Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 July 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 16 Jul 2021 19:52 PM IST

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Topic: Miscellaneous

1. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur launches official Team India cheer song for Tokyo Olympics.

  • Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur launched the 'Cheer4India' song for India’s Olympic contingent.
  • The song has been titled “Cheer4India: Hindustani Way”. It has been composed by AR Rahman and Ananya Birla.
  • 'Lakshya Tera Samne Hai' is India’s official Olympic theme song for Tokyo Olympics. It has been sung and composed by Mohit Chauhan.
  • MC Mary Kom and Manpreet Singh have been named as flag-bearers of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics.

official Team India cheer song for Tokyo Olympics

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Rudraksh Convention Center in Varanasi.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Rudraksh Convention Center on 15 July 2021 in Varanasi. It is a symbol of friendship between India and Japan.
  • Varanasi International Cooperation and Convention Centre (VCC) also known as ‘Rudraksh'. It is equipped with a convention center, a hall with a seating capacity of 1,200, and meeting rooms.
  • It has a glimpse of the ancient city of Kashi. 108 Rudrakshas have been installed in this convention center.
  • It will be an ideal place for holding international conferences, exhibitions, music concerts, etc. The gallery of the convention center is decorated with murals depicting Varanasi’s art, culture, and music.
  • It will promote tourism in the city and provide opportunities for social and cultural interactions.



Topic: MoUs/Agreements

3. Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE) signs agreement with University of New South Wales, Australia.

  • Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE) has signed an agreement with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia.
  • The agreement has been signed with UNSW for establishing a Centre for Advanced Transportation Technology and Systems (CATTS) at IAHE, Noida.
  • The agreement is for capacity building, technology transfer and creation of enabling environment for the establishment of CATTS in IAHE.
  • The UNSW will also deliver a course, certified by it, on smart transport systems and modelling.
  • Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE), under the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, is located at Noida, U.P.

Topic: Defence

4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application launched by Raksha Mantri.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application was launched by Raksha Mantri on 15 July.
  • AI-powered grievance management application was developed by Ministry of Defence with the help of IIT-Kanpur.
  • This is the first AI-based system developed to improve grievance redressal in the Government.
  • It can understand the content of the complaint. It can recognize repeat complaints or spam automatically.
  • It can categorise complaints of different categories. It enables geographical analysis of complaints in a category including analysis of whether the complaint was adequately addressed or not by the concerned office.
  • AI-powered applications will automatically handle and analyse the complaints of the people and would reduce human intervention, save time and bring more transparency to their disposal.
  • Department of Defence under Ministry of Defence, Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) and IIT, Kanpur signed tripartite MoU for the project on August 04, 2020.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered grievance management application

(Source: PIB)

Topic: International News

5. US senate passed a bill to ban import of products from Xinjiang region of China.

  • The US Senate passed the ‘Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act’ to ban the import of products from China's Xinjiang region. It will be passed by the House of Representatives before presenting to the President.
  • Republican Senator Marco Rubio along with Democrat Jeff Merkley has introduced this bill in the house.
  • The bill has been passed against the genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim groups in the Xinjiang region.
  • Since 2016, the Xinjiang administration is facilitating forced labor by detaining around a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
  • Its main goal is to ensure that American entities are not funding forced labor among minorities in the region.
  • Uyghurs are an ethnic group of Turkey. They are native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China.

Topic: National News

6. Haryana sets up India’s first ‘Grain ATM’ in Gurugram.

  • Haryana government has set up India’s first-ever 'Grain ATM' in Gurugram. It has been set up on a pilot basis.
  • The newly installed machines will dispense 70kg of grains in five to seven minutes. It will provide relief to people from the long queues to get ration.
  • It is equipped with biometry and a touch screen and measures grain without any error.
  • People have to enter the Aadhar Card or Ration Card unique number after which the machine will automatically dispense the quantity of ration.
  • The Grain ATM has been named an ‘Automated, Multi Commodity, Grain Dispensing Machine’. It has been installed under the ‘World Food Programme’ of the United Nation.
  • It will also bring more transparency to the public food distribution system.
  • Earlier, the Haryana government had launched a scheme to provide FMCG products to citizens at an affordable price in the ration depots.

Topic: Personality in News

7. The relics of St. Ketevan will be put on display in India.

  • After 400 years, the relics of St. Ketevan were found at St. Augustine Church in Old Goa in 2005.
  • The relics of St. Ketevan would be publicly displayed for the first time in India and in her native place Georgia.
  • On 10th July, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar handed over one part of the relics to Georgia as a gift from India.
  • Queen Ketevan was killed in 1624 for not accepting Islam. Her relics were brought to Goa by Augustinian monks.
  • DNA analysis by the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology has confirmed its authenticity.
  • Ketevan:
    • She was the queen of Kakheti, a kingdom in eastern Georgia.
    • She has been canonized as a saint by the Georgian Orthodox Church.
    • She was killed by the Safavid suzerains of Kakheti in Iran.

Topic: National News

8. Cabinet approves DA hike from 17% to 28% for employees and pensioners from 1 July.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the hike in dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief (DR) for Central government employees and pensioners.
  • The DA has been increased from 17% to 28%. It will be effective from 1 July 2021.
  • It will impact around 4.834 million Central government employees and 6.526 million pensioners.
  • The government had frozen the dearness allowance (DA) of Central government employees since last January.
  • In 2020, the Union Cabinet had approved a 4% increase in DA for government employees and pensioners
  • Dearness allowance:
    • DA is provided by the government to its employees against the price rise.
    • DA is divided into two separate categories: Industrial Dearness Allowance and Variable Dearness Allowance.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Government approves extension of RoSCTL scheme for textiles exporters.

  • The government has approved the extension of the Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme till March 2024.
  • Under this scheme, Garment exporters will continue to get a rebate on central and state taxes on their outward shipments.
  • The sectors covered under this scheme will not get the benefits of the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme.
  • The Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) scheme is implemented by the Department of Revenue. It will lead to end-to-end digitization for issuing transferrable Duty Credit Scrip.
  • Under this scheme, exporters are issued a Duty Credit Scrip which is used to pay basic customs duty for the import of equipment, machinery, or any other input.
  • A maximum rebate of 6.05 percent can be given for the apparel. The extension of the scheme will promote the export of textiles.

Topic: State News/Gujarat

10. Newly-built five-star hotel atop redeveloped Gandhinagar Railway Station inaugurated by PM Modi.

  • Newly-built five-star hotel atop redeveloped Gandhinagar Railway Station has been inaugurated by PM Modi.
  • The newly-built 318-room five-star hotel atop the redeveloped Gandhinagar Railway Station is the first such hotel in India.
  • The redevelopment of the Gandhinagar Railway Station and construction of the five-star hotel on top of the station started in January 2017.
  • PM Modi also inaugurated several other projects in Gujarat through video conferencing.
  • He also flagged off Gandhinagar-Varanasi Weekly Superfast train and Gandhinagar-Varetha MEMU train.
  • He also inaugurated an Aquatic Gallery, a Robotic Park and a Nature Park at the Gujarat Science City in Ahmedabad.
  • Gujarat:
    • Its capital is Gandhinagar. Its Chief Minister is Vijay Rupani and the Governor is Acharya Devvrat.
    • It shares its border with Rajasthan, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

11. Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Earth Sciences sign MoU to set up DBT MOES Polar Research Centre.

  • Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Earth Sciences have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up the DBT MOES Polar Research Centre.
  • The MoU will be implemented with the aim to collaborate in mutually agreed-upon thrust areas of research in the area of POLAR sciences.
  • It envisages mutual collaboration to explore the possibility of cooperation to bring out the expertise of both organizations under one roof for addressing relevant questions in the field of polar biology.
  • Biotechnological applications of polar microbes could be the centre point of this collaboration between Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Topic: Committees/Commissions/Taskforces

12. IFSCA sets up expert group to suggest road map for longevity finance hub.

  • International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has set up an expert group to suggest a road map for longevity finance hub.
  • Setting up of expert Committee is part of IFSCA’s efforts to develop a Longevity Finance Hub in GIFT IFSC.
  • The expert committee will recommend an approach towards the development of Longevity Finance Hub and provide a road map for the same.
  • The expert committee is being co-chaired by Kaku Nakhate and Gopalan Srinivasan.
  • In a statement, IFSCA said that there are one billion people in the silver generation (aged 60 years and older) with a combined spending power of USD 15 trillion.
  • The statement said that it is estimated that there will be more members of the silver generation than people under 20 by 2040.
  • This demographic change will throw open new challenges and opportunities especially in the areas of wealth management, health, insurance, and other investment products.
  • International Financial Services Centres Authority:
    • It was established on April 27, 2020 to regulate all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs).
    • It is headquartered at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.





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