13 July 2021 Current Affairs English

  1. India and Nepal sign MoU on 679 MW Arun Hydro Electric Project to SJVN.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed for execution of 679 MW Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project in Nepal between Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Power, Government of India & Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) in Kathmandu Nepal.
  • With the active support of Ministry of Power, Govt. of India, SJVN won the project through International Competitive Bidding defeating other companies of the neighbouring countries.
  • The Lower Arun HEP (679 MW) is a downstream development of Arun-3 HEP.
  • The Lower Arun Hydro Electric Project is located in Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur Districts of Nepal.
  • The project will not have any reservoir or dam and will be a tail race development of 900 MW Arun3 HEP.
  • The project will have four francis type turbines.
  • On completion the Project will generate 2970 million units of electricity per annum.
  • It is scheduled to be completed in four years after commencement of construction activities and has been allocated to SJVN for 25 years on Build Own Operate Transfer basis.
  • This is the second project awarded to SJVN in Nepal, the first one being the 900 MW Arun 3 Hydro Electric Project in Sankhuwasabha District.
  • Arun-3 Project is being implemented through wholly owned subsidiary company of SJVN i.e. SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company Limited (SAPDC) incorporated in Nepal.
  1. P.’s new population policy.

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the State’s population policy for 2021-2030.

The new policy aims at

  • The new policy aims to decrease the Total Fertility Rate from 2.7 to 2.1 by 2026 and 1.7 by 2030;
  • increase Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate from 31.7 to 45 by 2026 and 52 by 2030;
  • increase male methods of contraception use from 10.8 to 15.1 by 2026 and 16.4 by 2030;
  • decrease Maternal Mortality Rate from 197 to 150 to 98 and Infant Mortality Rate from 43 to 32 to 22 and Under 5 Infant Mortality Rate from 47 to 35 to 25.
  • Targeting population stabilization, the draft of the policy also said the state would attempt to maintain a balance of population among the various communities.
  • “Awareness and extensive programmes would be held among those communities, cadres and geographical areas that have a higher fertility rate,” the policy read.
  • A person who will have more than two children after the law comes to force would be debarred from several benefits such as government sponsored welfare schemes, ration card units would be limited to four, and the person will be barred from contesting elections to local authority or any body of the local self-government, the draft says.
  • The State’s policy also aims at increasing the life expectancy from 64.3 to 69 by 2030 and child sex ratio (0-6 years) from 899 to 919 by 2030.
  • Uttar Pradesh first launched its population policy in 2000.


  • Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy y said the National Archives’ records related to freedom fighters would be digitised within a year as a part of the commemoration of 75 years of Independence next year.
  • The National Archives of India is an Attached Office under the Ministry of Culture.
  • It was established in 1891 at Kolkata(Calcutta) as the Imperial Record Department.
  • Following the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, the present building of the National Archives of India was constructed in 1926 in Delhi.
  • There are over 50 lakhs files/documents presently in the holdings in the National Archives of India.
  • the National Archives of India, which houses over 18 crore pages, 64,000 volumes and 1.2 lakh maps, had started the digitisation process, but it would take a long time to complete.

4. MoU signed between ICCR & Delhi University to set up Bangabandhu Chair

  • An MoU was signed between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Delhi University in Dhaka on Monday to set up this Chair at Delhi University.
  • Speaking on this occasion, the President of ICCR Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said that this chair was the celebration of the commonality of the world view between Indian and Bangladesh as both countries stand for peace, tranquility, equal respect for all belief systems and democracy.
  • By any indicator, the bonds between the two nations are marked by a rare degree of closeness, substance and understanding.
  • the establishment of the Bangabandhu Chair is a fitting tribute to the great leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He urged the ICCR to consider the possibility of setting up an Indian Chair in Bangladesh in future.
  • The initiative is the outcome of one of the understandings reached during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March this year.
  • The Chair will focus on the common heritage of the two countries and subjects like Anthropology, Buddhist Studies, Geography, History, Modern Indian languages including Bangla, Music, Fine Arts, Political Science, International relations and Sociology.


5. KVIC secures trademark registrations in Bhutan, UAE, Mexico.

  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has recently secured trademark registrations in three countries namely Bhutan, UAE and Mexico which is a big stride towards protecting the identity of brand Khadi globally.
  • Apart from these countries, KVIC’s trademark applications are pending in 40 countries across the world that include the USA, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Japan, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil and others.
  • So far KVIC was having Trademark registrations for the word mark KHADI in 6 countries namely Germany, UK, Australia, Russia, China and EU where trademark registrations were granted in certain classes.
  • However, with recent trademark registrations in Bhutan, UAE and Mexico, the number of such countries has gone up to nine. In these countries, KVIC has got registrations in various classes that pertains to Khadi fabric, Khadi readymade garments and village industry products like Khadi soaps, Khadi cosmetics, Khadi incense sticks among others.
  • recent years, Khadi’s popularity has seen a massive growth in India and abroad due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to adopt Khadi.
  • It has, therefore, become very important for KVIC to protect the identity of Khadi and safeguard the interest of consumers and lakhs of Khadi artisans who are manufacturing genuine Khadi products.

6. Fazil mango

  • India has expanded its footprint of mango exports to newer countries this season, despite logistical challenges posed by COVID19 pandemic.
  • In a major initiative which would boost mango export potential from the eastern region especially to middle east countries, a consignment of Geographical Identification certified Fazil mango variety sourced from Malda district of West Bengal was exported today to Bahrain.
  • Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, APEDA has been initiating measures to boost mango exports from the non-traditional regions and states. It has been conducting virtual buyer-seller meets and festivals to promote mango exports. This shipment to Bahrain comes a few days after APEDA organized a mango promotion programme at Doha, Qatar. Nine varieties of mangoes including GI certified from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh were displayed at the stores of importer Family Food Centre at the promotion programme.
  • In June this year, a week-long Indian mango promotion programme was organised in Bahrain where 16 varieties of the fruit including three GI certified Khirsapati, Lakshmanbhog and Zardalu were displayed. The mangoes were sourced from farmers in Bengal and Bihar by APEDA registered exporter.
  • APEDA has been conducting virtual buyer-seller meets and festivals to promote mango exports. It recently organised mango festival in Berlin, Germany.

7. Indian-American astronaut Sirisha Bandla

  • Indian-American astronaut Sirisha Bandla returned from her maiden space flight. She became the third Indian-origin woman to fly into space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian citizen to travel in space.
  • On the experience, Sirisha said, it was incredible and life-changing to see the Earth from space, during her trip on Virgin Galactic’s first fully-crewed suborbital test flight.
  • Bandla, a 34-year-old aeronautical engineer joined British billionaire Richard Branson and four others on board Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Unity-22 to make a journey to the edge of space from the US state of New Mexico.
  • They reached an altitude of about 88 kilometres over the New Mexico desert – enough to see the curvature of the Earth. The crew experienced a few minutes of weightlessness before making a gliding descent back to Earth.
  • Taking off on the VSS Unity spaceship from New Mexico and reaching an altitude of 85 km from Earth before returning, such a trip is called a suborbital flight.
  • What’s suborbital?
  • Suborbital is when an object travels at a horizontal speed of about 28,000 km/hr or more, it goes into orbit once it is above the atmosphere. Satellites need to reach that threshold speed in order to orbit the Earth. Such a satellite would be accelerating towards the Earth due to gravity, but its horizontal movement is fast enough to offset the downward motion so that it moves along a circular path. Any object travelling slower than 28,000 km/hr must eventually return to Earth. However, this spacecraft travelled far enough to reach the edge of space.
  • These are suborbital flights, because they will not be travelling fast enough to orbit Earth once they reach there. Such a trip allows space travellers to experience a few minutes of weightlessness. The flight was first carried off the ground by a larger aeroplane to an altitude of around 15 km. From here, the vehicle blasted off the plane, achieving a height of around 85 km, where it momentarily reached zero vertical velocity. At this altitude, travellers were estimated to experience about four minutes of weightlessness. If an object travels as fast as 40,000 km/hr, it will achieve escape velocity and never return to Earth.

8. Assam to create new department for indigenous faith and culture.

  • The Assam Cabinetannounced the creation of an independent department to protect and preserve the “faith, culture and traditions of tribes and indigenous communities” of the state.
  • Our tribes and communities have their own set of beliefs, customs and practices…the Department of Indigenous Faith and Culture is aimed to preserve such practices,”
  • the finance ministry will allocate a separate budget for it.
  • Sarma also announced a number of financial reforms. He said that while department heads can green signal projects and schemes worth Rs 2 crore and below, a standing finance committee headed by chief secretary, will take the call on projects worth Rs 2 crore to Rs 5
  • “Apart from that, those between Rs 5 crore and Rs 100 crore will be looked at by a special standing finance committee headed by the finance minister and for projects over Rs 100 crore, only the cabinet can give the go-ahead,” he added.
  • the coming months, legislations related to population control, cow protection, and marriage will be brought in by the government. “You can expect some big announcements in our budget towards population control with regard to things like voluntary sterilisation. All this will be notified in a month.

  • The Union Home Minister inaugurated the newly built Center of Excellence for Research & Analysis of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances of the National Forensic Science University in Ahmedabad.
  • When the government was formed for the second time under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, it was decided to establish this Center
  • 7 States of the country have expressed their desire to open Colleges and Centers of Excellence affiliated to the National Forensic Science University, Gujarat.
  • The Cyber ​​Defence Center and Ballistic Research Center set up in this Center are unique in the whole of Asia and the nation is on course to be self-reliant in this field.

  • Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar addresses a webinar on 40th foundation day of National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD).
  • About NABARD
  • Established in: 1982.
  • History: It was established in 1982 on the recommendations of B.Sivaraman Committee to implement the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act 1981.
  • Headquarters:
  • Objective: Promoting agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity
  • Functions and activities:
  • NABARD provides refinancing facilities to Commercial banks, State co-operative banks, Central Co-operative banks, Regional rural banks and Land Development banks.
  • NABARD provides refinance assistance for agriculture, promoting rural development activities. It also provides all necessary finance and assistance to small scale industries.
  • Government of India created the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) in NABARD in 1995-96, with an initial corpus of Rs.2,000 crore.
  • It supervises State Cooperative Banks (SCBs), District Cooperative Central Banks (DCCBs), and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) and conducts statutory inspections of these banks.
  • NABARD is also known for its ‘SHG Bank Linkage Programme’ which encourages India’s banks to lend to self-help groups (SHGs).

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