1. Maharashtra becomes the first state to use drones to inspect power lines
Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited(MSETCL) has started to use drones for aerial surveillance and inspection of extra high voltage(EHV) power transmission lines and towers.
Maharashtra becomes the 1st state to do so. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs and the Director General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) gave approval for this purpose.
MSETCL becomes the 1st power utility to get approval from DGCA for powerline inspections with drones in the country.
MSETCL will use 16 drones that will fly at a maximum height of 50 metre.
These drones will reduce the risk posed to its staff, as the workers earlier must use ladders and chairs to inspect transformers.
2. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal approves ‘Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana’ for doorstep delivery of ration
On July 21, 2020, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched “Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Ration Yojana”. The scheme is to help the eligible beneficiaries get ration delivered at home.
The scheme is to run for 6-7 months. Under the scheme, the Delhi government will deliver wheat, rice, flour and sugar in hygienically packed bags.
The packets are to be delivered at door step of the people.
The Delhi Government is to start One Nation One Ration Card scheme and Mukhya Mantri Ghar Ghar Yojana on the same day.
The scheme will benefit lakhs of people in the capital. Currently, subsidized ration is being provided under National Security act, 2013. The new scheme will add benefit to the act.
3. Mega food park launched in Mizoram to create 5,000 jobs, benefit 25,000 farmers
The Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated a mega food park in Mizoram on July 21, 2020 that will benefit around 25,000 farmers and generate around 5,000 job opportunities.
The Minister virtually inaugurated the park in the presence of Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Tel and DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh and other senior Ministers of Mizoram.
Speaking during the inauguration, Badal emphasised that the food processing sector has the potential to generate huge job opportunities for the youth and boost farmers’ income and reduce food wastage in the country.
4. Ashwini Kumar Tewari appointed as MD & CEO of SBI Cards
SBI Cards and Payment Services has appointed Ashwini Kumar Tewari as Managing Director & CEO, as a nominee of State Bank of India (SBI).
Hardayal Prasad, the current Managing Director & CEO will cease to be at helm from July 31 after opting for voluntary retirement from SBI.
The NBFC said Tewari would take over from August 1 for a term of two years.
Associated with SBI since 1991, Ashwini Kumar Tewari since April 2017 was the country head of SBI’s American operations, prior to which he was also the Regional Head of the East Asia region for two years.
5. World’s largest aircraft carrier, Indian warships conduct naval exercise (PASSEX) with US Navy
The Indian Navy conducted Passex (passing exercises) with the United States (US) Navy’s USS Nimitz, which is a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
The Indian Navy ships Rana, Sahyadri, Shivalik and Kamorta, operated together with the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), along with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group’s Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton (CG 59), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Sterett (DDG 104) and USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).
The cooperative exercises took place near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and transited through the Indian Ocean region.
The Indian Navy had recently conducted similar passing exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and French Navy.
6. Sikkim to impose week-long lockdown from July 21 amid rising COVID-19 cases
The Sikkim government ordered a statewide lockdown from 6 am tomorrow to 6 am on 27th July in view of the recent surge in COVID19 cases.
All government offices, shops, commercial establishments, markets and factories will remain closed except those granted exemptions.
All activities, congregations and movement of people and goods and passenger vehicles have been prohibited barring some exceptions.
7. CBDT and MoMSME Signs Formal MoU for Sharing of Data
On 20th July 2020, the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT) and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MoMSME) signed the formal memorandum of understanding(MoU) for sharing of data related to income tax returns by the CBDT to the Ministry of MSME.
Anu J Singh, the principal director General of Income tax (systems) and Devendra Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner of MSME Ministry signed the MoU.
The MoU came into force on 20th July 2020, marking the era of cooperation and synergy between CBDT and MoMSME.
8. India’s first public electric vehicle charging plaza inaugurated in New Delhi
India’s first public EV (Electric Vehicle) charging plaza has been inaugurated by the Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy, R.K Singh at Chelmsford Club in New Delhi.
The public EV Charging Plaza has been established by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to make e-mobility ubiquitous and convenient in India.
India’s first public EV Charging Plaza will host 5 Electric Vehicle Chargers of different specifications and hence will make EV charging hassle free and convenient for the consumers.
During the inauguration ceremony, Union Power Minister also launched “Retrofit of Air-conditioning to improve Indoor Air Quality for Safety and Efficiency (RAISE)”.
RAISE has been developed for healthy and energy efficient buildings and will help in alleviating the issue of bad air quality in workspaces across the nation.
9. Union HRD Minister launches “Manodarpan” initiative for students
Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal launched ‘Manodarpan’, an initiative under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
It provides psychosocial support to students for their mental health and well-being.
It will cover a wide range of activities to offer Psychosocial Support to students for their Mental Health & Well-being amid the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.
The ‘Manodarpan’ initiative is a part of the ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ABHIYAN launched by the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in May 2020.
10. Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon dies at the age of 85
On July 21, 2020, Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon passed away at the age of 85. Upon the governor’s death, the MP Government has announced 5-day mourning period between July 21, 2020 and July 25, 2020.
Tandon was admitted to Madanta Hospital due to breathing problems and other health issues. He was diagnosed with chronic liver disease due to multiple ailments. After Tandon was admitted in the hospital, UP governor Aanandiben Patel took additional charge of MP in June 2020.
Tandon had served in Uttar Pradesh Legislative council for two terms between 1978 and 1984, also between 1990 and 1996.
He also served as MLA in UP Legislative Assembly for three terms between 1996 and 2009. Also, Tandon was elected as MP in the 15th Lok Sabha. He has served as governor of the states of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.