Daily Current Affairs - 09-04-2021

The US Climate Envoy John Kerry was on a four-day visit to India. During his visit he met the Union Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar. During the meet, the leaders discussed several issues including joint research and collaboration and Climate Finance.

India’s Emissions

According to International Energy Agency, India is the third largest emitter of Carbon Dioxide. US is the largest emitter of Carbon Dioxide in the world. China follows US as the second largest emitter of Carbon Dioxide. India has set an ambitious target to produce 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 and 450 GW by 2030.

Climate Finance

According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Climate Finance is the finance that aims at reducing the emissions and maintains the increase of resilience of human and ecological systems.

Need for Climate Finance for India

India has set ambitious targets of reducing its carbon emissions. It is estimated that India will require 2.5 trillion USD between 2015 and 2030 to achieve its Nationally Determined Contributions.


John Kerry visited India aiming at consultations that will increase climate ambition ahead of “Leader’s Summit on Climate”.

Leader’s Climate Summit

The Leader’s Climate Summit is hosted by the US. The US President Joe Biden has invited forty world leaders including PM Modi to the Leader’s Climate Summit. The Summit is a key milestone to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP-26, that is to be held in Glasgow in November 2021. The main objective of Leader’s Climate Summit and COP-26 is to catalyse efforts to keep limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius goal.

During the Summit, the US is to announce its ambitious 2030 Emissions target as its new Nationally Determined Contribution.

In the fiscal year (2020-21) that ended on March 31, 2021, the corporate tax and income tax collected were Rs 9.45 lakh crores.

About the Tax Collections

Direct Tax Collection: Comparative Analysis

Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme

The scheme was launched to settle cases of disputed tax, penalty, interest. It will benefit the taxpayers whose tax demands are locked in multiple disputes solving forums. The scheme aims to settle 483,000 direct tax related disputes that are pending in appellate forums. It provided complete waiver on interest to the taxpayers who paid their taxes by March 31.

So far, the scheme has collected Rs 54,000 crores of tax. The last date for payment under the scheme has been extended to April 30, 2021.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the Hindi translation of “Odisha Itihaas”. The book is available in Odia and English so far. It was translated to Hindi by Shankarlal Purohit.

About Odisha Itihaas

Harekrushna Mahatab

Roles of Mahatab after independence

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently appealed to the Chief Ministers of the States to organise “Tika Utsav”.

What is Tika Utsav?

Tika Utsav is a vaccine festival. It is to be held between April 11, 2021 and April 14, 2021. The main objective of the festival is to vaccinate as many people as possible. It will also focus on zero wastage of COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccination Drive in India


COVAXIN is a government backed vaccine produced by Bharat Biotech. It has an efficacy rate of 81%. More than 27,000 participants have participated in the phase three trials of COVAXIN vaccine. COVAXIN is given in two doses. The time gap between the doses is four weeks. The COVAXIN was prepared from the dead COVID-19 virus.


The COVISHIELD Vaccine is manufactured by Astra Zeneca. Locally, COVISHIELD is produced by Serum Institute of India. It was prepared from a weakened version of a common cold virus called Adenovirus from Chimpanzees. The virus has been modified to look more like COVID-19 virus. It is administered in two doses.

Why did India stick to COVAXIN and COVISHIELD?

Unlike several other COVID-19 vaccines, COVAXIN and COVISHIELD can be stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. Other COVID-19 vaccines like that of Moderna vaccine must be stored at minus seventy degrees Celsius temperature and can only be moved a limited number of times. Administering such vaccines in India is highly challenging as the summer temperatures in India reach fifty degrees Celsius.

The US Navy recently conducted Freedom of Navigation Operation in the Indian Ocean Region near Lakshadweep. During the operation, the US warship entered the Exclusive Economic Zone of India without seeking prior consent from India. The warship that entered Indian EEZ was a Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones.

United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

According to the UNCLOS, countries cannot prevent ships from using Exclusive Economic Zone. However, according to Indian laws, any foreign military must inform before conducting any activity in the Exclusive Economic Zone of India.

US Stand on the issue

The US Government said that the US forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on daily basis. All such operations are designated in accordance with international law. Also, the US Government stated that US Forces will continue such operations in the future.

Reasons behind US Freedom of Navigation Operation in IOR

The US Defence publishes an annual Freedom of Navigation Report. According to the report, excessive maritime claims by coastal countries restrict freedom of navigation and overflight. It also restricts lawful uses of the sea. These claims are made through regulations and laws that are inconsistent with the international UNCLOS. If left unchallenged these excessive maritime claims will infringe upon the freedom of the seas enjoyed by all countries. According to the report, India is among the twenty-one other nations where the US forces challenged the claims. The other countries are Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Russia, Maldives.

What is Freedom of Navigation?

The Freedom of Navigation is an international law according to which ships flying the flag of a sovereign state shall not suffer interference from other states unless otherwise provided in the international laws.

Article 87 of UNCLOS

Article 87 of the UNCLOS says that the high seas are open to all the states whether land locked or coastal. It mentions “Freedom of Navigation” as the right for all states.

Why is India concerned about the US Freedom of Navigation Operation in the Indian Ocean?

The Article 87 of UNCLOS remains a trade off between the developed and the developing countries. This is because, the developed world is interested in maximizing their freedom to sail and explore their seas. On the other hand, the developing countries want to protect their offshore resources and their independence. India being a developing nation is yet to explore its EEZ to the fullest. And thus, is interested in protecting its EEZ. This is one of the main reasons India is concerned about the US Freedom of Navigation Operation in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Government of India recently launched the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) scheme in ten states. The system is to be rolled out in the country by March 2022.
Land parcel is nothing but a portion of large area of land.

What is ULPIN?

Benefits of ULPIN

ULPIN and International Standards

It complies the following international standards:

Who recommended ULPIN?

The ULPIN system was recommended by Parliamentary Standing Committee that recently submitted its report to Lok Sabha.

Estimated Cost of ULPIN

Way Forward

After implementing ULPIN, the GoI is to link the land record databases with the banks.

Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme

The DILRMP has three main components as follows:

The progress of DILRMP is as follows:

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari recently announced that the project of Khadi and Village Industries (KVIC) called RE-HAB has become a huge success. Thus, it is to be implemented in other states as well. This includes Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

What is Project RE-HAB?

Project RE-HAB is Reducing Elephant Human Attacks using Bees. It was launched at four spots in the Nagarhole National Park of Karnataka. The project aims to prevent elephant human conflicts without creating harm to either of them. The project is highly cost effective.

How does RE-HAB work?

Honey Mission

The Honey Mission was launched by KVIC in 2017. The main aim of the mission is to provide awareness and training in bee keeping.

Need for the Project

The Man-Animal Conflict has increased in the country lately. More than 2,400 people have been killed in conflicts with wild elephants all over India since 2015. On the other hand, more than 510 elephants were killed since 2015 in man-elephant conflicts.

Nagarhole National Park

The Ministry of Jal Shakti recently announced that it is to roll out annual planning exercise with the States and Union Territories.

What is the plan?

Priorities provided in the Annual Action Plan

The States and Union Territories have given priority to water quality affected areas, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe majority villages, villages in drought prone and desert areas in their proposed annual action plan.

Fund allocated to Jal Jeevan Mission

Jal Jeevan Mission

The Ministry of Civil Aviation recently granted permission to the Central Mine Planning Design Institute to survey the coal field areas of Coal India Limited. According to the permission granted, the drones shall be deployed to monitor the mapping and surveying activity, inspection of coalfield. This is a conditional exemption and is valid till April 4, 2022.

UAS Rules, 2021

Central Mine Planning and Design Institute

It is a subsidiary of Coal India Limited. It is a Public Sector Undertaking. It has been rated as a Schedule B and Mini Ratna-II company. It is engaged in field of environmental engineering and provides consultancy and engineering services all over the world.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently held a high-level programme with the President of Seychelles. The Prime Minister presented several gifts to Seychelles during the meet.

Key Highlights of the Event

President of Seychelles

The current President of Seychelles is Wavel Ramkalwan. His grandfather was from Bihar, India. However, the president was not born in India. He was born in Mahe, Seychelles.


The International Monetary Fund recently announced that the debt to GDP ratio of India increased from 74% to 90% due to COVID-19 crisis. This is to increase to 99% in 2021. The international financial organisation has also stated that this is to reduce to 80% after economic recovery.

What is Debt to GDP ratio?

The Debt to GDP ratio is the ratio between the debt of the Government measured in the units of its currency to the GDP measured in the same unit. When the Debt to GDP ratio is low, it means that the country produces and sells goods and services that are sufficient to pay back debts without incurring further debts.

The Debt to GDP ratio of India has remained 70% since 1991. The current increase is mainly due to COVID-19 crisis.

Debt to GDP ratio of other countries

What is Public Debt?

The Public Debt in India is the total liability of the Union Government that must be paid from the Consolidated Fund of India. Almost one-fourth of the government expenditure goes into the interest payment.

Public Debt Management Agency

It was established in 2016 by the Ministry of Finance. The Public Debt Management Agency streamlines the borrowings of the Government and helps in achieving better cash management. It was an interim arrangement in the RBI itself. However, it was provided a separate statutory status from that of RBI.

The PDMA plans government borrowings. It manages the liabilities of the Government. It monitors cash balances and improves forecasting of cash. The agency will work towards enhancing the liquidity and efficiency of the market.

A team of scientists from the Bombay Natural History Society recorded a new species of bird. It has been identified as the three banded Rosefinch. The new bird species was identified while exploring the high-altitude coniferous forests of Arunachal Pradesh.

Three branded Rosefinch

New Bird Species in India

Since 2016, 104 new species of birds have been added to the checklist of India. This has been possible mainly because of intensive surveys especially in the least studied landscapes such as eastern Himalayas.

Three Branded Rosefinch

State of India’s Bird, 2020

The State of India’s Bird, 2020 report was released at the thirteenth Conference of Parties of Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. The report categorised 101 species of birds in India as “high concern”, 319 as “moderate concern” and 442 as “low concern”. The following was found by the report:

Recently, a group of astronomers have discovered a dozen of quasars that were warped by naturally occurring cosmic lens. Warping is twisting. With this discovery, the number of known quasars have increased by 25%. This can help to determine the expansion rate of the universe and will also help address other mysteries.

What are Quasars?

Hubble’s Constant

Recently, several discrepancies have emerged over the precise value of the expansion rate of the universe. The expansion rate of the universe is called Hubble’s constant. There are two primary means that can be used to determine Hubble’s constant. One is through measurement of distance and speed of objects in the local universe. The other method to find the Hubble’s constant is by extrapolating the rate from models based on distant radiation left over from the birth of the universe. The later is called the Cosmic Microwave background.

How will Quasars help in understanding the Universe?

The main issue is that the two methods of Hubble Constant determination do not match. However, the discovery of Quasars will help to solve the controversies around Hubble Constant. A Quasar based determination of Hubble constant will allow the astronomers to conclude which of the value is correct.

Hubble’s Constant describes how fast the universe is expanding. It is one of the keystones to understand the expansion of the universe. Thus, Quasars will help in understanding the Universe by solving the discrepancies around Hubble’s constant.

The Asian Development Bank recently approved 484 million USD for CKIC (Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor) in Tamil Nadu.

About the Project

About CKIC

Need for the project

The state of Tamil Nadu has strong state of economy with several manufacturing industries such as engineering, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, garments, and aerospace. However, central and southern regions of the state that are far away from the current industrial hubs around Chennai need better connectivity for inclusive growth. This is the main objective of the project.

East Coast Corridor

The Assembly Committee on Women Empowerment recently submitted its report to the Meghalaya Government. The Committee was led by Ampareen Lyngdoh. The Committee has found that three out of every thousand pregnant women in the state are testing positive for HIV in the state.

Key Findings of the Committee

Meghalaya Health Policy

In March 2021, the Meghalaya State Government adopted a new Health Policy. The policy does include AIDS. However, it has not prioritised the issue. The seriousness of the problem does not reflect in the policy. Also, the policy lacks to provide a detailed plan to eliminate AIDS in the state. The policy simply states the following:


According to NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation), 0.54% of population in Meghalaya are living with HIV. Also, Meghalaya has the highest Syphilis cases in the country according to HIV Surveillance Sentinel, 2017. Around 1.03% of all pregnant have tested positive for the disease.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently notified Copyright (Amendment) rules, 2021. The amendment has been made to bring the existing Copyright rules in the country with parity with the other relevant legislations.

Current Scenario

Currently, the Copyright regime of India is governed by Copyright Act, 1957 and the Copyright rules 2013.

Why were the amendments made?

The main objective of the amendment of Copyright Rules is to ensure smooth and flawless compliance in the light of technological advancement in digital era. The new rules will help India adopt towards electronic means as primary mode of communication. It is highly important to achieve the goals of Digital India.

What are the amendments made?

What is Copyright?