August 2021 - 1st to 7th
1.India takes over UNSC presidency for August 2021.
- India took over from France to assume the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August 2021.
- This is the first presidency for India during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to preside over a meeting of the UNSC.
- As the president of the top UN Body, India will decide the agenda for the month, coordinate important meetings and other related issues. India will focus on three priority areas during its presidency. These include maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism.
2. Nikol Pashinyan Re-appointed as PM of Armenia.
- Nikol Pashinyan has been re-appointed as the prime minister of Armenia by President Armen Sarkissian on August 02, 2021.
3. Myanmar Military Chief appointed as interim Prime Minister.
- The Chief of the Myanmar military, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has taken over as the interim prime minister of the country. He is also the Chairman of the State Administration Council (SAC) which has been performing the duties of the government in Myanmar, after the February 01, 2021 coup, which overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party.
- This SAC has been reformed as the caretaker government of Myanmar in order to perform the country’s duties fast, easily and effectively.
4. IMF approves historic $650 bln allocation of Special Drawing Rights
- The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have approved a record general allocation of $650 billion in IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDR), to help boost global liquidity.
- The $650 billion SDR allocation aims to support member countries, especially emerging and developing nations, battling the coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has caused.
- This allocation is the largest-ever distribution in the IMF’s 77-year history, in terms of monetary reserves assets. The allocation will become effective from August 23, 2021. The newly created SDRs will be credited to member countries in proportion to their existing quotas shareholding in the Fund.
5.Germany becomes 5th country to sign ISA Framework Agreement.
- Germany became the 5th country to sign the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement after amendments to it entered into force on 8th January 2021, opening its Membership to all Member States of the United Nations.
- Ambassador of Germany to India Walter J. Lindner deposited signed copies of the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement with the Ministry of External Affairs, the depositary of the Agreement.
- Membership to the ISA was earlier limited to 121 countries, which were partially or entirely located within the tropics. This didn’t allow major solar energy economies such as Germany to join the alliance that is being increasingly seen as a foreign policy tool.
- The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Africa Summit and a meeting of member countries ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015. The framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance opened for signatures in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016.
6. Ebrahim Raisi sworn in as new President of Iran.
- Ebrahim Raisi was officially sworn in as the new president of Iran on August 05, 2021. He won the 2021 Iranian presidential election in June, with 62 per cent of the vote. The 60-year-old Raisi succeeds Hassan Rouhani to begin his four-year term. He is also been the Chief Justice of Iran since March 2019.
- Raisi’s inauguration comes at a pivotal time, with Iran currently in indirect negotiations with the United States over how to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.
- Raisi will also face the task of reviving his country’s economy, which has been battered in recent years by the previous US administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions. Tensions in the region are also high following a string of maritime provocations blamed by the West on Tehran.
1.PM Modi to launch e-RUPI digital payment solution.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch e-RUPI, an e-voucher-based digital payment solution, via video conferencing.
- The e-RUPI initiative will be one of the programmes launched over the years to limit touchpoints between the government and the beneficiary and “ensure that the benefits reach its intended beneficiaries in a targeted and leak-proof manner”.
- e- RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payments. It acts as an e-voucher based on a QR code or SMS string, which is delivered to the mobile phones of the beneficiaries.
- e- RUPI connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface. It also ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed.
- The e-RUPI platform has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on its UPI platform, in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Health Authority.
2. Muslim Women’s Rights Day: 01 August.
- In India, “Muslim Women’s Rights Day” is celebrated across the nation on August 01 to celebrate the enactment of the law against Triple Talaq. The first Muslim Women’s Rights Day was observed in 2020.
- The Government of India enacted the law against Triple Talaq on August 01, 2019 to make the social malpractice of Triple Talaq a criminal offence.
- The law is formally called the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. It prohibits the practice of instant divorce by Muslim men and any violation of the law is punishable by a jail term of up to three years.
3. Union Minister of Science & Technology releases “Biotech-PRIDE”.
- The Union Ministry for Science & Technology has released “Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) Guidelines”.
- The Biotech-PRIDE Guidelines have been developed by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). The guidelines are aimed at providing a well-defined framework and guiding principle to facilitate and enable sharing and exchange of biological knowledge, information and data.
- The guidelines will be implemented through the Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC). The exchange of information will help in promoting research and innovation in different research groups across the country.
- These guidelines do not deal with the generation of biological data but are an enabling mechanism to share and exchange information and knowledge generated as per the existing laws, rules, regulations and guidelines of the country.
1.Uttarakhand unveils India’s first earthquake mobile app.
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami has launched the first-of-its-kind earthquake early warning mobile application, named ‘Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert’.
- The app has been developed by IIT Roorkee, in association with Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA).
- Initially, this app was launched as a pilot project only by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, for the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, the project proposal was further extended by the Uttarakhand Government.
- The Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert is India’s first earthquake early warning’ app for notifying people about earthquake alerts.
- Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) mobile app can detect the onset of the earthquake and issue warnings regarding an earthquake occurrence in the neighbourhood and the expected time of arrival and intensity at the location to prevent any loss of life.
1.HDFC Bank launches ‘Dukandar Overdraft Scheme’.
- HDFC Bank announced the launch of an overdraft facility for small retailers in partnership with CSC SPV. Known as ‘Dukandar Overdraft Scheme’. The scheme by HDFC Bank is aimed at helping shopkeepers and merchants ease their cash crunch.
- According to the bank, retailers operating for a minimum of three years are eligible for the scheme by providing six months bank statement from any bank.
- HDFC Bank will approve an overdraft limit from a minimum of Rs 50,000 to a maximum of Rs 10 lakhs based on the statements. Importantly, HDFC Bank won’t seek collateral security, business financials, and income tax returns from retailers who apply for the scheme.
2. RBI imposes penalty of Rs 50.35 lakh on Janalaxmi Co-operative Bank.
- Reserve Bank of India has imposed a penalty of Rs 50.35 lakh on Janalaxmi Co-operative Bank, Nashik for non-compliance with certain regulatory requirements.
- The penalty on Janalaxmi Co-operative Bank has been imposed for non-compliance with directions issued by RBI on ‘Placement of Deposits with Other Banks by Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks’ and ‘Membership of Credit Information Companies (CICs)’.
- A statutory inspection conducted by RBI with reference to the bank’s financial position as on March 31, 2019, and the inspection report pertaining thereto, and examination of all related correspondence revealed non-compliance with the directions.
3. Indian Bank signs MoU with IIT Bombay for startup financing.
- Indian Bank has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) – an initiative of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay – for extending exclusive credit facilities to startups and MSMEs.
- The Bank will extend loans of up to 50 crore rupees to these start-ups for their working capital requirements or purchase of machinery and equipment. As the name goes, this initiative, which is mutually beneficial for both Bank and IIT, Bombay, will be the springboard for start-ups to realise their ambitions.
- SINE, IIT, Bombay is the forerunner in setting up joint R&D with industries and supporting start-up incubation. SINE, IIT, Bombay provides support to the MSME sector by providing joint research and development arrangements and technical and financial support for incubation and acceleration of high-end technology products.
4. Axis Bank crosses one million customers on WhatsApp banking.
- Axis Bank has crossed the milestone of over one million customers on its WhatsApp banking channel with a total request count of 6 million till now.
- Axis Bank had launched banking services on WhatsApp in January 2021 and has since witnessed robust organic growth in its customer base for WhatsApp banking.
- After signing up for the service, customers can inquire and get details of products across savings account, credit and debit cards, deposits and personal loans.
- Non-financial service requests can also be initiated, such as locating ATMs or getting updates on third-party deals available on credit and debit cards.
1.ISRO-NASA joint mission NISAR Satellite to be launched in 2023
- The ISRO-NASA joint mission NISER (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite, aimed at making global measurement of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging, is proposed to be launched in early 2023.
- It is a dual-band (L-band and S-band) radar imaging mission with the capability of full polarimetric and interferometric modes of operation to observe minor changes in land, vegetation and cryosphere.
- NISER is one of the crucial collaborations of the ISRO and NASA. India and the U.S. had agreed upon this mission during then-President Barack Obama’s visit to India in 2015.
2. ESA launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’ revolutionary reprogrammable Satellite.
- European Space Agency (ESA) launched ‘Eutelsat Quantum’, the world’s 1st commercial reprogrammable satellite into space aboard Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. It is a fully flexible software-defined satellite.
- The satellite has been developed under a European Space Agency partnership project with satellite operator Eutelsat, Airbus & Surrey Satellite Technology.
- Eutelsat Quantum is a UK flagship project with most of the satellites developed and manufactured by British industry.
- Airbus is the prime contractor and was responsible for building the satellite’s innovative payload, while Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd manufactured the new platform. The innovative phase array antenna was developed by Airbus in Spain.
1. PV Sindhu Wins Bronze in Women’s Badminton at Tokyo Olympics.
- Ace Indian badminton player PV Sindhu defeated China’s He Bingjiao to win the bronze medal in the women’s singles event at the Tokyo Olympics on August 01, 2021.
- With this win, Sindhu scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman and the only second Indian athlete to win two Olympic medals in individual events.
- Earlier she won the silver in women’s singles badminton at the Rio Olympics in 2016. This is India’s second medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
2. Esteban Ocon wins Hungarian GP 2021.
- Esteban Ocon, Alpine-Renault/ France, has won the Hungarian Grand Prix 2021, held on August 01, 2021, at the Hungaroring in Mogyoród, Hungary. This is the maiden F1 race win for Esteban Ocon.
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes/Germany) came second. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) finished third.
- With this win, he took the Formula One championship lead from Max Verstappen. Hungarian Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.
3. Sri Lanka bowling all-rounder Iskur Udana retires from international cricket.
- Sri Lanka left-arm seam bowling all-rounder, Isuru Udana has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.
- Udana had a very modest international career with sporadic appearances over 12 years in which he played only 21 ODIS and 35 T20 Internationals with just 45 wickets to show for his efforts.
- The left-arm medium-pacer had made his T20I debut in 2009 against Australia at the T20 World Cup in which Sri Lanka lost the final to Pakistan. His maiden ODI game came against India in 2012.
4. Italy’s Marcell Jacobs wins men’s 100m gold at Tokyo Olympics 2020.
- Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs outshone a field of unusual suspects to claim a shock Olympic gold in the men’s 100 metres, breaking retired Jamaican star Usain Bolt’s 13-year hold on the blue-riband event.
5. Alexander Zverev wins gold in men’s singles tennis at Tokyo Olympics 2020.
- Germany’s Alexander Zverev beats Russian Karen Khachanov 6-3 6-1 to win the men’s singles gold at the Tokyo Olympics. He became the first German man to win singles Olympic gold.
6. Tokyo Olympics 2020: Boxer Lovlina Borgohain Claims Bronze Medal.
- Indian Boxer, Lovlina Borgohain has failed to reach the gold medal final match. She settles for a bronze medal. This is India’s third medal of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. She lost to Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey by unanimous decision in the women’s welterweight (69 kg) semifinal at Tokyo 2020.
- Lovlina had already assured India of their first boxing medal at the ongoing Olympic Games when she upstaged former world champion, Nien-Chin Chen of Taiwan, to enter the semis.
7. India wins bronze in men’s hockey, beat Germany 5-4.
- Indian men’s hockey team defeated Germany to win their first-ever Olympic medal in 41 years. India wins the bronze medal in men’s hockey after beating Germany 5-4 at Tokyo Olympics.
- Before this podium finish for bronze, India last climbed up the Olympic podium in 1980, when it won its 8th gold at the Games.
- Simranjeet Singh scored two goals for India at the Oi Hockey Stadium, along with Hardik Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh also adding their names on the scoresheet.
8. Ravi Kumar Dahiya wins silver medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020.
- Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya bagged the silver medal after losing in the final of men’s 57kg freestyle category to Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Zavur Uguev.
- This is India’s fifth medal at the Tokyo Olympics and the second silver of the campaign.
- Ravi Kumar is the fifth Indian wrestler after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Sakshi Malik to finish on the Olympic podium.
9. Neeraj Chopra wins Olympic gold medal in Javelin throw.
- Neeraj Chopra has won a Gold medal for India in the javelin throw event at Tokyo Olympics. With a throw of 87.03 metres in his first attempt, Neeraj killed the competition.
- In his second he improved it to 87.58m and that turned out to be the golden throw. Except for Viteszalav Veslay of the Czech Republic who threw 86.67m none of his rivals including world champion Johannas Vetter fell by wayside.
- This is India’s 7th medal at Tokyo 2020, the best ever medal haul for India at a single edition of the Games. Neeraj Chopra’s Gold is also India’s second-ever individual Gold medal at the Olympics, after Abhinav Bindra in Shooting.
10. Tokyo Olympics 2020: Bajrang Punia wins Olympic wrestling bronze medal.
- Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has won the Olympic wrestling bronze medal match after 8-0 win over Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazakhstan in the men’s freestyle 65kg category.
- Punia became the sixth Indian wrestler to finish on the Olympic podium after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Sakshi Malik and Ravi Kumar Dahiya. This became the second instance after the 2012 London Olympics when two Indian wrestlers won medals in the same Games.
1.GST Collections Touched ₹ 1.16 Lakh Crore In July 2021.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections for July 2021 were ₹ 1.16 lakh crore, 33 per cent more than the corresponding period of last year. GST collections in July 2020 had stood at ₹ 87,422 crore, while sequentially they had stood at ₹ 92,849 crores in June this year.
- According to figures released by Finance Ministry, gross GST revenue collected in July 2021 are ₹ 1,16,393 crore, out of which Central GST is ₹ 22,197 crores, State GST is ₹ 28,541 crore and Integrated GST is ₹ 57,864 crore (including ₹ 27,900 crores collected on import of goods) and cess of Rs 7,790 crore (including ₹ 815 crores collected on import of goods).
2. Got cuts Mudra loans target to Rs 3 trillion in FY22
- The government has set the loans disbursement target under the PM Mudra Yojana (PMMY) at Rs 3 trillion for 2021-22 (FY22). This target is lower than the previous year. For FY21, the target was set at Rs 3.21 trillion. Experts attribute the lower target to increased allocation under the credit guarantee scheme for small businesses.
- Under PMMY, credit up to Rs 10 lakh is provided by banks and non-banking financial companies for entrepreneurial activities to small business units, including for new enterprises in sectors such as manufacturing, trading, services and activities allied to agriculture.
- The central government allocates annual targets for sanctioning of loans under the scheme. In FY22, loans worth Rs 3,804 crore have been sanctioned by 13 public sector banks (PSBs) as of June 25.
3. RBI announces its bi-monthly monetary policy.
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced its bi-monthly monetary policy. This is the seventh time in a row that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has maintained the status quo.
- RBI had last revised its policy rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting the interest rate to a historic low. The meeting was held between August 4 and 6. The remaining will take place in October (6 to 8); December (6 to 8) and February (7 to 9, 2022).
1.World’s largest star sapphire cluster found in a Sri Lankan backyard.
- World’s largest star sapphire cluster has been found in Ratnapura, Srilanka. The stone is pale blue in colour. It was found by labourers while digging a well in a gem trader’s home.
- Ratnapura is known as the gem capital of the country. The sapphire cluster weighs around 510kgs or 2.5 million carats. It has an estimated value of up to $100 million in the international market.
2. BRO builds the world’s highest road in Adak at 19,300 feet.
- Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed and black-topped the highest road in the world at Umlingla Pass in Eastern Ladakh. The highest motorable road in the world is situated at an altitude of 19,300 feet.
- This is higher than the base camps of Mount Everest. The road itself is a 52-km long tarmac stretch through Umlingla Pass, connecting important towns in the Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh.
- The north base in Tibet is at 16,900 feet, whereas the south base camp in Nepal is 17,598 feet. The summit of Mount Everest is a little over 29,000 feet. The road is constructed much above the altitude of Siachen Glacier which is at 17,700 feet.
- The Khardung La Pass in Leh is at an altitude of 17,582 feet. With this, India has bettered Bolivia’s record of a road at 18,953 feet.
3. CBIC launches Compliance Information Portal (CIP).
- The Central Board for Indirect Taxes & Customs launched the Indian Customs Compliance Information Portal at www.cip.icegate.gov.in/CIP.
- This portal providing free access to information on all Customs procedures and regulatory compliance for nearly 12,000 Customs Tariff Items.
- The portal will provide complete knowledge of all import and export related requirements for all items.
4. Ladakh launches ‘Pani Maah’ to raise awareness about clean water.
- ‘Pani Maah’ or water month has been launched in Ladakh to inform villagers about the importance of clean water.
- The Ladakh government has also announced a reward of Rs 2.5 million for the first block in each district that achieves the status of ‘Har Ghar Jal’.
- ‘Pani Maah’ campaign will adopt a three-pronged approach — focussing on water quality testing, planning and strategizing water supply, and seamless functioning of Pani Sabha in villages.
- Only 11.75 per cent of rural households in Ladakh have access to tap water connections. The Pani Maah campaign is expected to expedite the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission in the union territory
1.Deepak Das takes charge as new Controller General of Accounts.
- Deepak Das has taken over as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on August 01, 2021. Prior to assuming charge of CGA, Mr. Das served as the Principal Chief Controller of Accounts in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
- Deepak Das, a 1986-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer, is the 25th officer to hold the position of CGA. CGA is the account keeper of the government and derives its mandate from Article 150 of the Constitution.
- It reconciles the cash balance of the center with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) apart from consolidating monthly accounts; preparing trends of revenue realization and expenditures as well as annual accounts of the central government.
1.India for implementing MoU with Bangladesh in disaster management
- India has emphasized the implementation of the recently-signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh over disaster management, resilience and mitigation on a priority basis. Bangladesh has decided to accept the invitation to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
- CDRI is a coalition of national governments, UN agencies, multilateral development banks and the private sector which aims to promote resilience of new and existing infrastructure to climate and disaster risks.
1.Vice Admiral SN Ghormade takes charge as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff.
- Vice Admiral SN Ghormade has assumed charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff at a formal ceremony in New Delhi.
- He succeeds Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar who retired on July 31, 2021, after more than 39 years of illustrious service. The Flag officer SN Ghormade was commissioned in the Indian Navy on January 01, 1984.
- He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) on January 26, 2017, and Nausena Medal (NM) in 2007 by the President of India, and a Commendation by the Chief of the Naval Staff in 2000.
2. Operation Blue Freedom: Team Of Special Forces Veterans.
- The government of India has accorded sanctions to Team CLAW to lead a team of people with disabilities to scale Siachen Glacier. It will be a new world record for the largest team of people with disabilities.
- This expedition is being undertaken as part of ‘Operation Blue Freedom’. It aims to shatter the common perception of pity, charity, and inability associated with people with disabilities and recreate it to one of dignity, freedom, and ability.
- Operation Blue Freedom was launched in 2019 by CLAW Global, a team of former Special Forces Operatives of the Indian Army and the Indian Navy. The Operation is a social impact venture aimed at rehabilitating people with disabilities through adaptive adventure sports.
3. IAF inducts 2nd squadron of Rafale aircraft at West Bengal’s Hasimara.
- The Indian Air Force (IAF) has formally inducted the second squadron of Rafale jets at West Bengal’s Hasimara airbase in Eastern Air Command (EAC). The event included a fly-past heralding the arrival of Rafale to Hasimara, followed by a traditional water cannon salute.
- Recalling the glorious history of 101 Squadron, which bestowed upon them the title of ‘Falcons of Chamb and Akhnoor’, Bhadauria urged the personnel to combine their zeal and commitment with the unmatched potential of the newly inducted platform.
- The multi-role Rafale jets, built by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, are known for air superiority and precision strikes.
- European missile maker MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and Scalp cruise missile will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.
4. INS Khanjar becomes the first INS to call at heritage coastal port.
- Indian Naval Ship Khanjar becomes the first Indian Navy ship to call at the heritage coastal port of Gopalpur in Odisha. The two-day visit was organised as part of Aazadi ka Amrit Mahotsav as well as Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Independence and the 50th anniversary of the 1971 War.
- The visit of the ship was aimed at enhancing ties and spreading awareness with the local populace on aspects of coastal security and maritime operations. During the visit, ship’s officers interacted with Port Officials and discussed aspects related to berthing facilities for OTR of Naval ships and security overview of port infrastructure.
- The ship’s team also undertook a cleanup drive at Gopalpur beach and tree plantation in the port premises. In addition, books and dry provisions were distributed to Samarth Orthopedically Handicapped Welfare Association, at Chatrapur in Ganjam district.
5. Indigenously designed INS Vikrant leaves port for maiden sea trials.
- India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, Vikrant set sail to begin its first sea trial. INS Vikrant was designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
- This advanced warship is the first attempt by the two entities to build an aircraft carrier from the ground up.
- INS Vikrant has 75 per cent indigenous content and will be commissioned into the Eastern Naval Command. It will be commissioned into the Indian Navy by August 2022.