Current Affair of August 2021

National

1. Muslim Women Rights Day was observed on 1 August in India. Year 2021 marks second anniversary of triple talaq bill which is officially called as Muslim Women Act (Protection of Rights on Marriage) passed in the Rajya Sabha.

2. National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) was constituted in 1999 in accordance with the National Policy for Older Persons (NPOP). It was constituted under the Chairpersonship of Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. The council look after the implementation of the Policy and advise the Government to formulate and implement policy and programmes for senior citizens

3. Lok Sabha passed the Tribunals Reforms Bill on 3 August, 2021 that seeks to abolish nine appellate tribunals. Tribunals including the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) will be abolished. Bill was passed by voice vote without any debate.

4. Supreme Court of India on 3 August, 2021 held that, Governor of state can pardon prisoners, including in the death sentence cases. Governor can pardon the prisoners even before they have completed minimum 14 years of prison sentence. Bench also held that, Governor's power to pardon overrides a provision given under Section 433A of Code of Criminal Procedure.

5. Supreme Court has put stay on National Green Tribunal (NGT) order of prohibiting use of parks for social, commercial, marriage or any other functions. Supreme court bench comprising of Justices Indira Banerjee and V Ramasubramanian noted that, use of parks will not be permitted for more than 10 days in a month under any circumstances.

6. Parliament passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, on 3 August, 2021 after Rajya Sabha approved the bill amidst the protest. Union Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had tabled the amendment bill that seeks to amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

7. Central government approved a Constitution Amendment Bill on 4 August, 2021 that seeks to empower states and UTs to make their own OBC lists. Bill was approved at the meeting of Union Cabinet chaired by PM. It will now be introduced in Parliament for passage.

8. Rajya Sabha passed Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021 on 4 August, 2021. Bill was tabled by Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and was passed in the Lok Sabha in June 2021. Now, it will be sent to the President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.

9. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has undertaken installation of Agro-Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) in order to provide exact weather forecast to people with special focus on farmers. This information was provided by Science & Technology Minister, Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

10. According to Titagarh Wagons Ltd, its plant in Italy has rolled out first train for Pune Metro coach. In total, 34 trains will be sent from Italy. Each train will comprise of three coaches. The first prototype of the metro was rolled out at a virtual ceremony that was joined by Ambassador of India to Italy, Neena Malhotra and Ambassador of Italy to India, Vincenzo de Luca.

11. Delhi Cabinet has approved its policy to promote medical oxygen production and provide incentives to private sector to invest in production plants, tankers and storage facilities for medical oxygen. Medical Oxygen Production Policy provides several incentives to private sector in order to set up oxygen production plants, invest in Oxygen tankers and set up oxygen storage facilities.

12. Animal Birth Control (ABC) Centre at Konakkarai in Tamil Nadu has become operational again. Animal birth control unit was opened in 2018. It remained idle for several months.

13. Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal gave nod to proposal of 66% salary hike for MLAs. This hike has come after a decade to raise existing monthly salary and allowances of MLAs from Rs. 54,000 to Rs. 90,000.

14. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, from 2016 to 2019, suicide cases due to unemployment have increased by 24%. Karnataka registered the greatest number (553) of suicides due to unemployment in 2019. Karnataka is followed by Maharashtra with 452 cases and Tamil Nadu with 251 cases.

15. India's Consumption Expenditure Survey (CES) is conducted by National Sample Survey Office every five years. But, CES data has not been released since 2011 - 2012. But there are clear indications that, Poverty in India is on rise again. CES was conducted in 2017 - 18 (late by a year) but was not made public by Government of India.

16. Recent statistics on Haryana have been pointing towards rising graph of sexual offences against minor girls in the State. Statistics also points towards grossly inadequate steps taken by the government to deal with this situation.

17. According to official statistics, less than 300,000 Indians have died due to covid-19 infection in 2021. However, according to latest data of YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey, this is a colossal underestimation of actual deaths. YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey was conducted online in between June - July 2021. It covered 10,285 respondents from households across 203 cities and towns.

18. According to Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, a staggering 65% of the tuberculosis cases are in 15 - 45 age group in India. This age group is considered as most economically productive population segment.

19. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently published its sixth assessment report (AR6) titled "Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis". IPCC in its report confirmed that, Indian Ocean was warming at a rate higher than other oceans.

20. Senior ministers from governments of Assam and Mizoram held a detailed discussion on 5 August, 2021 regarding the boundary dispute between Assam & Mizoram. Following the meeting, a joint statement was released stating that boundary disputes would be resolved amicably.

21. Rajasthan government launched a series of nutrition-focused welfare programmes for the benefit of women and children who are affected by disruption in routine schemes. Women and children in Rajasthan are affected due to disruption of schemes such as Integrated Child Development Services and midday meal scheme amid the covid-19 pandemic.

22. Ladakh Administration has removed the need of an Inner Line Permit (ILP) for all Indian nationals who seeks to visit protected areas of union territory. Ladakh administration issued notification regarding the Inner Line Permit on 6 August, 2021.

23. India allowed foreign nationals residing here to receive covid-19 vaccine by registering on the Co-Win portal on 9 August, 2021. Foreigners can use their passport as identity document to register themselves on CoWIN portal. After registering on this portal, they will get a slot to get vaccination done.

24. Central Government introduced the 127th Constitution (amendment) bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha on 9 August, 2021. The bill seeks to restore state's power to make their own OBC lists. Bill was introduced by Union minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Virendra Kumar.

25. World Lion Day is celebrated on August 10, every year in a bid to raise awareness on lions. The day also seeks to mobilise support for protection and conservation of Lion. As per World Wide Fund for animals (WWF), though lion is often referred to as the "king of the jungle". But in reality, it only lives in grasslands and plains.

26. Delhi's first "Animal DNA Laboratory" was set up at Forensic Science Laboratory in Rohini. Wildlife forensics is a new field of criminal investigation. Earlier, animal samples used to be sent to other States with animal DNA testing facilities to test results. Sometimes, this process delayed investigations. The animal DNA lab also procured two machines namely, automate DNA extraction instrument and Real-Time PCR instrument which is based on mitochondrial DNA technology.

27. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has started its celebrations of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' to commemorate 75 years of Independence of India. To mark this momentous occasion, BRO will organise nationwide welfare and patriotic activities and events.

28. Delhi High Court asked the Delhi government to reply on plea filed by BJP MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma that challenged the provision home delivery of liquor in new excise policy of 2021. Bench comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh is hearing the petition.

29. Supreme Court of India directed Union and State governments to fill vacancies in the consumer disputes redressal commission within eight weeks. There are around 800 vacancies in consumer courts across the country.

30. Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to respond to a plea that seeks to declare "Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund a State under the Constitution. Petition was filed by a lawyer, Samyak Gangwal.

31. India's cleanest city, Indore, has now been declared as India's first water plus city under the Swachh Survekshan 2021. Indore has become example for whole nation for its determination and dedication towards cleanliness. Indore City received this certification from central government on 11 August, 2021.

32. Food delivery platform Swiggy is launching electric-cycles (E-cycles) in association with the Hero Lectro Cargo (HLC) in Hyderabad. Under the pilot project, e-cycles will be rolled out in August 2021 itself. E-cycles from Hero Lectro Cargo (HLC) will be deployed for last mile food delivery.

33. According to a notification of Central government, RT-PCR report is not mandatory for the people who have received both doses of covid-19 vaccines to travel across states. National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) had notified in May that if a person is fully vaccinated, they do not require a negative RT-PCR test report for travel.

34. Assam Assembly passed the "Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021" on 13 August, 2021. Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021 prohibits the sale and purchase of beef in areas inhabited by non-beef-eating communities. It also prohibits the sale and purchase of beef within a radius of 5 km of a temple or a satra (Vaishnavite monastery).

35. Environment Ministry notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021 on 13 August, 2021. These new rules prohibit specific single-use plastic items with "low utility and high littering potential by the year 2022. Under it, manufacture of a range of plastic products will be banned.

36. Tamil Nadu has become the first state in India to cut the petrol price in fiscal year 2021 - 22 by Rs. 3/litre, providing a major relief to consumers. Price cut was announced by State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan during his budget speech on 13 August and it came into effect from 14 August.

37. Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana issued a formal notice to government because of several petitions. This notice was issued by SC after centre refused to file any additional affidavit on confirming or denying using Pegasus.

38. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will invite India's Olympic contingent as special guests at the Red Fort on 15 August when he will be delivering his eighth Independence Day speech. Modi will also invite contingent to his residence for interaction. This year, India has been represented by a 228-strong contingent, which include 120 athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

39. A parliamentary panel, in its report before Lok Sabha, has recommended to renegotiate Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan in order to address the impact of climate change on availability of water in river basin. It also recommends to address other challenges which are not covered under Indus-water agreement.

40. In line with the Government's commitment of replacing grey hydrogen with green hydrogen, India is proposing to mandate the use of green hydrogen in fertilizer and refining. This proposal was put forward by Power Minister R. K. Singh while holding talks with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, Mr. John Kerry.

41. Government of India has introduced a new registration mark under the Bharat Series (BH-Series) for new vehicles. New registration mark was launched in order to facilitate seamless transfer of vehicles. This citizen-centric, IT-based solution for vehicle registration was launched for facilitating mobility.

42. Tropical depression grace over the earthquake hit southwest Haiti on 17 August, 2021. It caused torrential rains and high winds ending into flooding in one area. Tropical depression hit, when Haiti is still scrambles to overcome the effects of a massive earthquake.

43. Kaziranga National Park of Assam have become the first national park of India to be equipped with satellite phones. About 10 satellites phones were handed over to forest personnel of Kaziranga National Park by Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua.

44. Four more wetlands from India have been added to the Ramsar list and have been recognized as wetlands of global importance in accordance with the Ramsar Convention. India is home to more than a dozen of threatened and near threatened bird species. Four sites that have been included are: Thol from Gujarat, Wadhwana from Gujarat, Sultanpur from Haryana and Bhindawas from Haryana.

45. India's highest herbal park, at a height of 11,000 feet, was inaugurated near Indo-China border at Mana village in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This high-altitude herbal park was inaugurated with the aim of conserving various medicinally and culturally important alpine species and to conduct research on propagation and habitat ecology of these species.

46. According to a new report by UNICEF, Children in India are at extreme high risk of impacts of climate crisis. As per report, India is among four South Asian countries where children are most at risk. Climate change threaten their health, education, and protection.

47. Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, will inaugurate India's first smog tower at Baba Kharak Singh Marg in Connaught Place (CP), Delhi. It is over 20-metre-tall structure and was set up to improve air quality in a radius of around 1 km. The tower will operate at full capacity after the monsoon season.

48. Tropical Storm Henri has made its landfall near western Rhode Island on 24 August, 2021. As per US National Hurricane Center (NHC), it made landfall with wind speed of 60 mph. In New Jersey, about 86 people were rescued from flooded vehicles as a result of tropical storm.

49. India's most populous districts are witnessing uneven vaccination coverage over the past months. This raise concerns over resurgence in covid-19 cases in some of the districts. 30 most populous districts in India, that account for one sixth of India's population, have recorded a drop in number of active covid cases. Cases have almost reduced to half.

50. Assam government has announced COVID relief package for helpers, drivers and priests. Under the relief package, drivers and helpers of privately operated buses will be getting one-time relief of Rs. 10,000. Priests of the temple and head of Namghars (Vaishnavite place of worship) will be getting Rs. 15,000 each.

51. Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu, launched "Vaccinate India Programme" on 24 August, 2021. On the occasion, he appealed to the people to strictly follow COVID-19 norms. This programme was organised by Give India Foundation and Sustainable Goals Coordination Centre in Bengaluru.

52. Operation Devi Shakti name has been given by India to its operation of evacuating its citizens from war-torn Afghanistan. External affairs minister S. Jaishankar called the evacuation process as 'Operation Devi Shakti' while saluting the efforts of Indian Air Force and Air India.

53. The Election Commission launched a new initiative on 26 August, 2021 in order to reach out to new voters by sending them a personalised letter along with voter identity card. Initiative was launched by Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

54. Madhya Pradesh government implemented the National Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) in the state on 26 August, 2021. MP became the second state in India to implement NEP-2020 following Karnataka. This new education policy will break all the shackles and help students in exploring outside their boundaries.

55. According to the Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO), the elephant landscape in Odisha has undergone a dramatic change because of mindless mining and unplanned developmental activities. According to WSO, elephant landscape has changed dramatically in last two decades.

56. India was ranked at 122nd position among 181 countries in Global Youth Development Index, 2020. Commonwealth Secretariat released this triennial ranking of youth development for 181 countries. The index measures the status of young people among 181 countries across the world.

57. The Skytrax World Airport Award ranking 2021 was recently published in which Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi has emerged among world's top-50 best airports in the 2021. Delhi Airport emerged as best airport in India for the third consecutive year. Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru have also found a rank among world's 100 best airports.

58. According to a new report titled "Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2021" released by Asian Development Bank (ADB), COVID-19 pandemic has pushed an estimated 75 million to 80 million people in developing Asia into extreme poverty as compared to what would have happened without COVID-19.

59. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and IIT Roorkee has developed an app, in a joint venture, that can predict natural disasters. App will alert about possible natural calamities in advance. Uttarakhand cabinet has also formed an expert committee that will tell us about the quantum of rainfall in each area in order to make arrangements in advance.

60. The Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) has launched a regular Jungle Tea Toy Train Safari on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Route. Toy-train safari will run from Siliguri junction to Rongtong station in West Bengal. This is the NRF's second attempt to attract tourists and improve tourism business in Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).

61. The Chief Justice of India (CJI), NV Ramana, will administer oath of office to Nine new judges, including three women on 31 August, 2021. Three out of these nine new judges namely, Justice Vikram Nath, Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice PS Narasimha, are in line to become the CJI.

International

1. UN General Assembly (UNGA) has approved a resolution on 2 August, 2021 to establish a Permanent Forum of People of African Descent. This permanent forum of people will provide expert advice in addressing the challenges of racism, xenophobia, racial discrimination and intolerance.

2. Leaseholders of Malpe Beach Tourism in Udupi district got safety nets and red flags on 3 August, 2021 along the beach. Administration has also issued warning to tourists for not venturing into the Arabian Sea. This step was taken in light of repeated drowning incidents involving tourists.

3. European Union has imposed a fine of $886.6 million or 746 million euro on Amazon.com Inc. European Union fined Amazon for processing personal data in violation of EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Fine was imposed by Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) on Amazon Europe Core. However, Amazon has decided to challenge the penalty

4. United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 3 to 17. UAE will administer China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to children aged 3-17. This decision was taken after clinical trials and extensive evaluations. As per authorities, trial was monitored for immune response of 900 children.

5. Member nations of the International Monetary Fund have approved the injection of $650 billion to help countries in dealing with mounting debt and economic fallout because of Covid-19 pandemic. These reserve assets, called as special drawing rights, have been created first time after 2009 global financial crisis when $250 billion were issued.

6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually preside over an open debate at United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on August 9, 2021. Debate will be held on the issue of maritime security at UNSC. India is holding presidency of UNSC for August and Narendra Modi has become the first Indian Prime Minister to chair an open debate at UNSC.

7. Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Institute of Space science and Technology (IIST) and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), Netherlands on August 4, 2021 in order to carry Academic programmes and Research activities.

8. AYUSH Ministry is to conduct clinical trials of "Ashwagandha" in collaboration with UK's London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Team will check its efficacy on COVID-19 infection. All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) and LSHTM signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct clinical trials of Ashwagandha, recently.

9. Solarpunk is an art movement that showcase how the future might look if humanity gets success in solving major contemporary challenges by emphasising on sustainability problems like climate change and pollution. Solarpunk describes a multitude of media including fine arts, literature, architecture, music, fashion, tattoos, and video games in a manner similar to adjacent movements like steampunk & cyberpunk and more established art movements such as Baroque, Art Nouveau & Impressionism.

10. United Nation Security Council (UNSC) has declared that it is against the restoration of Islamic emirate in Afghanistan. UNSC expressed its deep concern over high levels of violence in war-torn Afghanistan following the Taliban stepping up its military offensive. Ministration of UNSC is seen by most of its members as a better alternative than allowing this situation to escalate.

11. Government of India, Central Water Commission, government representatives of 10 participating states and World Bank signed a $250 million project on August 4, 2021 for long-term dam safety program. Project will help in improving the safety and performance of existing dams across different states in India.

12. India has not been invited Russia led extended Troika meet. Extended Troika meet will be held on the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan. Meeting is expected to be attended by Pakistan, China and the US. India also sought to downplay its absence stating that it engages with Russia on the issue of Afghanistan regularly.

13. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, on August 6, 2021. Both the leaders addressed measures to strengthen bilateral trade, investment, and economic cooperation with the objective of realising full potential of India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

14. Three remote Alaska volcanoes are in different states of eruption. One of the volcanos is producing lava while other two is blowing steam and ash. None of the small communities surrounding the volcanoes have been affected, till now. Webcams on August 6 showed episodic low-level ash emissions from Pavlof Volcano.

15. People of Bihar faces perennial flooding in North Bihar (Mithilanchal region) almost every year despite the efforts of government. Solution to such flooding lies in correction of India-Nepal flood management. Despite the efforts made by government, people continue to suffer with perennial flooding in north Bihar. This chronic issue is making over five crore people in north Bihar and Terai in Nepal vulnerable. But it does not seem to get attention by policymakers in both the countries.

16. Thailand has banned sunscreens comprising of chemicals that damage coral from all of its marine national parks. Sun protection used by tourists are harming slow-growing corals in the Island nation. According to Thai Department of Conservation, four ingredients found in sun creams were destroying coral larvae, obstruct coral reproduction and cause reef bleaching.

17. Parliamentary panel, in its report before Lok Sabha observed that, India is not having any water treaty with China. However, both the nations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) on Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers. MoUs on Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers will be in force for five years. MoUs are renewed regularly.

18. India and China have agreed to disengage their troops in the Gogra region of eastern Ladakh. Both sides have agreed to restore the Line of Actual Control in the area. Troop disengagement process was carried after 15 months of face-off as a result troop of both sides are back to their respective permanent bases.

19. Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar, participated in G20 Research Ministers' meeting on 6 August, 2021. Meeting was hosted in by Italy. G20 Education Ministers of the grouping exchanged their views on enhancing research collaborations and sharing digital space among G20 Countries.

20. Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, attended a memorial to commemorate the 76th anniversary of world's first atomic bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Survivors and relatives marked the anniversary of blast with a minute of silence. Those who survived the bombing still continue to require welfare and medical care.

21. Johnson and Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use India. With this vaccine, India has five Emergency Use Authorization vaccines. This move will further boost India's collective fight against COVID-19. This vaccine, also called as Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, has been developed by Janssen Vaccines in Leiden, Netherlands. Its Belgian parent company Janssen Pharmaceuticals is subsidiary of American company Johnson & Johnson.

22. Amid the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and approaching typhoon, Tokyo Olympics 2020 was finally concluded on 8 August, 2021. Japanese capital pulled the curtains down on one of the most unique Games in history and handed over the flame of hope to Paris. Flame of hope or the flag was passed to Paris with the message of moving forward. It also remembered those who lost their lives to Covid-19 pandemic.

23. China made its newly constructed terminal operational at Lhasa airport in Tibet. This new terminal is the biggest terminal in Tibet opened to further expand the transport infrastructure in strategic Himalayan region. It will help Tibet to emerge as a global logistics hub for South Asia.

24. On 9 August, 2021, Afghan forces attacked on provincial capital of northern province of Samangan called Aybak city to repel Taliban militants. In the attack, at least 20 Taliban militants were killed and eight others got injured. Taliban fighters fled towards surrounding areas after casualties were inflicted.

25. World Health Organization (WHO) urged the 20 leaders with power to end the disgraceful covid-19 vaccine inequity and global imbalances before October in order to reverse the tide. UN health agency has been highly infuriated by the moral outrage of rich countries which are hogging vaccine supply as opposed to developing nations which are struggling to immunise their most vulnerable populations.

26. Chief Scientist of World Health Organization, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, urged the nations to prioritize reopening of schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Chief scientist highlighted that; Covid-19 has indirectly affected the education greatly by shutting down schools globally. So, she asked to prioritize school opening while maintaining proper health and hygiene.

27. Industrialization in China occurred at breathtaking pace which lifted people out of poverty and transformed India into the world's factory. However, this also made China the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. As a result, China has set the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2060.

28. On 10 August, 2021, Taliban captured ‘Pul-e-Khumri' (capital of northern province of Baghlan) and Afghan security forces retreated towards Kelagi desert. Pul-e-Khumri is the seventh regional capital that came under control of the Islamist militants within a week.

29. Hong Kong is all set to implement China's anti-sanctions law. It will be implemented in some form in the country and will add fresh regulatory pressure on international companies. Under the law, foreign companies can be sued in Chinese courts to apply sanctions. The law can also be used against family members.

30. India and Saudi Indian is all set to conduct their first ever naval exercise called "AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021". To participate in the exercise, India's guided-missile destroyer INS Kochi reached Saudi Arabia. The joint naval exercise will showcase the reflection of growing defence and military cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia.

31. India and USA signed an agreement on Monsoon Data Analysis and cooperation in order to improve weather forecasts. MoU was signed by Ambassador of India to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Acting Administrator of NOAA, Dr Neil A Jacobs.

32. 11th Annual meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for the year 2021 was inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner of India & Chairman of FEMBoSA, Sushil Chandra. He was accompanied by Election Commissioners Rajeev Kumar and A.C. Pandey. This virtual meeting was hosted by the Election Commission of Bhutan.

33. Wildfires in Algeria have killed 42 people including 25 soldiers. President of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, expressed condolences for 25 soldiers. They lost their life while rescuing people at the epicentre of the blazes. Areas of Bejaiea and Tizi Ouzou are epicentre of the blazes. Dozens of fires started in Kabyle region also.

34. The Union minister of Roads, transport, and Highway, Nitin Gadkari, has announced roads and highways projects worth Rs. 1,000 crores in Uttarakhand. Apart from that, an additional Rs. 300 crore for Central Road Infrastructure Fund was also announced. He also promised that, Centre will provide all help for ropeway and cable cars in Uttarakhand.

35. Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra has finished at number 2 rank in the World Athletics ranking after securing Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Neeraj Chopra has been ranked second with his score of 1315. He is only behind German athlete Johannes Vetter who is having the score of 1396.

36. Kabul's chief for reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, has requested for an emergency UN Security Council session at regional conference on Afghanistan in Doha. This outs spotlight on India, which holds the presidency of the UNSC for August. India was also present at the meeting of extended "Troika Plus" on Afghanistan on August 12.

37. Chief scientist of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, noted that though Covid-19 vaccines may not provide absolute protection against emerging variants of the coronavirus. However, it can reduce risks of death and complications.

38. Pakistan carried a successful training launch of surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile called Ghaznavi on 12 August, 2021. This training launch was aimed to ensure operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC). It was also aimed at re-validating the technical parameters of the weapon system

39. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD) included Taiwan, after G7, straight in talks on 13 August, 2021. Taiwan further irritated China by publicly thanking the members of the Quad for including peace and stability in Taiwan Strait during virtual discussions on 12 August.

40. Ministers of Agriculture of the BRICS countries held virtual talks on the theme "BRICS Partnership for Strengthening Agro Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Security". Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlighted that BRICS countries are well positioned to help in achieving the objectives of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of eradication of hunger and poverty.

41. According to a scientist from World health Organisation (WHO), who led the group, Chinese researchers forced the WHO-led team probing the origins of Covid to drop the lab-leak theory. Scientist said this in the documentary, titled "The Virus Mystery".

42. Union Ministry of Home affairs (MHA) has announced a new category of visa for Afghans on 17 August, 2021. MHA took this decision in the aftermath of prevailing situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa has been announced to fast-track their applications for entry into India. This electronic visa is dubbed as "e-Emergency X-Misc Visa".

43. On 15 August, 2021, the fundamentalist Islamic force called the Taliban entered Kabul after gaining control over much of the country following the withdrawal of US troops. Taliban had ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001 when US troops toppled. This group had sheltered Osama bin Laden as he planned the 9/11 attack of 2001.

44. Malaysian Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, resigned on 16 August, 2021 following the months of political turmoil in the country. He and his cabinet resigned after losing his majority. His resignation is going to open another chapter of instability as there is absence of any obvious successor currently.

45. US President, Joe Biden, noted that he stands by his decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan and blamed leadership in Afghanistan for giving in to the Taliban without any retaliation. Joe Biden while addressing the nation noted that, he learnt after 20 years that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. America was clear about the risks and accordingly planned for every contingency. So, ending US military involvement in Afghanistan was the right decisions.

46. Militants in Gaza Strip fired rocket at Israel on 16 August, 2021. Gaza-Israel conflict is the part of localized Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It is also a scene of power struggle between regional powers like Iran, Egypt and Turkey. Qatar supports different sides of this conflict in the backdrop of regional standoff between Iran & Saudi Arabia and between Qatar & Saudi Arabia.

47. Secretary General of United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has asked the international community to unite and use all available instruments in order to ensure Afghanistan is not used as safe haven for terrorists again. UN Security Council met for second time in a week under India's Presidency to discuss Afghanistan.

48. Social media giant, Facebook, banned the Taliban and all the content supporting it from its platforms after designating the Taliban as a terrorist organisation. Facebook has a dedicated team of Afghan experts that is monitoring and removing content linked to this Islamic insurgent group.

49. Tropical depression grace over the earthquake hit southwest Haiti on 17 August, 2021. It caused torrential rains and high winds ending into flooding in one area. Tropical depression hit, when Haiti is still scrambles to overcome the effects of a massive earthquake. Earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale had hit the nation on August 14.

50. The Godfather of Sudoku, Maki Kaji, passed away at the age of 69, due to bile duct cancer, on 17 August, 2021. Maki Kaji was the president of Nikoli Co. Ltd. It is a Japanese puzzle manufacturer. He was popularly called as "the father of Sudoku" as he played a key role in popularizing this number game. He also invented other puzzle games including Masyu. He recently (July 2021) resigned as head of Nikoli, before his death.

51. United Kingdom (UK) has stated its aim to start negotiations for a trade agreement with India by the end of 2021. Currently India and UK are in the pre-negotiation scoping phase of the Free Trade agreement (FTA). Negotiations will start by the end of year 2021.

52. China has issued new draft rules on the anticompetitive practices by Internet Companies. New rules would prevent internet companies from engaging in anticompetitive practices. New guideline seeks to prevent internet companies from involving into anticompetitive practice like unfairly blocking rival platforms.

53. United States President, Joe Biden and British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson agreed to hold a virtual G7 meet on Afghanistan. Both the leaders exchanged their views on phone regarding recent developments in Afghanistan. Both of them commended the bravery and professionalism of their military and civilian personnel, working together in Kabul to evacuate their citizens and Afghan nationals.

54. According to UN atomic watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has accelerated its uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade. IAEA notes that, this move is raising tensions with the West because both the sides want to resume talks on reviving Tehran's nuclear deal.

55. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there has been more than threefold rise in number of trauma cases in Afghanistan. WHO urged that, delivery of lifesaving aid and medical supplies to Afghans must not be cut. As per WHO, 70 WHO-supported medical facilities across Afghanistan treated some 14,000 conflict-related cases in the month of August.

56. As per World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Goods Trade Barometer, Global merchandise trade is continuing its robust recovery post COVID-19 pandemic. The trade barometer hit a record high in its latest reading. This reading will end up well for India because India's exports are recording healthy growth rates.

57. Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy signed a ‘Joint Guidance for the Australia- India Navy to Navy Relationship' document on 18 August, 2021. Document signing ceremony was held virtually between Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy, Adm Karambir Singh; and Chief of Navy of Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael J Noonan.

58. BRICS Nations- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa- signed a deal for cooperation in remote sensing satellite data sharing. According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), this deal will enable the space agencies of BRICS nation to build a virtual constellation of specified remote sensing satellites through which ground stations will receive data.

59. National legislature of China formally endorsed the three-child policy that was mooted by ruling Communist Party. According to the Chinese officials, one-child policy that was implemented for over three decades has prevented around 400 million births.

60. President of UN Security Council & External affairs minister (EAM) of India, S. Jaishankar, slammed at China for terror stand. He chaired the UNSC Briefing on "Threats to International Peace & Security Caused by Terrorist Acts" on 19 August, 2021.

61. King of Malaysia has appointed Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister of the country on 20 August, 2021. Ismail Sabri Yaakob replaced Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister. Yassin stepped down as he lost the majority in parliament as he failed to effectively manage public health system.

62. China passed a new Online Privacy Law on 20 August, 2021 with the aim of preventing businesses from collecting any sensitive personal data. New law was passed in the backdrop of China facing an uptick in internet scams. Companies like ride hailing giant Didi and gaming behemoth Tencent in regulators' have been accused of over misuse of personal data in recent months.

63. India has approved the ratification of the Kigali Agreement to the Montreal Protocol in order to phase down Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). India now requires to reduce its HFCs usage by 80% by 2047. China and the US have to achieve the same in 2045 and 2034.

64. According to the UN food agency, World Food Programme (WFP), out of 39 million people, 14 million people are facing severe hunger in Afghanistan. UN food agency has been able to negotiate with the Taliban in order distribute aid in one provincial capital in Afghanistan. However, it is unable to resume food deliveries to three other provincial capitals.

65. USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and USDFC (U.S. International Development Finance Corporation) are sponsoring a US $50 million loan portfolio guarantee to the Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL). This agreement was signed in order to support increased access of finance for women borrowers as well as micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India.

66. The navies of India, US, Australia and Japan are all set to conduct the Malabar Naval Exercise from 26 August, 2021. The sea drill will be conducted off the Guam island, which is a territory of US. It is located 2,500 km east of the Philippines. The annual exercise will be four-day affair.

67. Israel launched antibody testing for children aged as three in order to get the exact number of unvaccinated youths who have developed antibody against coronavirus. These tests were launched in the backdrop of opening up of schools. Israel already started vaccinating children aged 12 and above.

68. Egypt closed its main border crossing point with Gaza Strip on 23 August, 2021 because of tensions with Hamas rulers. Rafah crossing was closed for the first time during a workday in year 2021. This crossing was kept open during the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in May 2021.

69. Indian naval ship (INS) Shakti reached Sri Lanka on 22 August, 2021 carrying 100 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in a bid to help the island nation in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. INS Shakti was deployed for the delivery of oxygen in response to a personal request for urgent supply of LMO by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

70. India pitched its indigenously built fighter aircrafts at the International Military-Technical Forum ‘ARMY-2021' in Moscow. DRDO from India's pavilion will display advanced defence technologies and along with Indian Defence Industries like Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Ordnance Factories.

71. Tropical Storm Henri has made its landfall near western Rhode Island on 24 August, 2021. As per US National Hurricane Center (NHC), it made landfall with wind speed of 60 mph. In New Jersey, about 86 people were rescued from flooded vehicles as a result of tropical storm.

72. Apple Inc CEO, Tim Cook and Microsoft Corp Chief Executive, Satya Nadella are set to attend White House cybersecurity meeting. Amazon Inc Chief Executive, Andy Jassy will join tech executives with President Joe Biden at a White House meeting on 24 August, 2021.

73. According to head of United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) of Russia, first of two additional Krivak class stealth frigates, which are being built by Russia, is likely to be delivered to India by 2023.

74. India and the Philippines conducted a naval exercise in the South China Sea on 23 August , 2021. This exercise was conducted five days after conducting a similar drill with Vietnam in the region. Indian and Vietnamese navies had conducted the naval exercise on August 18.

75. Pakistan conducted a successful test flight of Fatah-1 on 24 August, 2021. Fatah-1 is a Pakistan-made guided multi-launch rocket system. It is capable of delivering conventional warheads up to a range of 140 kilometres. This new weapons system will equip the military with the capability to strike deep into enemy territory

76. Havana Syndrome was first reported in diplomats who were stationed in Cuba in 2016. They experienced a strange set of symptoms that prompted a series of government and scientific investigations. Some officials called it anomalous health incidents while some called attacks. Most recent cases were reported in Asia in 2018 and in central Europe in 2021.

77. According to Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Anupriya Patel, India is likely to export USD 46 billion to ASEAN in financial year 2022. India-ASEAN Engineering Partnership Summit was inaugurated on 23 August, 2021. It was organised by the Engineering Exports Promotion Council (EEPC) in association with the Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Commerce.

78. According to Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, COVID-19 in India may be entering the stage of endemicity where low or moderate level of transmission will go on. On the clearance of India's homegrown COVID-19 vaccine 'COVAXIN', she was confident that the technical team of WHO will be satisfied to give clearance to be its authorized vaccines.

79. National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, hosted the inaugural meeting of IBSA National Security Advisers (NSAs) on 25 August, 2021 through video conferencing. In the meeting, IBSA NSAs discussed issues like maritime security, fight against terrorism & transnational organized crime, and cyber security.

80. 5th edition of Indo-Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise called KAZIND-21 is to be conducted from 30 August to 11 September, 2021. This joint training exercise will be conducted as a part of military diplomacy. It seeks to strengthen the growing strategic relation with Kazakhstan. Training exercise will be conducted at Aisha Bibi in Kazakhstan.

81. World Bank has stopped funding for projects in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control in the country. World Bank also raised concerns over how the Taliban offensive will affect development prospects in Afghanistan, especially with respect to women. Recently, IMF also announced that Afghanistan will no longer be able to access resources from global lenders.

82. According to UNICEF report, Covid-19 vaccinations have reduced by 80% in Afghanistan within the first week of Taliban's control in the country. As per UNICEF, about two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines were delivered to Afghanistan. Half of the vaccines will expire in November.

83. Militaries of China, Mongolia, Thailand and Pakistan are set to take part in a multinational peacekeeping exercise called "Shared Destiny-2021". This is the first multinational peacekeeping live exercise, involving four nations.

84. Algeria has cut its diplomatic ties with Morocco due to hostile actions after months of resurgent tensions between both the countries. Both the countries have been accusing one another of supporting opposition movements as proxies. Algeria has been supporting separatists in the Western Sahara region. This is the main bone of contention for Morocco.

85. On 26 August, 2021 Government of Cuba announced to recognize and regulate cryptocurrencies for payment in the Island nation. This decision was taken following the popularity of cryptocurrencies increased among a technologically savvy group in Cuba as it became harder to use dollars.

86. The Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Smriti Irani addressed the First ever G20 Ministerial Conference on Women's Empowerment on August 26, 2021. Conference was held at Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy in a hybrid format. During the conference, union minister highlighted India's commitment of addressing gender and women centric issues by means of mutual cooperation.

87. India and Maldives have signed pact with Maldives on one of the major connectivity initiatives called Greater Male Connectivity Project. Under the agreement, India will start the largest-ever infrastructure project called Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP) in the Maldives.

88. Navies of India and Germany conducted a joint exercise in Gulf of Aden on August 26, 2021. The joint exercise included helicopter landings as well as search & seizure operations. Frigate ‘Trikand' from Indian Navy exercised with German frigate called ‘Bayern'. INS Trikand is deployed for anti-piracy patrol in Gulf of Aden region.

89. Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, chaired the 11th Meeting of BRICS on 27 August, 2021. Ministers of Agriculture from Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa held meeting virtually under the theme- "BRICS Partnership for Strengthening Agrobiodiversity for Food and Nutrition Security".

90. Discus thrower, Yogesh Kathuniya, clinched a silver medal on August 30 in the men's F56 event in 2020 Paralympics. On 29 August, India picked up a silver in high jump and a bronze in discus throw, which is on hold because of a protest.

91. Indian construction firm, AFCONS, signed a contract for the largest-ever infrastructure project in Maldives on 26 August, 2021. This project is dubbed as The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP). It will comprise of a 6.74 km-long bridge and causeway link between Male and islands of Villingli, Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu.

92. Pakistan carried a successful training launch of surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile called Ghaznavi on 12 August, 2021. This training launch was aimed to ensure operational readiness of Army Strategic Forces Command (ASFC). It was also aimed at re-validating the technical parameters of the weapon system.

93. Myanmar's military has extended emergency for two years, after seizing power from elected government of Myanmar. According to Military leader, state of emergency will achieve its objectives by August 2023. Military government named itself as "caretaker government" and Min Aung Hlaing as prime minister.

94. Maldives style water villas will soon be set up in Lakshadweep in a bid to attract tourists to scenic beauty in the Union Territory. Administrator of Lakshadweep, Praful Khoda Patel highlighted that, water villas will be set up at the cost of Rs. 800 crore.

95. President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) and climate chief of United Kingdom government, Alok Sharma is to visit India in August to meet the leaders of country that has become the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases following US and China.

96. Latham's Snipe shorebird fly non-stop from Japan to Australia twice in a year. The bird takes five days to cover the distance of thousands of kilometres of ocean for their survival. The migratory shorebird is similar in size to a blackbird. It completes the gruelling migration to warmer climes and prepare itself for its return flight and next breeding season.

97. Russia issued a warning about the possibility of rise in cases of West Nile Virus infections this autumn because mild temperatures and heavy precipitation are the favourable circumstances for mosquitos carrying the virus. More than 80% of West Nile fever cases are registered in the southwest Russia.

98. The United Nations Security Council, under the Presidency of India, adopted a resolution on the situation in Afghanistan on 30 August, 2021. The resolution demanded that the war-torn country, Afghanistan, not be used to threaten or attack any nation or shelter terrorists.

99. The United States announced the end of its 20-year-old war in Afghanistan before the deadline of 31 August, 2021. This announcement was made after the last American military flight flew out of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul before the 31 August deadline.

100. A United Nations based study has claimed that, Children born during Covid-19 pandemic have reduced verbal, motor, and overall cognitive performance as compared to those born pre-pandemic. According to the study, males and children in lower socioeconomic families have been most affected due to pandemic.

Defence

1. Lok Sabha passed the Essential Defence Services Bill-2021 on 3 August, 2021 that seeks to prevent workers of government-owned ordnance factories from going on strike to oppose corporatization of units. Bill gives power to the government to declare services mentioned in it as essential defence services.

2. India's first indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, conducted its maiden sea trails on 4 August, 2021 encouraging making of military equipment within India. Trials will be conducted for a long period under all conditions before the carrier is accepted as "proven at sea".

3. The public sector undertaking of the Defence Ministry, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has successfully carried ground tests for making a civilian aircraft named 'Hindustan-228'. Ground run and low speed taxi trials (LSTT) of the Hindustan-228 aircraft was carried out at HAL facility at Kanpur.

4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address on 75th Independence Day celebration, announced that Sainik Schools across India will now be open for female students as well. This decision was taken following the messages from lakhs of female students that they also want to study in Sainik School.

5. Indian Navy and Vietnam People's Navy conducted joint drills in the South China Sea as part of maritime cooperation between both the countries. From Indian side, INS Ranvijay and INS Kora undertook bilateral maritime exercises. While from Vietnam, frigate VPNS Ly Thai To (HQ-012) took part.

6. Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, launched the 5th edition of the Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC) on 19 August, 2021. DISC was launched under Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO). This challenge is meant to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development across the defence and aerospace sectors.

7. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an advanced chaff technology with the objective of safeguarding Indian Air Force Fighter Jets from enemy missiles. This advanced chaff technology will be used to distract enemy's radar-guided missiles.

8. India and Russia have signed a deal to immediately procure AK-103 Rifles on 20 August, 2021. This deal was inked as a part of mega infantry modernisation programme. Under this programme, India is procuring a number of AK-103 series of assault rifles from Russia for the Indian Army.

9. On 21 August, 2021; Exercise Konkan 2021 was held in English Channel in between INS Tabar and HMS Westminster. Konkan exercise witnessed the participation of integral helicopters of two ships and Falcon Electronic Warfare aircraft.

10. The central government is considering to ban both factions of the Hurriyat Conference under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for funding terror. This decision was taken after National Investigation Agency (NIA) found that outfits linked with the Hurriyat raised money to fund terror in Jammu and Kashmir.

Business, Economy & Banking

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to launch "e-RUPI Digital Payment Solution" on 2 August, 2021. e-RUPI is an e-voucher-based payment solution. e-RUPI initiative will be launched to limit touch points between government and beneficiary. Platform will also ensure that benefits reach its intended beneficiaries in a targeted and leak-proof manner.

2. Lok Sabha passed the "General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill through a voice vote on 2 August, 2021 without any debate. General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 will allow government to lower down its stake in State-owned general insurance companies and generate required resources.

3. Power Grid Corporation of India has commissioned a 40-kilometre transmission line successfully in Aryan Valley (Kargil district) of Ladakh. Under the Development Programme of Prime Minister, Power Grid connected Lalung, Darchik, Silmoo, Batalik, Sinikcey, Hurdass, Garkon and other adjoining villages between Lalung to Darchik.

4. National Statistical Office (NSO) has published the eighth periodic labour force survey recently. According to the survey, unemployment rate in India has increased to 13.3% in the period of July-September 2020. Unemployment rate was 8.4 per cent in July-September 2020.

5. NITI Aayog has released a report on Power Distribution Sector that presents reform pathways to transform India's power distribution sector. Report was released providing steps to improve policy making in distribution sector. Report is titled as "Turning Around the Power Distribution Sector".

6. Central government has set loans disbursement target under PM Mudra Yojana (PMMY) at Rs. 3 trillion for financial year 2021 - 2022. In the financial year 2020 - 2021, loan disbursement target was Rs. 3.21 trillion. Experts attribute lower target to increased allocation under credit guarantee scheme for small businesses.

7. Two major projects, developed under Smart City initiative of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), are ready for inauguration. Under the smart city initiative, VMRDA park (also known as VUDA Park) on Beach Road and Multi Level Car Parking (MLCP) Project at Jagadamba Junction have been completed.

8. Parliament passed Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, on 3 August, 2021 after Rajya Sabha approved the bill amidst the protest. Union Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had tabled the amendment bill that seeks to amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

9. Maldives style water villas will soon be set up in Lakshadweep in a bid to attract tourists to scenic beauty in the Union Territory. Administrator of Lakshadweep, Praful Khoda Patel highlighted that, water villas will be set up at the cost of Rs. 800 crore.This project is first of its kind in India.

10. Recently, a television journalist of a national channel was penalized for feeding a deer while he was driving along Bandipur Tiger Reserve. This incident took place after photograph of the journalist feeding a spotted deer went viral on social media.

11. Rajya Sabha passed Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021 on 4 August, 2021. Bill was tabled by Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and was passed in the Lok Sabha in June 2021. Now, it will be sent to the President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.

12. Government of India, Central Water Commission, government representatives of 10 participating states and World Bank signed a $250 million project on 4 August, 2021 for long-term dam safety program. Project will help in improving the safety and performance of existing dams across different states in India.

13. Central Board for Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) have launched the Indian Customs Compliance Information Portal (CIP) at www.cip.icegate.gov.in/CIP. Portal will provide free access to information on all Customs procedures and regulatory compliance. Information would be provided for nearly 12,000 Customs Tariff Items.

14. India is pushing for cars to run on ethanol made from sugar. This move of Indian government is increasing the risks of higher cost of sweetener worldwide. Indian government will fast-track an ethanol program. This programme will divert about 6 million tons of sugar toward fuel production annually by 2025.

15. Food delivery platform Swiggy is launching electric-cycles (E-cycles) in association with the Hero Lectro Cargo (HLC) in Hyderabad. Under the pilot project, e-cycles will be rolled out in August 2021 itself. E-cycles from Hero Lectro Cargo (HLC) will be deployed for last mile food delivery.

16. Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, introduced a Bill in Parliament to nullify the provisions of Income Tax Act. This bill has put an end to contentious retrospective tax law which has hit the confidence of foreign investors like Vodafone and Cairn.

17. As per RBI Data, India's foreign exchange reserves surged by USD 9.427 billion. Foreign exchange reserves now stand at a record high of USD 620.576 billion in the week ended 30 July. In 3rd week of July, reserves had declined by USD 1.581 billion amounting to USD 611.149 billion.

18. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the industry on 11 August, 2021 on the topic of government and businesses working together for a self-reliant India. PM will speak on the theme 'India at 75: government and business working together for Aatmanirbhar Bharat,' via video conferencing.

19. National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) is to be developed as an international tourist destination. It will be dedicated to the legacy of maritime heritage of India, at Lothal in Gujarat. It will comprise of several tourist facilities or amenities like National Maritime Heritage Museum, Maritime Research Institute, Heritage Theme Park, landscaping and recreational venues in order to attract tourists for each coastal states and union territories.

20. The Union minister of Roads, transport, and Highway, Nitin Gadkari, has announced roads and highways projects worth Rs. 1,000 crores in Uttarakhand. Apart from that, an additional Rs. 300 crore for Central Road Infrastructure Fund was also announced.

21. APEDA in collaboration with Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation Ltd (HPMC) exported first consignment comprising of five unique varieties of apples in order to promote agricultural and processed food products exports to newer destinations.

22. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched a brand and logo called 'SonChiraiya'. It was launched to market the products of urban self-help groups (SHGs). This brand and logo was launched in line with government's priority area of helping women to become financially empowered and live a dignified life.

23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Vehicle Scrappage Policy on 13 August , 2021. The National Vehicle Scrappage Policy is also dubbed as "voluntary vehicle-fleet modernisation programme". This programme aims to modernise India's "vehicular population".

24. India's largest integrated power generation company, NTPC Limited, has invited global Expression of Interest (EoI) to establish a Pilot Project on Hydrogen Blending with Natural Gas in India. Project on Hydrogen Blending with Natural Gas will be set up across the City Gas Distribution (CGD) Network in India.

25. Tamil Nadu has become the first state in India to cut the petrol price in fiscal year 2021 - 22 by Rs. 3/litre, providing a major relief to consumers. Price cut was announced by State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan during his budget speech on 13 August and it came into effect from 14August.

26. Tamil Nadu legislative assembly presented a separate budget for Agriculture for the first time in the history of the assembly. Budget was presented by Tamil Nadu Minister for Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare. MRK Pannerselvam on 13 August, 2021. Minister dedicated the budget to farmers who are protesting at New Delhi against the three farm laws.

27. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) launched door-to-door delivery of 'High Speed Diesel' with the objective of meeting the growing demand. BPCL also dedicated 15 mobile browsers and 9 jerry on the eve of Independence Day in Eastern Region.

28. Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the nation on 15 August, highlighted India's target to become 'energy independent' by 2047, when India will be celebrating 100th year of Independence. India targets to become energy independent through a mix of electric mobility, gas-based economy and mixing ethanol in petrol.

29. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched National Hydrogen Mission on 15 August, 2021 from Lal Quila on the occasion of celebration of 75th Independence Day. This mission was launched to push for energy security of India. This mission was announced in the backdrop of India spending Rs 12 trillion annually to meet its energy needs.

30. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs. 100 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti initiative on 15 August, 2021. This initiative will create employment opportunities for youth in India. It will also lead to growth and development of infrastructure.

31. While addressing the nation on 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to provide fortified rice to poor under various schemes. This decision was taken in order to address the problem of malnutrition in India. Providing nutrition to every poor person India is a priority of the government.

32. According to Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, six lakh villages in India will get internet connectivity by 2024 under the Bharat Net programme. According to the minister, about 2.8 lakh villages have got internet facility as of now.

33. Centre government notified the rates and guidelines for Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) export incentive scheme. This scheme for zero rating of exports will help in boosting India's exports and competitiveness across the global markets.

34. TCS company has become the second Indian company to cross the market value of Rs. 13 lakh crore on 17 August, 2021. This mark was achieved by the company after seventeen years it sold its stock for the first time in public debut. TCS has become the second company after Reliance, in India to do so.

35. Crisil Ratings have upgraded credit outlook of India Inc to positive. It is a broad-based recovery for India Inc currently. Earlier India Inc's credit outlook was 'cautiously optimistic'.According to Crisil, credit ratio (number of upgrades to downgrades) increased to over 2.5 times in first four months of the fiscal 2021 - 2022 against 1.33 times in the second half of Financial Year 2021.

36. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to launch an ambitious 'Ubharte Sitaare Fund' on 21 August, 2021. It will be launched for export-oriented firms and startups. Ubharte Sitaare fund has been set up jointly by Exim Bank and SIDBI It will be launched in Lucknow.

37. Central government announced an incentive for sugar mills on 19 August, 2021. Incentive will be provided in form of an additional domestic sales quota to those exporting sugar and diverting commodity towards ethanol making, in the new 2021 - 22 season.

38. Chairman of 15th Finance Commission, NK Singh, has been elected as the new president of Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) Society. He succeeded former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who was the President of IEG since 1992. His name was recommended by Dr Manmohan Singh for the consideration of the IEG's general assembly.

39. On August 19, 2021 India has signed a USD 500 million loans agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in order to expand metro rail network in Bengaluru. Metro Rail Network in Bengaluru will be expanded with the construction of two new metro lines of 56 kilometers.

40. Facebook India has launched a new initiative called the "Small Business Loans Initiative" on 20 August, 2021. This initiative was launched in partnership with online lending platform, Indifi. It will extend help to small and medium businesses (SMBs) who advertise on Facebook in order to get quick access to credit with the help of independent lending partners.

41. NTPC Ltd commissioned the largest floating solar PV project in Visakhapatnam. It is a 25 MW project on reservoir of Simhadri thermal power station. This is the first solar project that was set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme. This scheme was notified by the Central Government in 2018.

42. USAID (United States Agency for International Development) and USDFC (U.S. International Development Finance Corporation) are sponsoring a US $50 million loan portfolio guarantee to the Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL). This agreement was signed in order to support increased access of finance for women borrowers as well as micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India.

43. According to the data released by Agriculture Ministry on 22 August, 2021 Area under kharif crops such as paddy witnessed a marginal decline of 1.55% at 1,043.87 lakh hectares in the ongoing monsoon season.

44. PayPal Holdings Inc has launched crypto buying and selling in the United Kingdom. PayPal will allow customers in the UK to buy, sell and hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now. This roll-out marks the first international expansion of cryptocurrencies services of PayPal outside of the United States.

45. Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, unveiled a four-year National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) scheme on 23 August, 2021. Scheme was launched with a Rs. 6 lakh crore unlock value in brownfield projects. It also engages the private sector. They will have the rights but not the ownership in projects.

46. Reserve Bank of India had appointed committee headed by N. S. Vishwanathan to make suggestions on structure for the urban cooperative banks (UCBs). Panel was set up to suggest structure on the basis of deposits, prescribed different capital adequacy as well as regulatory norms for them with respect to their sizes.

47. The government launched a new geospatial planning portal called 'Yuktdhara' under Bhuvan. It was launched by Giriraj Singh, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. This new portal will help in facilitating new MGNREGA assets with the help of remote sensing as well as geographic information system-based data.

48. According to real estate consultant Cushman amp, Wakefield, India has overtaken the United States (US) to become second-most attractive manufacturing destination internationally. India's improvement is driven mainly by cost competitiveness.

49. The labour ministry is set to launch a National Database for Unorganised Workers (NDUW) or e-Sharm portal on 26 August, 2021. This portal will help in bringing millions of unorganised workers in India on a common platform. As per an estimate, 92% of India's workforce of 500 million is unorganised. They are often deprived of minimum wages and other forms of social security.

50. Under the government's target of monetising "under-utilized public sector assets", 'The Ashok' 5-star hotel will be leased out to private operators in four years. The Ashok and the Hotel Samrat are among eight India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) properties that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman listed in the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP).

51. Union cabinet has approved the highest ever fair & remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane farmers on 25 August, 2021. FRP for sugarcane has been increased to Rs. 290 per quintal for 2021 - 22. This price will be based on 10% recovery. If recovery is less than 9.5%, then farmers will be given a FRP of Rs. 275 per quintile.

52. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting of 37th edition of PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation) on 25 August, 2021. During the meeting, nine agenda items comprising of eight projects and one scheme were taken for review.

53. According to the Textiles Ministry, that more than 1,500 artisans have been benefitted by training in 63 Samarth Training Centres. Textile Ministry has adopted about 65 clusters for overall development of artisans in a timely manner. Ministry achieve this by ensuring self-sustainment of artisans across these clusters.

54. NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) will launch the first edition of the North Eastern Region District Sustainable Development (NERDSD) Goal Index Report and Dashboard 2021 - 22 on the 26 August, 2021. This will be first of its kind region-wide district SDG index in India.

55. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a foreign direct investment (FDI) proposal on 25 August, 2021 to invest up to Rs. 15,000 crore in Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holding (AIIH) Ltd. Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holding is a firm that incorporated to invest in infrastructure and construction development sectors of India.

56. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) launched a mobile app called "Ananda mobile app" for its agents and intermediaries in order to onboard the prospective customers. ANANDA stands for Atma Nirbhar Agents New Business Digital Application.

57. Union ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) notified the liberalized Drone Rules, 2021, on 26 August, 2021. These liberalized rules will replace the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Rules 2021, which was released on 12 March, 2021. New rules also reduced the number of forms, from 25 to 5 and types of fees also reduced from 72 to 4. Fee for a remote pilot licence has been reduced from rupees 3,000 to 100 for all categories of drones. It will e valid for 10 years.

58. The NITI Aayog and a US-based tech giant, Cisco launched the next phase of the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) on 26 August, 2021. This phase of the WEP has been titled as 'WEPNxt'. It will leverage technology from Cisco and experience working with India's start-up ecosystem in order to enable more women-owned businesses in India.

59. Ministry of Textile and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) launched an India size survey, in order to do away with the confusion of size. It has been titled as INDIAsize. The survey was officially launched on 26 August, 2021. This initiative was launched with the aim of introducing a new standardised size chart in ready-to-wear clothing sector in India.

60. Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman, launched the fourth edition of Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda called ‘EASE 4.0' for the financial year 2021 - 22. It is a simplified, tech-enabled and collaborative banking.

61. NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute (WRI) of India together launched the 'Forum for Decarbonizing Transport' in India on 23 August, 2021. This forum was launched virtually as part of NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project. It aims to decrease the peak level of Greenhouse Gas emissions (transport sector) in Asia which is rising because of problems like air pollution and congestion.

62. According to Moody's Investors Service, second wave of Covid infections has increased the asset risks for Indian banks. According to it, second wave of coronavirus infections in India has exacerbated stress on individuals and small businesses. They were hit the hardest by the initial covid-19 outbreak.

63. Indian Oil will build India's first Green Hydrogen Plant at Mathura refinery. This plant will be an addition in order to expand the existing crude oil refining capacity by 25 million tonnes per annum. Indian Oil has been pursuing its ambitious plans of hydrogen production across various types such as in renewable power to generate green hydrogen.

64. Government of India has introduced a new registration mark under the Bharat Series (BH-Series) for new vehicles. New registration mark was launched in order to facilitate seamless transfer of vehicles. This citizen-centric, IT-based solution for vehicle registration was launched for facilitating mobility.

65. According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das, RBI is set to launch the trial program of its digital currency by December 2021. Currently, RBI is working on bringing its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in a phased manner. RBI is working on CBDC carefully because it is a new product for RBI as well as for the whole world.

66. According to Chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi has surpassed the megacities like Shanghai, New York and London in having the greatest number of CCTV cameras installed per square mile. CM cited a Forbes India report on most surveilled cities across the world. Forbes India report has ut Delhi on the top with 1,826.6 CCTV cameras per square mile.

67. Indian Railways has floated a tender for 58 Vande Bharat train sets, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 15 August announcement. Tender was floated in a bid to roll out 75 such trains during 75 weeks of "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav". Currently, two Vande Bharat trains are in operation: Delhi to Katra and Delhi to Varanasi.

68. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has proposed amendments in the liquidation process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in order to bring transparency. According to IBBI, regulatory framework of liquidation process has been improvised on various occasions in last five years in a bid to address the difficulties faced by stakeholders, meet evolving requirements and to achieve the objectives of the Code.

Science & Technology

1. Recently, Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha, Shri Harivansh witnessed a presentation by AICTE officials on a unique tool which translates English language content into 11 different Indian languages.

2. Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) launched an earthquake early warning (EEW) Mobile App for Uttarakhand. Earthquake early warning system will alert people regarding the onset of calamity on mobile application. It can detect onset of the Earthquake and issue warnings before significant tremors take place in state.

3. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch an Earth Observation Satellite on 12 August. Satellite will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. Satellite called EOS-03 will be carried on board the 14th flight of the GSLV celled GSLV-F10.

4. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in a study found that, mixed Covid immunisation routine, with a dose of Covishield followed by one of Covaxin, is safe and produces a better immune response as compared to the uniform two doses of any of the two vaccines.

5. India is to get its sixth Covid-19 vaccine soon as drug firm Zydus Cadila's needle-free Covid-19 vaccine called ‘ZyCoV-D' is all set to get emergency use authorisation (EUA) approval. Presently, Indian government has authorised five vaccines for Covid-19 namely, Covaxin, Covishield, Sputnik V, Moderna's vaccine, and J&J's single-dose vaccine.

6. Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) announced its debut first N Line of cars for India in 2021. Subsequently, more additional model will be launched over next few years. According to South Korean carmaker, N Line models will offer customers motor sport-inspired styling cues. It will evoke excitement and athleticism.

7. Delhi government will launch faceless transport services on 11 August, 2021. It will bring all the driving licences, registration and services related to permit online. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also launched 33 faceless services, in a function at I.P. Estate office on 10 August.

8. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) informed that, countdown for launch of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 EOS-03 mission has started. Union minister of state (MoS), Jitendra Singh, recently confirmed in Lok Sabha that the Earth Observation Satellite-03 is scheduled to be launched on 12 August.

9. GSLV rocket of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) failed to put India's largest earth observation satellite (EOS-3) into the orbit. It failed because of failure to ignite the cryogenic stage of the GSLV. It failed even though the first and second stages of the rocket had performed normally.

10. Chandrayaan-2 orbiter of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has detected water molecules on Moon's surface. According to the researchers, there was widespread lunar hydration and unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures in between 29-degree north and 62-degree north latitudes on the moon.

11. North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) launched "Cleancity app" on 13 August, 2021. It is a mobile driven application launched to help residents to register complaints for picking up garbage in that area. It was launched by North Delhi Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh ahead of the 75th Independence Day.

12. India's first nasal vaccine against COVID-19 has received the nod to conduct phase 2 and 3 clinical trials by the Department of Biotechnology. Nasal Covid Vaccine has been developed by Bharat Biotech. Vaccine has successfully completed Phase 1 clinical trial in age groups of 18 to 60 years.

13. Maharashtra reported 10 new cases of the Delta Plus variant. With this, total cases of Delta Plus variant has increased to 76 in the state. As per state state health department, six new cases were reported from Kolhapur, three from Ratnagiri while one from Sindhudurg. Five of the 76 patients have died so far.

14. Researchers from University of Pennsylvania in US have developed a new cheaper, faster and more accurate Covid diagnostic test that uses electrodes made from graphite to test the SARS CoV-2 Virus. It is the material found in pencil lead.

15. World Health Organisation (WHO) issued medical alerts on fake Covishield Vaccines in India. WHO has raised doubts on the genuineness of Covishield which is reaching patients in India. India is reporting circulation of fake vials of the covid-19 vaccine that has been developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca while manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII).

16. The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) has approved ZyCoV-D vaccine by Zydus Cadila for Emergency Use Authorization. According to Ministry of Science and Technology, ZyCoV-D vaccine is the world's first and India's indigenously developed DNA-based vaccine for COVID-19.

17. A genome sequencing government consortium of Laboratories in India, INSACOG, stressed that breakthrough infections of coronavirus cases in India comprise a high proportion of Delta variant. INSACOG highlights that, Continuing COVID-19 outbreaks in India are the result of Delta variant, susceptible population and reduced vaccine effectiveness in breaking the transmission.

18. Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) has developed India's first indigenous motorised wheelchair vehicle called NeoBolt. NeoBolt can be used on roads as well as on uneven terrains. It has a maximum speed of 25 kmph and it can travel up to 25 km per charge.

19. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has come up with an "Announcement of Opportunity" under which it seeks a proposal for scientifically analyse and utilise data from all experiments of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter. This announcement of opportunity will be open to all researchers from recognised academic institutions, colleges, universities, planetaria and government organisations.

20. A study led by scientists at Northern Arizona University has highlighted clues to help in understanding the active lunar surface. In the study, tiny iron-nanoparticles were found naturally on the Earth and have been found everywhere on the moon.

21. The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) gave nod for Phase-2 and Phase-3 trails of India's first mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine. First mRNA-based covid-19 vaccine, called HGCO19, is being developed by a Pune-based biotechnology company, Genova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd.

22. Indian states have reported new cases of sub-lineage AY.12 of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, in recent months. According to experts, this new sub-lineage could be a reason behind the recent surge in COVID cases in Israel. According to India Sars Cov2 Genome Consortium (INSACOG's) update, even though 60 percent of the population are fully vaccinated in Israel, Delta variant cases have increased.

23. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched the India's first ‘Quantum Computer Simulator (QSim) Toolkit'. QSim is the first-of-its-kind toolkit, indigenously developed in India. It meant to be a vital tool of learning and understanding the practical aspects of programming with the help of Quantum Computers. It will thus bring about a new era of Quantum Computing research in India.

24. SpaceX launched shipments of ants, avocados, human-sized robotic arm toward the International Space Station on 29 August, 2021. The delivery of shipments is due to arrive on 30 August, 2021. It will be SpaceX's 23rd mission for NASA in a decade.

25. India's fastest growing Insurtech company, PhonePe, announced it has got an Insurance Broking license issued from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and it will now serve as Direct Insurance Broker. PhonePe entered the Insurtech sector in the year 2020 with a limited insurance 'corporate agent' license.

26. Union AYUSH Ministry launched a Y-Break App from Vigyan Bhawan on 29 August, 2021. It was launched by Union AYUSH minister, Sarbananda Sonowal. On the occasion, several bouquets of activities and campaigns was launched by Ministry of Ayush to commemorate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.

Government Schemes

1. Principal Scientific Adviser, Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan, virtually inaugurated a decentralized biomedical waste incinerator at Buxar in Bihar. This technology was developed by Ganesh Engineering Works. It was selected through Biomedical Waste Treatment Innovation Challenge that was launched in June 2020.

2. Rajasthan government launched a series of nutrition-focused welfare programmes for the benefit of women and children who are affected by disruption in routine schemes. Women and children in Rajasthan are affected due to disruption of schemes such as Integrated Child Development Services and midday meal scheme amid the covid-19 pandemic.

3. Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar, is to launch 'PM-DAKSH' Portal and 'PM-DAKSH' Mobile App on 7 August, 2021 in Nalanda Auditorium at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, Delhi. PM-DAKSH portal and Mobile App was developed in by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in collaboration with National e-governance division (NeGD).

4. Government announced on 7 August, 2021 that approximately five crore beneficiaries have been enrolled and four crores have been trained under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan Scheme as of 2 August, 2021. According to Union Minister for women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, over two crore women beneficiaries are registered under the scheme.

5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release the next instalment of financial benefit provided under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme on 9 August, 2021. An amount of more that Rs. 19,500 will be transferred to more than 9.75 crores beneficiary farmer families.

6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to launch the second edition of the government's free LPG connection scheme called Ujjwala. Second edition of the scheme would be launched from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh on August 10. First version of the scheme was launched in 2016 from Uttar Pradesh ahead of 2017 Assembly elections.

7. India's cleanest city, Indore, has now been declared as India's first water plus city under the Swachh Survekshan 2021. Indore has become example for whole nation for its determination and dedication towards cleanliness. Indore City received this certification from central government on 11 August, 2021.

8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with members of women self-help groups (SHGs) under the "Aatmanirbhar Narihalti se Samvad" event on 12 August, 2021 across the country and announced to release capitalisation support funds of Rs. 1,625 crore. Capitalisation support fund will benefit over 4 lakh SHGs.

9. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched a brand and logo called `SonChiraiya'. It was launched to market the products of urban self-help groups (SHGs). This brand and logo was launched in line with government's priority area of helping women to become financially empowered and live a dignified life.

10. While addressing the nation on 75th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to provide fortified rice to poor under various schemes. This decision was taken in order to address the problem of malnutrition in India.

11. Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, announced that his government will provide smart health cards under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana. Smart health cards will be provided to 3.5 crore people in 96 lakh families in the state. Beneficiaries of national & state food security schemes and Annapurna and Antyodaya initiatives will be provided these cards.

12. According to Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, six lakh villages in India will get internet connectivity by 2024 under the Bharat Net programme. According to the minister, about 2.8 lakh villages have got internet facility as of now.

13. Vriksharopan Abhiyan – 2021 of Coal Ministry is all set to be Launched on 19 August, 2021. It will be launched as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. In this year, coal PSUs of the Ministry of Coal have set an ambitious target to cover 2385 hectares of area under "Go Greening" drive. Areas will be covered under bio-reclamation or plantation.

14. Third series of Student Entrepreneurship Program 3.0 (SEP 3.0) was launched on 16 August , 2021 for the young innovators of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL). This program was launched by Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) NITI Aayog in collaboration with La Fondation Dassault Systemes.

15. Chhattisgarh government launched the 'Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Bhumihin Majdur Nyay Yojana'. Under this scheme, Rs. 6000 will be provided to each of 12 lakh landless labourers. Scheme was launched with the provision of Rs. 200 crores. It will benefit 12 lakh landless families.

16. Cabinet approved the 'National Mission on Edible Oils — Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)" with the financial outlay of Rs. 11,040 crore. This approval was given in order to promote the domestic cultivation of oil palm in next five years. It will help in reducing India's dependence on imports.

17. Poor have sought 2 crore hospitalisations so far under the Ayushman Bharat Mission. Ayushman Bharat Mission guarantees free and cashless services up to Rs 5 lakh in a year for secondary and tertiary care. It covers more than 10.74 crore vulnerable families amounting to more than 53 crore beneficiaries.

18. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to launch an ambitious 'Ubharte Sitaare Fund' on 21 August, 2021. It will be launched for export-oriented firms and startups. Ubharte Sitaare fund has been set up jointly by Exim Bank and SIDBI. It will be launched in Lucknow.

19. Arogya Dhara 2.0 was launched by Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on 18 August, 2021 in order to increase the reach of Ayushman Bharat – Jan Arogya Yojana. Arogya Dhara 2.0 also seeks to create more awareness regarding the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. scheme.

20. Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated and laid foundation stone of multiple projects in Somnath on 20 August. Inaugurated projects include the Somnath Promenade, reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath and Somnath Exhibition Centre.

21. Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, launched COVID-19 Affected Livelihood Support Scheme on 23 August, 2021. This scheme was launched in a bid to provide assistance to those who had severely affected by COVID-19 pandemic in Manipur.

22. Ministry of Jal Shakti started the SUJALAM campaign on 25 August, 2021. SUJALAM Campaign is a 100 days campaign launched as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. This campaign seeks to create more ODF Plus villages by undertaking waste water management across villages in India.

23. 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 special focus on widows coming from rural areas, poor backgrounds and deprived sections.

24. According to finance ministry, Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), number of bank accounts have increased to 43 crores with total deposits of Rs. 1.46 lakh crore. The flagship financial inclusion scheme, PMJDY, has completed seven years of implementation.

25. Web version of e-GOPALA application was launched on 28 August, 2021. Web version of e-GOPALA has been developed by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). Portal was launched to aid dairy farmers. NDDB also launched IMAP web portal that provides real-time information to the dairy farmers in order to provide better productivity of dairy animals.

Awards & Honours

1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually preside over an open debate at United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 9 August, 2021. Debate will be held on the issue of maritime security at UNSC. India is holding presidency of UNSC for August and Narendra Modi has become the first Indian Prime Minister to chair an open debate at UNSC.

2. Indian government approved the appointment of Dr. Dhriti Banerjee as new director of ZSI. Dhriti Banerjee is a prolific scientist. She had been conducting research in zoogeography, taxonomy, morphology and molecular systematics. She will take charge of Zoological Survey of India in august.

3. Online nominations or recommendations for Padma Awards comprising of Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri has started and the last date of nomination is 15 September, 2021. Padma awards will be announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2022.

4. Maharashtra government has announced for creation of a new award named "Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Information Technology (IT)". Creation of new award was announced days after the central government renamed the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

5. Google paid tribute to Subhadra Kumari Chauhan on her 117th birth anniversary by dedicating a creative doodle to her. Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was an Indian activist, freedom fighter, and poet. Google doodle was illustrated by Prabha Mallya who us a a New Zealand-based guest artist.

6. Government of India announced MeitY-NASSCOM Start-up Women Entrepreneur Awards 2020-2021 on 17 August, 2021. MeitY-NASSCOM Women Startup Entrepreneurs Awards is the first step that recognizes and cultivates the entrepreneurial spirit in women.

7. Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, took charge as the Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board on 26 August, 2021. He will hold the responsibility with immediate effect and hold the position until 2024. He will now lead the efforts of Stop TB Partnership Secretariat, partners, and TB community in order to reach towards reaching United Nations TB targets by 2022. Thus, it is a milestone moment in the effort of ending TB by 2030.

Sports

1. PV Sindhu, a 26-year-old badminton player, has become first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals after defeating 'He Bingjiao' of China. Sindhu defeated 'He Bingjiao' by 21-13, 21-15 in women's singles bronze medal match at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

2. Indian women's hockey team has created history by qualifying for Olympic Games semi-finals for the first time. In the match on 2 August, India played against three-time champions Australia and made it to the semi-finals by beating Australia by solitary goal.

3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will invite India's Olympic contingent as special guests at the Red Fort on August 15 when he will be delivering his eighth Independence Day speech. PM Modi will also invite contingent to his residence for interaction. This year, India has been represented by a 228-strong contingent, which include 120 athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

4. Lovlina won the third Olympic medal for India. She won bronze medal after going down 0-5 against Busenaz Surmeneli from Turkey in 69kg welterweight semifinals on 4 August, 2021. Lovlina Borgohain has also become the second Indian female boxer, after MC Mary Kom, to win an Olympic bronze.

5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 6, 2021 announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award has been renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award. Khel Ratna award is the highest sporting honour in India. This move of renaming award after sportsman was welcomed on social media.

6. Neeraj Chopra, a 23-year-old javelin thrower, created history on 7 August, 2021 by winning Gold Medal in men's javelin throw final at Tokyo Olympics 2020. This was the first time, he participated in the Games. He became only the second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold after Abhinav Bindra. At his calmest best, he hurled the javelin 87.58m to script history for India.

7. Amid the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and approaching typhoon, Tokyo Olympics 2020 was finally concluded on 8 August, 2021. Japanese capital pulled the curtains down on one of the most unique Games in history and handed over the flame of hope to Paris. Flame of hope or the flag was passed to Paris with the message of moving forward. It also remembered those who lost their lives to Covid-19 pandemic.

8. World's third oldest and Asia's oldest football tournament called Durand Cup, is all set to be held in Kolkata from 5 September to 21 October, 2021. Durand Cup will be held after a year due to Covid-19 pandemic. Tournament will be organised with the support of All India Football Federation (AIFF), IFA (West Bengal) and Government of West Bengal.

9. Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra has finished at number 2 rank in the World Athletics ranking after securing Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Neeraj Chopra has been ranked second with his score of 1315. He is only behind German athlete Johannes Vetter who is having the score of 1396.

10. Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur, launched a nationwide programme of Fit India Freedom Run 2.0 on 13 August, 2021 to celebrate the Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav. According to union sports minister. programme has been launched at 75 ‘iconic' locations.

11. First batch of Indian athletes, including flagbearer Thangavelu Mariyappan have left for the Tokyo Paralympics on 18 August, 2021. 2020 Summer Paralympics is branded as Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. They are an upcoming major international multi-sport parasports event. The Games are governed by International Paralympic Committee. This year will mark the 16th Summer Paralympic Games. Games are scheduled to be held in Tokyo from 24 August and it will conclude on 5 September, 2021.

12. Discus thrower, Yogesh Kathuniya, clinched a silver medal on 30 August in the men's F56 event in 2020 Paralympics. On 29 August, India picked up a silver in high jump and a bronze in discus throw, which is on hold because of a protest.

13. Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur, launched the Fit India Mobile Application on the occasion of celebrating second anniversary of Fit India Movement. Application was launched as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi on the occasion of National Sports Day on 29 August, 2021.

14. On 30 August, 2021, Shooter Avani Lekhara has won India's first gold medal in 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Avani Lekhara won medal in women's 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1) event. She is a 19-year-old Lekhara and created a record at Paralympics by equalling the world record of Ukraine's Iryna Shchetnik.

References:
jagranjosh.com
gktoday.in
business-standard.com

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