General Knowledge & Current Affairs

June 2021 - 6th to 12th

  1. United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration: 2021-2030
  • The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration has been officially launched, which will run from 2021 to 2030.
  • United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration will be co-led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO). It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in a 2019 resolution.
  • Protection and revival of millions of hectares of ecosystems all around the world for the benefit of people and nature. This in turn will contribute to the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • A Multi-Partner Trust Fund has also been launched for the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Germany is the first country to provide funding of Euro 14 million towards this fund.
  • In order to support the launch of the UN Decade, a report has also been released which defines the need of having such a global restoration effort
  1. G7 deal on Minimum Global Corporate Tax
  • Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies signed a landmark deal on taxing multinational companies.
  • As per the deal, the minimum global tax rate would be at least 15 per cent.
  • The agreement was signed by finance ministers of the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Japan.
  • It opens the way for levies on multinational companies in countries where they operate rather than just where they are headquartered
  1. El Salvador becomes first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
  • El Salvador has become the first country in the world to grant legal tender status to bitcoin. The use of bitcoin as legal tender will become law in 90 days.
  • El Salvador’s economy heavily relies on remittances and so those who are working abroad can send money back home in bitcoins.
  • The use of bitcoin will be totally optional. It will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development to the country
  1. Russian navy building first fully stealth warship
  • Russiais building the first naval ship that will be fully equipped with stealth technology to make it hard to detect.
  • The hull of the Mercury naval corvette dubbed project 20386has already been built and the vessel is expected to be delivered to the navy next year. The warship will be armed with cruise missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and artillery.
  • The naval shipis capable of searching for and destroying submarines. Stealth technology can make military assets such as ships and planes harder for radar to detect.
  • While Russiahas used stealth technology, such as a radar-absorbing coating into some of its navy vessels, they have not had full stealth technology.

  1. India Launches Global Energy Initiative “Mission Innovation CleanTech Exchange”
  • The Governments of 23 nations, including India,have collectively launched a bold new plan called Mission Innovation 2.0, to catalyze action and spearhead a decade of innovation for global investment in clean energy research, development and demonstrations.
  • Mission Innovation 2.0 is the second phase of the global Mission Innovation initiative, launched alongside the Paris Agreement at the 2015 COP21 conference.
  • The new initiative was launched at the Innovating to Net Zero Summit, hosted by 
  1. PM Modi Launches Three E-100 Ethanol Dispensing Stations in Pune
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually addressed the World Environment Day event, which was jointly organised by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • During the event, PM Modi also released the “Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025”.
  • The theme of the report is ‘promotion of biofuels for a better environment’.
  • PM Modi also launched a Pilot Project of E 100 ethanol dispensing stations at three locations in Pune, for the production and distribution of ethanol across the country, because ethanol has a better impact on the environment as well as on the lives of farmers.
  • The government has reset the target to achieve 20 per cent ethanol blending in petrol by 2025. Earlier this target was to be met by 2030.

As a part of WED 2021, the Government of India has released an E-20 notification, directing Oil Companies to sell ethanol-blended petrol with a percentage of ethanol up to 20% from April 01, 2023; and BIS Specifications for higher ethanol blends E12 & E15

  1. India elected as member of UN Economic and Social Council for 2022-24
  • India has been elected as a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main organs of the United Nations, for three-year terms of 2022-24.
  • India was elected to the 54-member ECOSOC, by the UNGA on June 7, 2021, in the Asia-Pacific States category, along with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Oman.
  • ECOSOC serves as the central platform for discussing international economic, social and environmental issues and formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system.

  1. Kerala launches ‘Knowledge Economy Mission’
  • Kerala government has launched ‘Knowledge Economy Mission’ to boost job prospects in the state by supporting knowledge workers. The initiative was announced in State Budget on June 4.
  • It was being spearheaded by Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) and they will submit a comprehensive project report before July 15.
  • The project will be launched to bring ongoing efforts of providing employment to educated people and support ‘knowledge workers’ under a single programme.
  • A plan will be made to provide basic facilities and social security system for knowledge workers who are working close to their homes and interacting with employers.
  • For implementation and funding purposes, a ‘knowledge economy fund’ will be created.
  • In order to promote skills & strengthen the higher education system and for technological transformation, the knowledge economy fund was hiked from ₹200 crore to ₹300 crores
  1. Assam govt names Raimona reserve forest sixth national park
  • Raimona in Kokrajhar district has become Assam’s sixth national park. The 422 sq ft wildlife habitat in Kokrajhar district adjoins the western-most buffer to Manas Tiger Reserve.
  • The five national parks that existed prior to the 422 sq. km Raimona are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
  • The Pekua river defines Raimona’s southern boundary. Raimona is an integral part of the 2,837 sq. km Manas Biosphere Reserve and the Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve.
  • Such secured transboundary ecological landscape will ensure the long-term conservation of endemic species like the golden langur, the mascot of Bodoland Territorial Council and endangered species such as the Asian elephant, the Bengal tigerand varied other flora and faunal species it support
  1. Haryana CM announces creating ‘Oxi-van’ in Karnal
  • Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, announced to create of 80 acres of ‘Oxi-van’ (a forest) in the Karnal district.
  • It was announced on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2021. Oxi-van will consist of 10 types of forests.
  • On the occasion, highlighting the importance of trees and encouraging promotion, protection, planting of trees Haryana Government launched four important schemes:
  • Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme: Under this scheme, a pension amount of Rs 2500 will be provided in name of Pran Vayu Devta to maintain trees above 75 years. This pension would increase each year on the line of old age Samman pension.
  • Panchavati Plantation in Haryana: Under this initiative, the plantation will be done in name of Panchvati across the villages in Haryana. It will promote the process of getting natural oxygen from trees. Agroforestry will also be promoted on vacant land under the initiative. Thus, it will increase the income of Panchayats in rural areas.
  • Oxy-Van in Karnal: Oxy Forest was launched on Forest Department land in Mughal Canal, Karnal. Panchavati, trees of Bel, Amla, Ashoka, Banyan and Peepal were planted. It will be built on 80 acres area.
  • Oxy-Van in Panchkula: It will be established in Bir Ghaggar on the area of one hundred acres in a bid to create Mother Nature’s green lungs, for residents of Panchkula, to get in fresh oxygen. Rs One crore has been sanctioned for this initiative.
  1. India’s first International Maritime Cluster to come up at GIFT City
  • Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) will set up the country’s first international maritime services cluster at GIFT City.
  • The maritime cluster will be developed as a dedicated ecosystem comprising ports, shipping, logistics services providers and government regulators, all present in the same geographic vicinity — GIFT City. GIFT City is India’s first operational smart city and international financial services.
  • This will be a first-of-its-kind commercial maritime services cluster in India, which has been conceptualised to enhance the competitiveness and self-sufficiency of India in the maritime sector and provide a one-stop solution for the entire maritime fraternity.
  • The cluster looks to host maritime industry players including regulators, government agencies, maritime/shipping industry associations and businesses, intermediate service providers, such as shipping finance, marine insurance, maritime arbitrators, maritime law firms, among others, and support services providers, such as maritime education institutes
  1. Assam gets its seventh national park with Dehing Patkai
  • The Assam Government has decided in its recent cabinet meeting to declare Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary as the 7th National Park of the state.
  • The newest national park, popularly known as Dehing Patkai Rain Forest, has unique floral and faunal diversity, which was recognized by the state government in 2004 when 111.19 square kilometres of the area was notified as Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The area is home to hoolock gibbon, elephant, slow loris, tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, golden cat, fishing cat, marble cat, sambar, hog deer, sloth bear, and several bird species including the endangered state bird, the white-winged wood duck.
  • The state now has the second-highest number of national parks in the country. Madhya Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have nine national parks each.

  1. GST collections at Rs 1.03 lakh crore for May
  • The goods and service tax collections for Mayclocked Rs 1,02,709 crore, making it the eighth straight month of collections crossing the Rs 1 lakh crore
  • The collections have been 65% higher than the GST revenues in the same month, despite many states being under lockdown due to the Covid pandemic.
  • The May GST collections were also a 6 per centdrop from a record sum of Rs 1.41 lakh crore in April, which was the highest monthly collection since the introduction of the nationwide tax
  1. World Bank projects India to grow at 8.3 per cent in 2021
  • The World Bank has projected India’s economy to grow at 8.3 per cent in 2021 and 7.5 per cent in 2022.
  • The Washington-based global lender, in its latest issue of Global Economic Prospects released, noted that in India, an enormous second COVID-19 wave is undermining the sharper-than-expected rebound in activity seen during the second half of the Fiscal Year 2020/21, especially in services.
  • The World Bank said, in 2023, India is expected to grow by 6.5 per cent.
  1. Crisil Projects India’s GDP Growth for FY22 to 9.5%
  • The domestic credit rating agency Crisil has revised the GDP growth estimate for India in FY22 (2021-22) to 9.5 percent, from the earlier estimate of 11 percent.
  • As per CRISIL, the economy had contracted by 7.3 percent in FY21.
  • The downward revision is basically due to the hit to private consumption and investments following the second wave of COVID-19

  1. Thomas Vijayan Wins Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021
  • Kerala-based Thomas Vijayan, who is now settled in Canada, has won the 2021 Nature TTL Photography Awards for his photo of an Orangutan clinging to a tree. The photograph is titled ‘The World is Going Upside Down’.
  • Vijayan was adjudged as the overall winner of the competition from over 8,000 entriesfor Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2021, which carries a grand prize of 1,500 pounds (Rs.1.5 lakh). Nature TTL is the world’s leading online nature photography resource
  1. Arunachal Pradesh’s Water Burial bags best film National Award
  • Arunachal Pradesh’s Water Burialhas bagged the best film National Award on environment conservation at 67th National Films Awards 2021.
  • The film, which is directed by independent filmmaker Shantanu Sen.Water Burial is produced by AM Television.
  • Inspired by the popular Assamese novel Saba Kota Manuh,which is written by Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, Water Burial is in Monpa dialect and has an intriguing storyline around a dark ritual of a local tribe in Arunachal Pradesh
  1. India’s Tillotama Shome wins Best Actor award at UK Asian Film Festival
  • Indian actress Tillotama Shome has made the country proud by winning the Best Actor award at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF). Tillotama won the award for her role in the film Raahgir: The Wayfarers.
  • The film has been directed by Goutam Ghose. The UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) 2021 was the 23rd edition of the annual event. Apart from Tillotama, filmmaker Goutam Ghose has also won the Best Director award at the UKAFF.
  • The film Raahgir: The Wayfarers, stars Adil Hussain (Lakhua), Tillotama Shome (Nathuni) and Neeraj Kabi (Chopatlal). It is a story of three strangers, living on a daily wage basis, who cross each other’s path accidentally on a journey and develop a strong bond

  1. Ranjitsinh Disale Appointed as the World Bank Education Advisor
  • Ranjitsinh Disale has been appointed as the World Bank Education advisor, starting from June 2021 to June 2024.
  • He is the first Indian to have been awarded the Global Teacher Award in 2020, will now be working on the Coach Project, launched by the World Bank in March 2021.
  • The project’s aim is to ‘help countries accelerate learning by improving teacher professional development.’
  • Disale is from Paritewadi Village in the Solapur district of Maharashtra. He had initially wanted to become an engineer, but later took up the teacher’s training programme.
  • He is the first Indian to have been awarded the Global Teacher Award in 2020. He won the award in recognition of this work in promoting the education of girls.
  1. RBI approves re-appointment of Vishwavir Ahuja as MD, RBL Bank
  • The Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Vishwavir Ahuja as the Managing Director and CEO of RBL Bank for a one-year period with effect from June 30, 2021.
  • He has been the Managing Director & CEO of RBL Bank since June 30, 2010. Before RBL Bank, Ahuja was the Managing Director & CEO of Bank of America, India.
  1. Sanjeev Sahai to be new chairman of oil regulator PNGRB
  • Senior administrator and former power secretary, Sanjeev Nandan Sahai is set to take over as next chairman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB). A search committee headed by V K Saraswat, Member (S&T), NITI Aayog, cleared the name of Sahai. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board is a statutory body in India.
  • Sanjiv Nandan Sahai is a 1986 batch IAS officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa- Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.
  • He took over as Secretary in the Ministry of Power in 2019. He has also held several positions in the bureaucracy throughout his career, including five years as the Prime Minister.
  1. Hitendra Dave appointed as HSBC India CEO
  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. (HSBC) announced the appointment of Hitendra Dave as Chief Executive Officer of HSBC India subject to receipt of regulatory approval.
  • He has been appointed as interim Chief Executive Officer effective June 7, 2021. Dave succeeds Surendra Rosha who will be moving to Hong Kong as the co-chief executive of HSBC Asia-Pacific.
  • Dave, who is formerly the head of global banking & markets of HSBC India, has almost 30 years of work experience in the Indian Financial Markets, of which the last 20 have been with HSBC.
  • He joined HSBC India in 2001in the Global Markets business and has risen through the ranks to his current role as head of global banking & markets business, the dominant contributor to HSBC India’s PBT over the years
    1. Anup Chandra Pandey appointed as election commissioner
  • The Union government has appointed Anup Chandra Pandey, a retired IAS officer of the 1984 batch, Uttar Pradesh cadre, as Election Commissioner.
  • In the Election Commission, Pandey will have a little under three years in office and will retire in February 2024.
  • Pandey has been appointed to the position left vacant by former Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora’s retirement on April 12.
  • Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar are the other two members of the panel.
  • This restores the three-member commission to its full strength, which will now oversee the next set of crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand next year.

1. CBSE to introduce coding, data science in curriculum

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has collaborated with Microsoft to introduce Coding as a new subject for students of Class 6-8 and Data Science as the new subject for Class 8-12 in the 2021-2022 academic session.
  • Both these new skilling subjects are being launched in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
  • Coding and Data Science Curriculum are focused on building critical thinking, computational skills, problem-solving skills, creativity and hands-on exposure to new technologies.
  • This is an important step to enable self-reliance in our students and equip them with skills like problem-solving, logical thinking, collaboration and design thinking that are critical for success.

  1. RBI imposes penalty on BOI, PNB totaling Rs 6 crore
  • The RBIhas imposed a penalty aggregating to Rs 6 crores on Bank of India and Punjab National Bank for contravention of norms, including one related to “Frauds – Classification and Reporting”.
  • A penalty of Rs 4 croreshas been imposed on the Bank of India and Rs 2 crores on Punjab National Bank.
  • The bank had also conducted a review and submitted a Fraud Monitoring Report (FMR)dated January 1, 2019, pertaining to the detection of fraud in an account. In both cases, notices were issued to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on them for such violations of the directions.
  1. NITI Aayog recommends privatization of Central Bank, Indian Overseas Bank.
  • NITI Aayog has recommended divesting government stake in the Central Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) as part of the privatisation initiative announced in the Union Budget.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget speech, had announced privatising two public sector banks (PSBs) and one general insurance company in 2021-22.
  • As per the new PSE (Public Sector Enterprise) policy for‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, NITI Aayog is entrusted with the task to suggest names of PSUs in strategic sectors to be merged, privatised, or made subsidiaries of other PSUs
  1. SBI launches Kavach Personal Loan for Covid-19 patients
  • State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a collateral-free “Kavach Personal Loan” to enable its customers to meet medical expenses of self and family members for Covid treatment.
  • Under this scheme, customers can avail of loans up to ₹5 lakhs at an effective interest rate of 8.5 per cent per annum for 60 months, which is inclusive of three months moratorium.
  • This loan product will also be part of the Covid loan book being created by banks as per the Reserve Bank of India’s Covid relief measures. The loan will also cover reimbursement of Covid related medical expenses already incurred.
  1. RBI: ATM cash withdrawal rule changed
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has changed some rules regarding cash withdrawal from automated teller machine (ATM).
  • These ATM cash withdrawal rule changes include higher charges on transactions beyond the free permissible limit, a new free ATM transaction limit and a rise in interchange fee.
  • Free cash withdrawal limit from own bank: Bank customers can now do five free financial and non-financial transactions every month from their own bank ATMs.

  1. India slips two spots on 17th Sustainable Development Goals report
  • India’s rank has slipped by two places from last year to 117 on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted as a part of the 2030 agenda by 193 United Nations member states in 2015.
  • India ranks below four South Asian countries: Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  • The State of India’s Environment Report 2021 revealed that India’s rank was 115 last year and dropped by two places primarily because of major challenges like ending hunger and achieving food security (SDG 2), achieving gender equality (SDG 5) and building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and fostering
  1. THE Asia University Rankings 2021 released
  • Times Higher Education Asia university rankings 2021,three Indian universities secured positions in the top 100 list. IISc Bangalore, IIT Ropar and IIT Indore have secured ranks among the top 100 universities in Asia. Like last year, not a single Indian varsity made it to the elite top 10. IISc Bangalore ranked at 37th position.
  • IIT Ropar is placed at 55th rankand IIT Indore at 78th rank among the top 100 universities.
  • Tsinghua University,China has gained the first position in the Asia university rankings 2021. The second place is also secured by China’s Peking University. The third and fifth ranks have been secured by Singapore varsities. Whereas, the University of Hong Kong is at fourth rank
  1. QS World University Rankings 2022 released
  • The London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has released the QS World University Rankings 2022 which compares and ranks Universities from across the globe on various parameters.
  • Eight Indian universities have found a place among the best 400 global universities in the QS World University Rankings 2022, released on June 09, 2021.

However, only three Universities namely the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT-Delhi, and IISc Bangalore feature among the top 200

  1. Sergio Perez wins Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
  • Red Bull’s Sergio Perez won a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix with both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton failing to finish.
  • This was the first win for Perez since joining Red Bull. Sebastian Vettel for Aston Martin and Pierre Gasly for Alpha Tauri completed the unexpected podium.
  • Verstappen crashed with five laps to go and the race at his mercy. Hamilton then locked up at the restart when on target for the second
    1. Oman to host inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup in 2024.
  • Omanhas been named as the host of the inaugural International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey5s World Cup.
  • The FIH said the men’s and women’s events will take place in Oman’s capital city Muscatin January 2024. The governing body said its Executive Board named Oman as host, after a recommendation from the organisation’s Events Bidding Task Force.
  • The FIH Executive Board announced the launch of the Hockey5s World Cup in 2019.The launch comes as Hockey 5s becomes an increasingly popular format of the sport, played on a smaller pitch and which has featured at the last two Summer Youth Olympic Games
    1. Sunil Chhetri surpasses Argentina’s Lionel Messi
  • Sunil Chhetri surpasses Argentina’s Lionel Messi and he has become the second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes.
  • He made this record in a joint preliminary qualifying round match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup. He is currently behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the active international goal-scorer list.
  • Chhetri also helped India register its rst win in six years in World Cup qualiers. Chhetri is just a goal away from entering world football’s all-time top-10. Sunil Chhetri is an Indian professional footballer. He is popularly known asCaptain Fantastic
  • Patiala to host Indian Grand Prix 4
  • The Athletics Federation of India (AFI), announced that the Indian Grand Prix 4 will be held on June 21 at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.
  • The decision to host the domestic events was made to give Indian athletes the maximum chance to qualify for Tokyo. India’s star sprinters Dutee Chand & Hima Das are expected to participate in the fourth Indian GP of 2021.
  • National Inter-State Athletics Championships will be held at the same venue from June 25.

  1. A book title ‘1232 km: The Long Journey Home’ by Vinod Kapri
  • A new book titled ‘1232 km: The Long Journey Home’ by filmmaker Vinod Kapri chronicles the journey of seven migrant workers from Bihar, who journeyed back home on their bicycles and reached their destination after seven days.
  • The book is published by Harper Collins. The nationwide lockdown in March 2020 forced thousands of migrant workers to return to their native villages by covering thousands of kilometres on foot.
  • Kapri accompanied these seven migrant workers — Ritesh, Ashish, Ram Babu, Sonu, Krishna, Sandeep and Mukesh— on their 1,232-km journey from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh to Saharsa in Bihar

  1. Bengaluru international airport achieves net energy neutral status
  • The Kempegowda International Airporthere has achieved net energy neutral status in the Financial Year 2020-21 as part of its sustainability goals.
  • Bengaluru international airport (BIAL) has been able to save nearly 22 lakh units of energy in the Financial Year 2020-21,enough to power nearly 9,000 houses for a month.
  • According to BIAL, these measures were achieved through solar installation at rooftops of utility buildings, car parks, ground-mounted solar installation at the airside, rooftops of cargo buildings and project offices.
  • It has also begun purchasing 40 million units of solar power through open access and wind power purchase through open access. Adoption of LED and optimal use of natural light contributed to energy-neutral status.

  1. US to hand over three MH-60 ‘Romeo’ multi-role choppers to India
  • The Indian Navyis set to receive its first set of multi-role helicopters as America is set to hand over three MH-60 Romeo helicopters to the force in the United States in July. The first batch of Indian pilots has also reached the US for training on the helicopters which would be arriving in India next year in July.
  • India and the US had signed over-Rs 16,000 croredeal to buy 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from Lockheed Martin in 2020 under fast track procedures on a government-to-government deal to hasten the process.
  • The 24 MH-60 Romeos would be equipped with multi-mode radars and night-vision devices as well as armed with Hellfire missiles, torpedoes and precision-guided weaponry.
  • The helicopters are designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.
  • The choppers are designed for hunting submarines as well as knocking out ships and conducting search-and-rescue operations at sea.
  • India and the US are also working on finalising a deal for buying 30 Predator drones to enhance the strike capabilities of the three defence forces
  1. Indian Navy inducted three ALH MK III advanced light helicopters
  • The Indian Navy inducted three indigenously-built advanced light helicopters ALH MK-III in their fleet.
  • These helicopters are built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited at the Indian Naval Station (INS) Dega in Visakhapatnam will be used for maritime reconnaissance and coastal security.
  • These helicopters are equipped with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment. It enables them in doing search and rescue operations even at the night. It is also fitted with a removable medical intensive care unit (ICU) to airlift critically ill patients. It can also undertake constabulary missions.
  1. Indo-Thai CORPAT Begins in Andaman Sea
  • The 31st edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) kicked off on June 09, 2021, in the Andaman Sea.
  • The three-day coordinated patrol between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy is being conducted from 09 to 11 June 2021.
  • From the Indian side, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, is participating and from Thailand Navy, HTMS Krabi is participating in CORPAT, along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies.
  • The CORPAT exercise is being conducted between the two navies bi-annually since 2005, along their International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
  • CORPAT builds up understanding and interoperability between navies and develops measures to prevent and suppress unlawful activities like Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.

  1. NTPC Ltd. Joins UN’s CEO Water Mandate for Water Conservation
  • India’s largest power utility, NTPC Ltd, under the Ministry of Power, has become a signatory to the prestigious UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, that focus on efficient water management.
  • The initiative also provides a platform for companies to partner with like-minded businesses, UN agencies, public authorities, civil society organizations, and other key stakeholders.
  • The CEO Water Mandate is an initiative by the UN Global Compact, designed to assist companies in the development, implementation, and disclosure of comprehensive water strategies and policies, to better their water and sanitation agendas as part of long term Sustainable Development Goals.
  1. World Bank approves $500 mn program to help boost India’s MSME sector
  • The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a USD 500 million programs to support India’s nationwide initiative to revitalise the MSME sector, which has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The MSME sector is the backbone of India’s economy, contributing 30% of India’s GDP and 4% of exports.
  • The USD 500 million Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Performance (RAMP) Programis the World Bank’s second intervention in this sector, the first being the USD 750 million MSME Emergency Response Program, approved in July 2020 to address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of millions of viable MSMEs severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
  1. BharatPe acquires loyalty platform PAYBACK India
  • Merchant payments and financial services provider, BharatPe has acquired a multi-brand loyalty platform, PAYBACK India, to help its 6 million offline merchants roll out rewards and loyalty programmes for customers.
  • The acquisition is expected to give an exit to American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund, which hold 90% and 10% stake respectively in the entity.
  • PAYBACK India will continue to function independently, after the acquisition. The deal is expected to be worth $30 million,an individual aware of the discussions told Mint on condition of anonymity.
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