General Knowledge & Current Affairs

August 2021 - 24th to 31st

1.World’s First fossil-free steel manufactured in Sweden.

  • Swedish green steel venture HYBRIT, which had made the ‘world’s first’ customer delivery of steel produced without using coal.
  • The steel was made using Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology, which uses 100% fossil-free hydrogen instead of coal and coke. The venture has started delivering the fossil-free steel to the Volvo Group as part of its trial run.
  • Development for the Hybrit project, which was set up in 2016 and is owned by SSAB, energy firm Vattenfall and LKAB, a mining and minerals group.
  • Both Vattenfall and LKAB are owned by the Swedish state. The idea underpinning Hybrit is to use “100% fossil-free hydrogen” rather than coal and coke in steel production.

2.Dubai sets up specialized court to combat money laundering.

  • Dubai Courts announced the establishment of a specialized court, focused on combating money laundering, within the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal.
  • This court ties into a string of initiatives aimed at reducing financial crimes and follows the recent establishment of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering & Countering the Financing of Terrorism.
  • This move will enable our stakeholders to raise their efficiency in effectively implementing the National AML/CFT Strategy and National Action Plan and achieving its goals through an empowered and sustainable system.

3.China, Pakistan, Thailand, Mongolia to hold military exercise “Shared Destiny-2021”.

  • The armed force of the country China, Pakistan, Mongolia and Thailand will take part in a multinational peacekeeping exercise named “Shared Destiny-2021”. The exercise will be held in China in the month of September 2021.
  • The four countries will take part in the first multinational peacekeeping live exercise “Shared Destiny-2021” at the combined-arms tactical training base of the PLA in Henan’s Queshan County.
  • All the four countries will dispatch more than 1,000 troops to participate in the drills, involving units of infantry, fast response, security, helicopter, engineering, transportation and medical services.
  • The scenario of the exercise is joint operations of multinational peacekeeping forces and the exercise will be held in a close-to-real battlefield environment set in accordance with the international, professional and realistic combat standards.

  1. 1.MyGov & UN Women tie-up to launch Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge 2021.
  • MyGov under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and UN Women have joined hands to launch the Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Innovation Challenge 2021.
  • The aim of this challenge is to encourage technology solutions developed by Women Entrepreneurs related to Women’s Safety and Empowerment.
  • The initiative will promote ‘Nari Sashaktikaran’, and empower women to help them achieve their full potential. The Amrit Mahotsav Shri Shakti Challenge 2021 is being implemented under the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (COVID-19) Programme.

2.NITI Aayog and WRI Jointly Launch ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’.

  • NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute (WRI), India, jointly launched the ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India.
  • NITI Aayog is the implementing partner for India. The aim of the project is to bring down the peak level of GHG emissions (transport sector) in Asia (in line with a well below 2-degree pathway), resulting in problems like congestion and air pollution.
  • The Forum has been launched under the NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project. The NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA 2020-2023) is a joint programme of seven organizations that will engage China, India, and Vietnam in promoting a comprehensive approach to decarbonizing transport in their respective countries.

3.Govt replaces Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rules 2021.

  • Ministry of Civil Aviation has repealed the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Rules, 2021 and replace the same with the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021.
  • The step has been taken as the earlier UAS Rules 2021 was perceived by academia, Startups, end-users and other stakeholders as being restrictive in nature as they involved considerable paperwork, required permissions for every drone flight and very few “free to fly” green zones were available.
  • Drone promotion council to be set up by Government with participation from academia, startups and other stakeholders to facilitate a growth-oriented regulatory regime.
  • Interactive airspace map with green, yellow and red zones shall be displayed on the digital sky platform within 30 days of publication of these rules.
  • The yellow zone was reduced from 45 km to 12 km from the airport perimeter.
  • The maximum penalty for violations is reduced to INR 1 lakh. 

4.Govt introduces “Bharat series (BH-series)” registration.

  • Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has introduced a new registration mark for new vehicles i.e. “Bharat series (BH-series)”.
  • The vehicles bearing the BH-series mark will not have to require the assignment of a new registration mark when the owner of the vehicle shifts from one State to another.
  • This facility is available on a voluntary basis to Defense personnel, employees of Central Government/ State Government/ Central/ State Public Sector Undertakings and private sector companies/organizations, which have their offices in four or more States/Union territories.

5.Rajnath Singh names Army Sports Institute, Pune as “Neeraj Chopra Stadium”.

  • Raksha Mantri, Rajnath Singh visited the Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune and named the Army Sports Institute stadium as “Neeraj Chopra Stadium”. The focus of the Indian Army (in the field of sports) is to identify and train promising sportspersons in 11 disciplines.
  • The Indian Army’s “Mission Olympics” programme was launched in 2001 with the intent to deliver medal-winning performances in the Olympics and other international events.
  • 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.
  • The Athletics Federation of India has decided that javelin throw day will be on 7th August every year in honor of Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has started a public awareness campaign to warn people against digital banking frauds. For the new campaign, RBI has roped in Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra.

  1. 1.Maharashtra govt launches “Mission Vatsalya” for women’s.
  • Maharashtra government launched a special mission called “Mission Vatsalya” in order to help women who lost their husbands to COVID-19. Mission Vatsalya will provide several services and some 18 benefits under one roof to those women.
  • It been designed for widows, with a special focus on widows coming from rural areas, poor backgrounds and deprived sections. Under this mission, schemes like Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana and Gharkul Yojana will benefit those for women. 
  • Under this scheme, 8,661 women have applied for the Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Anudan Yojana, 405 for the Shravanbal Seva State Pension Scheme and 71 for the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme.

  1. Infosys hits $100 billion m-cap, fourth Indian firm to reach milestone.
  • The shares of Information Technology major, Infosys hit a record high during intraday trading, which helped the company cross $100 billion in market capitalization. Infosys is the fourth Indian company to achieve this milestone.
  • Reliance Industries (m-cap of $140 billion), Tata Consultancy Services (m-cap $115 billion) and HDFC Bank (m-cap $100.1 billion) are the other Indian firms in the club with Infosys.
  • Infosys has been one of the fastest-growing companies in India, providing business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services. In the quarter ending June 2021, Infosys reported a net consolidated profit of ₹5,195 crores, showing a growth of 2.3 per cent.

  1. IIT Madras develops India’s first indigenous motorized wheelchair ‘NeoBolt’.
  • IIT Madras has developed India’s first indigenous motorized wheelchair vehicle named ‘NeoBolt’, which can be used not only on roads but even on uneven terrains. It has a maximum speed of 25 kmph.
  • The researchers collaborated extensively with organizations and hospitals working for people with locomotor disabilities and built the products after factoring in their experiences and making constant design adjustments.
  • IIT Madras said the wheelchair will be available to users at an approximate price of ₹55,000.
  • It is powered by a Lithium-Ion Battery and can travel up to 25 km per charge. It empowers wheelchair users with a convenient, safe and low-cost mode of outdoor mobility when compared to cars, auto-rickshaws or modified scooters.

  1. Paralympics 2020: Avani Lekhara wins gold in Shooting.
  • Shooter Avani Lekhara has scripted history as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event.
  • The 19-year-old from Jaipur, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, finished with a world record-equaling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.
  • Avani is only the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016) and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016).
  1. Paralympics 2020: Bhavinaben Patel wins silver in table tennis.
  • In table tennis, Indian paddler Bhavinaben Patel has claimed the historic silver medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games at Tokyo, in the women’s singles summit clash. The 34-year-old Patel lost to Chinese paddler Ying Zhou, 0-3, in her maiden Paralympic Games.
  • This is the first medal for India at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympic Games. Patel is the only second Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics, after Deepa Malik, who claimed silver in shot-put at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
  1. SP Sethuraman Wins 2021 Barcelona Open Chess Tournament.
  • In Chess, Indian Grandmaster S P Sethuraman has won the 2021 Barcelona Open chess tournament title, remaining unbeaten through the nine rounds, winning six matches and drawing three.
  • Chennai-born Sethuraman collected 7.5 points after the ninth and final round to tie the score with Daniel Yuffa of Russia. However, the Indian player emerged as the winner on the basis of a better tie-break score. India’s Karthikeyan Murali finished third.
  1. Paralympics 2020: Nishad Kumar wins silver in men’s high jump.
  • India’s Nishad Kumar has clinched a silver medal in the men’s high jump T47 event at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. This is the second medal for India at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
  • The 23-year-old Nishad made a jump of 2.06m, and in doing so created an Asian record. He also equaled his jump with USA’s Dallas Wise, who also took home silver.
  • Another American, Roderick Townsend, won the gold with a world record jump of 2.15m. T47 class is meant for athletes with a unilateral upper limb impairment resulting in some loss of function at the shoulder, elbow and wrist.
  1. Paralympics 2020: Javelin Thrower Sumit Antil wins gold for India.
  • India’s Sumit Antil has won the gold medal in the men’s javelin throw F64 final event at the Tokyo Paralympics, and in the process set a new world record throw of 68.55m. The 23-year-old Sumit hails from Sonepat in Haryana.
  • Michal Burian of Australia won the silver medal (66.29m), while Sri Lanka’s Dulan Kodithuwakku won the bronze medal. This is the second gold medal for India at the ongoing Tokyo Games and now the total medal tally of India has reached 7.
  • Earlier, the bronze medal won by Vinod Kumar in the discus throw F56 final was declared as ineligible by the classification panel.
  1. Paralympics 2020: Devendra Jhajharia Wins silver in Javelin throw.
  • At the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics 2020, India’s greatest paralympian, Devendra Jhajharia won the silver medal in the men’s javelin throw – F46 final event on August 30, 2021.
  • The 40-year-old Devendra performed his best throw of 64.35, for the silver. In the same event, Sundar Singh Gurjar won the bronze medal, with his best throw of 64.01. With this, the total medal tally of India at the Paralympics 2020 Games reaches to seven.
  1. Paralympics 2020: Yogesh Kathuniya wins silver in discus throw.
  • India’s discus thrower Yogesh Kathuniya has clinched the silver medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics in the men’s Discus Throw F56 final event. Yogesh claimed the second spot with a throw of 44.38m.
  • Batista dos Santos from Brazil won gold, setting a Paralympic record with a throw of 45.59m. L. Diaz Aldana from Cuba bagged bronze.

  1. PFRDA increases the entry age in National Pension System (NPS) to 70 years.
  • The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has increased the entry age for the National Pension System (NPS) from 65 years to 70 years. Earlier the eligible age to invest in NPS was 18-65 years which has now been revised to 18-70 years.
  • As per the revised norms, any Indian Citizen, resident or non-resident and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) between the age of 65-70 years can join NPS and continue or defer their NPS Account up to the age of 75 years.
  • If a person joins NPS after 65 years, then the Normal Exit shall be after 3 years. Exit before 3 years will be considered premature exit. There is also a limit on the amount that can be exposed to equity in case the NPS is open after 65 years. The maximum equity exposure is 15% and 50% under Auto and Active Choice respectively.

  1. India’s Evacuation Mission from Afghanistan named as ‘Operation Devi Shakti’.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has given a name to India’s complex mission of evacuating its citizens from war-torn Afghanistan, as ‘Operation Devi Shakti’.
  • The name of the operation was known when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar mentioned it in a tweet on August 24 while referring to the arrival of a fresh batch of 78 evacuees in Delhi.
  • India began the complex evacuation mission by airlifting 40 Indians from Kabul to Delhi on August 16, a day after the Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital city. So far, India has evacuated over 800 people amid a deteriorating security situation in Kabul and scramble by various nations to rescue their citizens.
  1. India’s First Agri Sectoral Index GUAREX launched by NCDEX.
  • India’s first sectoral index in the Agri commodities basket i.e. GUAREX was launched by the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX).
  • GUAREX is a price based sectoral index that tracks the movement in the futures contracts of guar gum refined splits and guar seed on a real-time basis. This index product will offer a lot of opportunities to the value chain.
  • The weightage of guarseed and guar gum refined splits in the index will be 63 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively. The index futures will be cash-settled. Initially, Guarex futures contracts expiring in September and October will be made available for trading.
  1. World’s Highest Altitude Movie Theatre open in Ladakh.
  • The world’s highest movie theatre has recently been inaugurated in Ladakh, which got its first-ever mobile digital movie theatre in the Paldan area of Leh, at an altitude of 11,562 feet. The inflatable theatre can operate in -28 degrees Celcius.
  • The initiative aims to bring cinema watching experience to most remotest areas of India. It must be noted that four such theatres will be established in Leh in the coming period.

  1. Tamil Nadu BJP Leader La Ganesan appointed as Manipur Governor.
  • Senior BJP leader from Tamil Nadu, La. Ganesan, has been appointed as the new Governor of Manipur with effect from August 23, 2021.
  • The post was lying vacant after the retirement of Najma Heptulla on August 10, 2021. Since then Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad was holding the additional charge of the position.
  1. Abhay Kumar Singh appointed as joint secretary in Ministry of Cooperation.
  • Abhay Kumar Singh has been appointed as joint secretary in the Ministry of Cooperation. This ministry was recently formed with an aim to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country.
  • The appointment of Abhay Kumar Singh has been cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Modi.
  • Singh, a 2004-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Bihar cadre, has been appointed as joint secretary in the ministry for a combined tenure of seven years against the newly created post.
  1. Sri Basava International Award for seer of Bhalki Hiremath.
  • Karnataka government has selected Sri Basavalinga Pattaddevaru, senior seer of Bhalki Hiremath, for the prestigious Sri Basava International Award. Minister for Kannada and Culture V. Sunil Kumar will present the award at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bengaluru.
  • The septuagenarian seer has spent over five decades in the Lingayat religious institution in the Bidar district.
  • The center was set up in 2003 when an abandoned baby from Ujani village near Aurad in Bidar district was adopted. The seer moved the court to adopt the child. The Central and State governments later recognized the center as an authorized Central adoption resource agency.
  1. RBI approves re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as ICICI Bank MD & CEO.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the re-appointment of Sandeep Bakhshi as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank. This will be with effect from October 15, 2021, till October 3, 2023.
  • The shareholders at the Annual General Meeting held on August 9, 2019 had already approved the appointment of Mr. Bakhshi for a period effective from October 15, 2018, up to October 3, 2023.
  • Bakshi, who was hand-picked by his mentors- KV Kamath and N Vaghul, took over the charge in October 2018, after his predecessor Chanda Kochhar’s exit following the ICICI Bank-Videocon loan controversy.
  1. Carol Furtado appoints as interim CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.
  • Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has named Carol Furtado as the interim CEO of the bank after the whole time CEO Nitin Chugh resigned recently. She has also been appointed as the officer on special duty (OSD) of the bank.
  • Furtado is currently serving as the CEO of Ujjivan Financial Services, the holding company of the bank. The appointment is subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.
  1. RBI approves appointment of Hitendra Dave as CEO of HSBC India.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Hitendra Dave as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HSBC Bank (India).
  • RBI has accorded the approval for a period of three years with effect from August 24, 2021. In June 2021, HSBC had announced the appointment of Hitendra Dave as the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India.
  • Dave succeeds Surendra Rosha who, after three years, is moving to Hong Kong as the Co-Chief Executive of HSBC, Asia-Pacific. Hitendra Dave, formerly Head of Global Banking & Markets of HSBC India.
  1. Mansukh Mandaviya appointed Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board.
  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya has taken over charge as the Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board.
  • He has replaced Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan as the chairman. India aims to end TB by 2025 while the UN aims to end TB by 2030.
  • The Stop TB Partnership is a United Nations-hosted partnership program that aims to fight against tuberculosis collectively.
  • The Stop TB Partnership also welcomed the incoming Board Vice-Chair Austin Arinze Obiefuna. He will take over as the Board Vice-Chair from 1 January 2022 for a period of three years.
  1. Rajnish Kumar appointed as independent director of HSBC Asia.

 

  • The former State Bank of India (SBI) chairman, Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as an independent director of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Asia entity on August 30, 2021.
  • He has also been appointed as a member of the Audit Committee and Risk Committee of the company.
  • Kumar is also currently a director of India’s Lighthouse Communities Foundation, an independent director of Larsen & Toubro InfoTech, a senior advisor of Baring Private Equity Asia Pte. Ltd in Singapore and an advisor of Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd in Mumbai.

  1. 2nd Indo-Qatari joint Naval Exercise “Zair-Al-Bahr” in Persian Gulf.
  • The second edition of the joint naval exercise, Zair-Al-Bahr, between the Indian Navy and Qatar Emiri Naval Force (QENF) was conducted between August 9 and 14 in the Persian Gulf. This edition of the exercise included a three-day harbour phase followed by a two-day sea phase.
  • The sea phase is comprised of tactical maritime exercises involving surface action, anti-piracy exercises, air Defence, maritime surveillance, boarding operations and SAR exercises.
  • In the sea phase of the exercise, the Indian Navy’s Stealth Frigate INS Trikand, QENF’s missile boats of Barzan and Damsah class, fast-attack crafts of MRTP 34 class and Rafale fighter aircraft participated.
  1. 5th India-Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise “KAZIND-21”.
  • The 5th edition of Indo- Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise, “KAZIND-21” will be held from August 30 to September 11, 2021, at Training Node, Aisha Bibi, Kazakhstan. The joint training exercise will boost the bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan Armies.
  • The Exercise is also a platform for the Armed Forces of India & Kazakhstan to train for Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations in the mountainous, rural scenarios under UN mandate.
  • The Indian Army contingent represented by a battalion of the Bihar Regiment consists of a total of 90 personnel led by a Contingent Commander. The Kazakhstan Army will be represented by a company group.
  • The scope of Joint Exercise includes professional exchange, planning & execution of the operation in counterterrorism environment at sub-unit level and sharing expertise on skills at arms, combat shooting and experiences in Counter Insurgency/ Counter-Terrorism operations.
  1. India Pavilion inaugurated at ‘ARMY-2021’.
  • The International Military and Technical Forum ‘ARMY 2021’ has been organised in Moscow, Russia from August 22 to 28, 2021, at Patriot Expo, Kubinka Air Base and Albino military training grounds.
  • The ARMY 2021 is the 7th edition of the annual International Military-Technical Forum. The forum is being organised by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation since 2015.
  • The International Military and Technical Forum ‘ARMY’ is the world’s leading exhibition of armament and military equipment and the authoritative platform for discussing innovative ideas and developments for the armed forces by various foreign exhibitors, delegations and visitors.
  1. NSG commandos undertake counter-terrorist drills ‘Gandiv’.
  • The third edition of the week-long annual exercise called ‘Gandiv’ was launched at these locations by the NSG from August 22 and it will continue till August 28.
  • Multiple cities in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and the National Capital Region are hosting synchronized commando drills as part of a national mock exercise being carried out by the counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) to check its response time and reaction to hostage and hijack-like situations. Gandiv was the name of Arjuna’s bow in Mahabharata.
  • The drills are aimed to “validate the planning parameters” of the commando force in the event of a terrorist attack, hijack of an aircraft or hostage situation.
  • The NSG was raised as a federal counter-terrorism force in 1984 to undertake surgical commando operations in order to neutralize terrorist and hijack threats. It also has a special squad that provides armed security cover to at least 13 high-risk VVIPs at present.
  1. Rajnath Singh Commissions Indigenously built ICGS ‘Vigraha’.
  • Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has dedicated to the nation, the indigenously built Coast Guard Ship ‘Vigraha’ in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. According to the Defence ministry, the 98-meter vessel will be based in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam (Vizag) and will be operated by a company of 11 officers and 110 sailors.
  • The ship has been designed and built indigenously by Larsen & Toubro Ship Building Limited.  With the joining of this ship, the Indian Coast Guard now have 157 Ships and 66 Aircraft in its inventory.
  • The ICGS Vigraha, is the seventh and final ship in the series of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), the agreement for which was signed in 2015.
  • The Vigraha is equipped with advanced radars, the latest in navigation and communication technology.
  • The sensors and machinery present in the ship make it capable of operating in tropical sea conditions.
  1. India and Germany conducts joint maritime exercise in Gulf of Aden.
  • The Indian Navy and the German Navy carried out a joint exercise in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen, in the Indian Ocean leg of Indo-Pacific Deployment 2021. The Indian Navy was represented by frigate “Trikand” while the German Navy was represented by frigate “Bayern”.
  • The exercise included helicopter (cross deck helo) landings and visit, board, search, and seizure (VBSS) operations. The joint exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability and exchange of best practices between the navies of the two countries in the maritime domain.

  1. WEF’S Sustainable Development Impact Summit 2021.
  • The World Economic Forum’s annual Sustainable Development Impact Summit will take place on September 20-23, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s event will focus strongly on inclusively revitalizing economies.
  • The United Nations General Assembly, the summit convenes under the theme “Shaping an Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery”. It will welcome almost all leaders from government, business and civil society who will work together to drive action and build momentum for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

1.Ghaziabad is world’s second most polluted city of 2020.

  • Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad was adjudged the second most polluted city out of the 50 ‘most polluted cities’ in the world in 2020 by a report prepared by British company House Fresh. Ghaziabad reported an average Air Quality Index (AQI) of 2.5 particulate matter (PM) in 106.6µg/m3.
  • Preceding Ghaziabad, the Chinese city of Hotan in Xinjiang province has been named the most polluted city with a PM2.5 of 110.2µg/m3. The report attributed the air pollution in Hotan to sandstorms resulting from its closeness to the Taklimakan Desert, which is the largest shifting sand desert in the world.
  • According to the report, Bangladesh was the most polluted country across the world in 2020, followed by Pakistan, India and Mongolia.
  • Meanwhile, Judbury in Australia bagged the top position in the list of cities with the cleanest air with a PM2.5 level of 2.4µg/m3.

2. India ranks second in terms of crypto adoption in the world.

  • India has ranked second in terms of crypto adoption worldwide behind Vietnam, but ahead of countries such as the US, UK, and China, according to the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index by blockchain data platform Chainalysis.
  • This comes even as worldwide crypto adoption grew by 880% between June 2020 and July 2021, according to the report.
  • A report by US-based research platform Finder released this month corroborated that the top five countries in terms of crypto adoption were all from Asia.
  • The company surveyed 47,000 users worldwide and 30% of those surveyed in India said they owned cryptocurrencies.
  • Bitcoin is the most popular coin in India, followed by Ripple, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, according to the report.
  • Crypto adoption in India has also been led by smaller towns in the country. The largest crypto exchange in the country by trading volume, WazirX, said last week that it had seen more than 2,648% growth in user sign-ups from tier II and tier III cities in India.

3. Apple tops Hurun Global 500 Most Valuable Companies list 2021.

  • Apple is the world’s most valuable company (USD 2,443 billion) according to the Hurun Global 500 Most Valuable Companies list 2021.
  • The world’s top six valuable companies remained unchanged as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Tencent.
  • Globally, the US-led with 243 companies, up by one; followed by China 47, down by four, Japan was third with 30 and the UK was fourth with 24.
  • While India is ranked 9th with 12 companies. Reliance Industries (USD 188 billion) ranked at 57 is the top Indian company in the list. As many as 12 Indian companies found a place among the Hurun Global 500 for 2021 as Wipro Ltd, Asian Paints Ltd and HCL Technologies Ltd made it to the list of 500 most valuable firms in the world, while ITC Ltd dropped out.
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