(5-11) July, 2021 News Summary

National

Country’s First LNG plant in Nagpur

  • Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the country’s First Private LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant in Nagpur recently.
  • The Country’s first LNG facility plant has been set up by Baidyanath Ayurvedic Group on Kamptee Road near Nagpur Jabalpur Highway.

Ministry of Cooperation

  • The government announced the formation of a separate Union Ministry of Cooperation, a subject that till date was looked after by the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • In the Cabinet reshuffle of July 7, Home Minister Amit Shah was given charge of the new Ministry.
  • The Ministry of Cooperation will provide a separate administrative legal and policy framework for strengthening the cooperative movement in the country.

Dept of Public Enterprises brought under Finance Ministry

  • Central government has decided to bring Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) under finance ministry.
  • DPE was earlier under Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
  • It has been brought under finance minister in a bid to ease coordination regarding future disinvestment plans.Finance ministry now comprises of six departments. Six departments are:
  • Department of Economic Affairs,
  • Department of Expenditure,
  • Department of Revenue,
  • Department of Investment & Public Asset Management and
  • Department of Financial Services.
  • Department of Public Enterprises (DPE)

Rampant invocation of Sec 66A IT Act

  • THE Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre on a petition filed by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) highlighting rampant invocation of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, which was struck down by the court in 2015.
  • The top court on March 24, 2015, had struck down Section 66A of the IT Act as being violative of the freedom of speech and expression. It held that Section 66A created an offence that was vague and overbroad.
  • Section 66A of IT Act provides for punishment of a maximum of three years in jail and a fine on sending “offensive” messages through computer or any other communication device such as mobile phone or tablet.

PM Modi’s Cabinet Reshuffle Highlights

  • A number of key portfolios – including Health, Law, Information and Technology and Railways – have gone to new ministers and junior ministers who got a promotion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers that underwent a reboot recently.
  • The number of cabinet ministers has been boosted from 21 to 30 in the current reshuffle.
  • The number of junior ministers has gone up too, from 23 to 45. There are fewer junior ministers with Independent Charge – the figure has dropped from nine to two.
  • Thirty-six new ministers joined the government and four high-profile ministers quit in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mega cabinet reboot to offset criticism as the country emerges from a fierce second wave of Covid ahead of key elections.
  • PM Modi now has 77 ministers, nearly half of them new.

List of new ministers

  • Narayan Rane: Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
  • Sarbananda Sonowal: Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH
  • Virendra Kumar: Social Justice & Empowerment
  • Jyotiraditya M Scindia: Civil Aviation
  • Ramchandra Prasad Singh: Steel
  • Ashwini Vaishnaw: Railways, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology
  • Pashupati Kumar Paras: Food Processing Industries
  • Bhupender Yadav: Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Labour & Employment
  • Kiren Rijiju: Law & Justice
  • Raj Kumar Singh: Power and New & Renewable Energy
  • Mansukh Mandaviya: Health & Family Welfare and Chemicals & Fertilizers
  • Hardeep Singh Puri: Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs
  • G. Kishan Reddy: Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region
  • Anurag Thakur: Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports
  • Parshottam Rupala: Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying
  • Narendra Modi: Science & Technology
  • Amit Shah: Cooperation

Military firing range named after Vidya Balan

  • In recognition of Vidya Balan’s phenomenal contribution to Indian cinema, the Indian Army has recently named one of its firing ranges after the actor.
  • The Vidya Balan Firing Range is located in Gulmarg, Kashmir.

Shri Nitin Gadkari Becomes “Brand Ambassador” of Khadi Prakritk Paint

  • Minister for Road Transport and Highways & MSME Shri Nitin Gadkari declared himself the “Brand Ambassador ” of Khadi Prakritk Paint.
  • he has promised to promote it across the country so as to encourage young entrepreneurs to take up the manufacturing of cow dung paint.

Cairn claims order to attach 20 India properties in Paris

  • The Cairn Energy dispute with India over the settlement of a $1.2 billion award from The Hague, took a dramatic turn with the company saying it had secured a French court order allowing it to freeze at least 20 Indian properties in Central Paris.
  • The Government of India, however, has denied all knowledge of the latest order.

Govt launches mobile app ‘Matsya Setu’ for Indian aqua farmers

  • Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Giriraj Singh launched a mobile app ‘Matsya Setu’ to disseminate the latest freshwater aquaculture technologies to the country’s aqua farmers.
  • The app has been developed by the ICAR-Central Institute ofFreshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA).

Twitter loses immunity as an intermediary for violating the new IT rules

  • The Union Government, in its response to the Delhi High Court, has maintained that Twitter has still not complied with the new IT rules which came into effect on May 26.
  • This has resulted in the tech giant losing its immunity as an intermediary provided under section 79(1) of the IT Act, 2000.

Legendary actor Dilip Kumar laid to rest with full state honours

  • Veteran actor Dilip Kumar’s last rites were held with full state honours in Mumbai.
  • The mortal remains of the legendary artist were laid to rest at the Juhu Kabristan in Santacruz.
  • The doyen of Indian film industry passed after a prolonged illness.
  • He was popularly known as the ‘Tragedy King’ of Bollywood
  • Dilip Kumar was well known for his roles in Jogan, Babul, Azaad, Tarana, Deedar, Aan, Karma, Footpath, Daag, Devdas and Mughal-e-Azam.
  • Achievements
  • Filmfare Awards for Best Actor 8 times
    • Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994
    • Padma Bhushan (1991)
    • Padma Vibhushan (2015)
    • Pakistan’s Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1998)
    • Nominated Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra in 2000–2006

NIPUN Bharat

  • Dr R P Nishank Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has virtually launched the National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy – NIPUN Bharat.
  • This initiative is aimed to develop learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy in the children.        
  • The launch of NIPUN Bharat marks an important step undertaken by the Department of School Education and Literacy, among a series of measures taken for implementation of the National Education Policy 2020.

India Pavilion at 74th Cannes Film Festival

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar India has opened up (India Pavilion) facilitation office for international film makers and all approvals are to be given in one go.
  • This is the second year when the pavilions are being virtually organized.
  • The virtual India pavilion can become a meeting place to meet and discuss the future of world of cinema.

Gomti River Front Development scam

  • Officials of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are conducting raids across several districts in Uttar Pradesh in connection with alleged scam in Gomti River Front Development Project.
  • There are alleged irregularities in Rs 1,600 crore Gomti riverfront t development project.
  • This project was launched in 2015 by previous Samajwadi Party led Uttar Pradesh government with Akhilesh Yadav as chief minister.
  • Section 66A of IT Act provides for punishment of a maximum of three years in jail and a fine on sending “offensive” messages through computer or any other communication device.

State

India’s first cryptogamic garden opens in Dehradun

  • India’s first cryptogamic garden housing nearly 50 species of lichens, ferns and fungi was inaugurated in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district on Sunday.
  • Located in the district’s Chakrata town, the garden was inaugurated by social activist Anoop Nautiyal.
  • Around 50 species have been grown in the garden at Deoban in Chakrata at a commanding height of 9,000 ft.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath unveils new population policy

  • In the new population policy, a target has been set to bring the birth rate to 2.1 per thousand population by 2026 and to 1.9 by 2030.
  • It also promotes a two-child policy, violation of which would mean people will be debarred from contesting local body elections, applying for government jobs or receiving any government subsidy.

Kerala govt. to have its own OTT platform

  • Kerala government has proposed to have its own over-the-top (OTT) platform. Government has planned to launch it by November 1.
  • Homegrown platform will ensure that data and content be with government rather than with third party by using existing platform.

Delhi’s NO2 pollution rose by 125 % in 1 year

  • According to a study by non-government organisation (NGO), Greenpeace, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has been increased by 125 per cent in Delhi during the period of last one year.
  • Study analysed NO2 concentrations in India’s eight most populous cities namely, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Lucknow.
  • As per report, NO2 pollution has increased between April 2020 and April 2021 in all the eight capitals cities.

Tiger Corridor coming up in Rajasthan

  • Rajasthan government has planned to develop a tiger corridor connecting Ranthambore tiger reserve, Ramgarh Vishdhari tiger reserve and Mukundra tiger reserve.
  • This sanctuary will link Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Northeast side and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve on southern side.
  • Proposed site for the sanctuary is in Bundi District of Rajasthan. It will connect Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Sawai Madhopur district and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Kota district.

Delhi: DMRC launches India’s first UPI-based cashless parking

  • The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched India’s first FASTag or Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based parking facility to reduce the time for entry and payment.
  • The facility was launched at Kashmere Gate metro station.

Crime against women rose by 63.3%, so far in 2021 in Delhi

  • Data shared by Delhi Police shows that, Crime against women in Capital has increased by 63.3% in first six months of 2021 against the crime rate in 2020.
  • Kidnapping of women have increased from 1,026 to 1,580. Abduction cases increased from 46 to 159, and dowry deaths has also increased from 47 to 56.

Bengal assembly passes resolution to create legislative council

  • The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government was able to pass a resolution in the state assembly in favour of creating a legislative council in the state under Article 169 of the Constitution.
  • As per law, West Bengal can have a maximum of 94 members in the legislative council (one-third of total assembly seats), in case the resolution gets support of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

New Delhi: Kashmere Gate metro station gets India’s first FASTag-based parking facility

  • As part of its multimodal integration of transport services initiative, the DMRC launched India’s first FASTag/UPI based cashless parking facility at the Kashmere Gate metro station in north Delhi.

International

Third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Venice

  • G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) gathered in Venice for their third official meeting under the Italian G20 Presidency.
  • This was the first in-person Finance Track meeting since February 2020.
  • The G20 members account for more than 80 per cent of world gross domestic product, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of population of the planet.

World’s biggest sandcastle constructed in Denmark

  • The world’s tallest sandcastle has been completed in Denmark, towering more than 20 metres high and comprising nearly 5,000 tonnes of sand, according to its designers.
  • Standing 21.16 metres in height (69.4 feet), the castle is more than 3 metres taller than one built in Germany in 2019, which previously held the title, according to Guinness World Records.

China bans tallest skyscrapers following safety concerns

  • China has banned construction of tallest skyscrapers following the safety concerns over quality of some projects. China had constructed maximum number of tallest buildings in 2019 but now it has banned to ensure safety.
  • As per National Development and Reform Commission, this ban covers buildings taller than 500 metres.
  • China has largest number of tall buildings in the world. It has surpassed the combined number of second and third largest viz., United States (800+) and Japan (250+).

Four Cuts Strategy

  • Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) have returned to its “four cuts strategy” in order to stamp out resistance to its rule after it seized power from elected government of Myanmar in Military coup on February 1, 2021.
  • The “four cuts” was a doctrine which was designed to sever insurgents from their key inputs like funding, food, intelligence, and recruits.
  • Myanmar military had developed this strategy when it was struggling to fight Communist Party of Burma and Myanmar’s oldest ethnic armed group, Karen National Union.

World passes ‘tragic milestone’ of four million COVID deaths: WHO

  • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the landmark had been reached, more than 18 months since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019.
  • The world passed the “tragic milestone” of four million recorded Covid-19 fatalities.

2021 Trafficking in Persons Report

  • Trafficking in Persons report 2021 was recently released by US State Department. As per the report, Covid-19 pandemic has increased vulnerability to human trafficking and interrupted existing anti-traffic efforts.
  • According to the report, India did not meet minimum standards of eliminating trafficking. However, government made significant efforts, though these were inadequate especially with respect to bonded labour.

Mango diplomacy

  • Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has gifted 2,600 kg of Haribhanga variety of mangoes to Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
  • Mango diplomacy has been a tradition of politics in Indian subcontinent. Dignitaries like former Pakistan Presidents Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf had also presented India with mangoes.
  • Mangoes are a “memento of friendship” between both the countries.
  • Mangoes are of “Haribhanga variety” which are grown in Rangpur region of Bangladesh.

NASA receives first Sample of Asteroid Ryugu

  • American Space Agency, NASA, has received its first sample of asteroid Ryugu that returned to Earth in December 2020 by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 spacecraft.
  • Asteroid Ryugu is also called as 162173 Ryugu.  It is provisionally designated as 1999 JU3. It is a near-Earth object and a potentially hazardous asteroid belonging to Apollo group.

Appointed/elected

President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed New Governors for eight states

  • Thawarchand Gehlot—————— Governor of Karnataka
  • Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel —–Governor of Madhya Pradesh
  • Dr. Hari Babu Kambhampati———Governor of Mizoram
  • Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar——–Governor of Himachal Pradesh.
  • P.S. Sreedharan Pillai——————-Governor of Goa.
  • Satyadev Narayan Arya—————-Governor of Tripura
  • Tripura Governor Ramesh Bais——-Governor of Jharkhand
  • Bandaru Dattatreya———————Governor of Haryana.

New Diplomats from abroad

  • Mariana Pacheco Montes: Ambassador of Colombia
  • Alberto Antonio Guani Amarilla: Ambassador of Uruguay
  • Jason Keats Matthew Hall: High Commissioner of Jamaica
  • Youri Babakhanyan: Armenia
  • Pattarat Hongtong: Thailand
  • Daniela Mariana Sezonov Tane: Romania
  • Nurlan Zhalgasbayev: Kazakhstan
  • Firat Sunel: Turkey

Sports

2021 WIMBLEDON TENNIS: TITLE WINNERS

  • Men’s Singles: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic
  • Women’s Singles: Ashleigh Barty
  • Men’s Doubles: Croatia’s Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić
  • Women’s Doubles: Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su-wei & Elise Mertens of Belgium
  • Mixed Doubles: United Kingdom’s Neal Skupski and Desirae Krawczyk of US

2021 COPA AMERICA FOOTBALL

  • Argentina beats Brazil 1-0 in final at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro
  • Argentina’s captain Lionel Messi finishes as tournament’s joint top goalscorer with Peru’s Luis Díaz with four goals
  • Messi elected joint best player along with Brazil’s Neymar

Mary Kom & Manpreet to be India’s flag-bearers at Olympics opening ceremony

  • Indian Olympic Association have announced that 6-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom and men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh will be India’s flag bearers at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
  • IOA also revealed that wrestler Bajrang Punia will be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Games on August 8.

Golfer Udayan Mane qualifies for Olympics

  • Indian golfer Udayan Mane has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
  • The 30-year-old Mane thus joined good friend Anirban Lahiri as the second Indian in the 60-player field in the men’s golf event at Tokyo 2020.

Nihal Sarin wins Serbia Open, claims second consecutive title

  • Young Indian Grandmaster Nihal Sarin emerged champion in the Masters’ section of the Serbia Open Chess Championship in Belgrade.
  • This is the second consecutive tournament victory for sixteen-year-old Sarin after he claimed the title in Silver Lake Open.
  • The GM from Thrissur, Kerala, played out a draw with GM Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia to finish with 7.5 points out of a possible nine to finish clear first in the 289-player field in the nine-round tourney.

Fans banned at Tokyo Olympics as Japan declares state of emergency

  • Fans were banned from the pandemic-postponed Tokyo Olympics which will open in two weeks, following a state of emergency.
  • The ban was announced by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organisers, reducing the games to a made-for-TV eveModern Indian History (and Bihar) – mid 19th century onwards

EURO 2020 FOOTBALL

  • Italy won 2020 UEFA European Football Championship by defeating England 3-2 in penalty shoot-out in the final played at Wembley Stadium in London
  • Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo were top scorers 5 goals each
  • Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was Best player of

the tournament

Persons/Places

LA mayor Eric Garcetti: US President Joe Biden has nominated Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as his country’s ambassador to India.

Zaila Avant-garde: Murraya is the word. The 14-year-old girl from Harvey, Louisiana, twirled and jumped after correctly spelling “m-u-r-r-a-y-a” to become the first African American winner in the 96-year history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Richard Donner: Veteran filmmaker Richard Donner, known for directing blockbuster and classic films such as “Superman”, “The Goonies” and “Lethal Weapon” franchise, has died.Donner, whose real name was Richard Donald Schwartzberg, was born in New York to Jewish parents in 1931.

Virbhadra Singh:The six-time Chief Ministe, theformer Himachal Pradesh chief minister and veteran Congress leader Virbhadra Singh passed away recently.

Jovenel Moïse:A group of 28 foreign mercenaries, including retired Colombian soldiers, assassinated Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse in the capital city Port-au-Prince.

Keshav Datt: Two-time Olympic gold medallist in hockey, Keshav Datt, died due to age-related ailments. Datt was 95.

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