Oct. 19, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

TIBETOLOGY
With a view to orienting its officers and men posted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tibetan culture and also preparing them to better understand the information warfare, the Army has begun a course in Tibetology in a tie-up with the Central Institute of Himalayan Cultural Studies in Arunachal Pradesh.

About:

  • The first batch of 15 participants was trained from March to May this year.

  • Understanding Tibetan traditions, cultural peculiarities, democracy and political influence and so on empowers our men and officers to understand where we are going and where we are operating,” said a senior Army officer.

  • The Army’s Training Command, ARTRAC, has identified seven institutes for Tibetology across the country, two of which are in the northeast. The other one is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Sikkim.

  • During the 42 days of the preliminary course, Tibetan history, geopolitics and current political dynamics were covered in the form of lectures and case studies, the officer added. Lamas who were proficient in Tibetan issues were hired from the Bomdila Monastery to teach the course.

Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

INFORMAL WORKERS
The Supreme Court has held that part-time employees are not entitled to seek regularisation as they are not working against any sanctioned post in the Government.

About:

  • A Bench of Justices M.R. Shah and A.S. Bopanna clarified in a recent judgment that there cannot be any permanent continuance of part-time temporary employees.

  • It is further observed that mere continuance every year of seasonal work during the period when work was available does not constitute a permanent status.

  • It was a settled proposition of law, that regularisation could be only as per the policy declared by the State/Government and “nobody can claim the regularisation as a matter of right”.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

MUMBAI GREEN COVER
Mumbai lost 81% of its open land (barren spaces without any vegetation), 40% green cover (forests & scrublands) and approximately 30% of its water bodies (lakes, ponds, floodplains) between 1991 and 2018, while the built-up area (areas developed upon) rose by 66% in the same period, says a recent study.

About:

  • It concludes that the city witnessed a 2-degree Celsius average temperature rise across 27 years.

  • With this pace of urbanisation and landscape transformation, it is expected that the Urban Heat Island intensity will further increase in the city.

  • The extreme heat that one experiences while strolling through any urban landscape is caused by the Urban Heat Island effect, a micro-climatic phenomenon. This is due to a number of causes, the most prominent being the usage of materials such as concrete

  • This will not only deteriorate the urban thermal environment but also increase the serious risks to health for city dwellers. This rise in heat intensity in Mumbai is linked to the declining green cover in the city, which is the result of the large-scale transformation of the green cover into built-up land for the infrastructural development in the city.

Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

GEN-NEXT DEMOCRATIC NETWORK
Chairman of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has said that as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, India will host young leaders from 75 democracies under the initiative Gen-Next Democratic Network.

About:

  • Young leaders below the age of 35 from the ruling party, opposition party and other key parties are being invited and the first batch will include leaders from Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Japan, Indonesia, Chile and Zambia.

  • He said, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will inaugurate the event on 25th November.

  • The objective behind the event is to give the young leaders a comprehensive idea about India's rich democratic culture.

Source : All India Radio
Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

EARTHSHOT PRIZE
Dubbed as the “Eco Oscars”, The Earthshot Prize is an award set up by Prince William and the Royal Foundation, the charity founded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and historian David Attenborough to honour five finalists between 2021 and 2030 for developing solutions to fight the climate crisis.

About:

  • The inaugural edition remains special for India as Vidyut Mohan’s technology that recycles agricultural waste to create fuel was named among the winners of the coveted prize.

  • Established in 2020, 2021 was the first year when awards were handed out to finalists for their contributions towards the five UN Sustainable Development Goals — restoration and protection of nature, air cleanliness, ocean revival, waste-free living and climate action.

  • Inspired by former US President John F Kennedy’s Moonshot — when the president had set a goal of reaching the Moon in less than a decade — the Earthshot Prize hopes to encourage and support the development of solutions for Earth’s environmental problems.

  • Five individuals or organisations that have come up with impactful solutions to problems plaguing the planet will be awarded one million euros. Each year five winners will be selected, one for each of the UN SDG goal categories, with a total of 50 million euros being awarded by 2030.

  • The winners will be chosen by the Earthshot Prize Council which comprises global spokespersons who are striving to bring impactful action in various capabilities.

Source : Indian Express
Awards

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

ALLIUM NEGIANUM
A plant discovered in Uttarakhand in 2019 has been newly confirmed as a new species of Allium — the genus that includes many staple foods such as onion and garlic, among 1,100 species worldwide. The new species is described in journal PhytoKeys.

About:

  • In 2019, Dr Anjula Pandey, Principal Scientist at ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources in New Delhi, together with scientists Drs K Madhav Rai, Pavan Kumar Malav and S Rajkumar, came across plants of this onion species, which they have named Allium negianum, in the border area of Malari village, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.

  • It grows at 3,000 to 4,800 m above sea level and can be found along open grassy meadows, sandy soils along rivers, and streams forming in snow pasture lands along alpine meadows, where the melting snow helps carry its seeds to more favourable areas.

  • With a narrow distribution, this newly described species is restricted to the region of western Himalayas and hasn’t yet been reported from anywhere else in the world.

  • The scientific name Allium negianum honours the late Dr Kuldeep Singh Negi, an explorer and Allium collector.

  • Although new to science, this species has long been known under domestic cultivation to local communities. So far only known from the western Himalaya region, Allium negianum might be under pressure from people looking to taste it.

Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

ARCTIC ICE
According to a new study, If carbon emissions continue at current levels, summer ice will disappear by 2100 — and, along with it, creatures such as seals and polar bears.

About:

  • In winter, most of the Arctic Ocean surface freezes, and scientists expect this to continue for the foreseeable future, even as climate warms.

  • In summer, when some of the ice melts, winds and currents carry it for great distances — some of it into the North Atlantic, but much of it into the Arctic’s farthest-north coasts, along Greenland and the Canadian islands.

  • This results in a rich marine ecosystem. On the Arctic ice, algae bloom. These feed tiny animals, which in turn feed fish, which in turn feed seals, which feed polar bears at the top of the chain.

  • The irregular topography also helps create lairs for seals, and ice caves for polar bears during the winter.

  • But with a warming climate, summer sea ice has been shrinking fast, and now consistently spans less than half the area it did in the early 1980s.

Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

NATIONAL RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Commodore Amit Rastogi (Retd), after an illustrious career of 34 years in Indian Navy has taken over as Chairman & Managing Director of National Research Development Corporation on 18 October, 2021.

About:

  • NRDC is an enterprise of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India.

  • It engages in the development, promotion and transfer of technologies emanating from various national R&D institutions.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The fourth general assembly of The International Solar Alliance (ISA), is to be held virtually between October 18th and October 21st, 2021, and will be presided over by Shri R.K. Singh, Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India and the President of the ISA Assembly.

About:

  • The ISA Secretariat has planned a series of technical sessions on various strategic initiatives of the ISA on October 18th, 2021, and technical sessions on various emergent issues in the solar and clean energy sector in partnership with partner and other organizations on October 20th and 21st, 2021.

  • The Fourth Assembly of the ISA will deliberate on the key initiatives around the operationalisation of the OSOWOG initiative, the $1 trillion Solar Investment Roadmap for 2030, and approval of a Blended Financial Risk Mitigation Facility.

  • World leaders of ISA member countries will also discuss the strategic plan of the ISA for the next five years encompassing a Country Partnership Framework, Strategy for Private Sector Engagement, and initiatives such as Viability Gap Financing scheme to facilitate affordable finance for solar energy projects across ISA’s membership.

  • The ISA will also discuss the partnership with Global Energy Alliance (GEA) to scale up technical and financial support to LDCs and SIDS.

  • The Assembly is the apex decision-making body of ISA, in which each member country is represented.

Source : PIB
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 19, 2021

GEOSPATIAL ENERGY MAP OF INDIA
Geospatial Energy Map of India was launched by Dr Rajiv Kumar (Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog), Dr V K Saraswat (Member, NITI Aayog), and Shri Amitabh Kant (CEO, NITI Aayog) on 18 October 2021.

About:

  • NITI Aayog in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed a comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) Energy Map of India with the support of Energy Ministries of Government of India.

  • The GIS map provides a holistic picture of all energy resources of the country which enables visualisation of energy installations such as conventional power plants, oil and gas wells, petroleum refineries, coal fields and coal blocks, district-wise data on renewable energy power plants and renewable energy resource potential, etc through 27 thematic layers.

  • The map attempts to identify and locate all primary and secondary sources of energy and their transportation/transmission networks to provide a comprehensive view of energy production and distribution in a country.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Oct. 18, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

DENGUE AND PLATELETS
In dengue, there is a drop in platelet count.

In dengue, the drop in platelet count is because of the following reasons:

  • Platelet count in dengue decreases as it suppresses bone marrow, which is the platelet-producing area.

  • Platelet count in dengue decreases because of blood cells affected by the disease.

  • Antibodies that are produced during this period lead to massive destruction of platelets in dengue.

What is a normal platelet count in a body?

  • In the normal human body, the platelet count in dengue ranges from 1.5 lakh to 4 lakh.

How does a drop in platelet count in cases of dengue manifest? What are the complications?

Patient can be asymptomatic or may have bleeding manifestations, such as:

  • Bleeding from gums or nose

  • Blood in urine, stools or vomit

  • Bleeding under the skin, which might look like bruising

  • Major internal organ bleeds in few cases

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

RAINFALL IN KERALA
After two years, rain fury and floods have returned to haunt parts of central and southern Kerala districts. In Kottayam district — among the worst-hit — the Army and the Air Force have been deployed to carry out rescue operations.

About:

  • Flash floods, mudslides and landslides were reported in most districts located between central and southern Kerala, which included Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.

Is the rainfall associated with the southwest monsoon withdrawal?

  • This year, the southwest monsoon withdrawal has been significantly delayed. It has withdrawn completely from west, north, central and eastern India regions, but continues to remain active in the southern peninsula.

  • With the withdrawal entering the peninsula regions, southern states, including Kerala, have reported thunderstorms for over a week now.

  • But, the rainfall during the last four days is mainly a localised phenomenon triggered due to the low-pressure system formed in the Arabian Sea.

Reason

  • A low pressure system developed in the east-central Arabian Sea on October 14. This system moved closer to Kerala coast and triggered severe weather.

  • Under the influence of this system, Kerala experienced heavy to very heavy rain (115.5mm to 204.4mm in 24-hours), and extremely heavy rain (over 204.4mm in 24-hours) in at least six of its southern districts since Thursday.

Source : Indian Express
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

WORLD FOOD DAY
World Food Day is being celebrated every year on October 16 to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945.

About:

  • The day is also observed by organisations like World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development.

  • Since 1981, World Food Day has celebrated various themes to highlight the importance of food security, with most of them revolving around agriculture.

  • The theme for World Food Day this year is “Our actions are our future- Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life,” as per the official website of FAO.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

DALIT SIKHS
The deafening silence of the political establishment, in both Punjab and Haryana, over the lynching of a Dalit Sikh by a group of Nihangs at the Singhu border for the alleged desecration of their holy text speaks volumes about the fault lines it exposes — and hardens.

About:

  • In the run-up to the Assembly polls in Punjab, religion has become a hot potato along with caste.

  • Only last week, the Akal Takht head priest Giani Harpreet Singh, had warned against what he called were the dangers of forced conversions by Christian missionaries in the border belt. Dalit activists had blamed it on the poor representation of SCs and STs in the Sikh clergy.

  • This concern was raised just weeks after the elevation of Charanjit Singh Channi as the first SC chief minister of the state.

Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

BHUTAN-CHINA BOUNDARY TALKS
In a step towards resolving their boundary disputes, Bhutan and China signed an agreement on a three-step roadmap to help speed up talks, at a meeting of Foreign Ministers.

About:

  • The roadmap “for Expediting the Bhutan-China Boundary Negotiations”, is expected to kickstart the progress on the boundary talks process that has been delayed for five years, first due to the Doklam standoff in 2017 and then by the pandemic.

  • The timing of the agreement is particularly significant for New Delhi, given the border talks on their 17-month old standoff at the Line of Actual Control appear to have hit an impasse this week.

  • The Bhutanese Embassy in Delhi declined to comment on the details of the three steps and sources said information on the process of negotiations is ‘sensitive’ and could not be shared at this stage.

  • The roadmap had been finalised during the 10th expert group meeting in Kunming in April 2021, and presented for approval to their Governments in Thimphu and Beijing respectively.

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

IMF
Over the past week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been in the news for both desirable and undesirable reasons.

About:

  • A big part of the focus on the IMF has been due to the controversy surrounding its Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s role in the alleged rigging of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings while she was the chief executive at the Bank.

  • the IMF has also been in the news for unveiling its second World Economic Outlook (WEO). The IMF comes out with its WEO twice every year (April and October).

  • On the whole, the IMF’s central message was that the global economic recovery momentum had weakened a tad, thanks largely to the pandemic-induced supply disruptions across the planet.

  • But possibly the most important takeaway from the WEO this time is about the employment growth likely to lag the output recovery.

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

DLX1 PROTEIN
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, have discovered that a particular gene (DLX1) which plays an important role in the development of jaws, skeleton, and interneurons in the brain has an important role to play in the growth and development of prostate cancer.

About:

  • The DLX1 protein is found at elevated levels in prostate cancer patients, the reason why the DLX1 protein has been used as a urine-based biomarker.

  • Now the team of researchers at IIT Kanpur has found that the DLX1 protein, which is expressed at higher levels in the prostate cancer cells, has a huge role in the growth and development of the tumour and the spread of the cancer to other organs in the body (metastasis).

  • Using small molecules as inhibitors, the researchers have shown in mice a new therapeutic strategy to treat people with DLX1-positive prostate cancer.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

HYPERSONIC GLIDE VEHICLES
China’s military has carried out its first-ever test of a “nuclear capable hypersonic missile”, according to a report on October 17.

About:

  • The missile in August “circled the globe before speeding towards its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught U.S. intelligence by surprise.”

  • The Chinese military launched a rocket that carried a hypersonic glide vehicle “which flew through low-orbit space before cruising down towards its target.”

  • The missile “missed its target by about two-dozen miles”, but it “showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than U.S. officials realised.”

  • Only the U.S., Russia and China were developing hypersonic glide vehicles, that are launched on rockets and then orbit the earth on their own speed. They are difficult to track because unlike ballistic missiles, they “do not follow the fixed parabolic trajectory”.

  • The test would post a big challenge to U.S. missile defence systems because “the weapon could, in theory, fly over the South Pole.” “That would pose a big challenge for the U.S. military because its missiles defence systems are focused on the northern polar route,” the report said.

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

UNDERNOURISHMENT
The value of a key indicator used in the Global Hunger Index is ‘inflated’ as only 3.9% of the anganwadi children were found to be undernourished, the Union Government said.

About:

  • The real-time data of beneficiaries registered on the Anganwadi platform include 7.79 crore children aged between 6 months to 6 years as per real-time Poshan Tracker data [as on 16-10-2021].

  • Corresponding number of undernourished children reported on Poshan Tracker is 30.27 lakh which comes to only 3.9%,” according to a reply from the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

  • The GHI 2021 ranked India at 101 out of 116 countries. The index is based on four indicators — under-nourishment, wasting, stunting and under-five mortality. Of these, India’s performance is shown to deteriorate only for undernourishment, which is what the Government has challenged.

  • According to FAO’s data, which is used in the Index, the prevalence of undernourishment in India rose from 14% in 2017-2019 to 15.3% in 2018-2020 which the Government has called exaggerated.

  • However, undernourishment and undernutrition used as synonyms by the Government are treated as two different indicators by FAO and in the GHI.

  • The Government has also alleged that there has been a “selective approach adopted to deliberately lower India’s rank” by relying on higher values of indicators such as stunting and wasting from different datasets available.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Oct. 18, 2021

SYAMA PRASAD MOOKERJEE PORT
For the first time in the history of major ports, Ship-to-Ship operation of LPG undertaken at Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port.

About:

  • Port of Kolkata or Kolkata Port, officially known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust (Formerly Kolkata Port Trust), is the only riverine major port of India, located in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal, around 203 kilometres from the sea.

  • It is the oldest operating port in India and was constructed by the British East India Company in 1870.

  • Kolkata is a freshwater port with no variation in salinity.

  • The port has two distinct dock systems — Kolkata Docks at Kolkata and a deep water dock at Haldia Dock Complex, Haldia.

Source : PIB
Economy

Oct. 17, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

INDIA – CHINA TRADE
India’s trade with China is set to cross the $100 billion mark for the first time in 2021, with shipments hitting $90 billion after three quarters, an almost 30% jump from pre-pandemic levels.

About:

  • Data from China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) showed two-way trade jumped 49% in the first nine months to $90.37 billion. India’s imports from China surged 51.7% to $68.4 billion, while India’s exports rose 42.5% to $21.9 billion.

  • India’s biggest exports to China are iron ore, cotton, and other raw material-based commodities.

  • India imports mechanical and electrical machinery in large quantities, while imports of medical supplies have soared in the past two years.

  • The growth in trade with India was among the fastest for China’s major trading partners. While China’s total trade rose 22.7%, that with its biggest trading partners, ASEAN, the EU and the U.S., rose 21.1%, 20.5% and 24.9%, respectively.

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

LUKHA RIVER
A detoxing pilot project has brought a river back from the dead, the Meghalaya government has claimed.

About:

  • The Lukha river is in the East Jaintia Hills district where most of Meghalaya’s rat-hole coal mines are located.

  • The Lukha — “reservoir of fish” in the local Pnar language — was considered toxic beyond redemption a decade ago because of the contamination on acid mine drainage and run-off from the coal mines.

  • The pilot project to rejuvenate the Lukha by using algae to remove toxic contents from the water has become a success. The detoxification process is called phycoremediation.

Source : The Hindu
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

BUCHER FILES
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has observed in an order that the disclosure of files provided by India’s second Army chief, General Sir Roy Bucher, to the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library on Jammu and Kashmir is in “national interest”.

About:

  • The files are related to the period of 1947-49 and may throw light on the Accession of J&K.

  • General Sir Francis Robert Roy Butcher served as second chief of the Indian Army between January 1, 1948 to January 15, 1949.

  • The commission stopped short of ordering the disclosure of the documents, which are withheld under the directions of the External Affairs Ministry.

  • Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar has instead asked the NMML’s Central Public Information Officer “to take up the matter with higher officials” and “secure the necessary permission” before sharing the information under Right to Information (RTI)

  • The highest adjudicating authority on RTI matters, the CIC, did not specify if the information can be disclosed if there is an objection from “higher officials”.

Source : India Today
History

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

KUNMING BIODIVERSITY FUND
China — the world’s biggest polluter — pledged to inject $233 million into the Kunming biodiversity fund to protect biodiversity in developing countries during a key UN conservation summit.

About:

  • The summit aims to establish a new accord setting out targets for 2030 and 2050.

  • A key proposal being debated at the conference is the “30 by 30” agenda that would afford 30% of the Earth’s land and oceans protected status by 2030.

  • Global spending to protect and restore nature needs to triple this decade to about $350 billion annually by 2030 and $536 billion by 2050 to meet this target, a UN report said in May 2021.

  • But some rich country donors say a new fund for conservation is unnecessary because the United Nations’ Global Environment Facility already helps developing nations finance green projects.

Important Info :
  • Kunming, also known as Yunnan-Fu, is the capital and largest city of Yunnan province, China.
  • It is at the northern edge of Dian Lake.
Source : FirstPost
Environment

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

NOKKU KOOLI
The Kerala High Court lashed out again at the practice of demanding nokku kooli by headload workers in the State.

About:

  • Nokku kooli refers to extortion by organized labour unions in Kerala under which wages are paid to trade union activists for allowing common householders/ investors/builders to unload belongings/materials using machines or their own labour.

  • In Malayalam, 'nokku kooli', translates into 'gawking wages' or 'wages for (just) looking on'.

  • The practice still persists in the state despite a ban and repeated directives by the High Court. On May 1, 2018, the Kerala government banned the practice.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

‘DESH KE MENTOR’ PROGRAMME
The Delhi government launched a mentorship programme for children studying in Classes IX to XII in its schools.

About:

  • Under the ‘Desh Ke Mentor’ programme, students will be mentored by volunteers from across the country for 10-15 minutes daily on issues ranging from career choices to teenage-related concerns.

  • The government is encouraging people in the age group of 18-35 years from across the country to join the initiative and they can do so by registering on an app developed for the purpose.

  • The mentorship programme will be of two to six months, with the first two months as compulsory module and the remaining four as optional. Mentors from various professional and academic backgrounds will guide two-five students each. They will help the students in their overall personality development by sharing their knowledge, skills and expertise.

Source : Hindustan Times
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY (IEA)
International Energy Agency (IEA) has invited India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, to become its full-time member — a proposal, if accepted, will require New Delhi to raise strategic oil reserves to 90 days’ requirement.

About:

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation.

  • It acts as a policy adviser to its member states, as well as major emerging economies to support energy security and advance the clean energy transition worldwide.

  • It was established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.

  • It is best known for the publication of its annual World Energy Outlook.

  • The IEA is made up of 30 member countries. In addition, the IEA family also includes eight association countries.

  • In March 2017, India became an associate member of the agency. India’s current strategic oil reserves equal 9.5 days of its requirement.

Source : Economic Times
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

ONEWEB
Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal said that the Bharti-backed OneWeb, which already had 322 satellites in orbit, will use India-built PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) and the heavier GSLV-MkIII (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022.

About:

  • OneWeb had entered into an arrangement through Letter of Intent with NewSpace India Ltd. the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to use PSLV and the GSLV-MkIII as potential platforms to launch OneWeb’s satellites in India from 2022.

  • OneWeb (legally Network Access Associates Ltd) is a global communications company building a capability to deliver broadband satellite internet services worldwide.

  • The company is headquartered in London.

  • The company was founded by Greg Wyler in 2012 and launched its first satellites in February 2019.

  • It entered bankruptcy in March 2020 but emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings and reorganization in November 2020 with a new ownership group, led by the Government of the United Kingdom and Indian multinational company Bharti Global, each holding 42% of the company equity and board.

Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

ANTICIPATORY BAIL
The Supreme Court has held that a superior court can set aside an anticipatory bail order if there was enough material to suggest that factors like gravity of the offence and the role of the accused in the crime were not considered by the lower court.

About:

  • Under Section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code there is a provision for a person to seek ‘Anticipatory Bail’. This means that an individual can seek or request to get bail in anticipation or in expectation of being named or accused of having committed a non-bailable offence.

  • To get anticipatory bail the person seeking it, must approach the Court of Sessions or the High Court and citing section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code apply for it.

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 17, 2021

‘RAM VAN GAMAN’ TOURISM CIRCUIT
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated the redeveloped ancient Mata Kaushalya temple, part of the “Ram Van Gaman” Tourism Circuit the State government is developing at a cost of ₹137.45 crore.

About:

  • Nine sites are being developed to attract tourists to the circuit, believed to be the route taken by Lord Ram during his 14-year exile.

  • The nine sites are Sitamarhi-Harchaika (Koriya), Ramgarh (Ambikapur), Shivrinarayan (Janjgir-Champa), Turturiya (Baloda Bazaar), Chandkhuri, Rajim (Gariaband), Sihawa-Saptarishi Ashram (Dhamtari), Jagdalpur (Bastar) and Ramaram (Sukma).

Source : The Hindu
Culture

Oct. 16, 2021

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

GLOBAL HUNGER INDEX (GHI)
India was ranked 101 in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021 from 94 in the previous year, trailing behind its South Asian neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

About:

  • The Global Hunger Index (GHI), which tracks hunger and malnutrition, showed that 18 countries, including China, Brazil and Kuwait, shared the top rank, with GHI scores of less than five.

  • The report said that wasting among children in India increased from 17.1% between 1998 and 2002 to 17.3% between 2016 and 2020.

  • Neighbours Nepal (76), Bangladesh (76), Myanmar (71) and Pakistan (92) are also in the ‘alarming’ hunger category but have fared better at feeding its citizens than India.

  • Though India showed improvement in indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food remained high, the report said. It further said food security is under assault on multiple fronts.

Important Info :

About the report

  • The report was prepared by the Irish aid agency Concern Worldwide and Germany’s Welt Hunger Hilfe. The report termed the level of hunger in India as “alarming".
  • The GHI score is based on four indicators—undernourishment; child wasting or the share of children under the age of five who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition; child stunting or the number of under-5 children who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition; and child mortality.
  • For the 2021 report, data was assessed for 135 countries.
  • Out of these, there were sufficient data to calculate GHI scores for 116 countries (in comparison, 107 countries were ranked in the 2020 report). For 19 countries, individual scores could not be calculated, and ranks could not be determined owing to a lack of data.
  • The report highlighted that worsening conflict, weather extremes associated with global climate change, and the economic and health challenges associated with the covid-19 pandemic are all driving hunger.
Source : LiveMint
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

ORDNANCE FACTORY BOARD (OFB)
Seven new defence companies, carved out of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), were dedicated to the Nation at a function organised by Ministry of Defence on the occasion of ‘Vijayadashami’ in New Delhi on October 15, 2021.

About:

  • To enhance functional autonomy, efficiency and unleash new growth potential & innovation, Government had decided to convert OFB from a Government Department into seven 100 per cent Government-owned corporate entities as a measure to improve self-reliance in the defence preparedness of the country.

  • These companies have commenced business from October 01, 2021.

The seven new Defence companies are:

  1. Munitions India Limited (MIL);

  2. Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI);

  3. Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India);

  4. Troop Comforts Limited (TCL) (Troop Comfort Items);

  5. Yantra India Limited (YIL);

  6. India Optel Limited (IOL) and

  7. Gliders India Limited (GIL).

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM PRERANA STHAL
‘Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Prerana Sthal’ was inaugurated at Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam on October 15, 2021 on the occasion of 90th birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India.

About:

  • The NSTL is the premier naval research laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

  • On the occasion, NSTL products Varunastra, Torpedo Advanced Light (TAL) and Maareech decoy are being displayed at the venue.

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION COUNCIL
Pressing on with his campaign promise of redistributing wealth and reducing inequality, Japan’s new prime minister Fumio Kishida unveiled a flagship council, which will be responsible for strategizing how to tackle wealth disparities and redistribute wealth to households.

About:

  • The panel, headed by Kishida, will comprise a mix of ministers and representatives from the private sector.

  • The panel is expected to hold its first meeting on October 26.

  • The panel will focus on the creation of a “virtuous cycle of growth and distribution” of wealth, which was also the pillar of his election campaign.

  • In his campaign for the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election, Kishida proposed income redistribution to rebuild a broader middle class. This can be accomplished, he said, through an updated version of the 1960 “income-doubling plan” behind Japan’s rise as an economic power.

  • One of the main focuses of the panel’s discussions will be post-covid economic recovery.

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

KISHANGANGA POWER STATION
Shri R. K. Singh, Union Minister of Power, New & Renewable Energy, visited Dam site of 330 MW NHPC Kishanganga power station at Gurez in Bandipora District of the UT of Jammu & Kashmir.

About:

  • The Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme in Kashmir, India. Its dam diverts water from the Kishanganga River (also called the Neelum River) to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin.

  • It is located 5 km (3 mi) north of Bandipore in Jammu and Kashmir and has an installed capacity of 330 MW.

Important Info :

Timeline

  • Construction on the project began in 2007 and was expected to be complete in 2016.
  • It was halted in 2011 due to a dispute with Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty, which went to a court of arbitration.
  • In December 2013, the Court ruled that India could divert water for power generation while ensuring a minimum flow of 9 cumecs (m3/s) downstream to Pakistan.
  • All three units of 110 MW each were commissioned and synchronized with the electricity grid by 30 March 2018. On 19 May 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the project.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

POLICE NAIK (PN)
The Maharashtra government announced they have scrapped the position of a Police Naik (PN) in the force.

About:

  • The Maharashtra government took the decision to ensure each Police Constable (PC) who joins the force will retire at least as a Police Sub Inspector (PSI) – a two-star officer – in the force.

  • As of now a PC gets promoted to PN after around 10 years of service and later in another 10 years they become Head Constables (HC) and eventually retire as Assistant Sub Inspectors (ASI) – one-star officers – after around 30-plus years of service.

  • Now in the absence of the PN post, Constables will directly get promoted to Head Constables in 10 years. These Head Constables in turn will get promoted to ASI’s in another 10 years, ie. 20 years of service. And in next 10 years i.e. 30 years of their service, they will be eligible to be promoted as Police Sub Inspectors.

  • Retiring as PSI will mean a higher pension as compared to retirement as ASI apart from having more powers like investigating cases.

  • The decision will have an impact on the nearly 45,000 constables in the state police force.

Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY AND FINANCIAL COMMITTEE (IMFC) MEETINGS
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman attended the Plenary Meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the Annual Meetings 2021 held in Washington D.C. on 14th October 2021.

About:

  • The meeting was attended by Governors/Alternate Governors representing 190-member countries of the IMF.

  • The discussions at the meeting centered on “vaccinate, calibrate and accelerate” which is the theme of the Managing Director's Global Policy Agenda.

  • The members of the IMFC elaborated the actions and measures taken by member countries to combat COVID-19 and facilitate economic recovery.

Important Info :

About IMFC Meetings

  • The IMFC meets twice a year, once during the Fund-Bank Spring Meetings in April, and again during the Annual Meetings in October.
  • The Committee discusses matters of common concern affecting the global economy and advises the IMF on the direction of its work.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

MAHARAJAH COLLECTION
The Tata group has reclaimed Air India, but the priceless Air India art collection is not part of the deal and is likely to stay with the government.

About:

  • The ‘Maharajah collection’, as it is called, has over 4,000 works, including by Jatin Das, Anjolie Ela Menon, M F Husain and V S Gaitonde.

  • These were on display across Air India offices, and on its calendars, posters and menu cards.

  • There are posters by cartoonist Mario Miranda as well as ads designed by The New Yorker cartoonist Peter Arno, besides paintings, textiles, sculptures, and traditional wooden and bronze artwork.

  • No official estimate exists of the worth of the entire collection.

Source : Indian Express
Culture

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

THEM LEW MAWLONG AREA
A Meghalaya Cabinet decision to relocate the Dalit Sikh residents of Shillong’s Them lew Mawlong area, also called Punjabi Lane, is facing opposition.

About:

  • Sikh groups have called it “illegal” and “unjust”, with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa saying he would take the issue up with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

  • At the heart of it is a simmering issue between the Sikh residents and the local Khasi community, centred on a decades-old land dispute.

Important Info :

Who are the Punjabi Sikhs of Shillong?

  • They were first brought to Shillong by the British as manual scavengers and sweepers more than a hundred years ago. Today, the community of about 300-odd families lives in Them lew Mawlong, located next to Shillong’s commercial hub, Iewduh or Bara Bazaar.
  • The Mazhabis were brought first, with a British military contingent, to work as sweepers. They were followed by the Ramgarhias (carpenters, blacksmiths and masons), and then the Soniars or goldsmiths, who came after 1947.
  • Mazhabi Sikhs, the largest of the groups, were recruited by the Shillong Municipal Board (SMB), and many lived in Bara Bazaar.
Source : Indian Express
Geography

Current Affairs
Oct. 16, 2021

TALABIRA COAL MINES
NLC India Limited, a Navratna Company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Coal is operating Talabira II&III coal mines (20 MT annual capacity) in Odisha State.

About:

  • Talabira II&III OCP has commenced production from the financial year 2020-21 and supplying coal to its End Use plant, NTPL, Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.

  • Further to meet the requirement of country`s coal supply, the excess coal quantity after fulfilling the requirement of end use plant, selling the coal to open market through E-auction with due permission from the Coal Ministry.

  • The Ministry of Coal has taken all efforts to augment coal supplies to the power sector and decided to divert and augment the supplies to power sector from captive coal blocks. The Ministry offered coal supply from Talabira II&III mines to NTPC for their Power plant.

  • In this connection, both the companies worked together to commence the supply of coal from Talabira II&III OCP to NTPC (Darlipali & Lara Power Plants).

  • With timely support and necessary coal delivery permits from the Department of Mines, Govt. of Odisha, the coal delivery to the Darlipali Power station has been commenced. 

Source : PIB
Economy
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