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Ladakh and HFRI sign MoU
- Ladakh and the Himalayan Forest Research Institute (HFRI) have signed an MoU for forest cover development in the region.
- The MoU is an advisory arrangement without any financial and legal implications.
- HFRI would study and identify the suitable plant varieties to increase the forest cover in Ladakh.
- Ladakh has a target of 20 thousand hectares forest cover, initially in the urban areas.
Rs 5,000 crore grant to Karnataka under JJM
- The Centre has allocated over Rs 5,000 crore grant to Karnataka under Jal Jeevan Mission in the year 2021-22.
- It is nearly a four-fold rise than FY 2020-21.
- The state has made the provision of tap water supply in every rural household by 2023.
- In Karnataka, out of 91.19 lakh households, 29.96 lakh households (32.86 per cent) have been provided with tap water connections.
Karnataka to construct 9 lakh houses in 2 yrs
- The Karnataka government has decided to construct 9 lakh houses in two years under different housing schemes in the state.
- A subsidy of 1.75 lakh rupees to SC beneficiaries and 1.20 lakh to other categories of beneficiaries are being provided under the housing schemes of the government.
- 6,200 crore rupees required to complete these housing projects will be released in a phased manner.
India and Gambia sign MoU
- The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, India and Public Service Commission, Gambia have signed an MoU.
- It is on refurbishing personnel administration and governance reforms.
- Areas such as improving performance management system in government, implementation of contributory pension scheme and e-recruitment in government would be covered.
Military mission in Afghanistan to conclude
- The United States military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on 31st August 2021.
- In April 2021, President Biden had announced that the US will withdraw all remaining troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
- This is in an effort to end a deadly conflict that has cost trillions of dollars and the lives of more than 2,300 American troops.
Defence Ministry implements SPARSH
- The Defence Ministry has implemented SPARSH, an integrated system for automation of sanction and disbursement of defence pension.
- This web-based system processes pension claims and credits pension directly into the bank accounts of defence pensioners without relying on any external intermediary.
- SBI and PNB, dealing with defence pensioners, have been co-opted as service centres.
RBI issues advisory to banks
- The RBI has issued an advisory to banks and other RBI-regulated entities emphasizing the need for preparedness for the transition away from London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).
- Banks and financial institutions must avoid entering into new financial contracts that use LIBOR as benchmark.
- RBI has further advised banks to cease using the Mumbai Interbank Forward Outright Rate.
India-UK Financial Markets Dialogue
- India and the United Kingdom held the inaugural meeting of the India-UK Financial Markets Dialogue virtually on 8 July 2021.
- The Dialogue was established at the 10th Economic and Financial Dialogue in October 2020 to deepen bilateral ties in the financial sector.
- Discussions during the Dialogue were focused on four themes including banking and payments, insurance, and capital markets.
Cabinet approves MoU between ICoAl, ACCA
- The Union Cabinet has approved the MoU between the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICoAl) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), UK.
- Both parties will initiate joint research relevant to the cost accountancy profession which could involve collaborative research in technical areas.
- The Institute of Cost Accountants of India was first established in 1944.
MoC between CCI and JFTC approved
- The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum on Cooperation (MoC) between the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC).
- It has been approved to promote and strengthen cooperation in the matter of Competition Law and Policy.
- The same will help improve enforcement of the Competition Act, 2002 by CCI.
APMCs to use Rs 1 lakh cr agriculture fund
- The Cabinet has given its approval to the modifications in the Central Sector scheme of financing facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
- The Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) will now be allowed to use the 1 lakh cr rupees Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
- For APMCs, interest subvention for a loan of up to 2 crore rupees will be provided for each project.
Coconut Development Board Act, 1979 amended
- The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Coconut Development Board Act, 1979 to make it more efficient to carry out the activities of farming and production of coconut.
- Now the Chairman of the Board will be a non-executive person.
- The Board will now carry out the activities related to the development of coconut outside the country too.
COVID-19 Emergency Response Package approved
- The Union Cabinet has approved a new scheme ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II amounting to Rs 23,123 crore for the financial year 2021-22.
- It will be implemented from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 with central and state share.
- The Centre’s share of the project will be 15 thousand crore rupees and State’s share will be 8,123 crore rupees.
EAM Dr S Jaishankar to pay visit to Georgia
- External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar will pay a two-day official visit to Georgia on 9 July 2021 at the invitation of the Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Georgia David Zalkaliani.
- This will be the first visit of an Indian External Affairs Minister to independent Georgia.
- He will have a bilateral meeting with his counterpart covering various aspects of bilateral relations.
Kerala reports 1st case of Zika virus
- The first case of the Zika virus has been reported in Kerala.
- A 24-year-old pregnant woman has been diagnosed with the mosquito-transmitted disease.
- There are 13 other suspected cases of the virus from Thiruvananthapuram.
- Symptoms in the woman included fever, headache, and red marks on her body.
Spent catalysts can be efficient for batteries
- Scientists have shown that the spent catalysts from the energy industry work as an efficient bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst and can catalyze the core reactions that facilitate the operation of metal-air batteries.
- Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) have demonstrated that the spent catalyst works as an efficient bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst.
Indian Army inaugurates a war memorial
- The Indian Army has inaugurated a war memorial in memory of Captain in Gulmarg near the Line of Control (LOC).
- Captain Gurjinder Singh Suri had died during the operation “Birsa Munda” in 1999.
- ‘Birsa Munda’ operation was a raid conducted against a Pakistani post by a Bihar battalion of the Indian Army in the month of November 1999.
Kaushik Basu awarded Humboldt Research Award
- Indian economist Kaushik Basu has been awarded the Humboldt Research Award for Economics.
- The award was conferred on him by Professor Dr Hans-Bernd Schäfer of Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany.
- He has served as the Government of India’s chief economic advisor from 2009 to 2012.
- Basu is also a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India.
Firing range named after Vidya Balan
- Actress Vidya Balan has achieved yet another feat as a military firing range in Gulmarg, Kashmir, has been named after the actress.
- Honouring the varied accomplishments of Vidya, the Indian Army has named a military firing range in Gulmarg as the Vidya Balan Firing Range.
- She has also become the only actor from 395 new invitees to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Madurai jasmine flowers exported to US, Dubai
- For the first time ever, Geographical Indications (GI) certified Madurai jasmine and other traditional flowers were exported to the US and the UAE from Tamil Nadu on 8 July 2021.
- The other flowers include button rose, lily, chamanthi, and marigold.
- The flowers were sourced from Nilakottai, Dindigul, and Sathyamangalam, in Tamil Nadu, by Vanguard Exports, based in Coimbatore.
India’s GDP may make a modest recovery in Sept
- India may see only modest improvement in economic activity in the September quarter of FY22 after a second wave of the pandemic held back the country’s economic rebound in the June quarter.
- This was announced by Singapore-based DBS Bank in its report that was released on 8 July 2021.
- The RBI has projected GDP to grow at 7.9% in the Septr quarter with full financial year growth at 9.5%.
Fin Ministry releases revenue deficit grant
- The Department of Expenditure under the Finance Ministry has released the fourth monthly installment of post-devolution revenue deficit grants of ₹9,871 crores to 17 eligible states.
- The grant is provided under Article 275 of the Constitution as per the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.
- These grants are meant to bridge the revenue deficit states face after devolution.
LIC to have the post of CEO and Managing Director
- The Life Insurance Corporation of India will now have the post of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director instead of the Chairman position.
- The Centre will make changes to relevant rules.
- The CEO and MD will be appointed by the Central Government under section 4 of the Act (LIC Act 1956), as per a gazette notification issued on 7 July 2021.
1st govt school to be part of satellite launch
- A govt high school in Karnataka’s Malleshwaram is set to become the first state-run school in the country to be part of the program to launch a satellite.
- The students of the Malleshwaram school will be involved in a program of launching 75 satellites as part of the 75th independence day celebrations.
- It will be done with the help of the Indian Technological Congress Association and ISRO.
CBDT notifies new tax rules on goodwill
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified new rules on accounting of goodwill and the tax liability arising from such transactions.
- The govt amended the Income Tax Act through Finance Act 2021 disallowing goodwill to be treated as an intangible asset and denied depreciation benefit on this.
- Accordingly, businesses have to remove goodwill from the block of asset as on 1 April’20.
Mumbai to get aircraft refurbishment facility
- A new aircraft refurbishment center called Livewels (LAT) center will be set up in Mumbai.
- The new facility is approved by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and is to be fitted with the latest tools and equipment to offer optimized services.
- The services of the new facility include cabin part restoration and painting services.
ICC CEO Manu Sawhney resigns
- International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Manu Sawhney has resigned from his position.
- Geoff Allardice will continue as Acting CEO supported by the Leadership Team working closely with the ICC Board.
- Sawhney replaced Dave Richardson after the ICC World Cup in 2019 for a tenure till 2022.
- He is the former CEO of Singapore Sports Hub and also served as Managing Director of ESPN Star Sports.
HUL sets up vending machine
- Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has announced the launch of an in-store vending machine for its home care products.
- It will enable customers to refill bottles of Surf Excel, Comfort, and Vim as the packaged consumer goods company seek to lower plastic usage across the board.
- The first such machine has been installed at the Reliance Smart Acme Mall in Mumbai as a pilot.
Karnataka govt to introduce Model Tenancy Act
- Karnataka government is planning to introduce the Model Tenancy Act in the state, aimed at ending tenant-owner disputes.
- As per the Act, deposits cannot exceed six-month rentals for commercial properties and two-month rentals for residential properties.
- Without written permission from owners, tenants cannot make any structural changes to the property.
AICTE-DRDO launches regular M Tech. course
- All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and DRDO launched M.Tech. program in Defence Technology on July 8, 2021.
- The course aims to impart necessary theoretical and experimental knowledge, skill, and aptitude in various defense technology areas.
- The program has six specialized streams including combat technology, aero technology, communication systems, and sensors, etc.
11 people die of hunger each minute
- 11 people die of hunger each minute and the number facing famine-like conditions around the globe has increased six times over 2020.
- In a report titled “The Hunger Virus Multiplies,” Oxfam informed that the death toll from famine outpaces that of COVID-19, which kills around seven people per minute.
- 155 million people around the world are now living in crisis levels of food insecurity.
Tata Power bags solar project from Kerala
- Tata Power has been empanelled and won a contract worth ₹400 crores from the Kerala State Electricity Board Limited (KSEBL).
- It will develop a 64 MW solar rooftop project for domestic consumers across all districts of Kerala.
- As a part of this agreement, the company will implement projects through KSEBL of 80MW for individual households with solar capacity ranging from 3kW – 10kW).
IIP to launch an online educational program
- The Indian Institute of Packaging will be launching an online educational program on Certified Packaging Engineer in the Prime Minister’s initiative of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
- The program will be launched on 15 July 2021.
- The institute has also identified 75 traditional products from across India for improving their packaging as per international standards.
Exports from IT companies in Kerala increases
- The total IT exports from the Kerala government-run Infopark in Kochi grew by more than Rs 1,110 crore in 2020.
- Exports from IT companies operating here increased to Rs 6310 crore in 2020 from Rs 5200 crore during the previous year.
- This is an increase of about 22 percent from the previous calendar year.
- At present, 415 companies are operating at various campuses inside Infopark.
Mangubhai Patel: Governor of Madhya Pradesh
- Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel took oath as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh on 8 July 2021.
- MP High Court Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq administered the oath to Mr. Patel at a function in the Raj Bhawan at Bhopal.
- Patel started his political career as a member of the Navsari municipality in 1982 and went on to win the Assembly elections from the Navsari seat five times.