01st August, 2021 – Daily News

Topics covered – All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for medical courses, National Education Policy, COVID BEEP , India’s Covid Vaccination Process, ‘AI For All’ initiative, UDAN regional air connectivity scheme, Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, ATL Tinkerpreneur summer bootcamp, NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite , Biotech-PRIDE , Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021, Krishikarna’ project , ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’ , Raja Mircha’ , Innovations for Defence Excellence , Global Education Summit, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ Conclave , G20 Culture Ministers Meeting 2021 , President of UNSC, Vice Chief of the Indian Navy, Maharashtra Bhushan Puraskar 2021, Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021 , world’s youngest mountaineer to scale the K2.

Bulletins

  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced to provide 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for medical courses.

  2. PM Narendra Modi has launched new initiatives on the occasion of 1st anniversary of National Education Policy.

  3. COVID BEEP is India’s first indigenous, cost effective, wireless physiological parameters monitoring system for COVID-19 patients.

  4. US has announced $25 Million aid to support India’s Covid Vaccination Process.

  5. Intel, in collaboration with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Ministry of Education, has launched ‘AI For All’ initiative for creating a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for everyone in India.

  6. The Central Government has approved 780 new air traffic routes under the UDAN regional air connectivity scheme.

  7. Rajya Sabha has recently passed the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to amend the Factoring Regulation Act, 2011 to help MSME sector.

  8. Rajya Sabha has passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

  9. Rajya Sabha has passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to replace the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 (which was promulgated in April 2021).

  10. Atal Innovation Mission has successfully completed ATL Tinkerpreneur summer bootcamp – a two month long and a first of its kind campaign – for providing digital skills and entrepreneurship knowledge across the country.

  11. Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh has announced that the ISRO-NASA joint mission NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite will be launched in 2023.

  12. Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) Guidelines have been released by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology.

  13. Rajya Sabha has passed the Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

  14. ‘Krishikarna’ project – a joint initiative of the National Society for Agricultural Horticulture (SAHS), the Sustainability Foundation and Qore3 Innovations – has been launched in Kerala.

  15. Kerala has launched a financial package of over Rs 5,000 crores to revive the state economy.

  16. A ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’ was set up in Madhya Pradesh for distribution of aids and assistive devices to ‘Divyangjan’.

  17. For the first time, King Chilli ‘Raja Mircha’ from Nagaland was exported to London.

  18. Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence has extended Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), a central sector scheme, with an outlay of Rs. 498.80 crores for the next 5 years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

  19. Global Education Summit: Financing GPE 2021-2025 was co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in London,

  20. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ Conclave 2021 took place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan that discussed on regional security challenges as well as the situation in Afghanistan.

  21. G20 Culture Ministers Meeting 2021 was hosted by Italy during their ongoing Presidency of G20 in 2021.

  22. India is the President of UNSC for the month of August 2021.

  23. Vice Admiral S.N. Ghormade has been appointed as the new Vice Chief of the Indian Navy.

  24. Asha Bhosle (singer) has won the Maharashtra Bhushan Puraskar 2021, which is given by Maharashtra government.

  25. Cyrus Poonawalla (founder-chairperson of the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has been awarded the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021 for his work during Covid-19 pandemic.

  26. Pakistan’s Shehroze Kashif (aged 19) has become the world’s youngest mountaineer to scale the K2, the second-highest peak in the world.

  27. Former badminton player and Arjuna Award winner Nandu Natekar died.

Table of Content

National News

  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced to provide 27% reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) scheme for medical courses.
      • The reservation is meant for undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental courses — MBBS, MD, MS, Diploma, BDS and MDS — from the current academic year (2021-22) onwards.
      • The AIQ scheme was introduced in 1986 under the directions of the Supreme Court to provide for domicile-free, merit-based opportunities to students from any state to study in a medical college located in another state.
      • Under the AIQ scheme, 15% UG seats and 50% PG seats are reserved for categories.
      • SCs have 15% and STs have 7.5% reservation under the AIQ scheme.
  2. PM Narendra Modi has launched new initiatives on the occasion of 1st anniversary of National Education Policy.
Initiatives:
A) National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR):
⚬ NDEAR will support teaching and learning activities and educational planning, governance administrative activities of the Centre and the States/ Union Territories.
⚬ NDEAR will be beneficial for both Centre and States in planning, administering and governing school education as well as to teachers, students and schools for having a seamless digital learning experience.
B) National Education Technology Forum (NETF):
⚬ The aim of the NETF will be to facilitate decision making on the induction, deployment, and use of technology.
⚬ The Forum will provide knowledge and research as well as the opportunity to consult and share best practices to education institutions, State and Central governments, and other stakeholders.
C) Vidya Pravesh for Grade 1 students:
⚬ It is a 3 months play based school preparation module for Grade 1 students.
⚬ Children in the remote areas will also have access to the playschools.
D) NISHTHA 2.0:
⚬ NISHTHA 2.0 is an integrated programme of teacher training designed by NCERT.
E) SAFAL (Structured Assessment for Analysing Learning Levels) for CBSE:
⚬ CBSE has introduced the SAFAL – a competency based assessment program – for students of class 3, 5, and 8.
⚬ Under SAFAL, foundational skills and learning outcomes of students will be assessed. It will assess the understanding of the students and address the problem of rote learning.
⚬ It will be launched on a pilot basis for 2021-22 session.
⚬ Subjects assessed by SAFAL – Language, Maths, and EVS/Science.
F) Academic Bank of Credit System:
⚬ It will be a digital bank for storing the credits earned by students during their higher education.
⚬ It will be a digital bank for storing the credits earned by students during their higher education.
G) Other:
⚬ For the first time, Indian Sign Language was launched as a subject in schools.
⚬ A new AI-based website was launched for public awareness.
⚬ 1st year engineering program was launched in regional languages.
⚬ Guidelines for internationalisation of higher education were launched.
⚬ A tool has also been developed by AICTE for translation of engineering course into 11 Indian languages.
  1. COVID BEEP is India’s first indigenous, cost effective, wireless physiological parameters monitoring system for COVID-19 patients.
      • It has been developed by ESIC Medical College Hyderabad, in collaboration with Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. and Department of Atomic Energy.
  2. US has announced $25 Million aid to support India’s Covid Vaccination Process.
  3. Intel, in collaboration with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Ministry of Education, has launched ‘AI For All’ initiative for creating a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for everyone in India.
      • Intel’s AI For All is a learning program of 4-hours, which can be accessed by all – students, professionals, senior citizens, housemakers, parents, etc.
      • This program aims to aware the 1 million citizens of India about the usage, function, and application of AI in its first year.
      • It is divided into two parts – AI appreciation and AI awareness
      • NITI Aayog’s National Strategy for AI is built on the philosophy of ‘AI For All’ and focuses on using AI for inclusive growth and developing population-scale AI solutions for societal needs.
  4. The Central Government has approved 780 new air traffic routes under the UDAN regional air connectivity scheme.
      • Since its launch, 359 routes has been opened under the scheme and 59 new airports have been established.
      • This has also increased cargo handling from airlines. During the covid, cargo handling through air routes was also increased to 19% from 2%.
      • The number of cargo operators has been increased to 28 in the country.
      • All the above-mentioned information was provided by Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia in the Lok Sabha.
  5. Rajya Sabha has recently passed the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to amend the Factoring Regulation Act, 2011 to help MSME sector.
      • The bill has incorporated suggestions from UK Sinha Committee on MSMEs.
      • The amendments will help in increasing liquidity with the MSMEs.
      • Factoring is a financial service where a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. Later, the factor collects the full payment from the debtor and the difference between the amounts is the revenue of the factor.
  6. Amendments:
      • Change in the definitions of “receivables”, “assignment”, and “factoring business” to bring them at par with international definitions.
      • All NBFCs and other entities have been allowed to do factoring business.
        • Earlier, in the Factoring Act, 2011, NBFCs whose core business in factoring can remain in the factoring business.
        • Core business means more than half of assets were to be deployed and income earned from factoring business.
        • The bill removes this threshold.
      • Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) needs to file detail regarding the factoring transactions done by using its platform. The details should be filed with Central Registry by the concerned TReDS, on behalf of the factor.
        • TReDS is an electronic platform for facilitating financing of trade receivables of MSMEs.
      • RBI is empowered to make regulations for granting registration certificates to a factor, filing of transaction details with the Central Registry and all other matters.
      • No 30-day time period is applicable on factors for filing their transactions.
      • Central Registry is the registering authority for such transactions. Central Registry was set up under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002.
  7. Rajya Sabha has passed the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
      • The bill proposes to amend the definition of ‘major airport’ under the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Act, 2008 (AERA Act).
      • The bill was tabled by the civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
  8. Highlights of the Bill:
      • The Bill intends to aide government’s plan for privatisation of smaller airports as part of its asset monetisation programme announced during the budget for 2021-22.
      • It will also help in the faster development of the smaller airports and expediting the regional air connectivity UDAN scheme by expanding the air connectivity to relatively remote areas.
      • The amendment will allow AERA to regulate tariff and other charges for aeronautical services for not just major airport with annual passenger traffic of more than 3.5 million, but also a group of airports together.
  9. Rajya Sabha has passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to replace the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 (which was promulgated in April 2021).
      • The Bill introduces an alternate insolvency resolution process for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), called the pre-packaged insolvency resolution process (PIRP).
      • Application for initiating PIRP may be filed in the event of a default of at least Rs 1 lakh. The central government may increase the threshold of minimum default up to Rs 1 crores through a notification.
      • The Code provides a time-bound process for resolving the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) within 330 days.
  10. Atal Innovation Mission has successfully completed ATL Tinkerpreneur summer bootcamp – a two month long and a first of its kind campaign – for providing digital skills and entrepreneurship knowledge across the country.
      • This ATL Tinkerpreneur covered high school students across 32 states and 298 districts to develop entrepreneurial mindsets in students.
      • ‘Tinkerpreneur’ – the name derived from the phrase ‘enabling students to tinker from the comfort of their homes and become an entrepreneur this summer’.
      • The campaign was spread across a span of 9 weeks from May to August 2021.
      • The ‘ATL Tinkerpreneur’ enabled the participants to develop a business idea and create an end-to-end strategy for setting up a new venture.
  11. Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh has announced that the ISRO-NASA joint mission NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellite will be launched in 2023.
      • NISAR is a joint Earth-Observation mission between ISRO and NASA to improve understanding of the impact of climate change on Earth’s changing ecosystems, land and coastal processes, land deformations and cryosphere.
      • It is a dual-band (L-band and S-band) radar imaging mission with the capability of full polarimetric and interferometric modes of operation to observe minor changes in land, vegetation and cryosphere.
      • NASA is developing L-band SAR and associated systems while ISRO is developing S-band SAR, spacecraft bus, the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
      • India and the U.S. had agreed upon this mission during then-President Barack Obama’s visit to India in 2015.
  12. Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) Guidelines have been released by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology.
      • Further, a website of Indian Biological Data Centre (IBDC) was also launched.
      • These guidelines aim to connect other existing biological datasets/data centres with the IBDC. This network will be called Bio-Grid.
      • This Bio-Grid will be a National Repository for biological knowledge, information and data.
      • Also, Bio-Grid will be responsible for enabling its exchange, developing measures for safety, standards and quality for datasets and establishing detailed modalities for accessing data.
      • IBDC will implement these guidelines.
      • Currently, India ranks number 4 amongst the top 20 countries contributing biological databases.
  13. Rajya Sabha has passed the Coconut Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
      • The bill seeks to create the post of ”non-executive chairman” for the board.
      • The Bill seeks to amend a Section of the Coconut Development Board Act, 1979 providing for the appointment of a non-executive chairman, a chief executive officer and an ex-officio joint secretary to the Government of India, in-charge of the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, as member of the board.
      • It also provides for the appointment of six members instead of the existing four members.

StateNews

  1. ‘Krishikarna’ project – a joint initiative of the National Society for Agricultural Horticulture (SAHS), the Sustainability Foundation and Qore3 Innovations – has been launched in Kerala.
      • The project aims to promote high-tech agricultural practices in order to allow farmers to perform farm activities all the year without any negative impact of climatic change on agriculture.
      • Under the project:
        • SAHS will be promoting agricultural and gardening practices.
        • The Sustainability Foundation will work to promote sustainable development.
        • The Qore3 Innovations will provide support to the farms to a great extent.
        • A polyhouse (greenhouse) will be developed for supporting farming in controlled climatic conditions.
      • The cultivation of long beans, tomato, salad cucumber, capsicum, chillies and leafy vegetables will take place at the mini polyhouses.
      • The innovations in the project are made by Aneesh N Raj who is an agronomist of Qore3 and has also won Kerala’s Best Hi-Tech Farmer Award.
  2. Kerala has launched a financial package of over Rs 5,000 crores to revive the state economy.
      • The package will help the small-scale traders and farmers of the state.
  3. A ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’ was set up in Madhya Pradesh for distribution of aids and assistive devices to ‘Divyangjan’.
      • The Shivir (camp) was set up under the Assistance to Disabled persons for purchasing / fitting of aids / appliances (ADIP) scheme of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

Agriculture and Rural Development

  1. For the first time, King Chilli ‘Raja Mircha’ from Nagaland was exported to London.
      • The King Chilli is considered as world’s hottest based on the Scoville Heat Units (SHUs).
      • The chilli from Nagaland is also referred as Bhoot Jolokia and Ghost pepper. It got GI certification in 2008.
      • Nagaland King Chilli belongs to genus Capsicum of family Solanaceae.
      • Other exports from North-East – In 2021, APEDA has facilitated exports of Jackfruits from Tripura to London and Germany, Assam Lemon to London, Red rice of Assam to the United States and Leteku ‘Burmese Grape’ to Dubai.
Raja Mircha

Defence News

  1. Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence has extended Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), a central sector scheme, with an outlay of Rs. 498.80 crores for the next 5 years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
      • Purpose – to provide financial support to nearly 300 Startups/ MSMEs/ individual innovators and about 20 Partner incubators through Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO).
      • iDEX is funded and managed by the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), which was formed as a “not for profit‟ company for this purpose. DIO is a section 8 company under Companies Act, 2013.
      • iDEX was launched in 2018 for modernization of the defence industry.
A) Eligibility criteria for startups, individual innovators, and incubators:
⚬ The grant mechanism under the iDEX scheme is named as Support for Prototype and Research Kickstart (SPARK).
⚬ Startups should be recognized by DPIIT.
⚬ Any Indian company should be incorporated under the Companies Act,
⚬ An MSME should be defined and registered under the MSME Act, 2006.
⚬ Individual innovators are also encouraged to apply (research & academic institutions can use this category to apply).
B) Eligibility criteria for incubators who want to avail grant:
⚬ The applicant incubator should be registered in India as a legal entity in public, private or public–private partnership mode, and should have received establishment or grant support from a Ministry/Department of Government of India in the past.
⚬ The incubator must have been in operation for a minimum of 3 years before application for affiliation with DIO, and experience of having supported at least 25 startups.
⚬ It should have successfully incubated at least 5 startups in the past 3 years. br> ⚬ It should have at least 25 mentors for startups affiliated with it, at least 5 of them should be relevant to defence or aerospace domain.
⚬ Experience of having run sector-focused accelerator programs in at least two sectors, with investable startups having come out of each of them.
⚬ Experience of having partnered with academia and research sector.
⚬ Extensive corporate, investor, academic, vendor, mentor and government relationships to support start-ups.
C) Activities allowed for Defence Innovation Organisation:
⚬ Setting up and managing the iDEX network in the form of Partner Incubators.
⚬ Communicating with innovators/start-ups/technology centres of MSMEs through the Partner Incubators (PIs).
⚬ Organizing various challenges/hackathons to shortlist potential technologies and entities for defence and aerospace use.
⚬ Interfacing with the Services about key innovative technologies and encouraging their adoption into the defence establishment with suitable assistance.

International News

  1. Global Education Summit: Financing GPE 2021-2025 was co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in London,
      • In the summit, US $4 billion were raised from donors for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
      • GPE aims to raise $5 billion over the next five years to enable up to 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school by 2025.
      • UK has pledged the highest amount to GPE at US $600 million.
      • Last month, the G7 pledged $2.7 billion to GPE.
      • 19 Heads of State and Government committed to spending at least 20% of national budgets on education, as part of the political agenda propagated by Kenyan President. Over the next 5 years, these countries would accumulate US $196 billion in education financing.
      • Businesses, private foundations and development banks have mobilized more than $1 billion to partner countries, alongside investments from GPE.
      • The business community and private foundations collectively announced more than $100 million at the Summit.
  2. About GPE:
      • GPE is the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries.
      • It was launched in 2002.
      • GPE Board Chair – Julia Gillard (former Prime Minister of Australia)
      • GPE works with 76 lower-income countries.
      • GPE 2025 is the partnership’s strategic plan for 2021 to 2025. GPE 2025 is aligned and directly addresses SDG 4 (quality education).
Global Education Summit Hosted
  1. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ Conclave 2021 took place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan that discussed on regional security challenges as well as the situation in Afghanistan.
      • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has attended it.
  2. G20 Culture Ministers Meeting 2021 was hosted by Italy during their ongoing Presidency of G20 in 2021.
      • Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture participated in it.
  3. India is the President of UNSC for the month of August 2021.

Appointments

  1. Vice Admiral S.N. Ghormade has been appointed as the new Vice Chief of the Indian Navy.

Awards

  1. Asha Bhosle (singer) has won the Maharashtra Bhushan Puraskar 2021, which is given by Maharashtra government.

  2. Cyrus Poonawalla (founder-chairperson of the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has been awarded the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021 for his work during Covid-19 pandemic.
      • The award was first given in 1983. It is given on August 1st every year, which is the death anniversary of freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak, by the Lokmanya Tilak Trust.
      • The award comprises cash prize of ₹1 lakh as well as a memento for the recipient.

Sports

  1. Pakistan’s Shehroze Kashif (aged 19) has become the world’s youngest mountaineer to scale the K2, the second-highest peak in the world.
      • He belongs to Pakistan.
      • The K2 is part of the Karakoram mountain range, which spans the borders of China, India, and Pakistan.
      • K2 is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and in part in a China-administered territory of the Kashmir region.

Miscellaneous

  1. Former badminton player and Arjuna Award winner Nandu Natekar died.

Start Quiz of 01st August 2021

Q.1) Which organization has developed COVID BEEP - India’s first indigenous, cost effective, wireless physiological parameters monitoring system for COVID-19 patients?
Q.2) Which organization has launched ‘AI For All’ initiative for creating a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) for everyone in India?
Q.3) Which state has launched ‘Krishikarna’ project for agriculture advancement?
Q.4) ‘Raja Mircha’ belongs to which state?
Q.5) Recently, Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence has extended Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), a central sector scheme, with an outlay of Rs. 498.80 crores for the next 5 years from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The iDEX aims to provide financial support to nearly 300 Startups/ MSMEs/ individual innovators and about 20 Partner incubators through Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO). iDEX is funded and managed by the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), which was formed as a “not for profit‟ company for this purpose. Under which section of Companies Act, 2013 is the DIO registered?
Q.6) Which country co-hosted the Global Education Summit 2021 with UK?
Q.7) When will India and US launch the NISAR satellite mission?
Q.8) Which of the following statement is incorrect about the Biotech-PRIDE (Promotion of Research and Innovation through Data Exchange) initiative?
Q.9) Who has been appointed as the new Vice Chief of the Indian Navy?
Q.10) Who has won the Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021?
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About Anuj Jindal

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Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 4 years of experience in the field of Education.

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