Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 August 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 18 Aug 2021 20:46 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launched an online portal TAPAS.

  • Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr. Virendra Kumar launched an online portal TAPAS (Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services).
  • The portal has been developed by the National Institute of Social Defence.
  • The main objective of TAPAS is to provide online courses and to impart training of skills for the capacity building of the participants.
  • It will offer online courses on Drug (Substance) Abuse Prevention, Geriatric/Elderly Care, Care and Management of Dementia, Transgender Issues and Social Defence Issues.
  • TAPAS is a standard MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform. The participants will get informative material like articles, case studies, and other study material on the related topic.

National Institute of Social Defence:

It was set up in 1961 under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

It became an autonomous body on 15 July 2002.

It is the nodal training and research institute in the field of social defense.

Topic: State News/ Chhattisgarh

2. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister announced creation of four new districts.

  • On the occasion of 75th Independence Day, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister announced the creation of four new districts and 18 tehsils.
  • The four new districts will be Mohla-Manpur, Sakti, Sarangarh-Bilaigarh, and Manendragarh.
  • At present, there are 28 districts in Chhattisgarh. Now, the total number of administrative districts in Chhattisgarh will increase to 32.
  • The state government will also develop a women exclusive park in every district headquarters and municipal corporation, which will be known as the 'Minimata Udyan'.
  • The government has also removed the age limit for pursuing higher education.


It was granted statehood on 1 November 2000.

It shares its border with 7 states- UP, MP, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Chief Minister: Bhupesh Baghel



Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. Government announced PM Gati Shakti Master Plan for creating employment.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that government will launch the ‘PM Gati Shakti Master Plan’ for creating employment opportunities in the country.
  • Under this scheme, the government will promote the manufacturing of products and provide impetus to manufacturers to create world-class products.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced this Rs 100 lakh crore scheme on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.
  • This scheme will help in developing infrastructure in different fields including transport and productivity. It will also lead to the development of many future economic zones.
  • The government aims to develop world-class products using cutting-edge innovation and new-age technology.

Topic: International News

4. Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin resigns from his post.

  • Muhyiddin Yassin has stepped down from the Prime Minister post of Malaysia.
  • He resigned along with his cabinet after losing majority support in Parliament. He will stay as caretaker Prime Minister.
  • Muhyiddin Yassin was under pressure to resign from both political and civilian fronts. People were demanding his resignation due to the failure of the government in handling the COVID crisis.
  • At present, the election is not possible due to rising COVID cases and economic instability.  
  • King can appoint anyone as Prime Minister from elected lawmakers.


It is a Southeast Asian country.

Its capital is Kuala Lumpur and its currency is the Malaysian Ringgit.

Its political system is a constitutional monarchy based on the Westminster model.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mohiuddin Yassin resi

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/Puducherry

5. Puducherry celebrated its De Jure Transfer day.

  • Puducherry celebrated its De Jure Transfer day on August 16. It is celebrated to mark the official merger of Puducherry with the Indian Union.
  • On 16 August 1962, Puducherry was merged with the Indian Union. Treaty was signed between the French and Indian governments for the transfer of French establishments to the Indian Union.
  • The municipality of Pondicherry became a French colony in 1674. Pondicherry was part of French Indian territories.
  • On 1 November 1954, French India territories were transferred to the Republic of India.
  • De-Jure means the legal merger of the Territory with the Union of India.


It is one of the union territories of India.

It is located in the southern part of the Indian peninsula.

It is made up of Puducherry, Karaikal, Yanam, and Mahe. It is named after the largest district of Puducherry.

Chief Minister: N. Rangaswamy

Topic: Agriculture

6. Union Agriculture Minister inaugurated world's second-largest refurbished gene bank.

  • Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the world's second-largest refurbished gene bank at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in New Delhi.
  • On this occasion, Agriculture Minister said that the government has taken several steps for the welfare of the farmers. Government is committed to increasing the income of farmers.
  • The National Gene Bank was established to preserve the seeds of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations. It has the capacity to preserve about one million germplasm in the form of seeds.
  • This revamped National Gene Bank is an important step towards the conservation of the diversity of indigenous crops in the country.
  • At present, the need for bio-fortified crop varieties has increased. The agri-farmers would be greatly benefited by the new gene bank facilities for germplasm.

world's second-largest refurbished gene bank

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Miscellaneous

7. Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister flagged off ‘Operation Blue Freedom’ expedition.

  • Operation Blue Freedom’, an expedition by the people with disabilities, has been flagged off by the Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar from Dr. Ambedkar International Centre.
  • A team of people with disabilities from across the country started an expedition to reach Siachen Glacier. They will create a world record by reaching at the world’s highest battlefield.
  • The team of people with disabilities was trained by ‘Team CLAW’, an elite team of Former Special Forces Veterans.
  • The final phase of the expedition will start from Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post on 1 September 2021.
  • CLAW teaches skills to people with disabilities. It was set up by Major Vivek Jacob in 2019.
  • Recently, the Government of India had permitted a team of selected people with disabilities to scale Siachen Glacier.

Operation Blue Freedom’ expedition

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. HCL Foundation launched 'My e-Haat' portal for handicraft sector.

  • HCL Foundation has launched an online portal, 'My e-Haat', to strengthen the value chain of the handicraft in the country.
  • At present, more than 30 partners listed 600 products on the online portal. ‘My E-Haat' is a unique initiative to connect artisans directly with customers.
  • The portal will help in showcasing the ingenuity of skilled artisans from all over the country. It will help in minimizing the informal intermediaries between artisans and customers.
  • The portal will also offer e-payment options, and integrated logistic support for tracking of products.
  • It will also help in product designing, training, financial inclusion, and procurement of raw material.
  • HCL Foundation will also establish a 'My E-Haat' gallery for showcasing artisan’s products.

Topic: State News/ Jammu Kashmir

9. Jammu Kashmir Lieutenant Governor launched 'PROOF' app to monitor the project's progress.

  • Jammu Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched 'PROOF' app to monitor the progress of the projects. Here, PROOF Stands for Photographic Record of On-site Facility.
  • 'PROOF' app will bring transparency and accountability to the system.
  • It has been developed by NIC for uploading the geo-tagged photographs of the completed projects.
  • The EMPOWERMENT portal will provide detail of completed projects with geo-tagged photographs.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

10. Tata Motors has come into partnership with the Bank of Maharashtra for a passenger vehicle retail financing scheme.

  • Domestic auto major Tata Motors has partnered with the Bank of Maharashtra to offer a retail financing scheme for its passenger vehicles.
  • According to this agreement, the Bank of Maharashtra will offer loans to customers of Tata Motors Company with a starting interest rate of 7.15 percent linked to Repo Linked Lending Rate (RLLR).
  • In addition, the scheme will provide up to 90% financing on the total cost of the vehicle (on-road pricing) for various individuals like Salaried employees, Self-employed people, Professionals, Traders and Agriculturists.
  • The aim of the partnership with the Bank of Maharashtra is to offer special finance schemes to support the customers of the company in these tough times.
  • Under this partnership, Tata Motors is also offering hassle-free loans with zero processing fees till September 30, 2021, to its customers.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

11. Mohammad Azam, a scholar of Kakatiya University, received prestigious National Youth Award.

  • Kakatiya University (KU)'s Mohammad Azam, a social and environmental activist and research scholar in the Department of English, received the prestigious National Youth Award at a ceremony held in New Delhi.
  • Azam has been selected by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the National Youth Award 2017-18.
  • Ministry has selected other nine peoples across the country for their services to society.
  • The award carries a certificate of appreciation and Rs 50,000 in cash.
  • He has also been awarded the ‘Indira Gandhi NSS Award’ from a former President of India Pranab Mukherjee.
  • He has also received the Pratibha Puraskar by the State government of Andhra Pradesh and the Rashtriya Gaurav Samman Award.

Topic: State News/ West Bengal

12. A museum based on Indian freedom struggle opened inside the trams of Kolkata.

  • West Bengal Transport Minister Firhad Hakim inaugurated a museum related to India’s freedom inside the trams in Kolkata.
  • The Arts and Cultural Heritage trust has curated the museum on wheels in collaboration with the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC).
  • Lord Meghnad Desai and Lady Kishwar Desai were virtually present from London at the inauguration.
  • Till December, the museum will be displayed at the Esplanade in the heart of the city. Two tram cars will be used to hold the museum together.
  • The first tram shows the growing resistance against the British Raj from the 1900s and the important moments from 1900 to 1947.
  • The second tram shows the large-scale migration and rehabilitation that took place after the Partition.





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