Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 and 19 July 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 19:08 PM IST

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Topic: Important Days

1. Nelson Mandela International Day 2021 was celebrated on 18 July with the theme One Hand Can Feed Another.

  • Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated every year on 18 July on the birth anniversary of Nelson Mandela.
  • This day is also known as Mandela Day.
  • This day is celebrated across the world to encourage the people to fight against poverty and promote cultural diversity, peace, and cooperation.
  • Mandela fought for 67 years for social justice, so this day is known as 67 Minutes Mandela Day.
  • "One Hand Can Feed Another" is the theme for Nelson Mandela International Day 2021.
  • United Nations officially declared Nelson Mandela International Day in November 2009, and it was first celebrated on 18 July 2010.
  • Nelson Mandela Prize was introduced in 2014 by the UN General Assembly to recognize the achievements of those who dedicated their lives to the service of humanity.

Topic: State News/ Kerala

2. Amendment in Dowry Prohibition rules by Kerala Government.

  • Kerala state government has made an amendment in its Dowry Prohibition rules because of increasing day-by-day complaints of dowry harassment in the state.
  • Govt has appointed ‘dowry prohibition officers’ in all 14 districts to take strict action against the dowry cases.
  • As per the statement of State Health Minister Veena George, dowry prohibition officers had already existed in three districts- Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, and Kozhikode. Now, it has been appointed in all the districts of the state.
  • In each district of the state, the district women and child development officers will work as dowry prohibition officers.
  • The Director of Women and Child Development would be the Chief Dowry Prohibition officer for this initiative.
  • Kerala state police have also started a campaign ‘Say No to Dowry’ in opposition to the dowry violence on women.

Topic: Indian Economy

3. Government notifies hike in FDI limit in pension fund management from 49% to 74%.

  • Government has notified a hike in the FDI limit in pension fund management from 49% to 74% under National Pension System (NPS).
  • In March, Parliament approved to increase the FDI limit in the insurance business from 49% to 74%.
  • Four out of seven Pension Fund Managers (PFMs) managing the NPS corpus have significant foreign investments.
  • Their names are HDFC Pension Management, ICICI Prudential Pension Funds, Kotak Mahindra Pension Fund and Aditya Birla Sun Life Pension Management.
  • Other three PFMs for NPS are LIC Pension Fund, SBI Pension Funds and UTI Retirement Solutions.
  • As of July 10, 2021, NPS assets under management (AUM) stood at about Rs 6.2 lakh crore.
  • PFRDA chairman Supratim Bandyopadhyay said that NPS AUM may rise over 30% year-on-year to near Rs 7.5 lakh crore in FY22.
  • PFMs were charging only 0.01% as a fund management fee. PFRDA allowed them to charge up to 0.09% if the PFM’s AUM is less than Rs 10,000 crore.
  • PFRDA has also allowed more fund managers to enter into the NPS sector by applying to the regulator at any point (on tap) in time in FY22.
  • National Pension System (NPS) is a flagship defined contribution pension scheme of the Government of India. It was founded in 2004.
  • It was designed for government employees only. In 2009, it was opened for all citizens of India between the age of 18 and 65 years.

Topic: Agriculture

4. The ‘monk fruit’ from China introduced for field trials in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.

  • The ‘monk fruit’ from China has been introduced for field trials in Himachal Pradesh by the Palampur-based CSIR-IHBT.
  • Palampur-based CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) imported seeds of monk fruit from China three years ago and grew them in-house. Field trials have begun now.
  • As per the Council of Scientific Research and Industrial Technology-IHBT (CSIR-IHBT), this is the first-ever monk fruit cultivation exercise in India.
  • The ‘monk fruit’ is known for its properties as non-caloric natural sweetener.
  • It is a perennial crop having a life span of four to five years and its fruiting starts eight to nine months after germination.
  • It is grown in a mountainous area with an annual mean temperature of about 16–20 °C and humid conditions.
  • Monk Fruit gets its name from the Buddhist monks who first used it. IHBT has standardized the harvesting time for getting higher Mogroside-V content in fruit.
  • Siraitia grosvenorii is the scientific name of monk fruit. Its sweet taste primarily results from the content of a group of cucurbitane-type triterpene glycosides known as mogrosides.
  • The extracted mixture of mogrosides is about 300 times sweeter than sucrose or cane sugar.

Topic: Defence

5. Indian Navy receives two MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters from United States.

  • Indian Navy received the first two MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) from US Navy at a ceremony in San Diego. The documents of helicopters were also exchanged during the ceremony.
  • MH-60R helicopters were manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation, USA. It can fly in all weather.
  • These helicopters will be modified with unique Indian equipment and weapons. It will help in increasing the Indian Navy’s three dimensional capabilities.
  • The Indian Navy is procuring 24 Multi-Role Helicopters (MRH) helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin under foreign military sales from the US government.
  • In recent years, the bilateral defense trade between India and United States has expanded rapidly.

MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. MeitY sign MoU with MapmyIndia to enable map services in UMANG App.

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has signed an MoU with MapmyIndia to start map service in UMANG App.
  • MeitY has started this initiative under the Digital India Programme. The integration of MapmyIndia with UMANG will help citizens in finding the location of the nearest mandis, blood banks, and much more.
  • It will also provide information about the driving distance, directions, and traffic to locations.
  • MapmyIndia is an Indian technology company that builds digital map data and provides GIS AI services.


UMANG mobile app was launched in 2017 to provide services of various government organizations. It is a single platform for accessing all government services.

It is developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to promote e-governance.



Topic: International News

7. EU proposes world’s first carbon border tax on imports.

  • The European Commission has proposed the world’s first carbon border tax on the import of steel, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, and electricity.
  • It will be levied in phase manner from 2026. It will protect the manufactures of the European Commission from competitors who don’t pay any carbon tax.
  • Under this proposed tax, Importers will be required to buy digital certificates, which will represent the amount of carbon dioxide emissions for the goods they import.
  • Around 64 carbon pricing instruments are in use around the world but they cover only 21% of global greenhouse emissions.
  • Among major EU trading partners, Russia and China have opposed the carbon border tax.
  • A carbon tax is imposed on emissions of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. It was first introduced by Finland.

Topic: International News

8. U.S., Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan to form new quad group.

  • The United States, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan have agreed to establish a new quad group to enhance regional connectivity.
  • The main objective of this newly formed quad group is to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan.
  • It will open new interregional trade opportunities, expand trade, and build transit links between member countries.
  • It has been launched to counter China’s desire to extend its Belt and Road Initiative to Afghanistan.
  • All members country’s representatives will meet in the coming months to determine the modalities of this cooperation with mutual consensus.
  • Afghanistan:
    • It is a landlocked country located in Asia.
    • Its capital is Kabul, and the currency is Afghan Afghani.
    • It share borders with Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.

Topic: Sports

9. Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix.

  • Lewis Hamilton won his eighth British Grand Prix. He is now eight point behinds Max Verstappen `after 10 races.
  • A 10-second penalty has been imposed on Lewis Hamilton for a controversial first-lap collision with Max Verstappen.
  • It is the fourth win for Hamilton in the current season.
  • C. Leclerc ended the race on the second position and Valtteri Bottas finished the race on third position.
  • British Grand Prix 2021:
    • It is a Formula One motor race held on 18 July 2021 at the Silverstone Circuit.
    • It was the 10th round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

10. Successful trial of train movement between Jaynagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal carried out on 18 July.

  • Successful trial of train movement between Jaynagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal was carried out on 18 July.
  • 34.50 km-long rail section is the first section of the rail line link between India and Nepal which connects Jaynagar in Madhubani district of Bihar to Kurtha in Mahottari district of Nepal.
  • The Jayanagar – Kurtha Railway link has been set up by IRCON or Indian Railway Construction Limited under India – Nepal friendship rail project.
  • Second section of the rail line link between India and Nepal will be 17-km-long. It will link Kurtha and Bhangaha.
  • 17-km-long third section of the rail line link between India and Nepal will link Bhangaha to Bardibas.
  • Two modern DEMU trains were also delivered by Indian Railways to Nepal for Jayanagar-Kurtha railway link. Jayanagar is located 4 Km from the India-Nepal border.
  • Nepal:
    • It is a landlocked nation and shares a border with Indian states, namely Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, and Bihar.
    • Its capital is Kathmandu and the currency is Nepalese Rupees.
    • Bidya Devi Bhandari is the President and Sher Bahadur Deuba is the Prime Minister of Nepal.

Topic: Banking System

11. Bank of Maharashtra signs MoU with NABARD.

  • Bank of Maharashtra has signed MoU with NABARD to boost ongoing developmental initiatives linked to priority sector lending in Maharashtra.
  • The MoU envisages joint initiatives to benefit farmers, farmer producer organisations, joint liability groups and self-help groups in Maharashtra.
  • It also envisages joint initiatives to benefit rural artisans, weavers, agri-preneurs, agri start-ups, and micro, small and medium enterprises in Maharashtra.
  • Bank of Maharashtra is the convener of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) for Maharashtra.
  • The Committee is an apex inter-institutional forum to create adequate coordination machinery in a State for its development. Each State/ Union Territory in the country has a Bankers’ Committee.
  • SLBC is chaired by the Chairman/ Managing Director/ Executive Director of the Convenor Bank.
  • SLBC comprises representatives of Banks, RBI, NABARD, heads of government departments, among others.

Topic: State News/Assam

12. Assam Finance Minister presents a 566.20 crore rupees deficit budget for 2021-22.

  • Assam Finance Minister presented a 566.20 crore rupees deficit budget for 2021-22.
  • The Finance Minister promised to recruit 1 lakh educated youth in the government sector.
  • The budget has provision to provide 1 lakh rupees each to the next of kin of COVID victims.
  • In the budget, Finance Minister said that 1000 sub centres would be converted to hospitals to give a boost to the health infrastructure.
  • In the budget, it was proposed that smart phones would be given to 8 lakh class IX and X students in the government sector. 
  • The budget proposed to set up 1000 model Anganwadi Centres with Child Care facility.
  • It also proposed to constitute an Agriculture Commission under a scientist of international repute. This Commission would focus on issues related to agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy sector in Assam.
  • Assam:
    • The state capital is Dispur. The largest city is Guwahati.
    • State Dance: Bihu, State Bird: White-winged wood duck
    • The State Governor is Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister is Himanta Biswa Sarma.
    • Lok Sabha seats: 14, Rajya Sabha Seats: 7

Assam Finance Minister

(Source: News on AIR)






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