1. World Bank provides $400 million to enhance support for rejuvenating the Ganga

The World Bank and the Government of India today signed a loan agreement to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme that seeks to rejuvenate the Ganga river.

The Second National Ganga River Basin Project will help stem pollution in the iconic river and strengthen the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people.

The $400 million operation comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million.

The agreement for the $381 million loan was signed today by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr Qaiser Khan, Acting Country Director (India), on behalf of the World Bank.

The Guarantee instrument will be processed separately.

Shri Khare said that the Ganga is India’s most important cultural, economic and environmental resource, and the government’s Namami Gange program seeks to ensure that the river returns to a pollution-free, ecologically healthy state.

The new project will extend the Government of India and World Bank’s engagement in this critical national programme to make the Ganga a clean, healthy river.

2. UK imposes sanctions on Myanmar’s Army Chief and Deputy Army Chief

The United Kingdom has announced sanctions against the Commander in Chief of Myanmar Army General Min Aung Hlaing and his Deputy Soe Win for their alleged involvement in human rights violations against the Rohingyas and other ethnic communities.

The sanctions freezes all the assets of the two top Army Generals. It also prohibits them from obtaining visas for the country.

The announcement was made in the British Parliament by the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday.

He said that this was the UK’s first autonomous human right’s sanctions regime that allows the government to impose sanctions on those involved in human rights abuses around the world.

3. Himachal Pradesh becomes first state to provide LPG connection to everyone

Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country in which every household has an LPG gas connection.

Announcing this while interacting with the beneficiaries of the Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana today, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that as many as 2,76,243 families were provided free gas connections under the scheme.

This scheme, he said, was launched for those households which were not covered under the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana under which connections were provided free to poor women of rural areas.

“As many as 1.36 lakh families of the state benefited from the Central Government’s scheme,” said Thakur, adding that the availability of gas connection was saving women from the ill-effects of smoke and helping in the conservation of environment too.

4. Asia’s Largest Tier-IV Data Centre With 210MW Overall Capacity Inaugurated Near Mumbai

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday e-inaugurated Asia’s largest certified tier IV data centre near Mumbai.

Located in Panvel, the Yotta NM1 data centre building, is the largest of its kind in India, as well as the second largest in the world.

Speaking about it at the launch event, CM Thackeray said that state-of-the-art data centres such as Yotta can be key to the economy of Maharashtra, as they are projected to boost investment in the area.

The private facility is owned by the Hiranandani Group, via its fully owned subsidiary, the Yotta Infrastructure Group.

The Yotta data centre is aimed at catering for engineering and real estate businesses.

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present for the virtual inauguration.

5. DRDO To Establish Research Cell At IIT Hyderabad To Meet Future Defence Technological Needs

Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) will establish a research cell at Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad(IIT-H), ‘DRDO – IIT-H Research Cell’ to meet the future defence technological requirements of the country.

The research cell is established as an extension of the DRDO Research and Innovation Centre (RIC), Chennai.

An MoU was signed during a virtual event organized at the DRDO DG-Missiles and Strategic Systems (MSS) Office in Hyderabad on July 3 to establish the research cell.

6. India’s Rank 117th in SDG Index 2020, Sweden Tops: Sustainable Development Report 2020

In accordance with the “Sustainable Development Report 2020- The Sustainable Development Goals and Covid-19”, comprising of SDG index 2020, there will be severe negative impacts on most of the United Nations (UN)-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) due to COVID-19 pandemic.

India, which has ranked at 117th position with a score of 61.92 is also facing major challenges in 10 of the 17 SDGs including zero hunger, good health, gender inequality among others.

The index has been topped by Sweden with a score of 84.72.

The 2020 report has reviewed the performance of 193 UN Member States out of which 166 were ranked under SDG index 2020.

7. YES Bank Launches a Digital Solution, ‘Loan in Seconds’ for Instant Disbursement of Retail Loans

YES Bank launched a digital solution, ‘Loan in Seconds’ for instant disbursement of retail loans. It is available for the bank’s pre-approved liability account holders.

The algorithm evaluates the loan application in real-time and eliminates the need for documentation.

The solution aims to provide customers, hassle-free loans to help them meet their immediate financial needs.

All the eligible customers under the solution will receive communication from the bank with the link to apply for the loan.

Those customers have to verify and accept the final offer.

8. IIT Roorkee researchers develop “Unisaviour” disinfection box to fight COVID-19 virus

The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee(IIT-R) announced that the IIT-R researchers team led by Prof. Soumitra Satapathi, Laboratory of Integrated Nanophotonics and Biomaterials, have developed the disinfection box – “Unisaviour” box, which can be used to sterilise various personal belongings to minimise the COVID-19 transmission.

The research team led by Prof. Soumitra Satapathi includes, Ph.D scholars Prathul Nath, Naveen Kumar Tailor, Tejasvini Sharma, Anushu Kumar of Department of Physics and Neeladri Singh Das and Prof. Partha Roy from the Department of Biotechnology.

The device consist of a specially designed highly reflective geometry, which allows the UVC light to pass through the calibrated passage and disinfect the items.

In addition to the UVC lights, the inside of the device has a coating of developed metal oxide along with herbal antibacterial and antiviral layers to prevent the growth of microorganisms when the UVC light is not in use.

The device is equipped with an Arduino programmed system which regulates the time, intensity and amount of UVC exposure required for the sterilization process.

9. Valtteri Bottas wins F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas took the win for Mercedes at the Austrian Grand Prix as teammate Lewis Hamilton suffered a dramatic late-racing demotion from second to fourth.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took second place and Mclaren’s Lando Norris third.

The race was interrupted three times by a safety car and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon — who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels nd flew off track.

Hamilton was given a five-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

10. Ennio Morricone, Oscar-winning Italian film composer, dies aged 91

Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer whose symphonic scores backed everything from spaghetti westerns to romance, horror and sci-fi films, has died aged 91.

Born in Rome in 1928, Morricone took up the trumpet and wrote his first composition aged six.

Morricone went on to work in almost all film genres, and some of his melodies are perhaps more famous than the films for which he wrote them.

Morricone’s Chi Mai, is his most loved composition, and reached at No 2 in the UK Top 40 following its reuse in the BBC drama series The Life and Times of David Lloyd George.

He won his Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (2015) and also was nominated for his original scores for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), Roland Joffe’s The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987), Barry Levinson’s Bugsy (1991) and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena (2000).

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