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Paytm Payments Bank crosses 1-cr FASTags mark
- Paytm Payments Bank has become the first bank in the country to achieve the milestone of issuing 1 crore FASTags.
- Paytm Payments Bank (PPBL) now has close to 28 percent share as FASTag issuer bank.
- Besides this, it is also India’s largest acquirer of toll plazas for the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) program offering an interoperable nationwide toll payment solution.
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
- July 30 has been designated by the United Nations as the “World Day against Trafficking in Persons”.
- The day aims at raising awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and promoting and protecting their rights.
- Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children, and men for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex.
Odisha government implements ONORC scheme
- The Odisha govt has implemented the one nation one ration card scheme.
- CM Naveen Patnaik launched the scheme across the state on 29 July 2021.
- It allows the beneficiaries to lift his or her quota of foodgrains from any of the fair-price shops of their choice, both within and outside the state.
- Inside the state alone, the beneficiaries will have more than 10000 fair-price shops.
Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021
- Parliament has passed the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
- The bill seeks to amend the Factoring Regulation Act, 2011 to widen the scope of entities that can engage in the factoring business.
- A factoring business is a business where an entity acquires the receivables of another entity for an amount.
- Factor can be a bank, a registered non-banking financial company, etc.
Lok Sabha passes two bills
- The Lok Sabha passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the Inland Vessels Bill 2021, on 29 July 2021.
- The first bill thrusts upon the increase of air traffic and related economic activities across the country including tier-two and tier-three cities.
- The Inland Vessels Bill 2021 replaces the Inland Vessels Act, 1917.
Asha Bhosle was selected for Maharashtra Bhushan
- The Maharashtra Bhushan Selection Committee has selected legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle for the prestigious award.
- The Maharashtra Bhushan Puraskar will be given to legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle for the year 2021.
- The Maharashtra Bhushan is the highest civilian award presented annually by the government of Maharashtra state in India.
- It carries a cash prize of Rs 1,000,000.
Eklavya Model Residential Schools sanctioned
- 632 Eklavya Model Residential Schools have been sanctioned as against the target of 740 by 2022.
- The schools are aimed at providing quality education to tribal students in their own environment.
- There is a total of 367 functional Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country and currently, over 85 thousand students have been enrolled.
Centre approves 780 new air traffic routes
- 780 new air traffic routes have been approved under the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN.
- 359 routes have become functional in the country after the inception of the scheme.
- Under the UDAN scheme, 59 new airports have been established.
- The number of cargo operators has also been increased to 28 in the country.
- This was informed by Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Assam’s tiger population jumps to 200 in 2021
- The tiger population in Assam has increased to 200 in 2021 from 159 in 2018.
- Three of Tiger reserves in Assam-Kaziranga, Manas, and Orang-have received the accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured/Tiger Standards.
- Assam and Madhya Pradesh are the only two states in the country where three tiger reserves have received the CA/TS accreditation.
Ordnance factory in TN launches ‘TriCa’
- A high-tech, low sound carbine named ‘TriCa’ was unveiled at the Ordnance Factory in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.
- it has a range more effective than a typical sub-machine gun and small enough to be packed in the jacket of security personnel.
- The lighter and compact weapon, the 7.62X39 mm carbine TriCa is designed for the infantry combat vehicle, helicopter crew, and security personnel.
Tata Power tops Crisil’s ESG scores
- Tata Power secured the highest score among peers in Crisil’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores.
- The S&P Global company is India’s foremost provider of ratings, data, research, analytics, and solutions.
- Crisil announced the ESG scores of 225 companies across 18 sectors in India factoring in their track record and disclosure standards.
PM Modi launches ‘SAFAL’ for CBSE students
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched SAFAL (Structured Assessment For Analysing Learning), a competency-based assessment for grades 3, 5, and 8 introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
- SAFAL will be used to assess the progress of foundational skills and basic learning outcomes among students.
- This is in line with Para 4.40 of the National Education Policy 2020.
IIT Guwahati ties up with Mizoram University
- Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mizoram University for the development of teaching programmes, R&D activities, and promoting the exchange of students.
- The partnership will provide a valuable opportunity for students of Mizoram University and will facilitate cooperation in teaching and research areas of mutual interest.
Cabinet clears amendments to GIBNA
- The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act (GIBNA) to facilitate the privatization of public sector general insurance firms.
- The Bill seeks to enable greater private participation in the public sector insurance companies.
- The GIBNA Act provides for the acquisition and transfer of shares of Indian insurance companies.
Fourth annual IPBF to be held on Oct 28-29
- The fourth annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) will be held virtually on October 28-29, 2021.
- The United States, in partnership with the Government of India, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), is sponsoring the 4th IPBF.
- The IPBF advances a vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, and inclusive.
Tata Teleservices ties up with Zoom
- Telecom operator Tata Teleservices and web-based video conferencing company Zoom on 29 July 2021 announced a partnership for a unified communications solution for enterprises and individuals.
- The partnership aims to provide solutions to organizations across industry segments such as banking and financial services, healthcare, IT-enabled businesses, and Education.
Russia’s Nauka space module docked with ISS
- Russia’s new Nauka module, set to serve as a research lab, storage unit, and airlock, successfully docked with International Space Station(ISS).
- After its commissioning, the Russian segment will receive additional room for arranging workplaces, storing cargo, and housing water and oxygen regeneration equipment.
- The module is named after the Russian word for ‘science’.
Study finds new gene in corn
- An international team of Penn State researchers has discovered a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn.
- These findings were published in Plant, Cell, and Environment.
- This finding can serve as a new tool to enable the breeding of deeper-rooting crops with enhanced ability to take up nitrogen.
- They identified the gene using a technique called a genome-wide association study.
Astronomers detect light behind a black hole
- For the first time, astronomers led by Dan Wilkins of Stanford University witnessed flares of X-ray radiation originating from behind a black hole.
- The X-ray flares reflected off the gas going into the black hole, and the telescopes picked up fainter lights as the flares faded.
- The discovery backs up Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Maruti Suzuki partners with Savitribai Univ.
- Maruti Suzuki India has partnered with Savitribai Phule Pune University, Maharashtra, to train the youth in automobile retail.
- A customized three-year ‘Bachelor of Vocational Studies in Retail Management’ course will be offered to students by the university with support from the company.
- The curriculum will comprise one-year classroom training followed by two-year on-the-job training.
11 cities conferred the Cycling Pioneers award
- The Indian government has awarded 11 cities with the title – India’s cycling pioneers, besides a grant of Rs.1 crore.
- The award marks the beginning of the next stage of the India Cycles4Change Challenge.
- Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Kohima, Nagpur, New Town Kolkata, Pimpri Chinchwad, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, and Warangal, are the cities that are placed in the top 11.
National Highway work approved in Punjab
- Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari has announced construction work of four and six-lane Greenfield Ludhiana – Rupnagar National Highway (NH-205K).
- It would be constructed under Bharatmala Pariyojana with a budget of ₹ 1501.02 crores.
- The planned 25,344 km national highway would give connectivity to economically important production and consumption centres.
Health Ministry announces 27% for OBCs
- The Health Ministry has announced 27% reservation for the OBCs and 10% quota for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) medical / dental courses (MBBS / MD / MS / Diploma / BDS / MDS) from 2021-22 onwards.
- This decision would benefit every year nearly 1,500 OBC students and around 550 EWS students in MBBS.
JSW signs pact with Fortescue Future
- JSW Future Energy Ltd has entered into a framework agreement with Australian Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd.
- Fortescue is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd (FFI).
- Both will collaborate and conduct scoping work on potential projects relating to the production of green hydrogen and utilizing it for green steel making, hydrogen mobility, green ammonia, etc.
Ladakh to acquire 8.23% stake in J&K Bank
- The RBI has accorded its approval to the government of Ladakh to acquire 8.23 per cent of the paid-up equity capital of Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd as on the date of enforcement of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 ( October 31, 2019).
- As of June end 2021, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir was the majority shareholder, owning a 68.18 per cent stake in the bank.
Tata Sons to acquire a stake in Tejas Networks
- Tata Sons’ subsidiary, Panatone Finvest Limited has signed a definitive agreement to pick a 43.3% stake in Tejas Networks, for ₹1,850 cr.
- Tejas Networks designs, develops and sells networking products to telecommunications service providers, internet service providers, etc.
- The agreement also included the acquisition of up to 13 lakh equity shares of the Tejas Networks.
Foundation laid for Bamboo Industrial Park
- Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma on July 26, 2021, laid the foundation stone of a bamboo industrial park at Manderdisa in Dima Hasao.
- The project will be implemented with Rs 50 crore from DoNER Ministry.
- Once completed, the Park, covering an area of 75 hectares, will contribute to the overall economic development of the State apart from developing the bamboo-based industries.
Assam cabinet to set up police commission
- The Assam Cabinet has decided to constitute a Police Commission.
- It will recommend measures for improvement in the policing system, their activities, and deployment in the state.
- The Commission will be jointly headed by retired IAS Officer Himangshu Sekhar Das and former Director-General of Police P V Sumant for three months and both will get the status of Chief Secretary.
3 enterprises win Best Small Businesses Award
- The United Nations has announced names of three India-based enterprises among the winners of ‘Best Small Businesses’ award.
- The award carries a cash prize of USD 100,000.
- From India, the winners are Edible Routes Private Limited, Oorja Development Solutions India and Taru Naturals.
- The enterprises are awarded for their contributions in developing inspiring, diverse, and impactful solutions.
Chhattisgarh to provide ₹ 6,000 to families
- The Chhattisgarh government will launch a scheme under which landless families will be provided with financial assistance.
- A supplementary budget of ₹ 2,485.59 crores has been passed.
- Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Bhoomihin Krishi Majdoor Nyay Yojna will be launched, under which the families which do not possess agricultural land in rural areas will be given an assistance of ₹ 6,000 per year.
First re-programmable commercial satellite
- The European Space Agency launched the world’s first commercial fully re-programmable satellite on 30 July 2021.
- The Eutelsat Quantum is based on so-called software-defined technology that allows users to tailor the communications to their needs — almost in real-time.
- The Quantum was part of the payload for an Ariane 5 rocket launched from the Guiana Space Centre in Latin America.
Allcargo Logistics forms JV with Nordicon
- Allcargo Logistics has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Allcargo Belgium NV., has signed a joint venture agreement with Swedish logistics company Nordicon Group.
- Allcaro Belgium operates ECU Worldwide.
- It will hold a 65% share in the JV, while the balance of 35% will be held by the present owners of Nordicon.
“EOS-03” to be launched in 3rd quarter of 2021
- Geo-imaging satellite “EOS-03” is scheduled for launch in the third quarter of 2021.
- It would enable near-real-time monitoring of natural disasters like floods and cyclones.
- In addition to natural disasters, EOS-03 would also enable monitoring of water bodies, crops, vegetation conditions, forest cover changes, etc.
Whole Genome Sequencing National Reference Lab
- The Whole Genome Sequencing National Reference Laboratory for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and BSL 3 Laboratory were inaugurated on 30 July 2021.
- The L3 laboratory complex has five floors and houses 22 Biosafety level (BSL) II laboratories.
- The lab was inaugurated during the 112th Annual Day celebrations of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Lupin to acquire Southern Cross Pharma
- Drug major Lupin will acquire Australia-based Southern Cross Pharma Pty Ltd (SCP).
- Incorporated in Melbourne, Australia, SCP is engaged in developing, registering, and distributing generic products.
- Generic Health, the Australia-based wholly-owned subsidiary of Lupin, has entered into a definitive agreement under which Lupin will acquire 100 percent of the shares of SCP.
GyanDhan receives NBFC licence
- GyanDhan, India’s first education financing platform, has received an NBFC license from the RBI.
- It aims to disburse Rs 650 cr worth of education loans in FY22.
- Out of this, Rs 50 cr will be for domestic short-term courses offered by various ed-tech players and coaching institutes.
- It has already partnered with various companies to offer interest-free education loans to students.
Ben Walter: Head of Business- JP Morgan
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. has appointed Hiscox Ltd.’s Ben Walter to lead the firm’s business banking division.
- He will succeed Jennifer Roberts, who was named head of consumer banking earlier in 2021.
- Walter will join the biggest U.S. bank in October 2021 as Chief Executive Officer of the unit, which provides services to small businesses.
DBS partners with Temasek
- Singapore-based financial services group DBS and Temasek have set up a $500 million financing platform, EvolutionX Debt Capital (EvolutionX).
- It is for non-dilutive funding to technology-enabled firms with a focus on China, India, and Southeast Asia.
- It will be led by Joint Interim CEOs Amit Sinha, Group Head of Telecoms, Media and Technology, at DBS, and Aftab Mathur, Director, Temasek.
First Solar to invest $684 mn in Tamil Nadu
- First Solar, a U.S.-based manufacturer of solar modules, would invest $684 million to set up a new, vertically integrated photovoltaic thin-film solar module manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu.
- The facility is expected to be operational in 2023.
- With this 3.3 GW capacity module manufacturing facility in India, the company would become the largest solar module manufacturer in the country.
Sunjeev Sahota: Contender for Booker Prize
- Indian-origin British author Sunjeev Sahota is among the 13 authors longlisted for the prestigious 2021 Booker Prize for fiction.
- He has been shortlisted for his novel ‘China Room’, alongside Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Powers.
- Sahota is on the longlist for the 50,000-pound (USD 69,000) prize for his novel “China Room”.