Daily Current Affairs and GK | 24 October 2020

2020-10-24

1. Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2020 shows marginal increase in wealth of Indian adults.

  • Global Wealth Report 2020 released by Credit Suisse has shown a marginal increase in Indian adults' wealth by $120.
  • As per the report, the average wealth of Indian adults has increased by 1.7% from $17,300 in December 2019 to $17,420 in June 2020.
  • Credit Suisse has estimated the increase will be to 5-6% in 2020 and 9% in 2021.
  • In the list of countries with ultra-high net worth individuals, India appeared in 4th place after the US, China, and Germany.
  • In the first half of 2020, household wealth increased only in China and India.
  • Credit Suisse is a Switzerland based investment banking company.
 

2. DRDO successfully carries out Final User Trial of NAG Missile.

  • DRDO has successfully carried out Final User Trial of 3rd generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) NAG from Pokhran, Rajasthan.
  • Now, Production of NAG will be started by Defence PSU Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).
  • During Final User Trial, NAG was launched from its Missile Carrier, NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier).
  • NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier) is a BMP II based system. BMP stands for Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, which is a Russian phrase meaning infantry combat vehicle.
  • NAMICA has the amphibious capability. This means it can be used on land and in water. Ordnance Factory Medak, Kolkata, will produce the NAMICA. 
  • NAG missile:
    • DRDO has developed NAG. It can target enemy tanks in day and night conditions.
    • NAG has “Fire & Forget” “Top Attack” capabilities. Fire & Forget capabilities allow a missile to hit the target even if it is not in the launcher's line of sight. “Top Attack” capabilities mean that missile attacks target from the top.
    • NAG has passive homing guidance and can defeat all Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) having composite and reactive armour.

 

3. Growing Urban Heat Island phenomenon, a cause for cloud bursts.

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) climate change expert said that the increasing Urban Heat Island phenomenon in urban areas is causing heavy rains in short spells recently observed in Hyderabad.
  • As per the expert, it is a La Nina year responsible for cloud bursts, high moisture retention by clouds, high temperature, heatwaves, and droughts.
  • La Nina has resulted in the warming of the water bodies and increasing evaporation.
  • La Nina means The Little Girl in Spanish. During a La Nina year, winter temperatures are warmer than usual in the Southeast and cooler than normal in the Northwest.
  • Urban Heat Island phenomenon:
    • It is a phenomenon in which there is a higher temperature (mean temp 8 to 10 degrees) in urban areas than the surrounding rural areas.
    • What are the causes of the Urban Heat Island Phenomenon?
      • Lack of green areas- Lack of evapotranspiration (evaporation + transpiration)
      • Mass transportation system
      • Use of fossil fuels- emission of high particulate matter
      • Use of Air Conditioners
      • Use of materials like asphalt, concrete, bricks for roads, and roofs.
      • Impermeable pavements that absorb heat during the day and radiate during cooler evenings.
      • The rapid expansion of buildings, industrial parks, and high-rise apartments
    • What are the effects of the Urban Heat Island phenomenon?
      • Decrease air quality in cities
      • Increase colonization of species like lizards, ants
      • Heatwaves – leading to heat cramps, sleep deprivation, increased mortality rates.
      • Impaired water quality
      • Cloud bursts- heavy rainfall in a short span
      • Increased energy consumption
      • Destruction of wetlands
    • How can we control and mitigate Urban Heat Island phenomenon?
      • Using greener rooftops
      • Using light-colored concrete for making roads
      • Increasing green cover- Planting more trees and plants.

4. Amazon says that it would not appear before the Joint Committee of Parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.

  • Amazon has said that it would not appear before the Joint Committee of Parliament on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, on 28 October.
  • JPC examining Data Protection Bill has tried to get the views of Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Paytm, and other companies on data security and protection.
  • The chairperson has said that Amazon’s refusal is equal to a breach of parliamentary privileges. Action may be taken against Amazon if it will not appear next Wednesday.
  • Parliamentary privileges are the rights and immunities enjoyed by the Members of Parliament as a whole and individually. Article 105 of the Indian Constitution provides two privileges- Freedom of speech in Parliament and the Right to publish its proceedings.
  • In December 2019, Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha. The bill was referred to the Joint Committee.
  • Joint Committee on the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019:
    • It was formed in December 2019. Meenakshi Lekhi is its chairperson.
    • It was given an extension till the winter session. It will submit its report in the winter session of 2020.
    • It has 20 members from Lok Sabha and 10 members from Rajya Sabha.

5. India’s first women-led manure cooperative society granted NDDB’s trademark Sudhan.

  • India’s first women-led manure cooperative society, Mujkuva Sakhi Khad Sahakari Mandli, was granted NDDB’s trademark Sudhan.
  • Mujkuva Sakhi Khad Sahakari Mandli of Anand district was granted Sudhan for making bio slurry-based organic fertilizers.
  • Mujkuva Sakhi Khad Sahakari Mandli will now process slurry and manufacture organic fertilizer. NDDB will also support two such projects in Begusarai, Bihar, and Cuttack, Odisha.
  • The next phase of the Manure Management Initiative, supported by NDDB, was launched at the Mujkuva Dairy Cooperative Society (DCS) campus in Gujarat.
  • Under the Manure Management Initiative, dairy farmers put biogas plants in their backyard and use them to produce gas, used as cooking fuel.
  • Biogas plants also produce bio-slurry. Farmers use this bio-slurry in their fields. Surplus bio-slurry is sold to other farmers or converted to organic fertilizers.
  • National Dairy Development Board (NDDB):
    • It was founded in 1965 and is headquartered in Anand, Gujarat.
    • It is a statutory body.
    • Mother Dairy is its subsidiary.
    • Chairman: Dilip Rath

6. India takes chairmanship of Governing Body of International Labour Organisation (ILO).

  • India has taken the chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organisation (ILO) after a gap of thirty-five years.
  • Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra has been elected as chairperson of the Governing Body of International Labour Organisation (ILO).
  • He will remain chairperson from October 2020 to June 2021. He is an IAS officer of Maharashtra Cadre.
  • He was chairperson of the committee to draft Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020, which became effective on October 1, 2020.
  • The governing body is the executive organ of ILO. It elects the Director-General of ILO. It also decides policies, programmes, agenda, and budget of ILO. It meets thrice in March, June, and November months of a year.
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO):
    • ILO was established in 1919 under the auspices of the United Nations. It is the first and oldest specialized agency of the United Nations.
    • It is created to ensure social and economic justice through the establishment of international labor standards.
    • Its headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
    • Director-General: Guy Ryder
    • Currently, it has 186 members.
    • India is a founder member of ILO.     

7. Nanda Kishore Sahoo was appointed as Director-General Dental Services and Colonel Commandant of Army Dental Corps.

  • Lieutenant General Nanda Kishore Sahoo has been appointed as Director General Dental Services and Colonel Commandant of Army Dental Corps.
  • He holds multiple posts in his military career, including Command of a unit in Kashmir Valley, Command Advisor of Western, Central, and Southern Commands.
  • He is a recipient of five Commendations and the Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) for his meritorious service.
  • He is an internationally acclaimed author, teacher, and winner of the KS Master silver medal.

(Source: PIB)

8. International Snow Leopard Day 2020: 23 October

  • International Snow Leopard Day is celebrated every year on 23 October to protect and conserve snow leopards.
  • They are mainly found in mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. They are also called the “ghost of the mountains.”
  • During the Virtual meet event of International Snow Leopard Day “HimalSanrakshak” programme was launched by the Minister of State for Environment Forest and Climate Change.
  • In India, Snow Leopard is mainly found in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, Nanda Devi region of Uttarakhand, and Khangchendzonga – Tawang across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Initiatives by Government of India for conserving Snow Leopard:
    • India is also a member of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection (GSLEP) Programme. It had hosted the 4th Steering Committee of the GSLEP program in October 2019 in New Delhi.
    • Ministry of Environment had launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in 2019 for monitoring the populations of Snow Leopard.
    • It will encourage states and UTs to adopt innovative strategies to resolve multi-stakeholder landscape management issues, human-wildlife conflicts, wildlife crime, trade in wildlife parts and products, etc.
    • Project Snow Leopard:
      • It was launched in 2009.
      • It is a centrally sponsored project for the conservation of the species and its habitats.
      • It will also help in maintaining the ecological balance in the Himalayan Ecosystem.
  • Snow Leopard:

COMMON NAME

Snow leopards

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Panthera uncia

IUCN STATUS

Vulnerable

HABITAT

Mountain ranges of Central and South Asia

THREAT

Poaching, Illegal trade

IMAGE

9. IIT Kharagpur collaborates with TCS in India’s Advanced Manufacturing Sector.

  • IIT Kharagpur and TCS have developed a novel Industry 4.0 technology for remotely controlled factory operations and real-time quality correction during industrial production.
  • It was developed at the Centre of Excellence in Advanced Manufacturing Technology in association with TCS.
  • Cloud infrastructure, remote and real-time operations systems will maintain effective industrial operations.
  • It has not only set the course for remotely controlled operations in the Indian industrial sector but has also enabled real-time quality checks and correction during the production process.
  • It will also help the Industrial sector to achieve standardized quality goals throughout the production process and reduce rejection.
  • It will help the Industrial sector in delivering quality output at low costs.
  • Advanced manufacturing: It uses innovative technologies and methods for enhancing competitiveness in the manufacturing sectors.

10. IIT Kharagpur develops ‘COVIRAP’ diagnostic test for COVID-19.

  • COVIRAP, a low-cost portable COVID-19 testing device, has been developed by the IIT Kharagpur.
  • It is a cuboid-shaped portable testing device that can deliver results in an hour with a cost of around Rs 500.
  • It is based on a microfluidic paper-based detection system in which the colour of the paper will determine that a sample is positive or negative.
  • It can test between 3 and 10 samples in one go.
  • This machine can perform many other tests under the category of isothermal nucleic acid-based tests (INAT).
  • It will help the government for the mass level testing in peripheral areas or distant rural areas where the health infrastructure might be lacking.
  • IIT Delhi has also developed a device, Corosure, that replicates testing used by an RT-PCR machine.

11. Sri Lankan Parliament voted for the expansion of presidential power.

  • The Sri Lanka Parliament has approved the 20th Constitutional Amendment to expand the Presidential power and allow dual citizens to hold political office.
  • Changes after the Constitutional Amendment:
    • President can appoint and remove Ministers.
    • President will appoint authority of the elections, public service, police, human rights, and bribery or corruption investigation commissions.
    • The Constitutional Council is abolished.
    • President can dissolve the Parliament after two years and six months of it being elected.
    • It lifted a ban on dual citizens for holding political office.
  • Sri Lankan Political System:
    • It is the Democratic Republic and a Unitary State, which is governed by a semi-presidential system.
    • The President is the head of state, head of government, and commander in chief of the armed forces, directly elected for five years.
    • The President appoints and heads a cabinet of ministers responsible to Parliament.
    • The Legislature of Sri Lanka is unicameral.
  • Sri Lanka:
    • It is an island country in South Asia.
    • Its capital is Colombo, and the currency is the Sri Lankan rupee.
    • Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the current President of Sri Lanka.

(Source: Aljazeera)

12. In a US-brokered deal, Israel and Sudan agreed to normalize relations.

  • Israel and Sudan agreed to normalize their relations in the US-brokered deal.
  • Sudan is the third Arab government to set aside hostilities with Israel in the last two months after UAE and Bahrain.
  • Sudan's removal from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism has paved the way for the deal.
  • It will help Sudan to come out of the international isolation from the US sanctions of the 1990s.
  • Both countries will negotiate on the cooperation agreements in agriculture, technology, aviation, migration, and other critical areas.

Country

Israel

Sudan

Location

Middle East (on the Mediterranean Sea)

In East Africa on the Coast of the Red sea

Capital

Jerusalem

Khartoum

Currency

Israeli shekel

Sudanese pound

Prime Minister

Benjamin Netanyahu

Abdalla Hamdok

President

Reuven Rivlin

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