Daily Current Affairs - 20-07-2021

A high strength titanium alloy has been developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This alloy has been developed for applications in aerospace structural forgings.

About the Titanium alloy

The titanium alloys are unique due to their ductility, higher strength, fracture toughness and fatigue which make them beneficial for various aircraft structural applications.

Also this alloy has relatively lower lifetime cost due to its superior corrosion resistance in comparison to steels, which makes it very beneficial for aircraft structural applications.

DRDO has said that this alloy can be used in various ways that include slat and flap tracks, landing gears and drop link in landing gear etc.

Over 15 steel components that can be replaced in the near future with this alloy have been identified by The Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).

 

Composition of the alloy

This high strength alloy, Ti-10V-2Fe-3Al, contains Iron, Vanadium, and Aluminium. Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) has developed this high strength Titanium alloy. The first component that was forged successfully by the ADA at HAL, with the DMRL’s involvement and duly certified for airworthiness was the landing gear drop link. This alloy’s excellent high strength-to-weight ratio forgeability has facilitated the manufacturing of the intricate components which are necessary in aerospace applications.

On 20th July, 2021, Russia announced that it had successfully test-fired S-500 its new air defence missile systems at a southern training range of the country and had successfully hit a high-speed ballistic target.

S-500 air defence missile systems

Russia announced that the S-500 is the most advanced anti-missile system in the world and is expected to have a range of 600km. This missile system is also capable of countering attacks from the space. This missile system was test fired in the Kapustin Yar training ground and live fire exercises were conducted. The missiles successfully hit a high-speed ballistic target. After tests are successfully completed the first S-500 systems which are also named the Triumfator-M and Prometheus will be placed at an air defence unit outside the city of Moscow.

 

Development of the S-500 air defence missile system

The development of this missile system is years behind schedule. The military had earlier announced that the army would begin receiving the first S-500 systems in the year 2020. Almaz-Anty, the maker of the systems announced in April that it was nearing completion.

 

Other tests carried out by Russia

Russia announced that it another successful test of its Zircon hypersonic cruise missile had been carried out. Zircon is a part of a new arsenal of weapons of Russia.

 

Turkey a NATO member has bought S-400 defence system from Russia despite receiving protests from the United States that doing so will threaten NATO’s defences.

On 20th July, Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India, sought the nod of the Indian Parliament so as to spend an additional Rs 23,675 crore in the current financial year including Rs 17,000 crore for the Health Ministry.

Highlights

 

About Ministry of Finance

Formed in the year 1946, the current finance minister of India is Nirmala Sitharaman and Bhagwat Karad and Pankaj Choudhary are the Minister of States of this department.

 

IOC, India’s largest oil firm will build the country’s first ‘green hydrogen’ plant at its refinery in Mathura. This decision has been undertaken with the view of preparing for a future to cater to the growing demands cleaner forms of energy.

Highlights

 

Types of Hydrogen Plants

 

Importance of clean energy in India

Forecasts state that Indian fuel demand will climb to 400-450 million tonnes by 2040 as against 250 million tonnes and hence, it will be important to invest in CNG, LNG, ethanol and biodiesel.

 

About IOC

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) is a government owned gas and Oil Corporation that was founded in the year 1959. It’s headquarter is located in Delhi and the current chairman is Shrikant Madhav Vaidya.

Under Project 75-India, the Government has issued a tender of Rs 50,000 crores to build six conventional diesel-electric submarines. These submarines will be bigger than the Scorpène-class submarines which are being built at the Mazagon Dockyards Limited, Mumbai

Highlights

 

About Project 75-India

Project 75-India is one of the largest Make in India project which is being undertaken by the government. It is being undertaken to protect the Indo-Pacific region and to Ensure Self Reliance.

The Asian Development Bank has downgraded India’s economic growth forecast for the current financial year to 10 % from 11% that it had previously projected in the month of April. This downgrade was done taking into account the adverse impact of the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights

 

Economic projection for China and South Asia

 

Projection for Developing Asia

In developing Asia, recovery is underway but the growth projection for this year has been revised down to 7.2% from 7.3% predicted in the Asian Development Outlook 2021 in the month of April. This downgrade was done due to the recent virus outbreaks in some economies of this region. The projection for developing Asia for the year 2022 has been upgraded to 5.4% from 5.3%.

 

The government on 19th July, 2021 had introduced a Bill in the Rajya Sabha that seeks to repeal the decades old Lighthouse Act of 1927 to make way for shifting to modern aids from lighthouses for marine navigation.

Highlights

 

Salient Features of the Bill

The salient features of the Bill include development of vessel traffic services for enhancing the efficiency and safety of shipping, marking of wrecks in general waters to indicate sunken or stranded vessels for safe navigation and to protect the environment. Also, this bill seeks for the development of heritage lighthouses across the nation.

Pedro Castillo has been announced as Peru’s new president-elect, six weeks after a polarising vote in which, Keliko Fujimori, Castillo’s right wing rival, had alleged electoral fraud.

Key Points

 

Castillo’s promises

 

About Pedro Castillo

The son of peasant farmers Castillo is the first person from outside the elite to become president despite the economic gains of the past 20 years. Castillo used to work as a primary school teacher in native village in the northern region of Peru and was best known for leading a national strike four years ago before running for the presidency.

 

After, The United States, European Union and 14 other electoral missions determined that the voting in the country was done in a fair manner; Fujimori said that she would accept Castillo’s victory, after previously having accused him of electoral fraud without having any evidence.

From 12 to 14 July, 2021 the BRICS meeting on Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues (CGETI) was held.

Key Points

 

Proposals made by India

The proposals put forward by India are

 

Outcome of the meeting

All the BRICS Members have agreed upon India’s proposals and seeks to finalise them before the BRICS Trade Ministers’ meeting, on 3rd September, 2021 and will be chaired by Piyush Goyal, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister.

The members also agreed to three more of India’s proposals which were put forward to strengthen economy and trade.

From 16th to 18th August, 2021 have virtual sellers and buyers meet and a BRICS trade fair.

On 22nd July, 2021 a MSME round-table will be held.

Two workshops on Services Trade Statistics to be held on 16th July, and 13th August, 2021.

On 19th July, 2021, the parliament of India was informed that over 1.32 lakh declarations generating Rs 99,765 crore of disputed tax have been filed under the ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme.

Key Points

 

About Vivad se Vishwas scheme

On 17th March, 2020, the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020 was enacted with the primary aim to settle all the various direct tax disputes which are currently locked up in numerous appellate forums across the country. This scheme provides for the settlement of disputed interest, disputed tax, disputed fees or disputed penalty on payment of 25% of the disputed penalty, fee or interest and 100% of the disputed tax or interest or fee.

As of 25th June, 2021, India has surpassed Japan, China, Russia and Switzerland to become the world’s fifth-largest foreign exchange reserve holder with $608.99 billion. This was mentioned in the Lok Sabha on 20th July, 2021 by Pankaj Choudhary, MoS Finance.

Key Points

 

Forex Reserves

The Forex reserves are assets which are held by the central bank of a country and it mainly comprise of bonds, foreign currencies, gold, bank deposits, financial assets and special drawing rights.

On July 19, 2021, Labour minister Bhupender Yadav has said that Urban India witnessed an unemployment rate of 20.8% in the quarter of April-June 2020. This period witnessed stringent nationwide lockdown to arrest the spread of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Points

 

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana

This scheme is being implemented by the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). For the companies having up to 1000 employees the government will pay both the employees’ contribution (12%) and the employers’ contribution (12%) i.e. 24% of the wages towards Employee Provident Fund. For the companies having more than 1000 employees, the government will pay only the employees’ share of EPF contribution which is 12% towards Employee Provident Fund. This will be done for a period of 2 years.

The Oxfam report which is named ‘Inequality Report 2021: India’s Unequal Healthcare Story’ was released on Tuesday. This report talks about how India’s focus on supporting private healthcare while low spending on public healthcare systems has led to inequalities in accessing healthcare, especially during the ongoing pandemic.

Key Highlights

 

About Oxfam

Oxfam was founded in the year in the year 1942 and it’s headquarter is located in Nairobi, Kenya. It is a confederate of several charitable organizations that works on global poverty.

On July 19, 2021, to turn the spotlight on the logistics sector, the Government of India announced the launch of a new category of awards named the National Logistics Excellence Awards. This newly launched awards will provide with due recognition to the various players involved in the logistics supply chain in the country.

Key Points

 

Other Announcements

The commerce ministry has recently announced that an initiative has been launched to acclimatize farmers who are involved in the cultivation of Basmati rice by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority’s (APEDA) arm the Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF). Under this initiative, BEDF and the Rice Exporters Association of Uttar Pradesh has collaborated to launch an awareness campaign through which farmers will be encouraged to grow high-quality Basmati rice at Jahangirpur which is located in the Gautam Buddha Nagar district of the state of Uttar Pradesh.