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Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support (ARLS)

India and Russia are finalising a defence agreement that will simplify interoperability and enable military platforms to receive support and supplies across bases in both nations- Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support (ARLS). It is an arrangement that will allow access to India and Russia, to each other’s military facilities for supplies and fuel, expanding the logistics support and operational turnaround of the Indian military. Benefits and mutual significance:

Odisha’s first case of harlequin ichthyosis

Odisha’s first case of harlequin ichthyosis WHY? Mutations in the ABCA 12 gene are stated to cause harlequin ichthyosis. The ABCA12 protein plays a major role in transporting fats in cells which make up the outermost layer of skin. Severe mutations in the gene lead to the absence or partial production of the ABCA12 protein. This results in lack of lipid transport and as a result, the skin development is affected by varying degrees according to the severity of the mutation, a doc

SUPACE Portal

SUPACE Portal The Supreme Court unveiled its Artificial Intelligence (AI) portal, the Supreme Court Portal for Assistance in Court’s Efficiency (SUPACE). A pet project of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, SUPACE is a tool that collects relevant facts and laws and makes them available to a judge. The portal is not designed to take decisions, but only to process facts and to make them available to judges looking for an input for a decision. It is designed to make research easier f

Thotlakonda Buddhist destination

Thotlakonda Buddhist destination Historians and biologists campaign to protect the ancient Buddhist site of Thotlakonda - Home to around 90 species of birds. The site is found at a hill of Mangamaripeta Village, Bheemunipatnam Taluka of Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh. Significance of the site - In 1976, during a helicopter survey by the Indian Navy to set up a naval facility, ruins of the Buddhist site were spotted. Subsequently, the entire hill was declared as an area com

Lockdown Generation

Lockdown Generation The International Labour Organization (ILO) termed the current young population as the ‘lockdown generation’ citing the massive impacts of the pandemic on them. The lockdown generation emerged, as young people constitute major victims of social and economic consequences of the pandemic, and there is a risk that they will be scarred throughout their working lives. According to ILO and various other estimates, during the pandemic, Some 90% of y

Exercise Khanjar- exercise between India and Kyrgyzstan

India and Kyrgyzstan Special Forces have started a military exercise named Exercise Khanjar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. About Exercise Khanjar Exercise Khanjar is a Joint Special Forces Military Exercise between India and Kyrgyzstan. The exercise was started in the year 2011. This is the Eighth Edition of the Exercise. The exercise aims to boost the strategic partnership between India and Kyrgyzstan. It also focuses on high-altitude, mountains and counter-extremism drills. Other Ex

Dekho Apna Desh Webinar on Khajuraho Temples

The Ministry of Tourism recently organized a webinar on “Khajuraho Temples of Architectural Splendour” under Dekho Apna Desh. About Dekho Apna Desh webinar Ministry of Tourism launched Dekho Apna Desh webinar series in April 2020. Its objective is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations in India. It is also an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. About Khajuraho Temples: Khajuraho Group

World Press Freedom Index 2021

The World Press Freedom Index 2021 was recently released. About World Press Freedom Index: The index is Published by Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders since 2002. The Index ranks 180 countries and regions according to the level of freedom available to journalists. However, the index neither ranks public policies and nor is it an indicator of the quality of journalism in each country or region. The index ranks 180 countries based on the followin

Global Youth Mobilization Initiative Launched by UN

Recently, United Nations agencies, youth organisations, and WHO have come together to launch the Global Youth Mobilization initiative for local Solutions. About Global Youth Mobilization Initiative: World Health Organization and United Nations Foundation are supporting Global Youth Mobilization Initiative. It is also led by the world’s six largest youth organisations, including The World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations World Young Women’s Chr

Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System developed by DRDO

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System which will be useful for soldiers in extreme high-altitude areas. About DRDO’s Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System: The system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) levels. Thus, it prevents the person from going into a state of Hypoxia. Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissu

National Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has recently released the National climate vulnerability assessment report. About National Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report: The National Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India, as per the current climate risk and key drivers of vulnerability. Report uses several key drivers of Vulnerability for the assessment- 1) percentage of the population living below the pover

EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy approved by EU Council

The Council of the European Union has approved the EU’s Indo-Pacific Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. About EU Indo-Pacific Strategy: The Indo-Pacific region spans from the east coast of Africa to the Pacific Island States with world’s two most populous countries & economies — India and China. The strategy aims to contribute to the stability, security, prosperity, and sustainable development of the Indo-Pacific Region. Basis of strategy are the promo

NASA's Ingenuity Rover takes flight in Mars' Atmosphere

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity has successfully flown on Mars. It is the first powered flight on another planet.  About NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Ingenuity is the first helicopter to fly on Mars. NASA’s rover called Perseverance carried it to the Red Planet. The helicopter’s main task is to carry out a technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars. It also aims to collect samples from the locations on Mars where the rover canno

Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry recently launched the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS). About Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS): The scheme was announced during the Prarambh: the ‘Startup India International Summit’. Which marks the 5-year anniversary of the Startup India initiative. Objective: Startup India Seed Fund Scheme(SISFS) aims to provide financial assistance to startups. Assistance is provided for proof of concept, prototype devel

Sudarshan Sen Committee for Asset Reconstruction Companies by RBI

Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has set up the Sudarshan Sen committee to review the working of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) Comprehensively. About Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC): Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) is a specialized financial institution that buys the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) from banks and financial institutions. It helps banks in cleaning up their balance sheets. Thus, it helps banks to concentrate on normal banking activities. Banks, Instead of goi

Inclusive Internet Index 2021

Inclusive Internet Index 2021 has recently been releasedby Facebook. About Inclusive Internet Index, 2021 Facebook Commissions the Inclusive Internet Index, 2021, and The Economist Intelligence Unit develops the index. It seeks to measure the extent of accessibility and affordability of the Internet. Also, the internet should be able to enable positive social and economic outcomes at the individual and group levels. The index assesses the performance of 120 countries representi

India’s First “Disc Footed Bat found in Meghalaya

Researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered India’s first disc footed bat near the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary in Meghalaya. About Disc Footed Bat: This bat (Eudiscopus denticulus) is a bat species that is very different. It has a flat skull, prominent disk-like pads in the thumb, and bright orange colouration. This bat rests inside bamboo internodes. Their sticky disks and flattened skull help them in this. So far, this species only thrive i

“Gender Samvaad” Event by Ministry of Rural Development

The Ministry of Rural Development recently organized the Gender Samvaad Event. About Gender Samvaad Event: Gender Samvaad is a cooperation between Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NRLM) and Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE). It aims to generate greater awareness about gender-related interventions under DAY-NRLM across the country. It focuses on hearing opinions from the states and the field. Activities un

National Startup Advisory Council

The Minister of Commerce & Industry chaired the first meeting of the National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC) recently. About the National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC): National Startup Advisory Council (NSAC) was constituted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT). Its Purpose is to advise the Government on measures required to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and startups in the country. Functions of NSAC: To foster a

WHO's Global Diabetes Compact Initiative

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched a Global Diabetes Compact Initiative. About Global Diabetes Compact Initiative: Global Diabetes Compact aims to reduce the risk of diabetes. It will ensure that all people diagnosed with diabetes have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable, quality treatment and care. This initiative launched at the Global Diabetes Summit. WHO and the government of Canada Co-hosted the summit with the support of the University of Toronto

Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace

India and the U.S. are being urged to join the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace which now has 75 countries on board. It deals with the new cybersecurity threats faced in the world. About Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace: The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace was announced in 2018 by the French President. It was announced during the Internet Governance Forum held at UNESCO and the Paris Peace Forum. It is a non-binding declaration. It c

Global Food Policy Report 2021 by IFPRI

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) recently released the Global Food Policy Report, 2021. About Global Food Policy Report, 2021: The report provides lessons drawn from the current crisis. Especially the lessons that can help transform food systems to reduce the impact of the ongoing pandemic, better prepare for future shocks, and address long-standing weaknesses and inequalities. Theme: “Transforming Food Systems After COVID-19”.

UN Food Systems Summit 2021

The Ministry of Agricultural and Farmers Welfare recently conducted a National Dialogue on UN Food Systems Summit, 2021. About UN Food Systems Summit,2021: The first-ever UN Food Systems Summit is expected to be held in September 2021. The summit will aim to strategize the actions for positive change in Agri-food systems in the world. It will help to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Summit will focus on levers and pathways to shape food systems

India-UK agree for Nirav Modi's Extradition to India

The U.K.’s Home Department has recently approved the extradition of Nirav Modi to India in connection with the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. About Extradition: Extradition is the formal process of surrendering an individual from one state to another state. The aim of the process is prosecution or punishment for crimes committed by an individual in the requesting country’s jurisdiction. The extradition of a fugitive from India to a foreign country or vice-versa is gover

Great Indian Bustard poaching

Great Indian Bustard poaching Great Indian Bustard and Conservation Efforts It is one of the heaviest Flight birds. They have weak eyesight. Habitat is grassland (not covered under Forest Conservation Act, 1980). It is endemic to Indian subcontinent found in Central India, west India and eastern Pakistan. Bustard species found in India: Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican and Bengal Florican; Houbara Bustard in Pakistan. It is considered as the flagship/ indicator grassland

Buddhist Remains found in Jharkhand

Earlier this year, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered Buddhist Remains from Hazaribagh at the eastern side of Jharkhand’s Sitagarha hills. What did the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) discover? ASI had discovered the remains of a Buddhist monastery along with some Shaivite remains which includes: Four Statues of Taras, the “saviouresses” of the Thunderbolt Vehicle, displaying the Varada mudra(gesture of hand showing dispensing of boons). Six

Eatsmart Cities Challenge and Transport 4 All Challenge by Govt

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has recently launched the EatSmart Cities Challenge and Transport 4 All Challenge. About EatSmart Cities Challenge: EatSmart Cities Challenge is organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The challenge is organised in association with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It aims to motivate Smart Cities to develop a plan that supports a healthy, safe and sustaina

India on US’s Currency Watch list

The US treasury places India along with 10 other countries on its currency watch list. What is Currency Manipulator: Current Manipulators are countries engaging in “unfair currency practices” by deliberately devaluing their currency against the dollar. The practice would mean that the country in question is artificially lowering the value of its currency. By that, it aims to gain an unfair advantage over others. This is because the devaluation would reduce the cost of ex

State of World Population Report 2021 by UN Population Fund

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) recently released its report “State of World Population Report 2021” titled ‘My Body is My Own’. About State of World Population Report 2021: The State of World Population is an annual report published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Bodily autonomy is the first time the focus of the report. It is defined as the power and agency to make choices about your body without fear of violence or having someone e

Regulations Review Authority 2.0 by RBI

Recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the setting up of a new Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0). About Regulations Review Authority(RRA): RBI earlier set up the first RRA for a period of one year from April 1, 1999. This is for reviewing the regulations, circulars, reporting systems, based on the feedback from the public, banks and financial institutions. About Regulations Review Authority (RRA 2.0): RRA 2.0 will streamline the regulatory instructions, reduc

New Delhi Dialogue 2021 on The Hydrogen Economy

The Union Minister inaugurated The Hydrogen Economy – New Delhi Dialogue 2021. About Hydrogen Economy – New Delhi Dialogue 2021: New Delhi Dialogue 2021 is organized by The Energy Forum(TEF), an independent think tank in India in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry(FIPI). FIPI is under the patronage of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The dialogue aims to discuss emerging hydrogen ecosystems and exploring opportunities for collaborat

Electronic nose to detect “Hydrogen Sulphide” from Sewers

Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bangalore have developed Electronic Nose to detect Hydrogen Sulphide from swamps and sewers. CeNS is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology About Hydrogen Sulphide: Hydrogen Sulphide is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colourless chalcogen hydride gas. It is with the characteristic foul odour of rotten eggs. (Chacogen –  chalcogens are the chemical

Digital Repository on Health, Nutrition- Poshan Gyan- Released

NITI Aayog has launched a platform named “Poshan Gyan”. About Poshan Gyan: Niti Aayog launched Poshan Gyan in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University. It is a National Digital Repository on health and nutrition. Key Features: It is a comprehensive online resource for anybody working in the nutrition sector in India. It is a collection of effective communication materials created by th

Online Grievance Management Portal for Scheduled Castes by NCSC

National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) recently launched an Online Grievance Management Portal for Scheduled Castes .in the country About Online Grievance Management Portal: The Portal will allow submission of complaints about atrocities against the Scheduled Castes. The portal also allows users to track the progress of their complaints. It was developed in collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics(BISAG-N), a Centre of Excellen

e-SANTA Marketplace

The Union Commerce and Industry Minister recently virtually inaugurated e-SANTA. About e-SANTA: e-SANTA stands for Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmer’s trade in Aquaculture. e-SANTA is an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and buyers. The platform will also act as an alternative marketing tool between farmers & buyers by eliminating middlemen. Benefits of e-SANTA Platform: Enhances the life of Farmers: The platform

Trade Facilitation Mobile App by DGFT

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry has launched the Directorate General of Foreign Trade’s (DGFT) Trade Facilitation Mobile Application. About Trade Facilitation Mobile Application:  Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) developed the Trade Facilitation Mobile Application. It is as per the directions of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT). It aims to promote ease of doing business by providing quick access to information to importers/exporters. The applicat

2021- Raisina Dialogue

The Prime Minister delivered a video address at the Inaugural Session of the Raisina Dialogue. About Raisina Dialogue: Raisina Dialogue is an annual multilateral conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation have been jointly organizing it since 2016. The conference discusses cooperation on the most challenging international policy matters. It involves a variety of global policymakers including heads of state, ca

Indus and Ganges River Dolphins Detected to be 2 different species

According to an analysis of the Indus and Ganges River dolphins, it was found they are not one but two separate different species. What is the current classification? Currently, Indus and Ganges River dolphins are classified as two subspecies under South Asian river dolphins(Platanista gangetica). What has the analysis revealed? The researchers examined the DNA samples of the Indus and Gangetic River Dolphins. They found out that the Indus and Ganges river dolphins have cle

Fukushima Radioactive Water to be Released in Seas

Japan is planning to release about 1 million metric tons of radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. About Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant: Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is located in the town of Okuma, Japan. The reactor is located on the country’s east coast. It is about 220 km north-east of the capital Tokyo. The 2011 Earthquake, destroyed the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant’s electricity and cooling capacity. Since then, Japan is struggling with th

WHO guidelines to control Transmission of Zoonotic Diseases

The World Health Organization(WHO), World Organization for Animal Health and United Nations Environment Programme jointly released guidelines to control “Zoonotic Diseases” for governments. Guidelines ask to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens to humans in food production and marketing chains. What are Zoonotic Diseases? Zoonosis is an infectious disease that jumps from a non-human animal to humans. Zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral, or p

Indian Rhino Vision 2020

Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) ended with the release of two rhinos. An adult male and a female rhino transported to Assam’s Manas National Park from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Indian Rhino Vision Plan 2020: Indian Rhino Vision Plan 2020 was launched in 2005. The vision of IRV was: Increase the Rhino Population in Assam from about 2000 to 3000 by 2020. Ensure that one horned rhinos are spread over seven protected areas in the Indian state of Assam by the year 202

Mandatory Gold Hallmarkings

The government said that it is fully prepared to implement the mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts from June 1, 2021. What is Gold hallmarking? Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of precious metal. At present, It is voluntary in nature. Gold Hallmarking in India: In 2019, the Government announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts will be made mandatory across the country. The government had given jewellers more than a year to shift t

Danube Sturgeon- Illegal Selling

Danube Sturgeon- Illegal Selling According to a report released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), illegal sale of Danube Sturgeon, one of the most endangered species in the world, is rampant in the lower Danube (River) region, especially in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Danube is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga. It rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for some 2,850 km to its mouth on the&n

Regional New Year Days

Regional New Year Days Context Puthandu Pirappu, Rongali Bihu, Naba Barsha and Vaisakhadi, Ugadi,Gudi Padwa  will be celebrated in different parts of the country on 14th  and 15th  April, 2021. In the month of Chaitra (March-April) of Hindu calender most of the regional New Year Days are celebrated. Ugadi is the Telugu New Year that usually comes in March. In Punjab the year starts with the first of Vaisakh, coincinding with the ripening of the rabi harvest Baisa

Sushil Chandra -24th CEC

Sushil Chandra -24th CEC Context  Sushil Chandra  assumed charge as the 24th Chief Election Commissioner of India, succeeding  Sunil Arora. About: Shri Sushil Chandra has been serving in the Commission as Election Commissioner since 15 February 2019.He is also Member of Delimitation Commission since 18th February 2020 looking after Delimitation of Jammu Kashmir UT. Having held several posts in the Income-Tax Department for nearly 39 years, Sh Sushil Chandra had also be

C-DAC

34th Foundation Day of C-DAC Context This 13th April is the 34th Foundation Day of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the premier R&D organization of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Three novel innovative technologies – Cyber Security Operation Centre (CSoC) as a service ,offering end to end security solutions including managed security services. C-DAC’s indigenous High-Performance Computing software solutions-

Aahaar Kranti Mission

The Union Minister for Science and Technology will launch a mission called `Aahaar Kranti’. About Aahaar Kranti Mission: Vijnana Bharati (Vibha) and the Global Indian Scientists’ and Technocrats’ Forum (GIST) will launch Aahaar Kranti Mission. The mission will aim to spread the message of the need for a nutritionally balanced diet. It will highlight the importance of being accessible to all local fruits and vegetables. Key Features of the Mission: The m

Women and Men in India Report, 2020

The National Statistical Office released the Women and Men in India report, 2020. About Women and Men in India Report, 2020: NSO produces this report annually. This is the 22nd issue in its series. The report consolidates the crucial socio-economic indicators that portray gender situations in the country. Key Findings from the Report: Population and Related Statistics: India’s projected population in 2021 is 136.13 Crore with a 48.65% female population. The proje

Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier is Melting

Researchers at a Sweden University released a new finding related to the melting of the Thwaites Glacier. About Thwaites Glacier: Thwaites Glacier is a 120 km wide, fast-moving glacier located in Antarctica. Because of its size (1.9 lakh square km), it contains enough water to raise the world sea level by more than half a meter. It’s melting already contributes 4% to global sea-level rise each year. It is estimated that it would collapse into the sea in 200-900 years. S

e-SANTA

e-SANTA The term e-SANTA was coined for the web portal, meaning Electronic Solution for Augmenting NaCSA farmers' Trade in Aquaculture. e-SANTA is an electronic marketplace providing a platform to connect aqua farmers and the buyers. It will enable the farmers to get a better price and the exporters to directly purchase quality products from the farmers enhancing traceability, a key factor in international trade. National Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture (NaCSA) is an extensi

Raisina Dialogue 2021

Raisina Dialogue 2021 What is Raisina Dialogue? It is a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi, India. Since its inception in 2016, the conference has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs of India. The conference is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving

Bar Headed Geese

Bar Headed Geese with a Mongolian Band   Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia follows unique conservation methods like banding. The band consists of details like: Color of band- This green color band   Conservation center name- Wildlife Conservation and Science Center in Mongolia Where is found- Salt lake near Tsakhir soum in province Arkhangai of the Central Mongolia. Capture location- N48.126314, E99.143451. Details of Bird- This bird was i

Lab on Wheels Programme by Delhi Technological University

Delhi Education Minister inaugurated Delhi Technological University (DTU) Lab on Wheels programme. About Lab on Wheels Programme: The Programme aims to impart education in the fields of Mathematics and Science. Especially to the students from marginalised and poor economic backgrounds. The programme aims to stimulate their interests in these subjects while pursuing higher education. The programme becomes mutually beneficial, if some of these students decide to take admission in

SC's Verdict: People are Free to Choose Religion

The Supreme Court refused to entertain a PIL seeking directions to the Centre to ban black magic, superstition, and deceitful religious conversion. What was the case filed? A petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking to control black magic, superstition & mass religious conversion of SC/STs. The petition also mentions the religious conversions through intimidation, threats & gifts. The plea argued that such forceful religious conversions by use of black magic are common

AICTE's “Lilavati Awards” 2020

Union Minister of Education has presented the AICTE Lilavati Awards 2020 on women empowerment to the winners. About Lilavati Awards: Lilavati Award is an initiative of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It aims to recognise efforts by AICTE-approved institutions to treat women with equality and fairness. The award has got its name after the 12th-century book called “Lilavati”. The Mathematician Bhaskara II wrote this book. Objective: To create awar

Recent Dolphin Census Report Released

The Odisha State Forest and Environment Department released the final data on the dolphin census that covered almost the entire coast of Odisha. Key Findings: The number of dolphins increased by 311 in Odisha taking the total number up to 544 Dolphins. In the 2020 census, there were a total of 233 dolphins in the Odisha state. Census recorded three species of Dolphins: Irrawaddy, bottle-nose, and humpback dolphins. Irrawaddy Dolphins: The population of Irrawaddy dolphins jumps from

Shaphari Scheme – To Include Shrimp Farms in Aquaculture

Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) recently launched a certification scheme for aquaculture called the “Shaphari Scheme”. About Shaphari Scheme: Shaphari is a Sanskrit word that means the superior quality of fishery products suitable for human consumption. Purpose: It is an Antibiotics free Certification Scheme. It certifies hatcheries and farms for the production of antibiotic-free shrimp products. By doing that, it aims to: enhance the co

India - Denmark MoU on Atal Innovation Mission

As part of Indo-Danish bilateral Green strategic partnership, India is all set to take a giant leap towards building a world class innovation ecosystem as Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of India’s premier policy think tank NITI Aayog and Embassy of Denmark to India today officially announced their collaboration. Under this ambitious partnership, Innovation Center Denmark in India will collaborate with AIM to support various current and future initiatives of AIM, NITI Aayog and its bene

Judicial Appointments

Judicial Appointments Context: CJI Sharad A. Bobde had recommended Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, the seniormost judge of the Supreme Court, for appointment as the 48th Chief Justice of India. About NV Ramana: Student leader working for farmers and industrial workers to journalist for a leading Telugu newspaper to a first-generation lawyer. He was Additional Advocate General for Andhra Pradesh before being called to the State High Court Bench in 2001. Justice Ramana was

British Era Light houses of Odisha

British Era Light houses of Odisha The Ministry wants to develop them as hubs of tourism under the Sagarmala project. The British-era False Point lighthouse, a 129-ft massive minaret-like structure of red-white bands with a huge embossed star, is visible from quite a distance from the Bay of Bengal. Its location close to massive mangrove vegetation infested with crocodiles makes it an adventurous tourist place on the eastern coast. Barely 40 km away, the Paradip lighthouse is another

People are Free to Choose Religion: Supreme Court

People are Free to Choose Religion: Supreme Court The Supreme Court refused to entertain a PIL seeking directions to the Centre to ban black magic, superstition, and deceitful religious conversion. About the case in the SC A petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking to control black magic, superstition & mass religious conversion of SC/STs. The petition also mentions the religious conversions through intimidation, threats & gifts. The plea argued that such forceful re

Tech developed for Improved Lithium-ion Battery Performance

Tech developed for Improved Lithium-ion Battery Performance Researchers from IIT Guwahati have developed a technique to improve the performance of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which power most of the portable devices used today. New Technology The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to Stanley Whittingham, John Goodenough and Akira Yoshino for work that led to the development of lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are used in mos

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021

Click here to read everything about Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and then read the following:   IBC (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 promulgated on 4th April, 2021 provides for pre-packaged insolvency resolution process (PPIRP) for corporate debtors classified as micro, small and medium enterprises. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Pre-packag

NITI Aayog’s Draft National Policy on Migrant Workers

NITI Aayog, along with a working subgroup of officials and members of civil society, has prepared a draft National Migrant Labour policy. It puts forward several radical ideas including the adoption of a rights-based approach and creating an additional layer of institutions to create a more enabling policy environment for migrants. Highlights of the Draft policy It proposes a new National Migration Policy and the formation of a special unit within the Minis

Tika Utsav to begin on Jyotirao Phule’s Birth Anniversary

Tika Utsav to begin on Jyotirao Phule’s Birth Anniversary The 'Tika Utsav (vaccination festival)', started on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Jyotirao Phule (11th April) will continue till the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar on 14th April 2021. The aim of the four day festival is to vaccinate as many people as possible for the priority groups and zero wastage of Covid-19 vaccine. Jyotirao Phule was an Indian

Achieving Paris Agreement- the key to save endemic species: Study

Achieving Paris Agreement- the key to save endemic species: Study According to a study published in the journal Biological Conservation, 90% of the endemic species will face extinction unless the goals of the Paris Agreement are met. For example, Kolar Leaf Nose Bat is endemic to India and endemic to only one cave in Hanumanahalli village in Kolar district, Karnataka Endemic species are those plants and animals that exist only in one geographical region. Species can be endemic

Government launches “Madhukranti portal” and “Honey Corners” of NAFED

Government launches “Madhukranti portal” and “Honey Corners” of NAFED Union Agriculture Minister has launched the “MadhuKranti portal” and “Honey Corners” of NAFED. MadhuKranti portal: It is an initiative of the National Bee Board under the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission. It is developed for online registration to achieve a traceability source of Honey and other beehive products on a digital platform. The portal wil

Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake

Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Prelims and Mains focus: about the census and its findings; about Irrawaddy dolphins and why they are important; about Chilika lake Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake The population of dolphins in Chilika, India’s largest brackish water lake, and along the Odisha coast has doubled this year compared with last year. The wildlife wing of the State Forest and En

Chilika Lake was a part of the Bay of Bengal- Study shows

Chilika Lake was a part of the Bay of Bengal: Study According to a study by the National Institute of Oceanography(NIO), Chilika lake was once a part of the Bay of Bengal.  Evidences- Archeological Studies: The marine archaeological studies clearly show that the Chilika once was a safe harbour for cargo ships going to Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. Palur Port: Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemy(150 CE) described Palur as an important port of Kalinga and

Global Minimum Corporate Income Tax

Global Minimum Corporate Income Tax The US Treasury Secretary has urged the world’s 20 advanced nations to move in the direction of adopting a global minimum corporate income tax. What is the Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate? It is a type of corporate tax. Under this, If a company moves some of its operations to another country having low-tax jurisdiction, then the company have to pay the difference between that minimum rate and whatever the firm paid on its overseas earnin

Meeting of Education Ministers of E9 Countries

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India is fast emerging a leader in high power computing with the National Super Computing Mission (NSM) boosting it to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups in areas like oil exploration, flood prediction as well as genomics and drug discovery. Completion in of Phase II of NSM in September 2021 will take the country’s computing power to 16 Petaflops (PF). Infrastructure planned in NSM Phase I has already been installed and much of P

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As 2021 BRICS Chair, India’s approach is focused on strengthening intra-BRICS cooperation based on Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus. BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed financial cooperation agenda set by India for 2021 - Global Economic Outlook and Response to COVID-19 pandemic, New Development Bank (NDB) Activities, Social Infrastructure Financing and Use of Digital Technologies, Cooperation on Customs related issues, IMF reforms, Fintech for SMEs and F

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Under the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G), 92% target of completion has been achieved in the 1st phase of the scheme i.e. from 2016-17 to 2018-19 with intended beneficiaries also coming down from 2.95 cr to 2.14 cr due to duplication and other incidences. Rural Housing In India Public housing programme in the country started with the rehabilitation of refugees immediately after independence and since then, it has been a major focus area of the Government as an i

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Global Gender Gap Report 2021 was released recently. Released by World Economic Forum Key takeaways India has fallen 28 places  It is now one of the worst performers in South Asia,  It is ranked below neighbouring countries – Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. India’s rank: 140 among 156 countries. South Asia incidentally is one of the worst performing regions, followed only by the Middle East and northern Africa. Over

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Recently Min of Food Supplies taked about modernizing Central Warehousing Corporation and improving its storage capacities. Other modernizing aspects that were talked about were: doubling its warehouse storage capacity by end of year 2023 and achieve a turnover of Rs 10000 crore tariff rationalization and setting of warehouses should be done independently by CWC without any bureaucratic interference He said that maximum powers of decisio

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Spices Board India and UNDP India's Accelerator Lab sign MoU to develop blockchain-powered traceability Interface for Indian spices. This new interface will serve to enhance transparency in supply chain and trade.  India is the largest exporter, producer and consumer of spices in the world. What are Blockchains? Blockchains are a new data structure that is secure, cryptography-based, and distributed across a network. The technology&

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A new study shows the impacts of desert dust coming from the West, Central, and East Asia in the Indian Summer Monsoon. Impact of Desert Dust Particles on Indian Summer Monsoon: Strong winds carry the dust particles from the Middle East into the atmosphere. Dust particles absorb solar radiation and become extremely hot. This causes heating of the atmosphere. Heat decreases the air pressure and changes wind circulation patterns. Further, it increases the moisture transport capa

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Indian Navy Ships are participating, for the first time; in multi-lateral maritime exercise La Pérouse, conducted in the Eastern Indian Ocean Region The Indian Navy ships and aircraft will exercise with ships and aircraft of French Navy, Royal Australian Navy, Japan Maritime Self Defence Force and United States Navy. Exercise La Pérouse will see complex operations including surface warfare, anti-air warfare and air defence exercises. The exercise will showcase high levels

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India has attracted highest ever total FDI inflow of US$ 81.72 billion during the financial year 2020-21 and it is 10% higher as compared to the last financial year 2019-20 (US$ 74.39 billion). FDI equity inflow grew by 19% in the F.Y. 2020-21 (US$ 59.64 billion) compared to the previous year F.Y. 2019-20 (US$ 49.98 billion). In terms of top investor countries, Singapore is at the apex with 29%, followed by the U.S.A (23%) and Mauritius (9%) for the F.Y. 2020-21. ‘Computer S

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Indian Army will participate in a Multinational Military Exercise named “Shantir Ogroshena-2021” in Bangladesh. About Exercise ‘Shantir Ogroshena-2021’: Exercise Shantir Ogroshena (Front Runner of the Peace) is a multinational military exercise. The 2021 edition of the Exercise will be held in Bangladesh. It is held there to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s ‘Father of the Nation’ Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The theme

India contributes $300,000 to UN Women

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The Union Health Ministry recently released the policy. Rare Diseases: WHO defines a rare disease as a lifelong disease or disorder that often highly weakens an individual. It has a prevalence of 1 or less per 1000 population. Example: Haemophilia, Thalassemia, Sickle cell anaemia, auto-immune diseases among others. However, every country has its own definition for rare diseases. The US  defines rare diseases as a disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 patients i

NITI Aayog's “AIM-PRIME” scheme to support science based startups

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As many as 27 migratory birds died on account of avian influenza in Himachal Pradesh’s Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary. The lake is fed by the Beas River. Its numerous perennial tributaries are Gaj, Neogal, Binwa, Uhl, Bangana, and Baner. Government of India also declared Pong Dam Lake as a “Wetland of National Importance” The sanctuary area is covered with tropical and subtropical forests & it shelters a great number of Indian Wildlife animals. The sanctuary is a h

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Mahinder Giri, a range officer from Rajaji Tiger Reserve won the prestigious International Ranger Award. He is the only ranger from Asia to win this award recently. About the International Ranger Award: The International Ranger Award was created in 2020. It is conferred by The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas(WCPA) in collaboration with the International Ranger Federation, Global Wildlife Conservation, and Conservation Allies. The award aims to highlight the extrao

Environment Related Important Dates

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President Biden Revokes Immigrant Ban

In 2020 the US President imposed a ban on H-1B visa. The current US President decided to reverse the ban & allowed a 2020 ban to expire on March 31st. About the 2020 H1-B Visa Ban: In 2020, the previous US President signed an executive order suspending the entry of H-1B and other foreign work visa holders. This decision was to protect the American jobs after the Covid-19 pandemic impacts. However, the ban did not have its intended impact. Why was it allowed to expire?

17th BIMSTEC Summit- Key Talking Points

India’s External Affairs Minister recently attended the 17th ministerial meet of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries. About the Ministerial Meet: Sri Lanka Chaired the 17th Ministerial Meeting. Dr. S. Jaishankar reiterated India’s commitment to take BIMSTEC forward. About BIMSTEC: BIMSTEC is a regional organization consisting of members from South Asia and South-East Asia. It was founde

New Small Freshwater Fish found- Schistura Hiranyakeshi

It is a new small freshwater fish species discovered near Amboli in Sawantwadi tehsil of Sindhudurg district. It is a rare sub-species of Schistura, a freshwater loach. Named after the Hiranyakeshi River near Amboli village, this fish is a colourful fish that lives in water and streams in an abundance of oxygen. It was important to conserve this species as it might face extinction due to fishing activities. Jammu and Kashmir Lakes Srinagar’s Dal Lake along with five ot

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AIM-PRIME AIM-PRIME (Program for Researchers on Innovations, Market-Readiness & Entrepreneurship) aims to translate science-based deep-tech research to startups & ventures across India. Partners - Atal Innovation Mission has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to launch this initiative, which will be implemented by Venture Center, a technology business incubator. Beneficiaries - The program is open to technology developers (early-stage deep t

Culex Mosquito

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Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index

Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) is a rational number to characterise the quality of the environment at a given location following the algorithm of source, pathway and receptor. An increase in CEPI score denotes adverse effects on the receiving environment. A Delhi-based think-tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) did an assessment of Tamil Nadu’s CEPI scores. Groundwater is becoming more polluted in Tamil Nad

PRISM Scheme by Ministry of Science & Tech

Union Minister for Science & Technology inaugurated the PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Startups, and MSMEs) scheme recently. About PRISM Scheme: PRISM is an initiative of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research(DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology. To help an individual innovator to become a successful technopreneur. It promotes, supports, and funds implementable and commercially viable innovations created for society. Under the initiative

Global Gender Gap Index 2021

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Food Waste Index 2021

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report aims to advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 SDG 12.3 aims at halving per-capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains. This report presents food waste data collection, analysis and modelling to date, generating a new estimate of global food waste. It publishes a methodology for countries to measure food waste, at household, food ser

PLI Scheme for Food Processing Industry

Union Cabinet has approved the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) Scheme for Food Processing Industry. About PLI scheme for Food Processing Industry The scheme will be implemented over a 6-year period from 2021-22 to 2026-27. The scheme aims to support the creation of global food manufacturing champions according to the natural resources of India. Objectives of the Scheme PLI scheme will support food manufacturing organizations with stipulated minimum sales.

Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector Report- NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog has released a report titled Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector. Highlights of the Report: The report outlines the investment opportunities in various segments of India’s healthcare sector. This includes hospitals, medical devices and equipment, health insurance, telemedicine, home healthcare, and medical value travel. India’s Healthcare Industry: Healthcare Sector Growth Rate: India’s healthcare industry is g

New Bird Species Nacaduba Sinhala Found

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National Award for Excellence in Forestry

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National Capital Territory of Delhi Amendment Bill, 2021

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) moved the NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to the Lok Sabha where it proposed that “government” in Delhi means the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Key Provisions: Delhi’s present status is a Union Territory with a Legislative Assembly - an outcome of the 69th Amendment Act.  The act introduced Articles 239AA and 239BB in the Constitution. They have created the Union Territory of Delhi with a legislative assembl

Insurance Amendment Bill, 2021

The government on introduced a bill in Rajya Sabha to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 and raise foreign direct investment cap to 74% from 49%. Provisions: The Act allows foreign investors to hold up to 49% of the capital in an Indian insurance company, which must be owned and controlled by an Indian entity. The Bill increases the limit on foreign investment in an Indian insurance company from 49% to 74%, and removes restrictions on ownership and control. However, such foreign investme

Mahendragiri Biosphere Reserve

Odisha government has proposed a second biosphere reserve in the southern part of the state at Mahendragiri. Similipal Biosphere Reserve is Odisha’s first such reserve, which was notified in 1996. The area of the proposed Mahendragiri Biosphere Reserve is spread over Gajapati and Ganjam districts in the Eastern Ghats and is near the Mahendragiri peak. Soura Tribe: They are a Munda ethnic group from eastern India living in southern Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pra

Global Wind Report 2021

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has released the Global Wind Report, 2021. About Global Wind Report: The Global Wind Report highlights the role of wind power on the road to net zero emissions. Key Findings of the report: The world’s capacity to generate electricity from wind jumped 53% in 2020. A total 93 gigawatts (GW) capacity was installed in the year. However, this is not sufficient for the world to reach a ‘net zero’ emission status b

Vajra Prahaar Exercise between India & US

The 11th edition of Indo-US Joint Special Forces Exercise Vajra Prahar was conducted at Special Forces Training School located at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh. About Exercise Vajra Prahar: Exercise Vajra Prahar is a Special Forces joint military training exercise. It takes place alternately in India and the US since 2010. The exercise enables sharing of best practices and experience in areas such as joint mission planning capabilities and operational tactics. Other Exercises

Heart of Asia Peace Conference

India’s Foreign Minister is attending the 9th ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.  About Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process: It is a regional initiative of Afghanistan and the Republic of Turkey. It was launched in November 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. The process aims to promote economic and political cooperation for Afghanistan peace through dialogue and confidence-building measures (CBMs). The platform comprise

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