June 30, 2021

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Most Indians, cutting across religions, feel they enjoy religious freedom, value religious tolerance, and regard respect for all religions as central to what India is as a nation.

About:

  • At the same time the majority in each of the major religious groups show a marked preference for religious segregation and “want to live separately”, according to a nation-wide survey on religious attitudes, behaviours and beliefs conducted by Pew Research Center, a non-profit based in Washington DC.

  • For instance, the report found that 91% of Hindus felt they have religious freedom, while 85% of them believed that respecting all religions was very important ‘to being truly Indian’.

  • Also, for most Hindus, religious tolerance was not just a civic virtue but also a religious value, with 80% of them stating that respecting other religions was an integral aspect of ‘being Hindu’.

  • Other religions showed similar numbers for freedom of religion and religious tolerance.

  • While 89% of Muslims and Christians said they felt free to practice their religion, the comparative figures for Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains were 82%, 93%, and 85% respectively.

  • Also, Hindu nationalist sentiments were less prevalent in the South. Among Hindus, those in the South (42%) were far less likely to say that being Hindu was very important to being truly Indian.

Source : The Hindu
Social Issues

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

EBRAHIM RAISI
Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi became Iran’s president. He succeeded Hassan Rouhani.

About:

  • Iran’s 13th presidential elections were recently held.

  • As per rules, the president should be a Shiite Muslim. Over 90 per cent of Iran’s population is comprised of Shiite Muslims.

Who is Raisi?

  • Raisi first came to prominence when he became the Prosecutor General of Karaj in 1980, when he became the Prosecutor of Tehran and the First Deputy to the Head of Judiciary from 2004 to 2014 after which he became the Prosecutor General of Iran from 2014 to 2016.

  • In 2019, Raisi was appointed the head of Iran’s judiciary, an appointment that sparked concerns because of his involvement in the mass executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 after the Iran-Iraq war.

  • Amnesty International has identified Raisi as a member of the “death commission” that carried out “enforced disappearance and extrajudicial executions of several thousand political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran between late July and early September 1988. Victims’ bodies were mostly buried in unmarked mass graves.”

  • Raisi also has ties to the paramilitary group Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Source : The Hindu
International

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

RURAL TOURISM
Ministry of tourism invites feedback on the draft national strategy and roadmap for development of rural tourism in India.

About:

  • The Ministry of Tourism has the main objective of promoting and facilitating tourism both inbound and domestic in India.

  • Ministry of Tourism has recognized the immense potential of Rural Tourism and has been actively working on promotion and development of this niche area of tourism.

  • Identification, diversification, development, and promotion of niche tourism products in the country is the initiative of the Ministry to overcome the aspect of ‘seasonality’ and to promote India as a 365 days’ destination, to attract tourists with specific interest, and to ensure repeat visits for the unique products in which India has a comparative advantage.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

MEDICAL AND WELLNESS TOURISM
Ministry of Tourism invites feedback/suggestions on the draft National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism.

About:

  • Medical Tourism (also called medical travel, health tourism or global healthcare) is a term used to describe the rapidly growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain healthcare.

  • Healthcare and Tourism are the fastest growing industries in the world. Medical Value Travel (MVT) is being promoted as a fusion product of these industries.

  • Services typically sought by travellers include elective procedures as well as complex specialized surgeries such as joint replacement (knee/ hip), cardiac surgery, dental surgery, and cosmetic surgeries.

  • The Key drivers for growth of Medical Tourism and wellness tourism are mainly affordability and accessibility of good healthcare services, facilitation around hospitality services, minimal waiting time, availability of latest medical technologies and accreditations.

Important Info :

Indian scenario

  • Over the years, India has grown to become a top-notch destination for medical value travel because it scores high over a range of factors that determines the overall quality of care.
  • India has also become a favoured destination for Yoga and Wellness with its focus on traditional therapies through AYUSH.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

INDIA – BHUTAN ENVIRONMENT COOPERATION
India and Bhutan signed an MoU for developing cooperation between two countries in the area of environment.

About:

  • The MoU will open new vistas of bilateral co-operation in the area of climate change, waste management etc.

  • The MoU is a platform to further enhance Indian and Bhutanese partnership and support, exchange best practices in areas like prevention of Air Pollution, Waste Management, Chemical Management, Climate Change, etc.

Source : All India Radio
Environment

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

SEA SNOT OUTBREAK
Turkey’s Sea of Marmara, that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, has witnessed the largest outbreak of ‘sea snot’.

What is it?

  • ‘Sea snot’ is marine mucilage, which floats up on the surface of the sea like a brown phlegm.

  • This thick slimy layer of organic matter looks like a viscous, brown and foamy substance.

Formation

  • It is formed when algae are overloaded with nutrients as a result of water pollution combined with the effects of climate change.

  • The nutrient overload occurs when algae feast on warm weather caused by global warming. Water pollution adds to the problem.

  • Overproduction of phytoplankton caused by climate change/rising temperatures and the uncontrolled dumping of household and industrial waste into the seas has led to the present crisis in turkey.

Important Info :

Impact

  • The growth of the mucilage is posing a severe threat to the marine ecosystem of the country.
  • It has caused mass deaths among the fish population, and also killed other aquatic organisms such as corals and sponges.
  • Over a period of time, it could end up poisoning all aquatic life, including fishes, crabs, oysters, mussels and sea stars.
  • Besides aquatic life, the ‘sea snot’ outbreak has also affected the livelihoods of fishermen.
  • Some experts have also warned that the ‘sea snot’ can cause an outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera in cities like Istanbul. 
Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

TOYCATHON-2021
Union Minister Women and Child Development and Textiles and Minister for Education inaugurated Toycathon 2021 grand finale.

About:

  • The Toycathon 2021 was organized jointly by Ministry of Education in coordination with five other Ministries viz: Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Commerce &Industry, Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Ministry of Textiles.

  • This inter-ministerial Toycathon focuses on conceptualizing new and innovative toys using local materials which are economical, affordable, safe, environment friendly, with exceptional high quality for both Indian and global markets.

  • The Toycathon is based on nine themes viz. Indian Culture, History, Knowledge of India and Ethos; Learning, Education and Schooling; Social and human values; Occupations & specific fields; Environment; Divyang ; Fitness and sport; Out of the box, creative and logical thinking and Rediscovering/redesigning traditional Indian toys

  • The Toycathon will have 3 variants of tracks of Junior Level, Senior Level and Start up Level and will allow participation of students and teachers from schools, colleges and universities apart from startups and toy experts.

Important Info :

Statistics

  • 85% toys that our children are playing with are imported and are predominantly made of plastic.
  • Indian toy market stands at around $1.5 billion USD and currently we are importing a major chunk from outside. The global toy market is estimated to be more than 100 billion USD.
  • Toycathon-2021 is aimed at boosting the Toy Industry in India to help it capture a wider share of the toy market.
  • The National Education Policy 2020 advocates for 5+3+3+4 system and it asks for activity-based learning for children through toys and games.
Source : PIB
Education

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

ORAL CANCER
Tata Memorial Centre Publishes First of its Kind Study on the Cost of Illness and Treatment of Oral Cancer In India. This is the first such study in India and among a handful globally.

About:

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, with approximately 70% cancer cases occurring in low and middle-income countries.

  • India’s cancer scenario is burdened with oral cavity cancer being the most common among men. In fact, India accounted for almost a third of the global incidence in 2020.

  • As per the GLOBOCAN statistics, the rate of new cases being diagnosed has increased by a staggering 68% in the past two decades alone.

  • As per the GLOBOCAN statistics, the rate of new cases being diagnosed has increased by a staggering 68% in the past two decades alone

  • the unit cost of treating advanced stages (Rs. 2,02,892/- ) was found to be 42% greater than early stages (Rs. 1,17,135/-).

  • Medical equipment accounted for 97.8% of capital costs, with the highest contributor being the radiology services that included CT, MRI and PET scan.

  • India spent approximately Rs. 2,386 crores in 2020 on oral cancer treatment, paid for by insurance schemes, government and private sector spending, out of pocket payments and charitable donations or a combination of these.

  • Without any inflation in costs, this will result in an economic burden on the country of 23,724 crores over the next ten years.

Source : Times of India
Health

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

DESALINATION
Narippaiyur, a village in Ramanathapuram District, a drought prone area situated in the South-East corner of Tamil Nadu will benefit from 20,000 litres per day of fresh water produced from sea water – thanks to the solar thermal Forward Osmosis (FO) sea water desalination system installed in the place.

Working:

  • A desalination plant turns salt water into water that is fit to drink.

  • The most commonly used technology used for the process is reverse osmosis where an external pressure is applied to push solvents from an area of high-solute concentration to an area of low-solute concentration through a membrane.

  • The microscopic pores in the membranes allow water molecules through but leave salt and most other impurities behind, releasing clean water from the other side.

Challenges:

  • Desalination is an expensive way of generating drinking water as it requires a high amount of energy.

  • The other problem is the disposal of the by-product — highly concentrated brine — of the desalination process. While in most places brine is pumped back into the sea, there have been rising complaints that it ends up severely damaging the local ecology around the plant.

Global and Indian scenario:

  • Worldwide, desalination is seen as one possible answer to stave off water crisis. These plants are mostly set up in areas that have access to sea water.

  • Desalination has largely been limited to affluent countries in the Middle East and has recently started making inroads in parts of the United States and Australia.

  • In India, Tamil Nadu has been the pioneer in using this technology, setting up two desalination plants near Chennai in 2010 and then 2013.

  • The other states that have proposed these plants are Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

  • In November 2020, Maharashtra announced the setting up of a desalination plant in Mumbai, becoming the fourth state in the country to experiment with the idea. 

Source : PIB
Environment

Current Affairs
June 30, 2021

CBSE’S FORMULA FOR EVALUATING CLASS XII RESULTS
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) submitted to the Supreme Court a 40:30:30 formula for evaluation of marks of Class XII students, which will be based on their Class XII, Class XI and Class X results, respectively.

About:

  • According to the formula, the theory marks of each subject will be computed using 40% from the marks they got in the subject pre-boards or mid-term exams held by their schools earlier this year, 30% from their Class XI final exam marks, and 30% from their Class X board exam results.

  • This will be added to the actual marks that they got in their Class XII internal assessments and practicals for that subject. 

Source : Indian Express
Education

June 29, 2021

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

FINANCIAL RELIEF PACKAGE FOR 2ND WAVE OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Union Finance Minister announced a slew of measures to provide relief to diverse sectors affected by the 2nd wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

About:

  • She announced a relief package of Rs 6,28,993 crore to support Indian economy in fight against COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 17 measures amounting to Rs. 6,28,993 crore were announced.

  • These included two measures announced earlier, i.e. the additional Subsidy for DAP & P&K fertilizers, and extension of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) from May to November, 2021.

  • She announced Rs. 1.1 lakh crore Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID affected sectors. Of them Rs. 50 thousand crore will be for health sector. The scheme is aimed at upscaling medical infrastructure targetting unreserved areas.

  • She also announced Rs. 1.5 lakh crore for Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme, ECLGS which was launched as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat Package in May, 2020.

  • She announced Creadit Guarantee Scheme which is a new scheme to facilitate loans to 25 lakh people through Micro Finance Institutions, MFI.

  • The guarantee will be provided to Scheduled Commercial Banks for loans to new or existing NBFC- MFIs for on lending upto Rs. 1.25 lakh to about 25 lakh to small borrowers. 

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

ENERGY COMPACT GOALS TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY
NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generating company under Ministry of Power has become first energy company in energy domain in India to declare its Energy Compact goals as part of UN High-level Dialogue on Energy (HLDE).

About:

  • NTPC has set a target to install 60 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2032. India’s largest power producer is also aiming at 10% reduction in net energy intensity by 2032.

  • NTPC is among the few organisations globally to declare its Energy Compact goals.

  • Further, NTPC has declared that it will form at least 2 international alliances/groups to facilitate clean energy research and promote sustainability in energy value chain by 2025.

Economy

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

DELTA PLUS IS VARIANT OF CONCERN
Addressing at the 29th Group of Ministers meeting, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that Delta plus is a variant of concern and special surveillance is being done in the 12 States wherein these variants have been detected.

What are Variants of Interest (VoI) and Variants of Concern (VoC)?

  • When the mutations happen – if there is any previous association with any other similar variant which is felt to have an impact on public health – then it becomes a Variant under Investigation.

  • Once genetic markers are identified which can have association with receptor binding domain or which have an implication on antibodies or neutralizing assays, we start calling them as Variants of Interest.

  • The moment we get evidence for increased transmission through field-site and clinical correlations, it becomes a Variant of Concern.

Variants of concern are those that have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Increased transmissibility

  • Change in virulence/ disease presentation

  • Evading the diagnostics, drugs and vaccines

  • The 1st Variant of Concern was announced by the UK where it was found. Currently there are four variants of concern identified by the scientists - Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. 

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

BORDER INFRASTRUCTURE
In a virtual program from Kyungam in Leh district, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 63 bridges built by Border Roads Organization (BRO) in eight states in the country.

About:

  • He inaugurated a 50-metre-long bridge constructed on the Leh-Loma Road in Ladakh. The Leh-Loma Road, which connects Leh with places such as Chumathang, Hanley and Tso Morori Lake, is vital for access to forward areas in Eastern Ladakh.

  • In addition, Shri Rajnath Singh virtually inaugurated 62 more bridges – 11 in Ladakh, four in Jammu & Kashmir, three in Himachal Pradesh, six in Uttarakhand, eight in Sikkim, one each in Nagaland and Manipur and 29 in Arunachal Pradesh.

  • With the inauguration of 63 bridges in one go, BRO has surpassed its own record of 44 bridges launched in 2020.

  • These 63 bridges, combined with 12 roads dedicated to the nation by Shri Rajnath Singh on June 17, 2021, form a bouquet of 75 infrastructure projects completed by BRO, when the nation is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its Independence. 

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

AGNI PRIME
A new-generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni-P (Prime) was successfully test-fired by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from the Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam island, Balasore, off the coast of Odisha.

About:

  • The ‘Agni Prime’ is the advanced version of the ‘Agni-1’ missile.

  • The ‘Agni Prime’ is a short-range ballistic missile that will have a range of 1000 km to 1500 km and will have advanced features in agility and road mobility. It is a surface to a surface missile that can carry a payload of around 1,000 Kg or a nuclear warhead.

  • The double stage missile will be lighter and much sleeker than its predecessor ‘Agni-1’.

  • It is a canisterised missile. Canisterisation of missiles reduces the time required to launch the missile while improving its storage and mobility.

  • The Agni class of missiles are the mainstay of India’s nuclear launch capability which also includes the Prithvi short-range ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and fighter aircraft. 

Important Info :

Submarine missiles

  • In the past few years, India has also operationalised its submarine-based nuclear launch capability, completing the nuclear triad.
  • The DRDO, in January 2020, successfully test-fired a 3,500-km range submarine-launched ballistic missile, K-4, from a submerged pontoon off the Visakhapatnam coast.
  • Once inducted, these missiles will be the mainstay of the Arihant class of indigenous ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN) and will give India the stand-off capability to launch nuclear weapons submerged in Indian waters.
  • INS Arihant, the only SSBN in service, is armed with K-15 missiles with a range of 750 km. 
Source : The Hindu
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

LIST OF 100 BEST MEDICAL COLLEGES OF WORLD
Six medical colleges from India have found a place in the list of the World's 100 best medical colleges for the year 2021, in a ranking released by CEO World Magazine.

About:

  • The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has bagged 23rd position, while AFMC Pune has bagged 34th rank, followed by CMC Vellore (49), JIPMER Pondicherry (59), Medical College Chennai (64), and IMS BHU Varanasi (72).

Toppers

  • The US-based Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine ranked first with the highest score of 99.06, followed by Harvard Medical School, Perelman School of Medicine, and NYU Grossman School of Medicine. 

Source : All India Radio
Health

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

ROCK PHOSPHATE
In order to improve the availability of phosphatic fertilisers (DAP and NPK) and to reduce the dependence on imports, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers chaired a meeting. Government ready with Action Plan to make India Aatmanirbhar in Rock Phosphate, the key raw material of DAP and NPK Fertlisers.

About:

  • Rock phosphates or phosphorites are sedimentary phosphatic deposits comprising fine-grained mixture of various calcium phosphates, most important being hydroxylapatite, carbonateapatite, fluorapatite and their solid solutions.

  • About 80% phosphate production in the world is derived from phosphate rocks (phosphorite)

  • Rock Phosphate is the key raw material for DAP and NPK fertilisers and India is 90% dependent on imports.

  • Of the total reserves/resources, 34% are in Jharkhand, 31% in Rajasthan, 19% in Madhya Pradesh, 8% in Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand each , respectively. Meagre quantities of resources are also located in Gujarat and Meghalaya. 

Source : The Hindu
Economy

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

BANKIM CHANDRA CHATTOPADHYAY
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid homage to Rishi Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay on his Jayanti.

About:

  • Bankim Chandra Chatterjee or Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838 – 1894) was an Indian novelist, poet and journalist.

  • He is known as Sahitya Samrat (Emperor of Literature) in Bengali. He wrote fourteen novels and many serious, serio-comic, satirical, scientific and critical treatises in Bengali.

  • He also received the title of Rai Bahadur in 1891.

  • One of his brothers, Sanjib Chandra Chattopadhyay was also a novelist and is known for his book "Palamau". 

Important Info :

Literary career

  • Chattopadhyay's earliest publications were in Ishwar Chandra Gupta's weekly newspaper Sangbad Prabhakar.
  • Durgeshnandini (Daughter of the Feudal Lord) is a Bengali historical romance novel written by Indian writer Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1865. Durgeshnandini is the first Bengali novel written by him as well as the first major Bengali novel in the history of Bengali literature.
  • Anandamath is a Bengali fiction, written by him and published in 1882. It is inspired by and set in the background of the Sannyasi Rebellion in the late 18th century. Vande Mataram as the Motherland was published in this novel.
  • Vande Mataram (also pronounced Bande Mataram) is a Bengali poem, written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee , originally in Sanskrit, in 1870s, which he included in his 1882 novel Anandamath.
Source : PIB
History

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

LETEKU
A shipment of fresh Burmese grapes referred as ‘Leteku’ in Assamese language has been exported to Dubai from Guwahati by air route.

About:

  • Baccaurea motleyana is a species of fruit tree which grows wild in parts of Southeast Asia.

  • Its common names include rambai and rambi, and in Thai language mafai-farang. In the Bengali language the fruit is known as bugi and Narsingdi.

  • In the Assamese language it is known as leteku.

  • Each fruit has velvety pinkish, yellow, or brown skin which wrinkles at ripening and is filled with whitish pulp containing 3 to 5 seeds. The pulp is sweet to acid in taste.

  • Leteku contains vitamin C and Iron.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 29, 2021

P.V. NARASIMHA RAO
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to former Prime Minister, Shri PV Narasimha Rao Ji on his 100th birth anniversary.

About:

  • Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao (1921 –2004) was a politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He also became the Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1971.

  • Father of Economic reforms: He sought to dismantle the License Raj system, reduce red tape and make Indian industries more competitive. He laid the foundation for trade liberalization and re-integration of Indian economy with the global economy, especially East Asian economies.

  • Foreign policy: Among his bold moves in foreign policy were establishing diplomatic relations with Israel and reversing decades of frosty relations between India and the United States by bringing them together. He also launched the Look East policy.

  • Father of Indian nuclear Program: He energised the national nuclear security and ballistic missiles program, which ultimately resulted in the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests by Vajpayee-led NDA government (the tests were planned in 1996 but they were not carried out as government at centre got changed due to 1996 general election).

  • National Security: He was also fairly successful in controlling the separatist movements in Punjab and Kashmir.

  • Local governance: The path-breaking 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments empowering local bodies during Narasimha Rao’s tenure as the Prime Minister are worthy of mentioning.

Source : Times of India
Polity & Governance

June 28, 2021

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

LADAKH RESERVES ALL JOBS FOR REGION RESIDENTS
All jobs in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh have been reserved for the residents of the region, according to an order issued by Lieutenant-Governor R.K. Mathur.

About:

  • No person shall be qualified for appointment to the service unless the person is a resident of the UT of Ladakh.

  • The new recruitment rules are mentioned in the Clause 11 of the Union Territory of Ladakh Employment (Subordinate) Service Recruitment Rules, 2021.

  • The move has met a long-pending demand of the people of Ladakh, after it was carved out as a UT on August 5, 2019.

  • The population of Ladakh, which comprises the districts of Leh and Kargil, is around 2.8 lakh as per the last census.

  • Last year, J&K introduced the domicile certificate as eligibility criteria for appointment to government services.

Source : The Hindu
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

PMAY (URBAN)
The Government approved 708 proposals for construction of 3.61 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U). With this, as on date, the total number of sanctioned houses under PMAY(U) is now 112.4 of which 48.31 lakh have been completed/delivered.

PMAY- U Awards 2021 - 100 Days Challenge

  • In addition, ‘PMAY- U Awards 2021 - 100 Days Challenge’ was also launched by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) .

  • The awards are given to recognize and celebrate the outstanding performances by States, Union Territories (UTs), Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and beneficiaries for successful implementation of the Mission.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (URBAN)

  • Implementation period: The Mission will be implemented during 2015-2022.

  • Mission: To achieve the goal of Housing for All in Urban areas by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.

  • Features: Under it, central assistance will be provided to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and other implementing agencies through States/UTs for:
    • In-situ Rehabilitation of existing slum dwellers using land as a resource through private participation

    • Credit Linked Subsidy

    • Affordable Housing in Partnership

    • Subsidy for Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.



  • Funding: Credit linked subsidy component will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme while other three components will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).

  • Eligibility: All statutory towns as per Census 2011 and towns notified subsequently would be eligible for coverage under the Mission.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

SARDAR SAROVAR DAM
Sardar Sarovar Dam is providing irrigation water in summer for the first time in history.

About:

  • The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam is a terminal dam built on the Narmada river at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district.

  • According to the 1979 award of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal, the power benefits from the project are to be shared in the following ratio: Madhya Pradesh at 57 per cent, Maharashtra at 27 per cent, and Gujarat at 16 per cent.

Important Info :

Garudeshwar Weir

  • Garudeshwar weir is being constructed on the river Narmada near the Statue of Unity.
  • The total height of the weir will be 31.75 metre.
  • It is located at Garudeshwar at a distance of 9 kilometre from Sadhu bet island and 12 kilometre downstream from Sardar Sarovar dam.
Source : Indian Express
Geography

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

DEFENCE INDUSTRIAL CORRIDORS IN INDIA
During a webinar on India-Sweden Defence Industry Cooperation, Rajnath Singh invited Swedish firms to invest in Defence Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

About:

  • To support the growth of the Defence sector and enhance manufacturing capacity in the sector, Two Defence Industrial Corridors are being set up in India, one in Uttar Pradesh and another in Tamil Nadu.

  • Promoting Make in India, the Defence Industrial Corridors will catalyse indigenous production of defence and aerospace-related items. This will reduce our imports and promote the export of these items to other countries.

  • Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor consists of the following six nodal points with the potential to develop defence industries in the corridor: Agra, Aligarh, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, Kanpur and Lucknow.

  • The Tamil Nadu Defence Corridor, being set up by the Government of Tamil Nadu, consists of the following five nodal points: Chennai, Coimbatore, Hosur, Salem and Tiruchirappalli

Source : PIB
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

INDIA’S FIRST VSC BASED HVDC SYSTEM
POWERGRID has fully commissioned India’s First Voltage Source Convertor (VSC) based High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) System.

About:

  • It has commissioned Monopole-I of the 2000 Mega-Watt (MW), Pugalur (Tamil Nadu) – Thrissur (Kerala) Voltage Source Convertor (VSC) based High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) System.

  • This Project strengthens the power system of Southern Region of our Country.

  • Monopole-II of the project was inaugurated by PM Modi in February, 2021 and with the commissioning of Monopole-I, the project has attained its full capacity.

  • The Pugalur-Thrissur HVDC system, costing Rs. 5070 crore, is a part of the Raigarh-Pugalur-Thrissur 6000 MW HVDC system and enables transfer of 2000 MW to Kerala through the VSC HVDC station at Thrissur.

Important Info :

Voltage Source Convertor (VSC)

  • An HVDC converter converts electric power from high voltage alternating current (AC) to high-voltage direct current (HVDC), or vice versa.
  • Electronic converters for HVDC are divided into two main categories.
    • Line-commutated converters (HVDC classic) are made with electronic switches that can only be turned on.
    • Voltage-sourced converters are made with switching devices that can be turned both on and off. It uses transistors, usually the Insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT).
  • Benefits
    • The VSC technology significantly reduces the land requirement compared to the conventional HVDC systems and is particularly suitable for areas, where land is scarce.
    • It also facilitates development of smart grid and improves system resilience under various operating conditions.
  • The state-of-the-art VSC Technology has been brought to India for the first time by POWERGRID through this Project.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

NATIONAL MEDICINAL PLANTS BOARD (NMPB)
Minister of State for Ayush (IC), released an e-book “20 Medicinal Plants for 2021 for Covid-19 care”. National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), has prepared it. NMPB and National Botanical Research Institute(CSIR-NBRI), Lucknow signed an MoU to boost the cultivation of medicinal plants and herbs in India.

About NMPB:

  • In order to promote medicinal plants sector, Government of India set up National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) on 24th November 2000. Currently the board is working under the Ministry of AYUSH

  • NMPB is mandated to coordinate all matters relating to medicinal plants and support Policies and Programs for growth of trade, export, conservation and cultivation of medicinal plants.

  • HQ: Delhi.

Source : PIB
Health

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

E-CONTENT FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Union Education Minister released guidelines for the Development of e-Content for Children with Disabilities prepared by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education.

About:

  • A comprehensive initiative, PM e-VIDYA was launched on 17th May 2020, with an aim to unify all efforts related to digital/online/on-air education.

  • The programme interalia envisages development of special e-content for the Divyang (Children with Disabilities-CwDs).

  • For the first time, an attempt was made to prepare guidelines for CwD also referred to as Children with Special Needs (CWSN) children so that the goal of inclusive education is fulfilled. 

Important Info :

The salient highlights of the e- content guidelines in the report are:

  • e-Content for CwDs should be developed based on the four principles namely: perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.
  • e-Content including text, tables, diagrams, visuals, audios, videos etc. should comply with accessibility standards: national standards (GIGW 2.0) and international standards (WCAG 2.1, E-Pub, DAISY etc).
  • Distribution platforms on which content is uploaded (e.g. DIKSHA) and Reading platforms/devices on which content is accessed and interacted (e.g. e-pathshala) must comply with technical standards
  • In a phased manner textbooks may be adapted into Accessible Digital Textbooks (ADTs).
Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

SINGLE USE PLASTICS
Environment minister announced the “India Plastic Challenge – Hackathon 2021” to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in area of tackling plastic waste pollution and elimination of single use plastic.

About:

  • It is a unique competition calling upon start-ups /entrepreneurs and students of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to develop innovative solutions to mitigate plastic pollution and develop alternatives to single use plastics.

Steps in India

  • PM Modi gave a clarion call to phase out single use plastics by 2022

  • Government of India has already banned import of plastic waste in the country.

  • Ministry of Environment brought out Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, for handling plastic waste in an environmentally sound manner. Under the rules plastic carry bags below 50 microns have been banned.

  • Further, the Ministry has issued a draft notification in March 2021 for amending the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, with respect to prohibiting identified 12 single use plastic items such as disposable plastic cutlery etc.”

Source : PIB
Environment

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

LGBTQIA+
Empathising with the LGBTQIA+ community, the Madras High Court directed the Union Ministry of Social Justice to enlist NGOs that could provide counselling, monetary support, legal assistance and protection to them until a law could be enacted to protect them.

About:

  • Ministry should upload the details of the NGOs on its website within eight weeks and revise the information periodically. Any person who faced an issue because he/she/they belonged to the LGBTQIA+ community could approach any of the enlisted NGOs for safeguarding their rights.

  • NGOs should also coordinate with the police with respect to offences committed against them.

  • Appropriate changes should be made to the existing government short stay homes, anganwadi shelters, Garima Greh (shelter home for transgender persons) for providing accommodation, food, medical care facilities to those from the community in need of such assistance.

  • Sensitisation programmes could also be conducted for stakeholders, including police and prison authorities, judges, physical and mental health professionals, educational institutions, health workers, public and private workplaces.

  • LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and such others’ (LGBTQIA+) community.

Source : The Hindu
Social Issues

Current Affairs
June 28, 2021

ARUN JAITLEY RECREATION CUM SPORTS COMPLEXES
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh asked the authorities to expedite the work on Arun Jaitley multiple complex, coming up in this border area of Hiranagar, Jammu.

About:

  • It is going to be among the three or four largest Recreation cum Sports Complexes in the country, probably after Ahmedabad and Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

  • It is in memory of Late Arun Jaitley who was known to promote the youth talent

  • Funded by the Centre, the Foundation Stone of this project was laid soon after the first death anniversary of Arun Jaitley. 

Important Info :

Arun Jaitley

  • Arun Jaitley (1952 – 2019) was an Indian politician and attorney. He was a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India.
  • A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Jaitley served as the Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Government of India from 2014 to 2019.
  • He oversaw the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax which brought the country under one GST regime, demonetisation, merger of Railway budget with general budget and introduction of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, posthumously in 2020 in the field of Public Affairs.
  • On 12 September 2019, Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla stadium was renamed as Arun Jaitley Stadium as he was once the president of Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) and also the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Source : PIB
Sports

June 27, 2021

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

DRAGON MAN
Researchers from China have claimed to have found an ancient human skull that could belong to an altogether new species of humans.

About:

  • The researchers note that the cranium (the portion that encloses the brain) could be over 146,000 years old. The skull was found in the Songhua river in north-east China’s Harbin city.

  • The cranium found in China has been dubbed the “Dragon Man” or Homo longi, a name that has been derived from the Long Jiang or Dragon river in the Heilongjiang province of China where the city of Harbin is located.

  • Because of the distinctive shape of the skull, which was found almost complete, some members of the team have suggested that it be declared a part of a new species of the genus Homo.

Nesher Ramla Homo

  • Researchers in Israel, also identified a previously unknown kind of ancient human called “Nesher Ramla Homo” that co-existed with Homo sapiens nearly 100,000 years ago when several species of humans co-existed in Asia, Europe and Africa.

  • These include Homo sapiens, the Neanderthals, and the Denisovans. 

Important Info :

How many species of humans are there?

  • Modern humans are the only human species that exist in the world today. While the exact number of human species is a matter of debate, most scientists believe that there are at least 21 of them.
  • Homo sapiens, the species to which all existing humans belong, evolved in Africa nearly 300,000 years ago as a result of some dramatic climate change events.
  • Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) are believed to be the closest extinct human relatives and lived about 400,000-40,000 years ago in Europe and southwestern to central Asia.
Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

SNANA YATRA
The famous Snana Yatra of Lord Jagannath has begun in Puri.

About:

  • Snana Yatra is a ceremonial grand shower festival celebrated on the Purnima (full moon day) of the Hindu month of Jyeshtha.

  • This is the first occasion in the year as per the Hindu calendar, when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra, Sudarshan, and Madanmohan are brought out from the Jagannath Temple (Puri) and taken in a procession to the Snana Mandap inside the temple premises.

  • They are ceremonially bathed in 108 pots of ritually purified water and decorated for a public audience.

  • In the evening, at the conclusion of the bathing ritual, Jagannath and Balabhadra are dressed up in elephant headgear representing the God Ganesh. This form of the God is called the ‘Gajavesha’.

  • After the Snana Yatra the Gods are traditionally believed to fall ill and are kept in a sick room to recuperate in privacy under the care of the Raj Vaidya. With the Ayurvedic medication administered by the Raj Vaidya, the Gods recover in a fortnight. 

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST DRUG ABUSE AND ILLICIT TRAFFICKING
On International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Has lauded all those working at the grassroot levels to eliminate the menace of drugs from our society.

About:

  • By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

  • The date June 26 is to commemorate Lin Zexu's dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong, ending in June 25 1839, just before the First Opium War in China.

  • This global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society.

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the nodal agency for observing this day.

  • The theme of the 2021 day is Share Facts On Drugs, Save Lives which aims at combating misinformation and promotes sharing the facts on drugs — from health risks and solutions to tackle the world drug problem, to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care.

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

TAXATION
The Central Government has announced tax exemptions to encourage employers and members of the public for assisting those people with COVID-19 treatment expenses and also those who have lost their families to the virus.

Announcements made:

  • The government said that many taxpayers have received financial help from their employers and well-wishers to meet the cost of treatment of Covid-19. It has declared that there will be no tax liability on such amounts.

  • No tax on ex-gratia payment received on account of the family member of the deceased employee due to Covid. Financial help received from relatives and friends will also not attract any tax till the total amount reaches Rs 10 lakh.

  • Many people were facing discrepancies in linking their PAN with Aadhaar on the new income tax e-filing portal, therefore, the government has now extended this date from 30 June 2021 to 30 September 2021.

  • The deadline for payment (without additional amount) under Vivad Se Vishwas scheme has been extended till August 31 while the last payment date with additional amount has been extended till October 31.

  • Tax compliance deadline extended to save capital gains tax. Tax compliance time falling between 1st April 2021 and 29th September 2021 for making an investment, acquisition, deposit, payment, purchase, construction or such other action to save tax under the provisions contained in sections 54 to 54 GB of the Income-tax Act has been extended till 30 September 2021.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

CANOPY SEVERANCE SYSTEM (CSS)
Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), Pune along with High Energy Material Research Laboratory (HEMRL) has made a state-of-the-art Canopy Severance System (CSS), which provides a safe escape path for a pilot operating an aircraft in case of an emergency.

About:

  • The escape system has been designed for the indigenously developed Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and Trainer Aircraft, HJT-36 Aircraft and HTT-40 Aircraft.

  • All modern aircraft are equipped with a Canopy Severance System (CSS) for a safe passage by pre-weakening/severing the canopy to facilitate the smooth escape of the pilot in a swift manner.

  • The Canopy Severance System (CSS) is a life-saving device that helps in the safe ejection of a fighter aircraft pilot in a time of distress.

Important Info :

Components

  • CSS comprises two independent subsystems.
  • The first one being the In-flight Egress System (IES) for in-flight emergencies, which is integrated with the seat ejection operation and rescues the pilot in case of emergencies when the aircraft is in flight mode.
  • The second one is the Ground Egress System (GES) for on-ground emergencies, which rescues the pilot in case of ground emergencies without initiating the ejection seat.
Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

SWIFT DRONE
DRDO initiates the trials of advanced stealth SWiFT drone.

About:

  • DRDO has initiated the ground trials of SWiFT, 1-ton All Up Weight (AUW) Technological Demonstrator for the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Stealth Bomber).

  • The trials will be conducted on the first assembled prototype, which will be involved in a series of a low, medium, and high-speed taxi testing to fathom aircraft’s performance and instrumentation by a ground control station to ascertain the functionality of the unmanned vehicle when it reaches a high speed.

  • SWiFT has been powered by an NPO Saturn 36MT turbofan engine, which is manufactured by NPO Saturn Russia, for powering advanced trainers, light attack aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that will be later replaced by Gas Turbine Research Establishment’s (GTRE) Small Turbo Fan Engine (STFE).

  • SWiFt is an advanced technology project, which prepares the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) which enables consistent, uniform discussions of technical maturity across different types of technology.

  • Additionally, SWift’s validated technologies will be used in India’s Ghatak stealth flying wing combat drone-powered. 

Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

AGNI PRIME
DRDO is all set for the trails of their new missile ‘Agni Prime’ in the coming days.

About:

  • The ‘Agni Prime’ is the advanced version of the ‘Agni-1’ missile.

  • The ‘Agni Prime’ is a short-range ballistic missile that will have a range of 1000 km to 1500 km and will have advanced features in agility and road mobility.

  • It is a surface to a surface missile that can carry a payload of around 1,000 Kg or a nuclear warhead.

  • The double stage missile will be lighter and much sleeker than its predecessor ‘Agni-1’.

Source : All India Radio
Internal Security

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

FDI
According to a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), India is among the countries that have witnessed a positive growth rate in FDI equity inflows in 2020 as compared to 2019.

About:

  • While major economies like the USA, Singapore, Germany, Brazil, Canada, UAE have seen a negative trend. India has seen a growth of 25 per cent in 2020 as compared to 2019.

  • India is the fifth-largest recipient of FDI inflows in the world in the year 2019-20. It comes at a time when global FDI inflows have been badly hit by Covid-19, which declined to $1 trillion in 2020-21 from $1.5 trillion a year ago.

  • Despite the disruption caused by the outbreak of the pandemic last year, India attracted the highest ever FDI inflow of $81.72 billion in the entire financial year 2020-21. The total FDI inflows in 2019-20 stood at $74.39 billion.

  • India had attracted a total foreign direct investment (FDI) of $6.24 billion in April 2021, up 38 per cent year-on-year, according to data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

INTEGRATED THEATRE COMMANDS
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat recently chaired a meeting with the Vice Chiefs of the three Services (Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force), Chief of Integrated Defence Staff and representatives from the Ministries of Defence, Home and Finance for the creation of “Integrated Theatre Commands”.

About:

  • The three basic components of Indian defence forces are the army, navy and air force, each with its unique fighting profile, separate heads and multiple commands that are vertically split in terms of their command structure.

  • The Indian Army and Indian Air Force have seven commands each while the Indian Navy has three commands.

  • These commands are scattered across the nation and don’t coincide geographically.

  • The proposed four theatre commands: air defence, maritime, integrated eastern and integrated western theatre commands, will promote ‘jointness’ among the three branches of the armed forces.

  • It will ensure increased coordination to boost the overall fighting capabilities of the Indian armed forces, create capacities to adapt to the requirements of hybrid warfare along with seamless command centres to meet future challenges. 

Important Info :

India’s Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) & Strategic Forces Command (SFC)

  • Presently, there are two joint services commands in India, the first one is Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) and the second, being Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
  • Based on the principle of theatre command system, ANC is considered to be the only one of its kind in the country that amalgamates the army, navy and air force as SFC takes care of the nuclear assets of India and is not related to any specific theatre of war.
  • Set up in 2001, ANC is based in Port Blair and is led by officers of the three services on a rotation basis. The command covers India’s strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Malacca Strait.
Source : All India Radio
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 27, 2021

NON-BANKING FINANCIAL COMPANIES (NBFCs)
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday issued guidelines on the distribution of dividend by non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to infuse greater transparency and uniformity in the practice.

About:

  • The guidelines will be effective for the declaration of dividend from the profits of the financial year ending March 31, 2022, and onwards.

  • NPA ratio should be less than 6% for dividend declaration

  • The guidelines will be applicable to NFBCs regulated by RBI. As per the prescribed minimum prudential requirements for declaration of dividend, the net NPA ratio of the concerned NBFC should be less than 6 per cent in each of the last three years, including the end of the financial year for which the dividend is proposed to be declared.

  • Also, NBFCs should meet the applicable regulatory capital requirement for each of the last three financial years, including the financial year for which the dividend is proposed. The guidelines prescribe a ceiling on the dividend payout ratio for NBFCs. 

Important Info :

Dividend payout ratio for different NBFCs

  • The dividend payout ratio is the ratio of the total amount of dividends paid to shareholders relative to a company’s net income.
  • For an NBFC which is a core investment company, the maximum dividend payout ratio can be 60 per cent. For other NBFCs, the dividend payout ratio can be 50 per cent. However, there is no limit specified for NBFCs that do not accept public funds and do not have a customer interface.
  • RBI said the proposed dividend would include both dividend on equity shares and compulsorily convertible preference shares eligible for inclusion in Tier 1 capital.
Source : All India Radio
Economy
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