1. International Tiger Day 2021

  • International Tiger Day is observed across the world on July 29th. Tiger day is observed to raise awareness about the conservation of tigers and the dangers posed to them

KEY POINT

  • The International Tiger Day Theme 2021 is “ Their Survival is in our hands”. The theme highlights the important role in protecting the natural habitat of tigers and maintaining a balanced ecosystem across the globe.
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says, “As top predators, wild tigers play an important role in maintaining the harmony of the planet’s ecosystems. By preying on herbivores, tigers help to keep the balance between the prey animals and the forest vegetation which they feed upon.

Why is International Tiger Day observed on July 29th?

  • The International Tiger Day is observed annually on July 29th, as it was on that day countries signed an agreement to raise awareness about the decreasing tiger population globally during the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia in 2010.
  • The representatives also declared on that day that the tiger-populated countries would make efforts to almost double the tiger population by the year 2022.

 

 

  1. Indian badminton great Nandu Natekar dead .

  • July 28Legendary badminton player Nandu Natekar, the first Indian to win an international title in 1956, died .

KEY POINT

  • The 88-year-old, who won over 100 national and international titles in his career, was suffering from age-related ailments.
  • Natekar, who was considered one of most popular sportspersons of his time, was also a former World number three.
  • Born in Sangli in western Maharashtra, Natekar won over 100 national and international titles in a career spanning over 15 years. He was also conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1961.

 

  • In his distinguished career, Natekar made it to the quarterfinals of the prestigious All England Championships in 1954 and became the first Indian player to win an international event when he claimed the Sellanger International in Malaysia in 1956.
  • He was also won 12 out of the 16 singles matches and 8 out of 16 in doubles as part of the Indian team at the Thomas Cup between 1951 and 1963. ​He also had the distinction of leading the country in the tournament in 1959 , 1961 and 1963.
  • ​He had also represented India at the 1965 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica

 

 

 

  1. Basavaraj Bommai takes oath as the new Chief Minister of Karnataka.

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Basavaraj Somappa Bommai took oath as the 23rd Chief Minister of Karnataka. The 61-year-old leader was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot at the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

KEY POINT

  • A Lingayat community member, Bommai was brought into the BJP fold by Yediyurappa ahead of the 2008
  • Barring the separation from Yediyurappa between 2012 and 2014, Bommai has been an interlocutor for the veteran leader with the BJP leadership at the Centre, a troubleshooter, a prompter and a frequent go-to man.

 

  • For the state government, Bommai has worked in the past as the Water Resources Minister and has an in-depth understanding of the water-sharing issues that Karnataka has with neighbouring states.
  • Bommai is the son of the former Chief Minister of Karnataka, S. R. Bommai. he succeeded B. S. Yediyurappa as the CM.

 

  1. PM to roll out academic credit bank for almost 300 top institutions.

  • On the first anniversary of the National Education Policy (NEP) , the Centre plans to officially roll out some initiatives promised in the policy, such as a credit transfer system that will allow multiple entry and exit options in higher education, as well as engineering programmes in regional languages. However, other promised reforms such as the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI), the four-year undergraduate degree, and the common university entrance test, are not ready yet.

KEY POINT

  • The Academic Bank of Credit will be rolled out on Thursday for students in over 290 top institutions from the current academic year 2021-22 onwards.
  • All institutions in the top 100 of the National Institutional Ranking Framework as well as those who have achieved an A grade under the National Assessment and Accreditation Council will be allowed to participate in the credit transfer system , which will also allow multiple entry and exit options for students, according to senior Education Ministry officials .
  • However, the proposal for four-year undergraduate degrees has run into some opposition, especially from faculty at the premier University of Delhi, and will also have to wait for the National Higher Education Curricular Framework, which is still being prepared, they said.
  • Multidisciplinarity is also being encouraged with guidelines to be issued to allow the merger of institutes as well as to give students the choice of taking subjects such as social sciences , music and sports while getting engineering degrees , or even get a minor degree in emerging areas while majoring in a different subject.
  • Although premier institutions such as the Indian Institutes of Technology have balked at the idea of introducing courses in Indian languages, Mr. Modi will announce the launch of engineering degrees in regional languages in about 14 smaller institutions.
  • He will also announce the establishment of the National Digital Education Architecture and National Education Technology Forum.

 

  1. Digital payments up 30.2 % in FY21.

  • Digital payments have recorded a growth of 30.19 per cent during the year ended March 2021, reflecting adoption and deepening of cashless transactions in the country, RBI data showed. As per the newly constituted Digital Payments Index (RBI-DPI), the index rose to 270.59 at the end of March 2021, up from 207.84 a year ago.

KEY POINT

  • “The RBI-DPI index has demonstrated significant growth in the index representing the rapid adoption and deepening of digital payments across the country in recent years,”
  • The Reserve Bank had earlier announced construction of a composite Reserve Bank of India – Digital Payments Index (RBI-DPI) with March 2018 as base to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country.
  • The RBI-DPI comprises five broad parameters that enable measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods.
  • These parameters are — Payment Enablers (weight 25 per cent); Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors (10 per cent); Payment Infrastructure – Supply-side factors (15 per cent); Payment Performance (45 per cent); and Consumer Centricity (5 per cent).
  • In January, the RBI had said the index will be published on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of four months.

 

 

 

  1. Lok Sabha passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amendment Bill, 2021 .

  • The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (A) Bill, 2021 has been cleared amid Opposition clamour in the Lok Sabha.

KEY POINT

  • Union Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the bill in the Lok Sabha to replace an ordinance that amended the insolvency law.

 

  • This ordinance was announced on April 4 wherein a pre-packaged resolution process for stressed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) was introduced under this code.

 

  • As per these amendments, the government has notified the threshold of a default not exceeding Rs 1 crore for initiation of a pre-packaged resolution process. Under a pre-packaged process, main stakeholders (creditors and shareholders) come together to identify a potential buyer and negotiate a resolution plan before going to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which approves all the resolution plans under IBC.

 

  • Meanwhile, the government said that initiating reforms like IBC has helped banks recover bad debt worth around 5.5 lakh crore. Out of this, close to Rs 1 lakh crore was recovered from accounts that were written off such as Kingfisher. Rs 99,996 crore was recovered from loan accounts including Bhushan Steel, Bhushan Power & Steel, and Essar Steel through the IBC process.

 

 

  1. Women unemployment rate falls to 4.2% in 2019-20 from 5.1% in 2018-19

  • Unemployment rate for women fell to 4.2 per cent in 2019-20 from 5.1 per cent in 2018-19, according to Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO).

KEY POINT

  • The NSO is a wing of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
  • “Unemployment rate for women has come down from 5.1 per cent in 2018-19 to 4.2 per cent in 2019-20,” a labour ministry statement said.
  • As per the PLFS for 2019-20, of the total employment generated (in person days) in the 2020-21 under MGNREGS, women’s share has increased to around 207 crore person days.
  • The Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) for women has increased from 24.5 per cent in 2018-19 to 30.0 per cent in 2019-20.
  • The government has taken several initiatives to improve women’s participation in the labour force. In order to encourage employment of women, a number of protective provisions have been incorporated in the labour laws for creating congenial work environment for women workers.
  • These include enhancement in paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, provision for mandatory crche facility in the establishments having 50 or more employees, permitting women workers in the night shifts with adequate safety measures, etc.
  • The government has taken a decision to allow the employment of women in the aboveground mines including opencast workings between 7 pm and 6 am and in below ground working between 6 am and 7 pm in technical, supervisory and managerial work where continuous presence may not be required.
  • Further, in order to enhance the employability of female workers, the Government is providing training to them through a network of Women Industrial Training institutes, National Vocational Training Institutes and Regional Vocational Training Institutes.

 

 

  1. Parliament passes amendment Bill to strengthen juvenile justice law.

  • Parliament passed the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, which seeks to increase the role of district magistrates and additional district magistrates in matters concerning child care and adoption.

KEY POINT

  • The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha in March 2021.
  • Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani moved the Bill in Rajya Sabha and it was passed amid a ruckus as the Opposition parties kept up their protests over Pegasus snooping row, farm laws and price rise.
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Bill, 2021, which seeks to amend the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, proposes to increase the role of district magistrates and additional district magistrates in matters concerning child care and adoption,
  • According to the amendments, background and educational qualification checks will be included in the process of selection of a member of a child welfare committee.
  • “If an individual has a record of violation of human rights, that individual can never be appointed as a member of the child welfare committee. If an individual is convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude and has not been granted pardon, that individual cannot serve as a member of the child welfare committee. If an individual has ever abused a child, employed a child labour or indulged in immoral acts, that individual cannot serve in the child welfare committee,
  • “To ensure that there is absolutely no conflict of interest, those individuals who run child care institutions or other NGOs that profit from the government, who are from the management part of child care institutions, they cannot be a part of child welfare committees,”

 

 

 

  1. Navigation Bill, 2021

  • Parliament on July 27, 2021 passed the landmark ‘Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021’ to repeal and replace the 90-year-old Lighthouse Act 1927.

KEY POINT

  • The bill seeks to incorporate best global practices and technological developments as well as India’s International obligations in Marine Aids to Navigation field in line with PM Narendra Modi’s vision to make the legislative framework user-friendly and promote ease of doing business.
  • Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal moved the bill in the upper house of the Parliament, Rajya Sabha on July 19, 2021 and it was passed on July 27th. The bill will now be sent to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.

 

 

Marine Aids To Navigation Bill, 2021

  • The Marine Aids to Navigation Bill, 2021 was introduced in the lower house of the Parliament, Lok Sabha on March 15, 2021.
  • The Bill seeks to provide a framework for the development, maintenance, and management of aids to navigation in India.
  • It seeks to repeal the Lighthouse Act, 1927, which provides for the maintenance and control of lighthouses in India.

 

 

 

  1. Cabinet clears amendment to LLP Act, 12 offences to be decriminalised .

 

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur address a press conference on Cabinet decisions, in New Delhi, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)(PTI07_28_2021_000289A)

  • Currently, there are 24 penal provisions in the LLP Act, 21 compoundable offences, and three non-compoundable offences. After the amendments, the penal provisions will be cut to 22, compoundable offences will be only seven

KEY POINT

  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act, with an aim to decriminalise 12 provisions under the law.
  • “An amendment has been proposed in the Limited Liability Partnership Bill for the first time. We are doing a lot of changes in the Companies Act and corporate bodies are getting a lot of ease of doing business. LLPs are becoming popular among start-ups,”
  • Total of 12 offences to be decriminalised under LLPs. Many of the startups can also benefit from the ease of doing business,”
  • Further, the cabinet has also given nod to the Deposit Insurance Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) Bill, 2021.
  • “The proposed law will insure bank deposits up to ₹5 lakh. Under DICGC Bill 2021, 98.3% of all deposits will get covered and in terms of deposit value, 50.9% deposit value will be covered. Global deposit value is only 80% of all deposit accounts. It only covers 20-30% of deposit value,”
  • The Union Cabinet has decided that depositors of troubled banks would get their money back within 90 days. As of now, several depositors of troubled lenders are waiting for longer periods to retrieve the money deposited in the bank accounts,”

 

  1. Finmin Invites Entries For New DFI’s Name, Logo .

  • The finance ministry invited entries from citizens for name, tagline and logo for the new Development Financial Institution (DFI) that is touted as a gamechanger for infrastructure financing in the country.

KEY POINT

  • Earlier, the ministry had carried out a similar exercise for choosing the name for the flagship financial inclusion programme of the government — ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’ — in 2014.
  • ‘@FinMinIndia in association with @mygovindia is announcing a contest to crowdsource the name, tagline and logo of the new Development Financial Institution. Cash prizes of up to Rs 5 lakh in each category! Last date for entries is 15.08.2021,’ Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a tweet.
  • The setting up of a DFI was announced by the finance minister in Budget 2021-22.

 

  • In March, Parliament passed the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill.
  • ‘Infrastructure is essential to building a new India. This would mean new projects, expanding existing infra and revitalizing decrepit infra. The National Infrastructure Pipeline of Rs 111 lakh crore was a recognition of this need and accordingly over 7000 projects were identified. However, the execution and completion of these projects will require timely finance and the requirement of funds is large,’
  • The Department of Financial Services under the finance ministry has invited citizens to coin a name, suggest a tagline and design a logo for the DFI.
  • It should in effect be like a visual signature, easy to recall and pronounce. Each of the three elements would stand out on its own but would represent a synergised approach, as per the website.

 

 

 

  1. SWACHH BHARAT MISSION (GRAMEEN) PHASE – 2

  • Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today released the ODF Plus Manuals under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) Phase – 2 in New Delhi. The manuals pertain to key components of ODF Plus – Grey Water Management, Plastic Waste Management, Faecal Sludge Management and Biodegradable Waste Management.

KEY POINT

  • The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has developed manuals to support states, districts, and rural local bodies implement solid and liquid waste management initiatives.
  • Addressing the media after the release of Manuals, Mr Shekhawat said that Swachh Bharat Mission, Grameen has transformed rural India by manifesting into a Jan Andolan for sanitation, achieving Open Defecation Free rural India milestone in mission mode.
  • Phase – 2 of the mission aiming at achieving ODF Plus goal was launched last year, which focuses on ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management aiming at comprehensive cleanliness in villages.
  • The Minister stressed on the importance of access to safe sanitation facilities in terms of social, economic and health benefits to rural community members especially the vulnerable and marginalized community.
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