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Govt announces rates for RoDTEP for exporters
- To boost exports, the government on 17 August 2021 announced rates of tax refunds under the export promotion scheme RoDTEP for 8,555 products, such as marine goods, yarn, dairy items.
- Under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products( RoDTEP), various central and state duties, taxes, and levies imposed on input products, among others, would be refunded to exporters.
Sri Lanka signs loan agreement with China
- Sri Lanka signed a loan agreement with China worth 2 billion Renminbi (USD 308 million) to support its COVID-19 response, economic revival, and financial stability.
- The latest loan is part of a USD 1.2 billion budget support in credit agreed earlier.
- Sri Lanka has received USD 1 billion in credit support in two tranches of USD 500 million each in April 2021 and March 2020 respectively.
SEBI amends rules for AIFs, stock exchanges
- Regulator SEBI has amended regulations for alternative investment funds and market infrastructure institutions, including stock exchanges.
- To facilitate ease of doing business in market infrastructure institutions (MIIs), the regulator has done away with the requirement of seeking Sebi’s post-facto approval for acquisitions between 2-5 per cent shareholding for all eligible shareholders.
SII acquires 50 pc stake in Schott Kaisha
- Serum Institute of India (SII) acquired a 50 pc stake of Schott Kaisha to become Schott’s joint venture partner and secure pharma packaging supply.
- Schott is a company that is providing glass vials globally to key vaccine manufacturers.
- Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by the number of doses produced and sold globally.
NPS’ non-govt sub-base crosses 30 lakh-mark
- The corporate and retail sector subscriber base under the National Pension System (NPS) has crossed over 30 lakh, and the corpus under these is about to reach a landmark Rs 1 lakh crore mark.
- NPS subscriber base data has five categories — central government, state government, corporate, all citizen model, and NPS Lite.
- The ‘all citizen model’ refers to retail customers.
The UK to start trade talks with India
- The United Kingdom announced on17 August 2021 that it aims to start negotiations for a trade agreement with India by the end of the year.
- At present both nations are in the pre-negotiation scoping phase of an FTA (free trade agreement).
- Bilateral trade between India and UK was valued at 23 billion pounds ($31.60 billion) in 2019.
75 new tribal products added to Tribes India
- 75 new tribal products were launched by TRIFED and added to the already extensive, attractive Tribes India catalogue.
- They have been launched to mark 75 yrs of independence.
- TRIFED has also identified 75 products of Tribal origin or source which will be registered for Geographical Indication (GI) Tag under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, India.
Dr Girijamma passes away at 72
- Noted author and gynaecologist Dr H Girijamma, 72, died in August 2021.
- She did her MBBS from Mysore Medical College and became a successful gynaecologist.
- She was a popular author in a Kannada literature magazine.
- She had authored 27 novels including Chandamama, Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya, and Ambara Tare.
V.O.C. Port sets a new record
- On 15 Aug’21, the V.O. Chidambaranar Port created a new record by unloading 57,090 tonnes of coal in 24 hours, at Berth No.9 from the vessel, M.V. Star Laura.
- It surpassed the earlier record of 56,687 tonnes of coal handled at Berth No.9, from the vessel ‘M.V. Ocean Dream’ on 27 Oct’20.
- 1,82,867 Tonnes of cargo handled in a day is the highest volume of cargo handled in a single day, in 2021.
AIM collaborates with Dassault Systemes
- Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog in collaboration with La Fondation Dassault Systemes in India launched the third series of the ‘Student Entrepreneurship Program’ (SEP 3.0) on 16 August 2021.
- It has been launched for the young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL).
- The theme of SEP 3.0 is based on the ‘Made in 3D – Seed the Future Entrepreneurs Program’.
Researchers calculate π to a new record figure
- Hitting 62.8tn figures using a supercomputer, researchers from Switzerland have calculated the mathematical constant ‘pi’ to a new world-record level of exactitude.
- The calculation took 108 days and nine hours.
- In the previous world record, pi’s calculation was achieved till 50tn figures.
- The constant Pi represents the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.
Volcanic eruption creates an island in Japan
- An undersea volcanic eruption has created a new landmass in Japan.
- The 6,000-plus islands, which make up the Japanese archipelago, have got a new addition around 1,200 km (745 miles) south of Tokyo.
- The island has come up naturally in the Pacific Ocean.
- The new island is crescent-shaped and has a diameter of about 1km.
GiveIndia collaborates with Sattva
- GiveIndia has launched a new ed-tech initiative called Bharat EdTech in collaboration with Sattva.
- GiveIndia will manage partner relationships and fund administration while Sattva will be the design and program management partner.
- The initiative is aimed at enabling online access to education for 1 million underprivileged school-going children across India.
PM Modi chairs CCS meeting
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security against the backdrop of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, on 17 August 2021.
- The Cabinet Committee on Security is the apex government body that deals with the issues of national security.
- A military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force has brought back from Kabul around 150 people on 17 August 2021.
HAL signs ₹5,375 cr contract with US firm
- Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has signed a contract worth ₹5,375 crores with US-based GE Aviation to procure 99 F404-GE-IN20 engines and support services for the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA).
- The engines are to be delivered by 2029.
- This is the largest ever deal and the purchase order placed by LCA for LCA.
- The LCA was inducted into service in 2004.
Covid response package for northeastern states
- The Central government has announced ₹1,352.92 crores as the Covid-19 response package for Northeastern states amid fears over a possible third wave.
- It will be given to procure medicines and augment oxygen supplies and beds at the district level.
- 8 states of the North-Eastern region have been sanctioned the package.
HCL Technologies hits Rs 3 trillion market-cap
- HCL Technologies’ market capitalization (market-cap) touched Rs 3 trillion for the first time in August 2021.
- It has become the fourth Indian IT firm to achieve this milestone after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, and Wipro.
- Shares of HCL Tech hit a fresh record high of Rs 1,118.55, up 2 percent on the BSE in intra-day trade.
‘Godfather of Sudoku’ Maki Kaji passes away
- Maki Kaji, the creator of the zeitgeist numbers puzzle Sudoku passed away in August 2021.
- He was known as the Godfather of Sudoku.
- He established Japan’s first puzzle magazine, Puzzle Tsushin Nikoli in 1980.
- His most legendary creation, Sudoku, followed in 1983.
- Now believed to be the world’s most popular pencil puzzle, Sudoku has recently debuted in digital versions.
Charging facility for EVs inaugurated
- Maharashtra’s Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray inaugurated the EV Charging Hub at the parking lot of Mumbai’s Kohinoor building.
- The charging infrastructure has been set up by Power Bank, the EV charging solutions brand.
- The state had announced its new Electric Vehicle Policy in July 2021 with an ambitious target of having a 10% share of electric vehicles in the market by 2025.
Odisha to sponsor Indian hockey teams
- Odisha would continue to sponsor the men’s and women’s national hockey teams for another 10 years after the current sponsorship ends in 2023.
- In 2018, Odisha had signed a ₹100 crore deal with Hockey India for sponsoring the men’s and women’s teams for 5 years.
- ₹10 lakh to each of the players and ₹5 lakh each to the support staff has been given by the CM Naveen Patnaik.
Ravi Dahiya’s school was renamed after him
- To honor Olympic silver medallist Ravi Dahiya, the Delhi government has changed the name of Rajkiya Bal Vidyalaya in Adarsh Nagar, of which Dahiya is an alumnus, to Ravi Dahiya Bal Vidyalaya.
- The Delhi government had assisted Ravi Dahiya with training, coaches, and other sports equipment during his training under the Delhi government’s Mission Excellence.
Chhattisgarh govt launches a scheme
- The Chhattisgarh government has launched the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Bhumihin Majdur Nyay Yojana’, with the provision of Rs 200 crores benefiting 12 lakh landless families.
- The aim of the scheme is to support rural landless labourers with minimum wages so that they can access basic amenities.
- The amount has been included in the supplementary budget of the financial year 2021-2022.
RBI unveils Financial Inclusion Index
- A Financial Inclusion Index (FI-Index) to capture the extent of financial inclusion is now ready.
- The Reserve Bank of India informed about its formation on 17 August 2021.
- The annual FI-Index for the period ending March 2021 is 53.9 as against 43.4 for the period ending March 2017, showing drastic improvement in the past four years.
KVG Bank launches FRUITS portal
- The Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB), in association with the Karnataka govt, has launched the ‘Farmer Registration and Unified Beneficiary Information System’ (FRUITS) portal.
- It is the first of its kind in the country wherein the land and other details of all the farmers are being captured.
- All the farmers will be registered and given a FRUITS ID (FID) number.
Citibank to set up unit in IFSC at GIFT City
- Citibank, which is headquartered in the USA, has received a license from the IFSC Authority to set up its banking unit at India’s first International Financial Services Centre at GIFT City, Gujarat.
- With this, Citibank will become the first US-based bank to set up a branch in GIFT-IFSC.
- Citibank will be servicing both Indian as well as its global customer base from this IFSC branch.
Rare orchid species found in India
- A rare orchid species — Cephalanthera erecta var. oblanceolata– has been found for the first time in India in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district.
- Cephalanthera represents a small group of terrestrial orchids mainly distributed in Europe, North America and parts of Asia.
- So far the genus is represented in India by two species that include Cephalanthera damasonium and Cephalanthera longifolia.
Army Goodwill School Chandigam renamed
- The Indian Army has renamed its goodwill school in Lolab of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district after Shaurya Chakra awardee rifleman Abdul Hamid Chara.
- Abdul was killed in a counter-militancy operation in 2000.
- The Army Goodwill School Chandigam has been renamed Hamid Chara Army Goodwill School.
UP govt tables first supplementary budget
- The Uttar Pradesh government tabled its first supplementary budget for the current financial year (2021-22) in the Legislative Assembly on 18 August 2021.
- The government had tabled its general budget for more than five lakh 50 thousand crore rupees in February 2021.
- The brief five-day Monsoon Session of the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Mandal began on 17 August 2021.
PM Modi to inaugurate various projects
- PM Narendra Modi will virtually inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various projects worth Rs 83 crores at the historic Somnath Temple in Gujarat on 20 August 2021.
- According to the temple authorities, Prime Minister Modi is the chairman of the Shree Somnath Trust.
- He will inaugurate three projects and also perform a virtual ground-breaking ceremony for the Parvati Temple.
Uganda to take in 2,000 refugees
- Uganda is to take in 2,000 refugees who have fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took power.
- The first group of 500 Afghans arrived at Entebbe Airport on 17 August 2021.
- The deal was agreed following a request from the US government.
- Uganda has a long history of welcoming refugees – and is currently home to around 1.3 million people who have fled conflict or other disasters.
Germany stops development aid for Afghanistan
- Germany has stopped development aid for Afghanistan for now, after the Taliban swept back into power.
- State cooperation on development is suspended for the time being, as announced by Development Minister Gerd Mueller.
- The German government had agreed to send 430 million euros ($506 mn) to Afghanistan a year, making it one of the biggest donors to the country.
UNHRC to hold a special session
- United Nations Human Rights Council will hold a special session on the situation in Afghanistan to address serious human rights concerns after the Taliban takeover.
- The Geneva Forum is set to convene on 24 August 2021 at the request of nearly 90 other countries supporting the move.
- Convening a special session requires support from one-third of the Council’s 47 member states.
Defence Minister flags-in climb-a-thon
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flagged in a climb-a-thon organized by Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, in New Delhi on 17 August 2021.
- It was held at four smaller peaks of the Sikkim Himalayas.
- 7,500 sq ft National Flag was hoisted at Mt Rhenoric, creating a record under Asia Book of Records as biggest National Flag atop mountain.
BDL and MBDA establishing a facility
- Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and MBDA are establishing a facility for the final assembly, integration, and test of advanced short-range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM) missiles in India.
- MBDA is a European multinational developer and manufacture of missiles.
- The two organizations signed a licensing agreement to establish the manufacturing facility in India, on 17 August 2021.
National Intellectual Property Awards 2020
- Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal conferred the National Intellectual Property Awards 2020 at a virtual event in New Delhi on 17 August 2021.
- He also announced that there will be 80% fee reduction filing for (Intellectual Property Rights) IPRs to all recognized educational institutions- government, aided, or private, irrespective of whether such institute is in India or outside.
INS Kochi to participate in an exercise
- As part of its Persian Gulf deployment, INS Kochi is at Manama in Bahrain.
- The ship is participating in the four-day Maritime Partnership Exercise from 18 August 2021.
- In the past couple of days, coordination and operational planning conference was also held between the Indian and the Bahrain Navy teams.
‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’
- Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw launched the ‘Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge-2021’ on 17 August 2021.
- It will encourage technology solutions developed by women entrepreneurs that facilitate women’s safety and empowerment.
- The aim is to empower women to help them achieve their full potential.
Over 2 cr people get treatment under PMJAY
- Over two crore people have availed treatment under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
- The scheme, which is the world’s largest health care program, provides a cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 10.74 crore poor and vulnerable families.
- It helps to reduce hospital expenditure and mitigate the financial risk.
Dept. of Science launches 3 applications
- The Department of Science and Technology launched three online applications to enable users to easily purchase and download products related to geospatial mapping online.
- The three applications are – Survey of India (SOI) GEO Spatial Data Dissemination Portal, SOI’s SARTHI: Web Gis application, and MANCHITRAN Enterprise Geoportal of National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation (NATMO).
TCS market valuation reach Rs 13 lakh cr mark
- The market valuation of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on 17 August 2021 raced past the Rs 13 lakh crore mark.
- TCS is the second most valuable domestic firm in terms of market valuation.
- Reliance Industries Limited is the country’s most valued firm, with a market valuation of Rs 13,71,823.79 crore.
- The IT major had breached the Rs 12 lakh crore market valuation mark in Jan 2021.
IFBI bags Training and Education Excel Award
- NIIT Institute of Finance Banking and Insurance (NIIT IFBI) has won the ‘Training & Education Excellence Award’ at the Quantic India 3rd Annual BFSI Excellence Awards 2021.
- NIIT IFBI is mandated to address the skilling needs of banks and the financial sector.
- Quantic India is a 3rd party organization specializing in B2B training/ summits and business meets.