Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 September 2020

2020-09-08

1. Successful Flight Test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) by DRDO.

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV).
  • The demonstration of hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology was done from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast.
  • With this technology, cruise missiles can now travel at hypersonic speeds.  
  • Hypersonic vehicles are those vehicles that travel >= 5 times faster than the speed of sound or greater than Mach 5.
  • A scramjet engine is a variant of ramjet engine that operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion.
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
    • It works under the Ministry of Defence.
    • It was established in 1958 when the Defence Science Organisation (DSO) was combined with the Technical Developments Establishment of Indian Army and the Directorate of Technical Development & Production.
    • Chairman: G. Sateesh Reddy
    • Headquarters: New Delhi

(Source: PIB)

2. International Literacy Day: 8 September

  • Every year on 8 September, International Literacy Day is celebrated to highlight the importance of literacy for all.
  • On 26 October 1966, UNESCO declared 8 September as International Literacy Day.
  • First International Literacy Day was celebrated in 1967.
  • Over 265 million children are out of school, and 22% of them are of primary school age.
  • Around 773 million adults worldwide still lack basic literacy skills.
  • Theme 2020: “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”
  • SDG-4: Quality Education
  • UNESCO awards International Literacy Prizes to outstanding and innovative programmes that promote literacy. The winners for 2020 are:

Awards

Awardees

UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize

‘Ageing Nepal’ in Nepal for its ‘Basic Literacy Class for Older Persons’ programme

‘United World Schools’ in United Kingdom for its ‘Providing Non-Burmese Speaking Out-of-School Children with Access to Education’ programme

UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy

‘University Center for Social Participation’ in Mexico for its ‘Literacy programme: learning by teaching’

‘General Literacy Office in Sanaa’ in Yemen for its ‘Educating and integrating refugees in literacy classes in Yemeni society’ programme

‘Just Commit Foundation’ in Ghana for its ‘Inspirational Business Stories’ programme

 

3. $82 million loan agreement signed between World Bank, Govt. of India and Govt. of Himachal Pradesh.

  • $82 million loan agreement has been signed between the World Bank, the government of India and the Government of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The deal was signed for the implementation of the Himachal Pradesh State Roads Transformation Project.
  • The project will finance various initiatives like building climate and disaster-resilient roads, improving road safety along tourism corridors, building logistics along with fruit belts, etc.
  • The project will implement engineering solutions to provide protection against landslides and floods as these affect the road connectivity of the state.
  • The loan has a maturity of 15 years, including a grace period of 5 years.
  • World Bank:
    • It is an international financial institution comprising the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
    • Established: 1944
    • Members: 189 countries
    • President: David Malpass
    • MD and CFO: Anshula Kant
    • Chief Economist: Carmen Reinhart
  • Himachal Pradesh:
    • It is a North Indian state situated in the western Himalayas.
    • State capitals are Shimla (summer) and Dharamshala (winter).
    • Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya, Chief Minister: Jai Ram Thakur
    • Lok Sabha seats: 4, Rajya Sabha seats: 3

4. Atal Innovation Mission collaborates with ScooNews to spread inspiring stories of grassroots innovations.

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has partnered with ScooNews to spread inspiring stories of grassroots innovations.
  • ScooNews is one of India’s largest media platforms for the education sector.
  • Events or competitions initiated by AIM will be supported by ScooNews.
  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM):
    • It is a flagship initiative of NITI Aayog set up to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
    • Major initiatives under this mission:
      • Atal Tinkering Labs - to promote creative, innovative mindset in schools
      • Atal Incubation Centres- to promote entrepreneurship in universities and industry
      • Atal New India Challenges and Atal Grand Challenges - to promote specific product innovations with social / economic impact
      • Mentors of Change- to mentor students at ATL and AIC Incubators / Startups
      • Atal Research and Innovation for Small Enterprises (ARISE)

5. Atal Innovation Mission partners with Freshworks to promote AIM Startup Innovators.

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has collaborated with Freshworks to support innovators and entrepreneurs in India.
  • This collaboration aims to strengthen the institutions and startups in the AIM portfolio.
  • Freshworks will give credits for its suite of products to AIM and its beneficiaries.
  • Freshworks Inc. is a customer engagement software company. Its CEO is Girish Mathurbootham.

6. Typhoon Haishen creates havoc in South Korea.  

  • Typhoon Haishen has damaged buildings and flooded roads in South Korea.
  • Last week Typhoon Maysak, one of the strongest typhoons in years in this region, hit the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
  • Typhoons:
    • These are tropical cyclones that occur between 180 and 100° E.
    • These are formed over the North Atlantic Ocean and Northeast Pacific.
    • Necessary conditions for the formation of typhoons:
      • Sufficiently warm sea surface (>27 °C)
      • Atmospheric Instability
      • High Humidity
      • Sufficient Coriolis force
  • South Korea:
    • It is a country in East Asia.
    • It shares its land border with North Korea.
    • Capital: Seoul
    • President: Moon Jae-in
    • Prime Minister: Chung Sye-kyun

(Source: PTI)

 

7. Delay in setting up of panel on Content Regulation of Govt Ads by State governments.

  • On 13 May 2015, the Supreme Court had directed states to mandatorily set up three-member committees on the Content Regulation of Government Ads.
  • The committee will address the complaints from the general public on violation of SC guidelines. It will also make recommendations.
  • Supreme Court also stated that the content of govt. ads should be relevant to the government’s constitutional and legal obligations as well as the citizen’s rights and entitlements. The advertisement materials should be objective and not directed at promoting the political interests of the ruling party.
  • Karnataka, Goa, Mizoram and Nagaland have already constituted such panels. At the same time, the content of the Chhattisgarh government will be monitored by the central committee.
  • During the 19th meeting of Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising (CCRGA) chaired by former CEC Om Prakash Rawat, delay in setting up of state-level committees was noted. 

8. Prime Minister inaugurated Patrika Gate in Jaipur.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Patrika Gate in Jaipur via videoconference.
  • The gate is built by the Patrika Group of Newspapers on the Jawaharlal Nehru Marg in Jaipur.
  • Two books titled ‘Samvad Upanishad’ and ‘Akshar Yatra’ written by Shri Gulab Kothari (Chairman of Patrika Group) were also launched during this event.
  • Patrika Gate is 81 feet high and 108 feet wide with nine gates.

(Source: Patrika.com)

9. MoU signed between CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur and NISE, Gurugram.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram.
  • The MoU has been signed as a strategic association between the CSIR-CMERI and NISE to support and strengthen the solar energy sector in India.
  • The MoU has been signed to carry out joint field studies for different solar technologies, develop skills of stakeholders, and to conduct policy and regulatory studies related to grid integration, recycling and disposal of solar panels, batteries, etc.
  • The MoU also intends to collaborate with International Research Institutions and jointly work to expand infrastructure and align capacity building and to improve resource sharing and coordination between the NISE and CSIR-CMERI.
  • National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram, is an autonomous centre of excellence of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur (West Bengal) is one of 38 laboratories and institutions under CSIR.

10. NITI Aayog to use Global MPI to drive reforms.

  • NITI Aayog has been given the responsibility of using the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to drive reforms.
  • The government has made Global MPI a part of its decision to monitor India’s performance in 29 selected Global Indices.
  • The government’s Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG) exercise is aimed at using Global indices for reforming policies and improving last-mile implementation of schemes.
  • NITI Aayog is the nodal agency for MPI. It has formed the Multidimensional Poverty Index Coordination Committee (MPICC) consisting of members from Ministries, departments and OPHI and UNDP.
  • MPI parameter dashboard is also being developed to rank States and UTs. A State Reform Action Plan (SRAP) is also being developed.
  • NFHS 5 (2019/20) has been temporarily stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. NFHS is conducted under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS).
  • Global MPI:
    • Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had developed it in 2010.
    • It is released at UN’s High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.
    • It uses the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).
    • India was ranked 62nd among 107 countries covered by global MPI 2020. India’s MPI score was 0.123.

(Source: PIB)

11. ICICI Bank CEO’s husband arrested in money laundering case.

  • ICICI Bank CEO’s husband, Deepak Kochhar, has been arrested in a money laundering case by Enforcement Directorate (ED).
  • ED has questioned ICICI Banks CEO, Chanda Kochhar and his husband in a case of alleged irregularities and money laundering in giving bank loans to the Videocon group. 
  • ICICI Bank:
    • It is a private sector bank.
    • Its MD & CEO is Sandeep Bakhshi.
    • It is headquartered in Mumbai. 
    • Its tagline is Hum hai na, Khayal Apka.
  • Enforcement Directorate (ED):
    • It is a part of the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance. It was formed on 1 May 1956.
    • It enforces the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) and certain provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
    • Shri Sudhir Nath is the director of ED. It has 10 zonal offices and 11 sub zonal offices.

(Source: PTI)

12. GEAC allows confined field trials of two Bt brinjal varieties

  • Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) has allowed confined field trials of two Bt brinjal varieties, Janak and BSS-793.
  • The permission has been given to a Jalna-based firm, Beejsheetal Research Private Ltd, for trials in seven states between 2020 and 2023.
  • The trial can be started only after permission from the state agricultural departments.
  • Two Brinjal varieties carry a new bacterial gene Bt CryiFa1 (Event 142).
  • In 2009-10, the government stopped field trials of a Bt brinjal variety developed by Monsanto-Mahyco.
  • Transgenic Bt brinjal crop lowers down the frequency of spraying of pesticides and also the cost of the crop.
  • Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC):
    • It is a statutory body.
    • It comes under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change (MoEF&CC).
    • Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC is its chairman.
    • It consists of 24 members.
    • It holds meetings every month.
    • It carries out the appraisal of proposals for the release of genetically engineered products and their field trials. It can take punitive action under the Environment Protection Act.

 

 

 

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