Current affairs Weekly (07-13 June 2021)

National

Center releases guidelines for development of e-content for children with disabilities

  • To fulfil the goal of inclusive education, the Centre has released the new guidelines for the development of e-Content for children with disabilities (CwDs).
  • These guidelines will initiate the creation of high-quality content for digital education to children with special needs.

47th G7 summit

  • The 47th G7 summit was held on 11–13 June 2021 in Cornwall in the United Kingdom while it holds the presidency of the G7.
  • The participants included the leaders of the seven G7 member states as well as representatives of the European Union.
  • Topics of discussion included developing a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the first Outreach Session of the G7 Summit. 
  • The session, titled ‘Building Back Stronger – Health’, focused on global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and on strengthening resilience against future pandemics.

Three Indian universities in top-200 in QS World rankings, IISc ranks 1st for research

  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and IIT Delhi remained the three universities from India ranked in the top-200 positions in the latest QS World University Rankings 2022.
  • Leading global higher education analysts QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) released the 18th edition of one of the most-consulted international university rankings.
  • As per the rankings, IIT Bombay for securing 177th position, IIT Delhi for securing 185th rank and IISc Bengaluru for securing 186th position in overall university rankings globally.
  • QS uses six indicators to compile the ranking: Academic reputation (AR), employer reputation (ER), citations per faculty (CPF), faculty/student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.
  • IIT, Delhi, has become India’s second-best university, having risen from the 193rd rank to 185 since last year.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved a record-extending 10th consecutive year as world number-one.
  • The University of Oxford has risen to second for the first time since 2006, while the Stanford University and the University of Cambridge share third spot.

Success story of Weyan, first village in country to vaccinate entire adult population

  • Nomad Village Weyan of district Bandipora of Jammu & Kashmir has become the first village where entire populations above 18 years have been vaccinated.
  • This record is attributed to the ‘J&K Model’ under which the administration decided to reach out to the people, instead of people coming to the vaccination centre.

New declassification policy gets nod

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a policy on archiving, declassification, compilation and publication of war and operations histories by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
  • However, declassification of older wars like the 1962 war is not automatic and will be taken up on a case-by-case basis by a committee to be constituted under the policy.
  • According to the policy, records should ordinarily be declassified in 25 years.
  • Records older than 25 years should be appraised by archival experts and transferred to the National Archives of India once the war/operations histories have been compiled.

Namaste Yoga’ mobile App launched

  • ‘Namaste Yoga’ a mobile application was launched recently in the curtain raiser event for the 7th International Day of Yoga.
  • The event was organised by the Ministry of Ayush in association with the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.
  • It aims to raise awareness about yoga and make it accessible for the larger community.

Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan

  • Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan has been launched by NITI Aayog and Piramal Foundation in 112 districts recently.
  • The Abhiyaan had been launched to assist district administrations in providing home-care support to Covid-19 patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Operation Olivia to the rescue of Olive Ridleys

  • Every year, the Indian Coast Guard’s “Operation Olivia”, initiated in the early 1980s, helps protect Olive Ridley turtles as they congregate along the Odisha coast for breeding and nesting from November to December.
  • The Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is listed as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red list.

Flipkart to Conduct Drone Delivery Pilot for Vaccine

  • E-commerce major Flipkart has partnered with Telangana government to lead a consortium tasked with the development and execution of the drone deliveries of medical supplies to remote areas under the ‘Medicines from the Sky’ project.
  • As part of the consortium, Walmart-owned Flipkart will deploy drones and enable deliveries of vaccines and medical supplies.

UN body lauds success of Centre’s Aspirational Districts Programme

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has lauded the Centre’s Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP), saying that it should serve as a “best practice” for other countries where regional disparities in development status persist for many reasons.
  • The Aspirational Districts Programme was launched by the Prime Minister in 112 districts across 28 states in January 2018.

UDID card for Co-WIN registration

  • Central government has asked states and union territories to include UDID (Unique Disability Identification) card as identity proof while registering on Co-WIN 2.0 platform.
  • It will ensure a smooth and effective Covid-19 vaccination drive.
  • UDID was allowed with the aim of helping disabled persons to access Covid-19 vaccination.

Cabinet nod to 5 MHz spectrum for Railways

  • The government has decided to allocate 5 MHz spectrum in the 700 MHz frequency band to the Indian Railways for improving its communication and signalling systems.
  • It will help improve safety of passengers on the transport network.

India, Thailand joint naval exercise ‘CORPAT’ begins

  • The 31st edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy was conducted from June 9–June 11, 2021.
  • Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel and His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Krabi, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies are participating in the CORPAT.

India joins UN Economic and Social Council for 2022-24 term

  • India has been elected to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main organs of the United Nations, for the 2022-24 term.
  • At the heart of the United Nations system, the 54-member ECOSOC advances the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.

India Set to Receive Three MH-60 ‘Romeo’ Helicopters from US

  • The Indian Navy will receive three of the 24 MH-60 “Romeo” multi-role helicopters from the US in July.
  • India had signed a Rs 15,157 crore ($2.13 billion) contract with US for the Lockheed Martin choppers in February 2020 in a significant ramp-up of military capabilities for the Navy in detecting and destroying enemy submarines prowling in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

International

Ghana plants 5 million trees in a single day to combat deforestation

  • Ghana kicked off an ambitious new program that its leaders hope will reverse over a century of significant deforestation and climate change.
  • On June 11, the country celebrated its first Green Ghana Day by planting somewhere near five million trees in a single.

European Space Agency’s EnVision mission to Venus

  • Following NASA’s footsteps, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that it has selected EnVision as its next orbiter that will visit Venus sometime in the 2030s.

Russia formally exits from Open Skies pact

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a law formalizing Russia’s withdrawal from Open Skies Treaty, after United States withdrew from pact in 2020.
  • Open Skies Treaty is an international treaty that allow nations to collect information on one another’s military forces to increase transparency.

New Atlantic Charter

  • President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have signed a new Atlantic Charter modelled after the 1941 agreement, that outlines eight key areas on which the U.S. and the United Kingdom plan to collaborate.
  • The revamped charter builds on the commitments and aspirations set out eighty years ago.
  • Those commitments include defending democracy, reaffirming the importance of collective security and ensuring a fair and open global trading system.

US revokes ban on TikTok, WeChat

The US government has passed an executive order (EO) that revokes the previous administration’s order banning TikTok, WeChat, and other Chinese apps and lays out new steps to protect Americans’ sensitive data from foreign adversaries.

Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, UAE elected to U.N. Security Council

  • The U.N. General Assembly elected Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term starting on Jan. 1, 2022.
  • All five countries ran unopposed for a spot on the 15-member body, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security.
  • They will replace Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.

Handbook to assess foodborne disease burden

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) June 7, 2021 released a handbook to help assess the burden of foodborne diseases and locate data gaps to help strengthen health infrastructure.
  • More than 600 million people — one in 10 in the world — are affected by foodborne diseases every year.

G-7 Leaders Are Set to Pledge 1 billion Coronavirus Vaccines to Other Countries

  • World leaders of the Group of Seven are expected to announce a commitment to share 1 billion of their COVID-19 vaccine resources with lower-income countries struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the U.S. make up the G-7.

Global crackdown on organised crime after high-tech U.S.-Australia sting

  • U.S. and Australian authorities hacked into an app used by criminals to read millions of encrypted messages, leading to hundreds of arrests of suspected organised crime figures in 18 countries.
  • “Operation Ironside” by Australian police and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation trapped suspects in Australia, Asia, South America and the Middle East involved in the global narcotics trade.

Global House Price Index 2021

  • According to Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index for Q1 2021, India has moved down by 12 spots in global home price index because property price in India has declined amid covid-19 pandemic.
  • This year, India has been ranked at 55th position while during Q1 2020, India was ranked at 43rd position in terms of property prices.
  • Turkey is the topper in annual rankings with prices of 32 percent.
  • Spain emerged as weakest-performing territory in Q1 2021.

China Passes Law to Counter Foreign Sanctions

  • China enacted a new law aimed at countering foreign sanctions, in response to U.S. and European efforts to pressure Beijing on issues spanning human rights, trade and technology.
  • The law mandates the Chinese government to apply countermeasures against foreign individuals and entities deemed to be pressuring China with “discriminatory restrictions.”

ILO- UNICEF Report on Child Labour

  • International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNICEF jointly published report on child labour. As per report, world has marked rise in child labour in two decades.
  • Report highlights, coronavirus crisis might push millions more youngsters toward child labour.
  • As of 2020, number of child labour stands at 160 million. It has increased by 8.4 million in four years.

Bitcoin Formally Adopted as Legal Tender in El Salvador, First Country in the World to Do So

  • El Salvador has become the first country in the world to formally adopt Bitcoin as legal tender after Congress approved President NayibBukele’s proposal to embrace the cryptocurrency.
  • Experts have said the move to Bitcoin could complicate talks with the IMF, where El Salvador is seeking a more than $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,300 crores) programme.

Economist’s annual survey of World’s Most Liveable Cities

  • According to annual survey of World’s most liveable cities 2021, Covid-19 pandemic has shaken up rankings of liveable cities.
  • Auckland is the most liveable city in 2021 because of its successful approach in containing pandemic.
  • Which is followed by Osaka & Tokyo in Japan, Adelaide in Australia and Wellington in New Zealand. All these countries had swift response to pandemic.
  • According to the report, metropolises in Australia, Japan and New Zealand leaping ahead of metropolises in Europe.
  • Life remains most difficult in Damascus because of Syria’s ongoing civil war.

State

Maharashtra govt. clears action plan to protect heritage trees

  • The Maharashtra Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a bid to protect ancient and old trees aged 50 years and above in urban areas, approved the action plan to implement the ‘Heritage Tree’ concept in the state.

Delhi’s Master Plan 2041

  • The Delhi Development Authority gave its preliminary approval to the draft Master Plan for Delhi 2041.
  • The draft is now in the public domain for objections and suggestions from citizens, after which it will be enforced.
  • The current master plan of Delhi — Master Plan 2021 — expires this year.

Science & Environment

May 2021 Records Second Highest Rainfall In 121year

  • May 2021 received the second highest rainfall in 121 years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its monthly report attributing two back-to-back cyclones and western disturbances for the record precipitation.
  • It also said that at 34.18 degrees Celsius, the average maximum temperature over India this May was the fourth lowest since 1901.

ISRO develops Cost-Effective Ventilators

  • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed three types of cost-effective ventilators and an oxygen concentrator.
  • Three ventilators have been named as Prana, VaU and Svasta while oxygen cylinder has been named as Shwaas.

Google to build the longest undersea cable in the world

  • Alphabet’s Google announced on June 9, 2021, that it will be building an undersea cable that will connect the United States, Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina, to bolster the capacity of internet connection between these regions.
  • The undersea cable called Firminia, named after a Brazilian abolitionist and author Maria Firminia dos Reis, will be the longest cable in the world.

IIT-Kharagpur develops Early Cyclone Detection Technique

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have developed an early cyclone detection technique which will help in early detection of development or strengthening of tropical cyclones in North Indian Ocean region.
  • It will investigate formative stages and advance detection time of tropical cyclogenesis.

Economy

Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT)

  • Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra have established a new industry association called “Confederation of Hospitality, Technology & Tourism Industry (CHATT)”.
  • CHATT will help small companies and travel & hospitality technology players.
  • It will promote domestic tourism and help in digital transformation of domestic tourism.

MSP for Kharif Crops

  • Union Cabinet approved an increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Kharif crops for 2021-22, to increase farmers’ income.
  • Centre has increased MSP for paddy and now it stands at to Rs 1,940 per quintal for 2021-22 crop.

At $605 bn, India ties with Russia as fourth largest forex reserves holder

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves crossed $600 for the first time.
  • As on June 4, the foreign exchange reserves stood at $605 billion, almost tying with Russia as the fourth largest reserve holder in the world.
  • While India’s forex reserve was $605.008 billion, Russia’s was $605.2 billion.

Appointed/Elected

Mukesh Sharma appointed honorary member of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group

  • Mukesh Sharma, a faculty at IIT Kanpur, has been appointed as an honorary member of World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Air Pollution and Health – Technical Advisory Group (GAPH-TAG).
  • IIT Kanpur professor Mukesh Sharma appointed honorary member of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group.

Rebeca Grynspan new Secretary-General of UNCTAD

  • Rebeca Grynspan of Costa Rica will be the new Secretary-General of UNCTAD, the trade and development body of the United Nations.
  • Grynspan is an economist and current Ibero-American secretary-general.
  • She is also the first woman and Central American to be appointed as secretary-general of UNCTAD.

Former SC judge Arjan Kumar Sikri appointed chairperson of Grievance Redressal body for OTT platforms

  • Former Supreme Court Judge Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri will now chair the Grievance Redressal Board of the recently formed Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC).
  • The Grievance Redressal Board (GRB) will address content grievances pertaining to the Council members’ video online streaming services.

Anup Chandra Pandey takes charge as Election Commissioner of India

  • Former Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey took charge as the new election commissioner of India after being appointed for the post by the President.

Abdulla Shahid becomes 76th President of UN General Assembly

  • Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid was overwhelmingly elected as President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, garnering 143 votes out of the 191 ballots cast.

Awards/ Honours/Prizes

Indian-origin journalist wins Pulitzer Prize

  • Megha Rajagopalan, an Indian-origin journalist, along with two contributors has won the Pulitzer Prize for innovative investigative reports that exposed a vast infrastructure of prisons and mass internment camps secretly built by China for detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in its restive Xinjiang region.
  • Rajagopalan from BuzzFeed News is among two Indian-origin journalists who won the US’ top journalism award.

Persons/Places

Polonnaruwa: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared open the China-Sri Lanka Friendship National Nephrology Specialized Hospital in Polonnaruwa.Sri Lanka received the hospital complex as a full grant from the Chinese Government at the request of former President Maithripala Sirisena during his visit to China in 2015.

Buddhadeb Dasgupta: Multiple National Award-Winning Film Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta Passes Away. Five of his films have won the National Film Award for best feature film.

Dingko Singh: Asian Games gold medal-winning former boxer Dingko Singh died recently after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 42 and had been fighting the disease since 2017.

Sunil Chhetri: Indian football, Sunil Chhetri, has surpassed Argentina’s Lionel Messi and has become second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes.Chhetrinow leads Barcelona star Messi by two goals and is placed above Ali Mabkhout of UAE, who is at third place with 73 strikes. He achieved this feat against Bangladesh in joint preliminary qualifying round match for 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

Sports

French Open 2021:

  • BarboraKrejcikovabecomes first Player to Win Women’s singles and doubles titles In Same Year Since 2000
  • Czech Republic’s BarboraKrejcikova along with her partner Katerina Siniakova won the women’s double title at the ongoing French Open. This comes a day after Krejcikova won the women’s singles title.
  • Novak Djokovic became the first man in the Open Era to win all 4 Grand Slam titles at least twice after he won his 2nd Roland Garros title.
  • The World No. 1 rallied back from two sets down to beat a spirited Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s singles final.

Final Results

  • Men’s singles: Novak Djokovic
  • Women’s singles: BarboraKrejcikova
  • Men’s doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut
  • Women’s doubles: BarboraKrejcikova/Katerina Siniakova
  • Mixed doubles: Joe Salisbury/Desirae Krawczyk

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