Daily Current Affairs - 15-04-2021

The International Monetary Fund recently announced that it will distribute the Special Drawing Rights to its member countries by mid-August.

Key Highlights

The IMF has agreed to support SDR allocation of 650 million USD. This is the largest in the history of IMF. Recently, the G20 Finance Minsters agreed to the International Monetary Fund to provide fresh SDR to its member countries. Earlier the ministers were concerned that liquidity injection could produce costly side effects if countries used the funds for irrelevant purposes.

Special Drawing Rights

The Special Drawing Right is neither a currency nor a claim on the IMF. The private entities cannot hold SDRs.

International Treaties

The international treaties that use Special Drawing Rights are Montreal Convention, Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims. The convention caps personal liability for damage to shops at 330,000 XDR. XDR is the unit of Special Drawing Rights.

International Organisations

The international organisations using Special drawing rights are as follows:

Currencies used

The value of SDR changes every day. The IMF uses a basket of currencies to determine the SDR value, The weightage of the currencies depends on its prominence in international trade and the foreign exchange reserves of the respective nation. The weightage given to the currencies are as follows:

These currencies are reviewed once in five years. The Chinese Renminbi was added to the basket in 2016.

The Facebook has recently signed a deal to buy renewable energy in India from a local firm called CleanMax. This is the first renewable project of Facebook in India.

About the project

Data Centres in India

Draft Data Centre Policy

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has released the Draft Data Centre Policy. It aims to simplify the clearances to establish data centres in India.

Flipkart recently announced that it is to acquire Cleartrip.  Cleartrip is a leading online travel and technology company.

About Cleartrip

Cleartrip was founded in 2006. The company books train and flight tickets, hotel reservations and other activities in India and in middle east countries. The company has offices in Saudi Arabia, UAE, India and Egypt.


Founders of Flipkart

Flipkart was founded by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal. They were alumni of IIT Delhi and also former employees of Amazon.

E-Commerce in India

The National Investigation Agency recently organised a two-day virtual event with BRICS countries on “Misuse of Internet by terrorists”. India hosted the seminar as it is holding the BRICS chair for the year 2021.

About the Seminar

The seminar was held on emerging technologies and artificial intelligence, dark web and anonymisers, exploitation of social media as an arsenal, crypto currency and virtual assets, equipping law enforcement agencies.

Internet Radicalisation

Use of internet by the terrorists for terror financing and for radicalisation is generally referred to as Internet radicalisation. Radicalisation is Changing something. The terrorist use internet to spread use of violence against a religious, political or ideological cause. It might contain images, videos, speeches that encourage violence or hatred. This mainly affects the youth who are vulnerable in becoming radicalised.

India and Internet Radicalisation

Many youths in the western coast of India are reported in becoming victims of Internet radicalisation. The growth of internet in India is now close to 500 million and is still growing. This shows the scale of challenge in bringing Internet radicalisation under control.

Plans to contain misuse of internet by terrorists

On April 15, 2021, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe into the role of Kerala Police officers in framing Nambi Narayanan in the 1994 Espionage Case. Nambi Narayanan was a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation.

When did ISRO Espionage case begin?

The case began with the arrest of Maldivian woman Mariam Rashida in 1994. She was arrested on the charges of overstaying her visa. Her arrest led to the arrest of Narayanan. Nambi Narayanan was the director of the cryogenic project lab of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Why was Nambi Narayanan arrested?

Narayanan’s fight for Justice

In 2013, Narayanan pushed to get justice and bring out the people involved in framing a false case on him. In 2018, the Supreme court appointed a three-member panel to probe the case. Later a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra ordered to award Rs 50 lakh compensation for the mental cruelty suffered by the scientist all these years.

In 2019, GoI conferred Padma Bhushan to Nambi Narayanan.

The Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India recently launched a mobile application to promote the mental wellbeing of the people of India. It is called the MANAS App.

About the MANAS App

COVID-19 and mental health

The Union Minister for Communication and IT and Law and Justice recently launched the “Online Grievance Management portal of NCSC”. NCSC is National Commission of Scheduled Castes.

About the Portal

National Commission for Scheduled Caste

The commission was established under Article 338 of the Constitution of India. The main objective of the commission is to investigate and monitor issues pertaining to the safeguard of Scheduled Castes in the country.

The 65th Constitution Act, 1990 amended Article 338 of the constitution. The amendment replaced the commission from its one-member system to multi-member system.

The 89th amendment of the constitution introduced in 2003 separated the National Commission for Scheduled Caste into two different commissions. One was National Commission for Scheduled Caste and the other was National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.

Structure of National Commission for Scheduled Caste

The Commission consists of a chairperson, vice-chairperson and three other members. All the members of the commission are appointed by the President of India.

Functions of NCSC

US President Biden recently announced that America is to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan. The new deadline announced by US coincides with the twentieth anniversary of 09/11 attacks.

9/11 attacks

On September 11, 2001, the terrorists of Al-Qaeda conducted a series of four attacks against the United States. The terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners. Two of the planes hit the World Trade Center Complexes located in Manhattan. Within an hour, the 110-storey tower collapsed. The third plane crashed into the Pentagon. Pentagon is the headquarters of US Department of Defence. The fourth plane crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania.

Deal Signed

In February 2020, US and its NATO allies signed a deal to withdraw all troops in fourteen months if Taliban upheld all its promises.

Impact of the withdrawal

Impact of withdrawal on India

The arrival of Taliban on the centre stage will put economic interests of India in the country of Afghanistan at stake. It will also put India under high security threat as prominence of Pakistan in Afghanistan will increase.


The World Health Organisation, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Organisation for Animal Health laid down fresh guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens to humans in food production.


What is Zoonosis?

Zoonosis is an infectious disease that transfers from non-human animals to humans. These pathogens may be viral, bacterial or parasitic. They spread to humans through direct contact, water, food and environment.


The guidelines issued were in line with the concept of “One Health”. This term was first used in 2003-2004. It was associated with the emergence of SARS and Avian Influenza H5N1. SARS is Severe Acute Respiratory Disease. According to One-Health, the health of human beings is associated with the health of environment and animals.

Zoonotic Diseases

Some of the modern-day Zoonotic diseases are Ebola, Salmonellosis. HIV was a zoonotic disease that transmitted to humans from animals. However, it has now mutated to human-only disease. Influenza, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Spanish flu are all zoonotic diseases.

Every year, the state of Himachal Pradesh celebrates Himachal Day on April 15. The day is celebrated to commemorate the creation of Himachal Pradesh.

Himachal Day

On April 15, 1948, Himachal Pradesh was formed as the province to be administered Chief Commissioner. Later, it was made a “C” category state on January 25, 1950.

Three main types of States

The 1950 Constitution distinguished three main types of states. They were as follows:

Formation of Himachal Pradesh

Till 1956, Himachal Pradesh was a C category state. In 1956, it was declared as a Union Territory. Later in 1970, Parliament passed the Himachal Pradesh Act. Since then, Himachal Pradesh came into existence as a full-fledged state. The official recognition of Himachal Pradesh as a state was provided on January 25, 1971.

About Himachal Pradesh

Himachal means “Snow covered area”. The official language of Himachal Pradesh is Hindi and Sanskrit.

The Agricultural Ministry of India recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft to implement a pilot project for farmer welfare.

About the Project

Microsoft Welfare Programmes in India

Agriculture in India

The Porsche has joined with Siemens Energy to produce eFuel by 2022. The project of eFuel production is called Haru Oni project. It is based in Chile due to its windy climate. The joint project aims to produce 130,000 litres of eFuel by 2022. Later this is to be increased to 550 million by 2026.

What is eFuel?

eFuel is a complex hydrocarbon. It is created based on the following process:

Electro Fuels

The Electro Fuels are the emerging class of carbon neutral fuels. They are also called Synthetic fuels. They are seen as an alternative to biofuels. They are made by storing electrical energy from renewable sources in chemical bonds of liquid of gas fuels.

Other Electro Fuels

Deadly algae have killed more than 4,000 tonnes of Salmon in Chile. The algal bloom in the water reduced the amount of oxygen suffocating the salmon fishes.


More than eighteen salmon fish farms that produce 26% of world salmon have been affected.

What are the reasons for the death of the Salmons?

The presence of urea and ammonia in the salmon farms led to the algal bloom. Three different types of harmful algae were detected in eighteen farms.

Salmon Production in Chile

Chile is the second largest producer of Salmon in the world after Norway. It exported more than 4.4 billion USD of fish in 2020. Chile produces more than 26% of world Salmon.

What is Algal Bloom?

Algal Bloom is rapid increase of algal population in marine water or fresh water. It occurs due to the nutrients from phosphorous or nitrogen fertilizer run off. They create harmful effects such as blocking of sunlight. This causes depletion of oxygen level in water.

Oxygen in Water

The Dissolved oxygen in water is the most important water quality factor. A pond supporting an aquatic ecosystem will have more than 10 ppm oxygen dissolved in it. On the other hand, atmosphere has 200,000 ppm of oxygen. The oxygen concentrations below 3 ppm will stress the species of fish in the water. The oxygen concentrations below 2 ppm will kill the fishes.

Oxygen dissolves in water in two ways. One is through atmospheric contact that happens at the surface. The other primary source of dissolved oxygen is from algae. The algae add dissolved oxygen to the water by photosynthesis, thereby supporting lives in the water system. In that case, how did the algal bloom in Chile kill thousands of fishes?

How does Algal Bloom kill fishes?

During day, the algae produce oxygen through photosynthesis. While at night, in the absence of sunlight, it stops photosynthesis and starts respiring just like other organisms in the water system. Respiration is taking in Oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. Thus, during night the dissolved oxygen drops too low suffocating the fish in the water system.

Also, as the algal bloom increases, it forms thick blanket over the water surface. This prevents sunlight from penetrating the water. Thus, the second source of oxygen where the oxygen dissolves in water at the surface contacts is blocked.

New Zealand recently introduced a bill on Climate Change for financial firms. The bill is the first of its kind in the world. New Zealand has fixed 2050 as the deadline to become carbon neutral.

Key Features of the Bill

Other New Zealand Legislations on Climate Change

The New Zealand Government has lately taken several climate changes measures to lower green house gas emissions in the country. Some of them are as follows:

Nationally Determined Contributions of New Zealand

In 2015, New Zealand ratified the Paris Agreement. The Nationally Determined Contributions of New Zealand under the agreement are as follows:

US Climate Change targets

More than three hundred investors and businesses have called on the Biden administration to set an ambitious climate change goal. They aim to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels. This is to be achieved by 2030.