Current Affairs in Short: 2 August 2021
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its study claimed that COVAXIN is effective against the Delta and Delta plus variant of COVID-19.
PM Modi launches e-RUPI digital payment platform
•PM Narendra Modi on August 2, 2021, launched e-RUPI, a cashless and contactless instrument through video conferencing.
•e-RUPI is a person and purpose-specific digital payment solution, an SMS string-based e-Voucher, and a QR code that is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries.
•PM Modi said e-RUPI will aid in strengthening Direct Benefit Transfer, DBT. e-RUPI voucher will offer transparent, targeted, and leakage-free delivery. The Centre will provide over 300 government schemes to the poor through DBT.
•e-RUPI is being launched during the Bharat ki Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
COVID-19: COVAXIN effective against Delta and Delta plus variant, says ICMR
•The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its study released on August 2, 2021, claimed that COVAXIN is effective against the Delta and Delta plus variant of COVID-19.
•The study showed a minor reduction in the neutralizing antibody titer in COVID-19 fully vaccinated, recovered cases, and post immunized infected cases compared to COVID-19 naïve vaccinated individuals.
•However, the researchers stated that despite the slight reduction in neutralization antibody titers, the COVAXIN vaccine is still effective at neutralizing Delta and Delta plus variants of COVID-19.
•The Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the National Institute of Pune and ICMR has developed the COVAXIN vaccine against coronavirus.
Tony Abbott becomes Australia PM Scott Morrison’s special trade envoy for India
•Former Australian PM Tony Abbott has been appointed Australia PM Scott Morrison’s Special Trade Envoy for India to boost bilateral trade and investment to bolster the economic relationship.
•Abbott will be visiting India from August 2 to 6, 2021, to meet ministers, think tanks, and businesspeople to strengthen economic relationships, deepen trade and investment links with India.
•PM Modi and Australia PM Morrison in 2020 elevated the ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Indian Army and Chinese Army establish hotline for Sikkim sector
•A hotline was established on August 1, 2021, between the Indian Army at Kongra La in North Sikkim and People’s Liberation Army at Khamba Dzong in Tibetan Autonomous Region.
•The hotline will enhance the level of trust and peaceful relations along the borders while serving a well-established mechanism for communication at the ground commanders level.
•The launch event of the hotline coincided with PLA Day.
Madhya Pradesh govt to implement strict law against illicit liquor trade in monsoon session
•The Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra announced that the state government will soon be enacting stringent laws against illicit liquor trade during the ongoing Monsoon session of the Parliament in the wake of the recent hooch tragedies in the state.
•The stringent law against illicit liquor trade will comprise provision for capital punishment. Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in October 2017 had announced to enact strict law with the death penalty against those found in the illicit liquor trade. However, the enactment of the law remained pending since the BJP government lost to Congress in the 2018 Assembly Polls.
•The Uttar Pradesh government in June 2021 had announced that those caught in illicit liquor trading will be tried under Section 60 of the UP Excise Act and the Gangsters Act which will be punishable by a life sentence or the death penalty.