GK Snapshots on 5 July 2021
International Plastic Bag Free Day 2021 – July 3
International Plastic Bag Free Day is annually observed across the globe on 3rd July to create awareness about the issues of plastic pollution and to highlight the effects of plastic pollution on the natural environment ranging from land to marine.
The day also promotes the use of paper bags and cloth bags and eliminate the use of plastic bags.
Efforts to eliminate single-use plastics:
To reduce the usage of single-use plastic bags across the globe, various counties have opted for bans, taxation and other forms of voluntary agreements.
National Postal Worker Day 2021 – July 1
The National Postal Worker Day is annually observed on 1st July to recognise the work of the postal workers who work hard to deliver the mail and delivery on time. The day encourages the general public to appreciate the work of postal workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle-area postal carrier proclaimed July 1st was proclaimed as the Nation Postal Worker day in 1997 to honour their fellow employees.
International Day of Cooperatives observed on July 3 (1st Saturday of July)
The UN International Day of Cooperatives (#CoopsDay) is observed annually on the First Saturday of July, which falls on July 3 in 2021. It is observed to increase awareness of cooperatives and highlight the contributions of the cooperative movement.
• It aims to strengthen and extend partnerships between the International cooperative movement and other actors, including governments, local, national, and international levels.
• The Theme for International Day of Cooperatives is ‘Rebuild better together’.
• 2021’s celebration will be the 27th International Day of Cooperative recognized by the UN and the 99th International Cooperative Day (being observed since 1923).
Invest India awarded as World’s Most Innovative Investment Promotion Agency of 2021
In July 2021, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar congratulated ‘Invest India’ for winning the World’s Most Innovative Investment Promotion Agency for 2021 by the OCO Global.
i.Invest India has been continuously identifying innovative areas of investment and bringing in sustainable investors to India, despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic
RK Sabharwal awarded “The Order of Polar Star” – Highest Civilian Award of Mongolia
Chairman & Managing Director of Engineers India Ltd. (EIL), RK Sabharwal, was awarded the highest civilian award of Mongolia “The Order of Polar Star”. He was honoured with the prestigious award for his contribution towards the construction of Mongolia’s 1st ever Oil Refinery.
i.The Oil Refinery is constructed by the Mongolian government with the USD 1 billion Line of Credit provided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Mongolia in 2019.
Shambhu Nath Srivastava Appointed as IFUNA Chairman
Shambhu Nath Srivastava, the former Allahabad High Court Judge and former chief Lokayukta of Chhattisgarh, has been appointed as the Chairman of the Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA). He succeeded Mukul Sangma, a former chief minister of Meghalaya.
About Indian Federation of United Nations Associations (IFUNA):
i.IFUNA is a Non-governmental, Voluntary, Nonprofit Organization working for International Peace and Understanding, and to promote the objectives of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies.
ii.It was founded by social reformer Acharya Narendra Dev and it is affiliated with the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), which is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.
iii.It is the only body to represent India in the UN forums and it also has the Consultative Status of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
iv.ECOSOC is the highest status granted by the UN to non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), thereby allowing them to participate in the work of the UNs.
Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat Resigned
Uttarakhand Chief Minister(CM) Tirath Singh Rawat of Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), has submitted his resignation to Baby Rani Maurya, Governor of Uttarakhand. He resigned 4 months after taking charge as the Chief Minister. The BJP Legislature party has scheduled a meeting at the BJP Headquarters in Uttarakhand to select a new Chief Minister.
Edelweiss Group Sold its Entire Stake in EGIBL to Gallagher & Co
Edelweiss Group, one of India’s leading diversified financial services firms, has sold its entire stake in Edelweiss Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited(EGIBL), an insurance broking joint venture to Gallagher & Co. Gallagher previously held 30% stakes in EGIBL and has now acquired the remaining shares.
• The Edelweiss Group has sold 3.7 million shares of EGIBL at Rs 10 each which represents around 70% of the paid-up share capital of a total value of Rs 307.60 crore.
• The deal was approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDAI).
Indrajaal: Grene Robotics developed India’s 1st Indigenous Drone Defence Dome
India’s first indigenous Autonomous Drone Defence Dome (AD3) namely ‘Indrajaal’ has been developed by Grene Robotics, a Hyderabad (Telangana) based company into building autonomous technologies.
• This Anti-Drone Dome provides a 24*7 protection to a large area / city of 1,000-2,000 sq km against threats such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), incoming weapons (missiles), loitering munitions and Low-Radar Cross Section (RCS) targets autonomously.
• It also provides real time situation updates.
Virgin Orbit Launches 7 Satellites from 747 Plane
In July 2021, Richard Charles Nicholas Branson’s rocket company, Virgin Orbit delivered 7 satellites from 3 countries viz, United States(US), Netherlands, and Poland into space using its modified Boeing 747 aircraft, making it the company’s 1st commercial launch.
• LauncherOne, the 70-foot-long (21-meter) two-stage rocket was carried by the aircraft and dropped from its left wing. The drop occurred at an altitude of about 37,000 feet (11,000 meters) over the Pacific near the Channel Islands.
• It is the company’s 2nd successful rocket launch from a plane. The satellites are from the U.S. Defense Department, the Royal Netherlands Air Force, and Poland’s SatRevolution company.
• The 747 took off from Mojave Desert, California. The company plans 3 more test flights of its rocket ship in 2021.
Sports Ministry recognises WAKO India Kickboxing Federation
On June 2nd, The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports recognised WAKO India Kickboxing Federation as National Sports Federation (NSF) of India. In June 2021, International Olympics Committee (IOC) recognised “World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO)”, the international federation for Kickboxing, as a full-time member of Olympic games.
i.Kickboxing is set to be a permanent member from 2021’s Tokyo Olympics
ii.Recognition as a NSF, will provide extended promotion and development of the Sport at a faster pace in India.
Dhaval Kulkarni Authored a New Book Titled “Nathuram Godse: The True Story of Gandhi’s Assassin”
Journalist Dhaval Kulkarni has authored a book titled “Nathuram Godse: The True Story of Gandhi’s Assassin”, the biography of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. Teesta Guha Sarkar, editorial head at Pan Macmillan India acquired the book from Anish Chandy, founder of Labyrinth literary agency in an auction.
About the Book:
i.The book features the unknown aspects of Godse’s life, his ideologies and other factors that led to the assassination of Gandhi.
ii.The book also accounts for the chain of events that took place before and after the assassination of Gandhi.
‘India To The Rescue’ A Children’s Book Authored by Sushant Singh & Shruthi Rao
Journalist Sushant Singh and children’s book writer Shruthi Rao have authored a new children’s book titled “India To The Rescue”. The illustrations of the book were done by Shangnik Chakraborty. The book features the rescue operation “Operation Cactus” which averted the Maldives crisis on 3rd November 1988.
• Operation Cactus is India’s one of the quickest and most successful missions.
• The accounts of the operation cactus were originally written by Sushant Singh, who has researched the story and interviewed many of the characters of the operation.
Narendra Singh Tomar Released Compendium on Best Practices to Address Gender Issues by DAY-NRLM
Union Minister of Rural Development, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Panchayati Raj and Food Processing Industries Narendra Singh Tomar released a compendium relating to how Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) is addressing gender issues through Social Action Committees of Self Help Groups (SHGs) federations.
i.The voices of women and girls who have sought support from the Village Organisation Social Action Committees to address a range of issues such as prevention of child marriages and violence against women were highlighted in the event.
ii.The case studies from 23 States pointed out the processes, mechanisms, strategies, and plans for replicating and scaling the gender interventions to advance the gender equality.
iii.The Union Minister appreciated the Ministry’s effort in providing support to women and girls to voice their concerns and seek support through DAY-NRLM. iv.He also highlighted the role that SHG members and the Social Action Committees could play in spreading awareness about COVID-19 (to encourage people to get vaccinated).
6th BRICS Culture Ministers Meeting 2021 held virtually under the Chairship of India
On 2nd July 2021, India virtually hosted the 6th BRICS(Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Culture Ministers meeting 2021 under the chairship of Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism. The meeting saw the participation of the Minister of Culture from the BRICS member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The meeting was conducted under the theme – “Bonding and Harmonizing Cultural Synergy”
i.Increasing collaboration among the member countries in exchanging knowledge of Cultural experiences to protect various tangible & intangible cultural heritages.
ii.A proposal was made for the formation of the BRICS Alliance to conserve & preserve ancient manuscripts through digital means.
iii.Promoting the use of digital technologies to conserve cultural heritage by conducting online cultural activities like – Virtual Museums, Arts, Theatres etc.
Role of Women in Leading Scientific Research increases by 4%: DST Report
According to the ‘Directory of Extramural Research & Development Projects 2018-19’ released by the Centre for Human and Organisational Resource Development (CHORD), a division of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) – Women Principal Investigators (PIs) participation in research that received Extramural Research (EMR) support (support received through peer-reviewed competitive grant mechanism) stood at 28% during 2018-19, compared to 24% during 2016-17.
• The Research & Development (R&D) support through peer-reviewed competitive grant mechanisms by the Central government stood at INR 2091.04 crore in 2018-19 compared to INR 2036.32 crore in 2017-18 (an increase of 54.72 crore from 2016-17).
India joins G20-OECD Tax Framework Deal for Global Minimum Corporate Tax
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stated that 130 countries including G20 members, India & China have joined the G20-OECD Tax Framework Deal for Global Minimum Corporate Tax.
i.The Global Minimum Corporate Tax is set to come into force from 2023 mandates 15% Tax on globally operating companies (such as Google, Facebook). It is applicable for Global companies with global annual revenue of at least 20 billion Euros (USD 24 billion) and a profit margin of over 10%.
• The objective of introducing the tax is to prevent global companies from shifting to low-tax regions to secure extended profits.
• The 15% tax is expected to generate an estimated USD 150 billion additional tax revenue each year.
• It was proposed by US President Joe Biden and was accepted by the G7 countries in June, 2021.
• OECD is coordinating the global campaign for the Tax.
i.In order to implement the rule, a multilateral treaty is due to be drawn up in 2022.
ii.The deal will be finalized by the end of October, 2021 when the G20 leaders will meet in Rome, Italy.
iii.The agreement also provides for taxing part of the profits that global companies make in countries where they do business online but have no physical presence.
WHO awarded China a Malaria-Free Certificate
On June 30, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) awarded China a malaria-free certification. This certification recognized China’s 70-year effort to eradicate this disease.
i.It reported zero cases for last the 4 years.
ii.In the 1940s, the country reported 30 million cases of the disease annually.
iii.China is the first country in the WHO Western Pacific Region to be awarded a malaria-free certification in more than 3 decades. Other countries in the region that have achieved this status include Australia (1981), Singapore (1982) and Brunei Darussalam (1987). It should be noted that countries that have achieved at least three consecutive years of zero indigenous cases can apply for WHO certification of their malaria-free status.
NABARD Sanctioned Rs 388 crore for Drinking Water, Road Projects in Odisha
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 388 crore under the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for Odisha to set up 4 mega piped drinking water supply projects and 20 rural road projects across 15 districts of the state.
World Bank increased COVID-19 Vaccine Funding by $8bn to $20 bn
The World Bank (WB) enhanced its available funding by $8 billion for COVID-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to $20 billion over next 18 months i.e. through 2022 from a previous target of $12 billion.
• This decision has been taken to overcome the disproportionate vaccination rates between the advanced economies and developing countries as the latter are facing sharp increase in overall financing demand.
World Bank’s Assistance to Developing Countries:
i.It has provided more than $4 billion to 51 developing countries for the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines.
ii.Recently, WB’s private financing arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) mobilized €600 million euros for South African vaccine manufacturer, Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited, to ramp up production.
• This was done in collaboration with three national development finance institutions, Proparco of France, DEG of Germany, and DFC of the United States (US).
• Out of €600 million euros , €200 million euros from IFC’s account.
iii.World Bank can also fully fund the purchase of the up to 400 million Johnson & Johnson (J&J) doses negotiated by the Africa Center for Disease Control and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT). iv.Since the start of the pandemic, WB has approved more than $150 billion to address its health and social impacts.
Govt Extended Retirement Age of LIC Chairman from 60 to 62 Years
Government (govt) has amended the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India (Staff) Regulations, 1960 to extend the superannuation (retirement) age of Initial Public Offer (IPO)-bound LIC Chairman to 62 years from 60 years.
• The changes made in the rules will be called the Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Amendment Rules, 2021.
• In June 2021, the govt made a 9-month extension to LIC Chairman M R Kumar till March 2022 in view of the ongoing preparation for the IPO.
• M R Kumar was to retire on June 30, 2021, upon attaining the age of 60 years. To provide the extension beyond 60 years, the rules are amended now.
LAST MONTHS G.K.