27th July, 2021 - Current Affairs

A study says that by shutting down some old coal-burning power plants and allowing newer ones to run for longer hours India can save $1.2 billion per year. The study was conducted by Council on Energy, Environment and Water. (CEEW)


  • The report says that India should quickly decommission inefficient coal- fired capacity of 30 gigawatts. The country should also set aside 20 gigawatts of plants as reserve.
  • Shutting down the old plants, which consume more coal, can help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, clean up the air of the country and reduce water and soil pollution.
  • Closing down the old plants will also improve the use capacity of the thermal fleet which is currently being underutilized.
  • Each passing year of delay of closing down the old plants in the country increases the burden of higher electricity bill as well as water, air and soil pollution.
  • Currently, India has 203-gigawatt of coal power. This accounts for 53% of the country’s installed capacity generation and around 70% of the electricity output of the country.

How was the study conducted?

194 gigawatts of coal power plants were examined by CEEW over a 30-month time period which ended in the month of February 2020. The new system which is being advocated by CEEW will avoid 42 million tons of coal being burnt every year which will turn out to be a key source of financial savings as well as have positive impact on the environment and pollution causing emissions.

On 26th July 26, 2021 Kandla SEZ (KASEZ) became the first green SEZ to achieve the IGBC Green Cities Platinum Rating for Existing Cities after it was awarded the IGBC Platinum Rating.


Key Points

  • The plaque was presented to the KASEZ team which consists of Chandan Singh, Appraiser and Satyadeep Mahapatra, Joint Development Commissioner in the presence of the senior officials from the Commerce Department and DGFT.
  • The efforts made by the KASEZ team were applauded since this was accomplished in the Bhuj region where afforestation and water conservation are said to be critical actions.
  • This was a major achievement for the KASEZ team and IGBC Green Cities Platinum Rating is part of activities that have been envisaged under the government’s commitment towards the Green SEZs Mission of celebrations marking [email protected] – Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav.
  • Government of India is continuously working towards ensuring developments which are environmentally sustainable which can be accomplished through various efforts and measures that encompasses many Ministries of the country.

Why is IGBC Platinum rating awarded?

CII’s Indian Green Building Council awards the IGBC Platinum rating for policy initiatives, green master planning and implementation of green infrastructures. This recognition will inspire all the other SEZs in the country to emulate the efforts and green initiative that has been achieved by Kandla SEZ.

The first-ever resolution on vision has been approved the United Nations general assembly. The UN called upon its 193 member countries so that they ensure access to eye care for each of their individual citizens. Following this resolution will contribute towards the global effort of helping about 1.1 billion people who are suffering from vision impairment and lack eye services by the year 2030.


  • The resolution named “Vision for Everyone” has been sponsored by Antigua, Bangladesh and Ireland, and co-sponsored by more than 100 countries.
  • Under this resolution UN has asked the member countries to institute a government approach towards eye care.
  • UN has also called upon donors and financial institutions to provide financing for developing countries so that they can address the impact of loss of vision on social and economic development.
  • The resolution states that global eye care needs are going to increase substantially as by the year 2050 half of the global population is expected to be suffering from vision impairment.
  • More than 90% of the 1.1 billion people globally who are suffering from loss of vision live in low or middle income group of countries.
  • 55% of all blind people are girls and women.
  • Better access to services related to eye care can increase the per capita household spending by around 88%.
  • Better access to eye care related service is essential to achieve the goals of UN for the year 2030 of ending hunger and poverty, ensuring quality education and healthy living and reducing inequality.

Who introduced the resolution?

UN Ambassador of Bangladesh, Rabab Fatima, introduced this resolution, calling this resolution to be long-overdue of the recognition of the pivotal role that healthy vision plays in human life and helps in sustainable development.

From 1st to 13th August India and Russia will hold the 12th edition of joint military exercise in Russia’s Volgograd.

Key Points

  • The exercise is named INDRA 2021. It will further strengthen and develop the bilateral security cooperation of the two countries.
  • This exercise will reinforce the longstanding bond of friendship, understanding and cooperation between India and Russia.
  • It will necessitate the conduct of counter-terror operations under the mandate of United Nations by a joint operative force against international terrorist organizations.
  • 250 personnel from both the nations will take part in this exercise.
  • This exercise will further enhance the interoperability and mutual confidence between the Indian and Russian Armies
  • Through this exercise the armies of both the countries will be able to share the best practices between themselves.

Indian Army contingent

The Indian Army contingent will comprise of a Mechanised Infantry Battalion that underwent rigorous trainings at various locations across India to refine their skills to take part in this India-Russia joint exercise.

About Volgograd

Volgograd is a Russian city which is situated on the western bank of the river Volga.

Researchers who are working at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata in association with IIT Kharagpur have developed self-repairing piezoelectric molecular crystals. These crystals are called bipyrazole organic crystals.

Usage of Bipyrazole Organic Crystals

When it undergoes a mechanical impact piezoelectric crystals generate electricity. Daily usage devices break down often due to mechanical damage, forcing the users to either replace or repair. Thus, equipment life decreases and the maintenance costs go up. In a lot of cases, human intervention for replacement and restoration is not possible. So, keeping these factors in mind, the scientists have developed piezoelectric molecules which are also called bipyrazole organic crystals to recombine the mechanical fracture without the need of any external intervention, self-healing in milliseconds. This material will find application in various high-end micro- chips, actuators, high precision mechanical sensors, micro-robotics, etc. Further research may eventually lead to the development of self-repairing smart gadgets.

How does it work?

Due to the property of generating electrical charges on receiving any mechanical impact, the broken pieces generate electrical charges at the junction of the crack which leads to attraction between the damaged parts which the causes a precise autonomous repair.


This research has been supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), under the government’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Through DSTs Swarnajayanti Fellowship and Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) grants this project has been supported. The reports of this project have been published in the journal named “Science.”

On 26th July, 2021 the National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2021 was passed in the Lok Sabha.


  • This bill was moved by Pashupati Kumar Paras who is the Food Processing and Industries Minister.
  • This bill lays down various provisions for institutes of food technology, management and entrepreneurship.
  • This bill got introduced and passed in a time of just 8 minutes making it a record.
  • This bill also seeks to declare the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology which is located at Thanjavur and the National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management which is located at Kundli as institutions of national importance
  • This bill also seeks to provide for research and instructions in these fields.
  • This bill had already been passed in the Rajya Sabha in the month of March.

Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha is the lower house of India’s Parliament with Rajya Sabha being the upper house. The members of the Lok Sabha are elected by the people of the country to represent their respective constituencies. The members hold their seat for a five year period or until the President on the advice of the council of ministers dissolves the body. 552 (Initially it was 500 in the year 1950) is the maximum membership of the House which has been allotted by the Constitution of India. Currently, the house has 543 seats which are filled by 543 elected members. Om Birla is the current speaker of the Lok Sabha.

On 26th July, 2021 the Lok Sabha passed the Factoring Amendment Bill to amend the Factoring Regulation Act 2011. This bill will broaden the scope of the entities which can participate in the factoring business and also will ensure that strong oversight and regulatory mechanisms are put in place. Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India, stated that the changes are being made to help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector.


  • In September 2020, this was introduced in the Lok Sabha. This bill will help the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sectors of the country to settle their issue regrinding delayed payments.
  • The bill is will also enhance traction on the TReDS platform which was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India in the year 2014 for the entrepreneurs so that they can unlock working capital which is tied to their unpaid invoices.
  • As per, governments delayed payments monitoring portal MSME Samadhaan, more than 83000 delayed payment applications have been filed by MSMEs which involve an amount of Rs 22,311 crore. Out of these applications 7920 applications involving Rs 1,433 crore were disposed.
  • In comparison to the large companies, MSMEs keep borrowing at a much higher cost and hence, this Factoring bill will help them to monetise their receivables which in turn will help them in managing their working capital and reducing their working capital cost.
  • In India, factoring credit contributes to only 2.6 % of the total MSME credit whereas in China it is 11.2 %.

Other aspects of the bill

The number of factoring entities will be increased from seven to a few thousand. This flow of credit will also be increased exponentially while cost of credit for MSMEs will be brought down. In 2019, under the Chairmanship of U.K. Sinha, RBI had constituted an expert committee on MSMEs to help resolve delayed payment issue of MSME’s. The amendments made to the bill were based on the recommendations by the U.K Sinha committee.


TReDS is an electronic platform introduced by RBI for facilitating the financing and discounting of the trade receivables of MSMEs via various financiers.

So far TReDS has processed nearly 43,000 crores worth of invoices that have helped more than 25,000 MSMEs with better access to funds and liquidity.

In the maritime Exercise Cutlass Express 2021, INS Talwar is participating. This naval exercise is being conducted from 26th July 2021 to 6th August 2021 along the Eastern Coast of Africa.


  • This maritime exercise is held annually and it is conducted to promote regional and national maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and East Africa.
  • In exercise Cutlass Express 2021, INS Talwar is participating and this exercise is being conducted along the Eastern Coast of Africa. This exercise is being conducted to improve enforcement capacity, combined maritime law and to promote regional and national security.

Participants of the Cutlass Express 2021

The 2021 edition involves the participation of 12 East African countries, India, UK, US and various other international organisations such as United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), Interpol, EUCAP Somalia and Critical Maritime Routes Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO). The Indian Navy is participating in a trainer role.

Part of Indian Navy in Cutlass Express 2021

Indian Navy, along with the other partners, is undertaking the training of the contingents from the various countries participating in various fields of maritime security operations. Information flow and sharing between the various partner countries regarding maritime domain awareness is also an aim of this exercise and the participation of India’s Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR).


INS Talwar is visiting Mombasa in the country of Kenya, where there will be various interactions with the Kenya Navy. During its stay at Mombasa, the ship, will host a number of events to further improve relations with Kenya, the Indian community and host of other partners along with the participants of Cutlass Express. The visit of INS Talwar is in line with India’s policy towards vision SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.

IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath said lack of access to vaccines and renewed waves of Covid-19 cases in some countries, notably India, have led to downgrades.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday slashed India’s economic growth forecast to 9.5% from earlier 12.5% for the 2021-22 . IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath said the revision in growth forecast reflects an important “extent differences” in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) developments as the highly contagious Delta variant is becoming dominant across the world.

“Faster-than-expected vaccination rates and return to normalcy have led to upgrades, while lack of access to vaccines and renewed waves of Covid-19 cases in some countries, notably India, have led to downgrades,” Gopinath, economic counsellor and director of the research department at the IMF, said in a blog post.

On the other hand, the IMF has upgraded the projection for the fiscal year 2022-23 to 8.5% from the earlier 6.9%.

The Economic Survey tabled in January ahead of this year's budget session projected India to grow by 11% during the 2020-21 fiscal year. However, these projections of high growth are on a lower base since India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank by 7.3% in 2020-21.

IMF's World Economic Outlook Update for July 2021 stated that India's growth prospects have been downgraded following the second Covid wave and "expected slow recovery in confidence from that setback." The report noted that "similar dynamics" of economic growth at work in five Southeast Asian countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam - where recent Covid waves are causing a "drag on activity."

As the global economic recovery continues with the opening of economies, Gopinath highlighted the "widening gap" between advanced economies and developing economies. She said the latest global growth forecast of 6% for 2021 remains unchanged, but "the composition has changed".

A relatively better Covid-19 response on the back of expansive vaccination drives helped advanced economies to improve their growth prospects by 0.5 percentage points. But the improvement has been offset exactly by a downward revision for emerging markets and developing economies driven by a significant downgrade for emerging Asia, as per the IMF.

“For 2022, we project global growth of 4.9 percent, up from our previous forecast of 4.4 percent. But again, underlying this is a sizeable upgrade for advanced economies, and a more modest one for emerging market and developing economies,” Gopinath added.

•The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), observed its 83rd Raising Day on 27 July 2021. CRPF is India’s largest Central Armed Police Force, under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Its headquarter is located in New Delhi. It came into existence as the Crown Representative’s Police on 27 July 1939. After Indian Independence, it became the Central Reserve Police Force on the enactment of the CRPF Act on 28 December 1949.

•The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem (or World Mangrove Day) is celebrated annually on 26 July. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as “a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem” and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses.

•The day was adopted by the General Conference of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2015. It was on this day in 1998, that a Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto, died of a heart attack during a massive protest to re-establish the mangrove wetlands in Muisne, Ecuador.

•Union Home Minister, Amit Shah along with chief minister Conrad K. Sangma inaugurated the much-awaited Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme at Sohra in East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya. The Greater Sohra Water Supply Scheme was conceptualised by the Meghalaya government and an amount of Rs. 24.08 cr was sanctioned by the DoNER ministry in 2019 under North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS). He also planted tree saplings in Sohra as part of the Sohra Afforestation Project of the Assam Rifles.

•This is a first of its kind initiative of the Government of Meghalaya to bring together the Ministry of Home Affairs, Defence officials, and village communities for a novel and humanitarian purpose in the field of Natural Resource Management in a very important and ecologically fragile landscape.

•Uzbekistan has hosted a high-level International Conference titled “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities” at Tashkent. The conference was an initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. It was attended by President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, Ministers from Central Asian, West Asian and South Asian countries, including Minister of External Affairs of India Dr. S. Jaishankar. Delegates from over 40 countries and about 30 international organizations, and heads of think tanks participated in the conference.

•The historic Paseo del Prado boulevard and Retiro Park of Madrid, in Spain, has been granted the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The wide tree-lined Paseo del Prado, in the centre of the Spanish capital, is home to prominent buildings such as the Prado Museum. The iconic Retiro Park, just adjoining with Paseo del Prado, is a 125-hectare green space, and one of the most visited attractions in Madrid’s history.

•The Philippines has become the first country in the world to get approval for the commercial production of genetically modified “golden rice”, a variety of rice enriched with nutrients to help reduce childhood malnutrition. The Golden rice has been developed by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), after spending nearly two decades.

•Singapore’s Sunseap Group, plans to spend 2 billion dollars to build the world’s largest floating solar farm and energy storage system in neighbouring Indonesian city Batam, which will double its renewable power generation capacity. The floating photovoltaic system is expected to have a capacity of 2.2 gigawatts (peak).

•It will cover 1600 hectares (4000 acres) of the Duriangkang Reservoir on Batam Island. An agreement between Sundeap and the Batam Indonesia free zone authority (BP Batam) to move forward with the project was signed.

•A Harappan-era metropolis, Dholavira in Gujarat has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Now Gujarat has three world heritage sites, Champaner near Pavagadh, Rani ki Vav in Patan and the historic city of Ahmedabad. Dholavira is now the 40th treasure in India to be given.

•The ongoing 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO has already given India a new world heritage site in the form of the Rudreswara/ Ramappa Temple in Telangana, which dates back to the 13th century. This session of the World Heritage Committee is being chaired from Fuzhou in China.

•The US space agency NASA has selected California-based SpaceX to provide launch services for Earth’s first mission to conduct detailed investigations of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The mission called ‘Europa Clipper mission is scheduled to be launched in October 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

•The Care Ratings agency has estimated the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of India to be in the range of  8.8 to 9 per cent in the current financial year, that is 2021-22 (FY22). The country’s economy had contracted by 7.3 per cent in fiscal 2020-21.

•The report also said the fiscal deficit for FY22 is projected between Rs 17.38 lakh crore to Rs 17.68 lakh crore. The main drivers of the economy would be the agriculture and industry sectors.

•Japan’s Yuto Horigome has won the first-ever skateboarding competition at the Olympic Games, taking gold in men’s street event at the Ariake Urban Sport in Tokyo. Yuto overcame a shaky start to pocket the gold with 37.18 points. Kelvin Hoefler of Brazil won silver in the men’s street skating competition, while Jagger Eaton of the United States clinched the bronze.

•Skateboarding’s inclusion into the Olympics marks a turning point for the sport, which has its roots in youth street culture and has influenced everything from art to fashion.

Indian Wrestler Priya Malik has won a Gold Medal at the 2021 World Cadet Wrestling Championship in Budapest, Hungary. She defeated Kseniya Patapovich 5-0 in the summit clash of women’s 73kg weight category to win the yellow medal. The Indian team bagged as many as 13 medals, including 5 Golds at the Championship, to make the country proud.