Nov. 30, 2021

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

CONTRACEPTION
Less than one in 10 men use condoms in India, while nearly four in 10 women undergo sterilisation to avoid pregnancy, according to the latest National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21), which also shows that female sterilisation continues to be on the rise.

About:

  • Only 9.5% of men used condoms but 37.9% of women underwent sterilisation, according to the NFHS.

  • Though condom use in urban India is better than rural parts, the overall trend is vastly similar — 7.6% men in rural India and 13.6% men in urban India use condoms, while 38.7% women in rural India and 36.3% in urban India underwent sterilisation.

  • Female sterilisation has gone up for the entire country from 36% in NFHS-4 (2015-16) to 37.9% in NFHS-5.

  • The States with the highest increase in female sterilisation were Bihar (14.1% points to 34.8%), Goa (13.6% points to 29.9%) and Madhya Pradesh (9.7% points to 51.9%) .

  • The State with the highest condom use was Uttarakhand (25.6%) and the Union Territory Chandigarh (31.1%). The silver lining, however, is that use of condoms has gone up between the two surveys — from 5.6% to 9.5%.

  • Female sterilisation is also the preferred choice of contraception over methods such as pills (5.1%), injectables (0.6%) and intra-uterine devices (IUD) and post-partum intra-uterine devices (2.1%).

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

DOORSTEP DELIVERY OF RATION
The Delhi Government defended before the Delhi High Court its scheme for doorstep delivery of ration, saying that it was optional and beneficiaries could opt out any time.

About:

  • The notion that fair price shops (FPS) would cease to exist on its implementation was a “complete misconception”, it told the court.

  • It argued that States like Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka’s Bengaluru have identical doorstep delivery schemes. With the march of technology, doorstep delivery becomes the norm, and this is something that needs applause and not criticism.

  • During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, said the court should not allow any State to interfere with the structure of National Food Security Act (NFSA) and destroy its architecture.

  • The Centre has been opposing the Delhi Government’s ration delivery scheme on the ground that the State cannot mitigate the architecture of the NFSA while implementing it.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

PARAG AGRAWAL
Indian-origin technology executive Parag Agrawal was appointed the new chief executive officer of Twitter after the social media giant’s co-founder Jack Dorsey stepped down.

About:

  • Parag, aged 45, is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai. He did his bachelors in engineering (BS) from here. Then he moved to the US for further studies, with his doctorate coming from Stanford University.

  • Parag Agrawal joined Twitter in 2011 and has served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since October 2017.

  • Parag, who until now was Twitter's CTO, is assuming the role as the company CEO immediately.

Source : The Hindu
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

ADVERSE EVENTS DUE TO VACCINATION
The Government has told the Supreme Court that COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary and serious or severe effects of inoculation, including death, account for less than 0.01%.

About:

  • The percentage of such effect having serious/severe [including deaths] in case of both Covaxin and Covishield is less than 0.01%. This again is in the caveat that any such severe/serious effect including death cannot be attributed to vaccination.

  • The Health Ministry said 2,116 serious and severe AEFI cases have been reported from 1,19,38,44,741 doses administered till November 24.

  • The very proof that the vaccination is not mandatory is evident from the fact that no benefits or services are attached to it.

  • The Centre said any death or hospitalisation following vaccination cannot be automatically assumed to be due to vaccination.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENDITURE (OOPE)
Out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) as a share of total health expenditure and foreign aid for health has both come down as per the findings of the National Health Accounts (NHA) estimates for India for 2017-18 released by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.

About:

  • As a share of total health expenditure, the OOPE has come down to 48.8% in 2017-18 from 64.2% in 2013-14. Even in the case of per capita OOPE, there has been a decline from ₹2,336 to ₹2,097 between 2013-14 and 2017-18.

  • One of the factors attributing to this decline is the increase in utilisation and reduction in cost of services in Government health facilities. If we compare NHA 2014-15 and 2017-18, there has been a decline in OOPE for Government hospitals to the tune of 50%.

Govt. support

  • The NHA estimates for 2017-18 clearly showed that there had been an increase in the share of Government health expenditure in the total GDP of the country.

  • It has increased from 1.15% in 2013-14 to 1.35% in 2017-18. Additionally, the share of Government Health Expenditure in total health expenditure has also increased over time.

  • In 2017-18, the share of Government expenditure was 40.8%, which is much higher than 28.6% in 2013-14.

  • The report further indicates that in per capita terms, the Government health expenditure has increased from ₹1,042 to ₹1,753 between 2013-14 to 2017-18.

Important Info :
  • This is the fifth consecutive NHA report produced by National Health Systems Resource Centre, designated as National Health Accounts Technical Secretariat in 2014 by the Health Ministry.
  • The NHA estimates are prepared by using an accounting framework based on internationally accepted System of Health Accounts 2011, provided by the World Health Organization.
Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

INDIAN BIO-JET FUEL TECHNOLOGY
Indian Bio-Jet Fuel Technology Receives Formal Military Certification.

About:

  • CSIR-IIP Dehradun’s home-grown technology to produce bio-jet fuel has been formally approved for use on military aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

  • This certification represents India’s growing confidence in aviation biofuel sector.

  • The technology, developed by the Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, has undergone evaluation tests and trials over the last three years.

  • Earlier on 26 January 2019, an AN-32 aircraft, filled with blended bio-jet fuel, had flown over Raj Path at New Delhi during the Republic Day celebrations.

  • The fuel was also used on a civil, commercial demonstration flight operated by SpiceJet on 27 Aug 2018 from Dehradun to Delhi.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
NITI Aayog released the report ‘Designing the Future of Dispute Resolution: The ODR Policy Plan for India’, to scale dispute avoidance, containment and resolution online.

About:

  • The roll out of the stated recommendations in the report can help make India a world leader in using technology and innovation through Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for effective access to justice for every individual.

  • The report is a culmination of the action plan made by a committee constituted at the peak of the Covid crisis by NITI Aayog on ODR in 2020 and chaired by Supreme Court Justice (Retd) AK Sikri.

What is ODR?

  • ODR is the resolution of disputes, particularly small- and medium-value cases, using digital technology and techniques of ADR, such as arbitration, conciliation and mediation.

  • It refers to the process of using technology for dispute avoidance, containment and resolution outside the traditional court system.

  • As a dispute resolution avenue it can be provided both as an extension of the public court system and outside of it.

  • World over, the potential of dispute resolution mechanisms, especially through technology, is being recognized. Increasingly, ODR has received impetus across Government, businesses and even the judicial processes to tide over the constraints due to Covid-19.

Source : PIB
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

FARM LAWS REPEAL BILL, 2021
The Lok Sabha Monday passed the Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 without any discussion. The Bill was introduced in the house by Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar.

About:

  • The Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021 is aimed at repealing the three farm laws – Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 – and amending the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

  • The Bill was necessitated after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government’s intention to repeal the three laws in view of ongoing farmers’ protests against these laws on November 19.

  • The six-page Bill contains only three sections.

  • The first section defines the title of the Act – the Farm Laws Repeal Act, 2021, the second section has provisions to repeal three farm laws, and the third section relates to omitting sub-section (1A) from section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

  • The government had inserted sub-section (1A) in the section 3 of the Essential Commodity Act, 1955 that empowers the government to control production, supply, distribution, etc., of essential commodities.

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

SUSPENSION OF MPs
In the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi sought the approval of the House for suspending 12 Rajya Sabha MPs for the remainder of the session.

About:

  • The reason for their suspension was “their unprecedented acts of misconduct, contemptuous, unruly and violent behaviour and intentional attacks on security personnel” on the last day of the Monsoon Session.

  • MPs are required to adhere to certain rules of parliamentary etiquette.

  • The presiding officer of each House can direct an MP to withdraw from the legislative chamber for grossly disorderly conduct. The MP then has to remain absent from the proceedings of the House for the remainder of the day.

  • The presiding officers can also “name” an MP for “persistently and wilfully obstructing the business” of the House. In such a case, usually, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister moves a motion for suspending the offending MP from the service of the House. The suspension can last until the end of the session.

  • In 2001, the Lok Sabha rule was amended to give the Speaker one additional power. A new rule, 374A, empowers the Speaker to automatically suspend an MP for a maximum of five days for disrupting the business of the House.

  • In 2015, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan used this rule for suspending 25 Congress MPs.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Nov. 30, 2021

DIVISION OF ASSETS BETWEEN UP, UTTARAKHAND
Months ahead of Assembly elections in their states, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Pushkar Singh Dhami recently reached an agreement on the division of assets and liabilities, a subject the two states have debated ever since Uttarakhand was carved out of UP 21 years ago.

History of the dispute:

  • Uttarakhand was formed on November 9, 2000 following the Uttarakhand movement in undivided UP. This was soon followed by disputes over assets and liabilities, mainly of the irrigation, transport, housing, forest, food & civil supplies and tourism departments.

  • Uttarakhand leaders would cite the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000, under which any property should be owned by the state where it is situated, and would allege that UP had not handed over control of even 41 canals which flowed from and back into Uttarakhand.

  • They cited the examples of Tehri Dam, Nanak Sagar Dam, Baigul Dam, Tumaria Dam (out of six dams located in Uttarakhand and controlled by UP) and Haridwar’s Alaknanda Guest House (controlled by UP Tourism, and now being handed over to Uttarakhand).

The newest agreement

  • The irrigation Department officials of the two states would meet within 15 days to conduct a joint survey of 5,700 hectares of land and 1,700 buildings in Uttarakhand that are under the control of the UP Irrigation Department.

  • UP has granted permission to Uttarakhand conduct tourism and water sports activities in the Dhaura, Baigul and Nanak Sagar water bodies in Udham Singh Nagar district and the Upper Ganga canal at Roorkee. The UP irrigation Department will soon release an order on this.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Nov. 29, 2021

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

IN-FLIGHT WIFI
Three years after the Department of Telecom permitted WiFi services on commercial flights, it is yet to become a reality for domestic air travellers as airlines grapple with the huge installation costs and the impact of COVID-19 on passenger demand.

About:

  • Domestic carriers have been slow in offering the service because retrofitting aircraft with the required antenna is an expensive affair that takes nearly 12 hours. Airlines find it difficult to pass on the costs to the passengers in an extremely competitive market for the cheapest ticket.

  • However, international airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France and Emirates have started offering the service, though earlier they were switching it off on entering India skies.

  • The equipment costs ₹3 crore to ₹4 crore for one aircraft, which is the entry barrier because it is difficult to recover the cost from passengers.

  • Full-service carrier Vistara is the only Indian airline to offer it since September 2020.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

INDIA-BANGLADESH ECONOMIC TIES
The India-Bangladesh CEO Forum will meet soon for the first time, even as the two countries work towards finalising a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to deepen trade and economic ties as partners rather than competitors, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said.

About:

  • He congratulated Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the country’s transition from a less-developed country to a developing nation status.

  • Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia with a volume of over $10 billion.

  • India had sent over one crore COVID-19 vaccine doses to the country and has extended concessional credit lines of about $8 billion, the highest for any single country.

  • A bilateral textile industry forum has also been constituted to facilitate cooperation in the textile sector.

  • India is also developing two Indian economic zones at Mirsarai and Mongla.

  • The Minister identified five focus areas that could strengthen bilateral economic ties: Technology, Connectivity, Entrepreneurship, Health and Tourism.

  • The two countries will be celebrating December 6 as Maitri Divas, to mark 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence and its bilateral ties with India, which was the first country to recognise its independence.

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN INDIA
The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $300 million loan to strengthen and improve access to comprehensive primary health care in urban areas of 13 states that will benefit over 256 million urban dwellers including 51 million from slum areas.

About:

  • The programme supports the Government of India’s key health initiatives - Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWC) and Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PM-ASBY) - which has been renamed as Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM)

  • Ayushman Bharat programme, launched in 2018, aims to improve access to comprehensive primary health care as a key strategy to achieve universal health coverage in India.

  • With the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic that put additional pressure on the country’s health system, the government launched PM-ASBY later renamed as PM-ABHIM in October 2021 to adopt a long-term approach to system strengthening to prepare for future pandemics and other emergencies.

  • The programme will be implemented in urban areas across 13 states: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal.

  • The programme is supported by a $2 million technical assistance grant from ADB’s Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

WAGE RATE INDEX (WRI)
Expert Group unveils report on base revision of Wage Rate Index (WRI) to 2016=100 from base 1963-65=100.

About:

  • The new series of Wage Rate Index (WRI) with base year 2016=100, is being compiled and maintained by Labour Bureau, an attached office of Ministry of Labour & Employment.

  • The new series of WRI with base 2016=100 will replace the old series with base 1963-65=100.

  • The New WRI Series with base 2016=100 would be compiled twice a year on point-to-point half yearly basis, as on 1st January and 1st July of every year.

Some of the major improvements made under the new series of WRI (2016=100) vis-à-vis old series (1963-65=100) are as under:

  • The weighting diagram in the new WRI series has been prepared from the results of the Occupational Wage Survey (Seventh) round.

  • A total of 37 industries have been covered in the new WRI basket (2016=100) as against 21 industries in the 1963-65=100 series.

  • The selected 37 industries in the new series are categorized as 30 industries from Manufacturing sector, 4 industries from Mining Sector and 3 industries from Plantation Sector as compared to 14 industries from Manufacturing sector, 4 industries from Mining Sector and 3 industries from Plantation Sector in the old series.

  • In the new WRI basket, the current wage data has been collected from 2881 units under 37 selected industries as against to 1256 units under 21 industries in the old series of WRI.

  • About 700 occupations have been covered under 37 selected industries in new series of WRI (2016=100).

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

GLOBAL CHEMICALS & PETROCHEMICALS MANUFACTURING HUB (GCPMH)
Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers inaugurateD the 2nd Global Chemicals & Petrochemicals Manufacturing Hub (GCPMH).

About:

  • The event is being organised by the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India jointly with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in Phygital format (Physical and Digital) and aims to transform India to a global chemical and Petro-chemical manufacturing hub.

  • The summit highlights the true potential of the Indian Chemicals and Petrochemicals Sector to the world.

PCPIRs

  • This edition of the Summit will strengthen our effort to establish Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Regions (PCPIRs) as world-class Chemicals and Petrochemicals Manufacturing terminals and Potential and a positive outlook of Indian chemical & petrochemical industry.

  • The Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) policy, announced by the Government of India (GoI) in April 2007, envisages the development of Global Scale Industrial Corridors in the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical sectors of the country.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

INTERNATIONAL TOURISM MARTS
Minister of State for Tourism & Defence Shri Ajay Bhatt addressed the opening session of second day of 9th International Tourism Mart for the North East Region at Kohima, Nagaland.

About:

  • The International Tourism Marts are organised in the North Eastern States on a rotation basis.

  • The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, government agencies, and other stakeholders.

  • Nagaland is hosting this Mart for the first time.

  • The earlier editions of this Mart have been held in Guwahati (Assam), Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh), Shillong (Meghalaya), Gangtok (Sikkim), Agartala (Tripura), and Imphal (Manipur).

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

KONGTHONG VILLAGE
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed gratitude to the people of Kongthong for a special tune in his honour and in appreciation of Government of India’s efforts in promoting the village as a prime tourism destination.

About:

  • Meghalaya's Kongthong village, which is also known as the "whistling village", recently honoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi by making him part of a unique tradition that goes back centuries.

  • In this village, located in the lush, rolling hills of the northeast state, everyone's name is a melody as mothers compose a special tune for each child when it is born. Everyone in the village, inhabited by the Khasi people, then addresses the person with the individual little tune or whistle for a lifetime. They have conventional "real" names too, but they are rarely used.

  • The custom of assigning tunes to residents here is known as "jingrwai lawbei", meaning "song of the clan's first woman", a reference to the Khasi people's mythical original mother.

  • The Ministry of Tourism recently nominated the village for the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Contest from India. To thanks the PM for his efforts, a tune was composed by a woman in the village in his honour.

Source : All India Radio
Geography

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

POLICE COMMISSIONERATE SYSTEM
Citing growing population and geographical expansion of Bhopal and Indore and the accompanying administrative and law & order problems, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on November 21 announced the implementation of a police commissionerate system in the two cities.

‘Dual Command’ System of Policing

  • Under the dual command system, the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police (SP) share powers and responsibilities in a district.

  • Under this structure, the DM is entrusted with issuing arrest warrants, licenses while the SP has powers and responsibilities to investigate crime and make arrests.

  • The system is designed to ensure a lower concentration of power and making the police more accountable to the DM at the district level.

Police Commissionerate System

  • Under the police commissionerate system, the powers of both policing and magistracy are concentrated with the commissioner, who is directly accountable to the state government and the state police chief.

  • The commissioner of police under the commissionerate system exercises the powers and duties of a District Magistrate. These powers are also available to any officer under the commissioner who is not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

CONNECTED LENDING
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept in limbo the proposal of its Internal Working Group (IWG) for granting banking licence to big corporate houses amid fears over connected lending and self-dealing if they are allowed in the banking space.

About:

  • Connected lending involves the controlling owner of a bank giving loans to himself or his related parties and group companies at favourable terms and conditions.

  • Business groups need financing, and they can get it easily with no questions asked if they have an in-house bank. In short, companies can use the bank as a “private pool of readily available funds”.

  • Big business groups already account for a major chunk of non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking system even without becoming promoters of a bank.

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 29, 2021

NAMING A VIRUS
In picking a name for the newest variant of SARS-CoV-2, Omicron, the World Health Organization (WHO) has skipped two letters of the Greek alphabet, one of which also happens to be a popular surname in China, shared even by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

About:

  • The WHO has been using Greek letters to refer to the most widely prevalent coronavirus variants, which otherwise carry long scientific names.

  • It had already used 12 letters of the Greek alphabet before the newest variant emerged in South Africa this week.

  • After Mu, the 12th named after a Greek letter, WHO selected the name Omicron, instead of Nu or Xi, the two letters between Mu and Omicron.

  • The WHO said Nu could have been confused with the word ‘new’ while Xi was not picked up following a convention.

  • XI is a common surname and WHO best practices for naming new diseases (developed in conjunction with FAO and OIE back in 2015) suggest avoiding ‘causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups’.

Important Info :

Why Greek letters?

  • Since the scientific names are not easy to remember, the more prevalent variants started to be named after the country from where they were first reported: ‘UK variant’, ‘Indian variant’, ‘South African variant’, or ‘Brazilian variant’.
  • To remove the connection with specific countries, which was triggering name-calling and blame game, the WHO decided on a new naming system using Greek letters.
Source : Indian Express
Health

Nov. 28, 2021

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

C-SECTION
One in two women who go to a private hospital undergoes a Caesarean section (C-section), according to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data.

About:

  • The increasing trend in private medical facilities, which have seen a rise in such operations from 40.9% to 47.4%, has led to a jump in pan-India numbers — from 17.2% in 2014-2015 to 21.5% in 2019-2020, according to NFHS-5. This means that one in five women who go to any medical facility, private or public, undergoes a C-section.

  • When medically justified, a C-section can effectively prevent maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. According to the World Health Organization, the ideal rate is between 10% and 15%.

  • When the rates rise towards 10% across a population, the number of maternal and newborn deaths decreases. When the rate goes above 10%, there is no evidence that mortality rates improve.

  • There are many States and Union Territories where private hospitals conduct seven or eight out of 10 deliveries through C-section. These include West Bengal (82.7%), Jammu and Kashmir (82.1%), Tamil Nadu (81.5%), Andaman and Nicobar (79.2%) and Assam (70.6%).

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

SOLOMON ISLANDS
The Solomon Islands’ decision to switch its diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to Beijing has been blamed for arson and looting in the national capital Honiara, where protesters are demanding the prime minister’s resignation.

About:

  • Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania, to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu.

  • The Solomon Islands are famous as a battleground of World War II, the pivotal Battle of Guadalcanal named after the country’s largest island where the restive capital Honiara is located.

  • It was then known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate and became the Solomon Islands before independence in 1978.

  • The South Pacific nation of 700,000 people — mostly Melanesian but also Polynesian, Micronesian, Chinese and European — is, like neighboring Australia and New Zealand, a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II the head of state.

  • A migration of settlers from Malaita, the country’s second biggest island and most populous province, to the economic opportunities on Guadalcanal and Honiara stoked ethnic tensions and eventually unrest.

Source : Indian Express
Geography

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

STARLINK INTERNET SERVICES
Ministry of Communications has said that Starlink Internet Services is not licensed to offer satellite-based internet services in India as being advertised to the public.

About:

  • It has come to notice that Starlink has started pre-selling or booking of the satellite based Starlink Internet Services in India and the same is also evident from the website of Starlink wherein satellite-based internet services can be booked by users in Indian territory.

  • For rendering satellite-based services in India, requisite licenses from Department of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Communications is required.

  • The Ministry informed the public at large that the company has not obtained any license or authorization for rendering satellite-based internet services that are being booked on their website.

Important Info :

Starlink

  • Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access to most of the Earth.
  • The constellation consists of over 1600 satellites in mid-2021, and will eventually consist of many thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers.
  • SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk
Source : All India Radio
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

FEMALE VOTERS
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra said that India has witnessed a 235.72 percent increase in female voters since the 1971 elections.

About:

  • He said, after seven decades and 17 General Elections since Independence, women's participation in India has exceeded that of men and stood at more than 67 percent in the 2019 General Election.

  • Chandra made these remarks during an international webinar on the theme ‘Enhancing electoral participation of Women, Persons with Disabilities and Senior citizen Voters: Sharing Best Practices and New Initiatives at New Delhi organized by the Election Commission of India.

  • Various initiatives have been taken by the Election Commission of India to enhance women's participation in the country.

Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE
NASA has once again changed the launch date of the $8 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) from December 18 to December 22.

About:

  • JWST will be launched on an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from French Guiana in South America. The rocket system is being contributed by the European Space Agency (ESA).

  • The telescope is the result of an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency.

  • JWST, which is a large infrared telescope, will study “every phase” in the history of the universe, including the Big Bang, the formation of solar systems that are capable of supporting life on other planets and also, the evolution of our own Solar System.

  • It is also considered a successor of the Hubble Telescope and will extend and complement its discoveries.

  • Because of JWST’s longer wavelengths, for instance, it will be able to look further back in time, “to find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, and to peer inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today”.

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

MINIMUM SUPPORT PRICE (MSP)
Farmers are demanding a legal guarantee that all farmers will receive remunerative prices for all their crops.

About:

  • The Central Government sets a minimum support price (MSP) for 23 crops every year, based on a formula of one-and-a-half times production costs.

  • This takes into account both paid-out costs (A2) such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, fuel, irrigation, hired workers and leased-in land, as well as the imputed value of unpaid family labour (FL).

  • Farm unions are demanding that a comprehensive cost calculation (C2) must also include capital assets and the rentals and interest forgone on owned land as recommended by the National Commission for Farmers.

  • There is currently no statutory backing for these prices, nor any law mandating their enforcement. The government only procures about a third of wheat and rice crops at MSP rates (of which half is bought in Punjab and Haryana alone), and 10%-20% of select pulses and oilseeds.

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

MODEL RETAIL OUTLET SCHEME
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited have announced the launch of Model Retail Outlet Scheme and a Digital Customer Feedback Program called Darpan@petrolpump.

About:

  • Three oil PSUs have joined hands to launch Model Retail Outlets to enhance service standards and amenities, across their networks, which serve over 6 Crore consumers everyday.

  • In order to keep pace with the rapidly changing consumer behavior and a view to offer a heightened customer experience in retail outlets, Oil Marketing Companies aim to benchmark Retail Outlet standards for ensuring standardized customer facilities through these initiatives.

  • The scheme involves an intense 5 Level evaluation process of over 70000 retail outlets in the country on a set of core service and facility parameters as well as standard of customer amenities e.g., clean and hygienic washrooms, customer centric innovative offerings etc.

  • The Retail Outlets have been divided into 4 categories based on sales performance, facilities offered and their percentage of digital transactions at the point of sale in keeping with the Digital India imperative.

  • Top performers will be awarded the “Shresth” and “Uttam”, Awards by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the “Rajya Sarv Pratham” awards by the respective Oil Companies.

  • The digital customer feedback program, darpan@petrolpump, a unique, real time feedback program was also launched and customers will be encouraged to give their valuable feedback which will go a long way in enhancing service standards at the retail outlets

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

NAMDA CRAFT
Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship launched two projects— (i) Revival of Namda craft of Kashmir as a special pilot project under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 3.0 and (ii) upskilling of artisans and weavers of Kashmir under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), component of PMKVY.

About:

  • The objective of these projects is to boost and preserve the traditional Namda craft of Kashmir and upskill the local weavers and artisans to enhance their productivity through RPL assessment and certification.

  • The Namda project will benefit 2,250 people of 30 Namda Clusters from 6 districts of Kashmir (Srinagar, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Budgam and Anantnag) and RPL initiative targets to upskill 10,900 artisans and weavers of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Namda craft is a rug made of sheep wool through felting technique instead of normal weaving process.

  • Due to low availability of raw material, lack of skilled manpower and marketing techniques, the export of this craft has declined almost 100 percent between 1998 and 2008.

  • Therefore, through this special project under PMKVY, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has designed short-term training curriculum to preserve this endangered craft. The project will be implemented in 25 batches in 3 cycles of training.

  • Each training program will be of approximately three and half months, which results in the cycles being completed in approximately 14 - 16 months.

Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

WOMEN’S INVOLVEMENT IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH (WISER)
A first-of-its-kind programme to promote women in the field of research and development through lateral entry was launched on 26 November 2021.

About:

  • The programme called Women’s Involvement in Science and Engineering Research (WISER) program was launched by Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) for encouraging women researchers in joint R&D projects.

  • WISER will enable gender equality and women’s participation in Science and Technology through IGSTC’s program.

  • This programme will be in addition to the ongoing flagship 2+2 program of the Centre.

  • This program by IGSTC, a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Government of Germany, will support women scientists holding regular/long term research positions in academia or research institutes/industry.

  • The involvement in the program will be possible through lateral entry. There is neither requirement of break-in-career nor any age limit, and it will enable easy participation.

  • IGSTC is going to support the awardees with a maximum amounting to Rs. 39 L from the Indian side & € 48000 from the German side. WISER program offers 20 awards per year.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 28, 2021

NATIONAL FAMILY HEALTH SURVEY-5 (NFHS-5)
The National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5) Phase 2 data was released on November 24, 2021.

Key Highlights

  • India has also officially hit a total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.0 that indicates a decrease from the 2.2 in the NFHS-4.

  • India has more females than males with its overall sex ratio having risen to 1,020 women for 1,000 men after seeing a dip from 1,000 in 2005-06 to 991 in 2015-16.

  • The sex ratio at birth (SRB) or the number of female births for every 1,000 male births, however, was still worryingly low at 929, despite an improvement from the previous survey.

  • Children who were either stunted or displayed signs of wasting only dropped by a maximum of three percentage points

  • The proportion of anaemic children (5-59 months) increased from 58% to 67%. Women aged 15-49 who were anaemic increased from 53% to 57% and men of the same age increased from 29% to 31% between both editions of the NFHS.

  • Births in institutional facilities, such as a hospital, improved by nearly eight percentage points from 78.9% to 88.6%.

  • The proportion of children (12-23 months) who were fully vaccinated improved from 62%-76%

  • Children under 6 months who were exclusively breastfed showed a sharp improvement from 54.9 to 63.7%.

Source : PIB
Health

Nov. 27, 2021

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

OMICRON VARIANT
The World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, currently circulating in South Africa, as a ‘variant of concern’. It also named it Omicron.

About:

  • The Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) had identified the variant. It had detected a group of related SARS-CoV-2 viruses, which belong to a lineage named B.1.1.529.

  • Early indications are that this variant is possibly even more transmissible than the highly infectious Delta variant, and that current vaccines may be less effective against it.

  • From what is known currently, B.1.1.529 has multiple spike protein mutations, and preliminary analysis suggests it is highly infectious.

  • 1.1.529 has “very unusual constellations of mutations” — with 30 in the region that encodes the spike protein, which is responsible for the virus’s entry in human cells.

Source : Indian Express
Health

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

GHARE BAIRE
Ghare Baire, the popular museum-exhibition in Kolkata that showcased two centuries of art in Bengal and was housed in a building almost as old, is shutting down after enriching the cultural landscape of the city for nearly two years.

About:

  • DAG Museums, a private entity, ran the show in collaboration with the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Archaeological Survey of India (both under the Culture Ministry)

  • DAG Museums’ contract with the Ministry for Ghare Baire came to an end sometime last year and the Ministry had now decided not to renew it.

  • The museum-exhibition was inaugurated on January 11, 2020 at the renovated Currency Building — which was built in 1833 and almost razed in 1996 — located in BBD Bagh, also known as Dalhousie Square.

  • Ghare Baire (at home and the world) derived its name from the title of Rabindranath Tagore’s iconic novel, which later inspired Satyajit Ray to make a film by the same name.

Source : The Hindu
Culture

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

MULTI-DIMENSIONAL POVERTY INDEX (MPI)
The first-ever Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) prepared by government think tank NITI Aayog has said that Bihar has the highest proportion of people, at 51.91 per cent of the state’s population, who are multidimensionally poor, followed by Jharkhand at 42.16 per cent and Uttar Pradesh at 37.79 per cent.

About:

  • Bihar also has the highest number of malnourished people followed by Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.

  • Kerala, Goa, and Sikkim have the lowest percentage of population being multidimensionally poor at 0.71 per cent, 3.76 per cent and 3.82 per cent, respectively.

  • This baseline report of the national MPI measure is based on the reference period of 2015-16 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).

  • Among the Union Territories (UTs), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (27.36 per cent), Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh (12.58), Daman & Diu (6.82 per cent) and Chandigarh (5.97 per cent), have emerged as the poorest UTs in India.

  • The proportion of poor in Puducherry at 1.72 per cent is the lowest among the Union Territories, followed by Lakshadweep at 1.82 per cent, Andaman & Nicobar Islands at 4.30 per cent and Delhi at 4.79 per cent.

Important Info :

Methodology

  • The MPI uses the globally accepted methodology developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • The MPI has three equally weighted dimensions – health, education, and standard of living – which in turn are represented by 12 indicators such as nutrition, school attendance, years of schooling, drinking water, sanitation, housing, bank accounts among others, according to the report.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

DAKSHIN SHAKTI
Army chief General M M Naravane observed military exercise 'Dakshin Shakti' being held in Jaisalmer with the Army and the Air Force taking part in it.

About:

  • The exercise began on November 20, 2021 in the deserts of Jaisalmer and will concluded on November 26, 2021.

  • T-72, T-90 as well as Vijayanta tanks of the Army and the IAF's Dhruv and Rudha helicopters, and the Jaguar fighter aircraft participated in the joint exercise.

  • The drill aims to establish the best coordination among the wings of the armed forces, space technology and artificial intelligence.

  • This manoeuvre differs from the others in several ways. This exercise also featured the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, BSF, as well as local administration and police. Intelligence operations were also practised during this time.

Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

ANTI-BACTERIAL FABRIC
Union Minister for MSME Narayana Rane launched the unique anti-bacterial fabric developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur, under Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).

About:

  • The fabric is treated with anti-bacterial agent extracted from cow dung which prevents bacterial growth in the fabric.

  • This innovative fabric could be great use in hospitals and other medical facilities.

  • The Minister also lauded the innovative KhadiPrakritik Paint made from cow dung and the unique plastic-mixed handmade paper developed by the Institute. He said, the two products had great potential of creating rural employment while also contributing to environment protection.

  • Shri Rane said, KhadiPrakritik Paint is a unique product which can serve the twin objectives of employment generation as well as environment protection. It is eco-friendly and cost-effective. He added that his Ministry aims atsetting up KhadiPrakritik Paint units in every part of the country that will give a big boost to government’s rural employment initiatives.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

SWADESH
DBT-National Brain Research Centre (DBT-NBRC) have recently developed project SWADESH, a unique brain initiative focusing on certified neuroimaging, neurochemical, neuropsychological data and analytics that are made accessible to researchers for managing brain disorders.

About:

  • SWADESH is the first large-scale multimodal neuroimaging database designed specifically for Indian population with big-data architecture and analytics for various disease categories under one platform.

  • SWADESH proposes a big-data architecture that manages and analyzes six modules, namely neurodegenerative [AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Parkinson’s disease (PD)], neuropsychiatric (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), neurodevelopmental (autism and epilepsy), COVID-19-related disorders, other disorders, and healthy subjects.

  • SWADESH is supported by JAVA-based workflow environment and Python. Backed by a dedicated storage system, it provides quality control, data analysis reports, and data backups.

  • Its development will facilitate the integration of multi-site data and collaborative research worldwide.

Important Info :
  • National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) is the only institute in India dedicated to Neuroscience Research and Education.
Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

STRATEGIC OIL RESERVES
India’s move to release 5 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves as part of a coordinated challenge led by the US against the OPEC+ producers’ cartel’s move to curb output, is the first time that New Delhi would be dipping into its reserves to leverage it as a geopolitical tool.

About:

  • The oil will be released “in parallel and in consultation with” the US, China, Japan and South Korea, the Oil Ministry said in a statement, without specifying a timeframe.

Why are these countries releasing oil from strategic reserves?

  • It is part of a concerted effort to negate upward pressure on crude prices from OPEC+ — a 13-country grouping of oil exporters that has been joined since 2016 by 10 others led by Russia to decide production quotas — keeping supply below demand, even though the action is largely symbolic in nature.

  • India has called for an increase in the supply by OPEC+ at multiple international forums and in bilateral talks with oil producing countries.

  • India argues that high crude oil prices are impacting the post-Covid economic recovery, especially in the developing countries.

Important Info :

What are India’s strategic petroleum reserves?

  • Under the first stage of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve project, underground rock caverns with total storage of 5.33 MMT, or about 38 million barrels of crude oil, have been commissioned at three locations — Visakhapatnam (1.33 MMT), Mangalore (1.5 MMT), and Padur in Karnataka (2.5 MMT).
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) recommends that all countries hold crude oil stocks worth 90 days of imports.
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
A falling fertility rate and a surge in their bank accounts point to the growing empowerment of women but when it comes to attitudes regarding domestic violence, the latest National Family Health Survey shows the distance that needs to be travelled.

About:

  • Responses to the question, “In your opinion, is a husband justified in hitting or beating his wife…,” from as many as 18 states and Jammu and Kashmir are telling.

  • Of the women surveyed, Telangana led with 83.8 per cent of them saying that men are justified to beat their wives; Himachal Pradesh registered the lowest at 14.8 per cent.

  • Among men, Karnataka leads with 81.9 per cent of the respondents saying such behaviour is justified as against 14.2 per cent in Himachal Pradesh.

  • The other states which have a high percentage of women who justify domestic violence are Andhra Pradesh (83.6 per cent), Karnataka (76.9 per cent), Manipur (65.9 per cent) and Kerala (52.4 per cent).

  • Men from Himachal Pradesh and Tripura had the lowest acceptance of domestic abuse with only 14.2 per cent, 21.3 per cent respondents agreeing.

  • According to the survey, the most common reasons cited to justify domestic abuse: showing disrespect to in-laws, neglecting the house and children.

Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

MAGDALENA ANDERSSON
Sweden’s first ever female Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson resigned hours after she was appointed on November 24, 2021.

About:

  • Social Democrat Andersson had formed a coalition government with the Green party, which decided to quit the coalition after Andersson presented her government’s budget, forcing her to resign as the Prime Minister.

  • Magdalena Andersson is the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden. Andersson, 54, began her political career as a political adviser to then prime minister Göran Persson in 1996 and then as Director of Planning.

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Nov. 27, 2021

ALBATROSSES
A new study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B has provided evidence of the effect of environmental conditions on the longevity of relationships — among a population of albatrosses.

About:

  • It suggests that environmental conditions cause splits between black-browed albatrosses in the South Atlantic, which otherwise have long-term monogamous relationships.

  • The researchers say “divorce” is triggered by breeding failure and that it yields some reproductive benefits, particularly for females which are more likely to find new partners and attain a higher breeding success.

  • They say their results suggest divorce in long-lived monogamous sea populations is an adaptive strategy.

  • The researchers analysed a long-term demographic dataset of the black-browed albatross population in the Falkland Islands, a group of remote islands in the South Atlantic about 483 km from the South American mainland.

Albatrosses

  • Albatrosses, of the biological family Diomedeidae, are large seabirds related to the procellariids, storm petrels, and diving petrels in the order Procellariiformes (the tubenoses).

  • They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific.

  • Of the 22 species of albatrosses recognised by the IUCN, all are listed as at some level of concern; three species are critically endangered, five species are endangered, seven species are near threatened, and seven species are vulnerable.

Source : Indian Express
Environment
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