(21-27) June, 2021 News Summary

National

Jamsetji Tata World’s Biggest Philanthropist of Last Century, Azim Premji Ranks 12

  • Jamsetji Tata, the late founder of the Tata Group, has been named the world’s most generous individual of the last century, bettering Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.
  • Tata made total donations worth $102.4 billion, mainly for education and healthcare, according to EdelGiveHurun’s list of the world’s top 50 philanthropists of the century.
  • Jamsetji Tata is the only Indian in the top 10 list, followed by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, Henry Wellcome, Howard Hughes, and Warren Buffett.
  • Meanwhile, the only other Indian among the top 50 is Wipro chairman Azim Premji, who is ranked 12th in the list and has virtually given his entire fortune of $22 billion for philanthropic causes.

DRDO successfully test fires enhanced Pinaka Rocket in Odisha

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test fired an extended range version of indigenously developed “Pinaka” rocket at Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
  • Altogether 25 Enhanced Pinaka Rockets were test fired in quick succession against targets at different ranges.

INS Tabar deployed for naval exercises in Africa, Europe

  • Indian Naval Ship Tabar commenced her prolonged deployment on June 13.
  • It will visit a number of ports in Africa and Europe till the end of September.
  • It will also participate in a number of joint exercises with friendly navies.
  • The deployment will also see participation by the ship in the Russian Navy Day celebrations from July 22 to 27.

Japan to provide India $ 9.3 million aid to fight Covid

  • Japan recently announced that it will provide USD 9.3 million worth cold chain equipment and related assistance to India to help in the country’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The assistance, under Japan’s Emergency Grant Aid scheme, will provide India with cold chain equipment to ensure vaccination in each country, through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

India’s first indigenous aircraft carrierINS Vikrant likely to be commissioned in 2022

  • India’s first Indigenous Aircraft CarrierINS Vikrant (IAC) will be commissioned next year.
  • This aircraft carrier is being constructed by Cochin Shipyard in Kochi, Kerala for Indian Navy.
  • It will be the first aircraft carrier to be built in India.
  • Motto of the IAC is Jayema Sam YudhiSprdhah.

BRICS Green Hydrogen Summit

  • NTPC Ltd, under the Ministry of Power, organised a two-day workshop on Green Hydrogen which is emerging as one of the most popular and demanding fields in the areas of Green Energy Transition.

UP Becomes Top Performer Under the Smart City Mission

  • The State of Uttar Pradesh has been ranked as the top performer under the Smart Cities Mission by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for its innovative and excellent works.
  • Uttar Pradesh grabs the number One position while Madhya Pradesh comes second on the list followed by Tamil Nadu.
  • Under the Smart City Mission, Agra stood at first place and Varanasi in third place among selected 100 smart cities of the country in different Stage-II cities.
  • In the various segments of the Smart City Awards, Agra has bagged the third position in the Economy Project Award and the second for the successful creation and excellent operation of Micro Skill Development Centers.
  • The best union territory award went to Chandigarh.
  • Under social aspect theme, Tirupati won the award for Health Benchmark for Municipal Schools and Bhubaneshwar for Socially Smart Bhubaneswar.
  • Tumakuru won the award for Digital Library Solution.
  • For governance, Vadodara received the first rank, followed by Thane and Bhubaneswar.
  • Under the culture theme, the joint winners were the cities of Indore and Chandigarh.
  • For urban environment, the joint winners were Bhopal and Chennai.
  • The top 9 performing cities which have been awarded 4-star rating are Surat, Indore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Vijayawada, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Vadodara.

Bhutan’s Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) programme

  • Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB), a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), launched its programme in Bhutan.
  • India was chosen as the Partner Jurisdiction and has provided the Tax Expert for this programme.
  • The program aims to aid Bhutan in strengthening its tax administration by transferring technical know-how and skills to its tax auditors, and through sharing of best audit practices.

Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 2021

  • As per the report Finland had the highest levels of overall trust in news (65%) while the US had the lowest levels of trust (29%).
  • India ranked 31 out of 46 countries when it came to ‘trust in news’, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 2021, released virtually.
  • On average, trust in news has grown across the world with 44% of the total sample for all media markets saying they trust most news most of the time.

Indian Navy to conductPassage exercise with US carrier group

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy will soon participate in an exercise with a US carrier strike group (CSG) in the Indian Ocean.
  • INS Kochi and Teg, along with P8I and MiG-29K aircraft will participate in a ‘Passage Exercise’ with US Navy CSG Ronald Reagan during its transit through Indian Ocean Region.

Divyangta Khel Kendras

  • Union Minister recently announced setting up of five ‘Divyangta Khel Kendras’ in different parts of country.
  • First such kendra would be open in Ahmedabad City.

International

China plans to send its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033

  • China plans to send its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033 as it continues to boost its space ambitions in a battle with the U.S.
  • It comes just weeks after China landed a remote-controlled rover called Zhurong on Mars, making it the only country after the U.S. to do so.

UN World Drug Report 2021

  • Around 275 million people used drugs worldwide in the last year, while over 36 million people suffered from drug use disorders, according to the 2021 World Drug Report, released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
  • “The theme of this year’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is “Share facts on drugs.

Hong Kong’s last remaining pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily shuts amid severe crackdown from Beijing

  • Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper The Apple Daily published its last edition recently as it was forced to end a 26-year journey amid a national security crackdown that froze the company’s funds.
  • It was forced to cease operations after Chinese police froze 2.3 million dollars of its assets, searched its office and arrested five top editors and executives accusing them of foreign collusion to endanger national security.

Myanmar coup: UN calls for arms embargo against military

  • The United Nations has issued a rare call to halt arms sales to Myanmar in response to this year’s violent military coup.
  • The UN also called for the release of political detainees, such as elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and an end to violence against peaceful protesters.

China launches first electric train close to Arunachal Pradesh

  • China has operationalised its first fully electrified bullet train in the remote Himalayan region of Tibet, connecting the provincial capital Lhasa and Nyingchi, a strategically located Tibetan border town close to Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The 435.5-km Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway has been inaugurated ahead of the centenary celebrations of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) on July 1.
  • The Sichuan-Tibet Railway will be the second railway into Tibet after the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.

Denmark signs framework agreement on ISA

  • Denmark signed the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement (ISA FA) and Instrument of Ratification with India.
  • Meanwhile, Denmark becomes first country to ratify International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement (ISA FA) after amendments to it entered into force on January 8.

G20 Education Ministers’ Meeting

  • The Minister of State for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre participated in the G20 Education Ministers’ Meeting on 22nd June, 2021.
  • The meeting was hosted in blended mode by Italy.
  • G20 Education Ministers exchanged views on how to progress on the fight against educational poverty and inequalities, especially in context of the Covid 19 pandemic.

WHO Report: Suicide worldwide in 2019

  • According to the World Health Organization’s latest report, India has the highest suicide rate in the South-East Asian region.
  • Sri Lanka stands second in the region with a suicide rate of 14.6 and Thailand (14.4) third.
  • India also had the third-highest female suicide rate (14.7) in the world after Lesotho (24.4) and Republic of Korea (15.4).
  • Around 800,000 people commit suicide every year in the world, according to the WHO report.
  • Guyana has the highest male suicide rate and in Lesotho topped in the female suicide rate.

Israel successfully tests airborne laser weapon

  • The Israeli Ministry of Defense and Elbit Systems have successfully intercepted several UAVs using an airborne laser weapon during a test flight.
  • This method of airborne interception has many advantages, including a low cost per interception, the ability to effectively intercept long-range threats at high altitudes regardless of weather conditions, and the ability to defend large areas.

UNESCO: Great Barrier Reef should be listed as ‘in danger’

  • A UN committee recommended recently that the Great Barrier Reef should be added to a list of “in danger” World Heritage Sites.
  • Australia has for years been battling to keep the Great Barrier Reef, a major tourist attraction that supports thousands of jobs, off the “in danger” list, a step that could potentially lead towards its eventual removal as a World Heritage Site.

UN Annual Report on children and armed conflict

  • United Nations published its “Annual Report of Secretary-General on Children & Armed Conflict (CAAC)”.
  • As per the report, about 19,300 children, including boys and girls, have suffered from one or more incidents of grave violations in 2020.

Historic’: Chile votes for who will draft new constitution

  • Chile will soon draft a new constitution.
  • It will hold its first session on July 4, as the South American country moves towards replacing its current conservative, dictatorship-era charter.

State

West Bengal student credit card to be launched soon, cabinet approves scheme

  • The West Bengal cabinet approved the student credit card scheme, which the Trinamool Congress had promised in its election manifesto.
  • A student can get a soft loan of up to ₹10 lakh to pursue higher studies with the help of a credit card.

Andhra’s SALT programme

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has sanctioned funds of Rs 1,860 crore to implementation of SALT programme.
  • SALT programme stands for “Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation” programme.
  • This programme was launched with the aim of improving learning outcomes, quality of teaching practices and school management in basic education.

Cochin airport gets global award for quality of service

  • The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has won a global award for quality of service.
  • The Cochin International Airport has consistently delivered excellence in customer service by winning multiple ASQ awards over five years during the past 10 years.
  • The ACI, a global body of airport operators, established the Roll of Excellence recognition to those airports, which in the opinion of the passengers, have consistently delivered excellent service.

Agricultural Diversification Scheme:Rajsthan

  • The state of Gujarat e-launched Agricultural Diversification Scheme-2021 which will benefit vanbandhu- farmers in tribal areas.
  • It seeks to make agriculture sustainable and profitable in tribal areas.
  • Under this scheme, tribal farmers will be provided fertilizer-seed assistance of Rs. 31 crores.

Mukhyamantri Covid-19 PariwarAarthikSahayata Yojana: Delhi

  • Delhi government has launched “Mukhyamantri COVID-19 PariwarAarthikSahayata Yojana” to provide financial assistance to the families who lost a member due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  • According to notification by Social Welfare Department, Rs 50,000 ex-gratia will be provided to every family that has lost a member amid pandemic.
  • A pension of Rs 2,500 per month would also be given to those families that lost the sole breadwinner to covid-19 pandemic.
  • Government will also consider single member of affected family to be enrolled as civil defence volunteer.
  • Government will also look after health and education needs of dependent children.

Cash reward for having more children in Mizoram

  • The state of Mizoram has announced a cash incentive of Rs 1 lakh for having more children.
  • Rs 1 lakh would be given to living parent with highest number of children in minister’s constituency to encourage population growth among the demographically small Mizo communities.

Science & Environment

World’s first Genetically Modified rubber sapling: Assam

  • The world’s first genetically modified (GM) rubber plant was planted in Guwahati, Assam.
  • The GM rubber plant, which is the first of its kind developed specifically for the northeast and is expected to flourish in the region’s climatic conditions.

Govt launches ‘green tariff’ policy

  • The Central government will soon launch guidelines enabling power distribution companies to supply only clean electricity to customers.
  • In what will reinforce India’s green energy credentials, the union government is working on a ‘green tariff’ policy that will help electricity distribution companies (discoms) supply electricity generated from clean energy projects at a cheaper rate as compared to power from conventional fuel sources such as coal.
  • India is running the world’s largest clean energy programme to achieve 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable capacity, including 100GW of solar power by 2022.

IIT Delhi Launches Rapid Antigen Test Kit

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi has come up with a rapid antigen test kit for Covid which is priced at Rs 50 and gives results within five minutes.
  • The ICMR approved test kit was launched by Union Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre.

New type of ancient human discovered in Israel

  • Researchers working in Israel have identified a previously unknown type of ancient human that lived alongside our species more than 100,000 years ago.
  • They believe the remains uncovered near the city of Ramla represent one of the “last survivors” of a very ancient human group.
  • The scientists have named the newly discovered lineage the “Nesher Ramla Homo type”.

CII-IGBC launches Green High-Speed Rail Rating System

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)-Indian Green Building Council has launched the IGBC Green High-Speed Rail Rating System.
  • The IGBC Green HSR rating system is a first- of- its- kind in the world and exclusively developed to address the sustainability aspects of High-Speed Rail (HSR) projects.

Indian refining giant Reliance unveils $10-bln green energy plan

  • Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), operator of the world’s biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in western India, will invest $10.1 billion in clean energy over three years in a drive to become a net carbon zero company by 2035.
  • Reliance will set up four Giga Factories under “Dhirubhai Ambani Green Energy Giga Complex” to manufacture and integrate all critical components of new energy ecosystem.

Now in 85 countries, Delta variant expected to become dominant lineage:WHO

  • The Delta variant, the significantly more transmissible strain of COVID-19, is expected to become a dominant lineage if current trends continue, the WHO has warned after it was reported in 85 countries and continues to be detected in more places around the world.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that globally, the variant Alpha has been reported in 170 countries, territories or areas, Beta in 119 countries, Gamma in 71 countries and Delta in 85 countries.

Colombian Butterflies

  • As per recent study, Colombia is home to world’s largest variety of butterflies.
  • A new study revealed the overwhelming extent of biological diversity in Colombia, finding that the South American country is home to approximately 20 per cent of all known butterfly species in the world.

India’s ZyCoV-D set to become world’s first DNA Covid vaccine

  • ZyCoV-D, the DNA vaccine against Covid-19 developed by Gujarat-based company Zydus Cadila, could be on its way to becoming the first approved DNA Covid vaccine in the world.
  • A DNA vaccine carries into the body the genetic code for that part of a virus that triggers the immune system of the body.

Odisha emerges as the only state to house all species of crocodiles

  • In a first, in 46 years, Odisha emerges as the only state in India to have all three species of crocodiles.
  • There are three popularly known species of crocodiles, found in India, namely:The Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), the Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) and the Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylusporosus)
  • The freshwater Gharials are found at Satakosiya in Mahanadi and the muggers & saltwater crocodiles are found at Bhitar, Kanika National Park in the state of Odisha.

Economy

itat e-dwar’, an e-filing portal of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

  • Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & IT, formally launched the e-filing portal of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), ‘itat e-dwar’ in New Delhi.

Country’s foreign exchange reserve rose by US 103 billion in last one year

  • Reserve Bank of India has said that, foreign exchange reserves of country reached an all-time high of US$ 605.0 billion on June 4, 2021. In last one year, country’s foreign exchange reserve rose by US$ 103 Billion.
  • India is the 5th largest reserve holding country in the world, the 12th largest foreign holder of US treasury securities and the 10th largest in terms of gold reserves.
  • RBI estimated that, in terms of projected imports for 2021-22, the current level of reserves provides cover for less than 15 months.

India, the fifth largest recipient of inflows in 2020: UN

  • According to the World Investment Report 2021 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), global FDI flows have been severely hit by the pandemic and they plunged by 35 per cent in 2020 to $1 trillion from $1.5 trillion the previous year.
  • The report said in India, FDI increased 27 per cent to $64 billion in 2020 from $51 billion in 2019, pushed up by acquisitions in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry, making the country the fifth largest FDI recipient in the world.

Technology Platform ‘e-PGS’ by LIC

  • Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has launched a centralized web-based workflow-based IT platform called “e-PGS”.
  • Project e-PGS was inaugurated by M R Kumar, Chairman of LIC, at Central Office, Mumbai.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (Phase IV)

  • The Union Cabinetapproved recently the allocation of additional food grain under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (Phase IV) – for another period of 5 months that is from July to November 2021.
  • The government has sanctioned 5 kg per person per month free of cost for maximum 81.35 Crore beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) (Antyodaya Anna Yojana and Priority Households) including those covered under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

Persons/places

Laurel Hubbard: New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) has selected weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to contest women’s +87 kg category. Weightlifter will be the first transgender athlete to compete at Olympics.

Warren Buffett:The chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathawayresigned as a trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, coming just weeks after the couple announced their divorce and raising new questions about the future of the foundation.

Parassala B Ponnammal:A doyen of carnatic music from Kerala passed away recently.Awarded the Padma Shri in 2017, Ponnammal’s loved ones remembered her as an unassuming and a gentle soul.

Sports

India’s Tokyo Olympics Theme Song Launched

  • India’s “Official Olympic Theme Song” was launched ahead of the Summer Games in July-August.
  • Mohit Chauhan has composed and sung the song titled “Lakshya Tera Samne Hai”.

New Zealand beat India by 8 wickets to win WTC title

  • New Zealand won the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) title, beating India by eight wickets in the final at the Ageas Bowl.

Deepika Kumari bags 3 Gold medals at Archery World Cup stage III in Paris

  • In Archery, India’s Deepika Kumari defeated Russia’s Elena Osipova 6-0 in the final of the women’s individual recurve event to complete a hat-trick of gold medals in one day at the World Cup Stage III in Paris.
  • She was also a part of the mixed recurve event and women’s recurve team winning gold.
  • In the mixed recurve team event, husband-wife duo Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari bagged Gold with 5-3 win over the Netherlands.

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