached Rs 6.57 lakh crore as of March 31, 2021, mainly contributed by non-idle (earning) assets. NABARD achieved a record YOY growth of 24 percent in its total assets. The outstanding credit of the Agricultural sector grew at 12.3 percent in FY21, the highest of all sectors. NABARD promoted 634 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) in FY21 (against the target of 600).

About National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD):
Establishment – 12 July 1982
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman – R. Chintala

HDFC Bank, Paytm Partnered to Offer Payment Solutions]

HDFC Bank Ltd, India’s largest private bank, and Paytm, made a partnership to share their network and provide digital lending and payment solutions for consumers and merchants across India.

Objective: To create digital transformation in semi-urban and rural India, and involve more people in the formal banking system.

About HDFC Bank:

It was the 1st bank to receive approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a private sector bank.
Establishment – 1994
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Sashidhar Jagdishan
About Paytm:
Headquarters – Noida, Uttar Pradesh
Founder & CEO – Vijay Shekhar Sharma


Odisha to Sponsor Indian Hockey Team

The Odisha government will sponsor the Indian Hockey team for 10 extra years after the modern sponsorship ends in 2023, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced.The government started sponsoring the countrywide hockey teams in 2018. The teams have scripted records with their extraordinary overall performance at the Tokyo Olympics,” the chief minister said, handing over a money award of Rs 10 lakh to every player.

World Athletics U20 Championships: India's Shaili Singh wins silver in long jump, misses gold by 1cm

India's Shaili Singh won the silver medal in the women's long jump event at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi on August 22, 2021.

Shaili Singh jumped a distance of 6.59m in her third attempt, which was her best show at the event. She won the silver medal, narrowly missing the gold. Sweden's Maja Askag won the gold with a jump of 6.60m, while Ukraine's Mariia Horielova settled for bronze with a jump of 6.50m.
This is India's third medal at the World Athletics U20 Championships, after a bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay and Amit Khatri's silver in 10,000m racewalking event.


IIT Madras Developed India’s 1st Indigenous Motorised Wheelchair Vehicle, NeoBolt

IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Madras has developed India’s 1st indigenous motorised wheelchair vehicle, NeoBolt, which could be used even on uneven terrains (land). NeoBolt was developed by a team led by Sujatha Srinivasan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Madras. A start-up called ‘NeoMotion’ has commercialised the NeoBolt.

Objective: To overcome issues of the ‘one-size-fits-all’ wheelchairs which causes restricted mobility, damages health, and lowers self-confidence.

Features of NeoBolt:
i.The maximum speed of NeoBolt is about 25 kmph and it travels up to 25 km per charge. It is powered by a lithium-ion battery.
ii.The team has already commercially launched similar kind of mortorised wheelchair ‘Neofly’. The Neofly is converted into NeoBolt with added safety and comfort features.
iii.Convenient and low cost: NeoBolt will be convenient, safe for wheelchair users, it will also be a ‘low-cost mode’ of outdoor mobility (compared with cars, auto rickshaws or modified scooters). Currently, the NeoFly and NeoBolt are being used by over 600 users across 28 States in India. NeoFly personalised wheelchair is available at Rs 39,900 and NeoBolt motorised add-on is available at Rs 55,000.

iv.It has suspensions to absorb the shocks and it will enable the user to navigate all kinds of terrain.
Note – Around 3 lakh wheelchairs are sold annually in India, of which 2.5 lakh are imported. The innovation will overcome this high rate of import.
About Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras):Director – Bhaskar Ramamurthi
Location – Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Kamlesh Kumar Pant Appointed as Chairman of NPPA

Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Kamlesh Kumar Pant, a 1993-batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, as the new chairman of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) with immediate effect. He replaces the current chairman Shubhra Singh, who has been repatriated to Rajasthan. Kamlesh Kumar Pant has served in various capacities in the Government of Himachal Pradesh including Principal Secretary (Revenue), Financial Commissioner (Appeals) and head of the Himachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board.

About NPPA:
NPPA under the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers is an independent regulator for the pricing of drugs.
Headquartered– New Delhi
Established on 29th August 1997.

La Ganesan, Appointed as 17th Governor of Manipur

President Ramnath Kovind has appointed senior BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leader from Tamil Nadu, La. Ganesan as 17th Governor of Manipur.He Succeeded Najma Heptulla, who retired earlier this month. Earlier, the Governor of Sikkim, Ganga Prasad served as a Governor-in-charge of Manipur.

Constitutional Articles
Article 153-There shall be a Governor for each state”
Provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the appointment of the same person as Governor for two or more States.
Article 155- The Governor of a State shall be appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.
(1) The Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President.
(2) The Governor may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office.
About Manipur
Chief Minister: Nongthombam Biren Singh
Wildlife Sanctuary : Yangoupokpi-Lokchao Wildlife Sanctuary,
Khongjaingamba Ching Wildlife Sanctuary
Festivals:Yaoshang ,Kut-Festival Of Kuki-Chin-Mizo ,Gang-Ngai-Festival Of Kabui Nagas

Search Current Affairs by Date


Daily Current Affairs | 19th January 2022

Click here