Current Affairs

30 August, 2021


India Ranks 6th in the Global DeFi Adoption Index; US tops

The 1st Edition of the Global DeFi (Decentralised Finance) Adoption Index was released by Chainalysis. India ranked 6th place out of 154 countries. The United States topped the ranking followed by Vietnam (2nd) & Thailand (3rd) respectively.

Objective: It is designed to highlight countries with the highest grassroots adoption by individuals, rather than those sending the largest raw values of funds. The index ranks 154 countries in 3 indicators namely On-chain DeFi value received, On-chain number of DeFi deposits & On-chain retail DeFi value received. The countries are ranked based on the score from 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest)

DeFi (Decentralised Finance)
i.It is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks to offer traditional financial instruments, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being Ethereum.
ii.Popular types of DeFi protocols include decentralized exchanges and lending platforms.

Rank Country Score
6 India 0.59
1 United States 1.00
2 Vietnam 0.82
3 Thailand 0.68
4 China 0.62
5 United Kingdom 0.60
About Chainalysis
Chief Executive Officer – Michael Gronager
Headquarters – New York, United States of America

Narendra Singh Tomar Chairs 11th BRICS Agriculture Ministers Meeting, 2021

Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has chaired 11th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) Agriculture Ministers meeting virtually. The theme of the meeting was “BRICS Partnership for Strengthening Agro Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Security”. The major outcomes of the meeting are

BRICS Agriculture Research Platform (BARP) : BARP created to enhance agricultural cooperation among BRICS countries. It will promote cooperation in the areas of agricultural research, extension, technology transfer, training & capacity building.

Action plan 2021-24 for agricultural cooperation among BRICS countries adopted
Bhupender Yadav Chairs 7th BRICS Environment Ministers meeting, 2021 Union Minister for Environment, Forests,& Climate Change (MoEFCC), Bhupender Yadav has chaired the 7th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) Environment Ministers meeting, 2021 held virtually. During the meeting, the ‘New Delhi Statement on Environment’, was adopted which aims at furthering the spirit of Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation & Consensus in Environment among the BRICS Nations.

About BRICS:
Establishment – 2009
Members– Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
2021 Chair– India


Rajnath Singh Inaugurates Stadium Named After Neeraj Chopra

Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh renamed Army Sports Institute stadium of Army Sport Institute (ASI), Pune as “Neeraj Chopra Stadium”,after the Olympic Gold Medalist Neeraj Chopra. The inauguration ceremony was held in the presence of Army Chief General MM Naravane and Neeraj Chopra.

About Neeraj Chopra

i.Neeraj Chopra, an Indian javelin thrower from Panipat, Haryana, won the gold medal at the Men’s Javelin throw at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
ii.He became the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for Independent India.
iii.He won the gold medal at both the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games held in 2018,
iv.He was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2018

Centre formed Committee to Streamline Revenue Litigation; headed by Ashish Shiradhonkar

The Central Government has constituted a committee headed by Ashish Shiradhonkar, heads e-courts project in National Informatics Centre (NIC), to develop a technological platform streamlining the appeal filing process related to direct and indirect taxation matters. This information was provided by Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta to the Supreme Court’s (SC) bench of Justices Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud and Mukeshkumar Rasikbhai Shah through an Office Memorandum issued on August 26, 2021 by the Government of India in the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.

Committee Composition:
The committee will comprise representatives of NIC, law ministry, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIT), and the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. The progress of the committee will be monitored by the Secretary, Department of Revenue (Current- Tarun Bajaj), and also provide assistance regarding knowledge and technical inputs.

Role of Committee:
i.It will finalize and operationalize an effective platform within 3 months for relevant case management by the government and to coordinate with all stakeholders.
ii.NIC will integrate the Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) with the e-office mechanism so that real time tracking of cases can be done.
Reason behind Formation:
The appeals for direct and indirect taxes were being filed much beyond the stipulated period of 60 days for regular appeals and 90 days for filing special leave petitions (SLPs). This problem was spotlighted by SC in February 2021 after an appeal against the order of the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal was filed after a delay of 536 days.

MoD Approves Contract for MDS to Supply Anti-submarine Systems

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved contracts worth INR 1349.95 crore to Mahindra Defence Systems Limited (MDS), a group firm of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, for supplying 14 Integrated Anti-submarine warfare Defence Suite (IADS) to the warships of the Indian Navy. It is the 1st of its kind technology developed by an Indian company.

About Mahindra Defence Systems Limited (MDS)
Founded in 2012 a group firm of Mahindra & Mahindra Limited
CEO – Rajiv Gupta
About Ministry of Defence
Union Minister – Raj Nath Singh (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Ajay Bhatt (Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)


SEBI Banned Kotak Mahindra AMC from Launching FMP for 6 Months

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) banned Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company (AMC) Ltd from launching new Fixed Maturity Plan (FMP) schemes for the next 6 months and imposed a penalty of Rs 50 lakh.

Cause of the ban: The investors of certain FMPs launched by Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund were not paid their full proceeds based on the declared Net Asset Value (NAV) as on their respective maturity dates.

RBI Increased the Incentives Paid to the Banks for Coin Distribution

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the scope of ‘tokenisation’ to several consumer devices such as laptops, desktops, wearables (like wristwatches and bands), and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. RBI has extended the scope through the exercise of powers under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).

Objective: To make card transactions more safe, secure, and convenient for the users. Before the extension, the facility of tokenisation was available only to mobile phones and tablets of interested cardholders.

i.In January 2019, RBI has permitted authorised card networks to offer tokenisation services to any token requestor. It also issued guidelines for ‘tokenisation in card transactions’.
ii.Tokenisation: It refers to the replacement of actual card details with a unique alternate code called the ‘token’, which shall be unique for a combination of card, token requestor and device.
iii.Inorder to extend the scope of tokenisation, RBI has now included the consumer devices under tokenisation.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar

RBI Increased the Indo-Nepal Remittances Transaction Cap to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 50,000; RBI Increased the Incentives Paid to the Banks for Coin Distribution

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has increased the ceiling on remittances per transaction from India to Nepal from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh. RBI has also removed the cap of 12 remittances/year per remitter. The beneficiaries receive remittances in Nepalese Rupees through credit to their bank account maintained with the subsidiary of State Bank of India (SBI) in Nepal, i.e. Nepal SBI Bank Limited (NSBL) or through an agency arrangement.

RBI Issued Master Direction on PPIs

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued Master Directions on Prepaid Payment Instruments, 2021 (MD-PPIs, 2021), which are applicable to all Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) Issuers and System Participants. The MD-PPIs, 2021 involves the eligibility criteria and the conditions of use for Payment System Operators (PSOs) involved in the issuance and operation of PPIs in India.

PPI: It is an instrument that facilitates the purchase of goods and services, financial services, remittance facilities, etc., against the value stored on such instruments.

Current Classification: Presently, under the MD-PPI,2021, RBI has classified the PPIs into 2 types as Small PPIs and Full-KYC PPIs. The PPI issuers were directed to achieve interoperability through Unified Payment Interface (UPI) (for PPIs in the form of wallets) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the card networks (for PPIs in the form of cards (physical or virtual)).

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
i.It was established on the recommendation of the Hilton Young Commission.
ii.The First Governor of RBI was Sir Osborne Smith (1935 – 1937).
iii.The First Indian Governor of RBI was CD Deshmukh (1943 – 1949).
iv.Manmohan Singh was the only Prime Minister to have also served as the Governor of RBI ((1982 – 1985).

LIC launched Ananda Mobile App for Agents and Intermediaries

Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) of India Chairman, Shri. M R Kumar launched Ananda (Atma Nirbhar Agents New Business Digital Application) mobile app via video conferencing event in Hyderabad, Telangana.
Purpose of the App- It works as a tool for the on-boarding process to get the life insurance policy via paperless format.
Highlights – It is built on a paperless KYC( Know Your Customer) process using Aadhaar based e-authentication. It provides easy access to the agents and intermediaries to reach out to the prospective customers. The event was marked by an e-training video for the agents and process to operate the application. The app version was developed because of high level usage of the ANANDA module.

Features of the app: It will be used for the registration of New LIC policies. With the help of the app only non-medical will be passed. The limit of maximum premium is Rs 1 lakh App was launched for LIC agents and intermediaries only.

About Life Insurance Corporation ( LIC)
Established- 1956
Chairperson– M R Kumar
Managing Director– Siddhartha Mohanty, Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Raj Kumar, Ipe Mini.


Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Nishad Kumar wins silver in high jump, Vinod Kumar wins bronze in discus throw

Indian para-athlete Nishad Kumar clinched silver in T46 high jump event at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2021. He became the second Indian to win a medal at Tokyo Paralympics.

Nishad Kumar won the silver medal with a jump of 2.06m. He also created an Asian Record. He had crossed the 2.02 mark in his first attempt.
US's Roderick Townsend won gold in the event with a jump of 2.15m, while Dallas Wise shared the second spot with Nishad after finishing on the same mark.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: India's Avani Lekhara wins Gold medal in women's 10m AR Standing SH1 Final

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: Shooter Avani Lekhara on August 30, 2021, won India’s first gold medal in the women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1) event at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games.19-year-old Lekhara created a Paralympics record by equaling the world record of Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik with a score of 249.6 that was set in 2018. Lakhera became the first Indian woman who won India’s first gold medal at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
China’s Cuiping Zhang won silver with a score of 248.9 and Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik won bronze with a score of 227.5.


Rajnath Singh Commissioned ICG Offshore Patrol Vessel- ’Vigraha’

Union Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has commissioned the Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) 7th Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), ‘Vigraha’ at the Chennai Port. The OPV will be placed at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. This is the 1st time that a private sector shipyard (L&T) has designed & constructed an OPV ship. Vigraha is the last in the 7 OPVs contracted to Larsen & Toubro (L&T) by the Defence Ministry in 2015.
About Indian Coast Guard (ICG)
Director General of ICG – Krishnaswamy Natarajan
Headquarters – New Delhi

MeitY launches QSim from New Delhi to aid Quantum Computing Research in India

i.Minister of State (MoS) Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) launched ‘QSim – Quantum Computer Simulator Toolkit’ during a hybrid event from New Delhi to aid and enable cost effective research in Quantum Computing. It will be utilized by students and researchers.
ii.It is a product of project ‘Design and Development of Quantum Computer Toolkit (Simulator, Workbench) and Capacity Building’ which is executed collaboratively by IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Bengaluru (Karnataka), IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Roorkee (Uttarakhand) and C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) with the support of MeitY.
About Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY)
Union Minister– Ashwini Vaishnaw (Constituency– Odisha)
Minister of State (MoS) – Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Constituency- Karnataka)

Amit Banerjee Appointed as New CMD of BEM

Amit Banerjee is appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director(CMD) of BEML (Bharat Earth Movers Limited).He succeeded Deepak Kumar Hota(D.K.Hota), who retired on January 2021.After the retirement of D.K.Hota , M V Rajasekhar was given additional charge as CMD.

About Amit Banerjee: Amit Banerjee graduated from IIT Banaras Hindu University(BHU) as a mechanical engineer. He joined BEML in 1984 as an Assistant Engineer and has 37 years experience in R&D and manufacturing functions . Before joining as a CMD in BEML he was as a Director(Rail & Metro) BEML. He has also worked for indegeneous development of Metro cars for Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata,Bangalore and Mumbai. Stainless-Steel EMU & Intermediate Metro Cars, Catenary Maintenance Vehicle and PMS Bridge for Indian Army

About BEML (Bharat Earth Movers Limited)
Chairman and Managing Director– Amit Banerjee
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka

TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit Gets Additional Charge of Punjab, Chandigarh

Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, has appointed Banwarilal Purohit, Governor of Tamil Nadu(TN) to discharge the functions of the Governor of Punjab in addition to his duties. He was also appointed as the Administrator of the Union Territory(UT) of Chandigarh. The appointment will come into effect from the date Banwarilal Purohit assumes charge of the office and he will continue his additional charges until regular arrangements are made. Banwarilal Purohit will replace V P Singh Badnore, who has been serving as the Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh.

Note: The appointment of Banwarilal Purohit as Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh(additional charge) comes ahead of the Punjab Assembly Elections which is scheduled to be held in 2022.
About Punjab Legislative Assembly:
i.The Punjab Legislative Assembly came into being under the constitution upon the first elections in 1952.
ii.At present, the Punjab Legislative Assembly consists of 117 Members.
Administration of Chandigarh:
i.Chandigarh, a city-state and UT does not have its legislative assembly, the governor of Punjab is concurrently the Administrator of Chandigarh.
ii.The UT host the legislative assembly of both Punjab and Haryana.
iii.At present, the city is represented in the Indian Parliament by Kirron Kher of Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP).
Note: The ‘Palace of Assembly’ at the Complexe du Capitole, is the legislative assembly building in Chandigarh. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016 under the Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement.

12th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards 2021 Announced

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne(IFFM) announced the winners of the 12th Edition of IFFM Awards (2021) over a virtual platform. The 12th edition of IFFM lined up the films (feature and short) from across India, representing the theme of diversity through cinema. The IFFM, founded in 2012, is an annual festival held in Melbourne, Australia. IFFM is funded by the State Government of Victoria, Australia.Surya Sivakumar (Best performance male), Vidya Balan (Best Performance Female), Anurag Basu(Best Director) are among the winners of the IFFM 2021 Awards.Soorarai Pottru also won the Best Feature Film. Click here for the list IFFM 2021 Winners

UK India COVID-19 Study Awarded Guinness World Record

Guinness World Records’ title is awarded for ‘Most authors on a single peer-reviewed academic paper’, a study about COVID-19 conducted at Indian hospitals among others around the world by the United Kingdom(UK) experts along with University of Birmingham and Edinburgh.
Aim of the study- To improve the understanding of the deadly COVID-19 and its impact on human life.
The University of Birmingham and Edinburgh awarded for the record for ‘Most authors on a single peer-reviewed academic paper’.
Highlights: The award was given for the largest scientific collaboration in the world, involving more than 140,000 patients in 116 countries. Around 15025 scientists of the world contributed in research work of COVID-19 impact on patients Aneel Bhangu, Indian origin surgeon from the University of Birmingham worked as a co-lead author in the project. The research was funded by the National Institute of Health Research(NIHR) of the UK’s government. In India, the collaborative study on COVID-19 was conducted in 56 hospitals- which is among the largest along with Italy and Germany.

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