Current Affairs Weekly (12-18 April 2021)

National

National Climate Vulnerability Report Released

  • The National climate vulnerability assessment report released recently has identified Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal as states highly vulnerable to climate change.
  • The Department of Science and Technology has released this report titled ‘The Report Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework’.

Most vulnerable states ranking

1: Jharkhand

2: Mizoram

3: Odisha

Least vulnerable states ranking

25: Tamil Nadu

26: Kerala

27: Nagaland

It identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India with respect to current climate risk and key drivers of vulnerability.

  • Highly Vulnerable States: It identified Jharkhand, Mizoram, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal as states highly vulnerable to climate change.
  • Lower-middle Vulnerable States: Himachal Pradesh, Telangana, Sikkim and Punjab.
  • Low Vulnerable States: Uttarakhand, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Nagaland, Goa and Maharashtra.
  • Highly Vulnerable Districts: Among all states, Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand have over 60% districts in the category of highly vulnerable districts.

Double Mutant Corona Virus Variant detected in India

  • A new “double mutant” variant of the coronavirus has been detected from samples collected in India.
  • It is a variant of Corona Virus that carries two mutations namely E484Q and L452R.
  • They have been reported together for the first time in India.
  • The E484K mutation was found in UK and South Africa.
  • The transmission of the mutant is 20% greater than the other mutant varieties of COVID-19.
  • It reduces the antibody efficacy by more than 50%.
  • The B.1.617, that is, the double mutant corona virus variant was first reported in Maharashtra.
  • In February 2021, around eighteen districts of Maharashtra reported about the variant.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launches EatSmart Cities Challenge

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs recently launched the EatSmart Cities Challenge and Transport 4 All Challenge.
  • The main objective of the EatSmart Cities Challenge is to create an environment of right food practices and habits.
  • The Transport 4 all challenge aims to make public transport safe, comfortable, affordable and reliable.

MANAS App

  • The Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India has launched a mobile application to promote the mental wellbeing of the people of India.
  • MANAS App stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System.
  • It is a comprehensive and national digital wellbeing platform.

COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V gets approval in India

  • An Expert panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) recently approved the Emergency Use of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik-V.
  • When approved, Sputnik will be the third COVID-19 vaccine to be available in India.
  • The Sputnik V is a Russian vaccine.
  • The vaccine has proved 91.6% of efficacy during its phase 3 trials.

 Government constitutes National Startup Advisory Council

  • National Start up Advisory Council has been constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
  • The main objective of the council is to advise the Government of India on measures needed to build strong ecosystem to nurture innovation and start-ups in the country.
  • The National Startup Advisory Council will be chaired by the Minster for Commerce & Industry. The Council will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by the Central Government.
  • Trade minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday chaired the first meeting of National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC)

High Court Madras judgement on Right to Privacy and Reputation after death

  • Deepa, niece of former Chief Minister J Jayalalitha filed a plea in the High Court to stop the release of a biopic “Thalaivi”based on the life of the former CM.
  • The petitioner alleges that the movie is defaming her reputation.
  • But the Madras High court pronounced that the Right to Privacy of a deceased person cannot be inherited and that the movie is subjected to the certifications given by CBFC.
  • Moreover, personality, privacy and reputation enjoyed by a person during his or her life time ends with his or her death.

ISRO signs agreement with CNES (France)

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation recently signed an agreement with the French Space Agency National Centre for Space Studies (CNES).
  • According to the agreement, CNES is to help India in its first Human Space Mission called the Gaganyaan.
  • The French Space Agency is to supply with space equipment to the Indian crew.
  • According to France, these equipment were tested and are still operating in the International Space Station.

Online Grievance Management Portal of National Commission of Scheduled Castes

  • The Union Minister for Communication and IT and Law and Justice recently launched the “Online Grievance Management portal of NCSC”.
  • The Scheduled Caste community in the country can register their complaints in the portal from any part of the country.

Nambi Narayanan and ISRO Espionage Case

  • On April 15, 2021, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe into the role of Kerala Police officers in framing Nambi Narayanan in the 1994 Espionage Case.
  • Nambi Narayanan was the director of the cryogenic project lab of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The case began with the arrest of Maldivian woman Mariam Rashida in 1994.

The Raisina Dialogue: Annual Geo-political event

  • The Raisina Dialogue was recently organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and Observer Research Foundation.
  • The dialogue was held under the theme: viral World: Outbreaks, Outliers and Out of Control
  • It is an annual Geo-political event named after Raisina Hill where the seat of Government of India is located.

Russian Government to deliver S-400 Triumf SA-21 to India

  • The Russian Government has agreed to deliver the first regimental set of S-400 Triumf SA-21 Growler Air Defence System to India.
  • S-400 Triumf SA-21 is a long-range surface-to-air missile system.
  • The NATO reporting name of the defence system is SA-21 Growler.
  • The system has the capability to form an impenetrable grid of missiles.
  • It has four different types of missiles with ranges between 40 km, 100 km, 200 km and 400 km.

Poshan Gyan by NITI Aayog 

  • Poshan Gyan is a National Digital Repository on health and nutrition.
  • NITI Aayog recently launched Poshan Gyan along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University.
  • Poshan Gyan is basically an online resource for any person working in nutrition sector.
  • It is also accessible for any person seeking information to improve nutritional outcomes.

Renewable energy project of Facebook in India

  • The Facebook has signed a deal to buy renewable energy in India from a local firm called CleanMax.
  • This is the first renewable project of Facebook in India.
  • The project is located in Karnataka.
  • Under the project Facebook and CleanMax will work together to provide renewable energy into the electrical grid of India.

Mission Aahaar Kranti

  • The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan recently launched “Mission Aahaar Kranti”.
  • The mission aims to spread the message of the importance of nutritionally balanced diet.
  • It will also promote the importance of accessibility to local fruits and vegetables.
  • The Mission is designed to address the major problem faced by India and the world, which is, “Hunger and Diseases in Abundance”.

Mandatory hallmarking of gold artefacts and jewellery

  • The Government of India recently announced to implement mandatory hallmarking of gold artefacts and jewellery from June 1, 2021. Currently, Gold Hallmarking is voluntary in the country.
  • Gold Hallmarking is providing purity certification to the gold jewellery and artefacts.
  • Only three grades of jewelleries will now be hall marked under the new regulations.
  • They are 14-carat, 18-carat and 22-carat. Earlier, ten grades of gold jewelleries were hall marked.
  • The new Gold Hallmark will contain four marks.
  • They are purity in carat, BIS mark, assay centre’s name and the identification mark of the jeweller.

The Ministry of Rural Development launched the Gender Samvaad Event

  • The Ministry of Rural Development recently launched the Gender Samvaad Event.
  • It is a joint initiative between DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE.
  • The main objective of Gender Samvaad event was to create awareness on gender related interventions under the DAY-NRLM.
  • DAY-NRLM is Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission.
  • IWWAGE is Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy.

eSanta

  • The Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal recently launched a platform called “eSanta” for marine products.
  • The main aim of the platform is to empower aqua farmers.
  • The main aim of the platform is to empower aqua farmers.

Drugs and Cosmetics Act 2017

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has notified eight items to be regulated under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
  • This had come into effect on April 1, 2021 under the Medical Devices Rules, 2017 that was enacted in 2017.
  • The new eight medical items that has come under the regulation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act are as follows: Bone Marrow Cell Separator, X-Ray machine, Dialysis machine, PET Equipment, Defibrillators, MRI Equipment, CT Scan Equipment and all Implantable Medical Devices

International

 Israel and Greece sign defence deal

  • Greece and Israel have signed the biggest ever defence deal.
  • Under the agreement, a training centre for the operation of Hellenic Air Force (the Air Force of Greece) is to be established by the Israeli Defence Contractor Elbit Systems for a period of twenty-two years.

France introduces Ecocide bill

  • The French National Assembly recently approved the bill that makes “Ecocide” an offence.
  • Under the law, the transgressors are liable up to ten years in prison and a fine of 4.5 million Euros (that is 5.4 million USD).
  • Transgressor is person who violates a rule or law or has done something unacceptable.
  • The law mainly punishes those who endanger the environment or commit a general crime of pollution.
  • Such persons will be punished with three years in prison and a fine of 300,000 Euros.

Russian Moon mission: Luna 25

  • Russian Space Agency ‘Roscosmos’ is going to launch its spacecraft ‘Luna 25’on October 1, 2021.
  • Luna 25 is one of the five Lunar missions planned by Russia.
  • The country will launch Luna 26 in 2023 or 2024. Luna 27 is expected to be launched in 2027.

NLS1: New Galaxy

  • The scientists from Aryabhatta Research Institute have discovered a new galaxy that emits gamma rays.
  • The galaxy has been categorised as Narrow Line Seyfert 1 (NLS1).

Turkey bans Bitcoin and other crypto coins for payments

  • The Turkish central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment from April 30, saying the level of anonymity behind the digital tokens brings the risk of “non-recoverable” losses.
  • Payment service providers will not be able to develop business models in a way that crypto assets are used directly or indirectly in the provision of payment services and electronic money issuance

Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

  • President Biden will withdraw American combat troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, declaring an end to the nation’s longest war in Afghanistan
  • Biden’s decision would pull all American troops out of Afghanistan 20 years after President George W. Bush ordered an invasion after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon
  • Its goal was to punish Osama bin Laden and his Qaeda followers who were sheltered in Afghanistan by their Taliban hosts.
  • On September 11, 2001, the terrorists of Al-Qaeda conducted a series of four attacks against the United States.

The United Nations Population Fund Report

  • The United Nations Population Fund has released a report named “My Body is My Own”.
  • The report is about women’s power to make decisions on their bodies.
  • It also reports about the laws in different countries that support women rights in this matter.
  • According to the report nearly half of the women in the world cannot make their own decisions on controlling their body.

First “Mega Food Park in India” by Italy

  • Recently, Italy launched a “Mega Food Park” in India involving food processing facilities.
  • It is the first Italian-Indian Food Park project launched in the country.
  • “Mega Food Park” is the name of this project.
  • The objective of the project is to develop an interaction between agriculture and industry.

India ranks at 52nd in Inclusive Internet Index

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit along with Facebook recently released the Inclusive Internet Index.
  • India was ranked at 52nd on Inclusive Internet Index, 2020.
  • According to the index, India is at the 49th spot when it comes to internet inclusion and gender equality in accessing the internet.
  • The Facebook Inclusive Internet Index looked at 120 countries.
  • The rankings were done based on availability, affordability, relevance and readiness of internet.
  • Based on availability of internet India was ranked 77th.
  • Based on affordability of internet, India was ranked 20th.
  • Based on relevance, India was ranked 49th.
  • Based on readiness to access the internet, India was ranked 29th.

SpaceX Crew 2

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on World Earth Day (April 22).
  • NASA is to launch the mission along with SpaceX.
  • It is the second crewed operational flight of Crew Dragon Spacecraft.
  • The mission will transport four scientists to the International Space Station.
  • The astronauts to travel to the International Space Station are from NASA, JAXA and ESA.
  • JAXA is Japanese Space Agency and ESA is European Space Agency.

New Zealand Makes World’s 1st Climate Change Law For Financial Firms

  • New Zealand Makes World’s 1st Climate Change Law for Financial Firms.
  • It is about to become the world’s first country to bring a law into force that demands environmental accountability from financial firms by asking them to report on how theirbusinesses affect climate change.

Blue Dunes on the Red Planet

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US recently released the image of Mars to mark the 20th anniversary of Odyssey.
  • The image depicted Dunes in Mars.
  • The title of the image was “Blue Dunes on the Red Planet”.

States

ROPAX Jetty Project, Odisha

  • Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) has accorded administrative approval for developing all-weather ROPAX (Roll-on/Roll-off Passenger) Jetty and allied Infrastructure.
  • It shall connect Kaninali in Bhadrak district &Talachua in Kendrapara district, Odisha under the Sagarmala initiative.
  • This project will reduce travel time for passengers from 6 hours by road to 1 hour by waterway.
  • Kaninali in Bhadrak district and Talachua in Kendrapada district, are located on the northern and southern banks of River Dhamra respectively.

Bohag Bihu Bird Count 2021 begins in Assam

  • On April 14, 2021, the Bohag Bihu Bird count began in Assam.
  • The Bohag Bihu Bird count was launched by Bird Count of India (BCI) which is a Non-Governmental Organisation.
  • Bohag Bihu is also called Xaat Bihu.
  • It is the traditional ethnic festival celebrated in Assam.
  • It marks the beginning of Assamese new year. Bohag is Assamese calendar.
  • The onset of Bohag marks the starting of Rongali Bihu.

Farmers in Punjab, Haryana receive MSP directly in their bank

  • The Punjab government has told the central government that it will pay the Minimum Support Price (MSP) directly into the accounts of farmers from this procurement season.
  • owever, the Arhtiyas in the state have been opposing to the direct payment.
  • Arhtiyas are Commission Agents in the state.
  • They used to pay the farmers earlier in Punjab.
  • To solve the issue, Punjab has now amended the procurement software to include Arhtiyas in the direct payment process as well.

Economy

The Global Food Policy Report

  • The Global Food Policy Report is published by the International Food Policy Research Institute.
  • This year the institute has released the report based on the theme “Transforming Food Systems After COVID-19”.
  • As per the report the midday meal programme of India that covers 80% of primary school age children in the country was affected due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • The school closures are likely to exacerbate nutrition and food insecurity in the country especially in girls and disadvantaged population.

Persons/places

  1. Nambi Narayanan:The Supreme Court recently ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the conspiracy behind the alleged framing of former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist Nambi Narayanan in a 1994 espionage case.

While working at ISRO, Narayanan was accused of selling vital secrets associated with Indian space technology to Pakistan.

Though he was later acquitted by a CBI court and the Supreme Court in 1998, he spent a total of 50 days in jail along with fellow scientist D Sasikumar and four others.

Table Mountain National Park: An “out of control” fire broke out in Cape Town’s Table Mountain National Park, damaging buildings and prompting the evacuation of hikers from the city’s most famous landmark, South African

Appointed/Elected

Sushil Chandra: Hehas been appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind.His term will end in 2022.

Sports

2021 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack

  • Ben Stokes has been named as the leading cricketer in the world for a second consecutive year in the 2021 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, which is published on April 15.
  • Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, West Indian Jason Holder, Mohammed Rizwan and Darren Stevens named Wisden Cricketers of the Year in the 2021 edition of Wisden Almanack
  • Australia’s Beth Mooney is ‘Leading Women’s Cricketer in the World’
  • India captain Virat Kohli Wisden Almanack’s ODI player of the 2010s
  • Sachin Tendulkar is the ODI Cricketer of the 1990s
  • Kapil Dev was named as the ODI Cricketer for the 1980s

Asian wrestling championships

  • DivyaKakran emerged as the second Indian woman to secure two gold medals in the Asian wrestling championships as women wrestlers of the country bagged four gold medals in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  • In the continental event marred by the absence of strong countries China and Japan, three Indian women – Divya (72kg), VineshPhogat (53kg) and Anshu Malik (57kg) – bagged gold medals. Only Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik settled for silver in 65kg.
  • A day after Sarita Mor became the first Indian woman to win two Asian titles, Divya, who had claimed the 68kg crown in New Delhi a year ago, took the gold in a depleted 72kg field consisting of just four wrestlers.

Water Sports and Adventure Institute (WSAI) established in Uttarakhand

  • Water Sports and Adventure Institute (WSAI) has been established by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand.

T20 World Cup 2021

  • Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad has been listed as one of the venues for the 2021 T20 World Cup.
  • The stadium is also slated to host IPL 2021 playoffs and final.

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