AspirantWorld One liners : 31st July

• Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan-Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (UBA-IITD), and Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi. Under the MoU, it is expected to lay the foundation for cooperation and joint action in the area of UBA for rural development of India.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Mauritius Mr. Pravind Jugnauth jointly inaugurated the new Supreme Court building in Mauritius through video conference on 30 July. New Supreme Court building is first India assisted infrastructure project in Mauritius to be inaugurated after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court will remain as a symbol of cooperation and shared values of India and Mauritius.

• Padma Shri awardee Sonam Tshering Lepcha passed away on 30 July. He was 92 years old. The Folk musician died due to the old age ailments and suffered a cardiac arrest. He is a multi-faceted personality and made outstanding efforts to popularise the great Lepcha culture. Sonam Tshering Lepcha: Lepcha was born in 1928 in Kalimpong, West Bengal. He began his career as a soldier. He travelled to various parts of Sikkim.

• Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Digital conference on Ease of Doing Business for Atmanirbhar Bharat. The conference highlighted a single-window system for industrial approvals which will soon be in place. Under this the industry and government will work as partners and urged the industry to play a proactive role in helping the government identify the tax evaders and violators.

• NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation has launched AIM iCREST. This is a first of its kind initiative for advancing innovation at scale in India. It is a major initiative to encourage and enable progress in the incubator ecosystem across the country.

• Multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $3 million (about Rs.22 crore) grant to India from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund. They further support the government’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant is financed by the Japanese government. The funds will be used to procure thermal scanners and essential commodities to strengthen India’s COVID-19 response.

• Union Environment Ministry launched the National Transit Pass System (NTPS), an online system for issuing transit permits for timber, bamboo and other forest produce. NTPS will bring ease of business and expedite issuance of transit permits for timber, bamboo and other minor forest produce without physically going to forest offices. Through mobile application e-pass will be issued for transit of forest produce.

• Union IT Minister said that since 10th June, 2020 the Common Services Centre (CSC) Wi-Fi Choupal has provided 1 Lakh FTTH broadband connections in rural areas across 21 states, using the Bharat Net infrastructure. Government has set the target of 5 Lakh FTTH connections by September. Wi-Fi Choupal is a government initiative to provide Wi-Fi hotspots in rural areas where people can access the internet by subscribing to low-cost data plans.

• Ever since cases of ‘reinfection’ — people who had tested negative for COVID-19 testing positive again after a while — emerged in early January, the question of latency of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is being hotly debated. A latent viral infection is an infection when the virus in the body is dormant and does not replicate within the host. It however possesses the capacity to be reactivated at some point, causing a flare-up of the disease much later.

• The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court observed that Industrialisation and urbanisation has reduced Nag river to a cursed lady by heavily polluting it. The Nag River is a river flowing through the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra. Nagpur city derives its name from the Nag river. Forming a part of the Kanhan-Pench river system, the Nag River originates in Lava hills near wadi.

• Union Agriculture Minister held a meeting with World Bank representatives to bring large Bihad area of Gwalior-Chambal region under agriculture. More than three lakh hectares of rugged land is not cultivable and if this area is improved, then this will help in the integrated development of the Bihad area in Gwalior – Chambal region. The Chambal-Gwalior ravines that consist of sharp, steep, mud hillocks stretch across three States — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Bihad areas of Chambal-Gwalior belt is a unique geographical feature having gullies up to 15-20 feet deep.

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