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Ashwini Kumar assumes charge as MoS
- Ashwini Kumar Choubey assumed his charge as Minister of State of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change on 12 July 2021.
- He was the MoS in Health Ministry before this appointment.
- Besides the Environment Ministry, he is also the MoS for the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
India targets over 100 billion ‘Blue Economy’
- India aims to target over 100 billion ‘Blue Economy’ through its Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) and ocean resources.
- This was announced by Science and Technology Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh while addressing scientists in New Delhi.
- Deep Ocean Mission planned by the Ministry of Earth Sciences will be carried out in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation.
New Cabinet Committees formed
- New Cabinet Committees have been formed after the Cabinet expansion at the Centre.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet will be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.
- The Cabinet Committee on Accommodation will function under the Chairmanship of Amit Shah.
Ecclestone win ICC Player of the Month Award
- England’s Sophie Ecclestone has become the ICC Player of the Month for June 2021.
- New Zealand opener Devon Conway bagged the honour in the men’s category.
- Left-arm spinner Ecclestone thus became the second English female to win the award after Tammy Beaumont, who was crowned in February 2021.
- Conway became the first New Zealand player to win the award.
Manpreet to lead Indian Hockey Team as captain
- After 21 years, Punjab has got the captaincy of the Indian Hockey team in the Olympics.
- Manpreet Singh, DSP of Punjab Police will lead Indian Hockey Team as captain in Tokyo Olympics.
- He will also be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent.
- Athlete Gurjit Kaur from Punjab is also part of the women’s hockey team for the Olympics.
APEDA inks MoU with NAFED
- Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, APEDA has signed an MoU with the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd, NAFED.
- It has been signed for strengthening export linkage of farmer cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organisation, FPOs.
- APEDA would facilitate exports by the cooperatives, FPOs, etc. identified and promoted by NAFED.
RBI Retail Direct facility introduced
- Reserve Bank of India has introduced the RBI Retail Direct facility.
- The facility is a one-stop solution to facilitate investment in Government Securities, G-Sec by individual investors.
- Under this facility, retail investors will have the facility to open and maintain the Retail Direct Gilt, RDG Account with RBI.
- The RDG account can be opened through an online portal.
S. Jaishankar to visit Tajikistan
- External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will be on a two-day visit to Tajikistan from 13 July 2021 to take part in the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers.
- He will also participate in the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan that will meet on the 14th of July with the participation of the Afghanistan Government.
Narendra Singh Tomar addresses a webinar
- The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar addressed a webinar on the 40th foundation day of the National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD), on 12 July 2021.
- NABARD is an apex regulatory body for the overall regulation and licensing of regional rural banks and apex cooperative banks in India.
- It was founded on 12 July 1982.
Ethiopian PM secures the second term
- Ethiopia’s governing Prosperity Party has won the most seats in the country’s parliamentary election.
- The victory has assured Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed a second five-year term in office.
- Abiy’s Prosperity Party won the 410 out of the 436 contested seats in the House of People’s Representatives.
CCI approves SoftBank investment in Swiggy
- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given its nod for a proposed deal involving SoftBank Group investment in food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy.
- The infusion is part of a larger $1.25 billion round, which has been in the works for the past few months.
- SVF II Songbird (DE) LLC would acquire a certain shareholding percentage in Bundl Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Cristiano Ronaldo wins Golden Boot
- Cristiano Ronaldo claimed his first European Championship Golden Boot as EURO 2020 concluded on 11 July 2021.
- Italy emerged as the winner of the championship.
- Ronaldo also became the leading goal-scorer in the history of Euros during the tournament, with his 14th strike.
- Euro 2020 winners Italy’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was named Player of the Tournament.
Reduced area for Lemru Elephant Reserve
- A Lemru Elephant Reserve had been proposed in Chhattisgarh.
- The State Forest and Environment Department has asked the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) to make a presentation for decreasing the area of the proposed reserve from 1,995 sq km to 450 sq km.
- The proposal for the reserve, in Korba district, was passed by the Assembly in 2005 and got central approval in 2007.
Assam launches scheme for Covid widows
- Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has rolled out a scheme to provide one-time financial assistance of Rs 2.5 lakh each to all widows, whose husbands died due to COVID-19.
- The scheme is applicable if their annual family income is less than Rs 5 lakh.
- Under the new ‘Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Widows Support Scheme’, the CM handed over cheques to 176 eligible beneficiaries on 11 July 2021.
Healthcare Innovation Challenge 2.0 launched
- NASSCOM Centre of Excellence (CoE) has launched Healthcare Innovation Challenge (HIC) 2.0.
- The initiative aims to address the challenges faced by healthcare providers in digital technology adoption.
- The key objectives of the HIC include driving operational excellence by enabling automation of administrative processes and digitisation of clinical workflows.
Floating solar power project commissioned
- National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Simhadri Super Thermal Power Plant, Visakhapatnam has commissioned a 10 MW floating solar plant, which is part of the 25 MW plant.
- It is India’s largest floating installation to date, and it is also regarded as an engineering marvel.
- The project was given to BHEL with a cost of 110 crores and with a completion period of 15 months.
Kitex to set up its facility in Telangana
- The Telangana govt has informed that Kerala-based Kitex Group would be investing Rs 1000 crore for setting up a facility in Kakatiya Mega Textile Park in Warangal.
- The Kitex Group has agreed upon a Phase-I investment of Rs 1,000 crore within a span of two years in the textile industry for the project Textile Apparel.
- It will generate employment of 4000 jobs in Telangana.
Samir wins Wimbledon Boys’ singles title
- Indian-American tennis player Samir Banerjee has won the Wimbledon Boys’ singles title.
- He defeated Victor Lilov of the USA, 7-5, 6-3 to win the title in the final, which lasted one hour and 22 minutes.
- At the junior French Open, Banerjee ranked 19 in the world.
- The last time an Indian player won a singles junior Grand Slam title was when Yuki Bhambri won the 2009 Australian Open.
Nepal signs deal with India’s SJVN
- Nepal has signed a $1.3 billion deal with India’s hydro power major Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) to develop a hydropower project in eastern Nepal.
- The 679-megawatt Lower Arun Hydropower project is the second mega project undertaken by India after the USD 1.04 billion 900-MW Arun-3 hydroelectric projects.
- An MoU in this regard has also been signed.
China removes pandas from its endangered list
- China has removed giant pandas from its endangered list.
- According to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s website, the population of giant pandas living in the wild in China had risen to 1,864 by 2013, up from 1,596 in 2003.
- The figures are based on a census of China’s pandas carried out every decade since the 1970s in the three provinces that have the largest giant panda populations
Punjab to develop smart playgrounds in schools
- Punjab government has decided to develop smart playgrounds in government schools.
- The education department has approved a grant of ₹9.10 crore for the development of smart playgrounds in primary and middle schools in the first round of the smart playground project.
- Punjab has also been placed on the top of the Performance Grading Index on the basis of 70 parameters of school education.
Minimum global corporate tax approved
- The G20 Finance Ministers have approved a global corporate tax of at least 15 per cent to be imposed on multinational companies (MNCs) with an aim to end tax-havens.
- The Group also endorsed a broad agreement plan introducing new rules for the taxation of cross-border businesses.
- Meanwhile, Ireland is among the countries that have not joined the agreement.
Bonalu festivities begin in Telangana
- The annual ‘Ashada Bonalu’ festival commenced on 11 July 2021 in Telangana.
- Devotees visited the Goddess Jagadamba temple atop the historical Golconda fort here.
- The ‘Bonalu’ festival is celebrated usually during the Hindu calendar month of ‘Ashada’ that falls in July and August.
- Bonalu is celebrated to ward off diseases and usher in good health, peace, and prosperity.
Indian Navy receives aircraft from Boeing
- The Indian Navy has received the 10th anti-submarine warfare aircraft P-8I from the US-based aerospace company Boeing.
- The Defence Ministry had first signed a contract for eight P-8I aircraft in 2009.
- Later, in 2016, it signed a contract for four additional P-8I aircraft.
- The Indian Navy had received the ninth P-8I aircraft in November 2020.
CESL to supply 25,000 two-wheeler EVs
- Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) will supply 25,000 electric two-wheelers to New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (NREDCAP) for the state government employees.
- They will be provided on a monthly lease.
- CESL and NREDCAP will work to aggregate demand, deploy electric vehicles, and build charging infrastructure, as per the agreement signed between them.
ASK Property launches real estate fund
- ASK Property Investment Advisors (ASK PIA), the real estate private equity arm of ASK Group has launched its new real estate fund, ASK Real Estate Special Opportunities Fund – IV.
- The fund is targeting a corpus of ₹1,000 crores along with an additional ₹1,500 crore via the greenshoe option.
- ASK PIA plans to raise the capital via a mix of offshore and domestic investors.
TiE launches edtech special interest group
- The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Bangalore has launched a Special Interest Group (SIG) for Edtechs to promote, mentor, and create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Edtech space.
- Towards this, TiE Bangalore is collaborating with AWS EdStart, the startup accelerator from Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- The SIG will be launched on July 17, 2021, with a chat with the Founder and CEO of BYJU’S.
App developed to detect potato disease
- Scientists from IIT Mandi have developed a smartphone app for automated disease detection in potato crops using photographs of its leaves.
- The research was led by Dr. Srikant Srinivasan in collaboration with the Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla.
- The app uses AI techniques to highlight the diseased portions of the leaves of potatoes infected by Phytophthora infestans.
BHIM UPI to be implemented in Bhutan
- NPCI International Payments Ltd and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan have entered a partnership for enabling and implementing BHIM UPI QR-based payments in Bhutan.
- It will enable acceptance of the BHIM app in Bhutan.
- Bhutan will become the first country to adopt UPI standards for its QR deployment.
- It will also become the only country to both issue and accept RuPay cards and BHIM UPI.
Hyderabad Airport commissions 5 MW solar plant
- GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL) has crossed another green milestone with the commissioning of its second phase 5 MW solar power plant.
- With this, GHIAL’s total solar power capacity has now increased to 10 MW.
- In 2015, GHIAL has commissioned a 5 MW Solar Power Plant for its captive consumption.
- More than 30 thousand solar panels have been installed to produce 10 MW of power.
PUMA inks deal with 18 Indian athletes
- Sports brand Puma has inked sponsorship deals with 18 Indian athletes ahead of the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games.
- It has added a group of athletes such as boxer Pooja Rani, track and field athlete Tejinder Singh, shooter Manu Bhaker and swimmer Srihari Nataraj to its plan.
- Sports stars Mary Kom and Dutee Chand are already brand ambassadors of Puma India.
Indian Navy to take part in a project
- The Indian Navy has decided to come on board for India’s most ambitious indigenous helicopter development plan.
- The project intends to save a Rs 2 lakh crore import bill for military platforms in the coming years.
- The Air Force and Army have already committed to the project and with the Navy now agreeing as well, India could make hundreds of the indigenous medium-lift choppers.
NTPC REL signs MoU with Ladakh
- NTPC’s green energy arm NTPC REL has signed an MoU with Ladakh to set up the country’s first green Hydrogen Mobility project in the region.
- The company has also inaugurated the first solar installations in Leh in the form of solar trees and a solar carport.
- The MoU will help Ladakh develop a carbon-free economy based on renewable sources and green hydrogen.
The US approves Blue Origin license
- The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved a Blue Origin license to carry humans on the New Shepard launch system into space.
- Former Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos is set to take part in Blue Origin’s first voyage in the third week of July 2021.
- Blue Origin is authorized to carry humans while its FAA license is valid through August 2021.
NSE announces the inclusion of Astral in F&O
- The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has announced the inclusion of Astral and Strides Pharma Science in the Futures & Options (F&O) segment with effect from 30 July 2021.
- This would be subject to fulfillment of eligibility criteria of the Quarter sigma computation cycle of July 2021.
- In June 2021, NSE added 4 additional securities in futures and options contracts from the July series.
Cricketer Yashpal Sharma passes away
- Former Indian cricketer Yashpal Sharma passed away in July 2021.
- He played a key role in India’s 1983 World Cup win.
- The right-handed batsman played 37 Tests and 42 ODIs for India, scoring 1606 and 883 respectively in the formats.
- He played his last game in international cricket in 1985 during the West Indies tour of India.
Press Information Bureau organises a webinar
- Webinar on ‘Digital Media Ethics Code’ was organized by Press Information Bureau, Maharashtra and Goa region on 12 July’21.
- It was organized for improving stakeholder understanding of Part III of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, notified by the govt in February 2021.
- About 187 participants attended the webinar.
IFSCA issues a framework
- International Financial Services Centres Authority has issued a framework for setting up and operating the International Trade Finance Services Platform (ITFS).
- ITFS will provide trade finance services at International Financial Services Centres.
- The framework will enable exporters and importers to avail various types of trade finance facilities at competitive terms.
New recommendations on human genome editing
- WHO has issued new recommendations on human genome editing.
- It has called for a global registry to track any form of genetic manipulation and proposing a mechanism to raise concerns about unethical or unsafe research.
- It commissioned an expert group in late 2018 following an announcement from Chinese scientist He Jiankui that he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies.
Rao Inderjit: MoS in Corporate Affairs Ministry
- Rao Inderjit Singh took charge as Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) on 12 July 2021.
- Along with this, he also serves as the Union Minister of State (Independent Charges) for the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- He is a descendent of Rao Tula Ram, freedom fighter of India’s 1st War of Independence in 1857.