News detail on 9 July 2021
Kanchan Ugursandi completes World’s 1st Solo Motorcycle Expedition
Mountain biker Kanchan Ugursandi completed the World’s 1st Solo Motorcycle Expedition covering 18 passes in the Himalayas covering 3,187 kilometers from New Delhi-Manali-Leh-Umlingla-Delhi in 25 days. She is also the 1st woman biker to cover the 18 passes.
i.Her Expedition was flagged off by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 11th June from New Delhi, on a move to promote COVID safety awareness in border areas.
Overview of Cabinet Reshuffle & Portfolio of New Ministers
On 7th July, 2021, the reshuffle and expansion of the Union Cabinet took place. As many as 43 Ministers (15 Cabinet Ministers, 28 Ministers of State) were sworn in, taking the strength of the Council of Ministers to 77 (78 including Prime Minister).
• Out of 43, 36 were New Faces & 7 Ministers were promoted to the rank of Cabinet Minister. • As per Article 75 (4) The Ministers were administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony held in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
• Before the appointment of Ministers, The President accepted the resignation of 12 Ministers.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to directly monitor the Ministry of Science & Technology.
Appointment of Council of Ministers
As per Article 75 (1) of the Constitution, The Council of Ministers shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister
• Article 75 (1A) states that the total number of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, in the Council of Ministers shall not exceed 15% of the total number of members of the House of the People (i.e. Lok Sabha).
• The Council of Ministers will be responsible to the Lok Sabha.
• Article 75 (5) – A Minister who for any period of six consecutive months is not a member of either House of Parliament shall at the expiration of that period cease to be a Minister.
7 Ministers who were promoted to Cabinet
Rank Cabinet Minister
Minister of Law and Justice
MoS in Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
Anurag Singh Thakur
Minister of Information and Broadcasting; and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports
MoS in Ministry of Finance & Ministry of Corporate Affairs
Hardeep Singh Puri
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs
MoS (I/C) in Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs & Ministry of Civil Aviation
Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying
MoS in Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
Minister of Health and Family Welfare; and Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers
MoS (I/C) in Ministry of Shipping
G Kishan Reddy
Minister of Culture; Minister of Tourism; and Minister of Development of North Eastern Region
MoS in Ministry of Home Affairs
Minister of Power; and Minister of New and Renewable Energy
MoS (I/C) in Ministry of Power & Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Stefan Lofven re-elected as Prime Minister by Swedish Parliament
Stefan Lofven of the Swedish Social Democratic Party was re-elected as Prime Minister of Sweden by the Swedish Parliament in July 2021. This comes a month after the June 11 No-Confidence vote in the Parliament, which led to his resignation after he failed to prove majority in the 349-member legislature.
i.Stefan Lofven won the majority in the recent voting by only 2-votes, which requires a minimum of 175 votes to prove majority. The narrow win puts him in a critical position in passing the country’s budget.
ii.Notably, the next Swedish Parliamentary election is set to be conducted in September 2022.
iii.He serves as the Prime Minister of Sweden, since 2014
Indian Cricketer Mithali Raj Became Leading Scorer in All forms of Women’s International Cricket
Indian cricketer and women’s ODI Captain Mithali Raj (38 years old) became the leading scorer in women’s international cricket in all three formats. She overtook former England’s batter Charlotte Edward’s tally of 10273 runs during the 3rd and final One-Day Internationals(ODI) between England and India held in Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.
• Mithali Raj has scored a total of 10277 runs in 317 matches.
• She is the only Indian cricketer and 2nd international cricketer to score more than 10000 runs in Women’s International Cricket.
Mithali Raj tops the ICC ODI women’s Batting Rankings for the 8th time. She achieved the feat for the first time in April 2005.
• She has represented India in more than 200 ODI and has scored 6974 runs.
• She also holds the record of the most runs in Women’s ODIs.
Venu Madhav Govindu & Srinath Raghavan Edited a New Book “The Fourth Lion: Essays for Gopalkrishna Gandhi”
“The Fourth Lion: Essays for Gopalkrishna Gandhi”, a new book edited by Venu Madhav Govindu and Srinath Raghavan. The Fourth Lion is a festschrift (a collection of writings in honour of a scholar) published in honour of Gopalkrishna Gandhi. It is a collection of 26 essays contributed by individuals drawn from across the globe. The book is published by the Aleph Book Company.
About the Book: The 26 essays in the book are organised into thematic sections like Literature and Culture, History, Environment, Politics and Public Affairs, and Memoirs.
i.Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been an administrator, diplomat, author, and public intellectual of distinction for more than 40 years.
ii.He has served as the 23rd Governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009.
iii.The writing of Gopalkrishna Gandhi covers various genres that deal with the issues of politics, history, literature and culture.
Book Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine authored by Kavitha Rao
A new book titled ‘Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine’ authored by Kavitha Rao is all set to be released. It is published by Amazon-backed Westland Books.
• It contains stories of India’s first women doctors which are ignored by history. These are Anandibai Joshi, Rukhmabai Raut, Kadambini Ganguly, Haimabati Sen and Chennai’s Muthulakshmi Reddy, who founded the Adyar Cancer Hospital.
Govt Set up 25-Member DCCI under the Chairmanship of Puneet Dalmia
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has set up a 25-member Development Council for the Cement Industry (DCCI) under the chairmanship of Puneet Dalmia, CMD, Dalmia Bharat Group.
Key Functions of DCCI:
i.The Council will suggest ways to eliminate waste, obtain maximum production, improve quality, reduce costs, and promote standardization of products.
ii.It will also recommend measures for securing the full utilization of the installed capacity and improving the working of the cement industry (particularly of the less efficient units).
iii.The council will work for standardization of accounting and costing methods and practice; it will undertake inquiry of materials, equipment, methods of production, management, labour utilization, etc.
iii.It will undertake scientific and industrial research for the discovery and development of new materials, equipment and methods.
22 Million Jobs lost in Developed Nations due to COVID-19: OECD Report
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) in its ‘OECD Employment Outlook 2021’ stated that over 22 million jobs were lost in developed nations due to COVID-19.
• Out of 22 million who remain out of work, 8 million are unemployed and 14 million are considered inactive.
• The report states that worldwide, 114 million jobs were lost during the pandemic.
• In May 2021, unemployment among OECD countries fell to 6.6%, but remained at least 1% above pre-pandemic levels. The pre-pandemic levels of employment are unlikely to be achieved before the end of 2022.
OECD Employment Outlook
It is an annual assessment of key labour market developments and prospects in OECD member countries.
• The 2021 edition is devoted to navigating the COVID-19 crisis and recovery.
Impact on Young and Low-skilled workers
Labor markets in developed nations have recovered only 50% of the loss of employment they suffered in the pandemic. Young and Low-skilled workers have been hurt the most.
• The report suggests training, investment and regulation to expand technical skills among lower-paid occupations.
Sectors which showed Positive Trends
The only sectors which grew even during the pandemic were Finance & Insurance. Lower-paying occupations had a reduction of more than 28% in hours worked.
Agriculture to be made more Appealing to Youth to save future Food Security – UN FAO
Transforming global Agriculture & Food Security in a way more appealing to the younger population will be the key to secure the future of global food & nutrition security, as per the report released by Committee on World
Food Security (CFS).
i.The report titled “Promoting youth engagement and employment in agriculture and food systems” was prepared by CFS’s High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on food security and nutrition.
ii.CFS is an intergovernmental platform that works on food security and nutrition for all. It is hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Fitch cut India’s GDP Growth Forecast for FY22 to 10%
On July 07, 2021, Fitch Ratings, the global credit rating agency in its report named ‘Indian Banks 2021 Report Card’, has reduced India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast for FY22 by 280bp to 10 percent from its earlier estimation of 12.8 percent due to the slowing recovery after the second wave of COVID-19.
• The report estimated India’s medium-term growth potential at about 6.5 percent.
• It stated that the Indian economy contracted by 7.3 percent in FY21 as against a 4 percent growth in FY20.
India’s E-Commerce Industry to touch USD 188 billion by 2025: FICCI Report
FICCI’s (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) latest report ‘A progressive shift from transactions to trust’ states that India’s Online Commerce Industry is expected to touchUSD 188 billion by 2025 & USD 200 billion by 2026 from USD 64 billion in 2020. The increase is mainly due to increased adoption of e-commerce caused by COVID-19.
• The contribution of the Online Commerce Industry to India’s GDP will reach 3.8% by 2025.
• It also states that the Indian retail industry will touch USD 1.1 – USD 1.3 trillion in value by 2025.
Rise in Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities The increase in online shopping & consumption of digital content is driven by Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities.
• Based on the survey conducted by FICCI, Online shoppers in India grew 73% in tier-1 cities and a staggering 400% within Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
• During the 2020 festive season (mid-October to November), online commerce saw a 56% rise in order volume and 50% growth in gross merchandise value compared to the 2019 festive season.
Trust Factor During the survey, 75% respondents indicate a strong trust in online shopping which includes trust in payment security, ease of return and refund guarantees.
J&K LG Manoj Sinha Launched Web Portal of Electrical Inspection Wing at Jammu
Manoj Sinha Lieutenant Governor(LG) of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) launched the Web Portal of Electrical Inspection Wing at Jammu to make the electrical inspection process more convenient for the general public. The application for the inspection process is available on www.eijammu.in.
• To make the services of the Power Development Department easily accessible to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
• To rectify the issues identified by the Electrical Inspection Agency within a specified time.
Features of the web portal:
i.The end to end process of the electrical inspection, from the application state, depositing inspection fees, fixing the date of inspection to the issuance of fitness certificate has been converted into online mode.
ii.The portal also has a time bound procedure which informs the applicant regarding the approval or denial of application through the website within 12 days.
iii.The portal also provides an e-fitness certificate by verifying the rectified photographs uploaded by the applicants.
iv.The portal will ensure the issuance of fitness certificates in a time specific schedule and enable the commissioning of installations for public use during the given period.
Former CM of Himachal Pradesh & Congress Leader Virbhadra Singh Passed Away
Former Chief Minister(CM) of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh passed away in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. He was born on 23rd June 1934 at Sarahan, Punjab, British India (Now in Himachal Pradesh). He is the sitting Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Arki assembly constituency (Solan District, Himachal Pradesh). He was popularly known by the honorific ‘Raja Sahib’.
• Virbhadra Singh, a veteran Congress leader, has served as the CM of Himachal Pradesh (6 times) between 1983 to 2017.
• He was also a 9-time MLA and 5-time Member of Parliament(MP).
LAST MONTHS G.K.