Feb. 26, 2021

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (INTERMEDIARY GUIDELINES AND DIGITAL MEDIA ETHICS CODE) RULES 2021
Government has notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.

About:

  • The Rules have been framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011.

  • Part- II of these Rules shall be administered by Ministry of Electronics and IT, while Part-III relating to Code of Ethics and procedure and safeguards in relation to digital media shall be administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Salient features

  • Due diligence must be followed by intermediaries, including social media intermediaries. In case, due diligence is not followed by the intermediary, safe harbour provisions will not apply to them.

  • The Rules make a distinction between social media intermediaries and significant social media intermediaries to encourage innovations and enable growth of new social media intermediaries without subjecting smaller platforms to significant compliance requirement,

  • Significant Social Media Intermediary should appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Resident Grievance Officer who shall be a resident in India.

  • Code of Ethics for online news, OTT platforms and digital media: This Code of Ethics prescribe the guidelines to be followed by OTT platforms and online news and digital media entities.

  • Self-Classification of Content:
    • The OTT platforms, called as the publishers of online curated content in the rules, would self-classify the content into five age based categories- U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).

    • Platforms would be required to implement parental locks for content classified as U/A 13+ or higher, and reliable age verification mechanisms for content classified as “A”.



Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN COIMBATORE
PM Modi inaugurated and laid foundation stone of various development projects in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

About:

  • He dedicated to the nation the 1000 MW Neyveli New Thermal Power Project and 709 MW Solar Power Project of NLC India Limited (NLCIL) (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited).

  • He laid the foundation stone for design, supply, installation and commissioning of a 5MW grid connected ground based solar power plant at V.O.Chidambaranar Port and for the extension, renovation and modernisation of Lower Bhavani Project System.

  • He also laid the foundation stone for development of Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) in nine Smart Cities including Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Thanjavur, Vellore, Tiruchirappalli, Tiruppur, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi.

  • He inaugurated the 8-laning of Korampallam Bridge and Rail Over Bridge (ROB) at V.O.Chidambaranar Port and the tenements constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) scheme.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

LPG TRANSPORTATION THROUGH INLAND WATERWAYS
Now LPG can be transported through Inland Waterways. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) signed an MoU with MOL (Asia Oceania) Pte. Ltd for transportation of LPG through barges on National Waterways-1 and National Waterways-2.

About:

  • The world’s largest gas carrier company, MOL Group will invest for construction and operation of dedicated LPG barges under Make-in-India initiative, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said in a statement.

  • Handling LPG by inland waterways will help reduce the carbon footprints, lowering the overall logistics cost, which in India stands approx. 13 to 14% of GDP, compared to global average of 8% and contributing to Government social schemes like “UJJAWLA” for LPG supply.

Important Info :

Significance Of Project

  • Currently, 60 per cent of the LPG is moved through road to the various locations with a cost of ₹5-6 per tonne per kilometre, which the oil companies are interested in reducing.
  • At times, strikes by transporters, road blockages also cause delay in transportation.
  • Also, there are some areas which are difficult to approach through rail or road especially in the North-East region where IWT sector may provide usable solutions.
Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

GLOBAL BIO-INDIA 2021
To showcase the strength and opportunities of the India’s biotechnology sector at national level and to the global community, the second edition of Global Bio-India will be organised from 1-3 March 2021 on digital platform.

About:

  • The theme for this year is “Transforming lives” and tag line “Biosciences to Bioeconomy”

  • Global Bio-India 2021 is expected to have representatives from 50+ countries with Switzerland being the partner country and Karnataka as its state partner

  • Global Bio-India is being co-organised by the Department of Biotechnology along with its Public Sector Undertaking, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in partnership with Invest India.

  • The first edition of Global Bio-India 2019 was organized at New Delhi.

Source : Outlook
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

SWACHH ICONIC PLACES
The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti has announced the selection of the 12 iconic sites under Phase IV of Swachh Iconic Places (SIP).

About:

  • Under Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) initiative of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), aim is to transform the iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country as ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’.

  • The objective of SIP is to achieve a distinctly higher level of Sanitation/Cleanliness at these places, especially on the peripheries and in approach areas.

  • This project is being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and the concerned State/UT governments.

The places are:

  1. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra

  2. Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh

  3. Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan

  4. Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan

  5. Ramdevra, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

  6. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, Telangana

  7. Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha

  8. Rock Garden, Chandigarh

  9. Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir

  10. Banke Bihari Temple, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

  11. Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

  12. Kalighat Temple, West Bengal

Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

CITY INNOVATION EXCHANGE (CiX) PLATFORM
The City Innovation Exchange (CiX) platform was launched by Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

About:

  • The City Innovation Exchange (CiX) will connect cities to innovators across the national ecosystem to design innovative solutions for their pressing challenges.

  • Designed on the philosophy of ‘everyone is an innovator’, the platform will bring together Citizen Organisations-Academia- Businesses- Government to co-create for the future of Urban India in a transparent and sustainable manner.

  • The platform will ease the discovery, design& validation of solutions through a robust, transparent and user centric process that will reduce barriers for innovators and cities to discover fitting solutions.

  • The Platform has more than 400 start-ups, 100 smart cities, more than 150 challenges statements and over 215 solutions at the time of launch.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

MAHAMRITYUNJAYA TEMPLE
Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the consecration ceremony of Mahamrityunjaya temple in Naugaon, Assam.

About:

  • He participated in the consecration ceremony of the world’s tallest 126 feet high Shivling in the Mahamrityunjaya temple.

  • He also visited Borodua pilgrimage, the birthplace of Mahapurush Shrimant Shankardev. He started the new Vaishnav tradition from this holy land and made the Vaishnavite tradition vibrant.

Important Info :
  • The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra also known as the Rudra Mantra or Tryambakam Mantra, is a verse of the Rigveda.
  • The sūkta is addressed to Tryambaka, "The Three-eyed One", an epithet of Rudra who is identified with Shiva in Shaivism. The verse also recurs in the Yajurveda.
Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

INTEGRATED BAMBOO TREATMENT PLANT
Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) inaugurated the latest technology Integrated Bamboo Treatment Plant in the premises of North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC) in Byrnihat near Guwahati.

About:

  • The plant is based on vacuum-pressure-impregnation technique and is funded by the National Bamboo Mission (NBM) and North Eastern Council (NEC).

  • This is an initiative of the central government to make India self-reliant in bamboo industry and create employment in this sector.

Important Info :

Other initiatives in the field of Bamboo

  • The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir will set up three Bamboo Clusters through collaboration from North East Cane and Bamboo Development Council (NECBDC). Each of the three clusters will be devoted to the production of Agarbatti, baskets and charcoal respectively.
  • Home grown bamboo is exempt from the purview of the 100 year old Indian Forest Act. This will help in bringing ease of doing business in the bamboo sector for the young entrepreneurs.
  • During the COVID-pandemic, the import duty on Agarbatti coming from other countries has been hiked to nearly 35%. This will discourage import of bamboo made Aggarbatties and encourage domestic production.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

INDIA TOY FAIR
Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate The India Toy Fair 2021 on 27th February.

About:

  • In his Mann ki Baat address in August 2020, the Prime Minister had said that toys not only augment activity, but also give flight to aspirations. He also emphasized boosting toy manufacturing in India.

  • The India Toy Fair 2021 is being organized in line with this vision of the Prime Minister.

  • The Fair will be held from 27th February to 2nd March 2021.

  • It aims to bring together all stakeholders including buyers, sellers, students, teachers, designers etc. on a virtual platform to create sustainable linkages and encourage dialogue for the overall development of the industry.

Important Info :
  • The Government of India has also launched ‘Toycathon’, an online toy hackathon for innovative toys/games concepts.
  • Toycathon-2021 is conceived to challenge India’s innovative minds to conceptualize novel Toy and Games based on Bharatiya civilization, history, culture, mythology and ethos.
Source : PIB
Sports

Current Affairs
Feb. 26, 2021

2nd KHELO INDIA NATIONAL WINTER GAMES
Prime Minister Modi will deliver the inaugural address at the 2nd Khelo India National Winter Games on 26th February 2021.

About:

  • The Games will be held from 26th February to 2nd March, 2021.

  • The event has been organised by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, in collaboration with the J&K Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of J&K.

  • The sports activities will include alpine skiing, nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering, ice hockey, ice skating, ice stock etc.

  • 27 States, Union Territories and Boards are sending their teams to participate in the games.

Source : Times of India
Sports

Feb. 25, 2021

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE SCHEME FOR PHARMACEUTICALS
The Union Cabinet has approved Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Pharmaceuticals over a period of Financial Year 2020-21 to 2028-29.

About:

  • Total incremental sales of Rs.2,94,000 crore and total incremental exports of Rs.1,96,000 crore are estimated during six years from 2022-23 to 2027-28.

  • The Scheme is also expected to bring in investment of Rs.15,000 crore in the pharmaceutical sector.

  • The scheme will be part of the umbrella scheme for the Development of Pharmaceutical Industry.

  • The objective of the scheme is to enhance India's manufacturing capabilities by increasing investment and production in the sector and contributing to product diversification to high value goods in the pharmaceutical sector.

  • Target Groups: The manufacturers of pharmaceutical goods registered in India will be grouped based on their Global Manufacturing Revenue (GMR) to ensure wider applicability of the scheme across the pharmaceutical industry and at the same time meet the objectives of the scheme.

  • Quantum of Incentive: The total quantum of incentive (inclusive of administrative expenditure) under the scheme is about Rs 15,000 crore.

Category of Goods:

The scheme shall cover pharmaceutical goods under three  categories as mentioned below:

  • Category 1: Biopharmaceuticals; Complex generic drugs; Patented drugs or drugs nearing patent expiry; Cell based or gene therapy drugs; Orphan drugs; Special empty capsules like HPMC, Pullulan, enteric etc.; Complex excipients; Phyto-pharmaceuticals: Other drugs as approved.

  • Category 2: Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients / Key Starting Materials / Drug Intermediates.

  • Category 3: Drugs not covered under Category 1 and Category 2.

Source : The Hindu
Health

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE SCHEME FOR IT HARDWARE
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for IT Hardware.

About:

  • The scheme proposes production linked incentive to boost domestic manufacturing and attract large investments in the value chain of IT Hardware.

  • The Scheme shall, extend an incentive of 4% to 2% / 1% on net incremental sales (over base year i.e. 2019-20) of goods manufactured in India and covered under the target segment, to eligible companies, for a period of four (4) years.

  • The scheme is likely to benefit 5 major global players and 10 domestic champions in the field of IT Hardware manufacturing including Laptops, Tablets, All-in-One PCs, and Servers.

  • Financial Implications: The total cost of the proposed scheme is approximately Rs.7,350 crore over 4 years, which includes an incentive outlay of Rs.7,325 crore and administrative charges of Rs.25 crore.

Important Info :

Background:

  • Currently, the laptop and tablet demand in India is largely met through imports valued at USD 4.21 billion and USD 0.41 billion respectively in 2019-20.
  • The market for IT Hardware is dominated by 6-7 companies globally which account for about 70% of the world's market share.
Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

EMBARGO LIFTED ON GRANT OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS TO PRIVATE BANKS
The Government has lifted the embargo on private sector banks (only a few were permitted earlier) for the conduct of Government-related banking transactions such as taxes and other revenue payment facilities, pension payments, small savings schemes, etc.

About:

  • With the lifting of the embargo, there is now no bar on RBI for authorization of private sector banks (in addition to public sector banks) for Government business, including Government agency business.

  • Government-related banking transactions include taxes and other revenue payments, pension payments, and small savings schemes.

  • In 2012, the finance ministry had not allowed private banks, barring some, to undertake government business for three years.

  • In 2015, the government had continued with the embargo, and allowed the private sector with existing government agency business to continue without any fresh authorisation to private banks.

  • For undertaking government agency business, the RBI pays a commission to banks. The central bank carries out the general banking business of the central and state governments through agency banks appointed under Section 45 of the RBI Act, 1934.

Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

CONSPIRACY
In granting bail to 22-year-old climate change activist Disha Ravi on Tuesday, the trial court in Delhi rejected the Delhi Police charge that she was part of a “larger conspiracy” to incite violence in the national capital on January 26.

About:

  • Section 120A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines criminal conspiracy; Section 120B prescribes the punishment for it.

  • An “agreement” between two or more persons to commit a criminal offence constitutes the offence of criminal conspiracy.

  • Only an agreement is necessary and sufficient to establish the charge of conspiracy, even if the actual criminal offence itself has not been committed. Criminal conspiracy is a substantive offence in itself.

  • The law in its current form was added in 1913, nearly four decades after the IPC was first enacted. The provision was designed by the British to deal with the rising nationalist sentiment in India.

Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

KODOKUSHI, KAROSHI AND HIKIKOMORI
Earlier this month, Japan appointed a Minister of Loneliness after the country’s suicide rate went up for the first time in 11 years.

About:

  • Japan’s suicide rate rose in 2020, with 20,919 people taking their lives according to data by the National Police Agency. Most experts believe that the problem of escalating suicides in Japan is tied to the country’s culture of loneliness.

  • Japan’s ageing population — over 20% of the country’s population is more than 65 years old, which is the highest proportion for that category in the world — has created a huge section of middle-aged and older people who feel they have no one to turn to for help and company.

  • Since most ageing people do not socialise much, many of them die alone, with their bodies being discovered a long time after their death. The phenomenon is known as ‘kodokushi’, which means ‘lonely death’.

  • The country also has some of the longest working hours in the world, which leaves people with little opportunity to spend time with their friends or be engaged in hobbies they are interested in. In fact, Japan has a term for sudden occupational mortality — ‘karoshi’, which means death due to overwork.

  • The culture of self-isolation has spiralled to such extremes in the country that there are about one million people who live in absolute self-imposed confinement for many years with no contact with the outside world. These modern-day hermits are called ‘hikikomori’.

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

COURT ETIQUETTE
The debate around court etiquette in India was triggered again on February 23 after a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde objected to a petitioner addressing judges as “Your Honour”.

About:

  • “When you call us Your Honour, you either have the Supreme Court of United States or the Magistrate in mind. We are neither,” the CJI told the petitioner, a law student.

  • For years, there have been efforts to purge from courtroom protocol salutations such as “My Lord” and “Your Lordship” — a practice inherited from British rule.

  • The Advocates Act of 1961, under section 49(1)(c), empowers the Bar Council of India to make rules on professional and etiquette standards to be observed by advocates.

  • To address this issue, a Resolution by the Bar Council of India in 2006 added Chapter IIIA to Part VI of the BCI Rules.

  • Interestingly, while the 2006 notification discouraged the use of “My Lord” and “Your Lordship”, it prescribed “Your Honour” or “Hon’ble Court” as an acceptable way for addressing the Supreme Court & High Courts, and “Sir” in Subordinate Courts and Tribunals.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

JAWS OF LIFE
Golfing legend Tiger Woods was involved in a major car accident in Southern California with multiple injuries.

About:

  • Initially it was reported that paramedics used a tool called the ‘jaws of life’ to extricate the athlete from his vehicle. However, they later retracted their statement and clarified that Woods was removed from the wreckage using other tools.

  • While the ‘jaws of life’ were not used for Woods’ rescue, the initial post resulted in a lot of curiosity about the tool.

  • The ‘jaws of life’ are a hydraulic-extrication rescue tool used in a number of difficult emergency situations, particularly car crashes.

  • It is most often used to pull drivers and passengers out of damaged vehicles after severe traffic collisions.

  • The tool, also known as the hydraulic spreader-cutter, was invented by George Hurst in 1961

  • It consists of four main components — cutters, spreaders, rams, and the power source.

Source : Indian Express
Disaster Management

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

KARBI INSURGENCY
Over 1,000 militants of five militant groups of Karbi Anglong district ceremonially laid down arms at an event in Guwahati in the presence of Assam Chief Minister.

About:

  • The surrendered militants comprised cadres from five outfits — Karbi People’s Liberation Tiger (KPLT), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF), Kuki Liberation Front (KLF) and United People’s Liberation Army (UPLA).

  • Insurgency by Karbi — a major ethnic community of Assam — has had a long history in Assam since the late 1980s.

  • These outfits originated from a core demand of forming a separate state.

  • Today, the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) is an autonomous district council, protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

  • The entire political discourse in this constituency — comprising three districts of Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong (split from the former in 2016) and Dima Hasao — revolves around the demand for
    • granting of “Autonomous State” status to the region and

    • more autonomy and power to the KAAC and the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (which administers over Dima Hasao district).



Source : Indian Express
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

HOUSEWORK COMPENSATION
In a landmark judgment delivered weeks after China enforced its new civil code, a divorce court in Beijing has ordered a man to compensate his ex-wife for the housework she did during five years of marriage.

About:

  • The court has split their joint property equally, and ordered the man to pay around $7,700 to his former wife as “housework compensation”.

  • On January 1, the Chinese government brought into force a new civil code, which legal experts have described as offering greater protection for individual rights.

  • Before the new law came into force, such compensation could be demanded only in cases where a prenuptial agreement had been signed– in itself an uncommon practice.

Important Info :

Comment over the ruling

  • Many have commented that 50,000 yuan is too small an amount for five years of household work, and have expressed that men should take up a greater role in managing domestic duties. Others have described the verdict as recognition of unpaid labour at home.
Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Feb. 25, 2021

NARENDRA MODI STADIUM
Motera cricket stadium, the world’s largest cricket stadium, has been renamed from Sardar Patel Stadium to Narendra Modi Stadium.

About:

  • Motera Stadium, is a cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

  • India’s Test against England is the first match at the brand new Motera, the name of the place, after it was refurbished and converted into a 110,000-seater facility, making it the biggest cricket ground in the world in terms of capacity.

Important Info :

Name change

  • Naming it after a politician was in line with a decades-old practice in Indian sport, especially cricket.
  • Mumbai’s Brabourne and Wankhede Stadiums were named after individuals who were alive at the time. The same is the case with Navi Mumbai’s D Y Patil Stadium, Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium, and Chennai’s M A Chidambaram Stadium.
  • Mohali’s PCA Stadium was renamed after former BCCI and Punjab Cricket Association president I S Bindra in 2015.
  • The Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi was renamed Arun Jaitley Stadium in 2019.
Source : Indian Express
Sports

Feb. 24, 2021

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

PAGRI SAMBHAAL MOVEMENT
As part of the ongoing farmers’ protest, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) is celebrating February 23 as ‘Pagri Sambhal Diwas’, where it has asked supporters across the globe to wear a green pagri/dupatta and post their pictures on social media, with the hashtag ‘Go green for farmers’.

About:

  • The farmers are also honouring the memory of Ajit Singh, uncle of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and founder of the Pagri Sambhaal movement of 1907.

  • Pagrhi Sambhaal Jatta was a successful farm agitation that forced the British government to repeal three laws related to agriculture back in 1907. Bhagat Singh’s uncle Ajit Singh was the force behind this agitation, and he wanted to channel people’s anger over the farm laws to topple the colonial government.

  • The three farm-related acts at the centre of the storm in 1907 were the Punjab Land Alienation Act 1900, the Punjab Land Colonisation Act 1906 and the Doab Bari Act.

  • These acts would reduce farmers from owners to contractors of land, and gave the British government the right to take back the allotted land if the farmer even touched a tree in his field without permission.

Source : Indian Express
History

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

SMARTCODE PLATFORM
Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched SmartCode Platform.

About:

  • SmartCode is a platform that enables all ecosystem stakeholders to contribute to a repository of open-source code for various solutions and applications for urban governance.

  • It is designed to address the challenges that urban local bodies (ULBs) face in the development and deployment of digital applications to address urban challenges, by enabling cities to take advantage of existing codes and customising them to suit local needs, rather than having to develop new solutions from scratch.

  • As a repository of open-source software, the source code available on the platform will be free to use without any licensing or subscription fees, thus limiting costs to those involved with customising the code and developing a locally-relevant solution.

Source : PIB
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

Cadmium (Cd) doped Silver Antimony Telluride (AgSbTe2)
Scientists have found a new Lead (Pb) free material which can efficiently convert waste heat to power our small home equipment and automobiles.

About:

  • Most efficient thermoelectric materials developed by scientists so far use Lead (Pb) as a major constituent element, restricting their use for mass-market applications.

  • Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, an autonomous institution of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of have now identified a lead-free material called Cadmium (Cd) doped Silver Antimony Telluride (AgSbTe2).

  • This material which can efficiently allow recovery of electricity from ‘waste heat’ marking a paradigm shift in the thermoelectric puzzle.

  • This work is supported by Swarna-Jayanti fellowship and project fund from Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and Department of Science & Technology (DST), India

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

NATIONAL AWARDS FOR TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION IN PETROCHEMICALS & DOWNSTREAM PLASTICS PROCESSING INDUSTRY
Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers presented the 10th National Awards for Technology Innovation in Petrochemicals & Downstream Plastics Processing Industry to the Awardees.

About:

  • In line with the National Policy on Petrochemicals announced in April 2007, the Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals (DCPC), Government of India has set up an Award Scheme to incentivize meritorious innovations and inventions in the field of polymeric materials, products, process areas of national and social importance.

  • The ultimate objective is to develop and maintain the petrochemical industry as a globally competitive industry using eco-friendly processes & technologies.

  • Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering and Technology (CIPET), an autonomous organization under DCPC has been entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the scheme of the National Awards for Technology Innovation.

Source : PIB
Awards

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

KHELA HOBE
Over the last few days, Trinamool Congress as well as BJP leaders across the West Bengal ahead of the Assembly polls, have been raising the ‘khela hobe’ slogan.

About:

  • The slogan was first used by Bangladesh’s Awami League MP Shamim Osman more than four years ago.

  • But it was popularised in West Bengal by Trinamool Congress president of Birbhum district, Anubrata Mondal, who at a local political event said, “Khela hobe. Bhoyonkor khela hobe. Ei mati te khela hobe.” (The game is on. It will be a dangerous game. But the game is on and this will be the playground.)

  • The slogan, through which leaders are challenging their opponents now, likens the political battlefield to a playground. It means this electoral battle has not been decided yet — there is a lot to fight for in these Assembly polls and only time will tell who has the last laugh.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

LEH AS EXAM CENTRE FOR CIVIL SERVICES CANDIDATES
In a first of its kind the Union Public Service Commission UPSC has opened a new centre for the Civil Services Examination, in Leh for the candidates from Union Territory Ladakh.

About:

  • Sanctioning of a new centre for Civil Services examination in Leh is a great relief for the aspiring candidates. Leh will be the 73rd centre in the country to hold the preliminary exam for Civil Services on 27th of June this year.

  • Leh Deputy Commissioner will be the Coordinating Supervisor for the Leh centre. At least 800 candidates are expected to attend the civils preliminary exam from the Union Territory Ladakh.

Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

CENTRAL EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEE COUNCIL
The 22nd Meeting of the Central Employment Guarantee Council was held on 23.02.2021 under the Chairmanship of Union Minister of Rural Development.

About:

  • The Central Employment Guarantee Council has been constituted under Section 10 of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (Mahatma Gandhi NREGA), 2005.

  • In this current financial year 2020-21 under the shadow of COVID-19 pandemic, Mahatma Gandhi NREGS has played its critical role in providing wage employment to the wage seekers.

  • A total of 344 crore persondays employment has been generated so far, which is the highest ever persondays generated so far and around 44% higher than that of last year during the same period.

  • 69 crore new job cards were issued this year as compared to usual about 69 lacs in previous years reflecting the succor it provided to the migrant workers going back to their villages.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

DRAFT NATIONAL MIGRANT LABOUR POLICY
NITI Aayog has prepared a draft national migrant labour policy.

About:

  • The draft describes two approaches to policy design:
    • one focussed on cash transfers, special quotas, and reservations;

    • the other which “enhances the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.



  • The policy rejects a handout approach, opting instead for a rights-based framework.

  • The draft asks the Ministries of Panchayati Raj, Rural Development, and Housing and Urban Affairs to use Tribal Affairs migration data to help create migration resource centres in high migration zones.

  • It asks the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to focus on skill-building at these centres.

  • The Ministry of Education should take measures under the Right to Education Act to mainstream migrant children’s education, to map migrant children, and to provide local-language teachers in migrant destinations.

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs should address issues of night shelters, short-stay homes, and seasonal accommodation for migrants in cities.

  • The National Legal Services authority (NALSA) and Ministry of Labour should set up grievance handling cells and fast track legal responses for trafficking, minimum wage violations, and workplace abuses and accidents for migrant workers.

Source : Indian Express
Social Issues

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

NATIONAL URBAN DIGITAL MISSION (NUDM)
The National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) has been launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs along with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

About:

  • The National Urban Digital Mission (NUDM) will create a shared digital infrastructure for urban India, working across the three pillars of people, process, and platform to provide holistic support to cities and towns.

  • It will institutionalise a citizen-centric and ecosystem-driven approach to urban governance and service delivery in 2022 cities by 2022, and across all cities and towns in India by 2024.

  • NUDM has articulated a set of governing principles, and inherits the technology design principles of the National Urban Innovation Stack (NUIS), whose strategy and approach was released by MoHUA in February, 2019.

  • The principles in turn give rise to standards, specifications, and certifications, across the three pillars of people, process, and platforms.

Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Feb. 24, 2021

INDIA URBAN DATA EXCHANGE (IUDX)
Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched India Urban Data Exchange (IUDX).

About:

  • The India Urban Data Exchange has been developed in partnership between the Smart Cities Mission and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

  • IUDX serves as a seamless interface for data providers and data users, including ULBs, to share, request, and access datasets related to cities, urban governance, and urban service delivery.

  • IUDX is an open-source software platform which facilitates the secure, authenticated, and managed exchange of data amongst various data platforms, 3rd party authenticated and authorised applications, and other sources.

Source : PIB
Polity & Governance

Feb. 23, 2021

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

IIT COUNCIL
The IIT Council has set up committees to look at greater autonomy for the elite institutions, in line with the National Education Policy recommendations, as well as reform of the academic Senate, grooming faculty to head the IITs, and innovative funding mechanisms.

About:

  • The Council also recommended cutting IIT staff strength to lower levels.

  • The IIT Council is headed by the Education Minister and includes the directors of all IITs, and the chairs of each IIT’s Board of Governors.

  • It is meant to advise on admission standards, duration of courses, degrees and other academic distinctions, and also lays down policy regarding cadre, methods of recruitment and conditions of service of employees.

Source : The Hindu
Education

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

GREATER TIPRALAND
Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Manikya has recently announced his new political demand of ‘Greater Tipraland’.

About:

  • He claims that this would serve the interest of tribals, non-tribals, Tripuri tribals staying outside Tripura, even those outside India in Bandarban, Chittagong, Khagrachari and other border adjacent areas in Bangladesh.

  • ‘Greater Tipraland’ is essentially an extension of the ruling tribal partner Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura – IPFT’s demand of Tipraland, which sought a separate state for tribals of Tripura.

  • The new demand seeks to include every tribal person living in indigenous area or village outside the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) under the proposed model.

  • However, the idea doesn’t restrict to simply the Tripura tribal council areas, but seeks to include ‘Tiprasa’ of Tripuris spread across different states of India like Assam, Mizoram etc. as well, even those living in Bandarban, Chittagong, Khagrachari and other bordering areas of neighbouring Bangladesh.

Source : Indian Express
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

NON-ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE (NAFLD)
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that India has become the first country in the world to identify the need for action for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.

About:

  • He said this while launching the operational guidelines for integration of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease with the National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke.

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an umbrella term for a range of liver conditions affecting people who drink little to no alcohol. As the name implies, the main characteristic of NAFLD is too much fat stored in liver cells.

  • NAFLD is increasingly common around the world, especially in Western nations.

  • Some individuals with NAFLD can develop non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), an aggressive form of fatty liver disease, which is marked by liver inflammation and may progress to advanced scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure.

  • This damage is similar to the damage caused by heavy alcohol use.

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

VERTICAL LAUNCH SHORT RANGE SURFACE TO AIR MISSILE (VL-SRSAM)
Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted two successful launches of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM).

About:

  • The launches were carried out from a static vertical launcher from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

  • Indigenously designed and developed by DRDO for Indian Navy, VL-SRSAM is meant for neutralizing various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.

  • The current launches were carried out for demonstration of vertical launch capability as part of its maiden launch campaign.

Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

DUTCH INDIAN WATER ALLIANCE FOR LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE (DIWALI)
In order to find solutions for water related challenges a platform called DIWALI has been developed in which India and Netherlands could participate for designing solution for water challenges.

About:

  • The consortium of experts from the two counties would explore the potential and sustainability of Dutch Solutions to resolve challenges in specific water challenged sites in India which are scalable, sustainable and affordable.

  • It is being led by
    • Dutch consortia titled “Water for Change. Integrative and Fit-for-Purpose Water Sensitive Design Framework for Fast Growing Livable Cities” and

    • IIT Roorkee as lead along with other consortia member named MANIT, Bhopal; CEPT University, Ahmedabad; IIT Gandhinagar; CWRDM, Calicut.



Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

CENTRAL ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION (CERC)
Pravas Kumar Singh took oath as Member of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

About:

  • The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) had been established by the Government of India under the provisions of the Electricity Regulatory Commissions Act, 1998.

  • CERC is the Central Commission for the purposes of the Electricity Act, 2003 which has repealed the ERC Act, 1998.

  • The Commission consists of a Chairperson and four other Members including Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority who is the ex-officio Member of the Commission.

  • Major functions of CERC under the Act are
    • to regulate the tariff of generating companies owned or controlled by the Central Government,

    • to regulate the inter-State transmission of electricity and to determine tariff for such transmission of electricity, etc.



  • Under the Act, CERC shall also advise the Central Government on formulation of National Electricity Policy and Tariff Policy.

Source : Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

BIMA JYOTI
Life Insurance Corporation of India has introduced LIC’s Bima Jyoti a Non-Linked, Non-Participating, Individual, Savings Plan, which offers an attractive combination of protection and savings.

About:

  • This plan provides guaranteed lumpsum payment at maturity and financial support to the family in case of the unfortunate death of the policyholder during policy term.

  • Guaranteed Additions at the rate of Rs.50 per thousand Basic Sum Assured will be added to the policy at the end of each policy year.

  • On death during the policy term after the date of commencement of risk, “Sum Assured on Death” and Accrued Guaranteed Additions as per policy conditions is payable.

  • The Minimum Basic Sum Assured is Rs 1,00,000/- with no upper limit. The Policy can be taken for a term of 15 to 20 years with premium paying term calculated as Policy term minus 5 years.

  • The minimum age at entry is 90 days completed and maximum age at entry is 60 yrs.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

SFURTI CLUSTERS
Union Minister for MSME inaugurated 50 artisan-based SFURTI clusters, spread over 18 States.

About:

  • In the 50 clusters inaugurated, over 42,000 artisans have been supported in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, wood craft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro processing, tea, etc.

  • The Ministry of MSME has funded an amount of around Rs.85 crore for development of these 50 clusters.

  • The Ministry of MSME is implementing a Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) with a view to organize traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.

  • SFURTI clusters are of two types i.e.,
    • Regular Cluster (500 artisans) with Government assistance of up to Rs.2.5 crore and

    • Major Cluster (more than 500 artisans) with Government assistance up to Rs.5 crore.



  • The artisans are organized into SPVs which can be
    • a Society registered under Societies (Registration) Act, 1860,

    • a Co-operative Society under an appropriate statute,

    • a Producer Company under Section 465 (1) of Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013),

    • a Section 8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) or (v) a Trust.



Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

PROJECTS IN ASSAM
PM Modi inaugurated important Oil & Gas projects and Engineering Colleges in Assam.

About:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation
    • INDMAX Unit at Indian Oil’s Bongaigaon Refinery,

    • Oil India Limited's Secondary Tank Farm at Madhuban, Dibrugarh and

    • a Gas Compressor Station at Hebeda Village, Makum, Tinsukia.



  • He also
    • inaugurated the Dhemaji Engineering College and

    • laid the foundation stone for Sualkuchi Engineering College in Assam.



Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
Feb. 23, 2021

DEVASTHAL TELESCOPE
The world-class 3.6 meter optical telescope set up at Devasthal has assumed global importance for observing a number of time-critical cosmic explosive events such as Gamma Ray Bursts and Supernovae.

About:

  • Devasthal is a mountain peak in Uttarakhand.

  • The world-class 3.6 meter optical telescope set up at Devasthal is the Asia’s largest fully steerable optical telescope, an international facility for and people from different parts of the world compete for observation and machine time by submitting research proposals.

  • It was set up in year 2016 by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), an autonomous research institute of DST with support from Belgian government and established India’s role as a global player in astronomy research.

  • The technological know-how gained from the development of this telescope and back-end instruments are beneficial for optical facilities planned for future such as the Thirty Meter Telescope – one of the mega projects in which the country is participating.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech
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