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Centre announces Drone Rules-2021
- The Centre has announced Drone Rules-2021 which reduced the Yellow Zone from 45 kilometres to 12 kilometres from the airport perimeter.
- No permission is required for operating a drone in Green Zones and up to 200 feet in the area between eight and twelve kilometres from the airport perimeter.
- No security clearance will be required before any registration or licence issuance.
New technology developed to reuse wastewater
- The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, has developed a technology called “Advanced Oxidation Technology “or TADOX.
- It uses UV-Photocatalysis and can treat municipal sewage and highly polluting industrial wastewater streams.
- It reduces less dependence and load on biological and tertiary treatment systems and can help achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD).
Aaditya Thackeray becomes chairman of AIFC
- Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray, on 25 August 2021, joined the Association of Indian Football Coaches (AIFC) as an ”Honorary Chairman”.
- Aaditya Thackeray also heads the Mumbai Football Association (MFA).
- The Association of Indian Football Coaches is the premier association of coaches in India.
- The AIFC is also recognized by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Tokenisation services extended to IoT devices
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended its card tokenization services to any token requestor including Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
- Tokenisation refers to generating random numbers instead of the actual card numbers keyed in during transactions.
- So far, the facility was available only for mobile phones and tablets of interested card holders.
Aviation Ministry signs MoU with Adani group
- The Civil Aviation Ministry on 25 August 2021 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Adani group for providing airport services.
- It has been signed for providing services such as customs, immigration, plant and animal quarantine services, meteorological and security services at the Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram airports.
Philippines approves commercial use of GER
- The Philippines has approved the commercial propagation of genetically modified Golden Rice (GER) after more than a decade of field tests.
- The country is the first among Southeast Asian nations to approve the Vitamin A-enriched grain for planting.
- Golden Rice has received food safety approvals from regulators in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.
Sadashiv Nayak: CEO of Future Retail
- Future Retail Ltd (FRL) appointed Sadashiv Nayak as its Chief executive officer with effect from 25 August 2021.
- Prior to Future Group, Nayak was associated with Hindustan Unilever Limited and Asian Paints Limited.
- FRL operates retail stores as Big Bazaar, fbb, Foodhall, Easyday and Nilgiris.
Spices Board organizes “IBSM” virtually
- The Spices Board in association with the Embassy of India, Bangkok organized an International Buyer Seller Meet (IBSM), virtually.
- The event brought together over 240 exporters from India and 60 plus importers from Thailand.
- The Spices Board is also in the process of launching a unique virtual platform for export facilitation and promotion.
U’khand passes Rs 5,720cr supplementary budget
- A supplementary budget of Rs 5,720.78 crore for the current fiscal was passed by the Uttarakhand Assembly on 25 August 2021.
- A total of four bills ie, the IMS Unison University (amendment) bill, DIT University (amendment) bill, Uttarakhand Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, and Uttarakhand Appropriation (2021-22 supplementary) bill were also passed by the Assembly.
RailTel launches AI-based attendance system
- State-owned RailTel Corporation of India Ltd has implemented an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based attendance system for government schools across Assam.
- It has completed the work of “SDMIS” (Student Database Management Information System) for government schools in Assam.
- The system covers 48,000 schools in all 33 districts.
Maha govt launches ‘Mission Vatsalya
- The Maharashtra government has launched a special mission ‘Mission Vatsalya’ for women from poor families who have lost their husbands to coronavirus infection.
- Under the mission, a bunch of 18 benefits, schemes, and services would be provided to these widows under one roof.
- It includes several schemes like the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana, Gharkul Yojana for these women.
Pankaj Kumar Singh: New BSF Director-General
- Pankaj Kumar Singh, a 1988-batch Indian Police Service officer, was appointed as Director-General of the Border Security Force (BSF) on 25 Aug 2021.
- Singh is presently serving as the Special Director General of the BSF.
- He will take charge on August 31 after the retirement of IPS officer and ITBP DG S S Deswal, who is holding additional charge of the BSF DG.
Sandeep Bakhshi reappointed as ICICI Bank MD
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer of ICICI Bank.
- The re-appointment would come into effect on October 15, 2021, and the tenure would continue till October 3, 2023.
- Prior to his appointment as MD and CEO, Bakhshi was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ICICI Bank.
Medtronic signs MoU with Kerala’s ASAP
- Medtronic on 25 August 2021 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Kerala’s Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP).
- It aims to equip final year students with advanced skill sets and improve overall employability within the healthcare industry.
- Medtronics is the world’s largest medical technology, services, and solutions company.
Indians in the US are wealthier than the national average
- Indians in the US have surpassed the overall American population in terms of wealth and college education, according to a report which cited the latest census data.
- The median family earnings of Indians in the US is USD 123,700, nearly double the nationwide average of USD 63,922.
- Indians are ahead of other Asian groups in the US in median family earnings ranges.
Cabinet approves MoU between ICAI and IPAR
- The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Professional Accountants of Russia (IPAR).
- The MoU would help in would establishing mutual cooperation in the areas of Professional Accountancy Training, Professional Ethics, Technical Research, Advancement of Accounting Knowledge.
Government approves FDI proposal of AIIH
- The government on 25 August 2021 approved an Rs15,000-crore foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal of Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holding Ltd (AIIH) for the investment in the infrastructure sector.
- AIIH is a subsidiary of a Canada-based pension fund entity.
- The investment also includes the transfer of the share of Bangalore International Airport Limited to Anchorage.
GiveIndia launches Vaccinate India Programme
- Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated ‘Vaccinate India Programme’, an ambitious initiative by Bangalore-based GiveIndia.
- The programme aims to vaccinate marginalised sections across the country against COVID-19.
- GiveIndia would collaborate with state governments, donors and partner organisations to mobilise rural communities and help people overcome vaccine hesitancy.
Govt raises family pension for PSB employees
- The Central government on 25 August 2021 announced to raise the family pension of bank employees to 30% of the last drawn salary.
- This move would make family pension go up to as much as Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 per family of bank employees.
- The Finance Ministry has also decided to increase the employer’s contribution in the New Pension Scheme to 14% of the salary from the current 10%.
US-born author Gail Omvedt passes away
- Noted researcher and co-founder of the Shramik Mukti Dal Dr Gail Omvedt died in Maharashtra’s Sangli district in August 2021.
- During her doctoral research, she wrote her thesis on ‘Non-Brahmin Movement in Western India’
- The activist-researcher penned more than 25 books including ”Seeking Begumpura”, ”Buddhism In India”, ”Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar”, to name a few.
Govt launches schemes to support start-ups
- The Union government has launched a program to support 300 IT start-ups.
- The government would provide seed funding and market access with a view to creating 100 unicorns out of the selected start-ups.
- The concept of the Startup Accelerator of MeitY for Product Innovation, Development & Growth (SAMRIDH) has been developed on the lines of silicon valley based accelerator YCombinator.
Centre hikes sugar FRP to Rs 290/quintal
- The Centre hiked the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) to sugarcane growers by Rs 5 per quintal to Rs 290 a quintal for 2021-22 marketing year.
- The FRP is the minimum price that sugar mills have to pay to sugarcane farmers.
- It is determined on basis of recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices and after consultation with State Governments and other stakeholders.
WB signs US$2.75m grant with Vietnam
- The World Bank and the Institute for Social Development Studies have signed an agreement for a US$2.75 million grant for the “Strengthening preparedness and response to COVID-19 at the grassroots level in Vietnam” Project.
- The project aims to strengthen preparedness and response capacities for pandemics and other health emergencies at the community level in Vietnam.
India gifts medical oxygen plant to Nepal
- India donated a medical oxygen plant to Nepal as part of New Delhi’s continued commitment to the Himalayan nation in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Medical Oxygen Plant, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), carries a capacity to serve 200 patients simultaneously.
Nepal’s EC recognizes two new parties
- Nepal’s election commission on 24 August 2021 granted recognition to two newly-registered political parties.
- The two new parties are CPN (Unified Socialist) led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and the Democratic Socialist Party led by Mahanta Thakur.
- It has led to the formal split of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) – the largest communist party in the country.
Om Birla to inaugurate programme for PRI
- Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla would inaugurate the Parliamentary Outreach Programme for the empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) in Leh, Ladakh on August 27, 2021.
- A first of its kind program, the Parliamentary Outreach Programme for PRI is intended to strengthen the institutions of governance and planning at the grass-root level.
IBM collaborates with IIT Madras
- IBM Corp would collaborate with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras to augment select courses on the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) platform.
- The engagement would strengthen IBM’s and NPTEL’s dedication to numerous initiatives to convey top-tier programs & new-collar employability abilities to any scholar from a rural or non-urban space in India.
Madhya Pradesh implements NEP-2020
- Madhya Pradesh (MP) government on 26 August 2021 launched the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) in the state.
- It had became the second state in the country to implement NEP-2020 after Karnataka.
- The MP government has decided to implement NEP-2020 in all the regions of the state, which includes 16 government universities and 40 private universities, within four years.
Maldive to sign a contract for India-funded GMC
- A contract for the infrastructure project funded by India in the Maldives would be signed on 26 August 2021.
- The contract would be inked between the Maldivian government and Maharashtra-based company Afcons Infrastructure.
- The Greater Male connectivity(GMC) project would be the largest ever infrastructure project in the Maldives, funded under the Indian grant and Line of credit.
Leander Paes becomes ambassador of Sporjo
- Sporting legend Leander Paes on 26 August 2021 has joined Sporjo as Strategic Advisor and Ambassador.
- Sporjo is an online sports education company founded by sports industry veteran G Srinivasan.
- It offers an assessment tool that allows participants to decipher a road map based on their skill set and personality, as well as education and training modules led by industry experts.
Pranay Verma appointed as MP High Court Judge
- The Central government on 26 August 2021 notified the appointment of advocate Pranay Verma as judge of Madhya Pradesh High Court(MPHC).
- President has made the appointment in the exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India.
OFT launches down-folding butt version of AR
- The Ordnance Factory, Tiruchirappalli (OFT) on 25 August 2021 launched its down-folding butt version of the Trichy Assault Rifle(TAR).
- The 7.62x39mm TAR is a powerful individual automatic weapon designed to destroy the enemy by fire in single and burst firing mode.
- The overall length of the TAR-Down folding butt is 900mm in butt open condition and 650mm in folding condition.
Canada and UAE qualify for 2022 U-19 men’s WC
- Canada, the United Arab Emirates, and Papua New Guinea have all qualified for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2022.
- They have qualified on the basis of securing the most wins in the last five U19 qualifying events in each respective region.
- The ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup Africa has been relocated from Nigeria to Rwanda and would be played from September 30 to October 7, 2022.
Government clears appointment of Judges
- Nine new judges were appointed to the Supreme Court with President Ram Nath Kovind signing their warrants of appointment.
- The new judges of the top court include Justice B V Nagarathna, Justice Bela M Trivedi, Justice Hema Kohli, Justice C T Ravikumar, Justice M M Sundresh, former Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha, Justice Abhay Shreeniwas, and Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari.
NPAs in retail and MSMEs rise to 7.3%
- Gross non-performing assets (GNPAs) on retail and MSME loan books of public sector banks rose to 7.28 percent in June 2021 from about 6 percent in June 2020.
- The incidence of bad loans was lower for private banks with GNPAs at 3.32 percent in June 2021, up from 2.01 percent in June 2021.
- The above data was released by the CARE ratings.
PhonePe to operate as an account aggregator
- PhonePe Account Aggregator Pvt Ltd (PAAPL) has got in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to operate as an account aggregator.
- PhonePe could now launch its platform that would enable the instant exchange of financial data between financial information users and financial information providers.
- PAAPL is a subsidiary of Walmart-backed digital payments firm PhonePe.
WB halts financial assistance to Afghanistan
- World Bank(WB) has halted all financial assistance for projects to Afghanistan.
- The move comes in the wake of the Taliban assuming power in the country.
- The World Bank had committed more than $5.3 billion for development projects in Afghanistan.
- There is a similar stance from Germany and the wider European Union who have frozen development funds to Afghanistan.
‘Operation Devi Shakti’ By MEA
- India’s complex mission to evacuate its citizens and Afghan partners from Kabul has been named “Operation Devi Shakti”.
- The name of the operation was known when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar mentioned it in a tweet on August 24 while referring to the arrival of a fresh batch of 78 evacuees in Delhi.
Pt Subhankar Banerjee passes away
- Renowned percussionist Pt Subhankar Banerjee passed away on 26 August 2021 after battling COVID-19 for two months.
- He was a recipient of Sangeet Samman and Sangeet Maha Samman by the West Bengal government.
- He is collaborated with some of the great musicians of the world like John McLaughlin,Chico Freeman, and Gill Goldstein.
China changes its national curriculum
- China made changes in its national curriculum and decided to introduce President Xi Jinping’s political ideology to students at all levels.
- As per the new curriculum, the primary schools would focus on cultivating the love for the country and socialism.
- In middle schools, the focus would be on perceptual experience and knowledge study, to help students form basic political opinions.
Indian Navy participates in Malabar-2021
- Indian Navy participated in the sea phase of Exercise Malabar-2021 along with the US Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force, and the Royal Australian Navy.
- The four-day exercise includes the participation of INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt and P8I patrol aircraft.
- MALABAR-21 would witness complex exercises including anti-surface, anti-air, and anti-submarine warfare drills.