Endeavor Careers GK Capsule


Welcome to the Endeavor Editors’ Current Affairs Choicest Blog series. Get a  weekly roundup – on news from business, economy, markets, policy, and more. A quick capsule format news summary and update to keep you abreast with all the latest current affairs.

 Current Affairs July 2021 – Week 1

1) International News and Global Economy

130 countries agree to Biden-backed 15% global minimum tax for companies

Some 130 countries have agreed on a global minimum tax backed by US President Joe Biden as part of a worldwide effort to keep multinational firms from dodging taxes by shifting their profits to countries with low rates. The agreement is an attempt to address challenges presented by a globalized and increasingly digital world economy in which profits can be relocated across borders and companies can earn online profits in places where they have no taxable headquarters. Under the deal, countries could tax their companies’ foreign earnings up to 15% if they go untaxed through subsidiaries in other countries. That would remove the incentive to use accounting and legal schemes to shift profits to low-rate countries where they do little or no business since the profits would be taxed at home anyway.

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Explainer: What is a global minimum tax?

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has thrown the weight of the U.S. government behind a push for a global corporate minimum tax rate, possibly carving a path to a long-sought deal updating international tax rules for the first time in a generation. What is a global minimum tax and how could it affect companies, countries?

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Andy Jassy steps out of the shadows – so who exactly is Amazon’s new CEO?

On July 5, Jassy, who is currently chief executive of Amazon’s fast-growing cloud services division Amazon Web Services (AWS), will be promoted again to be installed as Amazon’s second-ever chief executive, with Bezos becoming executive chair of the board as he steps away from day-to-day control of the business. The handover comes on the 27th anniversary of Amazon’s official founding on 5 July 1994. Jassy’s elevation to the top job is taking place at a critical time for Amazon, which is facing a growing threat of regulatory action to control its dominance of markets across the world. 

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Who is Amazon’s New CEO, Andy Jassy?

Earlier this month billionaire mogul Jeff Bezos announced he’d be stepping down as Amazon CEO after three wildly successful decades at the helm. His replacement, Andy Jassy, is barely known outside tech business circles. When Jassy takes the reins of Bezos’s $1.7 trillion juggernauts he’ll instantly become one of the biggest private employers on earth – a colossus of commerce, retail, Hollywood, and the very future of the internet.

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Cyberattack hits hundreds of US businesses

A US IT company urged customers to shut down their servers on 2nd July, after cyberattackers smuggled ransomware onto its network platform. Kaseya said that it had limited the attack to “a very small percentage of our customers” who use its signature VSA software, “currently estimated at fewer than 40 worldwide.” Cybersecurity firm Huntress Labs had earlier said in a Reddit forum that it was working with partners targeted in the attack and that some 200 businesses “have been encrypted.” Kaseya describes itself as a leading provider of IT and security management services to small and medium-sized businesses. VSA, the company’s flagship offering, is designed to let companies manage networks of computers and printers from a single point.

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WHO says all COVID-19 vaccines approved by it must be recognized for travel

The World Health Organization said that any COVID-19 vaccines it has authorized for emergency use should be recognized by countries as they open up their borders to inoculated travelers. The move could challenge Western countries to broaden their acceptance of two apparently less effective Chinese vaccines, which the UN health agency has licensed but most European and North American countries have not. Although Western countries have largely relied on vaccines made in the U.S. and Europe, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca, many developing countries have used the Chinese-made shots.

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Canada heatwave: Lightning triggers wildfires in British Columbia

More than 130 wildfires – many sparked by lightning strikes – are burning across western Canada following a record-breaking heatwave. Canada’s federal government said it would send military aircraft to help crews battling the fires in the province of British Columbia. Experts say that climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves. However, linking any single event to global warming is complicated.

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Fire on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico is extinguished, but questions about pipeline leaks remain

A massive fire that broke out on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday has been extinguished, but the incident is raising questions about the risks of undersea pipelines. Videos of a swirling, orange mass of flames surrounded by ocean waves went viral after a gas leak was reported near a platform used for offshore drilling by Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil company. Pemex said that the company would “carry out a root cause analysis of this incident” and that no one had been injured. On social media, many argued that the eerie and alarming scene of a burning ocean clearly demonstrated the inherent problems of allowing oil companies to tap into fossil fuel reserves from the ocean floor.

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Belarus closes border to Ukraine over coup claim

Belarus has closed its border with Ukraine, claiming that arms are being smuggled into the country. President Alexander Lukashenko says it is part of an attempt by outside powers to overthrow his authoritarian regime. Mr. Lukashenko claimed – without providing proof – that his security services had uncovered a foreign-backed terrorist sleeper cell plotting to oust him from power. He alleged the weapons were being shipped to terrorist cells funded by Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, and the US.

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Bagram: Last US and Nato forces leave key Afghanistan base

The last US and Nato forces have left Afghanistan’s Bagram airbase, the center of the war against militants for some 20 years, US officials say. The pull-out could signal that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is imminent. President Joe Biden has said US forces will be gone by 11 September. But the withdrawal from the sprawling base, north of Kabul, comes as the main jihadist group, the Taliban, advances in many parts of Afghanistan. The 11 September deadline is the anniversary of the attacks on America in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

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2) India  

Brazil-Bharat Biotech’s $324 million contracts suspended: What went wrong in the Covaxin deal

Brazil suspended a $324 million contract with Bharat Biotech for 20 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, following recommendations by the country’s comptroller general. A day later, the country’s health regulator also suspended the vaccine’s emergency use application, citing incomplete paperwork provided by the intermediary. The controversy surrounding the Brazil-Bharat Biotech vaccine deal has been going on for several months now. ThePrint explains the various contours of the matter.

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India’s Covaxin effectively neutralizes Delta variant of Covid, says U.S.’ health research institute

India’s Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, effectively neutralizes both Alpha and Delta variants of coronavirus, the U.S.’ National Institute of Health has said. The NIH said results of two studies of blood serum from people who had received Covaxin suggest that the vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralize the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617 (Delta) variants of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the U.K. and India, respectively.

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India inoculating population size of Norway every day; drive a marathon, not a 100-meter sprint: Govt

India is vaccinating on an average of 50 lakh individuals daily since June 21, equivalent to inoculating the entire population of Norway every day, the Centre said and asserted that the process is like a “marathon and not a 100-meter race”. Addressing a press briefing, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, health ministry, said to date, 34 crore people, equivalent to the entire population of the US–have been vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine since the nationwide inoculation drive began on January 16.

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COVID-19: Are mix-and-match vaccines the way forward?

Researchers at Saarland University in western Germany have found that people whose first shot was AstraZeneca and whose second shot was BioNTech-Pfizer showed an immune response stronger than that in patients who had received two doses of the same vaccine, be it AstraZeneca or BioNTech. So, does that mean it’s time to switch the world’s immunization approach to a mix-and-match vaccination for everyone? Not quite yet.

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3) Economy

India joins the OECD-G20’s ‘Inclusive Framework’ tax deal

India and the majority of members of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting on July 1 adopted a high-level statement outlining a consensus solution to address tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy. As per a statement from the Centre, the proposed solution consists of two components – Pillar One which is about reallocation of an additional share of profit to the market jurisdictions, and Pillar Two consisting of minimum tax and subject to tax rules. Some significant issues including share of profit allocation and scope of subject to tax rules, remain open and need to be addressed.

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4) Markets, Banking, and Finance

Sebi proposal may bolster IPO-bound founders’ rights

The Securities and Exchange Board of India’s proposal to ease rules on superior voting rights (SR) shares could solve some legacy issues for startup founders looking to publicly list their companies. The proposals have the potential to help founders dilute stakes without losing control, make tax structures more efficient and help in succession planning. The capital markets regulator has given industry stakeholders time till July 30 to submit their feedback.

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RBI warns against allowing Big Tech firms into financial services

Entry of the so-called Big Tech companies in financial services in emerging markets such as India could present challenges to regulators towards maintaining adequate stability and governance of the ecosystem, the Reserve Bank of India said. The banking regulator has categorized likely challenges arising from the participation of Big Tech in financial services in three broad categories. “First, they straddle many different (non-financial) lines of business with sometimes opaque overarching governance structures,” the central bank said. “Second, they have the potential to become dominant players in financial services. Third, Big Techs are generally able to overcome limits to scale in financial services provision by exploiting network effects.”

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5) Business

Confident that funding will take place in coming weeks: Vodafone Idea CEO

Cash-strapped Vodafone Idea (VIL) said it is in active talks with potential investors for fundraising, and asserted that ‘floor price’ remains the “best and most preferred” fix for industry’s woes arising from tariff-related issues. VIL confirmed that it has approached the government to extend a moratorium on spectrum installments. The company highlighted that sector’s biggest pain point comes from pricing issues and conceded that a tariff hike is “absolutely” essential to revive the sector, which is under stress.

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Committed to empowering our traders: PM Narendra Modi on the decision to include retail, wholesale trade as MSMEs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 3 described as “landmark” the decision to include retail and wholesale trade as MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises). Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had on July 2 announced the inclusion of retail and wholesale trade under MSMEs as per which the traders will now get the benefit of priority sector lending under RBI guidelines. Official sources said the move will have an immediate impact on smaller retailers and wholesalers with businesses up to Rs 250 crore of turnover in availing immediate-term finance as part of various schemes announced under “Atmanirbhar Bharat” program.

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Retailers, Wholesalers to be included in MSME category

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Ashok Leyland appoints former president and CEO of Aston Martin Andy Palmer as its Executive VC and CEO of EV arm Switch Mobility

Ashok Leyland has appointed Andy Palmer, the former CEO of Aston Martin as its Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Switch Mobility – the new electrified commercial vehicles group backed by The Hinduja Group. The company also announced the formal launch of a combined EV operation of Ashok Leyland and its British EV arm Optare to secure a leading global position in net zero carbon buses. A new leadership team has been appointed to leverage the legacy manufacturing and innovation capabilities of Ashok Leyland and Optare while applying cutting-edge technologies to provide customers with industry-leading low cost of ownership and net-zero emissions transport solutions globally.

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Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Limited plans $5-billion CAPEX for 3 years

Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Limited has planned a CAPEX of $5 billion (around Rs 37,500 crore) over a period of three years. A major chunk of this CAPEX would go into the oil and gas business. “About $2 billion has been earmarked for oil and gas business and the balance for aluminum, copper, steel, and zinc where about $500 million each (at least) would be used as CAPEX,” Agarwal, founder, and chairman of Vedanta Resources Limited. “This year (FY22) we may also have a profit of $7 billion and so aim to have the good allocation for our businesses,” Agarwal said without elaborating whether the profit is for Vedanta Limited or parent Vedanta Resources.

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6) Technology 

Sweden’s MTG acquires Indian games developer PlaySimple for $360 million

Swedish gaming company Modern Times Group (MTG) has acquired Bengaluru-based word games developer PlaySimple for $360 million (about Rs 2,686 crore), in a cash and stock deal. MTG, which bought the company through subsidiary MTG Gaming, will pay 77% of the acquisition price in cash and the remaining through its Class B shares. This is among the largest cash exits for an Indian startup after Byju’s bought WhiteHatJr for $300 million (about Rs 2,241 crore) in August last year.

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Mswipe appoints Cashe’s Ketan Patel as CEO, to apply for NBFC license

Merchant payments fintech Mswipe has appointed former Cashe CEO Ketan Patel as its new chief executive, with founder and former CEO Manish Patel elevated as the Managing Director. The leadership rejigs at Mswipe is with an objective to pivot its business model from a merchant-focused payments firm to a “digital SME bank.” The move comes at a time when competitor BharatPe has become the first fintech in India to own a small finance bank (SFB) license in partnership with Jaspal Bindra-led Centrum Group. Ketan Patel, who has also been with the Kotak Group, told ET that Falcon Edge-backed Mswipe will apply for a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) license in FY22 and later attempt to convert into an SFB.

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Mobile Premier League is all set to start its US innings

Online gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL) is entering the US market, in a bid to capture the world’s largest mobile gaming market. The Sequoia India-backed startup seeks to stand out in the US market by becoming a ‘super app’—a unified gaming platform with multiple offerings. It has opened an office in New York to oversee operations in the region, where it has a team of five people. MPL expanded into Indonesia in mid-2019 and established itself as a leading gaming platform, with over 5 million registered users in the country, according to the company.

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Gaming Industry ‘Is on Fire,’ Says EA CEO

Electronics Art Inc. CEO Andrew Wilson discusses the company’s banner year of 2020 and how the gaming industry has exploded throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. The video game maker is set to debut the latest release of their popular title “Battlefield” and reveal the new cover of “Madden NFL 22” this year. He also shares his views about ‘metaverse,’ the intersection of physical and virtual worlds, and its role in video games.

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Battle-ready: PUBG comes calling, in a new avatar

Battlegrounds Mobile India, launched by the creator of the banned PUBG, went live for users of Google’s Android operating system with nearly 40 million gamers signing up for this new avatar that has set social media abuzz and triggered anticipation of a boom in the Indian gaming sector. Last fortnight, the game’s publisher Krafton was forced to allay fresh concerns over the transfer of gamers’ data to third-party servers in China and said it has since updated the early version of the game – first made available to Indian users in June – in order to fix the issue. The mobile gaming market in India is pegged to grow to over $1 billion in 2021, according to research firm GlobalData. E-gaming firms are also expected to line up tournaments in the next few months, something that had slowed down following the ban last year.

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Decoding the Grey area of taxing Crypto Assets and gains in India

Unlike previous years, FY21 saw an exponential rise in the number of crypto traders and investments globally. In India, the number of crypto traders has grown from 5 Mn to 15 Mn in the last year alone. The rising numbers, as well as crypto-related frauds, have alarmed the regulatory bodies which include the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), income tax department (IT), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and others. With tax returns being the focus of most households and businesses right now, it has become imperative to understand the crypto taxation in India and clear the confusion surrounding the same.

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7) Politics

Pushkar Singh Dhami to be the new CM of Uttarakhand

Pushkar Singh Dhami has been elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party, paving the way for him to take over as the eleventh Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Dhami, who is a two-time MLA from Khatima in Udham Singh Nagar district, replaces Tirath Singh Rawat who resigned on 2nd July. 

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Explained: Major controversies, reversal of decisions that marked Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat’s 114-day term

Tirath Singh Rawat’s term as Uttarakhand Chief Minister — that lasted just 114 days — was riddled with controversies over his remarks as well as reversal of decisions taken by his predecessor Trivendra Singh Rawat who had resigned in March after leading the state government for four years. BJP leaders justified these reversals as a correction of “mistakes” that had cost Trivendra his job. Take a look at various steps of the previous state government that were overturned by Tirath Singh Rawat while at the helm.

For details visit.

Smaller parties in Samajwadi Party’s 2022 poll plan

After its flat refusal to tie up with big parties for the upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party is working on stitching together an alliance with small parties. The primary objective of this move is to reach out to the crucial non-Yadav OBC category, as well as garnering the support of some tribal communities and consolidating its position among Muslims. Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said that the SP’s move to fight elections on the back of small parties reflected its “powerlessness”, as the bigger parties had decided to not side with it for its “narrow-minded and anti-Dalit” mindset.

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Bengal government in denial mode about post-poll violence: High Court

Two days after a National Human Rights Commission panel submitted its interim report on post-poll violence in West Bengal, a five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court observed that “post-poll violence had happened in the state” but the state government was on “a denial mode” throughout. To date, “the state has not been able to create an atmosphere that could build the confidence of the sufferers to return back to their homes or carry on their occupation. People are afraid to even disclose their identity, apprehending threat to their life and property”, the court observed. The court did not make the interim report public as the investigation is ongoing. NHRC’s investigation will continue till July 13, the date of the next hearing.

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Two-time former MLA crosses over from JD(U) to RJD; Tejashwi elated

The opposition RJD in Bihar claimed to have received a shot in the arm with the induction of Maheshwar Singh, a two-term former MLA who crossed over from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U). Singh took the RJD’s primary membership in presence of the leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav and claimed he walked out of the NDA despite “a lot of pressure” and that scores of his supporters in East Champaran district were following suit through the virtual model.

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Delimitation Commission to meet political parties separately during J-K visit next week

Taking forward the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the delimitation commission has invited leaders of all national, regional, and registered political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for separate meetings during its visit to the Union Territory next week. The commission will undertake a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir from July 6-9 and will interact with leaders of political parties and officials to gather “first-hand” inputs on the conduct of the mega exercise to carve out new constituencies there.

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Congress seeks JPC probe into Rafale deal, urges PM Modi to order it

The Congress has demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale deal, saying it is the only way forward to find the truth about “corruption” in the purchase of the fighter jets. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should come forward and order the investigation, the party said. The Congress’ demand came after French investigative website Mediapart reported that a French judge has been appointed to lead a “highly sensitive” judicial investigation into alleged “corruption and favoritism” in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale fighter jet deal with India.

For details visit.

8) Sports

Deepika Kumari to Top World Rankings after Hat-Trick of Gold Medals in World Cup

After securing a hat-trick of gold medals at the Archery World Cup stage 3 in Paris, India’s Deepika Kumari is set to become the top-ranked archer among women. Deepika Kumari won gold medals in the recurve women’s team, recurve mixed team, and women’s individual recurve events to cap off an impressive performance. She said that she is looking forward to winning medals in the Tokyo Games. Deepika Kumari will be the sole woman representing India in Archery in the Tokyo Olympics.

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BCCI announces schedule for 2021-22 domestic Season, 2127 matches to be played

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the schedule for the upcoming 2021-22 domestic season. The domestic season will kick start with the Women’s One Day League, beginning September 21 this year. India’s domestic Twenty20 league, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will begin on October 20 with the final to be played on November 12. BCCI in its media statement also said the Ranji Trophy will be played in a three-month window from November 2021 to February 2022. A total of 2127 matches will be played throughout the 2021-22 domestic season across all men’s and women’s age groups. BCCI expressed confidence in making the domestic season successful while keeping the health and safety of everyone as their main priority.

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Euro 2020: Italy beat Belgium 2-1 to set up Semi-Final clash against Spain

A stunning strike by Lorenzo Insigne fired Italy into the semi-finals of Euro 2020 as a 2-1 win over Belgium sent them through to a meeting with Spain. Nicolo Barella struck the opening goal of the quarter-final in Munich before Insigne curled in Italy’s second in an action-packed first-half. Belgium grabbed a lifeline just before the break when Romelu Lukaku converted a penalty, but Roberto Martinez’s side ultimately fell short against a disciplined Italian defense. While Italy faces Spain at Wembley on Tuesday, defeat means more European Championship quarter-final heartbreak for Belgium, who exited at the same stage in 2016 after defeat by Wales. 

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Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic beats Denis Kudla to reach last-16 for 13th time

Defending champion Novak Djokovic survived a rocky third set to defeat American qualifier Denis Kudla to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon for the 13th time. The world number one triumphed over 114-ranked Kudla 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) to book a place in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the 55th time. Djokovic, chasing a record-equalling 20th major, cruised through the first two sets but then had to fight back from 1-4 down and also 1/4 in the tiebreaker before he recorded a 75th win at the All England Club.

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9) Opinion

Entry of big firms in healthcare space will benefit users: PharmEasy’s Siddharth Shah

Siddharth Shah, co-founder, and chief executive of API Holdings which runs PharmEasy, has largely been under the radar despite continuous action in the online pharmacy space over the last 12-18 months. But last week Shah hit the headlines when PharmEasy announced it is buying diagnostics chain Thyrocare, in the first instance of a unicorn acquiring a listed legacy player in India. ET spoke to Shah, on what’s next for Thyrocare, API’s existing drug delivery business, and what he makes of rivals like Reliance Industries and the Tata Group that have entered the space through acquisitions.

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Explained: In Leh and Kargil, different reasons to oppose Ladakh’s current status

Of Ladakh’s two districts, the changes of its bifurcation into two Union Territories (UT) were immediately opposed by the people of Kargil, where the leaders of the majority Shia population demanded that the district should remain part of J&K, and that special status be restored to safeguard the rights of Kargil people over their land and employment opportunities. Opposition from Leh came later. A UT for Ladakh had been a long-standing demand in Buddhist majority Leh, which believed it was marginalized in the larger state of J&K. But what Leh leaders did not bargain for was the complete loss of legislative powers. Unlike the UT of J&K, Ladakh was a UT without an assembly. What both Ladakh districts fear is that alienation of land, loss of identity, culture, language, and change in demography, will follow their political disempowerment.

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Brutal Tigray war ravaging Ethiopia & the shadow it casts over its Nobel laureate PM Abiy Ahmed

As Tigrayan forces regain control over their regional capital in a see-saw civil war raging in the north of Ethiopia, causing death, destitution, and famine, Shekhar Gupta unravels a fascinating, if the distant, region and explains why prime minister Abiy Ahmed, honored with the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, is now disappointing his fans.

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Explained: Why Erdogan has pulled out of Istanbul Convention on violence against women

Turkey’s controversial exit from Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women on July 1 has received severe criticism from various quarters and has led to protests across the country. The development comes over three months after President Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree on March 21 this year, repealing Turkey’s treaty of Istanbul Convention, despite the alarmingly high rates of violence and femicide in the country. Even though the official gazette did not include the reason for Turkey’s withdrawal, some officials of Erdogan’s nationalist party claimed that the convention demeans traditional family structure, promotes divorces and encourages acceptance of LGBTQ in the society.

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Xi’s party: His strong power strategy will have consequences for the Chinese Communist Party and China itself in the coming years

The celebration of the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary in Beijing on 1st July was not just about the past; it was also about its future under Xi Jinping. The CCP’s achievements in unifying the Chinese nation, promoting its prosperity, and elevating its international position are indeed historic. That there was little room for a critical reflection of the party’s past failures and current problems, however, suggests deepening Chinese insecurity in Beijing rather than self-assurance.

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Startling findings in Pew survey on religion, tolerance, nationalism, and segregation in India

Through a close study of the Pew survey on Religion in India, Shekhar Gupta dissects such data to address the contrasting evidence surrounding religious tolerance and segregation, bursting the stereotypes surrounding them.

News Satire of the Week

TV news villains & ‘Love Jihad’ in Kashmir | TV Newsance

The story of a Sikh woman from Srinagar made major headlines. It was alleged that she was kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to marry a 60-year-old Muslim man. Anchors like Amish Devgan, Arnab Goswami & those from Zee News played up this story but didn’t get the basics right. We were told minorities are a threat to the majority in India, and alleged forced conversions to Islam were the flavor of the week. But what is the true story of Manmeet Kaur and Shahid Bhat, other Sikh women in Srinagar whose names cropped up this week? What role did Manjinder Singh Sirsa play?

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With that, we come to an end for our Weekly Current Affairs July 2021 -Week 1. Hope you have liked it. Write your feedback in the comments below and let us know if there is anything else you would like us to cover.

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