Daily Current Affairs and GK | 14 October 2021

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Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

1. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin gets emergency approval for kids aged 2-18 years.

  • Drugs Controller General of India’s subject expert committee has approved the emergency use of Covaxin for kids aged between 2-18 years.
  • Covaxin is the second Covid-19 vaccine to get approval for emergency use among children in India after Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D.
  • Covaxin efficacy among children has been found similar to that in adults. COVAXIN is the first Covid-19 vaccine to be tested in the 2-6 years age group.
  • Bharat Biotech has submitted clinical trials of the 2-18 years age group for Covaxin (BBV152) to the CDSCO.
  • In August, India had also granted approval to ZyCov-D vaccine for children between the ages of 12 to 18.

Topic: State News/ Delhi

2. Delhi government launched ‘Desh ke Mentor’ Programme for students.

  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched ‘Desh ke Mentor’ Programme to properly guide and counsel the 10 lakh students studying in Class IX to XII of Delhi government schools.
  • The main aim of the initiative is to create a movement of youth volunteers who will act as guides for students.
  • People between the ages of 18 and 35 can sign up to be mentors through an app created by the Delhi Technological University.
  • One mentor will be assigned between two to five students. This programme will be for minimum two months.
  • It will help in providing emotional and psychological supports to teenagers.

NCT of Delhi:

It is a union territory of India bordered by state of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal

Lieutenant Governor: Anil Baijal

Lok Sabha seats: 7, Rajya Sabha seats: 3

 

 

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

3. Union Minister Giriraj Singh launched Climate Resilience Information System and Planning (CRISP-M) tool for MGNREGA.

  • Union Minister Giriraj Singh has launched the CRISP-M tool for integration of climate information in Geographic Information System (GIS) based watershed planning under MGNREGA.
  • The CRISP-M tool has been jointly launched by Union Minister along with Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth in the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Lord Tariq Ahmad through a virtual event.
  • This tool will be used in seven states wherein the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Government of UK and India’s Ministry of Rural Development are jointly working towards climate resilience.
  • These states are Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Rajasthan.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA):

  • It was passed on 23 August 2005. It was first proposed in 1991 by PV Narasimha Rao.
  • Its scope was increased to cover all the districts of India from 1 April 2008.
  • It aims to provide at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year.

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Banking System

4. RBI gives banking licence to Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd.

  • RBI has granted banking licence to Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd.
  • Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd was set up jointly by Centrum Financial Services Ltd (CFSL) and Resilient Innovations Private Limited (BharatPe).
  • With the establishment of Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd, the number of SFBs in the country will go up to 12.
  • On June 18, RBI had accorded “in-principle” approval to CFSL to set up a Small Finance Bank (SFB).
  • CFSL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centrum Capital. Centrum’s MSME and micro-finance businesses will be merged into USFBL.
  • Jaspal Bindra, Executive Chairman, Centrum Group, said that we are excited to partner with BharatPe and aspire to be India’s first digital bank. Ashneer Grover is Co-Founder and Managing Director of BharatPe.
  • BharatPe has appointed Rajnish Kumar, former Chairman of State Bank of India, on its Board. He will also be the Chairman of the Board.

Topic: National News

5. Government notified new abortion rules and increased gestational limit for pregnancy termination to 24 weeks.

  • The government has notified new rules for abortion under which the gestational limit for termination of pregnancy has been increased to 24 weeks for certain categories of women.
  • The new rules have been released under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, 2021 passed by Parliament earlier this year.
  • Under the new rules, survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest, minors and women whose marital status changes during an ongoing pregnancy, and women with physical disabilities will be eligible for termination of pregnancy up to 24 weeks.
  • Earlier, abortion required the opinion of one doctor if done within 12 weeks of conception and two doctors if done between 12 and 20 weeks.
  • Under the new rules, the medical board will be set up to decide whether pregnancy may be terminated beyond 12 and 20 weeks or not.
  • The medical board will examine the woman and her reports if she approaches for medical termination of pregnancy.
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed on 17 March 2020.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

6. New and Renewable Energy Minister R. K. Singh addressed the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun, One World, One Grid, Northwest Europe Cooperative Event.

  • Power, New and Renewable Energy Minister R. K. Singh addressed the ministerial summit of the Green Grids Initiative-One Sun, One World, One Grid, Northwest Europe Cooperative Event.
  • R. K. Singh emphasized upon India’s commitment to the environment and clean energy transition. He highlighted India’s target of achieving 450 Giga Watt of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  • He said that India is on its way to achieve its Nationally Determined Contributions related to clean energy and emission reduction.
  • The idea for the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative was given by Narendra Modi at the Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in October 2018.
  • The United Kingdom and India agreed to combine Green Grids Initiative and the One Sun One World One Grid initiative and will jointly launch GGI-OSOWOG at the COP26 summit in November 2021.

Topic: Reports and Indices

7. India has been placed in third position in the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index.

  • India retained its third position in the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index released by consultancy firm EY.
  • ‘Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index’ (RECAI) ranks the world’s top 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities.
  • According to the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) are emerging as a key driver of clean energy growth.
  • The US, China, and India continue to retain the top three positions in the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index.
  • Indonesia is a new entrant in the RECAI. France is in the fourth position while Germany is in the sixth position of the Index.
  • A new PPA Index has been introduced in this edition of RECAI. It focuses on the attractiveness of renewable power procurement and ranks the growth potential of a nation's corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) market.
  • India has been ranked sixth among the top 30 power purchase agreements (PPAs) markets.
  • List of Countries in Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index:

Rank

Country

1

United States

2

China

3

India

4

France

5

United Kingdom

Topic: Indian Economy

8. Government abolished the basic customs duty on varieties of palm, soybean and sunflower oil.

  • Recently, Government has abolished the basic customs duty on varieties of palm, soybean, and sunflower oil and also slashed the agri-cess on them till March 2022.
  • The government has taken this step to control the prices of edible oils. It has also authorized states to impose stock limits on oilseeds and edible oil.
  • With this step, the retail prices of Oil could go down by up to Rs 15 per litre in the next few weeks.
  • Before the price reduction, the 20 percent agriculture infrastructure cess was imposed on all forms of crude and refined edible oils.
  • Now, 7.5 percent agri-infrastructure development cess (AIDC) will be imposed on Crude palm oil and the rate will be 5 percent for crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil.
  • After this reduction, the effective customs duty on crude varieties of palm, soybean, and sunflower oil will be 8.25 percent, 5.5 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.
  • The duty cuts will become effective from October 14 and will remain in force till March 31, 2022.

Topic: Important Days

9. World Standards Day: 14 October

  • World Standards Day is celebrated internationally each year on 14 October.
  • It is celebrated to raise awareness about the significance of implementing and evolving standards to the global economy among regulators, industry, and consumers.
  • World Standards Day was first created on October 14, 1946. However, it was celebrated first in 1970 by Faruk Sunter.
  • The theme for World Standards Day 2021 is ‘Standards for sustainable development goals- a shared vision for a better future’.
  • It is celebrated worldwide to appreciate the efforts of the technical communities who create internationally acceptable standards.

Topic: International News

10. Alexander Schallenberg becomes new Chancellor of Austria.

  • Alexander Schallenberg has been appointed as the new chancellor of Austria.
  • Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen swore in Alexander Schallenberg as chancellor. Before this appointment, he was serving as foreign minister of Austria.
  • Alexander Van der Bellen served as the foreign minister since 2019.
  • Recently, Sebastian Kurz resigned from the post of Chancellor after the corruption allegations.
  • Sebastian Kurz became the leader of the Austrian People’s Party and then Chancellor in 2017.
  • Michael Linhart became Austria's new foreign minister. Earlier, he was ambassador to France.

Alexander Schallenberg becomes new Chancellor of Austria

Topic: State News/ Tripura

11. First Oxygen Park of Tripura inaugurated in Agartala.

  • The first ‘Oxygen park’ of Tripura has been inaugurated by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in Agartala.
  • It will provide fresh air to the people living in the city. It has been developed over an area of 29.6 hectares by the Tripura forest department. It has number of sal trees and colorful orchids of native species of Tripura.
  • The forest department has fixed QR codes on the trees, which will provide information about the trees.
  • It has been opened to attract ecotourism in the state and to provide employment to local people.
  • A ‘Forest memorial’ has been also built inside the park in memory of all employees of the forest department.

Tripura:

It is a hilly state in northeastern India, surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides.

Its capital is Agartala.

The Governor of Tripura is Satyadev Narayan Arya and Chief Minister is Biplab Kumar Deb.

Clouded Leopard National Park and Rajbari National Park are located in Tripura.

 

 

 

 

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