Daily Current Affairs and GK | 2 March 2021

Half Yearly (Jul- Dec 2020)
2020 Book

Current Affairs

Topic: Important Days

1. Zero Discrimination Day:  1 March

  • Zero Discrimination Day is annually celebrated on 1 March by the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations across the world.
  • It is celebrated to end inequality based on income, sex, age, health status, occupation, disability, etc.
  • It was first celebrated on 1 March 2014 after the ‘Zero Discrimination’ Campaign by UNAIDS on World AIDS Day in December 2013.
  • According to a UN report, 70% of the global population is facing the challenge of inequality. COVID-19 has increased inequalities in the world.
  • Article 16 of the Indian constitution has provisions to end discrimination based on religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth and residence.
  • SDG 5: It aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.
  • UNAIDS: It is a Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS. It aims to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

zero discrimination day

(Source: UNAIDS.Org)

Topic: Defence

2. Indian Air Force’s Suryakiran Aerobatic Team, Sarang helicopter display team and Light Combat Aircraft Tejas participating in 70th anniversary celebrations of SLAF.

  • Indian Air Force’s Suryakiran Aerobatic Team, Sarang helicopter display team and Light Combat Aircraft Tejas are participating in 70th anniversary celebrations of SLAF from 3-5 March.
  • These three will perform at an air show at Galle Face in Colombo as part of 70th anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF).
  • This performance is the first performance for the Suryakiran Aerobatic Team outside India since 2015. It earlier visited Sri Lanka during the 50th anniversary of SLAF in 2001.
  • Sarang helicopter display team was formed in 2003. It consists of four HAL Dhruv helicopters.
  • Suryakiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT):
    • It was formed in 1996 with Kiran Mk-II aircraft. It was active till 2011. It was resurrected in 2015 with Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT).
    • It is currently led by Group Captain Anoop Singh. It is also known as 52 Squadron or The Sharks.
 

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Dr. Harsh Vardhan confers awards to science communicators and women scientists on occasion of National Science Day.

  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan conferred awards to science communicators and women scientists on the occasion of National Science Day.
  • National Council for Science Technology Communication organized National Science Day celebrations.
  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan spoke about a comprehensive National programme on health and risk communication with a focus on Covid-19. This is named as Year of Awareness on Science & Health (YASH).
  • He also mentioned COVID Katha. It is an online interactive multimedia bilingual resource for mass awareness on COVID-19.
  • He further released first-ever National S&T Databases on S&T Awards in India and Indian origin Academicians abroad. The names of awards and awardees are given below.
    • SERB Women Excellence Awardees: Shobhna Kapoor, Antara Banerjee, Sonu Gandhi, Ritu Gupta
    • Augmenting Writing Skills for Articulating Research (AWSAR) awardees: Outstanding Story (Dr. Sangeeta Dutta), First Prize (Ms. Pooja Maurya)
    • Appreciation Shield for National S&T Databases: Dr Lalit Mohan (S&T Awards in India), Dr. Rajesh Bhatia (Indian origin Academicians Abroad)
    • Rajendra Prabhu Memorial Appreciation Shield for Outstanding Work in Science Media and Journalism: Dr. S. Anil Kumar
  • Science and Technology Communication Awardees:
    • National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication through Print Media including Books and Magazines: Dr. S. Anil Kumar, Kerala
    • National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Popularization among Children: (1) Indian Resource and Development Association, Haryana (2) Dr. Mihir Kumar Panda, Odisha
    • National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication through Innovative and Traditional Methods: (1) Dr. Sheffali Gulati, Delhi (2) Shri Rakesh Khatri, Delhi
    • National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication in the Electronic Medium: Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa, Telangana

Dr. Harsh Vardhan confers awards to science communicators

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Government schemes and initiatives

4. Government decides to integrate Common Service Centres with e-daakhil portal.

  • Government has decided to integrate Common Service Centres with e-daakhil portal to facilitate the rural consumers for e-filing.
  • E-daakhil portal was launched by National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission on 7 September, 2020.
  • E-daakhil portal was launched for online redressal of consumer grievances. It is now operational in 15 states and Union Territories.
  • Through e-daakhil portal, consumers can file their complaints and pay fees online for redressal of their complaints. Consumer commissions can scrutinize the complaints online through it.
  • Common Service Centres (CSCs) scheme: It is one of the mission mode projects under Digital India Programme. CSCs are access points for the delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes and others.
  • National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC):
    • It is a quasi-judicial commission set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. Its head office is in New Delhi.
    • It is headed by a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. It is presently headed by Justice R K Agrawal.

Topic: International News

5. Members of Georgia’s Parliament named Irakli Garibashvili as new Prime Minister.

  • Members of Georgia’s Parliament named Irakli Garibashvili as new Prime Minister.
  • Irakli Garibashvili’s nomination follows resignation by Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia.
  • Protesters set up tents outside Georgia’s Parliament building to oppose the arrest of Nika Melia. Georgia’s Parliament building is located in its capital, Tbilisi.
  • Georgia is going through a tense political situation since the last parliamentary election. In October election, Georgian Dream Party gained the maximum share of votes.
  • However, the opposition did not recognize election results and claimed manipulation of counting.
  • Georgia:
    • It lies at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It lies in Caucasus region.
    • Black sea is located in its west. Russia is located in north and east. Turkey and Armenia are located in its South.
    • Azerbaijan is located in its southeast. Tbilisi is its capital and largest city. Salome Zourabichvili is its current President.

Irakli Garibashvili as new Prime Minister of Georgia

Topic: Personality in News

6. Michael Somare, Papua New Guinea’s first PM and longest serving leader, passes away.

  • Michael Somare, Papua New Guinea’s first PM and longest serving leader since its independence from Australia in 1975, passes away.
  • Michael Somare was also called Papua New Guinea’s Grand Chief and Father of the Nation.
  • Papua New Guinea:
    • Its capital and largest city is Port Moresby.
    • Port Moresby is located on southeastern coast of Papua New Guinea.
    • It is the third largest island country in the world. 
    • James Marape is the current Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea. 
    • It is located in Oceania geographic region.

Sugamya Bharat App

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

7. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launched “Sugamya Bharat App”.

  • The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot launched the “Sugamya Bharat App” for persons with disabilities.
  • He also released a handbook entitled “Access - The Photo Digest”.
  • Sugamya Bharat App is developed by the department of empowerment of persons with disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • It will act as a medium to enhance the accessibility for disabled peoples through three pillars of the Accessible India Campaign, i.e., built environment, transportation sector and ICT ecosystem.
  • It is available in 10 regional languages. It also has a feature to upload a photo of the premises where accessibility is required for disabled peoples.
  • Main features of Sugamya Bharat App are:
    • Registration of complaint against inaccessibility across the 3 broad pillars of the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan.
    • It will provide feedback and circulars related to accessibility.
  • The handbook titled “Access - The Photo Digest” is prepared by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. It provides information about the 10 basic features of accessibility in pictorial form.

Topic: National News

8. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched field assessment programme of Swachh Survekshan 2021.

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the field assessment for Swachh Survekshan 2021.
  • In this field assessment exercise, more than 2000 assessors will go to cities to assess the on-field performance of cities. It will be conducted between 1-28 March.
  • Swachh Survekshan 2021:
    • The Swachh Survekshan 2021 will focus on the indicators related to wastewater treatment and reuse and faecal sludge.
    • The issue of waste management and remediation of landfills will be also brought under the Swachh Survekshan-2021.
    • It will also rank districts apart from ranking the cities and states.
  • Swachh Survekshan 2021 is the sixth edition of Swachh Survekshan. Indore was on the top position in Swachh Survekshan 2020.
  • Swachh Survekshan was first conducted in 2016 and was launched as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched field assessment programme

(Source: PIB)

Topic: National News

9. Ramesh Pokhriyal chaired a review meeting at Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan.

  • Union Education Minister has chaired a review meeting at Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan.
  • In this meeting, the Minister gave direction to officials to make a plan to increase the Gross enrolment ratio to 50% by 2035.
  • He also said that online distance learning should be promoted for providing quality education to all students across the country.
  • Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan:
    • It was launched in 2013 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (now Education Ministry).
    • It is a centrally sponsored scheme for the development of higher education in India.
    • Under this scheme, the government provides financial assistance to eligible higher educational institutions for improving the quality of education, infrastructure development, availability of faculties, and research and innovations.

Rashtriya Ucchtar Shiksha Abhiyan

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: National News

10. Swachhta Saarthi Fellowships launched by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser.

  • The Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India has launched the “Swachhta Saarthi Fellowship” under the “Waste to Wealth” Mission.
  • The Fellowship has been launched to recognize students, community workers or Self-Help Groups involved in the work of waste management. It will promote people with innovative solutions for the conversion of waste.
  • The Fellowship will invite application from those students and community workers who are associated with waste management activities.
  • The fellowship will be given into three categories:
    • Category-A – Open to School students from 9th to 12th standards engaged in waste management community work
    • Category-B – Open to College students (UG, PG, Research students) engaged in waste management community work 
    • Category-C – Open to Citizens working in the community and through SHGs, municipal or sanitary workers working beyond specifications of their job requirement/descriptions
  • Waste to Wealth Mission:  It is one of the nine national missions of the PM-STIAC (Prime Minister’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Advisory Council). It aims to identify, test and validate technologies towards conservation, sustainable use and restoration of land, air and water resources.

Topic: Space and IT

11. Government took steps to tackle ‘Shadow Pad’ malware.

  • The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) had warned about the threat of ‘Shadow Pad’ malware on Control Centres of Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) in November 2020.
  • The NCIIPC (National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre) had also informed about the ‘Shadow Pad’ malware.
  • ‘Shadow Pad’ malware by Red Echo was targeting the Regional Load Dispatch Centres and State Load Dispatch Centres of the Indian Power system.
  • The Ministry of Power has taken some steps to address these threats. All suspicious IPs and domain have been blocked by the firewall at Control Centres. The control center systems are scanned and cleaned regularly by antivirus.
  • No breach of data has been detected from these control centres till now.   
  • Malware is software designed to damage a computer, server, or computer network. Trojan horses, worms, ransomware are some types of malware.

Topic: Appointments

12. Jaideep Bhatnagar has taken charge as Principal Director General, Press Information Bureau.

  • Jaideep Bhatnagar has been appointed as Principal Director General, Press Information Bureau. He has taken charge after retirement of Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia.
  • Before this, he had served as Head of Commercial, Sales and Marketing Division at Doordarshan News. He has experience of working at various positions in the PIB.
  • Press Information Bureau:
    • It is a nodal agency of the Government of India responsible for public communication and media relations for the entire Union Government of India.
    • Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
    • It is headed by the Principal Director-General.

Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau

(Source: PIB)

 

 

 

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