Current Affairs- 21st & 22nd August

Science and Technology

NTPC commissions largest Floating Solar PV Project in Andhra Pradesh

NTPC commissions largest Floating Solar PV Project in Andhra Pradesh
  • NTPC Limited has commissioned the largest floating solar PV project of 25 MegaWatt on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The National Thermal Power Corporation, NTPC Limited has commissioned the largest floating solar PV project of 25 Mega Watt on the reservoir of its Simhadri thermal station in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. This is also the first solar project to be set up under the Flexibilisation Scheme, notified by the Government of India in 2018.
  • The Power Ministry said, the floating solar installation has a unique anchoring design which is spread over 75 acres. This floating solar project has the potential to generate electricity from more than one lakh solar PV modules.

New frog species 'Adi Cascade' discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

New frog species 'Adi Cascade' discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
  • A team of biologists from Delhi University, Wildlife Institute of India and North Carolina Museum of Natural Science (USA) has discovered a new species of frog from the Adi hills Arunachal Pradesh, according to an official statement.
  • The new species of Cascade Frog has been named Adi Cascade Frog (Amolops adicola) after the Adi hills, which are home to Adi tribes, an indigenous group of people from the Himalayan regions in the state.
  • The literal meaning of Adi is “hill” or “mountain top”. Historically, this region was also known as Abor Hills.

National

India to add 35 more earthquake Observatories by end of this year

India to add 35 more earthquake Observatories by end of this year
  • Union Minister for Earth Sciences Dr Jitendra Singh has said that India is going to have 35 more earthquake Observatories by the end of this year. He said, 100 more such Observatories will be added in next five years. He pointed out that in last six and a half decades since Independence, the country had only 115 Earthquake Observatories but now with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm, there is going to be a quantum leap in the number of Earthquake Observatories in the country.
  • The Minister said that the Indian subcontinent is considered as one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas in terms of earthquakes, landslides, cyclones, floods, and tsunamis.

INA’s Dilli Series sea power seminar on October 11, 12

INA’s Dilli Series sea power seminar on October 11, 12
  • Indian Naval Academy (INA), Ezhimala will conduct the eighth edition of the prestigious annual Dilli Series Sea Power Seminar on 11th and 12th of October.
  • This year, the event will be hosted in the webinar format and will be streamed live on popular social media platforms. The theme for this year’s webinar is Maritime History of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • The webinar is aimed to provide exposure to cadets on the maritime history of the Indian Ocean Region, under three sub- themes, Early Maritime Interactions and relevance today, India’s Maritime Journey – From 15th to 19th Century and Takeaways in 21st Century.

Rajnath launches Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0

Rajnath launches Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday launched the 5th edition of the Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC) under Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO) meant to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation and technology development in the defence and aerospace sectors.
  • “Thirty-five problem statements – 13 from the Services and 22 from Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) – were unveiled under DISC 5.0. These are in areas such as situational awareness, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, aircraft-trainer, non-lethal devices, 5G network, underwater domain awareness, Drone SWARMS and data capturing,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

International

Exercise Konkan-2021 held between INS Tabar & HMS Westminster

Exercise Konkan-2021 held between INS Tabar & HMS Westminster
  • Exercise Konkan-2021 was held between INS Tabar and HMS Westminster on 16th of this month in the English Channel.
  • The Indo-UK Naval exercise included the participation of integral helicopters of the two ships and the Falcon Electronic Warfare aircraft.
  • A wide range of exercises including co-ordinated anti-submarine procedures, firing drills, combined maritime picture compilation, combat formation maneuvering and replenishment at sea were conducted.

US imposes new sanctions against Russia over Navalny

US imposes new sanctions against Russia over Navalny
  • The United States has imposed additional sanctions against Russia over the alleged Poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. In a statement, the US State Department said that the US will impose a second round of sanctions on the Russian Federation over its use of a Novichok nerve agent in the August 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.
  • The statement also said that there would be restrictions on the permanent imports of certain Russian firearms. The UK and US also issued a joint statement on the first anniversary of Mr. Navalny’s poisoning, calling on Russia to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Exim Bank extends soft loans worth $210 mn to Guinea

Exim Bank extends soft loans worth $210 mn to Guinea
  • Exim Bank has extended soft loans worth $210.73 million on behalf of the Indian government to Guinea to support various projects in the African country.
  • A $170 million line of credit (LOC) has been extended to finance and strengthen the drinking water supply project of Grand Conakry-Horizon 2040 in Guinea, the RBI said in a release on Thursday.
  • This agreement was inked in December 2019 between Exim Bank and the Government of Guinea. The agreement under the LOC is effective from August 11, 2021, it said.

Sports

Amit Khatri bags silver medal in men's 10,000-m race walk at World Athletic U-20 championships

Amit Khatri bags silver medal in men's 10,000-m race walk at World Athletic U-20 championships
  • Indian Athlete Amit Khatri brings home the silver medal for India after finishing second at the Men’s 10,000m Race Walk.
  • He finished the race with a timing of 42 minutes 17:94 seconds behind gold-medalist Haristome Wanyoyi and ahead of third-placed Paul McGrath of Spain.
  • The gold and bronze medal winners finished the race with a time of 42:10.84s and 42:31.11s respectively. Amit led the entire race, before losing focus with two laps to go and getting passed by Kenya’s Wanyoyi.

MP Govt launches comprehensive Talent Search Campaign in field of sports

MP Govt launches comprehensive Talent Search Campaign in field of sports
  • In Madhya Pradesh, the State Government has launched a comprehensive Talent Search Campaign in the field of sports.
  • State government has decided to search for new talented players and train them in 18 sports academies of state.
  • Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that Indian players have made a record in Tokyo Olympics and have opened doors for future possibilities.
  • The Chief Minister has appealed to the youth interested in sports to register themselves in the Talent Search Campaign of the state.

Dates and Days

International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism

International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism
  • United Nations observes 21st August every year as the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism.
  • The day is observed to pay tribute to the individuals across the globe who have been attacked, injured, traumatized or lost their lives because of terrorist attacks.
  • This year, the 3rd commemoration of the day will focus on the response to the pandemic and cancellation of many memorials and commemorations, it is critical to take the time to remember and honour the victims of terrorism.

Other Important Affairs

  • Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, announced that the airport will be named after the Maharaja Agrasen. It has been renamed as the Maharaja Agrasen International Airport. This will boost tourism to religious and archaeological sites of Agroha Dham and Agroha Mound respectively.
  • India has partnered with the UN to roll out the UNITE Aware platform initially in four UN Peacekeeping Missions: MINUSMA (Mali), UNMISS (South Sudan), UNFICYP (Cyprus) and AMISOM (Somalia).
  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has approved DNA COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D of Cadila Healthcare for restricted use in an emergency situation in India for 12 years and above. It was approved after evaluation of interim Phase III clinical trial results in consultation with the Subject Expert Committee of CDSCO.
  • Apple is the world’s most valuable company (USD 2,443 billion) according to the Hurun Global 500 Most Valuable Companies list 2021. The world’s top six valuable companies remained unchanged as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Tencent.