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First bird flu death in India reported
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi recorded the first bird flu death in the country for year 2021.
- A 12-year-old boy undergoing treatment for H5N1 Avian influenza died at AIIMS pediatric department.
- Avian influenza is a strain of the influenza virus that primarily infects birds, but can also infect humans.
- It can also be passed from person to person.
Iran launches app as fertility rates fall
- Iran, facing a fall in fertility rates, has launched a state-approved matchmaking app “Hamdam” to promote marriages in the Islamic country.
- The app gives advice for young singles seeking a marriage partner.
- Iran’s population could be among the oldest in the world in two decades after the fertility rate among Iranian women dropped 25% over the past four years.
Tulu to be included in Unicode character list
- The Tulu language script, designed by the Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy using historic documents, will soon be incorporated into the Unicode character list.
- The script is a symbol of the Tulu culture, whose kings ruled in Karnataka for centuries.
- Efforts to framing Tulu script will get a boost if the script comes to be used on digital platforms, print literature, and publicity material.
Farmer-producer entities surge in Maharashtra
- The number of farmer-producer organizations FPOs in Maharashtra saw a jump in the lockdown-hit of 2020.
- As many as 1,622 companies were formed in Maharashtra in 2020, which is more than double that in 2019.
- Farmers in many areas came together and sold their agri produce directly to customers during the lockdown period resulting in an increase in FPOs.
Scientists develop “Phantom” for lung cancer
- A group of Indian scientists has developed a novel and cheap 3D robotic motion phantom.
- It can reproduce the human lung motions during breathing which will help to deliver focussed radiation in cancer patients.
- The phantom is placed inside a CT scanner on the bed in the human’s place, and it emulates human lung motion as it is irradiated during therapy.
Govt issues tender to build 6 submarines
- In a major boost for the Indian Navy and Make in India, the Defence Ministry on 20 July 2021 issued a tender expected to be worth around ₹50,000 crores for building six conventional submarines under Project-75 India.
- The submarines would be equipped with heavy-duty firepower so that the boats will have 12 Land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) along with Anti-Ship cruise missiles (ASCM).
Britain to deploy warships in Asian waters
- Britain announced on 20 July 2021 that it would permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships sail to Japan in September through seas.
- Queen Elizabeth is being escorted by two destroyers, two frigates, two support vessels, and ships from the United States and the Netherlands.
3 monuments identified as “Adarsh Smarak”
- Three monuments of Andhra Pradesh have been identified as Adarsh Smarak for providing additional facilities like Wi-Fi, cafeteria, Interpretation centre, Brail signages, illumination, etc.
- The monuments are Budhhist Remains at Salihundam in district Srikakulam,Veerabhadra Temple at Lepakshi in district Anantapuram, and Monuments at Nagarjunakonda, district Guntur.
IIT Ropar develops “Amlex”
- IIT Ropar has developed an oxygen rationing device AMLEX, which will increase the life of the cylinder three-fold.
- AMLEX is a system developed specifically for oxygen cylinders.
- It synchronizes the flow of oxygen with inhalation and exhalation of the patient.
- This conserves a large amount of oxygen in the reservoir for a long-lasting operation.
1st ever sarpanch of Balika Panchayat elected
- The 20-year-old Bharti Garva won by 117 votes to become the first sarpanch of the Balika Panchayat in the Kunariya village of Bhuj taluka on 19 July 2021.
- A total of 410 voters, all of them girls aged between 10-21, cast their votes to elect the sarpanch.
- A student of 11th standard Vidhi Rajgor was also elected as sarpanch of Maska village.
The first-ever elections of Balika Panchayat held
- The Kunariya village of Kutch district in Gujarat has come out with a unique idea of holding Balika Panchayat.
- The first-ever elections of this Balika Panchayat were successfully held on 19 July 2021.
- Young females aged between 10 to 21 years contested elections for this unique Panchayat which will take up issues pertaining to adolescent girls and women in the village.
Maharashtra to implement blockchain technology
- The Maharashtra State Skill Development Board has taken an initiative to prevent cases of forged education certificates being shared among citizens.
- The board has decided to issue a total of 10 lakh digital diploma certificates using blockchain technology.
- This will be done for a total of 8 years of study and officials expect this move to stop the threat of fake education certificates.
NMCG approves rejuvenation projects
- New projects of rejuvenation of six polluted river stretches in Uttarakhand have been approved at the 36th Executive Committee meeting of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
- The committee has approved the project of Interception and Diversion (I&D) and STP work of six polluted river stretches to rejuvenate rivers Bhela, Dhela, Kichha, Kosi, Nandhore and Pilakhar.
HDFC ERGO launches Optima Secure Health Policy
- HDFC ERGO General Insurance has announced the launch of Optima Secure.
- It is a new health indemnity health insurance product that seeks to redefine the value customers can get from their insurance plan.
- The product has the secure, plus, protect, and restore benefits built-in that combine seamlessly to offer customers up to 4 times their sum insured at no additional charge.
DRDO develops beta Titanium alloy
- The DRDO has indigenously developed a high-strength beta titanium alloy for manufacturing intricate components for aerospace applications.
- The beta titanium alloy, which contains vanadium, iron and aluminium along with titanium, is used by many developed nations as a substitute for the “relatively heavier traditional Ni-Cr-Mo structural steels to achieve weight savings”.
Odisha Cricket Association to set up academies
- Odisha Cricket Association has decided to set up cricket academies in all 30 districts of the state.
- Sports Minister of Odisha, Tusharkanti Behera has laid the foundation stone for 15 affiliated centres in the first phase.
- These will be developed under OCA’s District Infrastructure Development Program and Cricket Academies in accordance with their much ambitious Vision-2024 project.
AIFF Awards: Bala Devi named winner
- Bala Devi was named Women’s Footballer of the Year, while Manisha Kalyan won the Women’s Emerging Footballer of the Year at the annual AIFF awards 2020-21.
- This marks the third time Bala has received the honour, having previously won it two years in a row in 2014 and 2015.
- The award for the Best Referee went to Tejas Nagvencar while Sumanta Dutta was adjudged the Best Assistant Referee.
Subarnarekha project launched in Odisha
- Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has launched the release of water from the canal system of Subarnarekha Irrigation Project (SIP).
- During the launch, water from the project was released though five canals at Puruduhi near Kathpal in Baripada block.
- It will create irrigation potential for 15,359 hectares of land in five blocks of the Mayurbhanj district.
Indian Institute of Heritage to be set up
- The govt has decided to set up the Indian Institute of Heritage at Noida, Gautam Buddha Nagar.
- This was announced by Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy.
- It is being set up as deemed to be a university by integrating Institute of Archaeology (Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute of Archaeology), School of Archival Studies under National Archives of India, New Delhi, and several other organizations.
Vaidehi Dongre crowned Miss India USA
- Vaidehi Dongre from Michigan has been crowned Miss India USA in 2021 while Arshi Lalani from Georgia has been declared the first runner up at the beauty pageant.
- She also won the “Miss Talented” award for her flawless performance of the Indian classical dance Kathak.
- North Carolina’s Mira Kasari was declared the second runner up.
Pedro Castillo: President-elect of Peru
- Pedro Castillo has been declared President-elect of Peru.
- Mr Castillo, a 51-year-old former school teacher and union leader, secured just over 50% of the votes.
- He will now be sworn in as Peru’s President on 28 July 2021.
- Peru’s current President is Francisco Sagasti.
- Peru is a country in South America that’s home to a section of the Amazon rainforest.
Norovirus cases reported in England
- England has reported a rise in cases of Norovirus, a highly contagious virus similar to the coronavirus.
- Norovirus is highly infectious and causes vomiting and diarrhoea but usually passes in a couple of days.
- It is easily transmitted through contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces.
- A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus.
Viswanathan Anand wins Sparkassen Trophy
- Viswanathan Anand has defeated Vladimir Kramnik to win the Sparkassen Trophy at Dortmund in July 2021.
- The Chennai maestro won the match 2.5-1.5.
- The event was played as part of the “No-Castling” Chess.
- Castling is a special move to protect the king and activate the rook.
- It is the only time in chess a player can move two pieces in one move.
Russia successfully tests S-500 missile system
- Russia has successfully test-fired its new S-500 air defence missile systems at a southern training range and hit a high-speed ballistic target.
- The S-500, which is expected to have a maximum firing range of 600 kilometres, is the most advanced anti-missile system in the world and is capable of countering attacks from space.
Pine Labs appoints Rangaprasad as Head
- Pine Labs has announced the appointment of Rangaprasad Rangarajan as the Head of engineering – online payments.
- In his previous stint, Rangaprasad was a senior Director of payouts at PayPal where he led four engineering teams at PayPal United States: global payouts engineering team, issuance and tokenization platform, payments switch platform, settlement and reconciliation platform.
ADB cuts India’s FY22 economic growth forecast
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has downgraded India’s economic growth forecast for the current financial year 2021-22 to 10% from 11% projected earlier.
- This is mainly on account of the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- India’s GDP growth recovered to 1.6 percent in the last quarter of fiscal year ended March 2021, narrowing contraction in the whole fiscal year to a revised 7.3%.
US military conducts strike in Somalia
- The United States conducted a drone strike against al-Shabab militants in Somalia on 20 July 2021.
- It was the first such military action against the al-Qaida affiliate in East Africa since the Biden administration took office in January 2021.
- The strike came as the Biden administration was considering whether to reverse the U.S. military withdrawal from Somalia that took place under Trump.
Finger-sized fossil unearthed in the US
- A finger-sized fossil from 308 million years ago has been unearthed in the United States.
- It gives clues to the habits of tiny dinosaur-like creatures that may be the forerunners of reptiles.
- The new species is a microsaur — small, lizard-like animal that roamed the Earth well before proper dinosaurs made their appearance.
- The animals had four short, plump legs.
Horticultural crops processing unit in K’taka
- Karnataka will be setting up its first horticultural crops processing cluster, including a mango processing unit, in Ramanagara district.
- It will be set up through a PPP model with an estimated investment of about ₹500 crores.
- 40 acres of land in Bhairapattana near Ramanagara will be used for this purpose.
- Mango processing unit including common facilities will be established in 4 acres.
Ramesh Nair joins Colliers as CEO
- Colliers, a real estate advisory and investment management company has appointed Ramesh Nair as CEO for India and MD, market development for Asia.
- Nair joins Colliers from property advisory JLL India, where he was CEO and country head.
- He will partner with Sankey Prasad, Chairman and Managing Director of Colliers in India, to lead the business.
Bank of Baroda, U GRO Capital join hands
- U GRO Capital, a non-bank financier, and Bank of Baroda have partnered for co-lending to the MSME sector.
- Called ‘Pratham’, loan disbursements under this association commenced on Bank of Baroda’s 114th Foundation Day.
- The loan amount ranges from ₹50 lakh to ₹2.5 crore to be offered at an interest rate starting from 8% with a maximum tenure of 120 months.
Gwalior was selected for UNESCO’s project
- In Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior and Orchha cities have been selected by UNESCO under ‘Historic Urban Landscape Project’.
- The project was started in the year 2011, for the inclusive and well-planned development of fast-growing historical cities while preserving the culture and heritage.
- Six cities of South Asia, including Ajmer and Varanasi in India, are already involved in this project.
UP govt starts trial run of electric buses
- The Uttar Pradesh government started the trial run of electric buses on 20 July 2021 in Lucknow.
- Very soon the buses will be running in 14 cities of the state.
- These AC luxury AC buses have comfortable seats and many security features also which include GPS tracking system.
- 5 charging stations will be made for charging these buses in the state capital Lucknow.
Perumkulam: Kerala’s first ‘Book Village’
- Perumkulam, in Kollam district, has been bestowed with the title Kerala’s first ‘Book Village’.
- Bapuji Smaraka Grandhasala’, a library in the village is at the forefront in this effort of making it the first book village of the state.
- The library also delivers books to homes.
- Anybody can take books from the book shelves, read them, and keep them back.
44 Digital Village Centres inaugurated: J&K
- J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated 44 Digital Village Centres at Civil Secretariat in Srinagar on 20 July 2021.
- The new initiative will enable the government to disseminate its programme and policies through a readily available system.
- They will digitally connect the Panchayats and strengthen the mode of public service delivery in Jammu and Kashmir.
China’s 600 kph maglev train unveiled
- China has unveiled a high-speed maglev train with a designed top speed of 600 kms per hour.
- It is stated to be the world’s fastest ground vehicle.
- Launched in October 2016, the high-speed maglev train project saw the development of a magnetic-levitation train prototype with a designed top speed of 600 kms per hour in 2019, and conducted a successful test run in June 2020.
Jeff Bezos takes off to space
- Jeff Bezos took off to space, in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard, on 20 July 2021.
- New Shepard has been built by Bezos’ company Blue Origin.
- The passengers included the oldest person who has been to space – Ms Funk – and the youngest, student Oliver Daemen.
- They parachuted back down to the West Texas desert 11 minutes later.
Haiti: Ariel Henry was sworn in as new PM
- In Haiti, Ariel Henry has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister, just a few days after the country’s President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated.
- Henry assumed the role of the leader of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation in a ceremony in the capital Port-Au-Prince.
- Claude Joseph served as the PM before him.
- Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic to its east.
MyGov platform hosts an online competition
- MyGov platform is hosting the online competition under PM’s Mentorship Scheme for young writers, seeking participation of young and aspiring Indian writers from across the globe.
- The online competition is open till 31 July’21.
- The winners will be announced on 15 August.
- 75 authors will be selected through the All India Contest being conducted through nbtindia.gov.in and MyGov.in.
India up in Ease of cross-border trade
- India has made noticeable progress in ease of cross-border trade, a UN survey, which tracked 143 economies on key trade facilitation parameters over a two-year period.
- According to the latest UN Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, India’s rank moved up from 78.49% in 2019 to 90.32% in 2021.
- India has scored 100% in transparency and 96.30% in paperless trade.