Current Affairs- 25th August
Science and Technology
Indian Army gets first batch of multi-mode hand grenades made by private sector firm
- The first batch of Indian-made multi-mode hand grenades (MMHG), manufactured by a private firm, was delivered to the Indian Army in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a ceremony in Nagpur on Tuesday.
- The grenades will replace grenade no 36 of the World War I vintage design, which has continued in service till date.
- MMHGs are not just more lethal, but are safer to use. These hand grenades have been manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following the transfer of technology from Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
PM Modi chairs 37th PRAGATI Meeting
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired the meeting of the 37th edition of PRAGATI, the ICT-based multi-modal platform for pro-active governance and timely implementation, involving Centre and State governments. In the meeting, nine agenda items were taken for review including eight projects and one scheme. Among the eight projects, three projects each were from the Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and two projects were from the Ministry of Power.
- These eight projects have a cumulative cost of one lakh 26 thousand crore rupees concerning 14 states.
Cabinet approves MoU between ICAI and Russian Institute
- Union Cabinet has also approved the signing Memorandum of Understanding between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Institute of Professional Accountants of Russia.
- The proposed MoU aims to strengthen cooperation in matters of accountancy profession through exchange of views, information in respect of Professional Accountancy Training, Professional Ethics, Technical Research, Professional Development of Accountants.
- It is also intended to promote mutual cooperation through seminars, conferences and joint activities mutually beneficial to both the parties and provide s on the development of the accountancy profession in India and Russia to promote the profession in the world.
Govt to launch special incentive scheme to support 75 start-ups
- Government will soon launch a Special Incentives scheme to support 75 Start-Ups in areas of Telemedicine, Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence to coincide with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
- The scheme will be launched by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, BIRAC, a Public Sector Enterprise under the Department of Biotechnology.
- This was disclosed by Science and Technology Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, while interacting with the Board of Directors of BIRAC in New Delhi today.
Ajit Doval hosts inaugural meeting of IBSA National Security Advisers
- National Security Adviser Ajit Doval hosted the inaugural meeting of the IBSA National Security Advisers through video conferencing on Wednesday.
- During the meeting, discussions were held on maritime security, fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime, and cyber security.
- Participants agreed that terrorism, in particular, cross-border terrorism undertaken through state sponsorship, continues to be the most potent threat to global peace and security and must be fought through united efforts.
- They also agreed to enhance cooperation in intelligence sharing, exchange of best practices amongst concerned national agencies and capacity building.
5th edition of Indo-Kazakhstan joint training exercise to be conducted from Aug 30
- As part of military diplomacy and to strengthen the growing strategic relation with Kazakhstan, the fifth edition of Indo- Kazakhstan Joint Training Exercise, KAZIND-21 will be conducted at Aisha Bibi in Kazakhstan, from August 30 to September 11.
- The exercise is a joint training between both the Armies, which will boost the bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan.
- The Exercise will provide an opportunity to the Armed Forces of India Kazakhstan to train for Counter Insurgency Counter-Terrorism operations in the mountainous, rural scenarios under UN mandate.
Myanmar govt in exile committed to repatriation of Rohingyas
- The National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar has declared the voluntary and safe return of Rohingya people in a dignified manner as its utmost priority. The NUG released a statement on Tuesday on the eve of the 4th anniversary marking the exodus of the Rohingya people from Myanmar after the military crackdown in the Rakhine province in 2017.
- The NUG said that it will seek justice and accountability for all crimes committed by the military against the Rohingya and all other people of Myanmar. Expressing its concern about the situation of Rohingya people living in refugee camps of neighbouring countries, the NUG said that it believes in repealing the 1982 citizenship law with a new one that bases citizenship on birth in Myanmar.
World Bank halts all financial assistance for projects to Afghanistan
- World Bank has halted all financial assistance for projects to Afghanistan. The move comes in the wake of the Taliban assuming power in the country.
- The World Bank spokesperson said in Washington that the agency paused disbursements in its operations in Afghanistan and is closely monitoring and assessing the situation in line with its internal policies and procedures.
- The World Bank will continue to consult closely with the international community and development partners in this direction. Concerns have also been raised as regards the impact on the country’s development prospects, especially for women.
Copenhagen named world's safest city; two Indian cities make it to Top 50 list
- Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen has secured the top position in the “safest city” study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). On Wednesday, the EIU produced its Safe Cities Index 2021, under which it enlisted names of 60 safe cities based on 76 indicators. The list also included names of two Indian cities that secured their place among the top 50.
- The cities were scored on five parameters and finally graded out of 100.
- Two Indian cities Delhi and Mumbai have made it to the EIU “safest city” list. While Indian national Delhi made it to the 48th rank, Mumbai secured the 50th position in the list.
Awards and Honours
Odia author Yashodhara Mishra to get Sahitya Akademi Award - 2020
- Author, poet and academician Yashodhara Mishra will be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award – 2020 for her book ‘Samudrakula Ghara’. The Akademi notified the awards for Odia and Malayalam languages on Tuesday.
- Mishra’s book was selected on the basis of recommendations made by three-member Odia language jury comprising writers Dr Binapani Mohanty, Dr Pratibha Satpathy and Ramakanta Rath.
- The award in the form of a plaque and cash reward of Rs 1 lakh will be presented to Mishra on a later date, the Akademi release stated.
Other Important Affairs
- The government has announced today that all Afghan nationals henceforth must travel to India only on e-Visa. This has been decided owing to the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and streamlining of the visa process by introduction of the e-Emergency X-Misc visa.
- Jal Shakti Ministry on Wednesday began SUJALAM, a 100 days campaign as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations to create more and more ODF Plus villages by undertaking waste water management at village level. During this campaign ten lakh Soak-pits will be created.
- In the latest effort to consolidate the grip of Communist Party of China (CPC) on the Chinese society, China will introduce President Xi Jinping’s political ideology in its national curriculum for students at all levels. Country’s Ministry of Education announced this on Tuesday saying that “Xi Jinping thought” aimed to cultivate the builders and successors of socialism.
- Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai on Wednesday attended the UNESCAP Regional Conversation Series 2021: Ministerial Panel on Disaster, Climate and Health Resilience, through video conferencing. The conference was also attended by ministers from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.