17 July 2021 Current Affairs English

  1. Indian Navy accepts first batch of two MH-60r Multi Role Helicopters (MRH).

  • Indian Navy accepted the first two of its MH-60R Multi Role Helicopters (MRH) from US Navy in a ceremony held at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego on 16 Jul 21.


  • The ceremony marked the formal transfer of these helicopters from US Navy to Indian Navy, which were accepted by His Excellency Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Indian Ambassador to USA.


  • MH-60R helicopters manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corporation, USA is an all-weather helicopter designed to support multiple missions with state of the art avionics/ sensors.


  • 24 of these helicopters are being procured under Foreign Military Sales from the US Government. The helicopters would also be modified with several India Unique Equipment and weapons.


  • The induction of these MRH would further enhance Indian Navy’s three dimensional capabilities. In order to exploit these potent helicopters, the first batch of Indian crew is presently undergoing training in USA.



  1. The National Commission for Women (NCW) signs MoU with Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) for Nation-Wide.

  • The National Commission for Women (NCW) has signed an MoU with Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) for gender sensitization of police personnel across the country.


  • The objective of the programme is to ensure gender sensitization of police personnel with respect to legislation and policies concerning women and bringing attitudinal and behavioural changes in police officers while dealing with crimes against women.


  • The Commission has been regularly organising gender sensitization programs for police officers to achieve the objective of building trust of women complainants in police.


  • It is with this objective that NCW has decided to launch a programme across the country to sensitize officials on gender related issues and empower them to perform their duties effectively, without prejudice and bias especially in cases of gender-based crimes.


  • The programme which aims to sensitize police personnel on gender issues will be fully sponsored by the Commission and facilitated by BPR&D with a special module in coordination with its units and other stakeholders.


  • The training will be conducted for a duration of three-five days, preferably in residential mode as a short intense course with an expected training of 18-24 hours in total. It will have special focus on gender issues, women related laws, role of implementing agencies along with sharing of best practices.




  • The Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra chaired the 36th Executive Committee meeting of NMCGand approved new projects for rejuvenation of 6 polluted river stretches in Uttarakhand.


  • It has approved the project of “Interception & Diversion (I&D) and STP work of 06 nos.
  • Polluted River Stretches to Rejuvenate Rivers Bhela, Dhela, Kichha, Kosi, Nandhore, Pilakhar and Kashipur. Sewerage (I&D) Scheme (Dhela River) Phase-1 of District Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand” under Namami Gange Programme at a sanctioned cost of Rs. 199.36 Crs. The project will ensure tapping of a total of 17 Nalas which will be intercepted and diverted to 9 STPs to be constructed under this project for a total treatment capacity of 30.30 MLD.
  • The project shall cover the 6 polluted river stretches in the Kumaon region.
  • Out of the rest 3 polluted stretches, project of Ganga at Jagjeetpur, Haridwar has already been commissioned and on the remaining two, Namami Gange projects are already under execution.
  • With this project, all the polluted stretches in the state of Uttarakhand have been covered under pollution abatement projects.
  • An important and progressive feature of the project is comprehensive sludge management arrangements and provision for co-treatment of septage in all these STPs.
  • As per the report of CPCB identifying polluted stretches of the rivers in the country, there were a total of 9 polluted stretches in Uttarakhand state and 6 of them were in district Udham Singh Nagar on various tributaries or small rivers such as Bhela, Dhela, Kichha, Nandor, Pilankha and Kosi and 02 (Two) stretches were on Rispana-Bindal and Suswa, which are being covered in the I&D Rispana_Bindal project which is under execution under the Namami Gange Programme, while 01(One) stretch was on main river Ganga (downstream Jagjeetpur) already covered by the Jagjeetpur STP project.


  1. UMANG App

  • Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has taken various initiatives in the recent past to ease the lives of citizens by facilitating online delivery of Government services.




  • To further enhance the initiatives of Digital India Programme, the Ministry has enabled map services in UMANG App ‘ through Memorandum of Understanding with MapmyIndia.


  • As a result of integration of UMANG with MapmyIndia, citizens will be able to find government facilities nearest to their location, such as mandis, blood banks and much more, at the click of a button.



  • They will also be able to see these on the most detailed and interactive street and village level maps of India, built by MapmyIndia. Besides, they will also be able to view the driving distance, get directions and turn by turn voice and visual guidance to locations, including traffic and road safety alerts during navigation.


  • The UMANG mobile app launched in 2017, is a Government of India single, unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-service mobile app, providing access to high impact services of various organizations. UMANG brings major government services on a single mobile app on mobile phones of citizens.
  1. Government launches digital platform Kisan Sarathi.

  • Government today launched digital platform Kisan Sarathi to facilitate farmers to get right information at right time in their desired language.


  • The platform Kisan Sarathi was jointly launched by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw through video conference on the occasion of 93rd ICAR Foundation Day.



  • farmers can avail personalised advisories on agriculture and allied areas directly from scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra through the digital platform.



  • this initiative of Kisan Sarathi will empower farmers with the technological interventions and reach farmers in remote areas.



  1. Jurisdiction of Krishna & Godavari River boards notified.

  • Government has issued two Gazette Notifications for jurisdiction of Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards. Jal Shakti Ministry has notified the jurisdiction of the two Boards in terms of administration, regulation, operation and maintenance of listed projects in Godavari and Krishna rivers in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This step is expected to ensure judicious utilization of water resources in the two states.


  • The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014 contains provisions for the effective management of river waters in the two states. Constitution of the Godavari and Krishna River Management Boards and the constitution of an Apex Council for the supervision of the functioning of these Boards, is laid down in this Act.
  • The Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 85 of the APRA, 2014, constituted the two River Management Boards effective from 2nd June, 2014 for the administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of such projects on Godavari and Krishna rivers, as may be notified by the Central Government.
  • The long pending issue of notifying the Jurisdiction of the two Boards was addressed in the 2nd meeting of the Apex Council held in October, 2020, under the Chairmanship of Union Minister, Jal Shakti,Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. In this meeting, it was decided that the jurisdiction of GRMB and KRMB will be notified by Government of India.
  • In accordance with the provisions under Section 87 of APRA, 2014, Government of India has issued two gazette notifications, one for the jurisdiction of GRMB and the other for KRMB, for administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of projects in Godavari and Krishna river basins respectively, in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  • The Centre expects the wholehearted cooperation and assistance of both the State Governments in the smooth functioning of the two Boards, to ensure equitable benefit to the people of both the states.


  1. Indian Photo Journalist Danish Siddiqui.

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur has expressed grief over the death of Indian Photo Journalist Danish Siddiqui.




  • In a Tweet, Mr Thakur said, Danish Siddiqui leaves behind an extraordinary body of work.


  • He won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography and was embedded with the Afghan Forces in Kandahar.


  • Mumbai based Photo Journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed in clashes in Spin Boldak district of Kandahar city in Afghanistan today.


  • He was killed while on a reporting assignment embedded with the Afghan Special Forces.



  1. US Senate confirms Indian-American Seema Nanda as solicitor for labour department.

  • The United States Senate has confirmed Indian-American Seema Nanda as the solicitor for the Department of Labour.


  • A former CEO of the Democratic National Committee who also served in the Department of Labour during the Obama Administration, Seema Nanda was confirmed by the Senate with 53-46 votes on Wednesday.
  • Her office will play a central role in fighting legal battles and challenges.
  • Seema Nanda served as chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and deputy solicitor at the US Department of Labour in the Obama-Biden administration.
  • Earlier, she spent over 15 years in various roles as a labour and employment attorney, mostly in government service.
  • Seema Nanda led the now named Office of Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division where she served as a supervisor attorney in the Division of Advice at the National Labour Relations Board, and worked as an associate in private practice in Seattle
  • After the Obama-Biden administration, Seema Nanda led the Democratic National Committee as the CEO and served as the COO and executive vice president at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
  • Seema Nanda is presently a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Labour and Worklife Programme.
  • She grew up in Connecticut and is a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School.


  1. IIT-Hyderabad develops cheaper COVID-19 testing kit ‘COVIHOME’.

  • DAn Artificial Intelligence-powered COVID-19 test that can be performed at an affordable cost at home has been developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IITH) led by Prof. Shiv Govind Singh of the department of electrical engineering,


  • This test kit can produce results within 30 minutes for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients and the major benefit of this testing kit is that it does not require RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction), an expert human resource, and a BSL-2 lab facility for the extraction of RNA, so it has potential for one to take the test at home without expert supervision, said an official press release.
  • CSIR-Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB) has performed the validation of the rapid RNA electronic diagnostic device for detection of SARS-Cov-2 virus in the swab samples independently with the in-house samples and hospital samples as advised by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). These samples were confirmed for their positivity or negativity by the RT-PCR method.
  • The validation report confirmed the kit’s efficiency 94.2%, sensitivity 91.3%, and specificity 98.2%.
  • Each test costs around ₹400 now. However, mass production of the testing kit will help to reduce the cost to around ₹300 per test after taking the required ICMR approvals.
  • A major objective of the research team for the development of the ‘COVIHOME’ test kit was to break the transmission chain through affordable testing. We have already filed a patent for the device and are now looking for industry partners for Transfer of Technology (ToT) for mass production.


  1. Why the Hubble telescope is working in ‘safe mode’.

  • NASA plans to fix a glitch that has stopped the Hubble space telescope from being used for science work for more than a month. The malfunction has been described as the most serious problem in a decade to face the legendary observatory, which is currently running in “safe mode”.


  • The safe mode was activated after an onboard computer halted on 13 June, leading to all non-essential systems being shut down – essentially meaning the telescope is not being used for astronomy observations. The repair work, if successfully completed, is expected to take several days to bring the spacecraft back to operating normally.
  • The Hubble, launched in 1990, is considered by many to be the most important scientific tool ever to be built, having churned out more than 15 lakh observations that have been used to publish around 18,000 research papers.
  • Named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the observatory is the first major optical telescope to be placed in space and has made groundbreaking discoveries in the field of astronomy since its launch.
  • According to NASA’s official website, the launch and deployment of Hubble in April 1990 is said to be the “most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.
  • It is larger than a school bus in size, has a 7.9 feet mirror, and captures stunning images of deep space playing a major role in helping astronomers understand the universe by observing the most distant stars, galaxies and planets.




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