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Tata Communications unveils ‘IZO’
- Tata Communications has announced the launch of the IZO financial cloud platform in India.
- It aims to enhance the performance and security of organizations in the banking and financial services space.
- The cloud platform is tailored to meet stringent data privacy and security norms defined by India’s regulators for the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector.
Skylo partners with FISHCOPFED
- Skylo, an internet of things (IoT)-based solutions provider, has partnered with the National Federation of Fishers Cooperatives in India (FISHCOPFED) to improve the safety of fishermen, increase their profitability and bolster ecosystem sustainability.
- Skylo will provide IoT-based solutions to aquaculture sectors, including monitoring oxygen and pH levels of water in ponds across the states.
Two Swadesh Darshan projects sanctioned
- The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned two Swadesh Darshan projects under Ramayana Circuit.
- Ramayana Circuit is one of the identified thematic circuits of the ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme.
- The Ministry has also sanctioned projects under Buddhist, Krishna, and Spiritual Circuits.
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a Central Sector Scheme for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.
Govt aims to create National Farmers Database
- The central government has decided to create a federated National Farmers Database using digitized land records.
- It will help to offer proactive and personalized services to farmers.
- The federated farmers’ database is being built by taking the publicly available data existing with the ministry and in various data silos in government and linking them with the digitized land records.
Over 21.40 lakh farmers enrolled under PM-KMY
- More than 21.40 lakh farmers have joined the voluntary pension scheme for small and marginal farmers Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY).
- It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme in which eligible farmers are required to make a monthly contribution between Rs 55-200.
- A pension of Rs3,000 per month would be provided as and when the farmers attain the age of 60 years.
Veena appointed Mission Director of USAID
- Indian-American Veena Reddy has been sworn in as the new Mission Director for US Agency for International Development (USAID).
- Reddy is the first Indian-American to be elected to this position.
- Veena Reddy has served as the Deputy Mission Director in Haiti.
- Prior to this posting, Veen Reddy served in Washington as an Assistant General Counsel, covering legal matters for USAID’s programs.
Najib Mikati: New PM-designate of Lebanon
- Billionaire businessman Najib Mikati has been appointed as Lebanon’s new Prime Minister-designate.
- His appointment comes just 11 days after Saad Hariri resigned as PM-designate, following nine months of political deadlock and dispute with President Aoun.
- Mikati has been an MP representing Tripoli, and the co-owner of multi-billion conglomerate the M1 Group.
Dholavira in UNESCO World Heritage List
- Dholavira, a Harappan-era metropolis, in Gujarat has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- The ongoing 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has already given India a new world heritage site- Rudreswara/ Ramappa Temple in Telangana.
- Gujarat so far has 3 world heritage sites — Champaner near Pavagadh, Rani ki Vav in Patan and the historic city of Ahmedabad.
Team GB: 1st to launch official NFT collection
- Team GB will launch an NFT storefront to showcase the achievements of British Olympic athletes.
- Team GB became the first Olympic team to create a native storefront for non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
- The partnership is with a leading NFT commerce provider Tokns.
- The partnership will run from the beginning of the Summer Games to the end of the Winter Games in Beijing.
2nd Senior National Sqay Championship
- The sport of Sqay martial arts, which is currently part of the Fit India Movement, will soon be part of Khelo India Youth Games 2021, which are slated to be hosted in November 2021.
- The Senior National Championship is being played virtually from July 26 to 29, 2021.
- In the women’s category of the championship, Seerat Jan bagged the gold medal while Chanchal Kushwaha bagged a silver medal.
North and South Korea agree to improve ties
- The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to resume suspended communication lines and enhance ties.
- President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have achieved such an agreement.
- On June 16, 2020, the North vowed to cut off all contact links with the South and even blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in its border city of Kaesong.
Sri Lanka to hold BIMSTEC Summit in Dec
- Sri Lanka has proposed holding the BIMSTEC summit in early December 2021.
- This will be the fifth such summit of the grouping.
- Sri Lanka is the chair of the grouping and had earlier proposed holding the summit in Aug 2021.
- BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) has 7 members —India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
Vinay Badhwar gets Alexander Dalrymple award
- India’s chief hydrographer, Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar, received the Alexander Dalrymple award in recognition of his leadership in the disciplines of hydrography and nautical cartography.
- He was conferred with the prestigious award in 2019, but the award ceremony was delayed due to the pandemic.
- Th award has been named after the first hydrographer of the Admiralty and was instituted in 2006.
China to build the first clean nuclear reactor
- China has outlined plans to build the first ‘clean’ commercial nuclear reactor using liquid thorium and molten salt.
- The first prototype reactor should be ready in August, with the first tests due in September 2021.
- A full-scale commercial reactor should be ready by 2030.
- Conventional uranium reactors produce waste that stays extremely radioactive for up to 10,000 years.
Gujarat govt to give ₹2000 monthly aid to kids
- The Gujarat government will provide a monthly financial aid of ₹2,000 to children who have lost a parent to COVID-19.
- The financial assistance would be provided under Mukhya Mantri Bal Seva Yojna.
- The scheme would be launched on 2 Aug’21, wherein the money would be transferred to the bank accounts of these children.
- Earlier, it had announced to provide monthly assistance of ₹4,000 to them.
Axis Bank buys 5.55% stake in IBBIC
- Axis Bank has bought 5.55% stake in financial technology firm IBBIC.
- The bank has subscribed to 50,000 equity shares of the face value of ₹10 each fully paid up of IBBIC Private Ltd for a consideration of ₹10 per equity share.
- Incorporated in May 2021, IBBIC platform offers distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions to the Indian financial services sector.
World Hepatitis Day: 28 July
- World Hepatitis Day is observed every year on 28 July.
- The date of 28 July was chosen because it is the birthday of Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg, who discovered hepatitis B virus (HBV) and developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus.
- The theme for 2021 is ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’.
- Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver which can cause hepatocellular cancer.
Sanofi India to sell nutraceuticals business
- Pharmaceutical firm Sanofi India’s board has approved selling its nutraceuticals business to Universal Nutriscience for ₹587 crores including debt-like obligations.
- Sanofi’s nutraceuticals business comprises 16 brands and 30 stock-keeping units (SKUs).
- The decision to divest will help the company to invest and focus on its strategic growth pillars.
Small business loan disbursals rise 40%
- Lenders have disbursed loans worth ₹9.5 trillion to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in FY21, 40% higher than ₹6.8 trillion in 2020.
- This was given in the latest edition of the Sidbi – TransUnion Cibil MSME Pulse Report.
- The total on-balance sheet commercial lending exposure in India stood at ₹74.36 trillion in March 2021, with a year-on-year growth rate of 0.6%.
Evidence of water vapour on Jupiter’s Moon
- Astronomers have found the first evidence of water vapour in the atmosphere of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede by using new and archival datasets from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
- According to the study published in the journal Nature Astronomy, water vapour forms when ice from the moon’s surface turns from solid to gas.
- Temperatures there are so cold that water on the surface is frozen solid.
World Nature Conservation Day: 28 July
- World Nature Conservation Day is celebrated on July 28 annually.
- The main purpose of celebrating the day is to conserve the animals and trees that are on the verge of going extinct from the natural environment of the Earth.
- The balance in the natural beauty of the earth can be maintained by preserving various components of nature – water, air, soil, energy, vegetation, minerals, and fauna.
IMF projects India’s growth at 9.5%
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered India’s growth projection from 12.5 percent to 9.5 percent for fiscal 2021-22.
- For the current fiscal year, India witnessed the largest drop in growth projections made by IMF.
- However, for the next fiscal 2022-23, IMF revised the economic growth for India up from 6.9% to 8.5% it had projected in April 2021 – higher by 1.6 percentage points.
Madhya Pradesh govt prepares Devaranya Yojana
- The Madhya Pradesh government has prepared the Ayush-based economic up-gradation scheme – Devaranya Yojana.
- The objective is to improve people’s health and livelihood of tribals.
- This was announced by MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan while addressing a workshop on the scheme.
- He informed that Ayush Super Specialty Hospitals are also being constructed in Indore and Bhopal.
Maharashtra government to form panel
- Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has informed that a committee would be formed to formulate measures so that there is no flood situation in the state in the future.
- The committee will review the total probable hilly areas in the state.
- Kolhapur and Sangli towns have suffered heavy losses where there has been heavy damage to the houses, properties, shops, and agriculture.
- Director General of Border Security Force Rakesh Asthana has been appointed as Commissioner of Delhi Police.
- Mr.S. S. Deswal, Director-General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police will hold additional charge of the post of DG, Border Security Force.
- The government had given additional charge of Delhi Police to Balaji Srivastava after the retirement of S. N. Shrivastava on 30 June 2021.
Basavaraj Bommai was sworn-in as Karnataka CM
- Basavaraj Bommai took oath as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka.
- Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered the oath of office and secrecy to him.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) legislature party elected him as the successor of BS Yediyurappa who resigned from the top post on 26 July 2021.
- Basavaraj Bommai was the home minister in the BS Yediyurappa government
Carissa Moore: Olympic women’s surf champion
- Carissa Moore of the USA is now the Olympic women’s surf champion.
- She beat Bianca Buitendag of South Africa and registered a score of 14.93.
- She is the first woman to ever win a gold medal in her sport at the Olympics.
- In men’s surfing, Brazilian Italo Ferreira went on to beat Japan’s Kanoa Igarashi and secured a gold medal.
Turkmenistan takes home first Olympic medal
- Turkmenistan is the newest nation to join the all-time Olympic medal count, following a standout performance in the women’s 59kg weightlifting competition at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
- Polina Guryeva won a silver medal.
- It was Turkmenistan’s first podium finish in the nation’s history.
- The gold medal went to Chinese Taipei’s Kuo Hsing-Chun, who set Olympic records in all three categories.
Clarisse of France wins gold in women’s judo
- French judoka Clarisse Agbégnénou won the gold medal in the women’s -63 kg weight class on 27 July 2021 by defeating Slovenian Tina Trstenjak in the final.
- Italy’s Maria Centracchio and Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard of Canada were awarded bronze medals.
- Romain Cannone won France’s first gold medal of the Games on July 25, beating Gergely Siklosi of Hungary 15-10 in the men’s épée final.
Nandkumar Mahadev Natekar passes away
- Legendary badminton player Nandkumar Mahadev Natekar popularly known as Nandu Natekar passed away in July 2021.
- In a career spanning 15 years, Natekar won over 100 national and international titles including six times national singles titles.
- Natekar was the first Indian badminton to win an international title in 1956.
- He was also the first Indian sportsman to receive the Arjuna Award.
Bihar govt to give ex- gratia of Rs 4 lakh
- Bihar Government has taken a decision to give an ex- gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of the kin of those 7500 deceased persons who lost their lives due to the COVID pandemic across the state.
- The State Government has allocated Rs 300 cr in the first supplementary budget of the current financial year which was tabled in the State Assembly.
- Rs 1000 will be spent on COVID eradication programme.
Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021 passed
- Parliament has passed the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021 with the Rajya Sabha approving it on 27 July 2021.
- The Bill seeks to provide a framework for the development, maintenance, and management of aids to navigation in India.
- The Bill also proposes to impart training and certification to operator of aids to navigation, development of its historical, educational, and cultural value.
600 LT of food grains allocated under PMGKAY
- Over 600 lakh tonnes of food grains were allocated under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020-21 and 2021-22.
- Out of this, more than 400 lakh tonnes have been lifted by the states and UTs as on 14 July 2021.
- Under this scheme, five kilograms of foodgrains per person per month is provided to the beneficiaries.
Antony Blinken arrives in India
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar in New Delhi on 28 July 2021.
- Discussions focused on regional and global issues of mutual interest including recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- He arrived in New Delhi on 27 July 2021 on a two-day visit to India.
- This is his first visit to India after assuming charge as US Secretary of State.
Finance Ministry announces a contest
- Finance Ministry in association with MyGov India is announcing a contest to crowdsource the name, tagline, and logo of the new Development Financial Institution.
- Participants can win cash prizes of up to Rs 5 lakh in each category.
- The last date for entries is 15 Oct’21.
- The setting up of the institution was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2021-22.
Bihar to set up state’s first sports univ.
- The Bihar assembly passed a bill on 27 July 2021, to establish the first sports university of the state.
- A minimum of 33.3 per cent of the seats would be reserved for women in this university.
- All sports-related institutes, training centres, and colleges of physical education in Bihar will be affiliated to this new university, which will be the country’s sixth such varsity.
India to test deep-sea mining machine
- The Union government has announced an ambitious program of manned submersibles that can carry three scientists to a depth of 6,000 meters into the ocean.
- The project will be executed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- When it is completed, India will be the sixth country in the world to have manned submersibles for deep-sea exploration after the US, China, Japan, Russia, and France.
Jharkhand enhances DA for employees
- The Jharkhand government on 27 July 2021 announced hiking Dearness Allowance for state government employees from the present 17 per cent to 28 per cent.
- The decision would be effective from July 1, 2021.
- Consent has also been given to increase the rates of dearness relief to the pensioners/family pensioners of the state government with effect from 1st July 2021.
IAEA’s unique initiative at upcoming COP26
- During COP26 global climate summit, in Glasgow, UK, the International Atomic Energy Agency has planned to showcase how nuclear technologies contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and also to address the consequences of climate change.
- COP26 stands for the 26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The sensor was developed to detect arsenic in food
- Dr. Vanish Kumar, an Inspire Faculty fellow, has developed an ultra-sensitive, easy-to-use sensor for detecting arsenic contamination in water and food samples in 15 minutes.
- The developed sensor is highly sensitive, selective, involves a single step, and is applicable for various water and food samples.
- It can detect a wide range of arsenic- from 0.05 ppb to 1000 ppm.