1. Odisha launches ‘Balaram’ scheme to provide credit to 7 lakh landless farmers

The Odisha state government has launched ‘Balaram’ scheme to provide agricultural credit worth Rs 1,040 crore to landless farmers who are facing hardships due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme is expected to benefit around 7 lakh landless cultivators in the next two years.

The decision regarding the same was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Chief secretary A K Tripathy on July 2, 2020.

Under the scheme, the landless farmers, who were not able to avail farm credit earlier, will get loans through joint liability groups that will act as ‘social collateral’.

The scheme has been developed in collaboration with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

The village agriculture workers will implement the programme at the field level.

2. Pulitzer Prize Winner Siddhartha Mukherjee and Prof Raj Chetty Named among “2020 Great Immigrants” Honourees

Carnegie Corporation of New York has named 2 renowned Indian-Americans, Siddhartha Mukherjee, a Pulitzer prize winner and Raj Chetty, Economics Professor at Harvard University among ‘2020 Great Immigrants’ honourees.

Siddhartha Mukherjee was born in New Delhi. He is a noted biologist, oncologist, and the author of several acclaimed books.

He has been a faculty of Columbia University since 2009.

He has educated the public about the coronavirus through essays and through various modes of social media.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for his book ‘The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer’ in 2011. He received the Padma Shri in 2014.

Among other honours this book was listed in the Time magazine’s “All-Time 100 Nonfiction Books”.

His other books include The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science (2015), and The Gene: An Intimate History (2016).

3. Vice President of India, Releases a Book “Future of Higher Education – Nine Mega Trends” Virtually

Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu virtually released a book, “Future of Higher Education – Nine Mega Trends“.

The book is authored by CA V Pattabhi Ram, a Public Speaker, author and Teacher. The Virtual event was hosted by ICT Academy.

The book covers the new norms in the key areas of higher education such as Student-Teacher relationship, Learning methods, Laboratories & Examinations among others which has taken a paradigm shift during this COVID pandemic.
The book is based on a survey of about 5000 educators across India who were part of ICT Academy’s “SkyCampus” Digital Knowledge Series.

4. Yellow dustbins for only corona residual in Indore

In Madhya Pradesh, to prevent corona infection, the Indore Municipal Corporation is placing Yellow colour dustbins at all major places in the city.

This is the third dustbin apart from blue and green colours dustbins and being placed for only corona infected material.
Indore is among the top 10 COVID 19 infected cities of the country.

Indore is possibly the first city to place a separate dustbin for the corona residual.
People throw COVID 19 infected PPE kits, gloves and masks to green and blue litter bins or outdoors after use these days, which can cause the spread of corona pandemic.

5. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurates first Plasma bank of the country

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurates the Plasma Bank for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

The facility has been set up at Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi.
Plasma Bank will remove the hurdles faced by the patients to get the Plasma therapy.

He appealed to the people to come forward in large numbers to donate the Plasma.
The interested donors can call 1031 and can whatsapp at 8800007722 to donate the plasma.

Only those people can donate the plasma, who was earlier infected with the corona virus and now recovered.

6. Fitch cuts India’s growth projection to 8% for FY22

Fitch Ratings cut India’s growth forecast for 2021-22 fiscal to 8% from 9.5% projected last month.

It, however, retained its projection of Indian economy contracting by 5% in the current fiscal.

Indian economic growth stood at an estimated 4.2% in 2019-20.

In May update to the outlook, Fitch had projected 9.5% growth in 2021-22.
S&P has forecast a 5% contraction in the fiscal year starting April, and the growth to recover to 8.5% next fiscal.

Moody’s expects India’s real GDP to contract by 4% in fiscal 2020 due to the shock from the coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown measures, followed by 8.7% growth in fiscal 2021 and closer to 6% thereafter.

7. Sixth Edition of Swachh Survekshan survey will be started from 4th January 2021

Since its first edition back in 2016, the Swachh Survekshan survey has been conducted every year by making the process for conducting the survey more robust by redesigning it innovatively.

The toolkit for the 2021 and the dates for the 6th edition of the Swachh Survekshan survey was launched by Hardeep Singh Puri (Union Minister of State (I/C) of Housing & Urban Affairs) on 3rd July 2020.

The Toolkit for Swachh Survekshan 2021 Indicators introduced will focus on public participation and encouragement for innovators in the cities.

The Swachh Survekshan Survey 2021 will be conducted from 4th January to 31st January 2021.

8. Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan dies of cardiac arrest at 71

Three-time National Award winner, veteran Bollywood choreographer, Saroj Khan, passed away due to cardiac arrest. She was 71.

She joined the Indian film industry as a child artist, playing the younger Shyama in Nazarana.

She eventually became a background dancer in 1950s films like Bimal Roy’s “Madhumati” under the guidance of dance director B. Sohan lal.

In a career spanning four decades, Khan choreographed nearly 2000 songs.

The legendary artiste was a recipient of three National Awards for films Devdas, Jab We Met and Sringaram (Tamil).

She won Filmfare Awards for movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Guru, Khalnayak and Chaalbaaz.

9. Committee for reform in criminal law to start online consultation from July 4, 2020

From July 4, 2020, Central Committee for reforms in Criminal Law, headed by Ranbir Singh was constituted by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) & is going to start a 3 months long online consultation exercise.

The objective of this exercise is to gather opinions by consulting with experts and collating material for their report to the government.

In this regard, the committee has invited experts in the field of criminal law to participate in the exercise through an online consultation mechanism.

Questionnaires have been posted online on the possible reforms in the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Indian Evidence Act.

10. IITGn team develops AI-based tool to detect Covid-19 from chest X-ray

Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar (IITGn) has developed an Artificial Intelligence-based tool to detect COVID-19 from Chest X-ray.

This tool can be used for quick preliminary diagnosis before the medical test.

Ahmedabad correspondent reports that the Artificial Intelligence-based tool has been developed by the researchers of the Computer Science and Engineering Department of IITGn.

Any user can upload a digital copy of the chest x-ray or CT-scan in standard image formats such as jpeg, png etc and check whether he or she is COVID-19 positive or not.

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