Current Affairs June 2022 – Check Latest Top Stories
Current Affairs June 2022: General Awareness Section is the easiest scorable section in many competitive exams when followed on a daily basis. Preparing for the General Awareness section in any competitive exams must involve a regular habit of following the daily happenings of the world, nation, state, etc. By following current affairs June daily, you will not only learn new things but also update yourself with the dynamic knowledge that is changing every day. In order to score well in the General Awareness section, one must have a hold on both national and worldwide politics, sports, economics, entertainment and many more. We have covered all top 2022 current affairs in this article from each area to give you wholesome satisfaction for the day. Follow the current affairs June daily article by bookmarking this page and the latest and top 2022 news will directly be delivered here.
Also, the June Current Affairs are specifically designed to help you in the preparation for various government, and banking exams such as IBPS, UPSC, SSC, Bank PO, Bank Clerk, IBPS, Railways, Government Jobs, UPPSC, MPSC, and other state exams, etc. Wait no more and go through the Latest Current Affairs for June 2019 here.
Public health, Technology.
Integration of eSanjeevani with ABDM
Recently, National Health Authority (NHA) announced that the government’s ‘e-Sanjeevani’ telemedicine service has been integrated with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
It will help existing e-Sanjeevani users to easily create their Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA).
Users would also be able to use it to link and manage their existing health records which will help in better clinical decision making and ensure better health care.
ABDM targets to build digital highways, in a bid to cover the gaps in existing digital health solutions and different stakeholders in India.
This will make the entire consultation process paperless.
Two variants of e-Sanjeevani Service:
eSanjeevani Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWC): It is a doctor-to-doctor telemedicine service.
eSanjeevani OP: This platform is serving patients across India by connecting them directly to doctors from their homes.
History, Art and Culture, Geography, Polity.
Puri Heritage Corridor Case
Recently, residents of Puri had moved to the High Court alleging that the structural safety of the 800-year-old Jagannath Temple could be in danger if land surrounding the temple were dug up.
What is Srimandir Parikrama Project?
This project is in the area within a 75-meter perimeter of Jagannath Temple that was to be transformed into a heritage corridor.
It has been modelled the same as the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor project of Varanasi. It will have amenities for pilgrims like cloakrooms, reception centres, restrooms, etc.
Its construction also took into consideration a Supreme Court judgement in 2019, that suggested clearing all structures around a 75-metre radius for the safety, scrutiny and improvement of the temple.
The Puri Corridor Project came into controversy when government agencies dug huge pits within 100 m of the boundary of the temple, which is categorised as a protected zone, without getting permission from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
National Monuments Authority (NMA):
NMA functions under the Union Ministry of Culture. It was set up in 2011 to protect and preserve monuments and sites through the management of prohibited and regulated areas across centrally protected monuments.
World Food Safety Day
World Food Safety Day is celebrated annually on 7 June to draw attention and mobilize action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks and improve human health.
The first-ever World Food Safety Day, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, was celebrated on 7 June 2019.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations jointly facilitate the observance of World Food Safety Day, in collaboration with the Member States and other relevant organizations.
The theme of World Food Safety Day 2022: Safer Food, Safer Health
Globally, one in ten people is affected by foodborne diseases annually.
This campaign focuses on transforming food systems to deliver better health in a sustainable manner in order to prevent most foodborne diseases.
Environment and Ecology.
Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill
In a recent report published by the University of Cape Town, Climate Change is threatening the hornbill of the Kalahari desert. According to this study, an increase in temperatures could lead to disappearing hornbills from parts of the Kalahari by 2027.
Hornbill bird Facts
These birds are near-endemic to the dry savannas of southern Africa, where they can be found across all longitudes, from Angola and Namibia in the west to Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal in the east, including Botswana, Zimbabwe and northern South Africa.
They live mostly in the dry, open savannas, though they can also be found in woodlands.
The hornbill initiates breeding in response to rainfall in the arid western parts of its southern African range.
They feed on insects, spiders and scorpions as well as seeds that they find on the ground.
National Air Sports Policy
Civil aviation ministry recently launched National Air Sport Policy 2022 (NASP 2022).
Key Objectives of National Air Sport Policy 2022:-
Promote an air sports culture in the country
Enable adoption of international good practices in safety including but not limited to, air sports infrastructure, equipment, operations, maintenance and training
Develop a simple, stakeholder-friendly and effective governance structure
Enhance participation and success of Indian sportspersons in global air sports events; and
Promote design, development and manufacturing of air sports equipment in India in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
It encompasses various sports activities involving the medium of air. These include sports like air-racing, aerobatics, aero modeling, hang gliding, paragliding, para motoring and skydiving etc.
Governance of Air sports:
Air Sports Federation of India (ASFI) as the apex governing body
National associations for individual air sports.
Regional (e.g. West/ South/ North East etc.) or State and Union Territory air sports associations.
District-level air sports associations.
Famous Indian Air Sports Players:
Ms Shital Mahajan and Ms Rachel Thomas. Both are sky drivers and Padma-Shri awardees.
Ms Shital Mahajan is known as the first woman to perform an accelerated free fall jump over Antarctica from 10,000 feet, the youngest woman to jump over both the North and South Poles, and the first woman jumper to perform it without trials.
Ms Rachel Thomas was the first Indian woman to skydive from 7,000 feet over the North Pole.
Environment and Ecology
World’s first fishing cat census done in Chilika
Recently The World’s First Fishing Cat Census has been conducted at Chilika Lake, This is the world’s first population estimation of the fishing cat done outside the protected area network.
Outcome of the census:
The Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, has 176 fishing cats.
These are globally threatened cats that are found in wetlands in major South and Southeast Asian river basins starting from the Indus in Pakistan till the Mekong in Vietnam and in Sri Lanka and Java.
They are found in 10 Asian countries but have stayed undetected in Vietnam and Java since the last decade or so.
IRBM- Agni-4 Missile
India successfully tested the Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-4, which met all parameters, This test was part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command.
The successful test reaffirms India’s policy of having a ‘Credible Minimum Deterrence’
About Agni-IV Missile :
Agni-IV is the fourth in the Agni series of missiles which was earlier known as Agni II prime. Agni-IV bridges the gap between Agni II and Agni III.
The Monetary Policy Committee of Reserve Bank of India, which met from 6-8 June 2022, has unanimously decided to hike the Repo Rate by 50 basis points to 4.90 %
Standing Deposit Facility Rate: 4.65%
Marginal Standing Facility rate: 5.15%
Bank Rate : 5.15%
The MPC also decided to remain focused on withdrawal of accommodation to ensure that inflation remains within the target going forward, while supporting growth.
Assuming normal monsoon in 2022 and average crude oil price of $105 per barrel in Indian basket, inflation is projected at 6.7% in 2022-23
Q1 – 7.5%
Q2 – 7.4%
Q3 – 6.2%
Q4 – 5.8%
Real GDP growth for 2022-23 is estimated at 7.2%
Q1 – 16.2%
Q2 – 6.2%
Q3 – 4.1%
Q4 – 4.0%
It is the rate at which the central bank of a country lends money to commercial banks in the event of any shortfall of funds. The repo rate is used by monetary authorities to control inflation.
Monetary Policy Committee:
The Monetary Policy Committee is responsible for fixing the benchmark interest rate in India. The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee are held at least 4 times a year (specifically, at least once a QUARTER) and it publishes its decisions after each such meeting.
Indian Economy, Agriculture.
CCEA approves Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Kharif Crops for 2022-23.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the PM has approved the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for all mandated Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2022-23.
The government has increased the MSP of Kharif Crops for Marketing Season 2022-23, to ensure remunerative prices to the growers for their produce and to encourage crop diversification,
What is MSP?
Refers to cost which includes all paid-out costs such as those incurred on account of hired human labor, bullock labor/machine labor, rent paid for lease in the land, expenses incurred on use of material inputs like seeds, fertilizers, manures, irrigation charges, depreciation on implements and farm buildings, interest on working capital, diesel/electricity for the operation of pump sets, etc., miscellaneous expenses and imputed value of family labor.
Comparison and details of MSP(Infographics)
Economy, social issue.
Jan Samarth Portal: PM launches new series of coins, a portal for credit-linked govt schemes.
About Jan Samarth Portal
The Prime Minister has launched Jan Samarth Portal and also released a new series of coins.
Jan Samarth is a unique digital portal linking thirteen credit-linked Government Schemes on a single platform.
The portal will be an ‘end-to-end delivery platform’ and more people will come forward to avail of loans because of the ease of compliance.
The portal will help reduce processing time and facilitate faster sanction of loans to beneficiaries.
New series coins
The Prime Minister has released a special series of Rs 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 coins.
These coins will have the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ design. They will not be commemorative coins and will be part of the circulation.
These coins will remind people of the goal of ‘Amrit kal’ and motivate people to work towards the development of the country.
Science and tech, Health.
Artificial light: A new weapon to control malaria.
According to the latest research, it is found that artificial lights can be used as a weapon to fight against malaria.
Role of light
Light is a fundamental cue in nature. It regulates much of the timing of biological events like when birds breed, lions hunt – and humans’ sleep patterns.
While species have been exposed to changes in climate cycles over the eons, the timing of day and night has remained relatively constant owing to the rotation of the earth. This means that all life on the planet has evolved with regular day-night cycles.
Melatonin hormone is a gene responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycles. It is found in plants as well as animals.
However, rapid change in the natural sleep cycles has been observed on account of the increased use of artificial light. For instance, nearly 80% of the world’s people now live under an artificially light sky.
How it can curb malaria?
Artificial light can alter mosquito biology. For example, the malaria-transmitting mosquito species “Anopheles” is a nocturnal feeder only active at the night.
Using artificial light, these mosquitoes can be tricked to behave as if it’s daytime.
For example, a short pulse of Light Emitting Diode (LED) light, is commonly used in homes as “downlights” or reading lamps. This can delay the onset of biting by hours in Anopheles. This can in turn reduce biting rates and malaria transfer.
Environment and Ecology.
World’s largest known plant is 4,500 years old and stretches across 180 km
Recently researchers have discovered the largest planet in the world named “Posidonia Australis”, it is also known as ribbon weed is a species of seagrass.
It was discovered in the shallow waters of the World Heritage Area of Shark Bay in Western Australia.
The plant is estimated to be at least 4,500 years old.
It stretches across 180 km in length. This makes it the largest known plant on earth.
The plant appears to be extremely resilient without successful flowering and seed production.
These are flowering plants that grow submerged in shallow marine waters like bays and lagoons.
These have tiny flowers and strap-like or oval leaves.
Seagrasses evolved from terrestrial plants that colonized the ocean 70-100 million years ago
Like terrestrial plants, seagrasses also require sunlight for photosynthesis from which these manufacture their own food and release oxygen
Posidonia Australis characteristics:
It covers an area of 20,000 hectares which makes it the largest known plant on earth.
The largest tree in India, the Great Banyan in Howrah’s Botanical Garden, covers 1.41 hectares.
This plant is unique from others as it has twice as many chromosomes as its relatives. This makes it what scientists call a “polyploid”.
Polyploids instead of taking half-half genome from both parents, take 100% genome of each of their parents.
India ranks last in Environment Performance Index 2022
India has finished at the bottom of the Environment Performance Index-2022 released by the World Bank.
This means India is among those countries in the world that have the worst environmental health. Out of 180 countries that have been ranked, India is in the bottom five with a score of 18.9. Even Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Vietnam have ranked better than India.
The Environment Performance Index (EPI) is an international ranking system that measures the environmental health and sustainability of countries.
The EPI, a biennial index, was started in 2002 as Environmental Sustainability Index by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Columbia University Center for International Earth Science Information Network.
Environment and Ecology
A group of environmentalists, lawyers, and activists have come together to identify and ‘defuse carbon bombs’–These bombs are related to coal, oil, and gas projects that have the potential to contribute significantly to global warming.
What are carbon bombs?
It is an oil or gas project that will result in at least a billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.
Whenever coal, oil, or gas is extracted it results in pollution and environmental degradation.
In total, around 195 such projects have been identified the world over, including in the US, Russia, West Asia, Australia, and India.
These projects will collectively overshoot the limit of emissions that had been agreed to in the Paris Agreement of 2015.
Planning for defusing carbon bombs
The network working towards this goal is called Leave It In the Ground Initiative (LINGO).
Its mission is to leave fossil fuels in the ground and learn to live without them.
It believes the root of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, and the 100% use of renewable energy sources is the solution.
LINGO aims to organize ground support for protesting such projects, challenge them through litigation, and conduct analysis and studies for the same.
Science and Technology
Drones are permitted for medical use.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released guidelines for drone use in the healthcare sector to ensure access to medicines and vaccines, especially in the geographically difficult terrains in the country.
Rules and regulations by ICMR:
The guidelines have been issued in compliance with the New drone Rules-2021 which highlights the ways of selecting drones and choosing takeoffs and landing sites.
According to the guidelines, temperature-sensitive medical supplies and vaccines with a storage temperature between 2 °C and 8 °C are allowed to be transported by drones
Tablets, capsules, syrups, surgical, blood bags, and diagnostic biological tissues can also be transported following the guidance.
Medicine from the Sky project
Medicine from the Sky project is a collaboration of the Telangana government, World Economic Forum, HealthNet Global, and NITI Aayog.
Purpose: To deliver medicines, vaccination, and units of blood to remote, rural areas by means of drones
Polity and Governance.
West Bengal to make its CM as Chancellor
The West Bengal government has decided to make the Chief Minister the Chancellor of State-run universities, instead of the Governor.
Governors in state universities and their role?
In most cases, the Governor of the state is the ex-officio chancellor of the universities in that state.
This is a pre-Independence era practice started by Sir Charles Wood in 1854.
The reason is making Governors hold the office of Chancellor was to keep away universities from political influence.
After Independence, education came on the state list.
The question is, can Governor hold an office when the Constitution does not confer any such privileges.
West Bengal’s issue:-
The Governor of West Bengal had alleged that VCs were appointed without the approval of the Chancellor, the appointing authority.
On some occasions, VCs had not turned up for a meeting with the Chancellor.
Recently, the West Bengal government has decided to make the CM the Chancellor of State-run universities, instead of the Governor.
BIMSTEC completed 25 Years.
June 6 marked the completion of 25 years since the 1997 Bangkok Declaration launched a modest grouping (of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand), with the acronym, BIST-EC.
Know about BIMSTEC.
BIMSTEC is a regional multilateral organization comprising 7 Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal.
It came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
The seven Member States are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand.
It has its secretariat in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Initially, the economic bloc was formed with 4 Member States with the acronym ‘BIST-EC’ (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
Thailand has assumed the chairmanship of BIMSTEC for 2022.
BIMSTEC has 2 Centres:
BIMSTEC Energy Centre
BIMSTEC Centre on Weather and Climate
In this Indo-Pacific century, the Bay of Bengal Community (BOBC) has the potential to play a pivotal role, deepening linkages between South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Defense, Internal Security.
Battle of Severodonetsk
Recently Russian army won the Battle of Severodonetsk it is an ongoing military engagement during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, this is part of the Battle of Donbas of Eastern Ukraine.
It is located nearly 140 km south of the Russian border and is one of the largest cities in the Donbas region.
Administratively, Sievierodonetsk falls under Ukraine’s Luhansk oblast.
It is located near the left bank of the Siverskyi Donets River and has a population of over a lakh.
Sievierodonetsk is a big industrial hub known for chemical works and machine-building factories.
If the city of Severodonetsk falls, then it will allow Russia to control the entire Luhansk region.
There is a fear that the city could become the next Mariupol, the southern port city that was heavily destroyed before it fell into Russian hands.
Ukraine has said that the Russian attack against Mariupol had turned the city into “ashes of a dead land”.
Geographically, Mariupol forms a land bridge between Crimea which was annexed by Russia in 2014.
New species of Gecko found in Andhra, Odisha.
A team of Researchers had identified the specimen as an East Indian Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis hardwickii) later a study and morphological comparisons have distinguished it as a new species – Eublepharis pictus, which appears to be common in the forests of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
The gecko genus Eublepharis now has 7 species
The new species differs from all members of the genus Eublepharis except for E hardwickii
Geographically the two species appear to be separated by the Brahmani River
Geckos are reptiles and are found on all the continents except Antarctica.
These colorful lizards have adapted to habitats from rainforests, to deserts, to cold mountain slopes.
Geckos are nocturnal; day geckos are active during the day and nibble on insects, fruits, and flower nectar.
Most geckos make noises such as chirping, barking, and clicking when they are defending their territory or attracting a mate.
There are many species of geckos. Depending on the species, their endangered status can range from least concern to critically endangered.
Rashtriya Puruskar Portal launched
The National Awards Portal is an initiative to bring together all National Awards of the various Ministries/Departments/Agencies of the Government of India under one digital platform reflecting transparency, accountability, and public partnership (Jan Bhagidari).
About this portal:
This portal aims to facilitate citizens to nominate individuals/organizations for various awards instituted by the Government of India to recognize and award them for their exceptional contributions in their respective fields.
With this portal, for the first time in the history of India, information regarding all national awards would be available to the public on a single digital platform including their eligibility criteria, selection procedure, and details of past awardees.
Following Awards are to be considered in this portal to date:
Sardar Patel National Unity Award
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award
Jeevan Raksha Padak series of Awards
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award
Approval for procurement of Military equipment
Recently, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of military equipment platforms from domestic industries, worth ₹ 76,390 Crore.
Procurement proposals were approved by DAC, which is headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
DAC also gave approval for the procurement of next-generation corvettes (NGCs), for the Indian Navy. This was approved at an estimated cost of Rs 36,000 crore.
It also approved a proposal for manufacturing Su-30 MKI aero-engines and Dornier aircraft by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), with a focus on enhancing indigenization.
What is to be procured for the Indian Army?
Rough Terrain Fork Lift Trucks (RTFLTs)
Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (Wh AFVs),
Bridge Laying Tanks (BLTs)
Weapon Locating Radars (WLRs).
What is Defence Acquisition Council?
It is the highest decision-making body in Defence Ministry. It decides on new policies and capital acquisitions for three services including Army, Navy and Air Force as well as the Indian Coast Guard. Defence Minister is the chairman of the council.
Consider the following statements:
The Defence Acquisition Council is the highest decision-making body in Defence Ministry.
The defence secretary is the chairman of the Defence Acquisition Council.
Inaugurating the Biotech Startup Expo – 2022 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, PM said, India is not too far from reaching the league of top ten countries in Global Ecosystem of Biotech.
India’s bio-economy has grown eight times in the last eight years and it has grown from ten billion dollars to 80 billion dollars.
What is Bioeconomy?
The Bioeconomy includes primary production, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, and industries using / processing biological resources, such as the food and pulp and paper industries and parts of the chemical, biotechnological and energy industries.
Biotech Startup Expo – 2022:
The Biotech Startup Expo – 2022 is a two-day event to mark the completion of ten years of setting up of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council. It is being organized by the Department of Biotechnology and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council BIRAC.
The Expo will act as a platform to connect entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, scientists, researchers, bio-incubators, manufacturers, regulators, and government officials.
Science and Tech.
India got its first digital vaccine patent.
Indian biomedical tech entrepreneur and founder of Friends Learn, Bhargav Sri Prakash has been awarded the world’s first patent by US authorities for a ‘digital vaccine,’ a platform that prevents real-life health issues through a metaverse.
Digital vaccines use applications via smart-phones, tablets, and other similar devices to inculcate positive responses from humans through neurocognitive training.
It involves the use of artificial intelligence and a gamified metaverse platform.
Digital vaccines are currently being deployed in selected schools across the world.
What is digital vaccine?
In simple terms, digital vaccine uses artificial intelligence to create a person’s replica for a game in the metaverse. In the virtual world, the person is made to avoid unhealthy habits and as a result of this neuro-cognitive training, the virtual behaviour is translated into real-life implementation.
So the person’s lifestyle-related diseases were treated with a digital vaccine.
International relation, Defence
Japan, NATO military cooperation and joint exercises.
Japanese and NATO officials agreed to step up military cooperation and joint exercises. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said that Japan hopes to strengthen its ties with European countries and welcomes NATO’s expanded involvement in the Indo-Pacific region.
This is also the result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing a deterioration of the security environment in Europe and Asia.
NATO Military Committee chief Rob Bauer visit in Tokyo comes as Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force is participating in NATO naval exercises in the Mediterranean Sea.
Relevance of Japan-NATO cooperation
Regional Security: The security of Europe and Asia are closely intertwined, especially now with the international community facing serious challenges.
China Factor: Japan has been increasing its military capabilities and cooperation with Europe, in addition to its alliance with the United States and partnerships with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, in the face of China’s rise.
Allied with United States: Japan had joined the United States and Europe in imposing sanctions against Russia and providing support for Ukraine, saying the crisis affects not only Europe but also could further embolden China to increase its assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.
At an event to mark World Environment Day recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about India’s consistent efforts to combat climate change. He also mentioned India’s efforts to create ‘green jobs.
What are ‘green jobs’?
‘Green jobs’ refer to a class of jobs that directly have a positive impact on the planet, and contribute to the overall environmental welfare.
Jobs involving renewable energy, conservation of resources, and ensuring energy-efficient means are categorized under the same.
In all, they’re aimed at reducing the negative environmental impact of economic sectors and furthering the process of creating a low-carbon economy.
Importance of Green Jobs
Improve energy and raw materials efficiency
Limit greenhouse gas emissions
Minimize waste and pollution
Protect and restore ecosystems
Support adaptation to the effects of climate change
BALTOPS naval exercise
Fourteen NATO allies along with two NATO partner nations, Finland and Sweden, are currently participating in the exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS 22) with over 45 ships, more than 75 aircraft, and 7,500 personnel.
Facts about BALTOPS exercise:
It is an annual military exercise.
The annual BALTOPS exercise was initiated in 1972.
BALTOPS is the premier maritime-led exercise in the Baltic Sea region and one of the largest exercises in northern Europe.
Its purpose is to improve maritime security in the region through partnership and the sharing of resources and to enhance cooperation among the Baltic States.
The exercise also makes an excellent opportunity to test the skills and capabilities of the participating nations and – crucially – their ability to work together.
It takes place in Sweden and coincides with the 500th anniversary of the Swedish Navy.
BALTOPS 22 also features more robust medical response scenarios, specifically during personnel recovery training aboard a submarine.
The exercise builds on previous iterations by enhancing the incorporation of the space domain through the NATO Space Center.
Sport, world news
Shreyas Hosur becomes the first-ever Railway officer to complete the ‘IRONMAN’ Triathlon.
Shreyas Hosur, from South Western Railway, has become the first-ever Railway officer and also the first-ever officer from the non-uniformed Civil Services to complete the grueling ‘IRONMAN’ Triathlon. He completed the event in 13 hrs 26 mins.
What is the ‘IRONMAN’ Triathlon?
It is a grueling single-day sports event that includes swimming for 3.8 km, cycling for 180 km, and a run of 42.2 kilometers. It is one of the toughest one-day sporting events.
Event location: The current event is held in Germany.
Most Ironman events have a time limit of 16 or 17 hours to complete the race, course dependent, with the race typically starting at 7:00 am.
The event requires a lot of endurance and strength. Once the persons start, they are alone and manage everything. Including an injury or bike repair. There are a lot of uncertainties and the weather in Germany is different.
The finishers of the event are popularly known as ‘IRONMAN’ befitting the mental and physical strength the event demands.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for several capital acquisition projects of the Indian defense forces.
This includes the procurement of next-generation Corvettes for the Indian Navy at an approximate cost of Rs 36,000 crore.
What is a Corvette?
A Corvette is the smallest class of naval ships and it falls below the warship class of a frigate.
These are highly agile ships and are categorized as missile boats, anti-submarine ships, coastal patrol crafts, and fast attack naval vessels.
The word corvette itself is derived from French and Dutch origin.
Corvettes date back to the 18th and the 19th century when they were extensively used in the naval warfare duels that were fought on high seas
During World War II, the term Corvette was used to describe vessels that had anti-submarine roles assigned to them.
Modern Corvettes can go up to 2,000 tons in displacement which helps in keeping them agile.
What kind of Corvettes does the Indian Navy possess?
The Indian Navy at present has the Kamorta Class Corvettes, which are also known as Project 28.
These ships have an anti-submarine role and are manufactured at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata.
The four Kamorta Class Corvettes that the Indian Navy possesses are named INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt, INS Kiltan, and INS Kavaratti.
The first of these was commissioned in 2014 and the last one in 2020.
What new capabilities will the new generation of Corvettes have?
The next-generation Corvettes will be manufactured for various roles like surveillance missions, escort operations, deterrence, surface action group operations, search and attack, and coastal defense.
As per the AoN accorded by the DAC, these next-generation generation Corvettes will be constructed based on the new in-house design of the Indian Navy using the latest technology of ship buildings and would contribute to further the government’s initiative of Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR).
Cheetahs are set to be reintroduced in India.
The first batch of cheetahs is expected to arrive in India’s Kuno Palpur wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh by this August
The timing chimes with India celebrating 75 years of independence which the Centre has been building up to, as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ campaign.
India aspires to import at least 30 cheetahs in the next five years.
Know About Cheetah.
The Cheetah, (Acinonyx jubatus), one of the world’s most-recognizable cats, is known especially for its speed.
They are considered native to Africa and central Iran.
Asiatic cheetah is believed to survive only in Iran.
Cheetahs can live in a variety of habitats but prefer to live in grasslands and open plains.
Conservation Status of Asiatic Cheetah
IUCN- Critically Endangered (African Cheetah is in Vulnerable Category)
CITES- Appendix 1 (Same as African Cheetah)
Timeline of extinction of cheetah in India?
The cheetah is the only large carnivore to have gone extinct in India, primarily due to hunting and habitat loss.
Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Korea, Madhya Pradesh, is widely believed to have killed the last three recorded cheetahs in India in 1947.
In 1952, the Indian government officially declared the Cheetah extinct in the country.
Hunting with the cheetahs:
For centuries, hunting was a favoured activity for royalty in India. The cheetah, which was relatively easy to tame and less dangerous than tigers, was frequently used by Indian nobility for sport-hunting.
The earliest available record for cheetahs being used for hunts in India comes from the 12th-century Sanskrit text Manasollasa, which was produced by the Kalyani Chalukya ruler, Someshvara III (reigned from 1127-1138 CE).
Cheetah coursing or the use of trained cheetahs for hunting had become a highly specialized activity in the medieval period and was carried out on a large scale during the Mughal empire.
Emperor Akbar, who reigned from 1556 to 1605, was particularly fond of the activity and is recorded to have collected 9,000 cheetahs in total.
Emperor Jahangir (ruled from 1605-1627) took after his father and is said to have caught more than 400 antelopes by cheetah coursing in the pargana of Palam
Know about Kuno Palpur wildlife sanctuary.
Kuno is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India.
Established in 1981 as a wildlife sanctuary in the Sheopur and Morena districts, it was also known as Kuno-Palpur and Palpur-Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary.
In 2018, it was given the status of a national park.
It is part of the Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion.
Kuno river flows through the Kuno National Park from south to north, draining the other rivulets and Tributaries into Chambal River in Morena at the MP-Rajasthan border.
If a cheetah is introduced, Kuno Palpur will become, the only wildlife sanctuary in the world to host all four major cat species-lion, tiger, cheetah, and leopard.
12th World Trade Organisation, WTO Ministerial Conference
The 12th World Trade Organisation, WTO Ministerial Conference will begin tomorrow in Geneva, Switzerland after a gap of almost five years. The key areas of discussions and negotiations at this year’s conference include WTO’s response to the pandemic, Fisheries subsidies negotiations and Agriculture issues including Public Stockholding for Food security.
What is WTO Ministerial Conference?
The topmost decision-making body of the WTO is the Ministerial Conference, which usually meets every two years. It brings together all members of the WTO, all of which are countries or customs unions. The Ministerial Conference can take decisions on all matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.
India on WTO Reforms
India believes that WTO reform discussions must focus on strengthening its fundamental principles, preserving Special and Differential Treatment (S&DT) including consensus-based decision making, non-discrimination, and special and differential treatment, at this juncture and should neither result in preserving inherited inequities nor should they worsen the imbalances.
India and WTO:
Regarding intellectual property, India seeks: (i) a recognition of the difficulties faced by developing countries and LDCs in utilising TRIPS flexibilities to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and (ii) a reaffirmation of the TRIPS waiver decision under the responses’ declaration.
India is a founding member of the WTO since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 8 July 1948. India believes in a transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system and we are committed to working to strengthen the WTO. There is a need to preserve the basic principles of the WTO, including, non-discrimination, consensus-based decision making and special and differential treatment to the developing countries.
Science and Tech.
PM inaugurates headquarters of IN-SPACe at Bopal, Ahmedabad.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the headquarters of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) at Bopal, Ahmedabad today.
The programme also witnessed the exchange of MoUs between IN-SPACe and private sector companies working in the field of space-based applications and services. The promotion and enabling of private entities in the space sector will provide a major fillip to the space sector and open up new vistas of opportunity for India’s talented youth.
About the programme:
The launch of IN-SPACe is a ‘watch this space’ moment for the Indian space industry
“IN-SPACe is for space, IN-SPACe is for pace, IN-SPACe is for ace”
“The private sector will not just remain a vendor but will play the role of a big winner in the space sector”
“When the strength of government space institutions and the passion of India’s private sector will meet, not even the sky will be the limit”.
“Our space mission transcends all the differences and becomes the mission of all the people of the country”.
“ISRO deserves kudos for bringing momentous transformation”.
“India’s space programme has been the biggest identity of Aatmnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”.
“India needs to increase its share in the global space industry and the private sector will play a big role in that”.
“India is working on a New Indian Space Policy and the policy for ease of doing business in the space sector”.
“Gujarat is fast becoming a centre of big institutions of national and international level”.
IN-SPACe is an autonomous nodal agency, approved by the Union Government and will be governed by the Department of Space. This organisation shall act as a medium between ISRO and the private space sector in India.
Under the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre, the private parties will be allowed to perform space activities and use the equipment and facilities of the Department of Space (DoS) for the launch manifest.
This will be the first time that the infrastructure and property under the control of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be used by the private sector.
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
Justin Bieber has revealed he has been diagnosed with a condition called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which has fully paralysed the right side of his face.
What is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome (herpes zoster oticus) is a rare neurological disorder which usually leads to paralysis of the facial nerve and a rash that generally affects the ear or mouth or face.
The condition is caused when the varicella-zoster virus infects a nerve in the head. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults.
Generally, with chickenpox, the virus continues to live in your nerves.
Years later, it may reactivate and affect your facial nerves, resulting in Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
The illness can occur in anyone who has had chickenpox and is most common in older adults, particularly people over 60.
Painful red shingles rash with fluid-filled blisters on, in and around one ear, and
Facial weakness or paralysis on the same side as the affected ear.
The illness almost always goes away, except in rare instances.
People suffering from Ramsay Hunt are generally prescribed anti-viral medication (such as acyclovir or valacyclovir) and in more serious cases, steroids (such as prednisone).
Connection – Some studies have suggested that there may be links between the Covid-19 vaccine and the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
Vale do Javari
A British journalist and Brazilian indigenous affairs expert recently went missing in a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest, called Vale do Javari.
Why is this region significant?
Vale do Javari in the western section of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
It is named after the Javari River, which forms the country’s border with Peru.
The region is home to the greatest concentration of isolated tribal groups in the Amazon and the world.
The area is home to 14 indigenous tribes with nearly 6,000 inhabitants, who are known to reject contact with the outside world.
The communities living in the Vale do Javari have been granted exclusive territorial rights in Brazil’s 1988 constitution and then in 2001 under the demarcation of indigenous territory.
Threats – Among the main threats to the well-being of these groups are illegal fishing, hunting, logging, mining, cattle ranching, missionary actions and drug trafficking.
The area has been witnessing increasing illegal gold prospecting and poaching.
Vale do Javari forms part of an international cocaine trafficking route, with gold being exchanged for drugs and arms, consequently making it a hotspot for violent crimes.
Polity and Governance.
15th Presidential Election
Recently the Election Commission has notified the election of India’s 15th President on July 18.
Under Article 62(1) of the Constitution, an election to fill a vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of office of President shall be completed before the expiration of the term.
The elected members of both the Houses of Parliament;
The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states; and
The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
This Electoral College doesn’t consist of nominated members of Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and the Assemblies, and members of state Legislative Councils.
Value of Vote –
The votes are weighted, their value determined by the population of each state as per Census 1971.
The value of each MLA’s vote varies from a high of 208 in Uttar Pradesh to a low of 7 in Sikkim.
This means that UP’s 403 MLAs contribute 208 × 403 = 83,824 votes to the electoral pool, while Sikkim’s 32 MLAs contribute 32 × 7 = 224 votes.
The weighted votes from all the Assemblies add up to 5.43 lakh.
The process demands that all the 776 MPs should contribute the same total of votes as the MLAs.
Thus, the value of each MP’s vote is 5.43 lakh divided by 776, rounded off to 700. The combined electoral pool from the Assemblies and Parliament adds up to 10.86 lakh.
Facts of Presidential Election:
1952 and 1957: In both the first and the second election, Rajendra Prasad won without a no-contest.
1969: This election, necessitated by the sudden passing of President Hussain, was the most controversial of them all.
Under Article 65(1) of the Constitution, Vice-President V V Giri assumed office as acting President, but resigned in 1969 as Vice President and also as acting President.
There were tensions within the Congress between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and a group of veterans known as the Syndicate.
These tensions came to a head when the party officially fielded Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy while Gandhi threw her weight behind Giri, contesting as an independent.
International relation, Defence
Turkish President warned Greece to demilitarise islands in the Aegean Sea.
Recently the Turkish President warned Greece, which has been building a military presence in violation of treaties that guarantee the unarmed status of the Aegean islands – to demilitarise islands in the Aegean Sea.
Greece and Turkey are NATO allies, but they have a history of disputes over a range of issues, including mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean Sea.
Know about Aegean Sea:
The ancient name of the Aegean Sea, Archipelago, was later applied to the islands it contains and is now used to refer to any island group.
The Aegean Sea is a part of the Mediterranean Sea which is located between the Greek peninsula on the west and Asia Minor on the east.
It is located between the southern Balkan and the Anatolian peninsulas, between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey, respectively.
It is connected through the straits of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus to the Black Sea.
It also has a good connection to the Ionian Sea to the west, through the strait lying between the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece and Crete.
The island of Crete can be taken as marking its boundary on the south.
Person in news.
Thirukokarnam Ranganayaki Ammal
About Thirukokarnam Ranganayaki Ammal:
Born on May 28, 1910 she was the second of seven siblings.
Her father Thirukokarnam Sivaraman was a renowned natuvanar, who was also known for his avadhana pallavis — an art of playing different talas by using both hands, legs and the head.
Ranganayaki took to the mridangam and went under the guidance of the legendary Pudukottai Dakshinamurthi Pillai
She was also well trained in Bharatanatyam
She blazed a trail by playing complex mathematical combinations with ease.
In the All India music conference held in 1927 in Madras Ranganayaki Ammal was the only woman among the 23 mridangam artistes who performed at the event.
In the 1940s, she performed with several leading artistes such as Brinda and Muktha and Flute Mali.
In 1966, she joined the Padmavati College in Tirupati as faculty, and later worked at the Sadguru Sangita Samajam in Madurai.
World Of Work Summit, Geneva.
Union Minister For Labour & Employment Shri Bhupender Yadav participated in High Level Panel discussion in Geneva today, organized by ILO under the World of Work summit on the sidelines of ILC meeting. The theme of the discussion was “Tackling multiple global crises: promoting human centered recovery and resilience”.
Theme: “Tackling multiple global crises: promoting human-centered recovery and resilience”.
What is the World of Work Summit and its objectives?
The Summit will discuss how to tackle the labour and social consequences of the food, energy and financial crises with human-centred approaches.
It is Organized by International Labour Organization(ILO).
The summit was organized on the sidelines of the International Labour Conference.
To discuss the actions that should be taken by the countries and the international communities to tackle these challenges
To achieve the goal of human-centered, resilient, and sustainable recovery.
Know about International Labour Conference?
The International Labour Conference is the ILO’s highest decision-making body. It is often called the International Parliament of Labour.
It meets once a year in June in Geneva, Switzerland.
The conference brings together governments, workers, and employers delegates of the ILO member States.
The broad policies of the ILO are set by the Conference. It also establishes and adopts international labour standards and is a forum for discussion of key social and labour questions. It also adopts the Organization’s budget and elects the Governing Body.
Science and technology.
India’s first COVID-19 vaccine Anocovax for animals launched.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched Anocovax, India’s first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine for animals, produced by the ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) in Haryana.
The vaccine uses Alhydrogel as an adjuvant and contains inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (Delta) antigen. It is also safe for dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and bunnies, according to the company.
Developed by the Hisar-based National Research Centre on Equines, the vaccine, called Ancovax, can protect animals against the Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2.
This is the first Covid-19 vaccine for animals developed in India.
There were reports from Russia last year that that country, too, had developed a vaccine against animals such as dogs, cats, minks, and foxes.
How this vaccine functions?
Ancovax can be used in dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and rabbits.
It is an inactivated vaccine developed using an infectious part of the Delta variant.
In addition, it uses Alhydrogel as an adjuvant to boost the immune response.
COVID-19 and pets
COVID-19 can be transmitted from people to animals through intimate contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
COVID-19 is unlikely to transmit from animals to humans. However, while infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is exceedingly rare, it can cause serious sickness in pets.
How this vaccine helps animals?
The vaccine can protect animals in the zoo.
The animals develop similar symptoms to humans – cough, cold, fever, and lung lesions
It can also prevent transmission from companion animals to the humans
The aim of the vaccine is to protect endangered animals
Clash over Green Gold.
Tribal residents of 50 villages in Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandgaon and Kanker districts have decided to file an FIR against an official of the state forest department after he confiscated the tendu leaves that they had collected.
This will be the first time that an FIR will be filed against a department official. The development has brought to the fore the tensions over tendu leaf collection between the forest department and tribals.
What is Tendu?
Tendu (Diospirus melanocaylon) is also called ‘green gold’.
The tendu tree is commonly known as “abnus” in Andhra Pradesh, “kendu” in Orissa and West Bengal, “tembru” in Gujarat, “kari” in Kerala, “tembhurni” in Maharashtra, and “bali tupra” in Tamil Nadu.
What is the Dispute?
There is a dispute about who has the right to sell the leaves.
The State governments say only they can do so due to nationalization.
On the other hand, tendu leaf collectors cite the following to say private collectors can sell them on their own,
Uses of Tendu Leaves:
Tendu leaves are used as wrappers of tobacco to produce bidi.
The wide-scale use of tendu leaves in Bidi industry is mainly based on their wide availability, enormous production, agreeable flavor, flexibility, its resistance to decay, and capacity to retain fires.
Off-cuts of leaves are burned and the ash is used in tooth powder.
Regulation of Tendu
Sale of tendu Before 1964, people were free to sell tendu leaves in markets across the country.
In 1964, the trade-in tendu leaves were nationalized in then-undivided Madhya Pradesh.
Later, this system was adopted by Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh.
Under this arrangement, the state forest department collects tendu leaves from the collection centers through the state minor forest produce federation.
Then, the state forest department allows the transportation and sale of these tendus leave to the traders.
Defence, International affairs
International Military Council guidelines for Decarbonization of defence forces.
Recently IMCCS International Military Council on Climate and Security has released a report on the need to decarbonize defense agencies across the world.
Findings of Report:
The Russia-Ukraine war has re-exposed the risks and vulnerabilities and, the potential interventions that could be adopted for greener military operations.
The risks posed by climate change towards security are realized by the security foreign policies body across the world.
The world’s defenses are dominated by the use of fossil fuels, which serve as an efficient means to operate the forces across the world.
Military fuel consumption poses a problem in terms of operations and involves high expenses and dependence on external suppliers.
The IMCCS panel recommended high technology innovations such as the use of bio-fuel, which could help to shift them to low-carbon alternatives thus evolving the modernization process.
Another recommendation comes to bring hybrid vehicles or alternative fuel technologies to reduce reliance on fossil energy.
Know about IMCCS:
The International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) is a group of senior military leaders, security experts from the governmental and non-governmental sectors, and security institutions across the globe.
It is dedicated to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing the security risks of a changing climate.
It was launched in 2019 as a response to growing demand from military professionals for sharing information and best practices for addressing the security and military dimensions of climate change.
38th India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol begins in the Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca
Defence, international relation
The 38th India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol (IND-INDO CORPAT) between the Indian Navy Units of Andaman & Nicobar Command (ANC) and the Indonesian Navy is being conducted from June 13 to 24 2022 in the Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca.
About CORPAT :
The 38th CORPAT is the first post-pandemic Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) between the two countries.
It includes a visit by the Indonesian Navy units to ANC at Port Blair followed by a Sea Phase in the Andaman Sea and visits by IN Units to Sabang (Indonesia).
As part of the Government of India’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Naval Component under the aegis of HQ ANC undertakes coordinated patrols with other littoral countries of the Andaman Sea along respective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) towards enhancing regional maritime security.
India and Indonesia Maritime relations:
India and Indonesia have enjoyed especially close relations, covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions which have strengthened over the years.
The two Navies have been carrying out CORPAT along their International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) since 2002.
This has helped build understanding and interoperability between both the Navies and has facilitated measures to prevent and suppress Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery, and piracy, etc.
The IND-INDO CORPAT contributes to forging strong bonds of friendship across the Andaman Sea and Straits of Malacca.
21 years of BrahMos and recent developments.
The versatile supersonic cruise missile system was first tested on June 12, 2001. A look at its journey from its conception to development and testing; its capabilities across platforms; and upgrades in the works.
On June 12, 2001, the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile was first tested from a land-based launcher in Chandipur.
In the 21 years since, BrahMos has been upgraded several times, with versions tested on land, air, and sea platforms.
A look at the 21-year journey of the versatile asset, which recently bagged an export order from the Philippines.
Know About Brahmos Missile:
BrahMos is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster engine. Its first stage brings the missile to supersonic speed and then gets separated. The liquid ramjet or the second stage then takes the missile closer to three times the speed of sound in the cruise phase.
Types of Brahmos Missiles:
There are Land Based, Ship Based, Air based and Submarine based Brahmos Missiles Systems.
Cruise missiles such as BrahMos called “standoff range weapons”, are fired from a range far enough to allow the attacker to evade defensive counter-fire.
Development phases of BRAHMOS:
The recent Versions being tested include ranges up to 350 km, as compared to the original’s 290 km.
The more advanced Versions with even higher ranges up to 800 km, and with hypersonic speed are said to be on cards.
Efforts are also on to reduce the size and signature of existing versions and augment its capabilities further.
Nanhi Pari’ Programme: For newborn girls.
Northwest Delhi district administration has launched the ‘Nanhi Pari’ Programme, Baby Hipza is one of the first beneficiaries of the ‘Nanhi Pari’ programme launched on Friday by the Northwest Delhi district administration.
Aim of this Programme
The basic aim of most of these schemes is to protect the birth of the girl child, and to facilitate a safe and secure environment and education for her.
Nanhi Pari programme aims to provide a one-stop solution to parents, eliminating their need to visit various offices to obtain documents.
Under the programme, essential services such as the provision of a birth certificate, Aadhaar card registration and opening a bank account for girls are completed and delivered in government hospitals in the district before the mother and baby are discharged.
The programme will also help in getting registration of baby girls and mothers under various schemes such as the Sukanya Samriddhi Account scheme, the Ladli scheme and Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana at the hospital itself.
The programme makes the processes for schemes as simple as possible for all children and mothers. Parents would not have to go from here to there, trying to avail themselves of the essential schemes.
Dinosaur eggs found in India
Recently researchers from the University of Delhi have discovered a unique set of fossilised dinosaur eggs, with one egg nesting within the other at the Dinosaur Fossil National Park, in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh.
Information about the eggs:
While eggs-within-eggs are rare phenomena, they are so far known to occur only in birds and have never known in reptiles.
This discovery brings out newer connections between reptilian and avian evolution.
Dinosaurs of the Sauropod family were among the largest land animals that have ever lived and were widespread millions of years ago in the territory that is now India.
Fossils of these animals have been found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh as well as Meghalaya.
Evidences of dinosaurs in India:
Central and Western India hold great potential for dinosaur fossils which may offer important information on dinosaur diversity, nesting behaviour and reproductive biology.
Latest findings, documented 52 titanosaurid sauropod nests near Padlya village close to Bagh town in Madhya Pradesh. One of these nests consisted of 10 eggs, one of which was the “abnormal” egg.
Discovered egg has two continuous and circular eggshell layers separated by a wide gap like that observed in birds.
Till now it was considered that dinosaurs had a reproductive function similar to that of turtles and other reptiles (unsegmented oviduct) in contrast to segmented reproductive tract of crocodiles and birds with separate regions of membrane and shell deposition.
It is reveled that f ovum-in-ovo egg from a titanosaurid nest opens up the possibility that sauropod dinosaurs had an oviduct morphology similar to those of crocodiles or birds and they may have adapted to a mode of an egg-laying characteristic of birds
India’s life expectancy raised : Abridged Life Tables report
India’s life expectancy at birth inched up to 69.7 in the 2015-19 period, well below the estimated global average life expectancy of 72.6 years. report for the period of 2015-19 has been released by the Sample Registration System(SRS).
Takeaway points from the report:
India’s Life Expectancy:
India’s life expectancy at birth has increased to 69.7 in the 2015-19 period. However, this is well below the estimated global average life expectancy of 72.6 years.
Life Expectancy over 45-year Period:
Odisha has had the highest increase of over 24 years from 45.7 to 69.8 years followed by Tamil Nadu, where it increased from 49.6 to 72.6 years.
Difficulty in Raising Life Expectancy:
It has taken almost ten years for India to add two years to life expectancy.
The data suggest that high infant and under-five mortality could be the reason India finds it difficult to raise life expectancy at birth faster.
Huge Rural-Urban Variations:
Kerala is the only state where rural life expectancy was higher than urban life expectancy for both men and women.
Bihar and Jharkhand remained the only states where male life expectancy was higher than for women in both urban and rural areas.
Life expectancy facts from other countries?
As per UN’s Human Development Report, 2019: In the neighborhood, Bangladesh and Nepal now have a higher life expectancy at birth of 72.1 and 70.5 respectively.
Japan has the highest life expectancy of 85. Norway, Australia, Switzerland and Iceland had a life expectancy of 83.
Science and Techonology.
Binary super massive black hole discovered
Recently group of astronomers from Argentina, Spain, Italy, the USA and India have discovered a binary supermassive black hole system in the Blazar AO 0235+164.
It is a breakthrough discovery for future detection of gravitational waves(GWs).
Know about Blazars?
Blazars are super massive black holes(SMBH) feeding on gas in the heart of a very distant galaxy. They are among the most luminous and energetic objects in the Universe.
When the jet, composed of ionized matter travelling at nearly the speed of light, is pointed towards an observer, it is called a blazar.
Blazar AO 0235+164 is the first binary SMBH gravitationally lensed system. It will also be a strong candidate of its kind for future detection of gravitational waves.
The blazar AO 0235+164 is unique as it is gravitationally lensed by intervening galaxies.
What is Gravitational Lensing?
It is a phenomenon by which light shining from far away is bent and pulled by the gravity of an object between its source and the observer.
Fat finger Syndrome.
Recently, the National Stock Exchange noticed that a wrong entry on a keyboard by a stressed trader can also bring down shares of any mighty company which can be of millions of dollars Such freak trades are called as Fat finger Trade.
Recent freak trade is not just a one instance. India have witnessed such instances in past as well.
What is a fat-finger trade?
A fat-finger trade is a human error, when an order is punched. Such error can include entering a wrong value with respect to price or quantity or selection of wrong execution action like buy or sell.
When the freak trade is executed, the price hits an abnormal level for some second but later returns to the level where it should actually be. For instance, in the recent freak trade, trader executed a sell order at Rs 0.15, in Nifty 14,500 call option.
How this issue can be resolved?
The fat-finger trades can be avoided if they are caught in time.
They are set filters to give alert to traders while placing orders outside the parameters of market. Furthermore, price movements are also capped by placing circuit filters and cooling off period.
Environment and ecology
Blue Duke declared as state butterfly of Sikkim.
On the occasion of world environment day, Blue Duke was declared as the state butterfly of Sikkim.
The Blue Duke butterfly is amongst over 700 butterflies found in Sikkim.
The Blue Duke butterfly was declared the state butterfly of Sikkim based on an online poll, which was conducted recently.
As per Forest Department, an online voting was done between April and September 2021 for select State Butterfly. Out of 4036 votes, 57% of the votes went to Blue Duke and 43% votes went to Krishna Peacock.
The Blue Duke butterfly was founded by Nosang in 2012. It was found around the Nar Bahadur Bhandari Degree College at Tadong in Gangtok.
Since then, Nosang has been approaching state government to recognise it as State butterfly. Blue Duke, also called Bassarona durga, is unique to Sikkim and Eastern Himalayas. It was first discovered in Sikkim in 1858
In a transformative reform, Cabinet clears ‘AGNIPATH’ scheme for recruitment of youth in the Armed Forces.
“The Cabinet Committee on Security has taken a historic decision today to approve the transformative scheme of ‘Agnipath’.
Under this, Indian youth would be granted an opportunity to get inducted into the Armed services. Under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme, efforts are to create a youthful profile of the Armed forces,” Singh said while addressing a press conference in the national capital today.
Who are ‘Agniveers’?
All those recruited under the ‘Agnipath’ scheme will be called ‘Agniveers’.
Agniveers will be enrolled for a service duration of 4 years including training period.
The ‘Agniveers’ will be given a good pay package and an exit retirement package after a service of 4 years.
Agniveers will be given an attractive customised monthly package along with Risk and Hardship allowances as applicable in the three services.
On completion of the engagement period of four years, Agniveers will be paid one time ‘SevaNidhi’ package which shall comprise their contribution including accrued interest thereon and matching contribution from the Government equal to the accumulated amount of their contribution including interest.
A transformative reform of recruitment policy of the Armed Forces.
A unique opportunity to the youth to serve the country and contribute to Nation Building.
Armed Forces profile to be youthful and dynamic.
Attractive financial package for the Agniveers.
Opportunity for Agniveers to train in the best institutions and enhance their skills & qualifications.
Availability of well-disciplined and skilled youth with military ethos in civil society.
Adequate re-employment opportunities for those returning to society and who could emerge as role models for the youth.
The AGNIPATH scheme has been designed to enable a youthful profile of the Armed Forces.
It will provide an opportunity to the youth who may be keen to don the uniform by attracting young talent from the society who are more in tune with contemporary technological trends and plough back skilled, disciplined and motivated manpower into the society.
As for the Armed Forces, it will enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bring about a transformational shift towards a more tech savvy Armed Forces – which is indeed the need of the hour.
India expanding its Nuclear Arsenal.
Stockholm-based defense think tank SIPRI Recently claimed India had 160 nuclear warheads as of January 2022 and claimed that India is expanding its nuclear arsenal.
it also claimed that while India’s nuclear stockpile increased from 156 in January 2021 to 160 in January 2022, Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile remained at 165 in January 2021 and January 2022.
Potential reasons for this Increase:
India does not share official data on its nuclear arsenal.
India and Pakistan make statements about some of their missile tests but provide no information about the status or size of their arsenals,” the SIPRI’s statement said.
There is a total of nine countries that have nuclear weapons — the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea.
The armed forces of India and China have been engaged in a tense border standoff in eastern Ladakh since May 5, 2020, when there was a violent clash between the two sides in the Pangong lake area.
India and China have held 15 rounds of military talks so far to resolve the eastern Ladakh standoff.
The nine nuclear-armed states
The United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)—continue to modernize their nuclear arsenals
What is India’s nuclear doctrine?
India’s nuclear doctrine was first enunciated following a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meeting in January 2003.
Some of the main features of India’s nuclear doctrine are –
Building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent
A No First Use posture i.e nuclear weapons to be used only in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere,
Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be “massive” and designed to inflict “unacceptable damage”.
The concept of “credible minimum deterrence” is used in conjunction with the concepts of “No First Use” and “Non-Use” against nuclear-weapon states.
It clearly indicates that India envisages its nuclear weapons as only a deterrent merely for defensive purposes and not as a means to threaten others.
Environment and Ecology.
Chelonoidis phantasticus, is a giant tortoise species discovered after a century.
A giant tortoise, found alive in 2019, has been confirmed to belong to a Galápagos species long believed extinct. Named Fernanda after her Fernandina Island home, the tortoise is the first of her species, Chelonoidis phantasticus, to be identified in more than a century. Researchers have reported the confirmation in a paper in Nature Communications Biology.
Chelonoidis phantasticus means “fantastic giant tortoise”. Commonly called the Fernandina Island Galápagos giant tortoise, the species was so far known only from a single individual, collected in 1906.
About Fernandina Island
Fernandina Island is the third largest, and youngest, island of the Galápagos Islands, as well as the furthest west
Like the others, the island was formed by the Galapagos hotspot.
The island is an active shield volcano that has most recently been erupting
About Galapagos Islands:
The Galapagos Islands, spread over almost 60,000 sq km, are a part of Ecuador, and are located in the Pacific Ocean around 1,000 km away from the South American continent.
Ecuador made a part of the Galapagos a wildlife sanctuary in 1935, and the sanctuary became the Galapagos National Park in 1959. In 1978, the islands became UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site.
The Galapagos Islands host a wide array of aquatic wildlife, including marine iguanas, fur seals, and waved albatrosses.
Science and Technology.
What is Web 5.0 – the blockchain-powered digital network
Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently announced his vision for a new decentralized web platform that is being called Web 5.0 and is being built with an aim to return “ownership of data and identity to individuals”.
Web 1.0 was the first generation of the global digital communications network. It is often referred to as the “read-only” Internet made of static web pages that only allowed for passive engagement.
The next stage in the evolution of the web was the “read and write” Internet. Users were now able to communicate with servers and other users leading to the creation of the social web. This is the world wide web that we use today.
Web 3.0 is an evolving term that is used to refer to the next generation of the Internet – a “read-write-execute” web – with decentralization as its bedrock.
What is Web 5.0?
Web 5.0 is Web 2.0 plus Web 3.0 that will allow users to ‘own their identity on the Internet and ‘control their data’.
It is being developed by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey‘s Bitcoin business unit, The Block Head.
It aims at building an extra decentralized web that puts you in control of your data and identity.
It is built with an aim to return “ownership of data and identity to individuals”.
Difference between Web 3.0 and Web 5.0
Both Web 3.0 and Web 5.0 envision an Internet without censorship from governments or big tech.
Web 3.0 is decentralized or owned by its users while Web 5.0 is truly decentralized.
In web 3.0 No single entity owns the information (decentralization). The data is distributed across networks while in web 5.0 The data and identity is owned by the user.
Web 3.0 Gives only control of your data, Web 5.0 Gives you control of your data as well as your identity.
TDS on virtual digital assets
Recently the government has clarified that the TDS on virtual digital assets continues to be 1%.
The clarification from the Income Tax comes after some media reports mentioned that the TDS rate for virtual digital assets has been dropped to 0.1% from 1% as announced earlier in the budget.
30% taxation on the gains arising from the cryptocurrency assets, the Centre will implement the 1% TDS on the transfer or consideration of every trade from 1 July, 2022.
While the industry players see this move as one of the most controversial provisions over the cryptocurrency taxations, the Centre believes that the new TDS mechanism is used to trace transactions and prevent tax evasion.
Difference between virtual digital assets and digital currency?
It basically means cryptocurrencies, DeFi (decentralized finance), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Prima facie, excludes digital gold, central bank digital currency (CBDC), or any other traditional digital assets, and hence aimed at specifically taxing cryptocurrencies.
What is TDS?
TDS is a liability enforced against the exchanges that deposit tax on behalf of sellers on the platform. It will be calculated at 1% of the transaction value.
Status of tax on income from virtual digital assets:
Does the 30% tax mean crypto assets have been legalized in India?
A tax law can’t make anything legal or illegal—that has to be done via a separate statute.
Ream Naval Base
Recently a report was published claiming that part of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base had been reserved for the exclusive use of the Chinese armed forces.
A Chinese base in Cambodia could become a chokepoint in the Gulf of Thailand close to the strategically important Malacca Strait which has prompted global concern that it will be used by Beijing as a naval outpost on the Gulf of Thailand.
Speculations about a possible Chinese military presence on Cambodian soil have drawn attention and reactions from neighbouring countries and other powers.
Cambodia’s official described the expansion of the Ream Naval Base as “cooperation between China and Cambodia”
About Ream Naval Base
Ream Naval Base is a facility operated by the Royal Cambodian Navy on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand in the province of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
Ream faces the Gulf of Thailand, adjacent to the South China Sea
Strategic Importance of this Base:
This would be china’s second overseas naval foothold, after a base in Djibouti opened in 2017.
A Chinese base in Cambodia could become a chokepoint in the Gulf of Thailand close to the strategically important Malacca Strait.
China’s strategic military footprint in Southeast Asia would help it bolster its territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.
Science and technology
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and India’s public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati is exploring the feasibility of a technology that allows broadcasting video and other forms of multimedia content directly to mobile phones, without needing an active internet connection.
The technology, called ‘direct-to-mobile’ (D2M) broadcasting, promises to improve the consumption of broadband and the utilization of spectrum.
Technology is still at an embryonic stage.
What is direct-to-mobile broadcasting?
The technology is based on the convergence of broadband and broadcast, using which mobile phones can receive terrestrial digital TV.
It would be similar to how people listen to FM radio on their phones, where a receiver within the phone can tap into radio frequencies.
Using D2M, multimedia content can also be beamed to phones directly.
The idea behind the technology is that it can possibly be used to directly broadcast content related to citizen-centric information and can be further used to counter fake news, issue emergency alerts and offer assistance in disaster management, among other things.
It can be used to broadcast live news, sports, etc. on mobile phones.
More so, the content should stream without any buffering whatsoever while not consuming any internet data.
What could be the consumer and business impact of this?
A technology like this would mean that they would be able to access multimedia content from Video on Demand (VoD) or Over The Top (OTT) content platforms without having to exhaust their mobile data, at a nominal rate.
The technology will also allow people from rural areas, with limited or no internet access, to watch video content.
One of the key benefits of the technology is that it can enable telecom service providers to offload video traffic from their mobile network onto the broadcast network, thus helping them to decongest valuable mobile spectrum.
This will also improve the usage of mobile spectrum and free up bandwidth which will help reduce call drops, increase data speeds, etc
OmniCard launches cash withdrawal facility across all ATMs via e-wallet
Payment solution provider OmniCard on Sunday said it has launched a cash withdrawal facility from any ATM through its e-wallet.
The company claimed that it has recently become the first RBI-licensed PPI (prepaid instruments) to launch cash withdrawal using a RuPay-powered card from any ATMs across the country.
The move came in after RBI permitted the non-bank licensed entities to enable cash withdrawals from the digital wallet.
OmniCard users can withdraw cash from any ATM at their convenience with full security from frauds like card theft, card cloning, and PIN skimming as the withdrawal facility comes with high safety & secure features and protects the user from the exposure to their money and bank account details.
The company worked with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) team to enable the facility.
Run by Noida-based Enroute Technologies, Omnicard is a RuPay-powered prepaid card with a mobile app where the users can spend using swipe, scan, tap, and pay online, avail of in-app offers from partner brands, and get rewarded on every spends.
Max Verstappen won Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2022
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix 2022 (his fifth victory of the season).
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his Formula One championship lead over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez came second and Mercedes’ George Russell came at the third spot.
Max Verstappen who had one of the best races in his season, finishing on the podium after starting from number three.
Verstappen became the most successful driver in the Red Bull of all time. The 24-year-old now has 66 podiums for Red Bull and is tied ninth for the most race wins alongside Jim Clark and Niki Lauda.
Mango festival in Bahrain.
In a major boost to the export of mangoes, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) launched an eight-day-long Mango Festival in the Kingdom of Bahrain on June 13 in association with the Indian Embassy and Al Jazira Group.
The Commerce and Industry Ministry said, 34 varieties of mangoes from eastern states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, are being displayed at eight different locations of Bahrain’s Al Jazira group supermarket.
All the varieties of mangoes have been directly procured from farmers and two Farmer Producer Organizations. The mango show will continue till the 20th of this month.
The Ministry said the mango show in Bahrain is part of APEDA’s new initiatives to explore international markets for Indian mangoes under the ‘Mango Festival 2022.
The Murshidabad district administration has facilitated the transportation of mangoes to Bahrain in coordination with APEDA.
Mango in India is also referred to as the ‘king of fruits’ and referred to as Kalpavriksha (wish-granting tree) in ancient scriptures.
India funded the “Way Finding Application” for the UN
The GoI has approved the proposal between the Government of India and the United Nations on a ‘Way Finding Application’ to be used in the Palais des Nations, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).
The United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), consisting of five buildings and 21 floors, is housed at the historic Palais des Nations.
Keeping in view the complexity of buildings and huge participation, there was a requirement for a navigational application that can help the visitors and other delegates in finding their way inside the premises while adhering to all security perspectives.
building navigational App:
While the Global Positioning System (GPS) based Apps function in open space, a more precise in-building navigational App will assist the visitors in locating the room and offices.
The project of development of ‘Way Finding Application’ has been conceptualized as a donation from the Government of India to the UN.
The project consists of the development deployment and maintenance of a software-based ‘Way Finding Application’ to facilitate navigation in the Palais des Nations premises of UNLG.
The application will enable users to find their way from point to point within the 21 floors spread across five buildings of UNOG.
The App will work on Android and iOS devices with an internet connection. The development of the App has been entrusted to the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT)
The project will not only highlight the technical capabilities of India but also enhance the prestige of the country at the UN level platform.
The App will make India’s presence felt in the UN and showcase its soft power in the form of strong software technology expertise – a ‘Made in India’ App for the mobiles of who come from across the globe.
Neeraj Chopra Sets New National Record.
Ace Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra added another feather to his hat on Tuesday at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland.
The 24-year-old set an all-new national record with a throw of 89.30 meters, shattering the existing one – 88.07 meters which by registered by him in Patiala last year.
Neeraj Chopra is India’s first ever Olympic gold medallist in athletics and only the second individual gold medallist at Olympics.
Chopra’s 89.30m effort will take him to fifth spot in the world season leaders’ list.
Neeraj Chopra won the silver medal with his throw at the event.
This was Neeraj’s first competitive outing since winning the historic gold medal at the Tokyo Games.
Finland’s Oliver Helander won the gold medal at the event with a throw of 89.83 metres.
He will also participate in the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League on June 30.
Environment and Ecology
Microplastics found in fresh Antarctic snow
Researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand collected samples from 19 sites in Antarctica and each contained tiny plastic fragments.
Microplastics stem from the erosion of plastic materials and are smaller than a grain of rice – sometimes even invisible to the naked eye.
They identified 13 different types of plastics and the most common was polyethylene terephthalate (PET), mostly used in soft-drink bottles and clothing. This was found in 79% of the samples.
Where did they come from?
Microplastics may have traveled thousands of kilometers through the air, however, it is likely that the presence of humans in Antarctica has established a microplastic ‘footprint’.
Harmful Species can enter Antarctica.
Increase Impact of Global Warming.
Increase Landslides and Avalanches.
Threat to Water Supply.
Polity and Governance.
e-Vidhan system for paperless legislation.
A delegation of MLAs from Gujarat visited the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly on June 9, to learn about the novel e-Vidhan system for paperless proceedings that has been recently adopted by the UP state assembly.
What is the National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) system?
The National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) is a system for digitizing the legislative bodies of all Indian states and the Parliament through a single platform on which house proceedings, starred/unstarred questions and answers, committee reports, etc.
Nagaland became the first state to implement NeVA, in March this year.
The NeVA system has been developed to make all the work and data related to legislative bodies available online for the use of both citizens and the members of the Assembly.
It includes a website and a mobile app.
In December last year, the Government of Dubai became the world’s first government to go 100 percent paperless.
It would cut expenditure by USD 350 million and also save 14-million-man-hours.
Defence, Civil society.
28th Joint Civil-Military Training Programme at LBSNAA.
Union defense minister Rajnath Singh recently called for greater jointness of civil administration and the armed forces while addressing the participants of the 28th Joint Civil-Military Training Programme LBSNAA in Mussoorie.
About Joint Civil-Military Programme?
The Joint Civil-Military Programme was initiated in 2001 with the aim of fostering a structured interface between civil servants and Armed Forces officers for a shared understanding of national security.
Participants are drawn from the Civil Services, Armed Forces, and Central Armed Police Forces.
The rationale for this Programme:
Provide the opportunity for the participants to interact and exchange ideas on the subject.
Increase awareness of the different dimensions and elements of National Security as well as threats to such security.
Making the participants adapt to challenges in the management of national security, the emerging external security environment, the impact of globalization, and the internal security environment.
Expose them to the imperatives of civil-military synergy.
‘Pearl of the south’ Lake Sawa Dried up.
Iraq’s famous and prominent Lake Sawa has dried up for the first time in its centuries-long history and locals believe that it is due to mismanagement by local investors, government neglect, and climate change.
Lake Sawa appears in some old Islamic texts. It is said the lake miraculously formed on the day the Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 A.D. Thousands of religious tourists visited the site annually to submerge themselves in its holy waters, which they believe are blessed by God.
About Lake Sawa.
Sawa Lake is an endorheic basin located in the Iraqi governorate of Muthanna near to the Euphrates River
This lake has no inlet or outlet, but it draws water from the Euphrates through a system of joint cracks and fissures which transport water to aquifers beneath it.
The water’s level fluctuates during dry and wet seasons
Sawa Lake is characterized by the arid climate
Because of its saline water, no plants grow in the lake or on its shores. Fish and algae are the most important aquatic organisms.
The Centre has started distribution of fortified rice through ration shops from April 1 in some 90-odd districts out of 291 targeted for the entire year under phase II of PM-POSHAN Abhiyan
Fortified rice is made by blending rice with three micronutrients – Iron, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12.
Need for rice fortification
India has very high levels of malnutrition among women and children.
Malnutrition costs India at least ₹77,000 crores annually.
The country loses about 1 percent of GDP (₹2.03 lakh crore) due to iron deficiency
One rupee spent on nutritional interventions in India could generate ₹34.1-Rs 38.6 in public economic returns
Rice is one of India’s staple foods, consumed by about two-thirds of the population.
Per capita, rice consumption in India is 6.8 kg per month.
Fortifying rice with micronutrients is an option to supplement the diet of the poor.
Targets of the POSHAN Abhiyan.
Reduce stunting by 2% annually.
Reduce under-nutrition by 2% annually.
Reduce anemia by 3% annually.
Reduce low birth weight by 2% annually.
First Privately operated “Bharat Gaurav” express train.
The first train to be operated between Coimbatore and Shirdi by a private operator, under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme of the Indian Railways
To showcase India’s cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to people of the country and world through these trains.
Opportunity for entrepreneurs.
What is the Bharat Gaurav scheme?
According to bharatgauravtrains.indianrailways.gov.in, the Bharat Gaurav trains are service provider-managed, theme-based tourist circuit trains that will “showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical, natural scenic places to the people of India and the world”.
Southern Railway becomes the “first zone to get its first registered service provider under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ Scheme”.
XPay-Life launches UPI services targeted at rural India.
XPay.Life said it is working closely with the regional rural banks and district co-operative banks to help them bank better and enable true financial inclusion of the rural populace with security and no disruption
Fintech startup XPay.Life, which claims to be India’s first blockchain-enabled transaction framework, on Friday launched its UPI services targeted at rural India.
The fintech business stated it works on three models.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) which comprises their mobile app,
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) which comprises their website,
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) which corresponds to their mobile vans.
The company currently has about 100 active mobile vans for digital banking, with plans to expand to 200 in the near future.
Periodic Labor Force Survey (PLFS)
Recently Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for 2020-21 was released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
Outcome of this report:
The unemployment rate saw a decrease of 0.6% and fell to 4.2% in 2020-21, compared with 4.8% in 2019-20
Rural areas recorded an unemployment rate of 3% and urban areas recorded an unemployment rate of 6.7%.
The National Statistical Office (NSO) does this survey.
The LFPR, in the population was 6% during 2020-21.
The migration rate is 28.9%.
Periodic Labour Force Survey It is done to estimate :
Worker Population Ratio
Labour Force Participation Rate
Haploptychius sahyadriensis – New Snail species discovered in Maharashtra.
Recently a new species of snail – Haploptychius sahyadriensis, a third in the genus Haploptychius found in the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra and is endemic to Vishalgad Conservation Reserve in Kolhapur.
Mimilar species were found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1860s,.
About the Species
Haploptychius sahyadriensis is different from the other Indian and South-East Asian Haploptychius.
It has a suboblique-heliciform shell, a low spire, and a strong parietal lamella. The researchers placed the new species in the genus Haploptychius based on the shell morphology and genital characters.
Why are snails important?
Snails are important for the ecosystem. Shelled land snails are important in calcium cycling.
They harvest calcium from their food, concentrate it in their shells that are made mainly from calcium carbonate, and pass it up the food chain as they are consumed by predators including insects, lizards, snakes, salamanders, birds, and mammals.
Snails in India
According to the India Biodiversity Portal, India has nearly 1,450 snails and slugs with the highest diversity in north-eastern India followed by the Western Ghats.
They are the second-largest phylum after Arthropods.
A species of freshwater snail was recently found in the foothills of the northeastern state of Mizoram.
LaMDA: Google AI chatbot becomes sensitive in perception or feeling.
Recently an engineer at Google claimed that the company’s artificial intelligence-based chatbot Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) had become “sentient”.
The claims have spurred a debate on the capabilities and limitations of AI-based chatbots.
What is LaMDA?
LaMDA is short for ‘Language Model for Dialogue Applications’, Google’s modern conversational agent enabled with a neural network capable of deep learning.
In simple terms, LaMDA can have a discussion based on a user’s inputs.
Google announced LaMDA 2.0 recently which builds on LaMDA 1.0.
This model can possibly take an idea and generate “imaginative and relevant descriptions”, stay on a particular topic even if a user strays off-topic, and can suggest a list of things needed for a specified activity.
What is a neural network?
A neural network is an AI tech that attempts to mimic the web of neurons in the brain to learn and behave like humans.
Challenges of this Technology:
The challenges of AI converting into sentient are far in the future.
While we imagine the machine to have no bias.
AI software learning from historical data could inadvertently perpetuate discrimination against the marginalized community.
Kerala tops in National e-Governance service Delivery Assessment.
Recently the NeSDA 2021 Report provided suggestions for governments to further enhance their e-Governance service delivery systems. It was published by the Union Government.
According to the report, Kerala had the highest overall compliance score among all the States and UTs.
Among the Services Portals for North-East and Hill States, the highest-ranking states of Meghalaya and Tripura showed improvement across all six sectors compared to NeSDA 2019.
Among Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, was assessed for the first time and ranked the highest with an overall compliance of nearly 90%.
Central Ministries and Portals: The Ministry Portal of Home Affairs had the highest overall compliance score.
About National e-Governance Service Delivery Assessment(NeSDA):
It is a biennial study that assesses States, and Union Territories (UTs) and focuses on Central Ministries on the effectiveness of e-Governance service delivery.
NeSDA helps the respective governments improve their delivery of citizen-centric services and shares best practices across the country for all States, UTs, and Central Ministries to emulate.
It covers seven sectors – Finance, Labour & Employment, Education, Local Governance & Utility Services, Social Welfare, Environment, and Tourism sectors.
It also assessed portals on several parameters such as Accessibility, Content Availability, Ease of Use, and Information Security & Privacy among others.
NeSDA also assessed portals on several parameters such as Accessibility, Content Availability, Ease of Use, and Information Security & Privacy among others.
National News, Defence, Tech.
Drone Certification Scheme.
Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia Recently gave the first “type certificate” (TC) under Drone Rules, 2021,
Important points of Draft Drone rules, 2021
Reduction in the number of forms of Drones.
Approvals are abolished for unnecessary design.
Relaxation for R&D entities.
Drone’s unique identification number on the digital sky platform.
No pilot license will be required for micro drones.
What is a Drone Certification Scheme?
The scheme has been developed by the Quality Council of India in consultation with drone startups, industry, academia, and defense experts, Launched in January 2022.
It is to provide safety and security criteria and requirements for drones and evaluate their certification, among others.
The scheme is likely to create an ecosystem for world-class drones to be manufactured in India and sold all across the world.
Reforms in the Drones Sector:
A Drone Airspace Map has been published opening up nearly 90% of Indian airspace as a green zone for drones flying up to 400 feet.
Production-Linked Incentive(PLI) scheme for drones.
Mission ‘Drone Shakti’.
Drone import policy.
UAS Traffic Management (UTM) Policy Framework.
The US President will host a virtual summit with the Prime Minister of India, Israel Prime Minister, and UAE President during his visit to West Asia from July 13 to 16.
“I2U2 is an entirely new grouping of partners that includes the United States, Israel, India, and the UAE. It is focused on expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia, including through trade, combating climate change, energy cooperation, and coordination on other vital shared interests.
Journey of I2U2 Grouping.
Previously called the ‘International Forum for Economic Cooperation, the group is already being dubbed the ‘New Quad’ or the ‘Middle-Eastern Quad’ along the lines of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD).
What is Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD):
Quad is a strategic dialogue between the United States, India, Japan, and Australia.
The dialogue was started in 2007 in response to increasing Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and was accompanied by one of the largest joint military exercises of the modern era, the Malabar Exercise.
Role of Quad?
‘Quad’, another four-nation coalition India, along with Australia, Japan, and the US, forged to counter China’s hegemonic aspirations in the Indo-Pacific region.
In the past stonewalled the attempts by the US to turn the ‘Quad’ into a NATO-like security alliance for the Indo-Pacific region, not only because it was reluctant to be part of a move overtly adversarial to China, but also because such a move would have had implications for India’s decades-old strategic partnership with Russia.
Kerala’s Startup Ecosystem Ranked Best in Asia: Global Report.
The startup ecosystem in Kerala has been ranked as the best in Asia and fourth in terms of Affordable Talent in the d(GSER).
The GSER was released recently which brings together global governments and corporate leaders, inspirational start-up founders, and investors to discuss the power of technology for societies.
In the first GSER published in 2020, Kerala was ranked 5th in Asia and 20th in the world.
What is GSER?
The GSER is the world’s most comprehensive, data-driven research on startups with 280+ entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems and 3 million startups analyzed.
The report includes a ranking of the leading 140 ecosystems, continental insights, and founder-focused articles from thought-leading experts.
About the rankings.
The report includes a ranking of the leading 140 ecosystems, continental insights, and founder-focussed articles from thought-leading experts.
Top Asian emerging ecosystems were measured on the basis of talent, experience, long-term trends over the most significant performance factors and the ability to generate and keep talent in the ecosystem.
Bengaluru ranked 22nd in the global startup ecosystem index while Delhi moved up at No. 26, with Mumbai at No. 36.
44th Chess Olympiad.
India will host the world’s biggest chess event for the first time ever in the 100-year history of the Olympiad. The vibrant logo, expressing the excitement with its exuberant colors, was unveiled in Chennai.
The 44th Chess Olympiad is organized by Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE). It comprises open and women’s tournaments, and other several events which are designed to promote chess.
It is to be held in Mahabalipuram near Chennai.
44th Chess Olympiad is scheduled to be organized in July 2022.
‘Thambi’ is the official mascot of the Olympiad.
In the Tamil language, Thambi means little or younger brother.
Why it is being organized in India?
This event was initially supposed to organize from August 5 to 17, 2020, in Khanty-Mansiysk, which hosted the Chess Olympiad 2010.
FIDE decided to shift it to Moscow.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, FIDE decided to move the event from Moscow.
Khanty-Mansiysk was to host the opening ceremony and inaugural Chess Paralympics, which was specifically designed for people with disabilities.
What is FIDE?
FIDE is the French acronym for “International Chess Federation or World Chess Federation”.
It stands for “Federation Internationale des Echecs. FIDE is an international organization, headquartered in Switzerland.
Currently, there are 200 members of FIDE.
Controversial Northern Ireland Protocol.
The European Union (EU) has said that the proposed Northern Ireland Protocol by UK violates international law and has threatened to take legal action if U.K. goes ahead with the legislation.
Great Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland together with Great Britain forms the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. that shares a land border with the EU, as Republic of Ireland (or Ireland) is an EU member-state.
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol?
Special trading arrangements were needed for Northern Ireland after the UK voted for Brexit in 2016. This is because it’s the only part of the UK with a land border with an EU country – the Republic of Ireland.
Before Brexit, it was easy to transport goods across this border because both sides had the same EU trade rules. No checks or paperwork were necessary.
After Brexit, a new system was needed because the EU has strict food rules and requires border checks when certain goods – such as milk and eggs – arrive from non-EU countries.
The border is also a sensitive issue because of Northern Ireland’s troubled political history. It was feared that cameras or border posts could lead to instability.
How does the protocol work?
Instead of checking goods at the Irish border, the protocol agreed that any inspections and document checks would be conducted between Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). These take place at Northern Ireland’s ports.
It was also agreed Northern Ireland would keep following EU rules on product standards.
Kranti Gatha: Gallery of Revolutionaries Inaugrated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated an underground ‘Gallery of Revolutionaries’ museum dedicated to the luminaries of the freedom struggle, at the Raj Bhavan.
The Gallery of Indian Revolutionaries has been created in the bunker that was discovered below Raj Bhavan in Maharashtra 2016.
It is a tribute to the known and unknown revolutionaries of the Indian freedom movement.
The bunker at Raj Bhavan was discovered in 2016 by the then Governor of Maharashtra N Vidyasagar Rao.
Built before the First World War, it was used by the British to store arms and ammunition. The bunker has 13 rooms of various sizes and the different cells in it were known as ‘Shell Store’, ‘Gun Shell’, Cartridge Store, Shell Lift, Central Artillery Room, Workshop, etc.
The gallery includes information on the freedom movement heroes, their role in the movement, sculptures, rare photographs, murals and details on tribal revolutionaries drawn by school-kids.
IMD’s World Competitiveness Index:India jumps 6 places.
Recently India has witnessed the sharpest rise among the Asian economies, with a six-position jump from 43rd to 37th rank on the annual World Competitiveness Index
What is World Competitiveness index?
The World Competitiveness Yearbook is an annual report published by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD) on the competitiveness of nations and has been published since 1989.
Facts about Report:
This index is compiled by Institute for Management Development.
The top-performing Asian economies are Singapore (3rd), Hong Kong (5th), Taiwan (7th), China (17th) and Australia (19th).
Reason for India’s Improvement:
India made major improvements in the context of retrospective taxes in 2021, India appears to have restored the trust of the business community.
Prithvi-II Missile successfully test-fired.
According to the Defence Ministry, the training launch of the surface-to-surface missile was carried out from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Balasore district.
About Prithvi-II Missile:
The nine-metre tall, single-stage Prithvi is the first missile to be developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
It was added to the arsenal of the Indian defence forces in 2003.
The Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile has a strike range of 350 km.
It is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kilogram of warheads and is powered by liquid propulsion twin engines.
Other Variants of Prithvi missile:
Prithvi I (SS-150) – Army version, 150 km range with a payload of 1,000 kg
Prithvi II (SS-250) – Air Force version, 350 km range with a payload of 500 kg
Prithvi III (SS-350) – Naval version, 350 km range with a payload of 1,000 kg.
Person of Interest
Radha Iyengar Plumb Nominated for Top Pentagon Position.
US President Joe Biden recently nominated Indian-American Radha Iyengar Plumb to a top position in the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense.
Currently, Plumb is the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. She has been nominated to serve as the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, Department of Defense.
Details about Radha Iyengar Plumb:
Plumb began her career as an assistant professor at the London School of Economics and completed her postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.
She has a BS in Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.
Plumb was previously the Director of Research and Insights for Trust and Safety at Google, where she led cross-functional teams focused on business analytics, data science, and technical research.
She previously worked at Facebook as the Global Head of Policy Analysis, where she was responsible for high-risk/high-harm safety and important international security concerns.
Plumb formerly worked at RAND Corporation as a senior economist.
Education in Focus.
International Literature Festival
The three-day international literary festival also named ‘Unmesh’ was recently been organized at Gaiety Theater in Shimla.
Over 425 writers, poets, translators, critics, and distinguished personalities from 15 countries, representing over 60 languages, are attending the event.
The Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and Sahitya Akademi had organized this festival as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, with the support of the Department of Art and Culture.
Importance of Literature Festival:
The literature of any country represents and reflects the culture of that country.
Literary Festivals bring out these reflections and representations in all their colors. UNMESHA – International Literature Festival is the largest literature festival in the country.
About International Literature Festival:
A literary festival, also known as a book festival or writers’ festival, is a regular gathering of writers and readers, typically on an annual basis in a particular city.
Business & Economics.
Recently India hoisted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conclave to mark the 30th anniversary of its relations with this 10-nation group.
India and ASEAN countries agreed to uphold multilateralism in jointly responding to the regional and global challenges.
Myanmar did not Participate in the India-ASEAN foreign minister’s conclave.
It was established in Bangkok-1967, Thailand, with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration
Motto: “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.
Brunei Darussalam (1984), Vietnam (1995), Lao PDR and Myanmar (1997), and Cambodia (1999), joined the ASEAN later.
It is the 3rd largest market in the world.
It is the 6th largest economy in the world, and 3rd in Asia.
India and ASEAN
India’s relationship with ASEAN has evolved from the ‘Look East Policy’ that emerged in the 1990s which led India to become a Sectoral Partner of ASEAN in 1992, a Dialogue Partner in 1996, and a Summit-level Partner in 2002.
Balika Panchayat Initiative.
The country’s first-ever girl Panchayat, “Balika Panchayat”, was started in several villages of Gujarat’s Kutch district.
It aims to promote the social and political development of the girls and ensure their active participation of girls in politics.
This is a unique initiative of the Women and Child Development Welfare department of the Gujarat Government under the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign.
It started in Kunaria, Maska, Motagua, and Vadsar villages of the Kutch district.
How Balika Panchayat Works.
“Balika Panchayat” is managed by people in the 11-21 age group, The member of Balika Panchayat is nominated just like Gram panchayat, its main objective is to promote the social and political development of the girl child and to remove the evil practices from the society such as child marriage, and the dowry system.
How it works an Example.
if a girl is a dropout of school and her parents are not letting her out, then Balika Panchayat explains to her parents and sends that girl again for the education.
First Sarpanch of Balika Panchayat:
20-year-old Urmi Ahir has been named the sarpanch of Balika Panchayat.
Tech in Focus.
Recently a group of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) has developed micro-swimmers that use light as a fuel to move in real-body conditions.
What are Micro Swimmers?
These are microbots that can move inside a human body. They are made from the 2-dimensional compound poly (heptazine imide) carbon nitride (aka PHI carbon nitride).
These microbots range from 1-10 micrometers in size and can self-propel when energized by shining light.
These microbots can be moved inside the bloodstream for intelligent drug delivery that is selectively sensitive to cancer cells.
What is the science behind it?
At the microscopic level, the viscosity of water is very high. Any effort by the bots to push backward and thus generate forward motion would be hindered by the high viscosity of the water.
With the help of light, we not only move the microbots but can direct their motion towards a specific goal.
Use of microbots:
Targeted drug delivery in the human body: pores on the microparticles worked as cargo bays and could soak up large amounts of the drug.
Cancer Treatment- The environment of cancer cells is characterized by low oxygen, material also has an intelligent charge-storage property to store electrons when light is present.
2026 FIFA World Cup
The world’s biggest sporting event is set to get even bigger. The FIFA World Cup 2026 will be co-hosted by three nations for the first time and will also see participation from 48 nations, up from 32.
US, Canada, and Mexico will hold matches, though it has not been revealed yet which matches will be played where, but likely candidates for the final game are Los Angeles or New York, according to sports analysts.
Points to note:
It will also be the first time that 48 teams will feature in the tournament, an increase from the 32 that will contest in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 from November 21 – to December 18.
60 matches will take place in the US, including all matches from the quarter-finals onward, while Canada and Mexico will host 10 games each.
Mexico also hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1970 and 1986.
The FIFA World Cup is an international football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the FIFA, the sport’s global governing body.
The championship has been awarded every four years.
FIFA President: Gianni Infantino;
FIFA Founded: 21 May 1904;
FIFA Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland.
Planet in Focus.
India’s first Dark Sky Reserve.
A part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary at Hanle, Ladakh is all set to become India’s first Dark Sky Reserve.
The site will host activities to promote astronomy tourism, giving a boost to local tourism and the economy through science.
A tripartite agreement was signed between officials of IIA, the Ladakh Union Territory administration, and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council.
What is a dark-sky Reserve?
A dark-sky reserve is an area, usually surrounding a park or observatory, that restricts artificial light pollution. The purpose of the dark-sky movement is generally to promote astronomy. However, astronomy is certainly not the only objective of conserving a dark sky.
Why is it being set up in Ladakh?
Being a cold desert region, Ladakh holds great potential for undertaking uninterrupted astronomical observations.
Dry weather and clear sky conditions prevail during most months of the year, making Hanle a naturally perfect setup for sky gazing and setting up astronomical observatories.
Hanle is already home to an optical, a gamma-ray, and an infrared telescope at the Indian Astronomical Observatory complex operated by the IIA.
These telescopes have been used to study stars, galaxies, exoplanets, and the evolution of our Universe.
Business & Economics.
RBI: ‘Payments Vision 2025’ Document.
Recently reserve Bank of India (RBI) has unveiled the Payments Vision 2025 document which proposes a host of innovative payment systems and regulations of BigTechs, fintech, and buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) systems, and the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), among others.
What is Payments Vision 2025?
The Payments Vision 2025 promises to further elevate our payment systems towards a realm of empowering users with affordable payment options accessible anytime and anywhere with convenience.
Geotagging of digital payment infrastructure and transactions.
Revisiting guidelines for prepaid payment instruments (PPIs).
Framework for regulation of all significant intermediaries in the payments ecosystem.
link credit cards and credit components of banking products to UPI.
Enhancements to Cheque Truncation System (CTS).
One Nation One Grid clearing and settlement.
Creating a payment system for processing online merchant payments using the internet and mobile banking.
Regulation of BigTechs and FinTechs in the payments space.
Payments Vision 2025 and its 4Es Theme.
“The Payments Vision 2025 has the core theme of E-payments for everyone, everywhere, every time (4Es) and aims to provide every user with safe, secure, fast, convenient, accessible, and affordable e-payment options.
Art and Culture
Ancient rock paintings Found.
Left, Right, and Center
Recently a group of volunteers has found over 200 prehistoric paintings in a cave in the forest area of Bargur Hills, Erode District of Tamil Nadu.
The place, called Rukkal Muniyappan, is where a deity of Muneeswarar is located.
About the Painting:
A rock has paintings in red ochre and white. A hunting scene in red displays human figures and a herd of deer standing opposite each other, while in some images, deer of various sizes are presented.
It is worshipped by tribal people, including the Sholagar, the Kurumbar, and the Bedagampana Lingayat.
An anthropomorphic painting, four feet high, was seen.
It looks similar to the Mother Goddess megalithic structures – Two deer and a few animals can be seen beneath the leg of the painting, which depicts the deity blessing humans with resources for hunting.
The bottom layer of the painting depicts the racial conflict between people
Tech in Focus.
Recently A major U.S. cryptocurrency lending company Celsius Network froze withdrawals and transfers on Monday, citing “extreme” market conditions, sparking a sell-off across crypto markets.
What is Crypto lending?
Crypto lending is essentially banking for the crypto world.
Just as customers at traditional banks earn interest on their savings in dollars or pounds, crypto users that deposit their cryptocurrency (bitcoin or ether) at crypto lenders also earn money, usually in cryptocurrency.
A cryptocurrency-backed loan uses digital currency as collateral, similar to a securities-based loan.
The basic principle works like a mortgage loan or auto loan – you pledge your crypto assets to obtain the loan and pay it off over time.
Crypto lenders make money by lending digital tokens to investors or crypto companies, who might use the tokens for speculation, hedging, or as working capital.
Upside – Low-interest rates, the loan amount is based on asset value, choice of loan currency, no credit check, fast funding, ability to lend crypto
Downside – Unlike traditional regulated banks, crypto lenders aren’t overseen by financial regulators – so there are few rules on the capital they must hold or transparency over their reserves.
Why Crypto lending is on Boom?
It is basically because over the past two years, along with as decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.
DeFi and crypto lending both had a vision of financial services where lenders and borrowers bypass the traditional financial firms that act as gatekeepers for loans or other products.
West Seti power project.
India will be taking over an ambitious hydropower project in Nepal — West Seti — nearly four years after China withdrew from it, ending a six-year engagement between 2012 and 2018.
The West Seti Dam is a proposed 750-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric dam on the Seti River in the Far-Western Development Region of Nepal.
Particularly, it is a storage scheme designed to generate and export large quantities of electrical energy to India.
The project is Aimed to provide Nepal with 31.9% electricity-free.
The project was earlier accorded to a Chinese company.
The Government of Nepal has decided to hand over the agreement of the 750-megawatt (MW) West Seti Hydropower Project and 308 MW SR6 Storage Hydroelectric Project to India’s National Hydro Power Company Limited (NHPC).
India will be taking over an ambitious hydropower project in Nepal, West Seti, nearly four years after China withdrew from it.
Nepal is rich in power sources with around 6,000 rivers and estimated potential for 83,000 MW.
India’s presence is necessary in this region in order to balance China in Geopolitical Terms.
According to the recent reports, Warm subsurface waters in the Bay of Bengal likely helped fuel the 2020 Amphan super cyclone.
Amphan was the first super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal in the last 21 years. It was also the costliest tropical cyclone on record in the North Indian Ocean, with reported economic losses of approximately $14 billion in India, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
What are Cyclones:
In meteorology, a cyclone is a large air mass that rotates around a strong center of low atmospheric pressure, counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere as viewed from above.
Cyclones are characterized by inward-spiraling winds that rotate about a zone of low pressure
What are Marine heatwaves?
The term “marine heatwave” was initially used to describe an extreme surface warming event off the west coast of Australia during the 2010-11 summer.
These events cause marine habitat destruction due to coral bleaching, seagrass destruction, and loss of kelp forests, affecting the fisheries sector adversely.
Marine heatwaves are caused by a variety of factors, including shorter-term weather phenomena such as fronts, intraseasonal, annual, or decadal modes like El Niño events, and longer-term changes like climate change.
Impact on the Monsoon
The marine heatwaves in the western Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal are found to result in dry conditions over the central Indian subcontinent.
There is an increase in rainfall over south peninsular India in response to the heatwaves in the Bay.
Relation between Marine heatwave and Cyclone:
The heat content in the subsurface ranged between 135 and 150 kilojoules per square centimeter before the cyclone.
Warm subsurface waters could intensify cyclones by allowing heat to flow between the sea and atmosphere hence Warmer waters fuel cyclones.
This led to An increase in sea level which further led a circular movement of water.
Black Swan Event.
A recent study by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has findings regarding the possibility of capital outflows to the tune of $100 billion (around Rs 7,80,000 crore) from India in case of a major global risk scenario or a “black swan” event.
What is a ‘black swan event?
A black swan is a rare, unpredictable event that comes as a surprise and has a significant impact on society or the world.
They are extremely rare and outside the realm of regular expectations.
They have a severe impact after they hit.
Covid-19 pandemic was a black swan event because the outbreak of any pandemic is difficult to individually predict, the possibility of one occurring and having a major impact on systems around the world was known and documented.
History of Black Swan Event:
Europeans believed all swans to be white until 1697 when a Dutch explorer spotted the first black swan in Australia.
The metaphor ‘black swan event’ is derived from this unprecedented spotting from the 17th century, and how it upended the West’s understanding of swans.
China’s third aircraft carrier, the Fujian.
China recently launched its third aircraft carrier Fujian, Beijing sought to extend the range of its navy in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
What is the Fujian?
The Fujian is China’s first domestically designed and built catapult aircraft carrier.
Built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited, the Fujian has a displacement of more than 80,000 tonnes and is equipped with electromagnetic catapults and arresting devices.
Why is the name significant?
Fujian, in the southeast, is the closest province to Taiwan, a self-ruling province that China says must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.
What are Fujian’s features?
The Fujian, which is the “first fully domestically developed and constructed” aircraft carrier with an electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS), has a flat, straight flight deck and arresting device.
Experts on strategic significance for India
Experts say the fast-paced construction of aircraft carriers by China has strategic significance for India too.
The launch of Fujian could provide leeway for PLAN to step out of the region and head to India’s backyard, the Indian Ocean, where the Indian Navy has a sizable presence.
Advanced Light Helicopter Mk-III inducted into Coast Guard.
The Indian Coast Guard Region (East) inducted the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Mark-III, indigenously developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), in Chennai recently.
It will be the first aircraft of the newly created 840 Squadron which will be stationed in Chennai.
The aircraft helps the coast guard to achieve beyond visual range detection, using the state-of-the-art radar integrated with long-range imaging and identification.
The aircraft additionally is equipped for carrying out target neutralization by using its mounted heavy machine gun.
As part of the ‘840 squadron’, the state-of-the-art helicopter will address India’s multi-faceted marine interests within the Exclusive Economic Zone.
About ALH Mark-III:
The Advanced Light Helicopter is a twin-engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter, certified for military and civil operations. It is a twin-engine, multi-role, multi-mission new generation helicopter, certified for military and civil operations.
Recently the Government asked the Sellers of alcoholic beverages to provide clarity on ‘surrogate advertisements’, which have been banned under the new guidelines to tackle misleading advertisements.
What are the New advertising guidelines?
The Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022, have been released to “protect the consumers” and “to ensure that consumers are not being fooled with unsubstantiated claims, exaggerated promises, misinformation, and false claims”.
The guidelines were issued on June 10 by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), and include a Rs 10 lakh penalty for the first violation and a Rs 50 lakh penalty for subsequent violations.
What is surrogate advertising?
Surrogate advertising is the strategy of advertising a product that cannot be advertised openly. Advertisers instead create ads that help in building a brand and often involve popular celebrities – all without naming the actual product that is being indirectly advertised.
In India, tobacco products and alcohol cannot be advertised openly under laws like the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, which bans all kinds of direct and indirect advertisements of tobacco products.
To circumvent them, surrogate advertising is done.
Extended Fund Facility
The US has agreed to help cash-strapped Pakistan negotiate a deal with the IMF for the revival of the country’s economic bailout programme with the global lender.
What is EFF:
The Extended Fund Facility is a lending facility of the Fund of the IMF it was established in 1974 to help countries address medium- and longer-term balance of payments problems.
For what EFE is used?
The EFF is prescribed for a country that is suffering from a balance of payment problem caused by structural weaknesses and that need fundamental economic reforms.
The use of the facility has increased substantially in the recent crisis period.
Other lending Instruments of IMF:
Stand-By Arrangements (SBAs): Address short-term or potential BoP problems for the emerging and advanced market economies in crises.
Standby Credit Facility (SCF): Similar to SBAs. Address the BoP problems for low-income countries.
Extended Fund Facility (EFF): Medium-term support to countries facing protracted BOP problems.
Extended Credit Facility (ECF): Similar to EFF. Medium-term support to low-income countries facing protracted BOP problems.
Person in News
American-Canadian writer Ruth Ozeki won the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction.
LONDON: American-Canadian writer Ruth Ozeki won the prestigious Women’s Prize for Fiction
She won the prize for ‘The Book of Form and Emptiness’.
Ozeki was awarded the 30,000 pounds ($36,000) prize at a ceremony.
Ozeki’s previous works include the 2013 Booker Prize-nominated “A Tale for the Time Being, plus the novels My Year of Meats and All Over Creation.
About Women’s Prize for Fiction?
The Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary prizes.
It is awarded annually to a female author of any nationality for the best original full-length novel written in English and published in the United Kingdom in the preceding year.
Awarded for: The best full-length novel is written in English by a woman of any nationality
First awarded: 1996.
Previous winners include Zadie Smith, Tayari Jones and Maggie O’Farrell. Last year’s winner was Susanna Clarke for her literary fantasy “Piranesi.”
NIPUN Bharat project launched.
Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs recently launched an innovative project for skill training of construction workers called ‘NIPUN’ i.e. National Initiative for Promoting Upskilling of Nirman workers.
Aim of NIPUN Bharat project:
It aims to train over 1 lakh construction workers, through fresh skilling and upskilling programmes and provides them with work opportunities in foreign countries also.
The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) will be the Implementation Partner for the project NIPUN.
Deployment of the NIPUN Resources?
Under NIPUN, NSDC will provide trainees with ‘Kaushal Bima’, three-year accidental insurance with coverage of Rs 2 lakhs, digital skills such as cashless transactions and the BHIM app, etc.
The National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) and the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) have joined Project NIPUN as industry partners.
They will identify training job roles of aspirational value in the construction sector in collaboration with the SSC.
Sunil Chhetri becomes 5th highest goalscorer in international football history
Indian men’s football team captain Sunil Chhetri became the fifth highest goalscorer in international football history.
Chhetri achieved this feat during their AFC Asian Cup Qualifier clash against Hong Kong on Tuesday in VYBK Stadium in Kolkata, where he scored his 84th goal.
He has now equalled legendary Real Madrid and Hungarian player Ferenc Puskas goals scoring exploits on the international level.
Earlier in October 2021, Chhetri also surpassed legendary football player Pele’s record of 77 goals. He is now third on the list of active international goalscorers, just behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
About the AFC Asian Cup.
The AFC Asian Cup is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Asian Football Confederation, determining the continental champion of Asia.
It is the second oldest continental football championship in the world after Copa América.
Current champions: Qatar (1st title)
Number of teams: 24 (finals); 46 (eligible to enter qualification)
Next date: Fri, 16 Jun, 2023 – Sun, 16 Jul, 2023
Region: Asia (AFC)
Most successful team(s): Japan (4 titles)
Ruchira Kamboj was appointed as the next Permanent Representative of India to the UN.
Senior diplomat Ruchira Kamboj was on Tuesday appointed India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.
Kamboj, a 1987-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, is presently serving as India’s envoy to Bhutan. Ruchira Kamboj is the first female Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
About Ruchira Kamboj:
She was the All India women’s topper of the 1987 Civil Services batch and the topper of the 1987 Foreign Service batch.
She will succeed T S Tirumurti as the Indian ambassador to the UN.
Ruchira Kamboj was posted as Counsellor at India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York from 2002-2005, where she dealt with a wide range of political issues, including UN Peacekeeping, UN Security Council reform, the Middle East crisis, etc.
she was part of the G-4 team that worked on the reform and expansion of the United Nations Security Council, which is yet a work in progress.
Rare dragonfly spotted in Kerala.
Dragonfly enthusiasts have recorded the presence of a rare dragonfly that was hitherto unseen in Kerala.
The species that is known to be endemic to the Western Ghats was discovered in Maharashtra earlier this year.
The new species can be separated from its congeners by the markings on the lateral thorax and peculiar shape of anal appendages.
About dragonfly genus Burmagomphus.
Prior to their finding, the dragonfly genus Burmagomphus was represented by three species – B. cauvericus, B. pyramidalis and B. laidlawi.
While B. laidlawi is found throughout the Western Ghats, B. cauvericus is more restricted in its distribution. B. pyramidalis is found in the Western Ghats as well as in Peninsular India. All other species of the genus are found in the Western and Eastern Himalayas.
Environment and Ecology.
New thick-thumbed bat species discovered in bamboo forest in Meghalaya.
A team of scientists have discovered a new species of thick-thumbed bat from a bamboo forest in Meghalaya near the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.
The bat has typical fleshy pads on the thumb and soles of the feet which aid them to crawl over smooth surfaces of bamboo internodes.
With this new discovery, the total number of bat species known from India stands at 131 species with Meghalaya harboring the highest bat diversity with 67 species. 1q
China’s land-based missile interception system.
China has carried out a land-based missile interception test that “achieved its expected purpose”, the Defence Ministry said, describing it as defensive and not aimed at any country.
Possible reasons for this test:
China has been ramping up research into all sorts of missiles, from those that can destroy satellites in space to advanced nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, as part of an ambitious modernization scheme.
China, along with its ally Russia, has repeatedly expressed opposition to the U.S. deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.
China argued the equipment’s powerful radar could penetrate into its territory. China and Russia have also held simulated anti-missile drills.
China has given few details about its own missile programmes, aside from occasional brief statements by the Defence Ministry or in state media.
In 2016, the Defence Ministry confirmed it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures appeared on state television.
China says such technology is needed for national defence and security.
Panel on hybrid securities.
Sebi has set up an advisory committee on hybrid securities, which will make recommendations for giving a fillip to the growth of such instruments, including measures focusing on ease of issuance and attracting domestic and global capital.
The 20-member committee will be chaired by K V Kamath, Chairperson KVof the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development.
About Panel and Hybrid Securities:
It will offer recommendations on problems relating to the development and regulation of hybrid securities related to primary and secondary markets.
Hybrid securities are securities that have a combination of debt and equity characteristics. The original hybrid security was preferred stock, representing ownership in a company (like equity) but having fixed payments (like bonds). Since then, companies have structured securities in many different ways.
The goal is to increase the growth of hybrid securities, make them easier to issue, and attract local and international investors.
One Nation, One Ration Card scheme becomes operational in the entire country.
Assam has become the 36th State to implement One Nation One Ration Card scheme.
With this, One Nation One Ration Card scheme is successfully implemented in all the 36 states and Union Territories making food security portable throughout the country.
About the scheme:
This scheme is aimed at enabling migrant workers and their family members to seamlessly lift their entitled subsidized foodgrains from any Fair Price Shop of their choice anywhere in the country.
One Nation One Ration Card scheme has significantly contributed in ensuring subsidized foodgrains to beneficiaries especially migrant beneficiaries during the Covid pandemic.
MERA RATION mobile application.
To make this scheme more seamless and swift, MERA RATION mobile application was rolled out. This mobile app is providing a host of useful real-time information to the beneficiaries and is available in 13 languages.
Environment and ecology.
Mining Legalized in Chambal Sanctuary.
To free its forest department from devoting too much time, resources, and efforts in fighting illegal mining in the National Chambal Sanctuary, the Madhya Pradesh government has proposed to open 292 hectares for mining in five stretches on Chambal and its tributary Parvati rivers. Sand mining had been banned in the sanctuary since 2006.
These five stretches would minimize the conflict with illegal miners, gain local support, and fetch revenue from royalty, one-fourth of which could be used to strengthen protection measures.
National Chambal sanctuary
The National Chambal Sanctuary was set up in 1979 as a riverine sanctuary along an approximately 425 km length of the Chambal River and its ravines, stretching over 2-6 km along the river.
This Sanctuary lies in three states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The largest population of Gharials and Gangetic Dolphins in the wild is found here.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has upset the supply chain, pushing world inflation to uncomfortable levels And it is one of the reasons for soaring inflation is the steep rise in crude oil prices.
What is a windfall tax?
When a company benefits from something that they are not responsible for, the financial gain that ensues is called windfall profits. Take the example of three of Indian upstream oil companies — ONGC, Oil India and GAIL.
Energy companies are gaining profit not because of any improvement in their processes but because of the geopolitical situation, many governments are considering to impose such tax.
This will boost the government’s finances, and help fund efforts to protect vulnerable sections from rampant inflation.
Italy and the UK are two key economies that have levied windfall tax.
What is the case with India?
The budget expenditure on fuel, food and fertilizer subsidies are ballooning amid skyrocketing inflation.
Many companies like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) reported bumper profits in the March quarter and record earnings in 2021-22.
Cons of windfall tax?
The one-off taxes, which by definition are imposed retrospectively, may create Havoc in this businesses.
Windfall tax is usually branded as anti-investment and anti-business.
The effectiveness of antibiotics for typhoid fever is threatened by the emergence of resistant strains, according to a large genome sequencing study of the bacteria Salmonella Typhi published in The Lancet Microbe.
Typhoid fever causes 11 million infections and more than 100,000 deaths per year. South Asia accounts for 70% of the global disease burden.
About Typhoids and its Variants:
Typhoid is a bacterial disease caused by the Salmonella Typhi.
MDR Typhoid – Typhoid strains were classified as Multi-Drug-Resistant (MDR), when they are resistant to 3 first-line antibiotics used to treat typhoid – chloramphenicol, ampicillin, and cotrimoxazole.
XDR typhoid strains are resistant to five classes of antibiotics -chloramphenicol, ampicillin, cotrimoxazole, streptomycin, fluoroquinolones, and third-generation cephalosporins.
much of the drug-resistance in typhoid has evolved within India if this continues like this Intravenous antibiotics are required in advanced, severe cases.
Severity of this disease and measures taken by Government:
India’s Health Ministry is considering introducing new typhoid conjugate vaccines into the national immunization program. Two WHO-prequalified vaccines have been developed in India (by Bharat Biotech and Biological E).
According to other reports if transmission still prevails and resistance develops to commonly used antibiotics, then it is likely that there will be an upsurge in severe disease
US, Iran Standoff at Strait of Hormuz.
A US Navy warship fired a warning flare to wave off an Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboat coming straight at it during a tense encounter in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
This incident come in the lights of Iran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers and as Tehran enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels under decreasing international oversight.
About the Strait of Hormuz?
It is a narrow channel, approximately 30 miles wide at the narrowest point, between the Omani Musandam Peninsula and Iran most sensitive transportation choke point for global oil supplies.
It connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman.
The Strait is deep and relatively free of maritime hazards.
Its depth is greatest near the Musandam Peninsula.
Economic and Strategic Importance.
Oil tankers carrying crude from ports on the Persian Gulf must pass through the strait.
Around 21 million barrels of oil a day flowed through it in 2018, equivalent to roughly a third of global seaborne oil trade and about 21% of global petroleum liquids consumption.
World Olympics Day 2022
The World Olympics Day is observed all across the globe on June 23. It was started from 1947 which marks the foundation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
What is the Theme of World Olympics Day 2022?
This year, the World Olympics Day will be celebrated with the theme ‘Together, For a Peaceful World’.
What is the importance of World Olympics Day 2022?
The vision behind this day is to encourage people to participate in different Olympic Sports no matter the differences with regards to age, sex, race, gender, and so on. Different Olympic events, educational seminars, and symposiums are held on this day to generate awareness.
NIRYAT Portal launched.
PM Modi recently, launched the NIRYAT portal, which will dedicatedly deal with the import and export analysis of India.
About NIRYAT Portal:
NIRYAT: National Import-Export Record for Yearly Analysis of Trade, has been launched by the government to provide important real-time data to all stakeholders.
NIRYAT has been pegged as a one-stop platform for stakeholders for easy access to critical information related to India’s foreign trade by the Centre.
The NIRYAT portal is aimed to “facilitate the further strengthening of India’s financial sector in line with the 3Ts of Trade, Tourism, and Technology,” as per the government.
Constructed near India Gate, the Vanijya Bhawan is designed as a smart building that incorporates the principles of sustainable architecture with a special focus on energy saving.
It will serve as an integrated and modern office complex that will be used by the two Departments under the Ministry i.e. Department of Commerce and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
Udhampur gets earthquake observatory.
Union science and technology minister Jitendra Singh inaugurated a seismological observatory in Udhampur, Jammu, and Kashmir.
They aim to provide better scientific inputs required for improving disaster mitigation and preparedness measures.
The new seismological observatory will help further strengthen the region’s earthquake monitoring.
About Earthquake observatories:
Currently, India has only 115 earthquake observatories.
Earthquake Server is an automatic data management, real-time display, and earthquake notification system.
Forecasting a probable timing, location, magnitude, and other important features of a forthcoming seismic event are called earthquake prediction.
EarthQuake Zones in India:
India is divided into 4 zones: Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, and Zone 5.
While Zone 2 is the least dangerous, Zone 5 is the most dangerous.
14th BRICS Summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the two-day 14th BRICS Summit hosted by China.
The summit was held in virtual format under the “Theme of Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership”, Usher in a New Era for Global Development.
About the 14th BRICS Summit.
The 14th BRICS Summit is important as this is the first BRICS Summit amid geopolitical tectonic shifts taking place due to the Russia-Ukraine war and Russia – one of the BRICS members coming under severe economic sanctions by the US.
China and Russia have also expressed their willingness to discuss the expansion of the BRICS group which at present comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
BRICS New Development Bank has already expanded by including UAE, Bangladesh, Uruguay, and Egypt.
What is BRICS?
BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs. Since 2009, the governments of the BRICS states have met annually at formal summits.
Science and Technology
ISRO successfully launches GSAT-24.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched the communication satellite GSAT-24 from Kourou in French Guiana recently. GSAT-24, built by ISRO for NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), was launched by French company Arianespace.
GSAT-24 is a 24-Ku band communication satellite weighing 4180 kg with pan-India coverage for meeting DTH application needs.
It was the first demand-driven communication satellite mission undertaken by NSIL post-space sector reforms.
NSIL, a Government of India company under the Department of Space, has leased the entire satellite capacity to Tata Play.
Environment and Ecology.
Four new corals found in Indian waters.
Scientists have recorded four species of azooxanthellate corals for the first time from Indian waters. These new corals were found from the waters of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
What are azooxanthellate corals?
Azooxanthelate corals are a group of corals that do not contain zooxanthellae and derive nutrition not from the sun but by capturing various forms of plankton.
The four species found are:
Types of coral reefs in India
Fringing reefs: Fringing reefs evolve and develop near the continent and remain close to the coastline.
Barrier reefs: Barrier reefs are found offshore on the continental shelf.
Atolls: Atolls are formed on mid-oceanic ridges.
Odisha’s Mo Bus got the UN’s prestigious public service award.
Mo Bus, the bus service of Odisha Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) authority, has been recognized by the United Nations as one of 10 global recipients of its annual Public Service Awards for 2022.
What is Mo Bus service?
The Mo Bus service was launched in November 2018.
It aims to transform urban public transport by using smart technology and providing customer satisfaction.
Aim: to ensure “transformation of the urban public transport with smart technology, service benchmarking and customer satisfaction. They also have integrated smart technology such as free onboard Wi-Fi service, digital announcements, surveillance cameras, and electronic ticketing.
Fare: starts at Rs 5 and goes up to Rs 70; non-AC fares are from Rs 5 to Rs 55.
Reason for this recognition:
Gender-responsive public service.
Adoption of real-time technologies.
An e-rickshaw system called ‘Mo E-Ride’ has been introduced as a last-mile feeder service.
What is the UN’s prestigious public service award?
The first Awards ceremony was held in 2003.
The UN describes its Public Service Awards as the “most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service”.
It is intended to reward “the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration worldwide”.
Place in News.
Recently Lithuania began blocking goods banned under EU anti-Russia sanctions from being transported through its territory to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
What is Kaliningrad?
Kaliningrad is Russia’s westernmost region or oblast. It is an exclave, meaning it shares no borders with mainland Russia.
Kaliningrad has a strip of the Baltic Sea coast in its west while bordering Lithuania in the north and east and Poland in the south.
It spans an area of 15,000 square kilometers (5,830 square miles, about the size of East Timor) and has a population of roughly a million.
Its capital is the eponymous city of Kaliningrad, where about half of that population lives.
Why is Kaliningrad important to Russia?
Kaliningrad’s geographic location is strategically and militarily advantageous to Russia. Russia’s only port on the Baltic Sea is ice-free year-round, and the Russian Baltic Sea Fleet is based there.
Russia also holds nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad, placing them within close striking range of major European capitals. Neighbouring countries Lithuania and Poland are EU and NATO states.
Science & Technology
Iran solid-fueled rocket
Iran has sent its solid-fuel rocket “Zuljanah” into orbit. The satellite will support Iran’s space industry while collecting data in low-Earth orbit.
When was the rocket unveiled?
The Zuljanah rocket debuted on February 1, 2021. Before February 1, 2021, it was launched into sub-orbital flight for telemetry and testing purposes.
Dimensions and features
Zuljanah has a length of 25.5 metres. Fifty-two tonnes make up its weight. An identical 1.5m solid-fuel engine is used in the system’s first and second phases. Its thrust is 74 tonnes. The Safir type 1.25m diameter liquid-fuel engine is the third stage. After Safir and Simorgh, it is Iran’s third civilian satellite launch vehicle. Very minimal fueling time is required for this road vehicle. Transporter-Erector Launchers are capable of launching it (TELs).
United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2022
On December 12, 1997, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution designating June 26 as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
It urges people, governments, and civil society organisations to support those who have been tortured and those currently undergoing it.
What are the objectives?
The United Nations International Day in Care of Victims of Torture is significant in bringing attention to the issue of torture and assisting those who have been victims in getting the support they require. The Day’s objectives are to support victims, call for an end to torture, and advance human rights
History of the day
The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was established by a resolution voted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 12, 1997.
India’s Ronaldo Singh win silver in Asian Championship.
India’s Ronaldo Singh has brought glory to the country in Cycling. The Cycling Champion scripted history by winning Silver in the sprint event at the Asian Cycling Championships 2022.
Who is Ronaldo Singh?
Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam hails from Manipur.
Ronaldo is a professional cyclist. At the Asian Track Cycling Championships (ATCC), Ronaldo won a bronze in the team sprint event and a silver medal with a new national record in the men’s elite sprint race.
He had created a national record in the quarter-final with a 9.946s sprint (first Indian to breach 10 sec mark).
The bronze was India’s first-ever medal in the senior category at the Asian Championships.
Asian Track Cycling Championship
The Asian Track Cycling Championships (ATCC) is one part of the Asian Cycling Championship (Road & Track) exclusively for Asian cyclists selected by the national governing body and member nations of the Asian Cycling Confederation.
The 2020 Asian Track Cycling Championships took place at the Jincheon National Training Center Velodrome in Jincheon, South Korea.
It is a flagship event of the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and showcases high competition across Asia.
Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile successfully flight-tested.
Vertical Launch, Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM) was successfully flight-tested by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy from an Indian Naval Ship at Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.
The system’s launch was conducted against a high-speed aerial target mimicking aircraft, which successfully engaged.
What is a Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile?
The VL-SRSAM, a ship-borne weapon system, is meant for neutralizing various aerial threats at close ranges, including sea-skimming targets.
The missile uses a fibre-optic gyroscope-based inertial guidance mechanism, while the terminal phase uses active radar homing.
VL-SRSAM intended to replace older Barak 1 surface-to-air missile systems onboard Indian Navy warships. It will also be used as a short-range air defence system for Indian Air Force.
Iskander-M missile system.
Russia has promised its ally Belarus delivery of nuclear-capable Iskander-M tactical missile systems in the coming months.
This missile has the capability of using ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions.
What is the Iskander-M missile system?
Iskander-M is a term used by Russia to define both the transporter-erector launch system and the short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) it fires.
The system can also fire ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) – the SSC-7 and the SSC-8. The Iskander-M system has been exclusively used by the Russian military, whereas Iskander-E is the one meant for export.
Features of this system:
The Iskander-M missile has a range of 500 km.
It can carry a payload of up to 700 kg.
It is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads.
The conventional warheads can be equipped with include cluster bombs, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads, and bunker-buster munitions, according to the US-based Missile Defence Advocacy Alliance (MDAA).
Importance of this system to Belarus:
Russia made the announcement at the time when the G-7 meets in Germany. It is also one more time that Putin has raised nuclear weapons as a sort of warning to the West against climbing the escalation ladder in the Ukraine war.
Indian Oil unveils indoor solar cooking stove, Surya Nutan
India’s top oil firm Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on Wednesday unveiled a stationary, rechargeable, and indoor cooking stove that uses the sun’s energy to cook food while always being kept in the kitchen.
How does Surya Nutan work?
The stove works in a hybrid mode and is capable of running both on solar and an auxiliary energy source simultaneously. This makes it a reliable cooking solution for all weather conditions.
In solar mode, the stove collects energy from the sun, converts it into heat through a specially designed heating element, stores thermal energy in a scientifically proven thermal battery, and reconverts the energy for use in indoor cooking.
The energy captured not just covers the daytime cooking needs of a family of four but also the night meal.
The stove can help to cut down gas consumption and also helps ensure high utilization of energy from the sun.
The country’s first indigenous anti-tank missile ‘Asibal.
The country’s first indigenous anti-tank missile ‘Asibal’ was conceptualized, designed, and manufactured in the private sector VEM Technologies located in Telangana.
It is produced in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and public sector Munitions India Ltd, which supplies the warhead.
It is currently being tested in various locations.
They are about to produce 10.000 tactile missiles per year.
VEM Tech is a member of the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ scheme and is involved in “every vertical” such as electronics, sensors, servo systems, rocket systems, onboard computers, and three types of infrared, laser, and RF seekers, missile systems.
Science and Technology.
Largest bacterium ever found.
Recently Scientists have discovered the world’s largest bacterium in a Caribbean mangrove swamp.
By definition, microbes are supposed to be so small they can only be seen with a microscope, but this one is so big it can be seen with the naked eye.
Why is this so Important?
This could be a missing link in the evolution of complex cells.
The oversize bacterium is bigger than fruit flies and nematodes, common lab organisms that he and others sometimes infect with much smaller bacteria for their research.
Why is Thiomargarita Magnifica’s Growth huge?
Thiomargarita Magnifica’s genetic material, which is completely uncommon, could be the reason for its big size.
T.Magnifica’s big genome is not free-floating inside its cell-like those of other bacteria, thus it is blurring the differences between eukaryotes and prokaryotes.
Its genome is wrapped in a membrane.
The genome’s size surprised experts when they sequenced it with 11 million bases lined up to form 11,000 genes.
It also possesses a substantially larger membrane sac, which is filled with water and accounts for 73% of the microbe’s volume.
This external sac helps the creature to grow so huge while keeping its vital organelles packed into a small space that allows molecules diffusion.
Har Ghar Tiranga campaign.
The Centre is set to launch a large-scale campaign to encourage Indians to fly the national flag at their homes to mark the 75th Independence Day.
To promote this, the Government asked manufacturers and e-commerce sites to boost the availability of the Tricolour, according to officials aware of the programme.
The aim of the campaign was to inspire people, rather than carry out a distribution drive.
What Amendment is done to Flag Code to attain Har Ghar Tiranga campaign?
In order to facilitate the campaign, the Union Home Ministry had last year amended the Flag Code, which earlier only allowed hand-woven or hand-spun flags to be made.
It has now allowed flags to be polyester and machine-made.
What is the Flag Code of India?
The Flag Code of India is a set of laws, practices and conventions that apply to the display of the national flag of India.
The Code took effect on 26 January 2002 and superseded the “Flag Code-India” as it existed earlier.
It permits the unrestricted display of the tricolour, consistent with the honour and dignity of the flag.
Code is divided into three parts:-
1st Part: General Description of the National Flag.
2nd Part: Display of the National Flag by members of public, private Organisations & educational institutions etc.
3rd Part: Display of National Flag by Union or State Governments and their organisations and agencies.
Lookout, a cloud-based security company, has recently discovered a new spyware called “Hermit” that is capable of affecting both Android and iOS devices.
Hermit is a commercial spyware known to be used by governments with victims in Kazakhstan, Italy and northern Syria.
This Spyware is malicious software or malware installed on a computing device to steal sensitive information through covert data transmission.
How does this spyware work?
Targeted victims are sent a malicious link by text message and tricked into downloading and installing the malicious app, which masquerades as a legitimate branded telco or messaging app, from outside of the app store.
Hermit’ is likely developed by Italian spyware vendor RCS Lab and Tykelab Srl, a telecommunications solutions company.
Hermit tricks users by serving up the legitimate webpages of the brands it impersonates as it kickstarts malicious activities in the background.
7th Anniversary of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) organised a virtual event to celebrate 7 years of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U).
This scheme was launched by PM on 25th June 2015.
The seventh-anniversary celebrations highlighted the important initiatives implemented under the PMAY-U Mission, which is one of the largest urban housing programmes in the world.
It addresses urban housing shortage among the Economically Weaker Section (EWS)/Low Income Group (LIG) category including the slum dwellers by ensuring a pucca house to eligible urban households.
Environment and Ecology.
Rajasthan’s Menar Bird Village to Become Wetland.
Recognised as the “bird village” following community-driven conservation efforts, Menar in Udaipur district is set to be notified as Rajasthan’s new wetland.
This will pave the way for getting the Ramsar site status for this rural heartland of the Mewar region.
About Menar Wetland:
Combine two lakes in the Menar village – the Brahma and Dhandh play host to a large number of migratory birds every year.
The Forest Department has initiated the process for notification of Menar as a wetland. This process will recognise its role in the storage of sediment and nutrients and enable the local authorities to maintain the respective lakes.
Greater Flamingo, White-tailed Lapwing, Pelican, Marsh Harrier, Bar-headed Goose, Common Teal, Greenshank, Pintail, Wagtail, Green Sandpiper and Red-wattled Lapwing.
Ramsar sites in Rajasthan.
Keoladeo Ghana in Bharatpur district
Sambhar Salt Lake in Jaipur district.
Researchers have documented the presence of a new spider species in Rajasthan’s Thar Desert National Park Wildlife Sanctuary. It has been named Pseudomogrus sudhii, after an Indian arachnologist.
About Pseudomogrus sudhii:
Pseudomogrus sudhii is a new species of jumping spider of the salticidae family.
This species inhabits dry grass blades of the desert.
This species of jumping spider was found in the Desert National Park.
It is the first report of this genus from India. So far, 35 species of spiders of this genus have been discovered worldwide.
Desert National Park, its habitat has been destructed as villagers are cultivating the land.
presence of a Pseudomogrus species in the Thar Desert suggests a connection in the spider fauna of the region with others in the south Palaearctic.
Environment and Ecology.
A very rare carnivorous plant species called Utricularia Furcellata has been found in the western Himalayan region for the first time.
Detection of this rare species was made by a research team of the Uttarakhand Forest Department in the picturesque Mandal valley located in the Chamoli district.
About Utricularia Furcellata:
This plant was last seen in the country in Meghalaya state in 1986.
The plant belongs to a genus, commonly known as bladderworts.
These plants are mostly found in freshwater and wet soil.
Its food includes a vast range of protozoa to insects, mosquito larvae, and even young tadpoles.
Carnivorous plants which generally grow on poor nutrient soil have aroused new interest in the scientific community across the world because of their potential medicinal benefits
Planet in focus
UN Ocean Conference 2022.
The five-day UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal has drawn senior officials and scientists from more than 120 countries to draw international rules that might ensure ocean sustainability.
About UN Ocean Conference 2022 Aim:
UN Ocean Conference 2022 Aim: To propel much-needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.
UN Ocean Conference 2022 Theme: Scaling up Ocean Action Based on Science and Innovation for the Implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships, and solutions.
The Governments of Kenya and Portugal will co-host the Ocean Conference.
The oceans face a severe threat from global warming, pollution, acidification, and other problems, the U.N. says. Potentially harmful deep-sea mining also lacks rules.
Statistics Day, 2022
The Government of India has been celebrating Statistics Day on 29th June every year, since 2007, to mark the birth anniversary of the late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, in recognition of his valuable contribution in the field of Economic Planning and Statistics.
The major objective of celebrating Statistics Day is the creation of public awareness, especially among the younger generation, on the role and importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation for the development of the country.
This year’s theme: ‘Data for Sustainable Development
Every year, one particular theme of current national importance is chosen for focused discussions towards improvements in statistical systems of the area and filling the Data Gaps. The theme of Statistics Day, 2022 is “Data for Sustainable Development”.
Kerala’s red list of birds.
Kerala will soon have its own red list of birds. The Kerala Bird Monitoring Collective led by Kerala Agricultural University and the Bird Count India will conduct the regional red list assessment.
Kerala will be the first State to have a region-specific red list of birds.
IUCN List and Kerala:
There are limitations to the global assessment as it is a process prepared in a global context. A species seen common at the global level may be a threatened species at the regional level.
Kerala has 64 threatened species of birds. In that, the Red-headed vulture and White-rumped vulture are critically endangered. Steppe Eagle, Banasura Chilappan and Nilgiri Chilappan are endangered and 11 species are vulnerable.
How Red list is made?
Any Species has a small population size and declining.
Any Species has very small or restricted population.
Any Species has a probability of extinction in the wild
Population size reduction of any species measured over 10 years or three generations.
The geographic range of any species and its area occupancy.
International MSME Day
MSME or Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are crucial for the growth of a country as they form the backbone of the economy.
Recognizing the potential of the MSME and their role in strengthening economies, June 27 is Observed as the Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.
Objective of this day:
The day is aimed at raising public awareness of the contribution of MSMEs to global economic growth and sustainable development.
HISTORY of MSME Day:
The Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day was marked by the United Nations General Assembly in its 74th Plenary on April 6, 2017.
The 2022 theme for the Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day has not been announced by the United Nations yet. Last year, the theme was decided as ‘MSME 2021: key to an inclusive and sustainable recovery.’
Science and technology.
NASA CAPSTONE launch.
NASA, Rocket Lab, and Advanced Space are standing down from the launch of the CAPSTONE (Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) mission.
About CAPSTONE :
It is a microwave oven-sized CubeSat weighing just 25 kg and will serve as the first spacecraft to test a unique, elliptical lunar orbit as part of the CAPSTONE.
CAPSTONE will help reduce the risk for future spacecraft by validating innovative navigation technologies and verifying the dynamics of this halo-shaped orbit.
CAPSTONE will orbit this area around the Moon for at least six months to understand the characteristics of the orbit.
CAPSTONE will carry a dedicated payload flight computer and radio that will perform calculations to determine where the CubeSat is in its orbital path.
NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), which has been circling the moon since 2009, will serve as CAPSTONE’s reference point.
Changes it can make:
If this capability becomes viable, future space missions could potentially perform without support from the ground, allowing Earth-based antennae to prioritize valuable science data over routine operational tracking.
CAPSTONE will launch aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand when it is ready.
First report on Performance Grading Index-District.
Recently Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSE&L), Ministry of Education released the Performance Grading Index for Districts for the reference years 2018-19 and 2019-20.
According to this report top performing districts are Jaipur, Sikar & Jhunjhunu. All 3 have scored more than 80% overall under various parameters.
About this Index report:
Based on the success of State PGI, 83-indicator-based PGI for District (PGI-D) has been designed to grade the performance of all districts in school education.
The PGI-D structure comprises of total weightage of 600 points across 83 indicators.
This is divided into 6 categories:
Effective Classroom Transaction.
School Safety & Child Protection.
Digital Learning and Governance Process.
PGI-D grades the districts into ten grades:
The highest achievable Grade is Daksh.
The lowest grade in PGI-D is called Akanshi-3
Partners in the Blue Pacific initiative.
Amid China’s aggressive push to increase its Pacific sphere of influence, the US and its allies Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United Kingdom have launched a new initiative called ‘Partners in the Blue Pacific’ for “effective and efficient cooperation” with the region’s small island nations.
What is the Blue Pacific (PBP) initiative?
The PBP is a five-nation “informal mechanism” to support Pacific islands and to boost diplomatic, and economic ties in the region.
Announced on June 24, it speaks of enhancing “prosperity, resilience, and security” in the Pacific through closer cooperation.
It simply means that through the PBP, these counties — together and individually — will direct more resources here to counter China’s aggressive outreach.
How is China trying to transform its ties in the Pacific?
As China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands in April, the deal flagged serious concerns about the Chinese military getting a base in the southern Pacific, close to the US island territory of Guam, and right next to Australia and New Zealand.
What is being done by the US and its allies to counter China?
Before launching the PBP this month, the US and its partners started the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), a trade-boosting play in the region with 13 nations — Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Fiji, and Vietnam as partners.
Why is the Pacific region strategically important?
In its 2019 strategy report, the US Department of Defence called the Indo-Pacific the “single most consequential region for America’s future”.
Art and Culture.
Recently the Union Minister of Culture has inaugurated the Jyotirgamaya-festival on the occasion of World Music Day, which showcases the talent of unsung performers.
This is organized in New Delhi.
What is the Jyotirgamaya Festival?
This Festival is organized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
It is a unique festival organized to showcase the talent of rare musical instruments from across the country, including street performers, train entertainers, performers attached to temples, etc.
The objective of this festival:
To spread awareness about the need to protect the craft of making and the skill of playing rare musical instruments, and to provide a platform to ‘unheard’ artists.
Oceans Great Dying 2.0
scientists from Stanford University had simulated during 2016-2018 how Earth’s climate changed some 250 million years ago to know what triggered the Permian extinction.
Why are scientists warning of Oceans Great Dying 2.0?
Scientists warn of an imminent mass annihilation called Great Dying 2.0 of marine species similar to one 250 million years ago Permian era that wiped out most lives in oceans
If emissions continue to climb and temperatures reach around 4.9 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, close to about 40% of marine genera could perish by 2300 and 8% by 2100.
What is the Permian era?
The Permian era, a period spanning 298.9 million-252.2 million years ago, was a time before the dinosaurs ruled the planet. Global ocean temperatures were 10 degrees higher than today. Oxygen levels were 80 percent lower.
How did Mass Extinction occur in the Permian era?
During this period, land masses collided to form the supercontinent Pangaea. The supercontinent was arid; only a few parts received rainfall round the year.
But towards the end of the era, a series of volcanic eruptions occurred in central Siberia, injecting massive amounts of greenhouse gases(GHG) into the atmosphere.
Towards the end of the era, a series of volcanic eruptions occurred in central Siberia, injecting massive amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. Then, as now, the uncontrolled GHG emissions triggered climatic changes.
This led to low oxygen and warm conditions drove the extinction of marine organisms 250 million years ago.
NATO to raise its Rapid Reaction Force to 3 Lakh
NATO will increase the strength of its rapid reaction force nearly eightfold to 300,000 troops as part of its response to an era of strategic competition it currently numbers around 40,000 soldiers.
This is the first time the security challenges posed by China.
Reasons for this Exercise.
Deliver further military support to Ukraine and other countries with a strengthened comprehensive assistance package.
Address for the first time the security challenges posed by China.
Methods to respond to the growing influence of Russia and China in their southern neighbor.
NATO summit also concludes with the possibility for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.
FMCG companies in India have lately adopted the tactic of cutting pack sizes, instead of direct price hikes, to tackle rising inflationary pressures
What is Shrinkflation?
This is a form of inflation that isn’t easily visible to you, the consumer. Yet it has been creeping into your consumption basket lately, one small cut at a time.
To tackle high raw material costs, several fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in India are downsizing product packets, while keeping the price unchanged.
Dubbed ‘shrinkflation’, this effectively means consumers are paying the same for less of the product.
Shrinkflation in the Indian market
Several major FMCG companies have opted for shrinkflation. Firms such as Hindustan Unilever, Nestle, Dabur, P&G, Coca-Cola, and Pepsico have adopted this method.
Inflation across the globe is mostly because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war that caused supply disruption and rising costs in the energy basket.
India’s inflation for April zoomed to 7.8 percent, an eight-year high, thus breaking the upper limit of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) threshold of 6 percent.
Impact on the global market
Shrinkflation is not an Indian phenomenon alone. Restaurants and food joints in the US have implemented similar measures to save costs.
The US is battling higher inflation, which is at a 40-year high. Many manufacturers either have hiked the prices of their products or adopted shrinkflation to tackle the rising input costs.
NASA’s Psyche mission.
NASA has announced the Psyche mission, the space agency’s first mission designed to study a metal-rich asteroid.
NASA’s billion-dollar Psyche asteroid mission will not launch this year, officials confirmed recently, after delays in completing software verification testing for the spacecraft’s guidance, navigation, and control system.
Mission officials said the next opportunity to launch the mission is in July 2023.
What is Psyche?
Psyche is an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter. What makes it unique is that it appears to be the exposed nickel-iron core of an early planet, one of the building blocks of our solar system.
This will also help in the study of what actually happened, in the beginning, formation in the early solar system more than 4 billion years ago.
About this mission:
The Psyche mission is estimated to cost $985 million, including expenses for the launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket and operating costs for the cruise to Psyche.
If Psyche was able to launch this year, the mission would have reached its asteroid destination in early 2026, with the help of a gravity assist maneuver at Mars to slingshot the spacecraft into the asteroid belt.
Living Lands Charter
All 54 Commonwealth members have agreed to voluntarily dedicate a ‘living land’ in their respective countries to future generations, in line with the strategy set for the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
The document came after nearly two years of intense consultation, engagement and negotiation with member countries, UN Rio Convention and other relevant stakeholders was announced June 25, 2022 at the conclusion of the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali.
What is the Living Lands Charter?
It mandates that member countries will safeguard global land resources and arrest land degradation while acting against climate change, biodiversity loss and towards sustainable management.
The document came after nearly two years of intense consultation, engagement and negotiation with member countries.
It helps to encapsulate the combined effort to hold the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
It aims to support member countries to deliver their commitments under the three Rio conventions:
Commonwealth Nations UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
UN Convention to Combat Desertification.
High-grade lithium found in Nigeria.
Recently High-grade lithium has been discovered in Nigeria.
What is lithium and why is it important?
High grade lithium has about 1-13 per cent oxide content. Normally exploration begins at levels as low as 0.4 percent.
Grade (in per cent) is a measure of concentration of the lithium in the minerals and or rocks that contains it. Therefore, the higher the grade the more the economic viability. Higher grades are very rare for metals like lithium.
Greenbushes mine in Western Australia is the largest hard-rock Lithium mine in the world.
The largest importers of lithium are South Korea, China, Japan, US and Belgium.
Lithium Triangle is an intersection of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, known for high quality salt flats.
In India Lithium is found in Southern Karnataka’s Mandya district.
Lithium is used in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles.
Growing interest in clean energy, the demand for lithium has skyrocketed recently.
Art and Culture.
Prime Minister Modi has gifted a variety of products for the heads of governments at the G7 Summit. These gifts showcase India’s rich cultural and artistic traditions, including GI tagged things.
Gifted art form and its origin:
Gulabi Meenakari gifted to US President: GI-tagged art form of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
Black pottery gifted to Japan PM: Found in Nizamabad in Uttar Pradesh.
Dhokra art with Ramayana theme gifted to South Africa’s President.
Lacquerware ‘Ram Durbar’ gifted to Indonesia’s President: The GI-tagged lacquerware art form has its roots in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Metal Marodi carving matka gifted to German Chancellor: This nickel-coated, hand-engraved brass vessel is a masterpiece from Moradabad, also known as the Peetal Nagari or “brass city” of Uttar Pradesh.
Marble Inlay Table Top gifted to Italy PM.
Gulabi Minakari: is one of the rarest crafts in India that is practiced in the bylanes of Varanasi, near Gai Ghat. Minakari is an art form from Persia and involves colouring the surface of metals by fusing different colours.
The black clay pottery of Nizamabad in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, India is unique type of clay pottery known for its dark shiny body with engraved silver patterns. the pottery is baked in the oven at very high heat without the availability of oxygen.
Dhokra art: it is non–ferrous metal casting using the lost-wax casting technique. This sort of metal casting has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used. One of the earliest known lost wax artefacts is the dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro.
Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has approved the Draft GSR Notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), wherein automobiles in India shall be accorded Star Ratings based upon their performance in Crash Tests.
What is Bharat NACP?
The new car safety assessment programme, Bharat NCAP, which proposes a mechanism of awarding ‘Star Ratings’ to automobiles based upon their performance in crash tests, will be rolled out from April 1, 2023.
Features of Bharat NCAP
Bharat NCAP will prove to be a critical instrument in making our automobile industry Aatmanirbhar with the mission of making India the Number one automobile hub in the world.
Stating that the Bharat NCAP will provide the customers a comparison between vehicle models and help them to make a decision considering the crash safety
The testing protocol of Bharat NCAP shall be aligned with Global Crash Test Protocols factoring in the existing Indian regulations, allowing OEMs(original equipment manufacturer) to get their vehicles tested at India’s own in-house testing facilities.
MoD approves ‘BRO cafes’ in border areas.
Ministry of Defence approved the setting up of wayside amenities with Border Roads Organisation (BRO), to be branded as ‘BRO Cafes’, at 75 locations in 12 States and Union Territories on different sections of roads.
Amenities proposed :
These are intended to provide basic amenities and comfort to the tourists and lead to boosting of economic activities in border areas, besides generating employment for the local people.
The terms of the agreement will be for 15 years.
The scheme provides for wayside amenities in public-private partnership mode with agencies, on license basis, which will design, build and operate the facility as per guidelines of BRO.
BRO has its reach in the remotest border areas and besides addressing strategic needs, it has been instrumental in socio-economic upliftment of the Border including Northern and Eastern borders.
Day in Focus.
International Asteroid Day 2022.
Asteroids are the celestial rocks that are smaller than a planet but revolve around the sun like them. They are leftovers from the formation of our solar system and can be as small as 10 meters across or as huge as 530 km in diameter.
The theme of Asteroid Day 2022 is “small is beautiful”.
International asteroid day Significance:
The International Asteroid Day is aimed at creating awareness of the destruction that can be caused in the event of an asteroid impact.
As many remain oblivious about asteroids and the risks they pose to the planet, it becomes crucial to familiarise them with the threats through events, campaigns, and more.
Several organizations are working to spread awareness of the risks posed by asteroids with B612 being one of them.
The day is celebrated by organising events, distributing educational material, and running online campaigns among others.
In December 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in order to “observe each year at the international level the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908.
Huge reserves of uranium are found in Rajasthan.
Rajasthan has come on the world map with huge reserves of uranium, found at Rohil (Khandela Tehsil) in Sikar district, which is over 120 km from state capital Jaipur.
After Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan is the third state where uranium has been found.
The Rajasthan government has forayed into the field of uranium mining by issuing a letter of intent (LoI) to the Uranium Corporation of India.
According to estimates, there may be around 12 million tonnes of uranium deposits.
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element. Uranium-235 (its isotope) is the only naturally occurring isotope, capable of sustaining nuclear fission.
The largest producers of uranium in the world are Kazakhstan, Canada, and Australia, while this mineral has also been found in Niger, Russia, Namibia, Uzbekistan, the US, and Ukraine.
Uranium is mainly used for generating electricity and also for nuclear energy, medicines, defense equipment, and photography, among others.
Bacterial cement mortar brick.
A faculty member at the National Institute of Technology – Karnataka (NIT-K), Surathkal, has received an Indian patent for producing cement mortar brick with the inclusion of bacteria in combination.
About Bacterial Brick and Mortar:
The brick claims to be superior to the conventional ones in terms of strength and life of the structure and possesses a self-healing property.
Microbial composite is a new-age material with the property of self-healing upon cracking.
This action is caused by the precipitation of lime (calcium carbonate) by the non-pathogenic bacteria used in the composite, upon coming into contact with air and water through the crack.
The precipitated lime will cover the crack, thereby improving the stability of the surface.
This invention is not limited to this specific system but using the same technique, the development of bio cement and bio concrete are feasible.
Digitization of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) recently approved a proposal to digitize around 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).
What are Primary Agricultural Credit Societies?
The first Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) was established In 1904 these are the smallest cooperative credit institution in India that works on the grassroots level (gram panchayat and village level.
PACS are registered under the Co-operative Societies Act and also regulated by the RBI.
How do PACs work?
It raises capital for the purpose of making loans and supporting members’ essential activities.
Borrowings are primarily made from central cooperative banks.
PACS account for 41 % of farmers.
95 % of these KCC loans are given through PACS.
The majority of PACS have so far been not computerized and still functioning manually resulting in inefficiency and trust deficit.
Digitization of PACs will increase the transparency, reliability, and efficiency of PACS.
India Forum for Nature-Based Solutions.
The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), Climate Centre for Cities (NIUA C-Cube), World Resources Institute India (WRI India), and their partners recently launched India’s first national coalition platform for urban nature-based solutions (NbS) at the 11th World Urban Forum in Poland.
What is the India Forum for Nature-based Solutions?
It is led by the National Institute of Urban Affairs’ Climate Centre for Cities (NIUA C-Cube) and anchored by World Resources Institute India (WRI Indija) under the Cities4Forests initiative.
It is supported by Caterpillar Foundation, the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Govt. of the United Kingdom, and Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).
Aim of India Forum for Nature-based Solutions:
Defining a shared language and communicating benefits that inform actions at the local level including scaling up of existing NbS interventions.
Driving investment and strengthening delivery mechanisms through multi-stakeholder coordination.
Mainstreaming urban ecosystem-based services and nature-based solutions in India through informing policy, plans, and project interventions
Salmonella Found In World’s Biggest Chocolate Plant
Salmonella micro organism have been found on this planet’s largest chocolate plant, run by Swiss big Barry Callebaut within the Belgian city of Wieze.
All products manufactured since the test have been blocked
Swiss group Barry Callebaut supplies cocoa and chocolate products to many companies in the food industry, including industry giants such as Hershey, Mondelez, Nestle or Unilever.
Over the past financial year, the group, whose head office is in Zurich, generated a net profit of 384.5 million Swiss francs ($402 million).
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella are bacteria that make people sick. They were first discovered by an American scientist named Dr. Daniel E. Salmon in 1885.
Symptoms of infection?
Most people with Salmonella infection have diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
Salmonella strains sometimes cause infection in urine, blood, bones, joints, or the nervous system (spinal fluid and brain), and can cause severe disease.
How do people get infected?
Salmonella lives in the intestines of people and animals. People can get Salmonella infection from a variety of sources, including
Eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water
Touching infected animals, their feces, or their environment
How is infection treated?
Most people recover from Salmonella infection within four to seven days without antibiotics. People who are sick with a Salmonella infection should drink extra fluids as long as diarrhea lasts.