Oct. 31, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

INDIA-VATICAN CITY
His Holiness Pope Francis received Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in a private audience at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican on Saturday, 30 October 2021.

About:

  • This was the first meeting between an Indian Prime Minister and the Pope in more than two decades.

  • In June 2000, Late Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had last visited the Vatican and met the then Pope, His Holiness John Paul II.

  • India and The Holy See have friendly relations dating back to the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1948.

  • India is home to the second largest Catholic population in Asia.

  • Prime Minster extended an invitation to His Holiness Pope Francis to visit India at an early date, which was accepted with pleasure.

Important Info :

Vatican City?

  • Vatican City, officially the Vatican City State is a landlocked and independent city state and enclave located within Rome, Italy.
  • The Vatican City State, also known simply as the Vatican, became independent from Italy with the Lateran Treaty (1929).
  • it is a distinct territory under "full ownership, exclusive dominion, and sovereign authority and jurisdiction" of the Holy See, itself a sovereign entity of international law, which maintains the city state's temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence.
  • With an area of 49 hectares and a population of about 825, it is the smallest state in the world by both area and population.
Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

ITALY-INDIA STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP IN ENERGY TRANSITION
Mario Draghi, President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit hosted by Italy in Rome on October 30-31, 2021.

In order to promote their partnership in energy transition, Italy and India will:

  • Task the "Joint Working Group” established by the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Energy, signed in Delhi on October 30, 2017, to explore cooperation in areas such as: Smart Cities; mobility; smart-grids, electricity distribution and storage solutions.

  • Initiate a dialogue to support the development and deployment of green hydrogen and related technologies in India.

  • Consider working together to support a large size green corridor project in India to capitalize on India’s target to produce and integrate 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.

  • Encourage joint investments of Indian and Italian companies in energy transition-related fields.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

LAKHPATI SHG WOMEN
To bring a sharper focus on moving women to the higher economic order, the Ministry of Rural Development launched an initiative on creating Lakhpati SHG women, to enable rural SHG women to earn at least Rs.1 lakh per annum.

About:

  • For the realization of this ambitious goal, the Ministry has envisioned livelihood support to 25 million rural SHG women in the next 2 years.

  • National Rural Livelihood Mission works on a saturation approach. As of date, 6768 blocks have been covered under the programme with mobilizing 7.7 crore women into 70 lakh SHGs.

  • From providing initial capitalization support to the SHGs are being credited to the tune of almost 80 thousand crore rupees annually.

  • Under the mission, poor women from different cross-sections of class and caste form into Self Help Groups and their federations, providing financial, economic and social development services to their members for enhancing their income and quality of life.

  • Over the years this money borrowed by SHGs through bank capitalization support is now being used for creating diversified livelihood opportunities.

  • While all these efforts are yielding positive transformation, it is realized that for ensuring sustainable livelihoods and dignified life of women SHG members, there is a need to make concerted effort for ensuring at least INR 1,00,000 income per annum for the household i.e. enabling them to become a Lakhpati.

  • The figure of Rs 1 lakh is both aspirational and inspirational for rural SHG women.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

LONG-RANGE BOMB
An Indian Air Force (IAF) team and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested the country’s first indigenously developed long-range bomb (LRB) from a fighter jet over Balasore in Odisha.

About:

  • The bomb is part of the class of weapons with a range of 50 to 150 km.

  • The bomb has been designed and developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) laboratory in Hyderabad, in coordination with other DRDO laboratories.

  • The Long-Range Bomb after release from the IAF fighter aircraft, guided to a land-based target at a long range with accuracy within specified limits. All the mission objectives were successfully met.

  • Successful flight test of Long-Range Bomb has marked an important milestone in indigenous development of this class of systems.

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

CURRENT ACCOUNT RULES
The Reserve Bank of India eased Current Account Rules for bank exposures less than five crore rupees allowing lenders to open current accounts, cash credit and overdraft facilities without any restriction.

About:

  • The Apex Bank asked banks to implement the changes within one month.

  • For borrowers, where the exposure of the banking system is less than five crore rupees, there is no restriction on the opening of current accounts or on the provision of CC/OD facility by banks, subject to obtaining an undertaking from such borrowers that they will inform the banks when the credit facilities availed by them from the banking system reaches five crore rupees or more.

  • It added that borrowers where the exposure is more than five crore rupees, will continue to maintain current accounts with any one of the banks with which they have cash credit or overdraft facility, provided that the bank has at least 10 per cent of the exposure of the banking system to that borrower.

  • The banking regulator also permitted banks to open and maintain inter-bank accounts, all accounts with institutions like EXIM Bank, NABARD, NHB and SIDBI account attached by orders of Central or State Government and investigative agencies without any restrictions.

  • RBI’s new rules aim to discipline current account usage to monitor cash flows efficiently and control siphoning of funds by regulating an already over-regulated sector.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

MUKHYAMANTRI GHASIYARI KALYAN YOJANA
The Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah launched the Mukhyamantri Ghasiyari Kalyan Yojana and computerization of cooperative societies in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

About:

  • The Union Home Minister said that three programs have been started.

  • First, work of computerization of all the PACS (Primary Agricultural Credit Society) of Uttarakhand has been completed. Computerization helps in direct linkage of PACS with district banks, district banks with state cooperative banks and state cooperative banks with NABARD and all schemes of farmers reach farmers directly through PACS.

  • Mukhyamantri Ghasiyari Kalyan Yojana has been launched. Women face great difficulty in providing fodder for animals in the hills in adverse weather conditions. Here about 2,000 farmers will cultivate maize on about 1,000 acres of land and a plan has been made to make nutritious animal feed in a scientific way, which will benefit about one lakh farmers.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

AMENDMENT TO ENERGY CONSERVATION ACT, 2001
Amidst the growing energy needs and changing global climate landscape, the Government of India has identified new areas to achieve higher levels of penetration of Renewable energy by proposing certain Amendments to Energy Conservation Act, 2001.

About:

  • The objective will be to enhance demand for renewable energy at the end- use sectors such as Industry, buildings, transport etc.

  • The proposal includes defining minimum share of renewable energy in the overall consumption by the industrial units or any establishment. There will be provision to incentivise efforts on using clean energy sources by means of carbon saving certificate.

  • The proposed amendments would facilitate development of Carbon market in India and prescribe minimum consumption of renewable energy either as direct consumption or indirect use through grid. This will help in reduction of fossil fuel based energy consumption and carbon emission to the atmosphere.

  • The proposed changes to the EC Act will boost the adoption of clean technologies in various sectors of economy. The provisions would facilitate promotion of green Hydrogen as an alternate to the existing fossil fuels used by the Industries.

  • The additional incentives in the form of Carbon credits against deployment of clean technologies will result in private sector involvement in climate actions. The proposal also includes expanding the scope of Act to include larger Residential buildings, with an aim to promote Sustainable Habitat.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

VALIYAZHIKKAL LIGHTHOUSE
Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated a new Lighthouse at Valiyazhikkal in Alappuzha district of Kerala.

About:

  • After obtaining the Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) clearance and other statutory clearance, the 41.26 metre height pentagonal RCC tower with elevator and allied buildings have been constructed and the lighthouse is currently on trial run since 03.06.2021.

  • The Govt has approved development of 75 lighthouses for tourism as a part of the 75thAzaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and Valiyazhikkal lighthouse is one of them. 11 other Lighthouses in Kerala have been earmarked for development of Tourism.

  • Construction of the lighthouse will immensely benefit the mariners plying in this Kerala region and the local fishermen will benefit for Day mark in day time and Safe return in Night time from the sea.

  • The location at Valiyazhikkal beach shall be a tourist destination and endorse the tourism activity in the area by providing scenic view of the sea to the tourists and thereby generate job and economical benefits for the locals.

Source : PIB
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

MGNREGA SCHEME
Government of India is committed to release funds for wage and material payments for proper implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA scheme.

About:

  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA) provides the guarantee of at least 100 days of wage employment against the demand made by a household in a rural area.

  • Fund release towards wage and material is a continuous process. There has been increasing of more than 18% of funds allocation for the current financial year in comparison to the previous financial year as a budget estimate.

  • Whenever additional fund is required, the Ministry of Finance is requested to provide the funds. In the previous financial year, the Ministry of Finance allocated Rs.50,000 crore additional funds for the scheme over and above that of BE.

  • The provision for unemployment allowances is applicable for the beneficiary who has demanded work and could not be offered the work within 15 days from the date of demand for work.

  • The category wise (SC, ST and Others) wage payment system, as made applicable from this current financial year, has been introduced to accurately reflect on the ground flow of funds to various population groups. Its further streamlining is being undertaken.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 31, 2021

PAN-INDIA LEGAL AWARENESS PROGRAM FOR WOMEN
The National Commission for Women (NCW), along with National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has launched a pan-India Legal Awareness Program for Women, "Empowerment of Women through Legal Awareness” to impart practical knowledge about legal rights.

About:

  • The programme was launched in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh by Justice UU Lalit, Judge Supreme Court of India and Executive Chairman, NALSA, Chairperson, National Commission for Women.

  • The programme aims to cover all the States and Union Territories across the country through regular sessions to make women aware of the various machineries of the justice delivery system available for redressal of their grievances.

  • The project will sensitize women and girls about their rights as provided under the various laws including the Indian Penal Code.

  • The project will also make them aware of the procedure of approaching and utilizing various channels available for the redressal of grievances, i.e., the Police, the Executive and the Judiciary.

Important Info :

Background:

  • Earlier, the Commission had launched a pilot project ‘Legal Awareness Programme’ in collaboration with NALSA for women at the grass-root levelon August 15, 2020.
  • The Pilot project had covered all the districts of 8 States, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Assam.
Source : PIB
Social Issues

Oct. 30, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

TUSHIL
The 7th Indian Navy Frigate of P1135.6 class was launched on 28 Oct 2021 at Yantar Shipyard, Kaliningrad, Russia.

About:

  • During the ceremony, the ship was formally named as ‘Tushil’. Tushil is a Sanskrit word meaning Protector Shield.

  • Based on an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the Government of Republic of India and Government of Russian Federation for construction of two ships of Project 1135.6 ships in Russia and two ships in India at M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), the contract for construction of two ships was signed between India and Russia in Oct 18.

  • The construction of these ships is based on Indian Navy’s specific requirements to meet the entire spectrum of naval warfare in all three dimensions of Air, Surface and Sub-surface.

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

SWAMIH FUND
The government-backed Special Window for Affordable & Mid-Income Housing (SWAMIH) Fund has announced complete exit from its investment made in CCI Rivali Park Wintergreen project in Mumbai.

About:

  • The fund was set up last year to provide last mile funding to stuck affordable housing projects.

  • According to the Finance Ministry, SWAMIH has given final approval to 95 projects sanctioning more than Rs 9,500 crores which will complete over 57,700 homes.

  • It has already completed over 1,500 homes in seven projects and is on track to complete at least 10,000 homes every year.

  • Located in Borivali, Mumbai, the Rivali Park residential project was the first to receive funding under the SWAMIH Fund, which was announced in November 2019 with an estimated fund size of Rs 25,000 crore. The Fund was announced under a government scheme to support stuck projects.

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

INDIGENOUS MECHANIZED SCAVENGING SYSTEM
Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) demonstrated the CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur developed indigenous Mechanized Scavenging System successfully at the premises of the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory.

About:

  • The developed system is benchmarked with the market available system in India, and a number of features have been added which makes it first of its kind in India.

  • The developed system is "very economic" and an important vehicle in Swachh Bharat Mission.

  • The developed System will help the "Manual Scavengers" Skilling themselves on the latest technological advancements in Sewerage Maintenance Systems as well as enhance their efficiency, performance and safeguard them against intrusive pathogens.

  • This will remove the Indignity from the Profession of Scavenging.

  • The CSIR-CMERI developed machine is designed for up to 5000 people density i.e. best suitable up to 300 mm diameter and up to 100-meter length of sewer system.

Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar addressed a National Conference on “International Year of Fruits and Vegetables” organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

About:

  • The conference was organized as part of the celebration of the “International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, 2021” declared by United Nations Organization.

  • The theme for this year is “Awareness about the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables for balanced and healthy diet and life style.”

  • To promote Globally popular Exotic and important Indigenous fruit crops in the country, the Ministry has identified 10 globally popular Exotic fruit crops of commercial importance and 10 important Indigenous fruit crops with high nutritional and nutraceutical properties.

  • India is the second-largest producer of horticulture, producing about 12% of the global fruit and vegetable production.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

HEALTH INSURANCE FOR INDIA’S MISSING MIDDLE
NITI Aayog released a comprehensive report titled Health Insurance for India’s Missing Middle, which brings out the gaps in the health insurance coverage across the Indian population and offers solutions to address the situation.

About:

  • The Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana—a flagship scheme towards Universal Health Coverage, and State Government extension schemes—provides comprehensive hospitalization cover to the bottom 50% of the population.

  • Around 20% of the population is covered through social health insurance, and private voluntary health insurance primarily designed for high-income groups.

  • The remaining 30% of the population, devoid of health insurance, is termed as the “missing middle”. The missing middle contains multiple groups across all expenditure quintiles and is spread across both urban and rural areas. The report highlights the need for designing a low-cost comprehensive health insurance product for the missing middle.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

INDIA’S FIRST MANNED OCEAN MISSION SAMUDRAYAN
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh launched India’s First Manned Ocean Mission Samudrayan at Chennai.

About:

  • With the launch of this Unique Ocean Mission, India joins the the elite club of nations such as USA, Russia, Japan, France and China to have such underwater vehicles for carrying out subsea activities.

  • This niche technology shall facilitate Ministry of Earth Sciences, MoES in carrying out deep ocean exploration of the non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydro-thermal sulphides and cobalt crusts, located at a depth between 1000 and 5500 meters.

  • The preliminary design of the manned submersible MATSYA 6000 is completed and realization of vehicle is started with various organization including ISRO, IITM and DRDO roped-in to support the development.

  • Sea trials of 500 metre rated shallow water version of the manned submersible are expected to take place in the last quarter of 2022 and the MATSYA 6000, the deep water manned submersible will be ready for trials by the second quarter of 2024.

  • With the advancing subsea technologies, the recent Fendouzhe manned submersible developed by China in 2020 has touched ~11000m water depths.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

INSULATE BRITAIN
Insulate Britain, an environmental campaign group demanding insulation of all social housing in Britain to cut carbon emissions, blocked two busy roads in London.

About:

  • According to Insulate Britain’s website, the group is made up of “ordinary British citizens” who are only demanding that the government insulate Britain.

  • "The UK government must immediately promise to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain." says the group’s website.

What are the major demands of Insulate Britain?

  • The group’s first demand is that the UK government makes a promise to completely fund and take responsibility for insulating all social housing in Britain by 2025.

  • Secondly, the group asks the UK government to promise to draw, within four months, a legally binding plan to fund and take responsibility for “a full low-energy and low-carbon whole-house retrofit, with no externalised costs, of all homes in Britain by 2030 as part of a just transition to full decarbonisation of all parts of society and the economy”.

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

META
Facebook is now called ‘Meta’, a change, the company announced at its Connect 2021 conference.

About:

  • ‘Meta’ in Greek means ‘after’ or ‘beyond’. The overall Facebook company will now simply be called Meta. However, the Facebook app will retain its name and there’s no change for other apps.

  • But Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger are now all under the company ‘Meta’— like Google has all its products under the umbrella company Alphabet.

  • Meta has a new logo as well, which is sort of like the symbol for infinity.

  • What exactly will it mean to live in the metaverse? The way Zuckerberg is envisioning the ‘metaverse’, it will go beyond the internet as we know it, with interoperability, avataars, natural interfaces, teleporting, Home Space, presence, digital goods being some of the key features of this metaverse.

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

SUPER SKYSCRAPERS
Home to some of the world’s tallest buildings, China is now cracking down on the construction of ‘super skyscrapers’ in smaller cities across the country.

About:

  • The country’s strict new laws impose restrictions on the height of buildings based on the population density of different cities.

  • The latest guidelines limiting the height of super-high buildings is part of a larger crackdown on “vanity projects” in the country. It also aims to reduce China’s energy consumption. Many have argued that in low-density cities massive skyscrapers are merely impractical vanity projects.

Important Info :

What are the new rules?

  • As per the country’s strict new rules, skyscrapers taller than 150 metres (490 ft) will be strictly limited, and those higher than 250 metres (820 ft) will be banned for cities with a population of fewer than 3 million.
  • In cities with over 3 million people, authorities have also decided to limit structures taller than 250 metres.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 30, 2021

KARNATAKA GAMBLING LAW
On September 21, the Karnataka legislature passed a legislation to amend the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, making all forms of gambling, including online, a cognisable and non-bailable offence. The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act , 2021 was notified and came into force on October 5.

About:

  • It was passed in Karnataka despite similar laws introduced in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana having faced legal challenges for broadening the scope of gambling beyond what has been defined by law.

  • On August 3, the Madras High Court struck down the Tamil Nadu Gambling and Police Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 as being ultra vires.

  • And on September 27, the Kerala High Court, relying on the Madras HC order, struck down an amendment to the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 which imposed a ban on online rummy.

Important Info :

What are the legal issues raised by these amended laws?

  • One of the primary grounds on which the new gaming laws in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu has been challenged is that games of skill have been clubbed along with games of chance in the definition of gaming, if the games of skill are played for prizes or bets.
  • Gaming companies have argued — successfully in Tamil Nadu and Kerala — that as per the law laid down by the Supreme Court in as 1957 (Chamarbaugwala cases) — competitive games of skill are business activities protected under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution.
Source : Indian Express
Sports

Oct. 29, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

GST COMPENSATION
The Ministry of Finance has released ₹44,000 crore to the States and UTs with Legislature under the back-to-back loan facility in lieu of GST Compensation.

About:

  • After taking into account earlier release of ₹ 1,15,000 crore (₹ 75,000 crore released on 15th July, 2021 and ₹ 40,000 crore released on 07th October, 2021), total amount released in the current financial year as back-to-back loan in-lieu of GST compensation is ₹1,59,000 crore.

  • This release is in addition to normal GST compensation being released every 2 months out of actual cess collection.

  • Subsequent to the 43rd GST Council Meeting held on 28.05.2021, it was decided that the Central Government would borrow ₹1.59 lakh crore and release it to States and UTs with Legislature on a back-to-back basis to meet the resource gap due to the short release of Compensation on account of inadequate amount in the Compensation Fund.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

18th INDIA-ASEAN SUMMIT
Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the 18th India-ASEAN Summit at the invitation of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, the current Chair of ASEAN.

About:

  • Highlighting the milestone of 30th anniversary of India-ASEAN Partnership, the leaders announced the Year 2022 as India-ASEAN Friendship Year.

  • Building upon the synergies between the ASEAN Outlook for the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), PM and ASEAN leaders welcomed the adoption of the India-ASEAN Joint Statement on cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

  • On COVID-19, the Prime Minister highlighted that India has contributed medical supplies worth USD 200,000 to ASEAN’s humanitarian initiative for Myanmar and USD 1 million for ASEAN’s Covid-19 Response Fund.

  • Prime Minister Modi announced India’s support for establishing the ASEAN Cultural Heritage List.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

INTEGRATED URBAN FLOOD MANAGEMENT IN CHENNAI
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $251 million loan for climate-resilient, integrated urban flood protection and management in the Chennai-Kosasthalaiyar basin to strengthen resilience of Chennai city to floods.

About:

  • Ministry of Finance, India signed the agreement for the Integrated Urban Flood Management for the Chennai-Kosasthalaiyar River Basin Project, while Shri Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission signed for ADB.

  • The project interventions will help reduce the vulnerability of Chennai–Kosasthalaiyar basin residents to frequent floods, which have in recent years destroyed property and livelihoods.

Source : PIB
Disaster Management

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

INDIAN COAST GUARD SHIP ‘SARTHAK’
The indigenously built Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sarthak’ was commissioned and dedicated to the nation on October 28, 2021 at Goa by the Director General of Indian Coast Guard K Natarajan.

About:

  • ICGS Sarthak will be based at Porbandar in Gujarat and operate on India’s Western Seaboard under the Operational and Administrative Control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (Northwest).

  • ICGS Sarthak is 4th in the series of five OPVs being built by Goa Shipyard Limited for the ICG.

  • These OPVs are multi-mission platforms capable of undertaking concurrent operations. The 105-meter-long ship displacing 2,450 tons is propelled by two 9,100 kilowatt diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots.

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

TERMINAL BALLISTICS RESEARCH LABORATORY (TBRL)
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh visited Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Chandigarh on October 28, 2021.

About:

  • He commended the role of the laboratory in design and development of Multi-Mode Hand Grenade (MMHG), the first munition manufactured by the private sector for the Armed Forces.

  • He also mentioned about the Bund Blasting Device Mark II, designed and developed by TBRL, which was handed over to the Indian Army in his presence earlier this month.

  • He also inaugurated the Augmented Environmental Test facility.

  • Transfer of Technology for TRBL-developed warhead for Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) Mk-II was handed over to Economic Explosives Limited, Nagpur on the occasion.

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

NATIONAL FORMULARY OF INDIA (NFI)
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya launched the Sixth Edition of National Formulary of India (NFI).

The salient feature of this edition includes:

  • NFI has been published by Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) to promote rational use of medicines in the country.

  • The 6th Edition of NFI 2021 has been drafted by adopting the principle ‘do not miss critical and do not overload’ the information by revising the appendices, chapters and drug monographs.

  • 34 therapeutic categories chapters including 591 drug monographs and 23 appendices are included in this edition.

  • The NFI is aligned with National Health Programmes and National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

AGNI 5
India’s Agni 5 ballistic missile was tested for the first time by the Strategic Forces Command.

About:

  • The nuclear-capable missile is India’s contender for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range of 5,000 km. The latest test comes after reports that China had tested a new hypersonic missile in August.

  • Agni 5 is India’s long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, which can hit a target with a precision that is 5,000 km away. This range puts almost the entire China within the missile’s target range.

  • Though officially an ICBM needs a missile to have a range of at least 5,500 km, the Agni 5 is India’s closest contender for an ICBM, as it can reach countries across other continents, including parts of Africa and Europe.

Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

RAKESH KUMAR SINGLA VS. UNION OF INDIA
Senior advocate Amit Desai, appearing on behalf of Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, argued in the Bombay High Court and said “Punjab and Haryana High Court and Bombay High Court have held that WhatsApp chats are inadmissible”.

About:

  • While hearing the matter of Rakesh Kumar Singla vs. Union of India on January 14, 2021, the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s Justice Jaishree Thakur ruled that “reliance could, however, be placed on the messages only after complying with provisions of Section 65-B of the Indian Evidence Act”.

  • The court observed, “Section 65B(4) of the Evidence Act states that any information contained in an electronic record shall be deemed to be a document, provided it satisfies all the conditions mentioned in the said section.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

REGISTERING A POLITICAL PARTY
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced he will be forming his own political party in Punjab ahead of the state assembly elections.

About:

  • Any party seeking registration has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation as per guidelines prescribed by the Commission in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

  • The registration of all political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

  • As per existing guidelines, the applicant is asked to publish a proposed party name in two national daily newspapers and two local daily newspapers, and provide two days for submitting objections, if any, with regard to the proposed registration of the party before the Commission within 30 days from the publication.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Oct. 29, 2021

DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR MAKING AIR TRAVEL EASIER FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
In an attempt to make air travel easier for people with disabilities, the Civil Aviation Ministry issued a list of “draft accessibility standards and guidelines”.

About:

  • These guidelines lay down some dos and don’ts for airlines and airport operators to follow to minimise the hurdles faced by disabled people while they are travelling.

  • These draft guidelines come nearly a week after actor and dancer Sudha Chandran took to social media to share the ordeal she faced at the airport, where she was asked to remove her prosthetic limb every time she passed through security check.

  • As per the draft guidelines, airport operators must now make arrangements to ensure that people with special needs are screened in a way that keeps the “dignity and privacy of the passenger in mind”.

  • During the screening of prosthetics, airport security may use X-ray, explosive trace detection devices or visual checks according to their requirement.

Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Oct. 28, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

COMMITTEE TO PROBE PEGASUS
A three-member committee has been appointed by the Supreme Court to look into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using Pegasus, a spyware developed by Israeli firm NSO Group.

About:

  • The committee members are Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Dean of National Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar; Dr Prabaharan P, Professor at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala; and Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste, Institute Chair Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

  • It will be supervised by retired judge Justice R V Raveendran. The former Supreme Court Justice is a highly-respected member of the law community, and was recently referred by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana as “one of the legends who have increased the prestige of the Supreme Court of India”.

  • Justice Raveendran served as judge of the Supreme Court from September 9, 2005 to October 15, 2011. Before that, he was Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

  • Justice Raveendran was part of the R M Lodha Committee appointed by the SC in 2015 to reform the BCCI.

Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

CLIMATE VULNERABILITY INDEX (CVI)
Environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water has carried a first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment, or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI), in which it has analysed 640 districts in India to assess their vulnerability to extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods, heatwaves, droughts, etc.

How is the Climate Vulnerability Index assessed?

  • The CVI maps exposure (that is whether the district is prone to extreme weather events), sensitivity (the likelihood of an impact on the district by the weather event), and adaptive capacity (what the response or coping mechanism of the district is).

  • It helps map critical vulnerabilities and plan strategies to enhance resilience and adapt by climate-proofing communities, economies and infrastructure.

  • Instead of looking at climate extremes in isolation, the study looks at the combined risk of hydro-met disasters, which is floods, cyclones and droughts, and their impact.

  • The study does not take into consideration other natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Important Info :

What are the findings of the climate vulnerability index?

  • According to CVI, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and cyclones in India.
  • While 27 Indian states and union territories are vulnerable to extreme climate events, 463 districts out of 640 are vulnerable to extreme weather events
  • Dhemaji and Nagaon in Assam, Khammam in Telangana, Gajapati in Odisha, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, Sangli in Maharashtra, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu are among India’s most climate vulnerable districts
  • More than 80 per cent Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risks – that is 17 of 20 people in India are vulnerable to climate risks, out of which every five Indians live in areas that are extremely vulnerable
  • More than 45 per cent of these districts have undergone “unsustainable landscape and infrastructure changes’’.
  • 183 hotspot districts are highly vulnerable to more than one extreme climate events
Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

ANTI-DIABETIC MEDICINES
Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) said it has fixed the ceiling prices for 12 anti-diabetic generic medicines, including glimepiride tablets, glucose injection and intermediate acting insulin solution.

About:

  • To make it possible for every Indian to afford medical treatment, NPPA has fixed the ceiling prices of 12 anti-diabetic generic medicines. These include glimepiride tablet of strength 1 mg, with ceiling price at ₹3.6 per tablet, while that for 2 mg is ₹5.72 per tablet.

  • The ceiling price of 1 ml glucose injection of 25% strength has been fixed at 17 paise, while that of 1ml of insulin (soluble) injection of strength 40IU/ml is ₹15.09. Similarly, 1 ml of intermediate acting (NPH) solution insulin injection of strength 40 IU/ml has a ceiling price of ₹15.09.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

MULLAPERIYAR DAM
The Supreme Court on October 25 directed the Supervisory Committee to take an immediate and firm decision on the maximum water level that can be maintained at Mullaperiyar dam, amid torrential rain in Kerala.

About:

  • Kerala said the water level should not go above 139 feet, the same as what the court had ordered on August 24, 2018, when the State was hit by floods.

  • Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, informed the court that the level in the dam was 137.2 ft at 9 a.m. on October 25.

  • As regards Kerala’s contention not to raise the water level beyond 139 feet, kerala said the Supreme Court had, in judgments in 2006 and 2014, fixed the maximum water level at 142 feet.

  • The order came in a petition filed by Idukki resident, who had expressed their apprehensions about the supervision of water levels in the Mullaperiyar dam located along the Periyar tiger reserve, especially during the rainy season.

Source : The Hindu
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

SUDAN
Members of Sudan’s cabinet and a large number of pro-government party leaders were arrested in an apparent coup after weeks of tension between the military and a civilian government.

Who is in charge in Sudan?

  • Sudan began a transition to democracy after a popular uprising and the ouster in April 2019 of President Omar al-Bashir, an Islamist shunned by the West who had presided over the country for nearly three decades.

  • Under an August 2019 agreement, the military is sharing power with officials appointed by civilian political groups in a ruling body known as the Sovereign Council, meant to lead the country to elections by the end of 2023.

Tensions

  • Although the military’s role is supposed to be largely honorary, civilians have repeatedly complained of military overreach in foreign policy and peace negotiations.

  • The military has accused civilian parties of mismanagement and monopolising power.

  • A coalition of rebel groups and political parties have aligned themselves with the armed forces and have sought to dissolve the civilian cabinet.

  • One point of tension is the pursuit of justice over allegations of war crimes by the military and its allies in the conflict in Darfur from 2003. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking trials for Bashir and other Sudanese suspects. 

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

AY.4
There are now 75 AY lineages identified, each with different additional defining mutations in their genome. One of these “AY.4” has been steadily growing in proportion in the UK over the last few months, accounting for 63% of new UK cases in the last 28 days.

About:

  • As per recent reports, health officials in India are also currently investigating the subvariant of the SARS-COV-2, which is thought to be the leading cause of a fresh rise in cases in the UK in the past couple of weeks.

  • The newest mutation of the SARS-COV-2 virus, 'AY.4.2' is a sub-lineage of the Delta variant of the infectious virus. It's being currently dubbed as the 'Delta Plus' variant.

  • As per leading scientists based out of Columbia University, as many as 75 AY lineages of coronavirus have been identified till now, but the concerning one in question, AY.4 is one such sub-variant which is rapidly branching out, and most particularly, deemed to be steadily rising in parts of the UK.

  • Though a lot remains still unknown about the lineage right now, experts do believe that it's origin from the Delta variant could possibly signal worser COVID-19 symptoms, be more infectious and spread rapidly. While the Delta variant of coronavirus is said to be about 60% more infectious, the AY.4.2 lineage, too, could have a similar fate.

Source : Times of India
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

LANZHOU
China placed a Lanzhou – the capital of Gansu province in the country's northwest – under lockdown, ordering them not to leave home except in emergencies, in a bid to eradicate a Covid cluster of just a few dozen confirmed cases.

About:

  • Fresh restrictions came as China reported 29 new domestic infections -- including six in Lanzhou. The latest outbreak has been linked to the highly contagious Delta variant, with the tally hitting 198 cases since October 17.

  • Lanzhou is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in Northwest China.

  • Located on the banks of the Yellow River, it is a key regional transportation hub.

  • The city is also a center for heavy industry and petrochemical industry.

Source : LiveMint
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

PM AYUSHMAN BHARAT HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE MISSION
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.

About:

  • It will seek to address three critical gaps in India’s public health sector: augmenting health facilities for treatment; setting up of Integrated Public Health labs for diagnosis of disease, and expansion of existing research institutions that study pandemics.

  • It is the largest pan-India scheme since 2005 for the creation and improvement of long-term public healthcare infrastructure. It is meant to be implemented in each district of the country.

  • The government will spend Rs 64,180 crore on the scheme from the financial year 2021-22 to 2025-26.

  • The first component is to establish comprehensive surveillance of infectious diseases.

  • The second component is the creation of comprehensive diagnostics and treatment facilities.

  • The third component of the mission will be on comprehensive pandemic research.

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

ANDA CELL
After activist Gautam Navlakha, arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, was shifted to the high-security anda cell of Mumbai’s Taloja jail earlier this month, his partner has claimed the move is adversely affecting his health. The 70-year-old’s lawyer has said the anda cell is “akin to solitary confinement”.

About:

  • An anda (egg) cell is a high-security prison cell, so called because of its oblong shape.

  • Only central prisons across India have anda cells, built by the Public Works Department (PWD).

  • The cells are specially designed to secure high-risk prisoners, with the oblong shape providing a better view while monitoring and patrolling.

  • There are two security cordons, inner and outer. Each cell opens inward into an open space, where inmates are allowed out in turns during specific hours.

  • More prison officers and staff are posted in anda cells than in ordinary barracks. Every staff member entering or exiting has to sign a register, where their details are noted. The size of the cell in different prisons depends on the number of inmates kept there.

Important Info :

Does anda cell mean solitary confinement?

  • Anda cell cannot be called solitary confinement, but it is the most isolated cell in any central prison.
  • Isolation cells have bigger courtyards and are open from above, providing enough sunlight. The anda cells usually have two wings and are covered with iron rods from above. The prisoner cannot move from one wing to the other.
Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 28, 2021

‘PODU’ LAND ISSUE IN TELANGANA
The Telangana government has decided to move landless, non-tribal farmers engaged in shifting cultivation inside forests to peripheral areas as it looks to combat deforestation.

About:

  • Telangana government has red-flagged encroachment of forests by non-tribals, who are indulging in the practice of shifting agriculture (podu).

  • Several political leaders have raised the issues of shifting agriculture and deforestation wherein encroachers clear a portion of land to raise crops one season and move to a different location next season, thereby clearing large areas of forests.

  • The government now wants to shift out all farmers from the forests to the periphery by allotting lands to them for cultivation.

Source : Indian Express
Environment
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