1.International Affairs

The United States passes the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act

The United States recently passed the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act for Pakistani Women.

The Act requires the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50% of scholarship to Pakistani Women between 2020 & 2022.

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist, fighting against the Taliban for women’s education and the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate.

Quick Fact: United Nations’ Malala Day is observed annually on July 12.

2.National Affairs

India approves two COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use

The DCGI recently announced that it has approved two COVID-19 vaccines- COVAXIN and COVIDSHIELD, for restricted emergency use in India.

COVAXIN is the first indigenous vaccine in the country, developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

COVIDSHIELD was developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Quick Fact: AstraZeneca is headquartered in Cambridge, United Kingdom.

3.Science and Technology

PM Modi to address the National Metrology Conclave 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address at the National Metrology Conclave 2021 held in New Delhi.

The theme of the National Metrology Conclave 2021 is: “Metrology for the Inclusive Growth of the Nation”.

The National Metrology Conclave is organized by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL).

Quick Fact: National Metrology Conclave 2021 was held on the 75th Foundation Day of CSIR.

4.National Affairs

FSSAI implements new Trans Fat levels

The FSSAI recently announced that all edible refined oils, vegetable fat spreads, vanaspati, margarine & mixed fat spreads can contain only 3% or less Trans fat.

The implementation comes after the World Health Organisation called for the global elimination of trans fat by 2023.

According to the REPLACE annual report of WHO, India has the highest burden of heart diseases due to high trans fat.

Quick Fact: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was founded in August 2011.

5.India and the World

India becomes co-chair of Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP)

India has been chosen as the co-chair of the IUCN-supported Asia Protected Areas Partnership (APAP) for a period of 3-years till November 2023.

India will replace South Korea as the co-chair and would be responsible to assist other Asian countries in managing their protected areas.

The APAP is chaired by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Quick Fact: IUCN is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.

6.Defense

GRSE delivers 8th Landing Craft Utility ship to Indian Navy

Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) has delivered the 8th Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV class vessel ‘IN LCU L-58’ to the Indian Navy.

The amphibious ship is to be placed in the strategic location of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is close to various routes leading to the South China Sea.

LCU L-58 is the final ship in the series of 8 LCUs that were manufactured by GRSE for the Indian Navy.

Quick Fact: Rear Admiral VK Saxena is the Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE.

7.Person in News

Mukesh Ambani ranked 12th in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index 2021

India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & MD of Reliance Industries dropped down to the 12th spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires 2021.

The net worth of Ambani has dropped from USD 90 million to USD 76.7 million.

Zhong Shanshan has replaced Ambani as Asia’s Richest Person.

Quick Fact: Zhong Shanshan is the Founder & Chairman of the Chinese beverage company ‘Nongfu Spring’.

8.Miscellaneous

Oscar nominee ‘Another Round’ to be opening movie at 51st IFFI

Oscar nominee ‘Another Round’ by Thomas Vinterberg will be the opening movie at the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

The movie stars Cannes Best Actor Award winner Mads Mikkelsen.

The festival will witness the world-premiere of ‘Mehrunisa’ by Sandeep Kumar and will close on 24th January with the Indian premiere of ‘Wife of a Spy’ by Kiyoshi Kurosawa.