11 cities across the country have been awarded by Government of India with the prestigious title of being Top 11 Cycling Pioneers of India.
The first report titled The Dawn of India’s Cycling Revolution has been launched in this event. This report celebrates the efforts of the cities’ in the Challenge and gives an indication of future plans. This report has documented the key milestones which have been achieved by the cities and their upcoming plans.
MoHUA has launched an Online Exhibition which showcases the journey of the top 25 cities in this competition. The cities have launched various initiatives and have also transformed their streets to become cycling-friendly through their enthusiastic efforts, exemplary leadership and effective collaboration with the citizens of the respective cities.
World’s first affordable as well as effective new drug for hepatitis C has been registered by Malaysia. This new drug offers hope for accessible treatment to the millions of people around the world who are suffering from this disease.
Clinical trials were conducted in Thailand and Malaysia. 300 people joined the clinical trial. One patent who was suffering from this disease, three months after he began the treatment, showed no trace of the virus. The ravidasvir plus sofosbuvir trial reports were published in the journal Lancet in the month of April. The reports showed that the drug combination is highly effective and cures patients in 97% of the cases.
Cheaper treatment of this disease is going to help the sufferers and the countries are also being encouraged to conduct more testing for hepatitis. The WHO plans to eliminate this disease by reducing new infections by 90% and deaths by 65 % by the year 2030.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in collaboration with the Border Security Force (BSF) in a first of its kind project has launched Project Bold with the primary aim of developing green cover in the Indian deserts of Rajasthan.
KVIC has planned to develop the green patch in Tanot which will be bamboo based as a tourist attraction. Maintenance of the plants will be done by BSF. On 4th July Project Bold was launched from Nichla Mandwa, a tribal village in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan. 5000 saplings of special bamboo species were planted in this village. Bamboo plantation will provide a green cover and will help in reducing the desertification of this area in Tanot. The bamboo plants will multiply in the coming years and at the current market rate of Rs 5000 per ton, this produce will generate nearly 5 lakh rupees of income which will help in supporting the local economy.
Bamboo can be used for making various things such as furniture, agarbatti sticks, musical instruments, and handicraft and paper pulp. Bamboo waste is also widely used in the making of fuel briquette and charcoal. Bamboos are also known for helping in conservation of water and it will be useful in drought-prone regions.
The Government of India has announced plans to set up a National Farmers Database. This database will consist of the country’s digitized land records and will aid in online single sign-on facilities for universal access and will also provide services to the farmers like weather advisories, direct benefit transfer, information on neighbouring logistic facilities and insurance facilities etc.
The primary aim of this database is to increase the income level of farmers of the nation by developing data based solutions from the available data so that the input costs of the farmers are reduced. It will also ensure ease of farming, improved quality and will also look into getting the farmers better price for their produce. Data of the farmers who own legal farming lands in the country will be fed into this database. Once the database is ready, the Government of India will be able to make use of the available data for targeted service delivery with a higher efficiency rate and in a time bound and focused manner.
On July 27th the International Monetary Fund has cut India’s GDP growth forecast to 9.5% for the fiscal year 2021-22. Previously, IMF has forecasted 12.5% GDP growth.
In the latest World Economic Outlook report published by IMF, the global economy growth has been projected at 6% in the year 2021 and 4.9% for the year 2022. Gita Gopinath, IMF’s Chief Economist, has said that economic recovery globally is going on, but the gap is widening gap among the developing, emerging and advanced economies. IMF has estimated that this COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the per capita incomes in all the advanced economies of the world by 2.8%, with 6.3% of per capita loss annually for the developing and the emerging markets.
Geological Survey of India (GSI), under the government’s energy security plans, has imitated seven lithium exploration projects in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir.
Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) is a joint venture firm of Hindustan Copper Ltd, National Aluminium Company Ltd and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd. It is scouting for lithium and cobalt mines overseas with the target of acquiring them. JV KABIL has inked non-binding MoUs with YPF, JEMSE and CAMYEN which are owned by Argentina.
India needs to secure lithium supplies and doing so will boost the Indian energy sectors towards green economy of the country. Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has already announced its plans of setting an Advanced Energy Storage Giga Factory. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Adani Group, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, Tata Chemicals, Greeenko Group, Renew Power etc are interested in building lithium-ion cell manufacturing plants in the country.
On its 15th Foundation Day the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) launched Earth System Science Data Portal (ESSDP)
Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of the Ministry of Earth Sciences launched the MoES-ESSDP (Earth System Science Data Portal). It is an integrated digital web portal of the MoES institutes. This web portal will make the data regarding the various themes of earth system science available for public usage. This is available at https://incois.gov.in/essdp and it has been developed by using the latest technological tools. This portal has been aligned with the initiative, Digital India, of the Government of India which aims to transform India into a digitally empowered economy and society. This portal will facilitate in the retrieval and search of science data on earth system such as ocean, atmosphere, geosciences, poles, and seismology for benefit of the society.
A new MoES website was also launched. This new website will provide a user-friendly interface as well as cyber security experience to the public. A book entitled Hydrocarbon fluid inclusions in petroliferous basins was also released by the minister. This book discusses about new tools for exploration of oil and is authored by Dr Jayanthi JL, Project Scientist at NCESS and Dr V Nandakumar, Former Director of National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) which is located in Thiruvananthapuram.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has introduced a new mobile app which is named ‘Pune Weather Live.’ This app will provide location-specific and real-time weather updates for the city of Pune. This app functions by capturing live data from more than 80 weather stations which also includes information on rainfall.
Three enterprises based in India are among the winners of ‘Best Small Businesses’ global competition as announced by the United Nations. These businesses are providing diverse, inspiring and impactful solutions in improving access to sustainable and healthy food.
This enterprise was founded by Kapil Mandawewala. Edible Routes provides its consumers with easy access to fresh farm produce which are locally and naturally grown. The business model of this enterprise is to allot farms to city dwellers, and has the capacity of catering to 220 families. The enterprise’s workshops and educational courses also teach people to become the stewards of their community supported agriculture and grow their own food.
It is a farming-as-a-service (FaaS) company which operates as a junction between renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. It installs, finances and maintains solar energy systems for use in agricultural. This enterprise also sells reliable and affordable irrigation, cooling and milling services to the farmers so they can transition to solar from diesel energy. Oorja was founded by Dr Clementine Chambon and Amit Saraogi.
This enterprise was founded by Ruchi Jain. It is a grassroots movement of 10,000 small-scale and tribal farmers from across the country. This company wants to create a fair trade network that connects farmers to various markets, with pure, organic and healthy produce. The enterprise is striving to intervene with agriculture that is climate resilient, build self-sufficient market chains for farm produce, market linkages, clean post harvest technology, and value added products. The company also envisions to double small-scale farmer incomes and safeguarding the sustainable rural livelihoods.
BJP leader Basavaraj S Bommai has been selected as the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka and will take his oath on 28th July, 2021.
In the year 2008, Basavaraj Bommai joined the BJP and since then he has rose in the ranks of the party. Previously, he had held the water resources portfolio. By profession, he is an engineer and with the Tata Group he had started his career. From Shiggaon located in the Haveri district of Karnataka, he is a two-time MLC and three-time MLA.
Delhi youngster Vantika Agarwal has won the National women online chess title. From 11 rounds she scored 9.5 points.
In Junior Open section, Tamil Nadu’s VS Raahul won the first position with 9.5 point. International Master Bharath Subrahamaniam finished second with 9 points and Grandmaster P Iniyan who had recently represented the country at the World Cup finished third.
Due to the pandemic over-the-board events were not held and the All India Chess Federation has decided that they consider this online event’s performance for the selection of players who will represent India in the Asian individual championship and other various events.
On 27th July, 2021 IPS officer Rakesh Asthana has been appointed as the Commissioner of Delhi Police.
Rakesh Asthana is an Indian Police Service officer of the 1984-batch Gujarat Cadre was serving as the Director General of Border Security Force.
On 30th June, 2021 after the retirement of SN Shrivastava, Balaji Srivastava was given the additional charge of Delhi Police by the government but there was no indication that this charge given to him was temporary.
Rakesh Asthana, has previously headed the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). He was exonerated in a 2018 bribery case which was registered against him by Alok Verma, the then Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief. Mr. Asthana had held the post of the special director in CBI. In the year 2019 the government of India moved out Asthana and Verma after a falling out of the two top officers of the agency and it threatened the functioning of CBI. In May, he was the frontrunner to be appointed as the head of CBI but was dropped after NV Ramana, Chief Justice of India, pointed out a ruling of the Supreme Court that says that no officer should be named to a top police job with less than six months of tenure left.
On 27th July, 2021, Smriti Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD) launched the National Commission for Women’s (NCW) 24/7 helpline number 7827170170. The helpline has been launched with primary aim of providing online support 24/7 to women who are affected by violence. They will be linked with the appropriate authorities like hospitals, doctors, police, psychological services, District Legal Service Authority etc.
A team of trained experts will help in the functioning of this helpline. Any woman aged 18 years and above can call and seek help on this Helpline. This helpline will be operated from National Commission for Women’s premises which are located in New Delhi. In collaboration with Digital India Corporation under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology this helpline has been developed.
NCW is a statutory body of the government that was formed in the year 1992. The primary objective of NCW is to look into the women related issues of the women across the nation. The current chairperson of NCW is Rekha Sharma.
On 27th July, 2021, Dholavira the Harappan city which is located in the Kutch district of Gujarat has been named as the 40th Indian site inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Dholavira is the first Indus Valley Civilisation site in India that has been included in the list.
This city was discovered in the year 1968, and it is located on the Khadir Island in Great Rann of Kutch (GRK) of Kutch district in the state of Gujarat. The city of Dholavira is spread over 22 hectares and it is Indus Valley Civilisation’s fifth largest archaeological site. This city dates back to approximately 3000 BC and it is believed that the city was occupied till 1500 BC. Its name is taken from the Dholavira village located on the Indo-Pakistan border. Locally this site is known as Kotda Timba (the fort mound).
This site is divided into three parts. They are the middle town, the citadel and the lower town. The citadel has detailed structures of fortification. Excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India on this site has revealed that the city houses were constructed using lime stones and all of them were connected to a sewage network. Tanks to store fresh or rainwater has also been found. Copper smelter remains have been found but there no mortal human remains recovered from this site. During excavation ornamental beads, Red earthenware and microlithic tools were also found.