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‘Life Freedom Index 2021’ report released
- HDFC Life released the ‘Life Freedom Index 2021’ report on 16 Aug 021.
- The 2021 LFI was conducted along with NielsenIQ across 14 cities.
- It measures the levels of financial awareness, the planning, and the adequacy of the plan.
- According to the report, consumer confidence in financial preparedness for the future has dropped in the last two years with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
NCUI Haat unveiled in Delhi for SHGs products
- An exhibition-cum-selling platform ‘NCUI Haat’ was inaugurated on 16 August 2021 at the premises of the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) in the national capital.
- It is meant for products made by lesser-known cooperatives and self-help groups.
- Haat would create an enabling environment for ”Sahkar Se Samriddhi” by expanding its reach in all parts of our country.
Bengal to constitute a board to boost industries
- The West Bengal cabinet on 16 August 2021 approved the formation of an industrial promotion board to facilitate the establishment of more factories in the state.
- The chief minister would head the upcoming board.
- It would look into issues related to power, water supply and land, and work out solutions through coordination among various departments.
Adani Group to acquire 49pc stake in MBCPNL
- Adani Road Transport Ltd (ARTL) would acquire a 49 percent stake in Maharashtra Border Check Post Network Ltd (MBCPNL).
- Maharashtra Border Check Post Network Ltd (MBCPNL) is a subsidiary of Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Limited (SIPL).
- MBCPNL is an important gateway connecting Maharashtra with six neighbouring states, which covers over 20 percent of the commercial road traffic in India.
Inflation to be within target range in FY22
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed that inflation is expected to remain in the prescribed range during the fiscal year 2021-22.
- The Group of Ministers has been actively monitoring price movement of essential items like edible oil, pulses, fruits and vegetables, meat, etc.
- The RBI has been mandated to keep inflation at 4 percent, with a tolerance level of 2 percent on either side.
75 Hunar Haats to be organised under “AAM”
- Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on 16 August 2021 announced that 75 Hunar Haats would be organized under the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AAM).
- It is the flagship initiative of the minority ministry to encourage master artisans and with the resolve of vocal for local.
- A target has been set to provide employment opportunities to 7,50,000 artisans through 75 ‘Hunar Haats’ across the country.
Night safari launched in Ralamandal Sanctuary
- The Madhya Pradesh forest department has started a night safari facility in the reserve area of Ralamandal Sanctuary in Indore.
- Ralamandal sanctuary is home to leopards, fox, hyena, blue-bull, blackbuck, chitals, blue bulls, barking deers, peacock, palm-civet, porcupine and hare, etc,
- Established in 1989, this sanctuary is spread over 234.550 hectares.
India to import 12 lakh tonne GM soyameal
- In a first, India has decided to import 12 lakh tonnes of genetically modified soyameal, used as livestock feed.
- Soyameal is a solid leftover raw material after extracting oil from soyabean seed.
- There are three types of GM foods, one with Genetically Modified Organism, second with Living Modified Organism, and third with Non-Living Modified Organism (NLMO).
- The soyameal is NLMO.
Season-2 of ‘Rag Rag Mein Ganga’ launched
- Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur jointly launched the Second Season of the popular series ‘Rag Rag Mein Ganga’ on 16 Aug 2021.
- The first episode will be broadcast on 21 August on Doordarshan.
- The purpose of the programme is to inculcate a sense of responsibility towards this holy river in the people.
Handloom Design Resource Centres to be set up
- 10 more handloom Design Resource Centres (DRCs) are in the process of being set up by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).
- These will be set up in Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kannur, Indore, Nagpur, Meerut, Bhagalpur, and Panipat.
- DRCs have been set up and inaugurated in Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneshwar, Guwahati, Jaipur, and Varanasi.
Indonesian Independence Day: 17 August
- Independence Day of Indonesia is celebrated every year on 17 August.
- Indonesia was declared independent from the Netherlands on this day in 1945.
- The day is also known as Hari Kemerdekaan and colloquially referred to by the people as Tujuhbelasan.
- Using a combination of both diplomacy and revolutionary fighters, Indonesia was finally granted independence in December 1949.
World’s second-largest refurbished gene bank
- Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the world’s second-largest refurbished National Gene Bank on 16 August 2021.
- It was inaugurated at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Pusa, New Delhi.
- The National Gene Bank was established in the year 1996 to preserve the seeds of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations.
Indonesia volcano erupts
- Indonesia’s most active volcano Mount Merapi erupted on 16 August 2021.
- Merapi, close to Indonesia’s cultural capital Yogyakarta on Java island, has been particularly active in recent months and authorities raised its danger level late in 2020.
- Mount Merapi’s last major eruption in 2010 killed more than 300 people.
- That was its most powerful eruption since 1930.
Germany football legend Gerd Mueller dies
- Germany’s Gerd Mueller, widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest goalscorers and nicknamed “Bomber der Nation”, passed away in August 2021.
- Mueller scored 68 goals in 62 international matches for West Germany, winning the World Cup in 1974, and is third in the all-time list of most goals in the competition.
- He also won the European championship in 1972 with them.
Chinmoy Chatterjee passes away
- Former India football national team defender Chinmoy Chatterjee passed away in August 2021.
- He made his senior international debut against Malaysia in 1978 at the Asian Games in Bangkok and went on to represent India in four international matches during his career.
- At the domestic level, he won the Santosh Trophy four times with Bengal, in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979.
‘Operation Blue Freedom’ launched
- Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar flagged off ‘Operation Blue Freedom’ on 16 August 2021.
- It is an expedition by the people with disabilities from across India to the world’s highest battlefield – Siachen Glacier.
- Selected people with disabilities will undertake an expedition to Kumar Post to create a new world record to scale the world’s highest battlefield.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister steps down
- In Malaysia, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet resigned in August 2021, after just 17 months in power.
- His government has been accused of mishandling Malaysia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, where infections are now surging.
- Malaysia is also facing an economic crisis triggered by the pandemic.
Power MIN circulates rules on clean energy
- The Ministry of Power has circulated the draft rules on renewable energy for seeking comments from stakeholders.
- The ministry has circulated the “Draft Electricity (promoting renewable energy through Green Energy Open Access) Rules, 2021.
- These rules are proposed for the purchase and consumption of green energy including the energy from waste-to-energy plants.
Cybersecurity Trust Fund launched
- The World Bank has launched a new Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
- It is aimed at better defining and systematically rolling out the cybersecurity development agenda to help ensure a more substantial reflection of cybersecurity considerations.
- It has been developed as an associated trust fund under the World Bank’s broader Digital Development Partnership Umbrella (DDP).
AMTRON, Corsight AI and I-Sec partner
- Assam Electronics Development Corporation Limited (AMTRON) has signed a tripartite MoU with Corsight AI.
- I-Sec will be a strategic partner of AMTRON.
- It will establish a strong Facial Recognition Technology Development and Services portfolio along with setting up a Facial Recognition Center of Excellence at Tech City, Guwahati.
- Corsight is a leading facial recognition technology provider.
Oppo announces Camera Innovation Lab
- Oppo has announced the establishment of a new Camera Innovation Lab at its Hyderabad R&D centre in India.
- The lab is aimed at developing innovative imaging technology, localized features, and advanced AI camera solutions to elevate the overall camera experience for its users.
- It features specialized machines to test various light sources, with different photography/videography scenarios.
KKR India Financial Services, InCred ink deal
- American private equity firm KKR’s non-bank lending business KKR India Financial Services (KIFS) and InCred Financial Services have inked a deal to merge the two lending businesses.
- InCred Finance is a tech-enabled lending institution that spans online and offline models across consumer, small businesses, and education lending.
- KIFS provides Indian businesses with financing solutions.
Ecommerce grew 25% in FY21
- Ecommerce in India grew by 25% to $38 billion in the previous financial year (FY21) despite two washout months during the first wave of the pandemic.
- This was given in a report by consultancy firm Bain & Co in association with Walmart-owned Flipkart.
- The industry is expected to clock between 25% and 30% growth for 2021 as well.
- This will translate to around $47.5 bn by the end of FY22.
4 new districts were announced in Chhattisgarh
- Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has announced four new districts in the state and 18 new tehsils as well.
- The new districts are Mohla Manpur, Sarangarh-Bilaigarh, Shakti, Manendragarh.
- At present, there are 28 districts in Chhattisgarh and after the announcement of four new districts, the number will increase to 32.
75 new Vande Bharat trains to start in 75 wks
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that 75 new Vande Bharat Express trains will be launched to connect different parts of the country in 75 weeks to mark the ongoing ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.’
- The indigenous semi-high speed train set, also known as Train 18, is being given a boost with the Railways gearing to roll out at least 10 of them, linking around 40 cities by August 2022.
MEA sets up Afghanistan cell
- In the backdrop of the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has set up an ‘Afghanistan Cell’.
- It has been set up to coordinate repatriation and related matters for the people staying in that country.
- The contact details to reach out to the Cell are -Phone number: 919717785379, Email: MEAHelpdeskIndia@gmail.com.
Infosys to invest in tech startup TidalScale
- Infosys Ltd will invest an additional $0.45 mn in TidalScale Inc, a California-based software-defined-server technology startup.
- The investment is expected to be completed in Q2FY22.
- It had earlier invested $1.5 mn in TidalScale in 2016 and $1.5 mn in 2018, taking the cumulative investment to $3.45 mn.
- It has a minority holding, not exceeding 20% of the outstanding share capital of Tidal.
Bhanumurthy Ballapuram joins Google Cloud
- Former Wipro Ltd Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bhanumurthy Ballapuram has joined the regional leadership team at Google Cloud.
- He has been appointed as the Vice President for Customer Experience, Japan, and the Asia Pacific.
- Bhanumurthy served as the President and COO of Wipro until retiring in July 2021.
- At Wipro, he oversaw the business application services.
Puducherry celebrates its De Jure Transfer day
- Puducherry celebrated its De Jure Transfer day on 16 Aug’21.
- Floral tributes were paid at the memorial erected in Kizhur, a remote hamlet in Puducherry, where the transfer of power took place on the same day in 1962.
- De Jure Transfer Day is the day it actually got its independence.
- The then Pondicherry was under French control well after 1947, even when the other parts of India were free.
2nd phase of the project ‘Duare Sarkar’ starts
- In West Bengal, the second phase of ‘Duare Sarkar’, the mega outreach project of the state government started on 16 August 2021.
- On the first day, 857 camps were organized across districts.
- Duare Sarkar, which means government at the doorstep, is an initiative of the state government for the delivery of crucial beneficial schemes through outreach camps.
Telangana govt initiates waiver of farm loans
- Telangana state government has initiated the waiver of farm loans.
- Loans to a tune of over 2000 crore rupees will be waived from 16 Aug’21 onwards and it will benefit over 6 lakh farmers, who have availed crop loans up to 50 thousand rupees, across the state.
- It is expected that the waiving process will be completed by the end of August 2021.
Telangana launches Dalit Bandhu scheme
- Telangana launched the Dalit Bandhu scheme at Salapalli village in Huzurnagar Assembly Constituency on 16 Aug’21.
- CM K Chandrashekhar Rao launched it on a pilot basis by handing over certificates to select beneficiaries sanctioning financial assistance of 10 lakh rupees each to take up their choice of income generation activity.
- In addition, a separate Protection Fund will also be created.
The Centre allocates 267.35 crore rupees to Kerala
- The Central government has decided to allocate 267 crores 35 lakh rupees to Kerala under Emergency COVID Response Package- II.
- This fund will strengthen the state’s health infrastructure and effectively manage COVID.
- Other than this, one crore rupees will be made available for each district of the state for creating a medicine pool.
New taxi track at Visakhapatnam Airport
- A new taxi track N5 has been commissioned at Visakhapatnam by MVV Satyanarayana, Member of Parliament.
- It will provide additional access to the runway and enable the handling of a greater number of commercial aircraft, particularly during peak hours.
- The construction of a parallel taxi track and runway resurfacing will also take place soon.
India registers its third-ever Test victory
- In cricket, India made history after defeating England by 151 runs in the second Test of five-match series on 16 August 2021, registering their third-ever Test victory at the iconic Lord’s Ground, in London.
- With the win at Lord’s, Virat Kohli has become the third Indian captain after Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni to win a Test at this iconic venue known as the Home of Cricket.
Sinopharm and govt of Bangladesh sign MoU
- The government of Bangladesh, Chinese vaccine maker Sinopharm, and Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd signed an MoU in Dhaka on 16 August 2021.
- It is for the co-production of the Sinopharm COVID 19 vaccine in the country.
- The bottling, labelling, and finishing will be done in Bangladesh which is likely to make the vaccine relatively cheap.
16,488 houses proposed under PMAY-U
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has approved proposals for the construction of 16,488 houses at the 55th meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).
- The houses are proposed to be constructed under Beneficiary-Led Construction (BLC) and Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP) verticals of PMAY-U.
The UK to launch resettlement scheme for Afghans
- United Kingdom has decided to launch a new resettlement scheme for Afghans, especially women and girls after the Taliban seized control of the country.
- The new scheme would be different from UK’s asylum system.
- The UK also plans to host a virtual meeting of leaders from the Group of Seven nations to discuss how to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a source of terrorist threats.
Khadi exhibition inaugurated at Nzm station
- Minister of State for MSME Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma inaugurated the Khadi Exhibition cum Sale Stall at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station.
- The Khadi India stall has been set up at 75 railway stations across the country to celebrate 75 years of Independence.
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established under Khadi and Village Industries Act, 1956.
10 organizations allowed to use drones
- The Civil Aviation Ministry gave conditional permission to 10 organizations to use drones for various purposes.
- Prominent names include Mahindra and Mahindra, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Bayer Crop Science, Blue-ray aviation, National Health Mission in Mumbai, and Karnataka government.
- The permission is valid for a period of 1 year from the date of approval or until further orders.