Daily Current Affairs - 08-07-2021

First shipment of Geographical Indication (GI) certified Bhalia variety of wheat was exported to Kenya and Sri Lanka from Gujarat, giving a boost to wheat exports.

About Bhalia Variety of Wheat

Wheat Export

In 2020-21, wheat exports from India witnessed a significant growth of 808 %. Export of wheat increased from Rs 444 crore to Rs 4034 crore in fiscal year 2020-2021. Wheat exports increased by 778% to $ 549 million in 2020-21 in US dollar terms. India exported wheat to seven new countries like Yemen, Indonesia, Philippines, Bhutan, Iran, Cambodia and Myanmar during 2020-21.

Geographical Indication (GI) Tag

GI is an insignia on products with unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries because of its special quality or reputed attributes. GI tag marks authenticity. It also ensures that registered authorized users or those residing inside geographic territory are allowed to use popular product names. Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 governs the GI Tag. It is issued by Geo graphical Indications Registry, Chennai.

Benefits of GI Tag

GI tag provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications and prevents unauthorized use of registered GIs. It promotes economic prosperity of producers and help to get recognition of products in other countries.

NewsOnAir Radio Live-stream Global Rankings was released recently ranking countries where All India Radio (AIR) live-streams on NewsOnAir app are most popular.

Key findings

All India Radio (AIR)

AIR officially known as Akashvani since 1957. It is the national public radio broadcaster of India. It is a division of Prasar Bharati. AIR was established in 1936. It is a sister service of Prasar Bharati’s Doordarshan. It is headquartered in Akashvani Bhavan building in New Delhi. It also houses Drama Section, FM Section, National Service. It is also home to Indian television station Doordarshan Kendra, (Delhi). AIR is the largest radio network across the world and is one of the largest broadcasting organisations worldwide in terms of number of languages broadcast. About 240 Radio Services of All India Radio are live-streamed on Prasar Bharati’s official App, ‘NewsOnAir App’. These All-India Radio Streams on NewsOnAir App have huge number of listeners not just in India, but in more than 85 countries and 8000 cities worldwide.

Virtual meeting between Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar and Member of European Commission-Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, was held on 7th July, 2021.

Key Points

India’s support to UN Food System Summit

Agriculture Minister of India also acknowledged India’s support to UN Food Systems Summit and informed EU delegation he will lead Indian delegation to Pre-Summit being organized from July 26th to 28th, 2021.

Maximum Residual Limit (MRL)

Indian side also raised the issue of fixing Maximum Residual Limit (MRL) of Tricyclazole used in rice crop. This has been a concern for India for a long time because it I affecting India’s Basmati Rice Exports to EU. All required studies and documents have been submitted to EU in May-2021 following which MRL will be fixed by second quarter of 2022.

China’s anti-monopoly regulator has fined companies & Internet giants Alibaba & Tencent in new move to tighten control over their fast-developing industries.


Why they were fined?

China’s leaders were worrying about dominance of biggest Internet companies. These companies are expanding into finance, health services and other sensitive areas. So, to discourage their monopoly fines were imposed.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited

This Chinese multinational technology company, also known as Alibaba Group and Alibaba.com, specializes in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology. It was founded on June 28, 1999 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang. It provided consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B) sales services through web portals. It also provides electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud computing services. Company owns and operates a diverse portfolio of companies across the world. it is one among world’s largest retailers and e-commerce companies. It was also rated as fifth-largest artificial intelligence company in 2020.

Tencent Holdings Ltd

This Chinese multinational company was founded in 1998. Its subsidiaries provide services in entertainment, artificial intelligence, and other technology. Its twin-skyscraper headquarters, Tencent Seafront Towers are based in Nanshan District of Shenzhen.

World’s tallest sandcastle was built in Denmark. It has established new Guinness World Record of 21.16 metres. Denmark’s new sandcastle is 3.5 meter taller than earlier record of 17.66-meter set by Germany in 2019.

About Denmark’s Sandcastle

Sandcastle is built in the shape of a triangle in order to avoid collapse like many others have. A wooden structure has been built around the sandcastle to allow artist to carve incredible figures in sand. It is a highly decorated monument in small seaside village of Blokhus. It was made up of 4860 tonnes of sand and is reminiscent of a pyramid.

Blokhus Village

This village is located in Jammerbugt Municipality of North Jutland in Denmark. This village is a popular beach town accounting for around 1 million visitors every year. It was originally named Hune Hvarre. In 1600s there were barely any trees this village. So, timber was imported from Norway. In order to store timber, locals constructed some houses out it. These houses are called as ‘block houses’ after which village has been given Danish name Blokhus.

About Denmark

Denmark is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It is the southernmost Scandinavian countries comprising of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands. Largest archipelago are Zealand, Funen and North Jutlandic Island. Islands are characterised by flat, low elevation, arable land, sandy coasts, and temperate climate. It is bordered by Germany. It is a founding member of NATO, Nordic Council, OECD, OSCE, and United Nations.

Is Denmark a developed country?

Yes, Denmark is a developed country. Danes are having a high standard of living. The country ranks among several metrics of national performance such as education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and LGBT equality.

According to a study by non-government organisation (NGO), Greenpeace, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has been increased by 125 per cent in Delhi during the period of last one year.

Key findings of report

What is NO2?

NO2 is an intermediate in industrial synthesis of nitric acid. It is a reddish-brown gas at higher temperature.  It can be fatal if inhaled in large quantity because it is a dangerous air pollutant. It is released when fuel is burned either in motor vehicles, power generation or industrial processes. NO2 is classified as an extremely hazardous substance in United States under Section 302 of U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. It is subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities producing, storing, or using it in significant quantities.

Impact of NO2

Exposure to NO2 severely impact health of people at all ages. It affects respiratory and circulatory systems and brain.  Interaction of NO2 & other NOx with water, oxygen & other chemicals present in atmosphere can cause acid rain which harms sensitive ecosystems. Increased level of NO2 can also harm vegetation, decreasing growth, and reduce crop yields.

Indian Naval Ship (INS) Tabar recently participated in military exercises with frontline frigate of Italian Navy.

Key Points

INS Tabar

It is the third of Talwar-class frigate in Indian Navy. It was commissioned on April 19, 2004 in Kaliningrad, Russia. It is a vessel in Talwar class and is armed with supersonic BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles. It is also equipped with Barak 1 missiles. Captain Manav Sehgal is the current Commanding Officer (CO) of Tabar.  Vessel is assigned to Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command which is headquartered in Mumbai. It is a well-equipped warship which can easily handle air, surface, and sub-surface missions. It can also defend herself operating either independently on maritime missions or by supporting larger naval task force. Its surface-to-air weapons systems include one single-rail MS-196 launcher. Launcher has the capability to launch long range Shtil-1 surface-to-air missile. It also carry eight Igla-1E portable air defence missiles for short-range threats.

West Bengal government presented budget for Financial Year 2022. It was tabled by chief minister Mamata Banerjee in state assembly on July 7, 2021.

Key Points

Revenue receipts & expenditure

Revenue receipts was estimated at Rs 1,86,661 crore while revenue expenditure was budgeted at Rs 2,13,436 crore. Fiscal deficit for FY22 is expected to be 4% of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) while revenue deficit at 1.77%.

What are Receipts?

Money received by government is called as receipt. It includes- money earned by the government, money received by government in the form of borrowings or repayment of loans by states.

What is expenditure?

Expenditure is divided under two heads- plan expenditure & non-plan expenditure. Plan expenditure are done in the name of planning. For example, expenditure on electricity generation, irrigation, rural developments, construction projects etc. Non-plan Expenditure are expenditures other than plan expenditure such as pensions, interest payments, statutory transfers to States & Union Territories etc.

Payments solution provider Razorpay has partnered with Mastercard to launch ‘MandateHQ’.

Key Points


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a framework to process e-mandates on recurring online transactions. It made Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) mandatory for all recurring transactions below ₹5,000 made using debit cards, credit cards, Unified Payment Interface (UPI), and other Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs).  As per RBI notification, all stakeholders are required to ensure full compliance with this framework by September 30, 2021.

Who are required to follow RBI’s directive?

RBI’s directive is applicable to all recurring payments which were debited automatically from customers’ credit card, debit card or prepaid card for mobile bills, utility bills and other recurring bills. It will also be applicable to subscription payments like OTT streaming services.

About Razorpay’s MandateHQ

MandateHQ is an API-based plug-n-play solution. It was launched to reduce go-live time for any card issuing bank that seeks to enable recurring payments for its customers. It is a unified platform to help banks with end-to-end mandate lifecycle management such as creating, viewing, updating, cancelling & pausing mandates. It will also help businesses, particularly subscription-based businesses, to get access to a wider customer base who use debit cards. MandateHQ solution can be fully integrated with any bank within seven days in contrast with other solutions which take a few weeks under normal conditions.  It will also help banks to enable a 24-hour pre debit notification through email, SMS, and WhatsApp.

Data shared by Delhi Police shows that, Crime against women in Capital has increased by 63.3% in first six months of 2021 against the crime rate in 2020.

Key Findings

Data on Heinous crimes

Heinous crime figure has decreased marginally from 2,436 to 2,315 till June 12, 2021. In first six months of 2021, Delhi recorded seven cases of dacoity, 196 murder, 942 robbery, 295 attempt to murder, 942 robbery, 35 riot cases, and seven kidnapping for ransom. In 2020, Delhi witnessed four cases of dacoity, 226 murder, 701 robbery, 236 attempt to murder, 681 riot cases and eight kidnapping for ransom. Report highlight, number of riot cases has come down significantly over the year.

Data on non-heinous crimes

Number of non-heinous crimes has surged by 8.5%. 1,20,980 cases of non-heinous crime have been reported in 2021 as against 1,11,419 in 2020. Total of 493 cases of hurt were reported, 1173 cases of burglary, 15667 cases of motor vehicle theft and 938 cases of house theft were reported in 2021 as  compared to 421 hurt cases, 839 cases of burglary, 13130 cases of vehicle theft  and 875 cases of house theft in 2020.

Two species of spiders have been found in Jharbari range of western Assam’s Chirang Reserve Forest. Both the species have been sharing same space.

Key Points

About Spider species

Inclusion of snake

A non-venomous snake was also added to India’s herpetofauna by the team of researchers from Mizoram University. It is about 50 cm long, dark brown & yellow in colour. They are found in dried-up area of Tuinghaleng riverbed in Aizawl. It is the third species of Stoliczkia genus from India. Snake was named as Stoliczkia vanhnuailianai, in honour of Vanhnuailiana who was a Mizo warrior. Common name of snake is Lushai Hills dragon snake.

Kerala government has proposed to have its own over-the-top (OTT) platform. Government has planned to launch it by November 1.


Launch of OTT platform is a sudden attack and a cultural intervention into online content streaming space. It is not something prompted by market or revenues.

Why Kerala will launch new OTT platform?

Major OTT players like Netflix and Amazon have been showing more interest in Malayalam cinema. But they are mostly limited to films from which they can get revenue. In last one year, less than 15 Malayalam films, featuring big stars, have been taken up these platforms. Furthermore, smaller & home-grown OTT platforms such as Neestream and Mainstream TV do not have much of finance to match bigger players. Thus, the state government proposed this OTT platform which will ensure space and make some sort of revenue share for lower budget & independent films that are struggling to find space among public.


Homegrown platform will ensure that data and content be with government rather than with third party by using existing platform.

Over-the-top (OTT) media service

OTT media service is offered directly to viewers through Internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms. It is also been used to describe no-carrier cell phones, where communications are charged as data. OTT term is synonymous with subscription-based video-on-demand (SVoD) services. SVoD offers access to film and television content. Such services are accessed through websites on personal computers, mobile app, digital media players or televisions that are integrated with Smart TV platforms.

China has banned construction of tallest skyscrapers following the safety concerns over quality of some projects. China had constructed maximum number of tallest buildings in 2019 but now it has banned to ensure safety.



Top economic planner highlighted the quality problems and safety hazards in some developments because of loose oversight. In May, a 72-storey tower in Shenzhen was closed following reports of unexplained wobbling. This report is feeding concern regarding stability of one of the tallest buildings of technology hub.

Tallest Building of China

China has largest number of tall buildings in the world. It has surpassed the combined number of second and third largest viz., United States (800+) and Japan (250+). China has more than 1400 skyscrapers, as of 2017, with height of 150 meters. Out of them, 48 are supertall with 300 meters height. Tallest tower in China is ‘Shanghai Tower’, located in namesake city. It has the height of 632 meters. Shanghai Tower is the second-tallest building worldwide. 32 of the 64 buildings that have been completed and architecturally topped out with minimum height of 350 meters across the world are in China.

Central government has decided to bring Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) under finance ministry.

Key Points

  1. Department of Economic Affairs,
  2. Department of Expenditure,
  3. Department of Revenue,
  4. Department of Investment & Public Asset Management and
  5. Department of Financial Services.


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced about this change in her budget speech 2021-2022.

Why DPE brought under Finance Ministry?

This move aims to ease disinvestment process. Finance ministry already has a department dealing with Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE). So, inclusion of DPE would result into better coordination on issues like disinvestment. Other identified areas include coordination on general policy matters impacting CPSEs, evaluating their performance, and review of capital projects.

What was the need?

The move was need of the hour as government needs to speed up divestments in public sector units in order to raise funds.

What were the concerns earlier?

Earlier, issues like disinvestment used to face delay because finance ministry and DIPAM had to coordinate with DPE.

Sahkarita Mantralaya

Ministry of Cooperation or Sahkarita Mantralaya was also be carved out from Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare.  It existed under agriculture ministry.

About Department of Public Enterprises

In 1965, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was constituted, following the recommendation of 52nd Report of Estimates Committee of 3rd Lok Sabha (1962-67), under Ministry of Finance. In 1985, BPE was made part of Ministry of Industry. In 1990, BPE was made a full-fledged Department called a Department of Public Enterprises (DPE). DPE is the nodal department for all Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and formulates policy related to CPSEs.