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Current Affairs Date: 21 August 2021


Highly salt-tolerant and salt-secreting true-mangrove species

⇒ Scientists at the DBT-Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar and SRM-DBT Partnership Platform for Advanced Life Sciences Technologies, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Tamil Nadu have reported for the first time a reference-grade whole genome sequence of a highly salt-tolerant and salt-secreting true-mangrove species, Avicennia marina.

About Avicennia marina:

» Avicennia marina is one of the most prominent mangroves species found in all mangrove formations in India.

» It is a salt-secreting and extraordinarily salt-tolerant mangrove species that grows optimally in 75% seawater and tolerates >250% seawater.

» It is among the rare plant species, which can excrete 40% of the salt through the salt glands in the leaves, besides its extraordinary capacity to exclude salt entry to the roots.

About Mangroves:

» Mangroves are a unique group of species found in marshy intertidal estuarine regions and survive a high degree of salinity through several adaptive mechanisms.

» Mangroves are important resources for the coastal region and are of great ecological and economic value.


General MM Naravane, COAS, visited United Kingdom and Italy

⇒ General MM Naravane, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has visited to the United Kingdom and Italy from 05 to 08 July 2021.

During the four day visit, he met his counterparts and senior military leaders of these countries with an aim of enhancing India’s defence cooperation.

General Naravane visited the United Kingdom for two days on 05 and 06 July 2021.

During the visit, the COAS interacted with the Secretary of State for Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of General Staff and other dignitaries. He also visited various army formations where he exchanged ideas on issues of mutual interest.

General Naravane visited Italy on 07 and 08 July 2021 during the second leg of his tour.

During the visit, the Army Chief held important discussions with the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Staff of the Italian Army.

Additionally, the COAS also inaugurated the Indian Army Memorial in the famous town of Cassino. He was briefed at the Italian Army’s Counter IED Centre of Excellence at Cecchingola, Rome.

MoU between India and Republic of The Gambia

⇒ The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, India and the Public Service Commission, Office of the President, Republic of The Gambia signed an MoU on Refurbishing Personnel Administration and Governance Reforms on 08 July 2021.


The MoU aims at strengthening and promoting bilateral cooperation between the two countries in Personnel Administration and Governance Reforms.

The following areas of cooperation are covered under the activities of the MoU, such as:
  • Improving Performance Management System in Government
  • Implementation of contributory Pension Scheme
  • E-Recruitment in Government

12th Meeting of BRICS S&T Steering Committee

⇒ The 12th Meeting of BRICS S&T Steering Committee hosted by Department of Science and Technology (DST), India was held on 8th July, 2021. Scientific ministries and agencies of all BRICS countries participated in it.

STI-led BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2021-24):

During the meeting, Indian had proposed the plan to facilitate sharing of experiences of each other’s innovation ecosystem and networking of innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Details of the Action Plan would be worked out by BRICS Science, Technology Innovation Entrepreneurship partnership (STIEP) Working Group.

All BRICS countries agreed to the STI-led BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2021-24) proposed by India during 12th Meeting of BRICS S&T Steering Committee.


During the meeting, the BRICS officials were discussed in detail about the thematic areas for this year’s call for proposals. The BRICS officials unanimously agreed for collaboration in ten thematic areas.

Thematic areas included:

Transient Astronomical Events and Deep Survey Science, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): Technologies for Diagnosis and Treatment, Simulation and Big Data Analytics for Advanced Precision Medicine and Public Healthcare, HPC and Big Data for Sustainable Development: Solving Large Scale Ecological, Climate and Pollution Problems, Innovation and Entrepreneurship on Photonic, Nanophotonics, and Metamaterials for Addressing Bio-medicine, Agriculture, Food Industry and Energy Harvesting Issues, Materials Science and Nanotechnology for Addressing Environmental, Climate Change, Agricultural, Food, and Energy Issues, Renewable Energy including Smart Grid Integration, Ocean and Polar Science and Technology Water Treatment Technology Research in Aeronautics and Aerospace

1st India-UK Financial Markets Dialogue

⇒ India and the United Kingdom (UK) held the inaugural meeting of the India-UK Financial Markets Dialogue (‘the Dialogue’) virtually on 08 July 2021.

The Dialogue was established at the 10th Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) in October 2020 to deepen bilateral ties in the financial sector.

During the Dialogue, the discussions focused on four themes:
    1. GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) City, India’s flagship international financial centre
    2. Banking and payments
    3. Insurance
    4. Capital markets

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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