Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 June 2021

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Topic: Important Days

1. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: 17 June

  • June 17 is observed as World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought every year. It is observed to create awareness about desertification and drought.
  • Apart from this, it also highlights the international efforts to combat desertification. It also reviews the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
  • In 1994, the UN General Assembly declared June 17 as the "World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought". It is being observed since 1995.
  • In 2007, the UN General Assembly declared 2010-2020 the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the fight against Desertification.
  • SDG 15: Life on Land- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was adopted in 1994. It is a legally binding convention.
  • Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

2. Union Health Minister addresses the Global Yoga Conference 2021.

  • Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed the inaugural ceremony of the Global Yoga Conference 2021.
  • It was organized by the Ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with 'MokshayatanYogSansthan' and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
  • The importance of Yoga has increased in this pandemic time. Yoga helped people in reducing stress levels during the lockdown.
  • Yoga helps in maintaining physical fitness and mental peace. It strengthens the immunity of the body.
  • In 2014, UN General Assembly had adopted 21 June as International Yoga day. This year it will be celebrated under the ‘Be with Yoga, Be at Home’ theme.

Global Yoga Conference

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Agriculture

3. Twenty-two metric tonnes of GI certified Jalgaon banana exported to Dubai.

  • The banana was sourced from farmers of Tandalwadi village, part of Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, a banana cluster under the Agri Export Policy.
  • Jalgaon Banana got GI certification in 2016. India’s banana exports have been rising sharply.
  • India’s banana exports have grown both in terms of volume as well as value. The volume of India’s banana exports has grown from 1.34 lakh metric tonne in 2018-19 to 1.95 lakh metric tonne in 2019-20.
  • In terms of value, India’s banana exports have grown from Rs 413 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 660 crore in 2019-20.
  • India is the world's leading producer of bananas. Its share in total production is around 25%.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh are major contributors to the production of bananas. They contribute more than 70% of country’s banana production. 
  • Jalgaon banana is rich in fibre and mineral. The fibre obtained from Jalgaon Banana has the high spinning ability and tensile strength.
  • Under agriculture export policy, 46 unique product clusters have been identified for export promotion.
  • Shipments have been sent from several of these clusters have been sent for the first time. Shipments of fresh vegetables and mangoes from Varanasi and of black rice from Chandauli in UP have been sent.    
 

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

4. CCEA approved the "Deep Ocean Mission".

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) on the "Deep Ocean Mission".
  • The main objective of the mission is to explore deep ocean resources and to develop deep sea technologies for the sustainable use of ocean resources.
  • The mission’s estimated cost will be Rs 4077 crore for 5 years to be implemented in phase-wise manner. Rs 2823.4 crore is the estimated cost for the first phase for three years (2021-2024).
  • Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry implementing this mission.
  • The mission consists of six major components as given below.
    • Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible
    • Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services
    • Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity
    • Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration
    • Energy and freshwater from the Ocean
    • Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology 
  • Around 30% of India’s population is living in coastal areas. India has a 7517 km long coastline.
  • United Nations (UN) has declared the decade 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Topic: National News

5. TRAI launches TV channel selector portal for DTH and cable TV subscribers.

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched Channel Selector Portal for DTH and cable TV subscribers.
  • The portal will help subscribers to check their subscriptions and channels provided by the DTH and Cable operators.
  • With the help of this portal, subscribers can remove the unwarranted channels and can choose channels of their interest. The user can also provide feedback through this portal.
  • Last year, TRAI had launched the TV Channel Selector app to provide reliable, robust, and transparent service to television subscribers.
  • The New Regulatory Framework for Broadcasting and Cable services came into effect on December 29, 2018. It gave freedom to consumers to select television channels of their choice.

TRAI launches TV channel selector portal for DTH

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. Shipping Ministry and Ministry of Culture signed MoU for development of National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal.

  • Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and Ministry of Culture (MoC) have signed an MoU for Cooperation in Development of National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) at Lothal, Gujarat.
  • National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) will be dedicated to the maritime heritage of India. It will help in uplifting the image of India’s Maritime Heritage at the international level.
  • The MoU will help in displaying India's strong maritime history and vibrant coastal tradition in one place.
  • National Maritime Heritage Complex:
    • It will be developed in the vicinity of the Archaeological Survey of India site of Lothal. It will be developed as an international tourist spot.
    • It will be developed on 400 acres with many structures including National Maritime Heritage Museum, Light House Museum, Heritage Theme Park, etc.
    • The unique feature of NMHC is the recreation of ancient Lothal city, which is one of the prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization.

development of National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal

(Source: PIB)

Topic: National News

7. India and ADB signed a $484 million loan agreement for improving road network in Tamil Nadu.

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $484 million loan agreement for improving the road network and facilitating industrial development in Tamil Nadu.
  • The Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) will be developed with the partnership of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • The project will upgrade 590 km state highways in the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) area. It will help in enhancing connectivity between industrial hubs and Ports.
  • The project is part of the priority infrastructure projects identified for corridor development under the ADB-supported CKIC comprehensive development plan.
  • It will help in the vision of making India a manufacturing hub and will create employment opportunities along the corridor.
  • The project will also strengthen road safety improvement programs through advanced technologies.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB):
    • It was established in 1966.
    • It is committed for a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. 
    • It has 68 members—of which 49 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

8. Tribal Affairs Minister launched 'Adi Prashikshan Portal' and training programme for ST PRI Members.

  • Tribal Affairs Minister Shri Arjun Munda launched the ADI PRASHIKSHAN portal and inaugurated a three-day training programme for ST PRI Members.
  • ADI PRASHIKSHAN portal has been developed by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It will act as a Central Repository for all training programs.
  • Adi Prashikshan will revolutionize the various ongoing training initiatives of the Ministry and it will improve the process of conducting training.
  • The training programme will improve the education, health, nutrition, social security, livelihood, and skills of the tribal youth.
  • It has been jointly organized by the National Tribal Research Institute and Tribal Research & Development Institute, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh.

Topic: Miscellaneous

9. Facebook launched ‘Report it, Don’t share it!’ initiative to tackle child abuse content.

  • Facebook has launched a new initiative called 'Report it, don't share it' to encourage reporting of child abuse content.
  • It has been launched in collaboration with civil society organizations like Aarambh India Initiative, Cyber Peace Foundation, and Arpan.
  • Facebook has taken this step after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has raised concern over child exploitative content on social media platforms.
  • This new initiative of Facebook urged people to not share child abuse content. Actor Neha Dhupia is endorsing this initiative.
  • Due to the Covid pandemic, many children have lost both parents. Consequently, several illegal posts are circulating on social media platforms for the adoption of these orphans. These posts can make children vulnerable to trafficking and child labour.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

10. IIT Bombay hosted BRICS Network Universities conference.

  • A three-day virtual Conference of BRICS Network Universities was inaugurated at IIT Bombay. It was organized under the theme of electric mobility.
  • More than 100 students, researchers and faculty participated in this BRICS Network Universities conference.
  • Eighteen experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and S. Africa discussed various aspects of electric mobility like traffic management, hydrogen technology, hybrid vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, etc.
  • Electric mobility is need for the sustainability of the environment. It will also generate new employment opportunities.
  • BRICS Network University is a union of higher education institutions of all five BRICS member countries. Its main objective is to enhance cooperation in the field of research and innovation.
  • India is the Chair of BRICS for 2021 and will host the 13th BRICS Summit.
  • BRICS is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2021. It was formed as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) in September 2006.

Topic: Space and IT

11. European Space Agency (ESA) will launch world’s first wooden satellite.

  • The European Space Agency (ESA) has planned to launch the world’s first wooden satellite. It is going to be launched from New Zealand.
  • It will be launched from a Rocket Lab Electron rocket by the end of 2021.
  • The satellite, WISA Woodsat, is a nanosatellite. It is 10cm on each side, length, height, and width.
  • The sensors of the satellite have been developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and designers have placed the wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to keep it dry.
  • A very thin aluminum oxide layer has been used to minimize the vapour coming from the wood and to protect it from the erosive effects of atomic oxygen.
  • The non-wooden external parts are made up of aluminum rails. The satellite is the brainchild of Jari Makinen.
 

 

 

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