Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 August 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 23 Aug 2021 12:23 PM IST

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Topic: Appointment

1. N K Singh elected as President of Institute of Economic Growth.

  • N K Singh, chairman of 15th Finance Commission, has been elected as the President of the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) Society.
  • He has taken place of former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who has been in the position since 1992.
  • Dr. Manmohan Singh had recommended N K Singh's name in the IEG’s General Assembly.
  • Agriculture and rural development, environment and resource economics, globalization and trade, industry, labor, and welfare are the main areas of the Institute of Economic Growth's research.

Institute of Economic Growth:

It was founded in 1952 by the eminent economist V.K.R.V. Rao.

IEG is an autonomous, multidisciplinary centre for advanced research and training.

It is one of India's leading academic institutions in the fields of economic and social development.

Tarun Das is the Chairman and Prof. Ajit Mishra is the Director of the Institute of Economic Growth.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

2. Delhi-Chandigarh Highway become India’s first e-vehicle friendly highway.

  • Delhi-Chandigarh Highway has become India’s first e-vehicle friendly highway.
  • Solar-based Electric Vehicle Charging stations (SEVCs) have been established at regular intervals of 25-30 kms on the highway. These charging stations are equipped with individual grid-connected rooftop solar plants.
  • The network of charging stations has been set up by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) under the FAME-1 scheme.
  • These charging stations can charge all types of e-cars running in India.
  • According to the International Energy Agency, about 30% of the new vehicle sales in India will be electric by 2030.
  • Recently, NITI Aayog has released a handbook to guide state governments and local bodies to frame policies and norms towards setting up charging networks for electric vehicles.



Topic: National News

3. PM Modi inaugurated multiple projects in Gujarat's Somnath on 20 August via video conferencing.

  • PM Modi had inaugurated multiple projects in Gujarat's Somnath on 20 August 2021 via video conferencing.
  • He also laid the foundation stone of multiple projects. He emphasized the need to strengthen religious tourism in India.
  • He also said that India’s rank in the travel and tourism competitiveness index has increased from 65th in 2013 to 34th in 2019.
  • Somnath Promenade, Somnath Exhibition Centre and reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath are the projects that were inaugurated.
  • PM Modi laid the foundation stone of Shree Parvati temple during the event. The temple is proposed to be constructed at a cost of Rs 30 crore.
  • This includes temple construction in Sompura Salats Style, development of Garbha Griha and Nritya Mandap.
  • Sompura Salat is a community of Gujarat. The term Salat originated from Shilavat, the old term for a temple architect.
  • Somnath Promenade has been formed under PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive) scheme.
  • Somnath Exhibition Centre exhibits dismantled parts of old Somnath temple and its sculptures having Nagara style temple architecture of old Somnath.
  • The reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath is also referred to as Ahilyabai Temple since it was built by Queen Ahilyabai of Indore.

Topic: Committees/ Commissions/ Taskforces

4. Government forms a Committee for doubling the production and quadrupling the exports of handlooms in three years.

  • Government has formed a Committee for doubling the production and quadrupling the exports of handlooms in three years.
  • Sh. Sunil Sethi, Chairman, Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) New Delhi is the head of this committee.
  • Dr. Sudha Dhingra, Ms. Shefali Vaidya, Ms. Anagha Gaisas, Sh. Suket Dhir, Sh. Sunil Alagh, Dr. K.N. Prabhu and Sh. Hetal R. Mehta are members of the committee.
  • The committee has to submit its final report within 45 days from the day of its formation.
  • The committee will suggest a strategy and policy framework for doubling the production and improving the quality of handloom products with the aim of enhancing the income of weavers.
  • It will also suggest ways for improving the marketing of handloom products in the domestic market.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

5. Zydus Cadila’s indigenously developed DNA-based vaccine gets approval from DGCI.

  • The Drug Controller General of India has approved ‘ZyCoV-D’ Covid vaccine for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA). It is made up by an Indian Pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila.
  • It is the world’s first and India’s indigenously developed DNA-based vaccine for COVID-19. With this, ZyCoV-D became the sixth vaccine to be approved for use in India.
  • This three-dose vaccine is administered through ‘PharmaJet’ because it is a needle-free vaccine.
  • It will be given not only to adults but also to children above 12 years. It is the first vaccine in India to get approval for the 12-18 years age group.
  • The vaccine has been developed in association with the Department of Biotechnology under Mission COVID Suraksha. It will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • It has shown the efficacy of 66.6% on symptomatic RT-PCR positive cases.

Topic: Appointments

6. U. Raja Babu appointed as Director of Hyderabad-based Research Centre Imarat.

  • Ummalaneni Raja Babu has been appointed as Director of the Hyderabad-based Research Centre Imarat (RCI).
  • ‘Mission Shakti’ was successfully demonstrated under the leadership of U. Raja Babu. He is known for his contribution as Programme Director at Research Centre Imarat.
  • He will take place BHVS Narayana Murthy, who has been recently appointed as Director-General of missiles and strategic systems in DRDO.

Research Centre Imarat (RCI):

It is a premier avionics laboratory of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Missile Complex in Hyderabad.

It is a premier institute for developing Frontier Technologies in collaboration with Academic institutions & industry.

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Agriculture

7. India’s agricultural and processed food products export increased by 44.3%.

  • In the period from April to June in 2021, India’s agricultural and processed food products export has increased by 44.3%.
  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) started several initiatives to promote the export of agricultural products.
  • The overall export of products increased from $ 3338.5 million to $ 4817.9 million in April- June 2021.
  • APEDA has recognized more than 200 labs for testing of products and has organized many Virtual Buyer Sellers Meets to promote the export of GI products.
  • According to the data, 9.1% growth has been registered in the export of fresh fruits, and vegetables. 415% growth has been registered in the export of cereals.
  • India recently exported dragon fruit and naga Mircha to foreign countries.

Topic: Important Days

8. World Senior Citizen’s Day: 21 August

  • The World Senior Citizen’s Day was officially founded by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
  • World Senior Citizen’s Day is celebrated every year on 21 August. It is observed to raise awareness about the issues of elderly people.
  • World Senior Citizens’ Day was declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 1990 but it was first observed in 1991.
  • Senior citizens are an important part of any society. Health complications, loneliness, lack of financial support are some common issues of senior citizens.
  • The Indian government has launched many welfare schemes for senior citizens including the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Scheme, National Programme for the Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE), Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana, etc.

Topic: International News

9. Ismail Sabri appointed as new Prime Minister of Malaysia.

  • Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah appointed Ismail Sabri as the new Prime Minister. He will succeed Muhyiddin Yassin.
  • He secured the backing of 114 MPs out of the 220 MPs in the lower house of Parliament.
  • Recently, Muhyiddin Yassin had stepped down from the Prime Minister post of Malaysia after losing majority support in Parliament.
  • Ismail Sabri was the Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition led by Muhyiddin Yassin. He is a member of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) party.


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.

Prime Minister is appointed by King.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

10. Government launched Arogya Dhara 2.0 to expand Ayushman Bharat’s reach.

  • Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has launched Arogya Dhara 2.0 to increase the reach and awareness of the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
  • He also launched three other initiatives — Adhikar Patra, Abhinandan Patra, and Ayushman Mitra.
  • Adhikar Patra: It will be issued to the beneficiaries during their hospital admissions for treatment under PM-JAY scheme to make them aware of their rights to claim free and cashless healthcare services
  • Abhinandan Patra: It is a ‘thank you note’. It will be issued during the discharge of beneficiaries from hospitals for availing of the benefits of the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
  • Ayushman Mitra:  It is an initiative to bring more people under the ambit of this scheme. Ayushman Mitra will help people in getting their Ayushman Cards.
  • Since the launch of this scheme, treatment worth Rs. 25000 cr has been provided to 2 crore patients through 23000 public and private empaneled hospitals across the country.

Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY:

It was launched in 2018 in Ranchi, Jharkhand, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It provides a health cover of Rs 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary health care hospitalization.

National Health Authority is the implementing agency of this scheme.

(Source: PIB)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

11. India and ADB signed a loan agreement to expand metro rail network in Bengaluru.

  • India signed a loan agreement worth USD 500 million with Asian Development Bank to expand the metro rail network in Bengaluru.
  • Under the new project, new metro lines will be constructed between Central Silk Board and Kempegowda International Airport.
  • The new metro project will help in decongesting traffic and provide seamless connectivity to the airport.
  • ADB has given an additional USD 2 million as a technical assistance grant to formulate urban development plans and multimodal integration.
  • Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited will use the grant to strengthen its capacity and implementation of new projects.

Asian Development Bank (ADB):

It was established in 1966.

It is headquartered in Mandaluyong, Philippines.

Masatsugu Asakawa is the current President of ADB.

It is committed to the overall growth of Asian countries.






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