July,2020 Current Affair Test Explanation
Explanation July Current affairs
Paris Agreement 2015
Parties to UNFCCC agreed to strive to limit the rise in global warming to well under 2 degrees Celsius, over pre-industrial levels by 2100, under Paris Agreement 2015.
Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) were conceived at Paris summit which require each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve.
Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
Paris Agreement replaced earlier agreement to deal with climate change, Kyoto Protocol.
USA recently pulled out from the agreement seriously damaging the global effort to reverse climate change, as USA is one of the largest Greenhouse Gas emitter.
2. Ans : C
About Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary:
Also known as the Jeypore Rainforest is a part of Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve.
• Located in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts, the 111.19 sq km Dehing Patkai was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2004.
• It is home to 47 mammals, 47 reptiles, and 310 butterfly species.
• It forms the largest stretch of lowland rainforest in the country.
Dehing is the name of the river that flows through this forest and Patkai is the hill at the foot of which the sanctuary lies.
3. Ans b
Article 239A(4) of the Constitution: Context: Lt Governor Anil Baijal has reversed the Delhi cabinet’s decision to reject the Delhi Police’s panel of lawyers for the riots cases in the High Court and the Supreme Court. L-G used his special powers under Article 239A(4) of the Constitution to overturn the cabinet’s decision. • Under this Article, the Delhi government is bound to follow the L-G’s orders.
4.Ans d :
Tigers in India:
The country now has an estimated 2967 tigers as per the latest census.
With this number, India is home to nearly 75% of the global tiger population.
It has already fulfilled its resolve of doubling tiger numbers, made at St. Petersburg in 2010, much before the target year of 2022.
4th cycle of all India Tiger Estimation- highlights:
1. Highest number of tigers have been found in Madhya Pradesh (526), after that Karnataka has 524 and Uttarakhand is accommodating 442 tigers.
2. In five years, the number of protected areas increased from 692 to over 860, community reserves from 43 to over 100.
3. While the 2014 census pegged the total number of striped big cats in the country at 2,226, the 2010 census put the figure at 1,706 and the 2006 version at 1,411, indicating that tiger numbers have been on the up.
4. While Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.
5. Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in their tiger numbers while tiger numbers in Odisha remained constant. All other states witnessed a positive trend.
All India Tiger estimation:
The All India Tiger Estimation done quadrennially is steered by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical backstopping from the Wildlife Institute of India and implemented by State Forest Departments and partners.
Ban on Chinese Apps: • Union information and technology ministry has banned 47 new apps. The move comes nearly a month after the ban on 59 Chinese apps, taking the total number of mobile applications blocked to 106. • The new apps include clones and different versions of some of the original apps. Why the government banned these apps? These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order. Relevant provisions: For this, the Ministry has invoked its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.
Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR): It is the largest Tiger Reserve in India. The reserve spreads over five districts in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The area consists mostly of the Nallamala Hills. The Krishna river cuts its basin almost 200 m (660 ft) deep over a distance of 130 km (81 mi) through the reserve.
1. Platanista gangetica has been declared endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
2. It has rudimentary eyes. From preying to surfing, dolphins do it through ultrasonic sound.
3. It is India’s national aquatic animal and is popularly known as ‘Susu’
4. They are distributed across seven states in India: Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS): It is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. • It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986
‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ contest: It is an open challenge to promote the innovators and startups of the country. • The winners will be decided after due evaluation by an expert committee. • Award money, up to Rs 10 lakh for startup and Rs five lakh to individual category, will be given to the winners. • Launched by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). • On the 5th death anniversary of former President and noted scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
Nag river: • The Nag River is a river flowing through the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra, India. • It is known for providing the etymology for the name Nagpur. • Forming a part of the Kanhan-Pench river system, the Nag River originates in Lava hills near wadi. Why in News? Industrialisation has reduced Nag river to a cursed lady, Bombay High Court said recently.
Safed Sagar, the Indian Air Force’s operation, was a major part of the Kargil war.
Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS): • Established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society Act and incorporated under Parliament Act XV of 1920. • It is a voluntary humanitarian organization having a network of over 1100 branches throughout the country, providing relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health & care of the vulnerable people and communities. • It is a leading member of the largest independent humanitarian organization in the world, the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement. • Honourable President of India is the President and Hon’ble Union Health Minister is the Chairman of the Society.
Indian Bullfrog: • Scientific name: Hoplobatrachus tigerinus. • IUCN status: Least Concern category. • Habitats: South and South-East Asia. • It is the largest frog found in the Indian Subcontinent. • They often engage in cannibalism by feeding on smaller individuals of their own kind and on other frogs. • Its loud croaking call, attracts the opposite sex, but also predators. • It is protected under Schedule IV of the Wildlife Protection Act of India, 1971.
Vriksharopan Abhiyan: • Organised by the Coal Ministry. • It is a large-scale plantation drive involving all coal/lignite PSUs. • Under this, large scale plantation will be carried out in colonies, offices, and mines and in other suitable areas of coal and Ignite PSUs.
Manodarpan: Manodarpan initiative has been launched under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. This initiative will provide psycho-social support to students, teachers and parents and address their issues related to mental health and emotional well being. • It was launched recently by the Union HRD Minister.
What is a vertically transmitted infection? A vertically transmitted infection is an infection caused by pathogens (such as bacteria and viruses) that use mother-to-child transmission, that is, transmission directly from the mother to an embryo, fetus, or baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
Maguri Motapung Beel is less than 10 km south of the more famous Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and part of the Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve. • The wetland derives its name from ‘Magur’, local word for the catfish Clarius batrachus, once found here in abundance. Motapung is a village nearby, and Beel is the Assamese word for wetland. Significance: • It was declared an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) in 1996. • Important species: Golden Mahaseer, vulnerable species (like the Swamp Francolin and the Marsh Babbler), two endangered (Greater Adjutant and Pallas’s Fish-eagle) and six critically endangered (like Baer’s Pochard, Red-headed Vulture and White-bellied Heron).
India-Bhutan Open New Trade Route: India and Bhutan have opened a new trade route between Jaigaon in West Bengal and Pasakha in Bhutan. • This new land route for movement of industrial raw materials and goods destined for Pasakha Industrial Estate will boost bilateral trade and commerce and lead to decongestion of vehicular traffic along the Jaigaon-Phuentsholing route.
What is APT29 that was in news recently? APT29 (also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’) is a cyber espionage group, almost certainly part of the Russian intelligence services. • The group uses a variety of tools and techniques to predominantly target governmental, diplomatic, think-tank, healthcare and energy targets for intelligence gain. • APT29 is using custom malware known as ‘WellMess’ and ‘WellMail’ to target a number of organisations globally. • Now, it is accused of trying to steal vaccine data.
Melghat tiger reserve: • Located in the Amaravati district of Maharashtra. • It is on the southern offshoot of the Satpura Hill Range in Central India, called Gavilgarh Hill. • The Tapti River and the Gawilgadh ridge of the Satpura Range form the boundaries of the reserve. • It was declared a tiger reserve in 1974. It was among the first nine tiger reserves notified in 1973-74 under Project Tiger. • It was the first tiger reserve of Maharashtra. • The name ‘Melghat’ means the confluence of various ‘ghats’ or valleys as is typical from the landscape of this tiger Reserve. Other prominent animals are Sloth Bear, Indian Gaur, Sambar deer, Leopard, Nilgais, etc. The endangered and ‘back from extinction’ Forest Owlet is also found in various areas of Melghat.
Chiang Mai initiative (CMI): • It is a multilateral currency swap arrangement among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People’s Republic of China (including Hong Kong), Japan and South Korea. • Launched in 2010 to manage regional short-term liquidity problems and to avoid relying on the IMF.
India’s first trans-shipment hub – Vallarpadam Terminal of Cochin Port,Kerala: Vallarpadam Terminal of Cochin Port is envisaged as first trans-shipment port of India. Trans-shipment Hub is the terminal at the port which handles containers, stores them temporarily and transfers them to other ships for the onward destination.
Mont Blanc is the second-highest mountain in Europe after Mount Elbrus. 2. It is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe. 3. The mountain stands in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Savoie and Haute-Savoie, France. 4. Its epithet the “Roof of Europe”.
Azad Pattan hydel power project: Location: The 700MW power project is on the Jhelum river in Sudhoti district of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Why in News? Pakistan and China have signed an agreement on this under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Other projects in the region: • 1,100 MW Kohala project- on Jhelum near Muzaffarabad. • Karot Hydropower station- on the Jhelum is on the boundaries of Kotli district in PoK and Rawalpindi district in Pakistan’s Punjab province. • Two hydel projects are planned in Gilgit Baltistan – Phandar Hydro Power, and Gilgit KIU.
Places in News- Kaziranga National Park: Located in the State of Assam. It is the single largest undisturbed and representative area in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain. • It was declared as a National Park in 1974. It has been declared a tiger reserve since 2007. • It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. • It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. Much of the focus of conservation efforts in Kaziranga are focused on the ‘big four’ species— rhino, elephant, Royal Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo. • Kaziranga is also home to 9 of the 14 species of primates found in the Indian subcontinent.
• It is named the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”. • The lake is part of a natural wetland, including its floating gardens. The floating gardens, known as “Rad” in Kashmiri, blossom with lotus flowers during July and August. • The lake is located in the Zabarwan mountain valley, in the foothills of the Shankracharya hills, which surrounds it on three sides.
Tangams: Recently, Arunachal Pradesh chief Minister released a book titled “Tangams: an Ethnolinguistic study of the critically endangered group of Arunachal Pradesh”. • Tangams are a little-known community within the larger Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. • Tangams are now concentrated in only one village (Kugging), with 253 reported speakers. • As per the UNESCO World Atlas of Endangered Languages (2009), Tangam — an oral language that belongs to the Tani group, under the greater Tibeto-Burman language family — is marked ‘critically endangered’.
Arad and Carmel: These are two new Israeli assault rifles now set to be manufactured in India. The assault rifles will be manufactured under Make in India initiative in Madhya Pradesh by joint venture PLR Systems, which is already producing arms like Tavor.
Swarna Sub1: Farmers in flood-prone areas of Assam have been harvesting the water-resistant Swarna Sub1 rice variety, developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Manila-based International Rice Research Institute, since 2009
‘ground orchid’, has been rediscovered after 118 years in the forests of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. In India, this species was last sighted in Pilibhit in 1902 and there is a documented record in Kew Herbarium in England. • It is listed as “critically endangered” as per IUCN Red List of endangered species. • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora) has also included this plan as a rare species and kept it in Tier-2 list and its trade is prohibited.
31. Ans b
Himalayan Viagra, it is the world’s costliest fungus. It has entered the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN has placed the fungus, known for its aphrodisiac and rejuvenation properties, in the ‘vulnerable’ category. The fungus, also known as keeda jadi in Uttarakhand because of its caterpillar-like appearance, is endemic to the Himalayan and Tibetan plateau and is found in China, Bhutan, Nepal and India. • In India, it is primarily found in Uttarakhand in the higher reaches of districts like Pithoragarh and Chamoli.
ASEEM portal: The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has launched ‘Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping’ (ASEEM) portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities. • The Artificial Intelligence-based ASEEM will provide employers a platform to assess the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans.
Bhashan Char island: • It is also known as Char Piya. • It is an island in Bangladesh. • It is located in the Bay of Bengal. • The island was formed with Himalayan silt in 2006. • It spans 40 km². Why in News? Rohingya refugees on this island will not be allowed to leave unless they agree to return home, Bangladesh authorities said recently.
Places in News- Natanz: Recently, a fire broke out at Natanz, an Underground Nuclear Facility of Iran used for enriching uranium. • Located in Iran’s central Isfahan province in Tehran, Natanz hosts the country’s main uranium enrichment facility. It is known as the first Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant of Iran. • It is among the sites monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal.
Zari work or Zardozi, an art which is considered quite popular amongst embroiders and designers, survives in the narrow alleys of the Old Town of Bhopal. Zardozi prospered in India during the 17th century during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar. It came to India from Persia. Its literal translation, ‘Zar’ means gold and ‘dozi’ meaning embroidery. Thus, Zardozi come from the Persian term meaning ’embroidering with gold threads.’ • In this embroidery, gold coils and beads are tucked onto fabric using a needle and thread. • Metals like gold and silver are transformed into a zari (thin thread) that is used to adorn motifs onto rich fabrics like silk, velvet, organza, chiffon, etc. In 2013 the Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) registration to the Lucknow Zardozi.
Vaartavali: On 4th July 2020, DD News has completed the 5 years of the continuous broadcast of Sanskrit News Magazine ‘Vaartavali’.
Karan- 4: It is a sugar cane variety that has enhanced sugar recovery and has replaced traditional grown varieties in Uttar Pradesh.
ICAR and NICRA: Indian Council of agricultural research (ICAR) is an autonomous body Responsible for coordinating agricultural education and research in India. • It reports to the Department of agricultural research and education, Ministry of agriculture. • The union minister of agriculture serves as its president. • It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world. • National innovations of climate resilient agriculture (NICRA) has been launched by ICAR in 2011.
Prerak Dauur Samman: It is a new category of awards announced as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021. It has a total of five additional subcategories – Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognized in each. Implications: In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator-wise performance criteria which are as follows: 1. Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories 2. Processing capacity against wet waste generated 3. Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste 4. Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing 5. Percentage of waste going to landfills 6. Sanitation status of cities
Central Zoo Authority (CZA): The Environment Ministry has reconstituted the Central Zoo Authority (CZA). • The CZA would now include an expert from the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, and a molecular biologist. About CZA: • CZA is a statutory body chaired by the Environment Minister. • It is tasked with regulating zoos across the country. • Every zoo in the country must obtain recognition from CZA for its operation. • The authority lays down guidelines and prescribes rules under which animals may be transferred among zoos nationally and internationally. Composition: Apart from the chairman, it consists of 10 members and a member-secretary. Almost all of them are officials in the Environment Ministry and non-government experts are those who are wildlife conservationists or retired forest officers.
CogX: CogX is one of the world’s largest events on AI, held annually in London with over 15,000 participants in attendance from the highest levels of business, government, industry, and research. The Cogx Awards are given out to the best-of-the-best in AI and emerging technologies across the world. Why in News? AI enabled MyGov Corona Helpdesk bagged two awards under categories (1) “Best Innovation for Covid-19 – Society” and (2) “People’s Choice Covid-19 Overall Winner”,at the recently held CogX 2020.
What is non-personal data? Any set of data which does not contain personally identifiable information. This means that no individual or living person can be identified by looking at such data. • For example, while order details collected by a food delivery service will have the name, age, gender, and other contact information of an individual, it will become non-personal data if the identifiers such as name and contact information are taken out.
Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010
Who can accept Foreign Contribution? A person having a definite cultural, economic, educational, religious or social programme can accept foreign contribution after getting registration or prior permission from the Central Government.
Who cannot accept Foreign Contribution? 1. Election candidate 2. Member of any legislature (MP and MLAs) 3. Political party or office bearer thereof 4. Organization of a political nature 5. Correspondent, columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner, printer or publishers of a registered Newspaper. 6. Judge, government servant or employee of any corporation or any other body controlled on owned by the Government. 7. Association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news, audio visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode 8. Any other individuals or associations who have been specifically prohibited by the Central Government
Why floods are common in Assam? Brahmaputra is braided and unstable in its entire reach in Assam except for a few places. The main reasons behind the instability of the river are high sedimentation and steep slopes. High percentage of flood prone region: 31.05 lakh hectares of the total 78.523 lakh hectares area of the state is prone to frequent floods. And the reasons behind this high flood prone area percentage are both man-made and natural. EARTHQUAKES/LANDSLIDES: Assam and some other parts of the northeastern region are prone to frequent earthquakes, which causes landslides. The landslides and earthquakes send in a lot of debris in the rivers, causing the river bed to rise. BANK EROSION: Assam has also faced bank erosion around the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers as well as their tributaries. It is estimated that annually nearly 8000 hectares land is lost to erosion. Bank erosion has also affected the width of the Brahmaputra river, which has increased up to 15 km. DAMS: Among the man-made reasons, the key cause of floods in Assam region is releasing of water from dams situated uphill. Unregulated release of water floods the Assam plains, leaving thousands of people homeless every year.
Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited Is situated in Tamil Nadu.
Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) program
The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) program of the World Bank, using its presence and convening ability, brought global partners together to strengthen the tiger agenda.
At the Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, leaders of 13 tiger range countries resolved to do more for the tiger and embarked on efforts to double its number in the wild, with a popular slogan ‘T X 2’.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards.
While Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the “maximum improvement” since 2014.
The Green-Ag Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility
The Union government on July 28, 2020, launched the Green-Ag Project in Mizoram, to reduce emissions from agriculture and ensure sustainable agricultural practices. • Mizoram is one of the five states where the project will be implemented. Other states include Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttarakhand.
About the Project: The Green-Ag Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility, while the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW) is the national executing agency. Other key players involved in its implementation are Food and Agricultre Organization (FAO) and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). • The project seeks to integrate biodiversity, climate change and sustainable land management objectives and practices into Indian agriculture.
Contamination: Ammonia may find its way to ground and surface water sources through industrial effluents or through contamination by sewage. • If the concentration of ammonia in water is above 1 ppm it is toxic to fishes. • In humans, long term ingestion of water having ammonia levels of 1 ppm or above may cause damage to internal organs.
Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2020 was recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
According to FRA 2020, top 10 countries that have recorded the maximum average annual net gains in forest area during 2010-2020 are: 1. China 2. Australia 3. India 4. Chile 5. Vietnam 6. Turkey 7. United States 8. France 9. Italy 10. Romania
Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) in Pune
“Retrofit of Air-conditioning to improve Indoor Air Quality for Safety and Efficiency” (RAISE) national programme has been launched. • It is a joint initiative of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) MAITREE Program.
Madhya Pradesh forest department has released the latest Dolphin census report.
Key findings: There are just 68 dolphins left in 435-kilometre-long Chambal river sanctuary which passes through three states (Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan). Dolphins’ number in Chambal river has been reduced by 13 per cent in four years. The decreasing trend is continuing from 2016 when there were 78 dolphins.
Key facts- Gangetic dolphin: 1. Platanista gangetica has been declared endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 2. It has rudimentary eyes. From preying to surfing, dolphins do it through ultrasonic sound. 3. It is India’s national aquatic animal and is popularly known as ‘Susu’ 4. They are distributed across seven states in India: Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
About the United Nations HLPF: The establishment of the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) was mandated in 2012 by the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), “The Future We Want”. • The HLPF meets annually in July for eight days under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations. • It replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development, which had met annually since 1993.
India’s first national park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, now known as Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand.
It is a rare and critically endangered plant species.
• It is commonly as ‘dancing ladies’ or ‘swan flowers’.
• They are characterised by white flowers, non-appendaged anthers (the part of a stamen that contains the pollen) and a “yellowish lip”.
About UNFCCC: The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, which marked the beginning of the international community’s first concerted effort to confront the problem of climate change. Known also as the Rio Convention, the UNFCCC established a framework for action to stabilise concentrations of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. • The UNFCCC entered into force in 1994.
The main Pillars of the Namami Gange Programme are: 1. Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure 2. River-Surface Cleaning 3. Afforestation 4. Industrial Effluent Monitoring 5. River-Front Development 6. Bio-Diversity 7. Public Awareness 8. Ganga Gram
A machine to harness energy from nuclear fusion
The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion. • Inside a tokamak, the energy produced through the fusion of atoms is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel. • Just like a conventional power plant, a fusion power plant will use this heat to produce steam and then electricity by way of turbines and generators.
What is ITER? It is an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject, which will be the world’s largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment.
Human Growth Hormone Context: In a first-of-its-kind case, a 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and reigning national champion weightlifter- Pradeep Singh has tested positive for Human Growth Hormone (HGH). • He has been handed a provisional four-year suspension after his blood sample tested positive for HGH, which is prohibited in and out of competition by the World Anti- Doping Agency.
What is HGH? It is known to increase muscle mass, strength as well as tissue- repairing effects, which has been used as a doping agent in power and endurance sports It is produced in the body and secreted by the pituitary gland near the base of the brain. • When the gland releases the growth hormone, it results in the secretion of a protein called IGF-1 from the liver. This protein is what ultimately stimulates the growth of bones, muscles and other tissues.
The following conditions should be fulfilled by the applicant: 1. Reasonable requirements of the public with respect to the patented invention have not been satisfied; 2. Patented invention is not available to the public at a reasonably affordable price. 3. Patented invention is not used in India.
NASA has been sending rovers on Mars since 1997 when the Mars Pathfinder Mission was initiated
As the mission turned out to be successful, NASA decided to continue going to Mars to find evidence. • Second time, the space organization sent twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity to Mars in 2003. • The third attempt was by sending Curiosity in 2012.
The recently discovered comet called C/2020 F3, also known as NEOWISE after the NASA telescope that discovered it, will make its closest approach to the Earth on July 22. • On the day, the comet, which takes 6,800 years to complete one lap around its orbit, will be at a distance of 64 million miles or 103 million kilometers while crossing Earth’s outside orbit.
Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant in Gujarat
About National Biopharma Mission (NBM): It is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country. It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of Rs 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan. It is being implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
Classification of Biofuels: 1st generation biofuels are also called conventional biofuels. They are made from things like sugar, starch, or vegetable oil. Note that these are all food products. Any biofuel made from a feedstock that can also be consumed as a human food is considered a first-generation biofuel. 2nd generation biofuels are produced from sustainable feedstock. The sustainability of a feedstock is defined by its availability, its impact on greenhouse gas emissions, its impact on land use, and by its potential to threaten the food supply. No second generation biofuel is also a food crop, though certain food products can become second generation fuels when they are no longer useful for consumption. Second generation biofuels are often called “advanced biofuels.” 3rd generation biofuels are biofuel derived from algae. These biofuels are given their own separate class because of their unique production mechanism and their potential to mitigate most of the drawbacks of 1st and 2nd generation biofuels. 4th generation biofuels: In the production of these fuels, crops that are genetically engineered to take in high amounts of carbon are grown and harvested as biomass. The crops are then converted into fuel using second generation techniques.
About SATAT initiative: The initiative is aimed at providing a Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) as a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs. Compressed Bio-Gas plants are proposed to be set up mainly through independent entrepreneurs.
There are multiple benefits from converting municipal solid waste into CBG on a commercial scale: 1. Responsible waste management, reduction in carbon emissions and pollution. 2. Additional revenue source for farmers. 3. Boost to entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment. 4. Support to national commitments in achieving climate change goals. 5. Reduction in import of natural gas and crude oil.
Rewa solar project Inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is Asia’s largest 750 MW solar power project. It is located at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. • The Solar Park was developed by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL), a Joint Venture Company of Madhya Pradesh UrjaVikas Nigam Limited (MPUVN), and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a Central Public Sector Undertaking.
Significance: The Rewa Project has been acknowledged in India and abroad for its robust project structuring and innovations. 1. Its payment security mechanism for reducing risks to power developers has been recommended as a model to other States by MNRE. 2. It has also received World Bank Group President’s Award for innovation and excellence and was included in the book “A Book of Innovation: New Beginnings” released by Prime Minister. 3. The project is also the first renewable energy project to supply to an institutional customer outside the State, i.e. Delhi Metro, which will get 24% of energy from the project with remaining 76% being supplied to the State DISCOMs of Madhya Pradesh. 4. The Project also exemplifies India’s commitment to attain the target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by the year 2022, including 100 GW of Solar installed capacity.
The Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM): In India, the new HAM is a mix of BOT Annuity and EPC models. As per the design, the government will contribute to 40% of the project cost in the first five years through annual payments (annuity). The remaining payment will be made on the basis of the assets created and the performance of the developer. Here, the developer has to raise the remaining 60% in the form of equity or loans. There is no toll right for the developer. Revenue collection would be the responsibility of NHAI.
Recommendations by Bibek Debroy Committee: The Bibek Debroy Committee, which was set up to suggest ways to mobilise resources for the Indian Railways and restructure the Railway Board, had favoured privatisation of rolling stock: wagons and coaches. Rail Privatisation: Pros: Improved Infrastructure – It will lead to better infrastructure which in turn would lead to improved amenities for travellers. Balancing Quality of Service with High Fares – The move would foster competition and hence lead to overall betterment in the quality of services. Lesser Accidents – Because private ownership is synonymous with better maintenance, supporters of privatisation feel that it will reduce the number of accidents, thus resulting in safe travel and higher monetary savings in the long run.
The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020 (SOFI 2020): InstaFact: The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World is an annual flagship report jointly prepared by: 1. Food and Agriculture Organization. 2. International Fund for Agricultural Development. 3. United Nations Children’s Fund. 4. World Food Programme. 5. World Health Organization.
About ECOSOC: The UN Charter established ECOSOC in 1945 as one of the six main organs of the United Nations. It is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as implementation of internationally agreed development goals. It has 54 Members, elected by the General Assembly for overlapping three-year terms. India is the member of ECOSOC (From 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2020) •
Asian Development Bank (ADB) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has appointed Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa as its vice-president (V-P) for private sector operations and public-private partnerships.
About ADB: It is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966. headquartered — Manila, Philippines. official United Nations Observer. Membership: The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and nonregional developed countries. • Currently, it has 68 members.
About MTCR: It is an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countries. Objective: to prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying greater than 500 kg payload for more than 300 km. The regime was formed in 1987 by the G-7 industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States).
How is the WHO funded? There are four kinds of contributions that make up funding for the WHO.These are: Assessed contributions are the dues countries pay in order to be a member of the Organization. The amount each Member State must pay is calculated relative to the country’s wealth and population. Voluntary contributions come from Member States (in addition to their assessed contribution) or from other partners. They can range from flexible to highly earmarked. Core voluntary contributions allow less well-funded activities to benefit from a better flow of resources and ease implementation bottlenecks that arise when immediate financing is lacking. Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Contributions were started in 2011 to improve and strengthen the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential, and to increase the access of developing countries to vaccines and other pandemic related supplies.
Where is Sakteng wildlife sanctuary? Sakteng is based in Eastern Bhutan, or Trashigang Dzongkhag (district) that borders Arunachal Pradesh. • It protects several endemic species including the eastern blue pine and the black-rumped magpie. • It was created in part to protect the migoi, a yetilike cryptid whose existence has not been scientifically confirmed, but in which the local population strongly believes
Pragyata guidelines PRAGYATA guidelines on digital education released. • The guidelines include eight steps of digital learning that is, Plan- Review- Arrange- Guide- Yak (talk)- Assign- Track- Appreciate. These steps guide the planning and implementation of digital education step by step with examples. These are only advisory in nature and state governments can formulate their own rules, based on local needs.
Rubella: It is generally a mild infection, but has serious consequences if infection occurs in pregnant women, causing congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which is a cause of public health concern. CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects, causing a huge socio-economic burden on the families in particular and society in general.
About Madhubani paintings: • Madhubani means ‘forest of honey’. • It is a style of folk painting old enough to find mention in some of the ancient Indian texts like the holy Ramayana. • It is also known as Mithila, for its origin, is said to be the Mithila region in Bihar. • Traditionally, the Madhubani paintings were created using fingers and twigs, and items like matchsticks have come to be used in their creation in recent times. • This style of painting has been traditionally done by the women of the region, though today men are also involved to meet the demand. • These paintings are popular because of their tribal motifs and use of bright earthy colours.
A rare late ninth century stone statue of Lord Shiva, which was stolen from a temple in Rajasthan and smuggled to the UK, will be returned to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Key facts: • The stone Nataraj/Natesha murti, in “chatura pose with jatamakuta and trinetra” and almost four-feet-tall, is a rare depiction of Lord Shiva in the Prathihara style. • It is a rare sandstone idol. • It is originally from the Ghateswara Temple at Baroli, Rajasthan.
Pratihara empire: The Gurjara-Pratiharas, also known as the Pratihara Empire, ruled much of Northern India from the mid-7th to the 11th century. They were instrumental in containing Arab armies moving east of the Indus River. Nagabhata I defeated the Arab army under Junaid and Tamin during the Caliphate campaigns in India.
What you need to know about Chandra Shekhar Azad? • Born on July 23, 1906, at Bhavra, Alirajpur District in present-day Madhya Pradesh. • He took part in non-cooperation movement when he was 15. • After the suspension of the non-cooperation movement in 1922 by Gandhi, Azad joined Hindustan Republican Association (HRA). • HRA was later reorganised as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) in 1928. • Azad was involved in the 1925 Kakori Conspiracy. • He died at Azad Park in Allahabad on 27th February 1931. • Other cases Azad was involved in include the 1926 attempt to blow up the viceroy’s train, and the shooting of J P Saunders in 1928. Saunders was assassinated to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.
Tilak’s Newspapers: • Towards his nationalistic goals, Bal Gangadhar Tilak published two newspapers –‘Mahratta’ (English) and ‘Kesari’ (Marathi). • Tilak fearlessly published reports about the havoc caused by famine and plague and the government’s utter irresponsibility and indifference about ‘Famine Relief fund’.
Education: • As a founding father of the Deccan Education Society created in 1884. • The Society established the Fergusson College in 1885 for post-secondary studies. Tilak taught mathematics at Fergusson College.
What is the Istanbul Convention? It is also called as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The treaty is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and tackle violence against women. It is the most comprehensive legal framework that exists to tackle violence against women and girls, covering domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation (FGM), so-called honour-based violence, and forced marriage. •
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Blue Heart Campaign of UN: It has been initiated by the UN to raise global awareness to fight human trafficking and its impact on society. It aims to encourage the involvement of the governments, civil society, the corporate sector and individuals to inspire action and help prevent this heinous crime. It allows people to show their solidarity with the victims of human trafficking and increasing their visibility by wearing the Blue Heart.
Article 129 and 215 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court and High Court respectively to punish people for their respective contempt. Section 10 of The Contempt of Courts Act of 1971 defines the power of the High Court to punish contempts of its subordinate courts. The Constitution also includes contempt of court as a reasonable restriction to the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19, along with elements like public order and defamation.
What is NATGRID? First conceptualised in 2009, NATGRID seeks to become the one-stop destination for security and intelligence agencies to access database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details of a suspect on a “secured platform”. The project aims to go live by December 31.