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Odisha CM lays the foundation stone of ICT
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on 20 August 2021 laid the foundation stone for the establishment of the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT)-IOC.
- He also inaugurated Skill Development Institute’s permanent campus in the Khurda district.
- ICT-IOC aims at benefiting society through skill development and employment generation by offering multiple courses, including M.Tech and PhD.
Govt forms panel to boost handlooms exports
- The government has set up an eight-member committee to suggest a roadmap for doubling production and quadrupling exports of handlooms in three years.
- The committee, chaired by Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) Chairman Sunil Sethi, would submit its final report within 45 days.
- It would also suggest ways and means for improving the marketing of products; and improving input supplies.
SA to host Africa’s first-ever travel summit
- The Department of Tourism and South African Tourism would host Africa’s first-ever Travel and tourism summit.
- The hybrid summit, which coincides with Tourism Month in South Africa, is set to take place from 19 to 21 September 2021.
- The summit aims to be a catalyst for engagement in the current state of tourism on the African continent.
Vidya, Manoj win top awards at IFFM 2021
- Vidya Balan and Manoj Bajpayee have bagged top awards at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2021 (IFFM).
- Vidya Balan was awarded best actress for her portrayal of a forest officer in the widely acclaimed film “Sherni”.
- Manoj Bajpayee won the best actor award in a series for “The Family Man 2”.
- Ace filmmaker Anurag Basu also picked up the best director trophy for the feature film “Ludo”.
Arunachal P. approves credit-linked schemes
- Arunachal Pradesh cabinet has approved two credit-linked schemes, which would facilitate Rs 300 crore investment in the agro-based sectors.
- The credit-linked programs will have three components – bank loans, subsidies, and beneficiaries’ contributions.
- The state government has earmarked Rs 60 crore for Atma Nirbhar Krishi Yojana for agriculture during the 2021-22 fiscal.
ZyCoV-D gets approval for Emergency Use
- Indigenously developed Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D has received approval for Emergency Use Authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India.
- It would be the first vaccine to be administered to those in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.
- It is the world’s first DNA-based vaccine against coronavirus.
- It is a three-dose needle-free vaccine.
South Korean actress Kim Min-Kyung dies
- Veteran South Korean superstar Kim Min Kyung passed away in August 2021.
- Some of her popular works include Someone Behind You, Where The Truth Lies, Microhabitat, Tazza, The Moon Embracing The Sun and Flowers Of The Prison.
- Her last films, Spiritwalker and 1947 Boston will be her posthumous releases.
- She was also the winner of the newcomer award at the Korea Theater Festival in 1981.
GatewayRail, TradeLens join hands
- Intermodal logistics service provider GatewayRail has joined hands with blockchain-enabled digital container logistics platform TradeLens.
- TradeLens will help it in its digitalization journey.
- Developed jointly by AP Moller-Maersk and IBM, TradeLens was launched to help modernize the world’s supply chain ecosystems with a special focus on containerized freight and logistics.
Chhattisgarh govt disburses Rs 1,522 crore
- The Chhattisgarh govt has transferred a sum of Rs 1,522 cr to the bank accounts of at least 21 lakh farmers under its Rajiv Gandhi Kisaan Nyay Yojna (RGKNY).
- The scheme aims to provide good returns to farmers for their produce and encourages the production of Kharif crops and crop diversification.
- It was launched in May 2020.
- The first instalment of Rs 1,525.97 cr was released in May 2021.
Amitabh Bachchan becomes the voice of Alexa
- Amazon has launched the voice of Amitabh Bachchan as a part of its efforts to amuse existing users and attract new consumers to use its voice assistant over Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri.
- With the new launch, Amazon has also brought its celebrity voice feature to India.
- The feature initially arrived in the US with the voice of American actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson in 2019.
1 bn children at risk from climate impacts
- Globally, nearly half of the 2.2 billion children are at serious risk due to climate change, according to a new UNICEF report.
- Among the most vulnerable countries are India, Nigeria, the Philippines, and most of sub-Saharan Africa.
- This report is the first one to combine high-resolution maps of environmental impacts with maps depicting child vulnerability such as poverty, health care, etc.
China passes new online privacy law
- China has passed a privacy law aimed at preventing businesses from collecting sensitive personal data.
- Under the new rules passed, state and private entities handling personal information will be required to reduce data collection and obtain user consent.
- It will prevent companies from setting different prices for the same service based on clients’ shopping history.
First-ever Covid antibody treatment approved
- A UK medicines regulator, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has approved the use of artificial antibodies to prevent COVID-19.
- Ronapreve might be able to prevent people from coronavirus infections and may also be able to treat the patients who are suffering from acute symptoms of coronavirus.
- It might also reduce the chances of getting admitted to the hospital.
Facebook partners with Indifi
- Facebook has partnered with Indifi.
- Advertisers who use Facebook in India will now have access to small business loans worth as little as Rs. 5 lakh at a predefined interest rate of 17-20%.
- Indifi will bear the risk of the loans and decide the eligibility criteria.
- Businesses partly or wholly owned by women will get an additional 0.2% reduction in applied loan interest rate.
Microsoft Corporation invests $5 mn in OYO
- Microsoft Corporation has invested nearly USD 5 million (about ₹37 crores) in OYO through the issuance of equity shares and compulsory convertible cumulative preference shares on a private placement basis.
- Under the deal, OYO will issue 5 equity shares of the face value of ₹10 each for cash at an issue price of India rupee equivalent of USD 58,490 per equity share.
NPCI’s global arm partners with Mashreq Bank
- NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has partnered with Mashreq.
- Mashreq is one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE.
- The partnership will offer acceptance of the Unified Payments Interface in the UAE.
- UPI is an instant real-time payment system developed by NPCI facilitating inter-bank transactions.
Assam to introduce 200 electric buses
- In a bid to reduce carbon emission, the Assam government has decided to procure 200 electric and 100 CNG buses.
- These buses will be put into service in Guwahati city.
- The govt has also decided to provide one-time financial assistance of Rs 10000 to inter-district bus drivers and handymen who have been hit hard by the lockdown.
- The govt will also provide Rs 15,000 to temple priests.
Webinar on ‘Zero Hunger by 2030’ to be held
- The Ministry of Panchayati Raj will organize a national webinar, ‘Localization of Sustainable Development Goals and Role of Panchayats – Goal No. 2 – Zero Hunger’ on 23 August 2021.
- It will be inaugurated by the Minister of Panchayati Raj Giriraj Singh.
- The participants will be able to watch the live web-streaming of the webinar at the link https://webcast.gov.in/mopr/ from 10:00 AM.
Exercise Konkan 2021 held
- Exercise Konkan 2021 was held between INS Tabar and HMS Westminster in August 2021 in the English Channel.
- The exercise included the participation of integral helicopters of the two ships and the Falcon Electronic Warfare aircraft.
- A wide range of exercises including coordinated anti-submarine procedures, firing drills, combined maritime picture compilation, were conducted.
‘Dilli Series’ Sea Power Webinar – 2021
- Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala will conduct the 8th edition of the ‘Dilli Series’ Sea Power Seminar on 11-12 October 2021.
- The event will be hosted in the webinar format and will be streamed live on popular social media platforms.
- The theme for 2021 is ‘Maritime History of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)’.
- A panel discussion on ‘Indian Navy Through the Decades’ will also be held.
Day of Remembrance to the Victims of Terrorism
- International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism is celebrated on 21 August every year.
- The day honors and supports the victims of such acts across the globe.
- The day is observed with the aim to provide and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms to these victims.
- The day was first observed in the year 2018.
World Senior Citizen’s Day: 21 August
- World Senior Citizen Day is observed on August 21 every year.
- The day was first proposed by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
- On August 21 that year, he officially commemorated the first National Senior Citizens Day.
- Two years later, the United Nations General Assembly adopted it as a global celebration.
India records a 44.3% increase in export
- India has achieved a significant increase of 44.3 percent in the export of agricultural and processed food products from April to June in the current financial year (2021-22).
- The overall export has increased to 4,817 million dollars in April to June 2021 as compared to that of 3,338 million dollars in the first quarter in 2020.
Zero Mile Freedom Park station inaugurated
- A 1.6-kilometer-long stretch of the Sitabuldi – Zero Mile Freedom Park – Kasturchand Park of Nagpur Metro Rail Project was inaugurated in Nagpur on 20 August 2021.
- It will be the first of its kind in the country to be part of a magnificent 20-storey building with a metro train on the fourth floor.
- Out of these,13 will be used for commercial purpose which will enhance the Metro’s revenue.
Scheme for development of Jabalpur airport
- The government has approved a 421 crore rupees scheme for the development of Jabalpur airport.
- The new developments include the construction of a new 10,000 sq ft terminal building, a new ATC tower, and extension of runway from 1950m to 2750 m to make it feasible for bigger aircraft operations.
- Jabalpur has also received additional flight connectivity with Delhi and Mumbai.
NATO suspends support to Afghanistan
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has suspended all support to war-torn Afghanistan and called for an end to the violence in the nation following the Taliban’s siege of Kabul.
- The alliance stressed that its immediate task now is to meet its commitments to continue the safe evacuation of its citizens, partner country nationals, and at-risk Afghans.
Five trauma care ambulances flagged off
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flagged off a fleet of five trauma care ambulances donated by a non-profit organisation for the Armed Forces deployed in J&K, on 20 August 2021.
- The ambulances will be stationed in five sectors located along the Line of Control in J&K and will be managed by the Indian Army.
- It will be used for critical care needed by Army personnel as well as local residents.
Raja Babu: Director of Research Centre Imarat
- U. Raja Babu has been appointed as Director of the Hyderabad-based Research Centre Imarat (RCI).
- RCI is the premier avionics laboratory of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Missile Complex of DRDO in Hyderabad.
- He has provided the necessary thrust to the design, development and successful demonstration of Ballistic Missile Defence system capabilities.
USAID, DFC join hands with Kotak Mahindra Bank
- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have joined hands with Kotak Mahindra Bank.
- They would jointly sponsor a $50 million loan portfolio guarantee to the bank to support increased financial access to women borrowers, and MSMEs in India.
- Kotak will also provide loans to Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
Nakul Chopra is the new Barc India CEO
- Television monitoring agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) has announced the appointment of Nakul Chopra as its CEO effective 25 August 2021.
- Former CEO Sunil Lulla has resigned to pursue his ambition as an entrepreneur.
- Chopra had joined the Barc India board in 2016 and was subsequently appointed Chairman of the organization (2018-19).
India finalises a deal with Russia
- As part of the mega infantry modernisation programme, India is procuring a sizable number of AK-103 series of assault rifles for the Indian Army from Russia.
- A deal has been finalized under the provisions of emergency procurement.
- Under the plan, the army is purchasing a large number of light machine guns, battle carbines, and assault rifles to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons.
Taliban changes Afghanistan’s name
- Taliban Leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has been declared the new President of Afghanistan.
- Additionally, Afghanistan’s name has been changed to the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”, a name that was given to the country 20 years ago by the Taliban government.
- The Afghan Taliban had ruled the country for nearly six years from 1996 to 2001, establishing an Islamic state.
GMR to run airport operations at Nagpur
- The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has revoked the annulment of the bidding process for Nagpur airport issued by Mihan India Ltd in March 2020.
- The decision paves the way for GMR Group to take over operations and upgrade projects at Nagpur’s Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport.
- GMR will develop the airport in phases to reach a capacity of 30 million passengers per annum.
ArcelorMittal to invest ₹1 lakh cr in Gujarat
- The world’s leading steel and mining conglomerate ArcelorMittal would invest ₹1,00,000 crore in different projects in Gujarat.
- It also includes a steel plant at Hazira near Surat.
- Mittal is also willing to invest another ₹50,000 crore in solar energy, wind energy and hydrogen gas production in Gujarat.
UAE to temporarily shelter Afghan refugees
- The United Arab Emirates will temporarily host 5,000 Afghan citizens evacuated from the country following the seizure of Kabul by the Taliban Islamist movement.
- Following a request from the United States, it would host the Afghans on a temporary basis, after which they would travel on to other nations.
- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has resigned and left the country for the UAE.
Pune stadium to be named after Neeraj Chopra
- A stadium in the premises of Army Sports Institute in Pune is to be named after Tokyo Olympics Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra.
- The stadium will be named as ‘Neeraj Chopra Army Sports Stadium’ in Pune Cantt.
- Neeraj’s historic golden throw in the Olympics has been listed as one of the 10 magical moments of athletics (track and field) in the Tokyo Olympics by World Athletics.
Govt plans 17 more islanding schemes
- The government on 20 August 2021 informed that 17 islanding schemes for power supply are being planned in addition to 26 projects.
- The islanding scheme is a defence mechanism for the power system.
- Under it, a part of the system is separated from a disturbed grid so that this sub-part could survive in isolation and continuity of supply to the essential load in this area is maintained.
UGC grants recognition to Kalahandi University
- The UGC has granted recognition to Kalahandi University, Bhawanipatna in Odisha, and included the institute in its list of varsities.
- The new university is now empowered to award degrees by conducting courses through its departments and affiliated colleges in regular mode with the approval of the statutory councils.
- The university is now eligible to receive central grants.
Wiley inks MoU with IIT Jodhpur
- Wiley, a global leader in research and education, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology, Jodhpur.
- It aims at developing and offering a slew of industry 4.0 courses and certifications.
- The brand Wiley would also collaborate with IIT Jodhpur’s iHUB-Drishti Foundation to develop competencies in industry-relevant 21st-century skills.
Govt hits 46 pc of the target for FY22: Report
- The Centre continued to borrow heavily from the market, crossing 46 per cent of the target for FY22, according to a report by Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency (Icra).
- The amount raised so far is 46 percent of the total budgeted borrowing limit of Rs 12.05 lakh crore and 41 percent if the GST compensation amounting to Rs 1.58 lakh crore is added to the borrowing limit.
Delhi’s medical O2 production policy notified
- The Delhi government’s policy to make the city ”self-reliant” in the production of medical oxygen to tackle any medical emergency in the future, has been notified.
- The objective of the policy is to increase the production of oxygen in Delhi by setting up either new manufacturing enterprises or expanding the production capacity of existing units.