Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 July 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 20:09 PM IST

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Topic: National News

1. Power Minister inaugurated “Aiming for Sustainable Habitat: New Initiatives in Building Energy Efficiency 2021”

  • Union Minister of Power R.K. Singh inaugurated “Aiming for Sustainable Habitat: New Initiatives in Building Energy Efficiency 2021”.
  • It has been inaugurated under the initiatives taken by the government for enhancing energy efficiency in the building sector.
  • The building sector is the second-largest consumer of electricity after Industry.  It will become the largest consuming sector by 2030.
  • Union Minister of Power launched various initiatives for enhancing energy-efficiency of building such as Online Directory of Building Materials for the energy-efficient building materials, Online Star Rating tool for Energy Efficient Homes, web-based platform, etc.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is responsible for developing policies and strategies for energy efficient buildings. It has been set up under the provision of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

2. Amazon rainforest is now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs.

  • According to new scientific research, the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs.
  • As per a study, the amazon forest emits billion tons of carbon dioxide in a year. Earlier, it was the largest Carbon sink in the world.
  • Fires to clear land and soy production are the main source of emissions. High temperature and droughts have also made the Amazon rainforest a source of Carbon dioxide rather than a sink.
  • Deforestation has reduced the number of trees which has increased the droughts and more tree deaths.
  • Forest fires of Amazon produce around three times more CO2 than the forest absorbs.
  • According to a satellite study, Amazon has released nearly 20% more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past decade than it absorbed.
  • Amazon rainforest:
    • It covers an area of approximately 55, 00,000 km2.
    • 60% of the Amazon rainforests are in Brazil.
    • It is home to approximately 16,000 species of trees and around 30 million indigenous people.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Government launched National Logistics Excellence Awards.

  • The Government has launched National Logistics Excellence Awards. The framework of the award has been finalized by the logistics associations and forum user industry partners.
  • The awards will be given in two categories: logistics infrastructure/service providers and various user industries.
  • Best practices, technological upgrades, digital transformations, and sustainable practices will be the parameters of the award.
  • The Awards will be given to recognize individuals and Industries involved in the logistics supply chain. The winners will be announced on October 31.
  • The Indian logistics sector has been growing at a rate of 10.5 percent annually.

Topic: Agriculture

4. Government exempted importers of pulses from stock limits.

  • The government has announced to exempt importers of pulses from stock limits and also relaxed the norms for millers and wholesalers.
  • The stock limits will apply only to Tur, Urad, Gram, and Masur for a period up to 31st October 2021. Importers of pulses have to declare their stock limits on the portal of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • The stock limit will be 500 MT for wholesalers and for retailers, the stock limit will be 5 MT. The limit for Millers will be the last 6 months’ production or 50% of annual installed capacity.
  • Earlier, the Government had taken various measures to prevent hoarding and check price rise including the stock declaration of pulses by the stockholders of different categories and imposition of stock limits.
  • Due to such intervention, Wholesale prices and retail prices of all the pulses (except Masur) have fallen in the last two months.
  • On June 2, the government had imposed stock limits on all pulses (except moong) for wholesalers, retailers, importers, and millers.

Government exempted importers of pulses from stock limits

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Awards and Prizes

5. Best Documentary award at the 74th Cannes Film Festival won by India's Payal Kapadia.

  • Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) award for best documentary at the 74th Cannes Film Festival won by Director Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing.
  • Payal Kapadia is a Mumbai-based filmmaker. American documentary producer Ezra Edelman headed Oeil d’or jury.
  • Kapadia earlier took her short film Afternoon Clouds to the 2017 edition of Cannes Film Festival.
  • Kapadia, an alumna of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII). She has films and documentaries such as “And What Is The Summer Saying (2018)” and “The Last Mango Before the Monsoon” to her credit.
  • Filmmaker Agnes Varda has won Cannes Oeil d’Or Award for her Faces Places in 2017.
  • In 2016, Indian film The Cinema Travellers earned an Oeil d’or Special Mention. This was directed by Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya.
  • Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) award for best documentary was instituted in 2015 by LaScam (the French-Speaking Writers’ Society) and others.
  • 74th Cannes Film Festival ended on 17 July 2021. The list of main winners is given below.



Palme d'Or (highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival)

Julia Ducournau for "Titane"

Grand Prix

Shared by Ashgar Farhadi for "A Hero" (Iran) and Juho Kuosmanen for "Compartment No.6"

Best Director

Leos Carax for "Annette"

Best Actress

Renate Reinsve for "Worst Person in the World"

Best Actor

Caleb Landry Jones for "Nitram"

Best Screenplay

Hamaguchi Ryusuke and Takamasa Oe for "Drive My Car"

Jury Prize

Shared by Nadav Lapid for "Ahed's Knee"  and Apichatpong Weerasethakul for "Memoria"

Best First Film

Antoneta Kusijanovic for "Murina"

Best Short Film

Hong Kong's "All The Crows In The World" directed by Tang Yi


74th Cannes Film Festival

Topic: Indian Economy

6. India becomes world’s fifth-largest foreign exchange reserves holder.

  • India has become the world’s fifth-largest foreign exchange reserves holder after China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia.
  • As per Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary’s written reply in Lok Sabha, India’s forex reserves stood at around 609 billion Dollars on 25th June.
  • In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said the country’s foreign exchange reserves position is comfortable in terms of import cover of more than 18 months.
  • In 2020-21, India’s balance of payments recorded a surplus in both current account and capital account which contributed to the increase in foreign exchange reserves during the year.
  • Balance of payments is the record of transactions in goods, services and assets between a country’s residents with the rest of the world for a year.
  • Exports and imports in goods and services and transfer payments are recorded in current account. Capital account records all international purchases and sales of assets.

Topic: Important Days

7. Space Exploration Day: 20 July

  • July 20 is commemorated every year as Space Exploration Day.
  • On 20 July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the Moon’s surface.
  • Space Exploration Day is observed to mark the anniversary of man’s first historic landing on the surface of another celestial body.
  • NASA’s Apollo program, Apollo 11 was launched on 16th July 1969. It carried three astronauts to Moon.
  • It is observed to encourage people to learn about space exploration and space science.

Topic: Art and Culture

8. ICCR launched a virtual platform for traditional and folk artists.

  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has launched the ‘KALA VISHWA’ virtual platform for traditional and folk artists.
  • Kala Vishwa is a campaign under the Horizon Series and it has been organized to reach out to traditional folk artists and local artisans.
  • It has been launched from Mumbai to promote traditional arts of the region, like Waghya Murali, Gondhal, Vasudev or Dashavatar.
  • It will also help foreign students associated with ICCR in understanding the folk culture of India. 

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR):

It is an autonomous organization that was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

It is the governmental organization responsible for cultural and academic engagement with the world.

Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is its current President. It is headquartered in New Delhi.

ICCR launched a virtual platform for traditional and folk artists

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: State News/ Haryana

9. Haryana Government will launch ‘One Block, One Product' scheme.

  • Haryana Government will launch a ‘One Block, One Product' scheme to encourage and promote small industries in the rural areas.
  • Under this scheme, the government will connect every block with some industrial vision. It will be implemented in 137 blocks of the state.
  • The arrangement for common services, lab testing, packaging, transportation, accountancy will be set up in the cluster.
  • Earlier, the Haryana government has implemented the ‘One District, One Product’ Scheme in the state. It was launched to convert each District into an export hub by identifying products with export potential in the District.

Topic: Appointments

10. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi appointed as Deputy Leader of House in Rajya Sabha.

  • Minority Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been appointed as the Deputy Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.
  • He has been appointed in the place of Piyush Goyal, appointed as Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha.
  • He has vast experience and Knowledge of Parliamentary Affairs. He was appointed on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament.
  • Rajya Sabha:
    • It is also called the Council of States. It is the upper house of the Parliament.
    • According to Article 80 of the Indian Constitution, the maximum strength of the Rajya Sabha is 250.
    • It is a permanent house of the parliament and not subject to dissolution.
    • Vice President of India is the ex-officio chairman of Rajya Sabha. Harivansh Narayan Singh is the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi appointed as Deputy Leader

Topic: Indian Polity

11. India’s first Balika Panchayat elections successfully held in Gujarat.

  • India’s first Balika Panchayat election was successfully held in the Kunariya village of Gujarat.
  • In this Balika Panchayat, the young females aged between 10 to 21 years contested the election. Around 400 voters have cast their votes.
  • The Balika Panchayat will help in developing leadership qualities in the girls for Future Panchayat polls. The panchayat will be run by girls and for the girls.
  • Balika Panchayat will mainly address the issues faced by women and adolescent girls.
  • Bharti Garva becomes the first sarpanch of the Balika Panchayat.
  • Panchayati Raj system in India is a three-tier system. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment has provided constitutional status to Panchayats.
  • Article 243D of the Constitution ensures the participation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions.





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