Daily Current Affairs - 08-09-2021

HDFC Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) to offer and strengthen credit support to MSMEs across India.


National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC)

NSIC is a Mini Ratna government agency. It was established by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in 1955. It is the nodal office for several schemes of Ministry of MSME like Performance & Credit Rating, MSME Databank, Single Point Registration, National SC ST Hub, etc.

HDFC Bank Limited

It is an Indian banking and financial services company with its headquarter in Mumbai. As of April 2021, it is India’s largest private sector bank by assets and by market capitalisation. It is the third largest bank by market capitalisation on Indian stock exchanges. The bank is also the fifteenth largest employer in India, having 120,000 employees. The Bank was incorporated in 1994 as a subsidiary of Housing Development Finance Corporation.

The International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies is observed every year on September 7.



This day was first established at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. It seeks to create awareness regarding the significance of air quality.

First observance of the day

The day was first observed on September 7, 2020 across the world.

Coordinating Partners

The lead coordinating partners of the day are United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC). Additional fundings were provided from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU).  In some commemoration, World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with NGO BreatheLife to organise activities.

Focus of the event

In the year 2021, this day & event focused on prioritizing the need for healthy air for all. It also lays stress on critical issues like climate change, human health, planetary health and Sustainable Development Goals.

Air pollution

As per United Nations, air pollution is a “two-fold problem”. It adversely impacts the health as well as climate. Tiny pollutant particles penetrate deep into bloodstream, lungs, and body. These pollutants cause about one-third of deaths from stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer. It also led to asthma and chronic respiratory illnesses.

Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs)

SLCPs are linked with health effects and near-term warming of the earth. These pollutants survive in atmosphere for few days and sometimes for few decades. It reduces their magnitude and can be proved fruitful in ensuring better health of earth and humans.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched Vidyanjali Portal and several other initiatives in the education sector on September 7, 2021.

Key Points

About Vidyanjali Portal

Vidyanjali portal was launched to enable community or volunteers to contribute by connecting with the government and government-aided schools of their choice directly.

Ways of contributing

As per education ministry, any person who is a citizen of India, NRI, PIO or any organisation, institution, company & group registered in India can volunteer and contribute in following two ways:

  1. Services/Activities: Assets or material or equipment like basic civil infrastructure, classroom support materials & equipment, basic electrical infrastructure, digital infrastructure, equipment for extra-curricular activities, sports, yoga and health etc.
  2. Serving and retired teachers, scientists, government or semi government officials, self-employed & salaried professionals, retired armed forces personnel, alumni of educational institutions, homemakers and other literate person can volunteer at a school on requests.

Shikshak Parv-2021

Shikshak Parv-2021 was launched by the Ministry of Education (MoE). Its celebration started on September 5 and will conclude on September 17, 2021. It is being organised to recognise valuable contributions of teachers and to take the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 ahead.

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, launched the ‘Business Blasters’ programme on September 7, 2021.

Key Facts

Significance of the programme

Business Blasters programme will become a basis of India’s progress. Thorough this programme, students will not run after jobs, but jobs will come to them. If this programme is implemented properly, it can take India from being a developing country to a developed one. It will also help in addressing the problem of unemployment.

Drawback of Indian education system

Biggest drawback of the Indian education system was that students were being provided education but an entrepreneurial mindset was not being inculcated. This initiative would help in changing the mindset.

EMC Carnival

Delhi government will organise EMC carnival with 100 top projects from Business Blasters projects at zonal and district level. Projects will be rated by renowned successful entrepreneurs and universities. After this, students included in the top 10 projects will directly be admitted to BBA courses in Delhi Technological University and Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology.

According to supreme court bench comprising of Justices Hemant Gupta and A S Bopanna, Deity is the owner of land attached to a temple.

Supreme Court’s ruling

SC’s stand on priests

Can collector be the manager of property?

SC bench notes that, name of the Collector as manager cannot be recorded with respect to the property vested in the deity because Collector cannot be a manager of all temples unless the temple is vested with the State.


PIL was filed by Madhya Pradesh against an order of High Court that put down the two circulars issued by state government under the MP Law Revenue Code, 1959. Both the circulars ordered to delete the names of priests from the revenue record in order to protect the temple properties from unauthorised sale by priests.

Union environment minister, Bhupendra Yadav, launched a portal called PRANA on September 7, 2021.

Key Points

India’s target

Environment ministry and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) seeks to achieve 20-30 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM10 as well as PM2.5) concentrations in India by 2024.

How India will achieve its target?

In order to achieve the target, India has prepared and is implementing city-specific action plans to improve air quality in 132 NACs/Million Plus Cities. It targets city-specific air polluting sources like soil & road dust, vehicles, MSW burning, domestic fuel, construction material and industries.

About PRANA Portal

PRANA portal will help in tracking physical and financial status of city air action plan implementation. It will also disseminate information on air quality to the public.

India–Japan High Level Policy Dialogue

Indian Environment minister and Japanese Environment Minister Koizumi Shinjiro also held first ever India-Japan High level policy dialogue. They discussed issues related to air pollution, climate change, sustainable technologies & transport, marine litter, fluorocarbons and COP-26. India and Japan are also strengthening bilateral cooperation on circular economy & resource efficiency, green hydrogen, low carbon technology etc.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, virtually inaugurated the first functional smog tower of India on September 7, 2021.

Key Points

What is smog tower?

A smog tower is a structure that are designed as a large or medium scale air purifier. It helps in reducing air pollution by forcing the air through filters.

Features of Anand Vihar smog tower

The smog tower at Anand Vihar is having the height of over 20 metres. It is of downdraft type in which polluted air will come in from top of the tower and clean air will come out from bottom. This filter was installed to reduce the localised particulate matter.

Filtration System

Filtration system used in the smog tower has been designed by University of Minnesota. It has an expected efficiency of 90 per cent.

Number of fans used

Forty fan units have been installed in the tower in order to provide a design airflow rate of 1,000 m3/sec.

Who built the tower?

Smog tower has been built by Tata Projects Limited in collaboration with the NBCC (India) Ltd as project management consultant.

Steps taken by India towards clean air

Ministry has stepped up its activities to achieve clear air in light of COP26 in Glasgow which is scheduled in 2021. According to minister, Rs 375.44 crore has been released to 114 cities in the financial year 2019-20 and 2020-21 for take actions under city action plan. Rs 4,400 core has been released to 42 cities having million plus population for 2020-21 as 15th Finance Commission report had recommended.

According to a new red list by IUCN, world’s sharks and rays have been witnessing declines in their populations since 2014 and are now threatened with extinction.

Key Points

Can we recover their population?

IUCN highlighted that, progress can be made towards reviving tuna populations and other species, if states and other actors take right actions.

IUCN Red List Unit

The red list by IUCN reassesses hundreds of species each year. Out of 138,000 species that were tracked, more than 38,000 are threatened with extinction. Many of the planet’s ecosystems are mainly strained by global warming, deforestation, pollution, habitat degradation and other threats.

Declining bird population

More than half of the bird of prey species are reducing in population worldwide.  18 species are critically endangered. Warming temperatures and melting ice will reduce the emperor penguin colonies by 70 % by 2050 and 98% by 2100.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

IUCN is an international organization that works in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, field projects research, advocacy, field projects, and education. It was established in 1948.

Tamil Nadu government has decided to celebrate the birth anniversary of reformist leader E V Ramasamy Periyar “Social Justice Day”.


How this day will be celebrated?

Every year, on September 17, employees in all government offices and State Secretariat will take pledges to follow values on the basis of such lofty ideals comprising of equality, brotherhood, self-respect and rationalism.

Contribution of E V Periyar

According to the Chief Minister, services of Periyar to the Tamil society were significant and instrumental in the enactment of first Constitutional Amendment Act, which safeguarded reservation for backward classes.

Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy Periyar (EV Ramasamy Periyar)

He was commonly known as Periyar or Thanthai Periyar. He was an Indian social activist and politician. He started Self-Respect Movement and Dravidar Kazhagam and is known as the ‘Father of the Dravidian movement’. He rebelled against the Brahmanical dominance as well as gender & caste inequality in Tamil Nadu.

Periyar and INC

E.V. Ramasamy joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1919, but resigned in 1925 after he realised that INC was only serving the interests of Brahmins. In 1924, he participated in non-violent agitation (satyagraha) at Vaikom, Travancore. He became the head of the Justice Party in 1939 and changed its name to Dravidar Kazhagam in 1944.

Indian Railways introduced a new economy class in the AC 3-tier trains.


About new AC 3-tier Economy Class

The new AC 3-tier Economy Class will comprise of two coaches. Number of berths have been increased from 72 to 83.

Significance of new feature

New feature will provide more space to people. It comprises of several features, especially for the disabled. It has a smoke detector, facilities of dining table as well as magazine holder at the SL seat of the train. New coaches also comprise of personalised aircraft-style AC vents at each berth. It also has Divyang-friendly and modular bio-toilets with touch-free fitting.

Ticket Price

Ticket price of new coaches is 2.4 times higher than the base price of the existing sleeper class in mail and express trains. For trains operating up to 2000 km, basic fare has been set around Rs 1757 while for trains operating up to 5000 km, base fare will be Rs. 3065.

Indian Railways (IR)

IR is a statutory body working under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Railways. It manages the fourth-largest railway network (by Size) in the World.

On September 3, 2021, Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $150 million loan for Tamil Nadu Urban Poor Housing Project.

Key Points

Aim of the approved loan

Asian development bank approved the loan of $150 million with the aim of offering vulnerable and disadvantaged households access to safe, inclusive, affordable housing infrastructure & services.

What was the need of this project?

Tamil Nadu has the population of more than 72 million. Out of this, half of the population live in urban areas. State is witnessing rapid urbanization and an increase in urban population. Thus, there is a need for adequate urban infrastructure, services and housing.

Benefits of the ADB’s loan

Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft of India has completed more than 9,000 orbits around the Moon. Imaging and other scientific instruments on the aircraft have been providing excellent useful data since then.

Lunar Science Workshop 2021

Lunar Science Workshop 2021 is a two-day workshop, organised by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The workshop started on September 6, 2021. It was organised to commemorate the completion of two years of operation of Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft across the moon’s orbit. The workshop was live-streamed on ISRO’s website and Facebook page to effectively reach the students, academia and institutes.

Two Years of Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan-2 Mission

It is the second lunar exploration mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), after Chandrayaan-1. It comprises of indigenously developed lunar orbiter, Vikram lander and Pragyan lunar rover. Mission was launched with the objective of mapping and study the variations in lunar surface composition, location and abundance of lunar water.

Launch of Chandrayaan-2

Chandrayaan-2 was launched to the Moon on July 22, 2019 by a GSLV Mark III-M1. It reached to the Moon’s orbit on August 20, 2019. It started the orbital positioning manoeuvres to land the Vikram lander. The lander and rover were scheduled to land on near side of the Moon, in the south polar region and conduct research for one lunar day. However, lander crashed after deviating from its intended trajectory. Its successful soft landing would have made India the fourth country to do so following the successful launch of Luna 9 by Soviet Union, Surveyor 1 by United States and Chang’e 3 by China.

India’s leading Fintech platform, PhonePe, which has now 300 million users, has introduced an interactive website called PhonePe Pulse, comprising of data, insight and key trends on virtual payments.

Key Points

PhonePe Pulse Report

PhonePe introduced the Pulse Report, which is an extensive study and covers the rise of virtual payments during last five years. It shares important insights regarding how digital or online payments adoption in India has matured since 2016. It also includes geographical and category-specific trends. PhonePe it is an end-result or culmination of considerable research and collaboration by a professional team comprising of Corporate Communications professionals, Business Analysts, Writers, Marketers, Designers, Engineering & Business teams from the Fintech firm.

Significance of the product

The product launched by PhonePe is relevant for key stakeholders like Indian government, policymakers, media, industry experts, regulatory agencies, local merchant partners, start-ups, students and academic institutions.  The data set, trends and stories can be used by these partners to gain a better understanding of consumer and merchant behaviour as well as to identify strategic growth opportunities.

About PhonePe

It is an Indian digital payments and financial services company with its headquarter in Bangalore. Company was founded by Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer in December 2015. Company also runs an app in its name called “PhonePe app”. The app went live in August 2016 and is based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). It is available in more than 11 Indian Languages.