Current Affairs

28 August, 2021


Smriti Irani Addressed 1st Ever G20 Ministerial Conference On Women’s Empowerment

Italy (2021 G20 Presidency) hosted the first-ever G20 Ministerial conference on Women’s Empowerment at Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy in Hybrid format.

Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Women and Child Development(WCD), Government of India virtually represented India and addressed the G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment. The conference was chaired by Elena Bonetti, Italian Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family.

Participants: The gender equality Ministers from the G20 countries and host countries, representatives of United Nations(UN) Women, International Labour Organization(ILO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD), and representatives of the business community, civil society and academia.
G20 Ministerial conference on Women’s Empowerment:
The participants of the G20 Ministerial conference on Women’s Empowerment discussed 2 specific areas, STEM, financial and digital literacy, environment and sustainability Labour and economic empowerment and work-life balance. The conference on women’s empowerment focuses on Access to better quality jobs for women. Policies to enhance women’s talents and skills. Increasing women’s representation in leadership. Definition and protection of women rights. Tackling gender-based violence. The results of the discussions will be collected by the Italian Presidency and will be brought to the attention of the G20 leaders ahead of the 2021 Rome Summit which will be held on 30-31 October 2021.

Gist of Smriti Irani’s Address:
i.Union Minister Smriti Irani reaffirmed India’s commitment to addressing gender and women-centric issues through mutual cooperation.
ii.She also highlighted the various initiatives of the Indian government towards fostering gender equality, ensuring better healthcare and strengthening women’s safety and security.
About Group of Twenty(G20):
2021 Presidency– Italy
Members– 20 (19 countries + European Union)
Established in 1999

India Could Contribute USD 500 billion to The Global Economy by 2030; WEF- Kearney Report

Kearney in association with WEF(World Economic Forum) released a report titled, ‘Shifting Global Value Chains: the India Opportunity’ states that Coordinated action between the government and the private sector can help create globally competitive manufacturing companies in the country.
i.The report said India’s manufacturing sector exports can help drive more than USD 500 billion in annual economic impact for the global economy by 2030.
ii.Manufacturing sector’s share towards India’s GDP in 2030 could potentially reach 19-20%.
iii.The $500 billion estimate is based on India’s real GDP of $2.869 trillion in 2019, a GDP forecast for 2030 of between $8 and $9 trillion despite the pandemic. Therefore the estimated growth rate of approximately 10% and share of India’s Manufacturing sector to GDP would be around 14-16%.
About World Economic Forum (WEF)
Founder and Executive Chairman– Klaus Schwab
Headquarters – Cologny, Switzerland

India elected to Council of Administration and Postal Operations Council at 27th UPU Congress in Abidjan

India has been elected to the Council of Administration (CA) and Postal Operations Council (POC) at 27th Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. For CA Indian gained 134 votes, the highest ones in CA elections from South Asia and Oceania region. For POC, it garnered 106 votes out of 156 countries. The UPC meets every four years.

What is the Council of Administration?
CA is made up of 41 countries and meets once a year at the headquarters of the UPU in Berne. It oversees the UPU’s activities, provides continuity between Congresses, and researches regulatory, administrative, legislative, and legal concerns. It has the authority to approve recommendations by POC for the adoption of new processes until the next Congress.

What is the Postal Operations Council?
It is UPU’s technical and operational authority with 40 member countries that are elected during Congress. It meets once a year at Berne. It aims at assisting Posts in modernizing and upgrading their postal products and services.
About Universal Postal Union:
Member Countries – 192
Director General – Bishar Hussein
Headquarter – Berne, Switzerland

FM Nirmala Sitharaman chairs 2nd BRICS Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors meeting

Finance Minister(FM) of India, Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the 2nd meeting of BRICS(Brazil,Russia,India,China,and South Africa) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) along with the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das under the Indian BRICS chairmanship.
Objective- To maintain cooperation and maintain macroeconomic and tackle uncertainties arise due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Areas of discussion: Emerging issues in the field of healthcare and building resilient infrastructure to fight against pandemics. Discussion on sharing of knowledge about building strong social infrastructure, enhancing digital technology and service delivery.

Highlights: The participants discussed the policies, experiences and measures provided in the Global Economic Outlook report. Technical Report on Social Infrastructure: Financing and Use of Digital Technologies was given acceptance. The text of Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance(CMAA) related to custom matters was also negotiated. RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das chaired the discussion of issues related to Banks and their outcomes such as financial inclusion, Contingent Reserve Arrangement(CRA) and Information Security Cooperation.
About the BRICS
Members- Brazil,Russia, India, China, and South Africa
2021 chair– India


MoE’s Innovation Cell, BPR&D & AICTE launched Manthan 2021 Hackathon for National Security

Neeraj Sinha Additional Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and Prof. Anil D. Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) launched the MANTHAN-2021, a first of its kind Hackathon focused on National Security.
Manthan- 2021 is organized by BPR&D in coordination with the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education and AICTE over a virtual platform.
About MANTHAN-2021:
MANTHAN-2021 is a national initiative to identify innovative concepts and technology solutions to address the security challenges of the 21st century faced by the intelligence agencies of India.
Challenge Statements:
i.The BPR&D has released 20 challenge statements that offer an opportunity for the youngsters to develop innovative solutions for the challenges faced by the security agencies.
ii.The participants have to develop a digital solution under the 6 themes for 20 challenge statements using technologies like artificial intelligence, deep learning, augmented reality and machine learning.
iii.The participants can register for the 36-hour hackathon on the official website of MANTHAN-2021 from 26th August 2021.
MANTHAN 2021 selection:
i.The MANTHAN 2021 will have 2 phases, in 1st phase, the participants will submit their solutions for the challenge statements.
ii.The submitted solutions will be evaluated and selected for the grand finale scheduled from 28th November and the best ideas will be declared as winners.
iii.The winning team will receive prize money of Rs 40 Lakh.
About Innovation cell of MoE:
The Innovation Cell was established by the Ministry of Education(MoE).
Chief Innovation Officer(CIO)– Dr Abhay Jere
Headquarters– New Delhi
About Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D):
BPR&D was established under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Director-General– V.S.K. Kaumudi, IPS
Headquarters– New Delhi

India,UAE Signs Agreement to Send Visiting Professors at NYUAD

The Indian Government on behalf of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has signed an Agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to send visiting professors in the field of social sciences at the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). The agreement was signed between Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to the UAE & Mariet Westermann, Vice-Chancellor of NYUAD. It is the 1st such agreement signed between the ICCR and a Foreign University in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Under the agreement, faculty members from Indian universities will spend 6 to 10 months every year undertaking research and teaching Social Sciences in NYUAD. Through this partnership, NYUAD and ICCR will collaboratively appoint faculty members from Indian universities to the ICCR Visiting Professorship

About Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
ICCR is involved in India’s External cultural relations, through cultural exchange with other countries & their peoples.
President – Dr.Vinay Sahasrabuddhe
Headquarters – New Delhi
About United Arab Emirates (UAE)
President –Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Capital –Abu Dhabi
Currency – UAE Dirham

Niti Aayog, Cisco launched ‘WEP Nxt’ to boost Women Entrepreneurship in India

NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog launched the next phase of its flagship platform Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) titled ‘WEP Nxt’ in partnership with Cisco. Under this, Cisco’s technology and experience of working with India’s startups will be utilized to foster women entrepreneurship in India.

About WEP:
i.Initiated in 2017 by NITI Aayog, it is a 1st of its kind unified portal for women from diverse backgrounds which offers them access to a multitude of resources. It focuses on the needs of Indian women entrepreneurs across 6 verticals viz. Funding & Financial Management, Incubation Connects, Taxation & Compliance Support, Entrepreneur Skilling & Mentorship, Community & Networking, and Marketing Assistance.

ii.The platform currently hosts over 16,000 registered users and 30 partners.
iii.This platform not only aids in innovation but also helps in the creation of 170 million jobs by 2030 resulting in a rise in India’s annual GDP by 1.5%.
Participants during Launch:
Amitabh Kant (CEO NITI Aayog), Anna Roy (Senior Adviser NITI Aayog); Maria Martinez (EVP & COO, Cisco); Daisy Chittilapilly (President, Cisco India); and Harish Krishnan, (Managing Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements, Cisco India)
About CISCO:
Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Chuck Robbins
Headquarters– San Jose, California, United States

Niti Aayog releases 1st of its Kind NER District SDG Index & Dashboard 2021-22; East Sikkim tops\

The 1st Edition of North Eastern Region (NER) District Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index & Dashboard 2021-22 was released. The district of East Sikkim topped the rankings. It was prepared by Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) & Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (M/DoNER) with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Objective: It aims to rank the 103 districts of 8 NER states based on their relative performance across 15 SDGs (Goal 14-Life below Water & 17-partnerships to achieve the goals are not taken). The score ranges from O (bottom) to 100 (top).Each district is categorised into one of the four categories of Aspirant (score of 0-49), Performer (50-64), Front Runner (65-99) and Achiever (100).

Rank District State
1. East Sikkim Sikkim
2. Gomati Tripura
2. North Tripura Tripura
4. Serchhip Mizoram
5. South Sikkim Sikkim
103. Kiphire Nagaland
About Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)
Founded in January 1st, 2015
Chairman – Prime Minister of India (Currently – Narendra Modi)
Vice Chairman – Rajiv Kumar
Headquarters – New Delhi
About Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (M/DoNER)
Union Minister – G.Kishan Reddy (Secunderabad, Telangana)
Minister of State (MoS)– B.L.Verma (Rajya Sabha, Uttar Pradesh)


HCL Foundation Launched My e-Haat Portal to Support Handicraft Sector

HCL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of HCL Technologies, launched an online portal named ‘My e-Haat‘ to empower artisans and strengthen the value chain of the handicraft sector in India. The portal will enable artisans to list their products to conduct their business. The portal also offers e-payment options, cash on delivery (COD), integrated logistic support, and real-time product tracking. Presently, more than 30 partners from 8 states with over 600 products were listed on the portal.

Jana SFB Partnered with HCBL, Mysore Merchants Co-operative Banks to Offer Digital, Payment Services

Jana Small Finance Bank (Jana SFB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HCBL Co-operative Bank and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank under the bank sponsorship programme of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Objective: To provide digital infrastructure and payments services to the Co-operative banks. This partnership marks the Jana SFB’s 1st partnership with co-operative banks to provide IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) services. The partnership enables the HCBL Co-operative Bank and Mysore Merchants Co-operative Bank to extend ATM, point of sale (PoS) and e-commerce services to its customers through Jana SFB.
About Jana Small Finance Bank (Jana SFB):
Establishment – 2008
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
MD & CEO – Ajay Kanwal

RBI: PIDF scheme Extended to Street Vendors under PM SVANidhi in tier 1, 2 centres; Imposes penalty on 2 co-op banks, 1 NBFC

i.Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has included street vendors part of the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi Scheme) in tier-1 and tier-2 centres as beneficiaries under the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme.The decision is taken to promote the digital transactions at the grass root level.

ii.PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi Scheme) which facilitates collateral-free working capital loans of up to Rs 10,000 for 1 year to approximately 50 lakh street vendors. It was launched in June 2020.
iii.RBI imposes monetary penalty on Seyad Shariat Finance Limited, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu; The Muslim Co-operative Bank Limited, Pune, Maharashtra; and Jijamata Mahila Sahakari Bank, Pune, Maharashtra.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Established– April 1, 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

Afcons Signed a $530-million Infrastructure Project in Maldives

Afcons Infrastructure Ltd, an infrastructure arm of Shapoorji Pallonji Group from India signed an agreement with the Republic of Maldives for a $530 million infrastructure project named ‘Greater Male Connectivity Project’ (GMCP). GMCP project is the largest infrastructure project in the Maldives.

Funding: The project will be funded by the Exim Bank of India under the Indian grant and Line of Credit (LoC) scheme. The project will connect Male, the capital city of Maldives with adjoining islands of Villingli, Gulhifalhu and Thilafushi through a 6.74-km-long bridge and causeway link.

About Maldives:
Capital – Male
Currency – Maldivian rufiyaa
President – Ibrahim Mohamed Solih


India’s GM Sethuraman wins 26th Ciutat de Barcelona Chess Open, 2021

Indian Grand Master (GM) SP Sethuraman won the 26th Ciutat de Barcelona Chess Open, 2021. The tournament was held from 18th-26th August, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. Sethuraman & Yuffa Daniil (2nd Spot) of Russia Scored 7.5 points but Sethuraman emerged winner on the basis of better tie-break score. He remained undefeated throughout the tournament by winning 6 games & drawing 3 matches. Sethuraman was born in 1993 at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Grand Master (GM) is a title awarded to chess players by the World Chess Organisation, FIDE (World Chess Federation Internationale)

Other Indian Players performance:
i.Indian GM Karthikeyan Murali finished in 3rd spot by winning 6 games, drawing 2 & losing 2 matches.
ii.GM Arvind Chidambaram finished 5th, followed by Arjun Kalyan & Visakh.N.R at the 9th & 10 places respectively.
About All India Chess Federation (AICF)
Founded – 1951
President – Sanjay Kapoor
Headquarters – New Delhi

Overview of World Athletics U20 Championships, 2021 in Nairobi, Kenya

The World Athletics Under20 Championships, 2021 held in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. The tournament was held from 18th-22nd August, 2021. India finished at the 21st place by winning 3 Medals (2-Silver & 1-Bronze).Kenya ranked 1st place by winning 16 Medals (8-Gold, 1-Silver & 7-Bronze).

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
21 India 0 2 1 3
1 Kenya 8 1 7 16
2 Finland 4 1 0 5
3 Nigeria 4 0 3 7
Shaili Singh wins Silver in Long jump
Shaili Singh (Uttar Pradesh) wins the Silver Medal in Women’s long jump event with 6.59 metres. She missed the Gold Medal by just 1 Centimeter (cm) to Maja Askag of Sweden.
Amit Kumar won Silver in Men’s 10,000 m Race
Amit Kumar (Haryana) wins Silver Medal at the debut International event in the Men’s 10,000 m Race by finishing with a time of 42 minutes 17:94 seconds.
India’s 4×400 Mixed Relay Team Won Bronze Medal
The Indian Mixed Relay team comprising Bharath Sridhar, Priya H Mohan, Summy & Kapil won the Bronze Medal in the 4×400 event with a time of 3:20:60s. It was India’s 1st-ever medal in a relay event at the global level.
About World Athletics
President –Sebastian Coe
Headquarters –Monaco


Bhupender Yadav launches e-Shram Portal for Registration of Unorganised Workers in India

Union Minister for Labour & Employment, Bhupender Yadav has launched e-Shram Portal for registration of Unorganised workers across the country. The portal is the 1st of its Kind initiative for the Unorganised workers in India. The portal aims to register about 38 crore Unorganised workers such as Construction labourers, Migrant workforce, Street vendors, Domestic workers & others.

About MInistry of Labour & Employment
Union Minister – Bhupender Yadav (Rajya Sabha, Rajasthan)
Ministry of State (MoS) – Rameswar Teli (Dibrugarh, Assam)

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Took Charge as Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board

Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has taken charge as the Chairperson of the Board of Stop TB partnership. He will hold the responsibility of the chairman of the board with immediate effect until 2024.
He took over the responsibility from Dr Harsh Vardhan, former Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The Stop TB Partnership is a United Nations(UN) hosted partnership program that aims to fight against tuberculosis collectively.

Responsibilities as Chairman:
As the chairperson of the board of stop TB partnership, Mansukh Mandaviya will lead the efforts of the Stop TB partnership secretariat, partners and the TB community towards reaching the UN TB targets by 2022, a milestone of the efforts to end TB by 2030.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set an aim to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) in India by 2025.
Additional info:
i.The Stop TB partnership board has appointed Austin Arinze Obiefuna, Founder and Executive Director of Afro Global Alliance, as the Vice-Chair of the board.
ii.He will take over as the Vice-Chair on 1st January 2022 for a period of 3 years.
iii.He has represented the Developing Country NGOs, the biggest constituency on the board.
About Stop TB Partnership:
Stop TB Partnership has been administered by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) since 2015.
Earlier, it was hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Executive Director– Dr. Lucica Ditiu
Secretariat– Geneva, Switzerland
Founded in 2001

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