Daily Current Affairs - 28-08-2021

According to finance ministry, Under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), number of bank accounts have increased to 43 crores with total deposits of Rs 1.46 lakh crore.

Key Highlights

Number of PMJDY accounts

The number of total PMJDY accounts are 43.04 crores, as of August 18, 2021. Out of this, 23.87 crores (55.47 per cent) account holders are women. Rural and semi-urban areas comprise of 66.69 per cent or 28.70 crore account holders. Out of total 43.04 crore accounts, 36.86 crores (85.6 per cent) are operative while average deposit per account is Rs 3398. Increase in average deposit also signifies the increased usage of accounts and inculcation of saving habit among them. Total RuPay cards issued under the scheme to account holders also increased to 31.23 crore.

Accidental Insurance

Free accidental insurance cover on RuPay cards also increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for accounts opened after August 28, 2018.

Pillars of PMJDY

Main pillars of the PMJDY are-

  1. Banking the Unbanked,
  2. Securing the Unsecured and
  3. Funding the Unfunded

These pillars have made it possible to adopt multi-stakeholders’ collaborative approach in order to serve the unserved and underserved areas.

According to Chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi has surpassed the megacities like Shanghai, New York and London in having the greatest number of CCTV cameras installed per square mile.

Key Points

CCTV Project

The CCTV project was launched under the larger action plan of government to enhance women safety Delhi. This project was also the main aspects of the manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in 2020 assembly elections. In the first phase of this project, government installed about 275,000 cameras in city. Currently, second phase of the project is running under which government has aimed to install 140,000 cameras in city.

Significance of the CCTV

All the CCTV feeds are highly secure. Its hardware is monitored by the community. These feeds are accessible only to authorised users. CCTV system itself is capable of automatic health check-ups that in turn detect disturbances and intrusions.

Forbes India

It is the Indian edition of Forbes and is managed by Reliance Industries-owned media conglomerate called Network 18. It was founded in 2008. Its magazine is published fortnightly.

Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, chaired the 11th Meeting of BRICS on August 27, 2021.


Steps taken by India for SDG

Action Plan of 2021-24

BRICS countries also adopted Action Plan of 2021-24 for Agricultural Cooperation of BRICS Countries. The Action Plan provides for an enhanced cooperation in the area of agriculture amongst BRICS nations. It focuses on themes like food security, resilience of food & agricultural production systems, welfare of farmers, conservation of agrobiodiversity, promotion of digital agricultural solutions etc.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched the India’s first ‘Quantum Computer Simulator (QSim) Toolkit’.

Key Points

About the toolkit

Key features of the QSim

Most unique feature of QSim is its Intuitive User Interface. This interface offers a robust Quantum Computer Simulator along with a Graphical User Interface based Workbench in an integrated manner in order to create Quantum programs and visualize instant circuit generation simulated outputs.

Quantum Computing

Quantum Computing perform a variety of tasks in a faster manner and efficiently than present-day computers by utilizing the power of Quantum Mechanics. It is used in the fields of cryptography, machine learning, and computational chemistry.

According to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das, RBI is set to launch the trial program of its digital currency by December 2021.


Banks running this pilot project

According to BIS survey of central banks, conducted in 2021, 86% of the banks are currently examining the potential of CBDC. 60% of central banks are testing the technology while 14% are running the pilot project.

Why virtual currency is trending?

Countries are bringing virtual currency because, use of paper currency is decreasing. Digital currency or currency in electronic mode is more acceptable. As per RBI, in countries like Denmark, Germany, Japan and America, cash transactions are very high for purchases and transactions. Thus, central banks there are seeks to introduce electronic currency in order to improve method of issuing legal tender currency.

What is Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC)?

CBDC is a type of virtual currency, which is issued by the Central Bank. This currency is the digital version of paper currency note. This currency is being developed across many countries of the world and some countries are carrying trial.

Government of India has introduced a new registration mark under the Bharat Series (BH-Series) for new vehicles.

Key Points


Government as well as private sector employees undergo station relocation. Such movements create unease for the employees with respect to the transfer of registration from parent state to another state. This is so because, section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides that a person cannot keep the vehicle for more than 12 months in any state other than the state where vehicle is registered. Instead, a new registration can be made with the new state- registering authority within 12 months. Considering this difficulty, new BH-series were launched.

About BH-series

Navies of India and Germany conducted a joint exercise in Gulf of Aden on August 26, 2021.

Key Facts

Significance of the exercise

The exercise between both the navies in the Indian Ocean leg of Indo-Pacific Deployment 2021 enhanced the interoperability and facilitated exchange of best practices between them in the maritime domain.

India-Germany Defence ties

Navies of India and Germany conducted the first ever joint exercises in 2008 after both the nations signed an ‘anti-piracy co-operation agreement’ in 2006. Both the counties currently maintain an ongoing dialogue in the arena of commercial maritime security and cooperation in the area of anti-terrorism.

Military of Germany

Military of Germany has been principally structured to defend Eastern Europe and to support NATO operations in Western European theatre of operations. Germany does not have any sovereign territories in the Indo-Pacific region and is also incapable of power projection in the region, unlike UK or France.

India-Germany Relations

In Europe, Germany is India’s largest trading partner. India’s exports to Germany mainly focus on textile sector, chemical products, metal & leather goods, electrical engineering products and foodstuffs. Germany will also play a key role in India-EU free trade talks called the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA). Furthermore, India can act as a hot destination for companies of Germany to invest and contribute in Make in India program.

Indian states have reported new cases of sub-lineage AY.12 of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, in recent months. According to experts, this new sub-lineage could be a reason behind the recent surge in COVID cases in Israel.


What is AY.12 mutation?

Delta variant (B.1.617.2) has given rise to several sub-lineages and are dubbed as ‘Delta Plus’ variants. Delta plus variant bear most of its characteristic mutations but in different ways. Out of all, sub-lineages AY.12 has all the characteristic Delta mutations.  However, according to INSACOG, it is not yet clinically tested whether AY.12 is different from Delta or B.1.617.2. AY.12 has lost some of the mutations as it happens in Delta lineage.

First case of AY.12

In India, first case of AY.12 lineage was reported on September 7, 2020. Till August 26, 2021, 44,083 sequences of the same lineage have been reported worldwide. In India, out of total 78865 samples; 67699 samples have been sequenced and 50869 of them have been analysed.  Although, in India, only 0.002 of the samples available have been sequenced

AY.12 in Israel

AY.12 is a dominant strain in Israel, currently. Around 51 percent of the samples were tested with this variant.

About Delta Variant

Delta variant is also known as lineage B.1.617.2 and Indian variant. This was first detected in 2020 in India. The variant was named as its current form by World Health Organization (WHO) on May 31, 2021.

India and Maldives have signed pact with Maldives on one of the major connectivity initiatives called “Greater Male Connectivity Project”.

Key Points


This project was planned during the visit of external affairs minister of India to Male in September 2019.

Significance of the project

Agreement over the GMCP project proves that, India is a robust development partner of the Maldives and is also the First Responder in times of any emergency in the Maldives. It is not only the biggest project by India in the Maldives but also the biggest infrastructure project overall in the Island nation. It will provide a major boost to Maldivian economy as well as the connectivity between four islands that accounts for about half of the Maldivian population.

Largest connectivity project

So far, the largest connectivity project in Maldives is the Sinamale Bridge of 1.4 km, which was completed in 2018. It was built under Chinese assistance and connects Male with Hulhule and Hulhumale.

India’s investment in Maldives

Connectivity between India and Maldives is the key partnership aspect between both. To maintain the partnership, a direct cargo ferry service was started in September 2020 that connected Tuticorin, Kochi, Male and Kulhuffushi. India also started an Air Travel Bubble with the Maldives, in August 2020.

The Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Smriti Irani addressed the First ever G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment on August 26, 2021.

Key Points

About G20

G20 is an informal group comprising of 19 countries and the European Union besides the representatives from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Membership to G20 is a mix of world’s largest advanced and emerging economies. It represents about two-thirds of world’s population, 85% of world’s gross domestic product, 80% of world’s investment and 75% of world’s trade.


G20 was a ministerial level forum that emerged after G7 invited developed as well as developing countries during the 1997-1999 ASIAN Financial Crisis. Amid the Crisis, world realised the need for a new consensus building at highest political level. Consequently, it was decided that the G20 leaders would meet annually.

India’s Priorities at G20

India has always dealt with the topics like- Checking tax evasion to fight corruption, blocking terror funds, cutting cost of remittances, market access for key drugs, reforms in World Trade Organisation in order to improve its functioning and implementation of the Paris Agreement- at the g20 summits.

Indian Oil will build India’s first Green Hydrogen Plant at Mathura refinery.


Biofuel Manufacturing

Indian Oil- India’s largest fuel refiner and crude oil importer- in not only developing hydrogen fuel but also plans to expand biofuel manufacturing. In order to strengthen environmental stewardship, company is setting second (2G) and a third generation (3G) ethanol plant at Panipat Refinery. 2G plant will have the capacity of 100 Kilolitre per day and will use rice straw to produce ethanol.

Mathura Refinery

It is the 6th refinery owned by Indian Oil Corporation and is located in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. It processes low sulphur crude from Bombay High, high sulphur code from Middle east and imported low sulphur crude from Nigeria. Its construction started in October 1972. Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has laid down the foundation stone.