Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 July 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 24 Jul 2022 19:23 PM IST

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Topic: Corporates/Companies

1. Indian Oil and NTPC formed a joint venture company to meet the power requirements of refineries.

  • On 18 July, NTPC and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) signed an agreement to form a joint venture company to meet the power requirements of upcoming projects of IOC refineries.
  • Indian Oil is planning to full fill the additional power requirement of 650MW by Dec 2024 for its refineries through renewable energy with the help of this joint venture (JV) company.
  • NTPC Green Energy Limited (NGEL), a subsidiary of NTPC, will form the JV Company to supply renewable energy to refineries.
  • The main purpose is to promote the usage and capacity of renewable energy sources in the country.
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOC): It is a Maharatna PSU that was formed in 1959. It is the largest commercial oil company in India headquartered in New Delhi.
  • NTPC:
    • It is a public sector undertaking involved in electricity generation.
    • It is a statutory corporation incorporated under the Companies Act 1956.
    • Gurdeep Singh is the current Chairman & Managing Director of NTPC.

Topic: Personality in News

2. Eminent biologist Ajay Parida passes away at the age of 58.

  • Eminent biologist, researcher and Director of the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) Ajay Parida passed away at Guwahati.
  • He was conferred Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution to the field of Science and Technology.
  • He is famous for his work in the field of agriculture, plant molecular biology and biotechnology.
  • He was involved in a number of developmental projects associated with sustainable development in fragile coastal and dry land regions.
  • He served as the Executive Director of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation from 2009-2016.

Topic: National Appointment

3. Vineet Saran, a former Supreme Court judge, has been appointed as the BCCI's ethics officer and ombudsman.

  • Saran replaced Justice (retd) DK Jain, whose term was ended in June 2021.
  • 65-year-old Saran served as Chief Justice of Odisha High Court as well as judge in Karnataka and Allahabad High Court.
  • Earlier, the BCCI had also announced an increase in the pension for both men and women cricketers who have retired from the game.
  • Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
    • It is India’s governing body for cricket.
    • It was established in December 1928.
    • It is headquartered in Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
    • Current President of BCCI: Sourav Ganguly
    • Current Secretary of BCCI: Jay Shah

Topic: International News

4. Rishi Sunak made it to the final round to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of the UK.

  • Mr. Sunak will now face off with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the final round for Britain's PM and leader of the Conservative Party.
  • Sunak won a resounding 137 votes in the fifth and final round of MP voting, while Truss won the support of 113 MPs to come in second place.
  • Penny Mordaunt, the minister of trade, was eliminated from the race after finishing third with 105 votes.
  • The new leader of the Conservative party will be selected by a ballot of one lakh 80 thousand Conservative members.
  • It will be announced on 5 September, who will be the new Prime Minister of Britain.
  • United Kingdom:
    • It is a group of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland nations.
    • It is located in north-western Europe.
    • Its capital is London, and the currency is the Pound sterling.

Rishi Sunak

(Source: News on Air)

Topic: National Appointment

5. Lieutenant General Raj Shukla has been appointed as the UPSC member.

  • Lieutenant General Raj Shukla, a former commander of the Army Training Command, has been appointed as a member of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
  • The UPSC organizes civil services examination for the selection of the country's civil servants.
  • Smita Nagaraj, the senior member of the UPSC, administered him the oath of office and secrecy.
  • The commission now has a chairman and six members after his appointment, but its sanctioned strength is 10.
  • Shukla was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal on Republic Day 2021 in appreciation of his remarkable service.

Topic: Books and Author

6. A book on temples of Uttarakhand launched by CM Dhami.

  • Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami released a book titled “Beyond The Misty Veil” on the temples of Uttarakhand.
  • The book has been written by former IAS officer Aradhana Johri.
  • 10 famous temples of Uttarakhand:
    • Badrinath temple
    • Kedarnath temple
    • Jageshwar Temple
    • Gangotri Temple
    • Yamunotri Temple
    • Tungnath Temple
    • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
    • Dhari Devi Temple
    • Chitai Golu Devta Temple
    • Nanda Devi Temple of Almora
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Topic:Reports and Indices/Ranking

7. India is ranked 87th on the Henley Passport Index.

  • India’s passport allows visa-free access to 60 nations. Japan topped the Henley Passport Index.
  • Japan has visa free access to 193 nations. Japanese passport remains most powerful for the fifth year in a row.
  • Singapore and South Korea are ranked in second position with access to 192 nations.
  • Afghanistan’s passport is the least useful, only allowing entry into 27 countries.
  • During the past decade, the rank of UAE has improved significantly. Its rank improved from 64th place in 2012 to 15th place now.
  • India was ranked 90th in Q3 and Q4 in 2021.
  • 21 countries in Africa provide visa-on-arrival services to Indian citizens. Only two European countries provide such services.
  • Henley Passport Index uses data from the International Air Transport Authority. It provides a ranking of the 199 passports of the world.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Narayan Rane has launched Repos Pay and Phy-gital.

  • Repos Pay is a Mobile Electric Charging platform. Phy-gital is an Energy Fintech Platform.
  • Both of them have been launched at the ‘Fuelling India 2022’ event in Mumbai on 15 July 2022.
  • ‘Repos Pay’ is a platform where one can order a Mobile Electric Charging Vehicle on app and charge their vehicle.
  • ‘Phy-gital’ is an energy fintech platform. This platform will provide credit facilities (buy now, pay later) to consumers through technology.
  • Indian MSME contributes nearly 29% of the country’s GDP and 50% of India’s exports.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. India's bioeconomy to cross USD 150 billion by 2025: India BioEconomy Report 2022.

  • According to the India BioEconomy Report 2022, India's bioeconomy is likely to cross the mark of USD 150 billion by 2025 and USD 300 billion by 2030.   
  • India BioEconomy Report 2022 has been released based on the data collected by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  • India’s bioeconomy has reached USD 80 billion in 2021, an increase of 14.1 percent from USD 70.2 billion in 2020. India generates USD 219 million of bioeconomy daily.
  • In 2021, at least three biotech startups were founded every day and around USD 1 billion was spent on research and development.
  • In the last 10 years, the number of biotech startups has increased from 50 to 5,300. The number of biotech startups will reach 10000 by 2025.
  • India is one of the top three in South Asia and the top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world. India has 2nd highest number of USFDA-approved manufacturing plants.

Topic: State News/ Delhi

10. Delhi government decided to extend Mission Buniyaad.

  • Under Mission Buniyaad, students of government and Municipal Corporation of Delhi schools have shown 20%-30% improvement in literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Mission Buniyaad was launched during the summer vacations to bridge the 'learning gap' that emerged due to the COVID-induced lockdown.
  • The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) organized a joint orientation programme to discuss the achievements and experience of the Mission Buniyaad.
  • Mission Buniyaad is focused on further strengthening the foundational learning skills of students.

Topic: State News/ Rajasthan

11. India’s first AI-powered digital Lok Adalat has been launched in Rajasthan.

  • It has been inaugurated by Chairman of NALSA Uday Umesh Lalit during the 18th All India Legal Services Authorities’ Meet in Jaipur.
  • The digital Lok Adalat by Rajasthan State Legal Services Authority has been designed and developed by technology partner Jupitice Justice Technologies.
  • Digital Lok Adalat has been designed for providing justice to common people in the remotest areas through the web, mobile and CSCs.
  • The Digital Lok Adalat will be used to dispose of the pending disputes or disputes that are at the pre-litigation stage by the Rajasthan State Legal Service Authority.
  • It will provide end-to-end dispute resolution processes such as the e-notices, smart templates to draft settlement agreements, digital hearings, etc.

Topic: International Appointments

12. Ranil Wickremesinghe elected as the new President of Sri Lanka.

  • Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected as the ninth President in the election held on 20th July.
  • A total of 223 MPs voted in the election while two MPs abstained from voting.
  • Ranil Wickremesinghe received 134 votes while Dullas Alahapperume obtained 82 votes.
  • Ranil Wickremesinghe was serving as acting President after resignation of Gotabaya Rajapakasa.
  • President of Sri Lanka:
    • He is the chief executive of the union government and the commander-in-chief of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.
    • President’s office was created in 1972 as a ceremonial position.
    • William Gopallawa was the first President of Sri Lanka.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

13. Cabinet approved an MoU between India and Maldives in the field of Judicial Cooperation.

  • The Judicial Service Commission of Maldives and India have signed this MoU.
  • This is the eighth MoU between India and other countries in the field of Judicial Cooperation.
  • This MoU will help in the digitization of the court with the help of Information technology. It will also help in the growth of IT companies and start-ups in both countries.
  • It will not only help in the exchange of knowledge and technology in judicial and other legal areas but also promote the objectives of the “Neighbourhood First” policy.   
  • India and Namibia have also signed an MoU on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization.
  • African Cheetahs from South Africa will be entering India in August in Kuno National Park of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The main objective of this MoU is to share and exchange expertise and capacities for promoting cheetah conservation in both countries.
  • India and Namibia agreed to cooperate in the field of climate change, environmental governance, environmental impact assessments, etc.
  • Maldives:
    • It is an island country located in the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India.
    • It is the smallest island Asian country in terms of Area and the second least populous country in Asia.
    • Capital: Male
    • Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa
    • President of Maldives: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
  • Namibia:
    • It is a country in Southern Africa.
    • It shares its border with Zambia, Angola, Botswana, and South Africa.
    • It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990.
    • It is the driest country in Sub-Saharan Africa and depends mainly on groundwater.
    • It is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic country.
    • President acts as both the head of state and the head of the government.
    • Capital of Namibia: Windhoek
    • Currency of Namibia: Namibian Dollar
    • President of Namibia: Hage Geingob
    • Prime Minister of Namibia: Saara Kuugongelwa

MoU between India and Maldives

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Space and IT

14. NASA's James Webb detects water in the atmosphere of a puffy gas giant planet.

  • James Webb Space Telescope has detected water along with clouds and haze in the atmosphere of the WASP-96 b planet.
  • WASP-96 b is a hot and puffy gas giant exoplanet in the Milky Way. It is located about 1,150 light-years away in the southern-sky constellation Phoenix.
  • WASP-96 b’s diameter is 1.2 times greater than Jupiter while its mass is less than Jupiter.
  • On June 21, Webb's Near-Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) observed light emanating from the planet for 6.4 hours.
  • The light curve has provided information about the properties of the planet like its existence, size, and orbit of the planet.
  • The spectrum of WASP-96 b is the most detailed near-infrared transmission spectrum of an exoplanet atmosphere.
  • Scientists will use the spectrum to determine the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere of the planet.
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