Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 August 2021

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Topic: Environment and Ecology

1. Ghaziabad was the second most polluted city in the world in 2020: HouseFresh Report.

  • HouseFresh, a British company, has released a report named 50 'most polluted cities' in the world.
  • According to this report, Ghaziabad was the second most polluted city in the world in 2020. Ghaziabad had an average air quality index (AQI) of 2.5 particulate matter (PM) in 106.6µg/m3.
  • As per this report, Bangladesh was the most polluted country in the world in 2020. Pakistan, India, and Mongolia were the other most polluted countries in the world in 2020.
  • China's Hotan province was the most polluted city while Manikganj city of Bangladesh was the third most polluted city in the world.
  • In India, Bulandshahr, Bhiwandi, Noida, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow, Delhi, Faridabad, and Meerut are the other most polluted cities. Vehicles and industrial emissions are the major contributors to India’s pollution.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

2. IIT Madras joins hands with Road Transport Ministry for pavement engineering & intelligent transportation systems.

  • IIT Madras is collaborating with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on pavement engineering and intelligent transportation systems.
  • This includes research on pavement materials and technologies, hydrogen cell transportation, automatic vehicle classification, toll systems, incident management systems, etc.
  • A ‘MoRTH Chair’ is being created at IIT Madras for research, teaching, and training in traffic and highway engineering.
  • The chair professor will act as a facilitator for collaboration between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and IIT Madras and research institutions.
  • IIT Madras will also provide training to students including MoRTH’s nominated officers in the field of Highway Engineering.

 

 

Topic: Important Days

3. World Mosquito Day: 20 August.

  • World Mosquito Day is observed annually on 20 August to commemorate the discovery made by Sir Ronald Ross in 1897.
  • In 1897, Sir Ronald Ross discovered that the malaria parasite is transmitted to humans by Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • World Mosquito Day is organized annually by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • “Reaching the zero malaria target” is the theme for World Mosquito Day 2021. Different mosquitoes act as a vector for different diseases as mentioned in the following table.

Mosquitoes (Vector)

Diseases

Aedes mosquitoes

Chikungunya, dengue fever, lymphatic filariasis, rift valley fever, yellow fever, and zika

Anopheles mosquitoes

Malaria, lymphatic filariasis (in Africa)

Culex mosquitoes

Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, West Nile fever

  • Female Anopheles is the main vector of malaria. It mostly bites between dusk and dawn.
  • Dengue, chikungunya, zika, and yellow fever are transmitted by female Aedes aegypti. It bites frequently during the day.
  • Its peak biting periods are early morning and right before dusk. Its eggs can live without water for more than one year.

Topic: Defence

4. Advanced Chaff Technology developed by DRDO.

  • Advanced Chaff Technology has been developed by DRDO to safeguard fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) against hostile radar threats.
  • The advanced Chaff material and chaff cartridge-118/I has been developed by Defence Laboratory Jodhpur, a DRDO laboratory in collaboration with HEMRL.
  • IAF has started the process of induction of this technology after the completion of successful user trials.
  • Chaff is a critical defence technology used to protect fighter aircraft from hostile radar threats. It has been given to the industry for production in large quantities to meet the annual rolling requirement of IAF.
  • High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) is a Pune based laboratory of DRDO.

Advanced Chaff Technology developed by DRDO

Topic: Appointments

5. Apurva Chandra appointed as Secretary in I&B Ministry.

  • Apurva Chandra has been appointed as Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He is a 1988-batch IAS officer of the Maharashtra cadre.
  • He will take place of Amit Khare, who will retire in September 2021.
  • His appointment has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Appointment.
  • Apurva Chandra is currently working as secretary of the post of Labour & Employment Ministry. He has worked on several posts in the Government of Maharashtra and the Government of India.
  • Earlier, he played a key role in the Ministry of Defence as Special Director General, Defence Acquisition.

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting:

It is responsible for the formulation and regulation of laws in the areas of information and broadcasting, press and Cinema.

Prasar Bharati and the Central Board of Film Certification are the important statutory body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Anurag Thakur is the current Information and Broadcasting Minister.

Topic: Defence

6. Defence Minister launched Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0.

  • On 19th August 2021, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched Defence India Startup Challenge 5.0 under Innovations for Defence Excellence - Defence Innovation Organisation (iDEX-DIO).
  • Challenge 5.0 has been launched to improve innovation, design & development in the defence sector.
  • Under DISC 5.0, Thirty-five Problem Statements – 13 from the Services and 22 from Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) – were unveiled. It includes different areas such as Situational awareness, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Aircraft-trainer, etc.
  • Defence India Startup Challenge is a platform for youth and entrepreneurs to showcase their talent. It is another step towards achieving self-reliance in the defence sector.
  • DISC is organized under the iDEX-DIO initiative. It encourages startups to develop India’s defence technologies, equipment design, and manufacturing capabilities.

iDEX:

It is an initiative of the Department of Defence Production to foster innovation in the Indian Defence sector.

It was launched by PM Modi in April 2018.

It is managed and funded by Defence Innovation Organization.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

7. Government created a robust mechanism for Online Trading of Energy Saving Certificates.

  • Recently, the Ministry of Power issued more than 57 lakhs Energy Saving Certificates to 349 industrial units.
  • The industrial units received these Energy Saving Certificates for saving energy than their targets. The Energy Saving Certificates can be traded by Industrial units through Power Exchange Portal.
  • Units that are unable to meet the targets either through their own actions or through purchase of energy savings certificates are liable to pay a penalty under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • The Ministry of Power has started several initiatives to enhance the energy efficiency of major industrial sectors. The main aim of these initiatives is to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel, coal, oil, and gas in the industrial sectors.
  • The government had launched Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme to enhance cost-effectiveness through certification of excess energy savings in energy-intensive industries. The objective of the scheme is to reduce specific energy consumption (SEC).

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. USOF signs agreement with BSNL for providing high speed internet in North Eastern states.

  • Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) has signed an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for providing high-speed internet in North Eastern states.
  • Under the Agreement, USOF will provide financial assistance to BSNL for hiring the International Bandwidth.
  • The high-speed internet service will help citizens in accessing various e-services such as e-governance, e-education, e-health, e-commerce, e-banking, etc.
  • BSNL will purchase 10 Gbps International Bandwidth from Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) for providing high-speed internet connectivity.
  • Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is a fund under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL):

It was founded on 15 September 2000.

It is a Public Sector Undertaking owned by the Government of India.

It is under the ownership of the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.

Pravin Kumar Purwar is its Chairman & MD.  It is headquartered in New Delhi.

It provides telecom services all over India except Delhi and Mumbai.

Topic: Important Days

9. Sadbhavana Diwas: 20 August

  • Sadbhavana Diwas (Harmony Day) is celebrated every year on 20th August to commemorate the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.
  • The day is observed to encourage national integration, peace, affection, and communal harmony among the Indian people of all religions.
  • In 2021, 77th anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi is being celebrated across the country.
  • The Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana award was instituted in 1992 in memory of Rajiv Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi:

He was the sixth Prime Minister of India between 1984 and 1989.

He became the youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40.

He was born in Bombay on 20 August 1944.

He promoted Science and Technology and associated industries.

He is also known as the 'Father of Information Technology and Telecom Revolution of India’.

Topic: Reports and Indices

10. Global cryptocurrency adoption increased among individual investors in the past year.

  • As per crypto-analysis firm Chainalysis, global cryptocurrency adoption increased among individual investors in the past year.
  • Chainalysis said that global crypto adoption increased 880% in the past 12 months (between June 2020 and July 2021).
  • Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index ranked 154 countries on three main metrics. The ranking of both China and US dropped.
  • As per blockchain data platform Chainalysis’s Global Crypto Adoption Index 2021, India ranks second in terms of crypto adoption worldwide behind Vietnam.
  • Global Crypto Adoption Index 2020 was made up of four metrics. This year it used three metrics.
  • The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index has increased about 380 % in the past year. Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index is designed to assess the performance of largest digital assets traded in USD.
  • WazirX is the largest crypto exchange in the country by trading volume.

Topic: Defence

11. Indian Navy and Australian Navy sign ‘joint guidance for Navy to Navy relationship’ document.

  • Indian Navy and Australian Navy have signed the ‘joint guidance for Navy to Navy relationship’ document.
  • The joint guidance document is focused on developing mutual understanding, cooperation for regional security, collaboration in mutually beneficial activities and develop interoperability,
  • The signing ceremony for the Joint Guidance document was organized virtually between Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and the Australian Navy Chief.
  • The highlights of the document include close cooperation in the following regional and multilateral fora.
    • Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)
    • Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS)
    • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
    • Expert working groups subordinate to the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus framework
  • India and Australia have signed a Mutual Logistics Support Agreement and also conducted a trilateral maritime security workshop.
  • Australian Navy is also now a participant in Malabar naval exercise which also includes Japan and U.S.

Topic: State News/Chhattisgarh

12. Chhattisgarh government launches 'Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Bhumihin Majdur Nyay Yojana'.

  • Chhattisgarh government has launched 'Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Bhumihin Majdur Nyay Yojana'.
  • The scheme has the provision of ₹200 crores benefiting 12 lakh landless families.
  • Under the scheme, the Chhattisgarh government will provide ₹6,000 annually to 12 lakh landless labourers. 
  • Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel had announced the scheme in the state legislature on July 28.
  • The scheme aims to give minimum wages to rural landless labourers so that they can get access to basic amenities.
  • Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Bhumihin Majdur Nyay Yojana beneficiaries can register themselves on the dedicated portal from September 1, 2021 till November 30, 2021.

Chhattisgarh:

It was granted statehood on 1 November 2000. Raipur is its capital.

It shares its border with 7 states- UP, MP, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh: Bhupesh Baghel

Governor of Chhattisgarh: Anusuiya Uike

Topic: Indian Polity

13. President gives assent to Constitution (105th Amendment) Act 2021.

 

 

 

 

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