Daily Current Affairs - 27-04-2021

The Defence Research and Development Organisation recently developed the Single Crystal Blade Technology. The organisation has delivered sixty of such blades to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. A very few countries in the world possess this technology. They are UK, USA, Russia and France.

What is Single Crystal Blade?

What is Single Crystal Blade Technology?

What is a Creep?

Creep is the tendency of blade material to deform at low temperatures.

Benefits of Single Crystal Blade Technology

The blades created under this technology has longer life and are more corrosion resistant.

A Community Service Centre has been set up on board India’s first dedicated Solar Space Mission. The centre is called ALISC. ALISC is Aditya-L1 Support Cell. It is to be set up at the ARIES at Haldwani, Uttarakhand.

About ALISC

Aditya-L1

Why was Adity-1 revised as Adity-L1 mission?

A satellite that is placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point L1 has the advantage to view the sun continuously without any obstacles such as eclipses. Thus, the satellite is to be placed in a halo orbit around L1. This is why it was renamed as Aditya-L1 mission.

ARIES

ARIES will provide the ground support to the monitor and coordinate the work on its payloads.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare recently announced that around 14,491 hectares of land in Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been certified as organic. This is the first large contiguous territory to be certified under government scheme.

Background

The organic certification was provided under the Large Area Certification Scheme of the Participatory Guarantee System certification programme.

Large Area Certification Scheme

Under the scheme, each village is considered as one cluster or group. The farmers have to adhere to the standard requirements without the need to undergo a conversion period to get certified. This was launched under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana.

Basically, under the standard norms of organic production systems, the areas with chemical input usage history will have to undergo a transition period of two to three years to get qualified as organic. This transition period has been removed under the Large Certification Scheme.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana

What is Participatory Guarantee Scheme?

It is a scheme that certifies organic products. The scheme is implemented by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare. The certification is in the form of statement or logo. The certification is issued based on the Food Safety and Standards (Organic Foods) Regulations. These regulations were notified by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India in 2017.

The Asian Development Bank has provided fiscal support of 1.5 billion USD to India to fight against COVID-19 crisis. This is according to the Annual Report, 2020 of ADB that was released recently. This is part of the fiscal support the bank has set aside for pandemic.

Key Findings of the Report

Loans

India accounted to 16.29% of total loans at the bank and was the largest borrower. China was the second largest borrower contributing to 15.25%.

ADB Contributions to India

The following loans were provided by Asian Development Bank in the year 2020

These are the loans provided by ADB to Government of India and state governments. There are other loans granted to private companies in India as well. For instance, Reliance received loan from ADB to build a power project in Bangladesh.

The Indian Air Force recently deployed two Mi-17V5 helicopters equipped with Bambi Bucket to control the forest fires. The forest fires have been raging in the hills of south Mizoram.

Most Fire Prone Zones

The Lunglei and Aizwal of Mizoram where the forest fires are currently raging is the most fire-prone zone in India according to the Forest Fire Disaster Management report, 2014. So far, Lunglei has recorded 13,453 forest fires between 2003 and 2016.

Forest Fires in Mizoram

Forest Fire Disaster Management Report, 2014

Strengthening Forest Fire Management in India Report

Forest Survey of India, 2019

The Survey divided the forest fire prone into following zones:

Together these three categories add up to 21.4% of forest cover.

The Reserve Bank of India recently released the State of Economy Report for the month of April 2021.

Key Findings of the Report

Solutions to handle the issue

The Reserve Bank of India has provided the following solutions in its State of Economy Report to tackle the COVID-19 crisis in the country:

Current Pace of Vaccination in India

According to the report, India has set a vaccination target of 300 million by August 2021. This will require 3.5 million shots per day. It is 13% higher than the current pace noted. However, RBI expects that the vaccination pace will increase due to the improvised and accelerated strategy of third phase of Vaccination in the country.

Way Forward

The RBI is to conduct a survey in 21 states to learn about customer satisfaction in the recent bank mergers. The recent bank mergers are as follows:

Met Office and Microsoft are to build a weather forecasting supercomputer in the UK. The UK Government is to invest 1.2 billion Pound Sterling in the project.

About the Supercomputer

Benefits

About Supercomputers

The Government of India recently welcomed the ASEAN Initiative on Myanmar.

ASEAN Initiative on Myanmar

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations released a five-point statement on Myanmar crisis. Under the statement, the ASEAN countries have demanded “Immediate Cessation of Violence”. The five points of the initiative are as follows:

What is the issue?

The military of Myanmar dismissed the Government headed by Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.

Criticisms

The five-point consensus was created between the ASEAN countries and the current military leader who seized power. There have been massive protests in the country since the military coup. The consensus is being criticised that ASEAN is encouraging military coup. Also, the consensus did not mention a timeline. It also neglected the political prisoners in Myanmar.

Brunei is the current chair of ASEAN.

The Issue of Myanmar-IN DEPTH

Myanmar gained independence from Britain in 1948. Between 1962 and 2011, the country was ruled by armed forces. It was the ruling military that changed the name of Burma into Myanmar.

Aung San Suu Kyi, daughter of Father of Myanmar (Aung San) returned to Myanmar in 1988. She was put under house arrest by the military in 1989. In 2010, Suu Kyi was freed. In 2012, she won a by-election and took a seat in the Parliament.

In 2015, the National League for Democracy party won the elections. However, the military barred Suu Kyi from presidency. A post of State counsellor was created for Suu Kyi to run the Government.

In February 2021 elections, the National League for Democracy won the elections again. The Tatmadaw (Name of Myanmar military) declared state of emergency. It also declared that the power is being transferred to the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services.

The World Immunisation Week is celebrated every year in the last week of April. It aims to promote the use of vaccines. This year, in 2021, the World Immunisation Week is to be celebrated under the following theme:

Need for World Immunisation Week

Working of Vaccines

Vaccines teach the immune system how to act against new diseases. Currently, human body is incapable to fight against COVID-19. This is because, the human immune system is not able to recognise that COVID-19 is dangerous. The COVID-19 vaccines such as COVAXIN and COVISHIELD teach the immune system to identify the virus as invaders and kill them.

A vaccine has two parts namely antigen and adjuvant. Antigen is a piece of the disease-causing parasite. On the other hand, Adjuvant sends danger signals to the body and helps the immune system respond strongly to the antigen.

Ingredients in a Vaccine

Apart from antigens and adjuvant, the vaccine also consists of preservatives, stabilizers, surfactants, residuals, diluent. Preservatives are added to prevent the vaccine from becoming contaminated. The Stabilisers are added to prevent the chemical reactions from occurring within the vaccine. Surfactants keep the ingredients in the vaccine blended together. Diluent is a liquid used to dilute the vaccine.

Google and Microsoft have recently pledged to help India fight COVID-19. Google is to provide 18 million USD (Rs 135 crores). Microsoft is to help India with relief efforts to buy oxygen concentration devices. The initiatives and the announcements about the funding were made by Sundar Pichai of Google and Satya Nadella of Microsoft.

About the plan

Twitter and Facebook

While Sundar Pichai and Nadella were making the announcements, Jack Dorsey and Zuckerberg were silent. Jack Dorsey is the CEO of Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg is the CEO of Facebook. Lately, Dorsey and Zuckerberg have had strained relations with the Indian Government due to the censorship and privacy policies of the latter.

What is the issue between GoI and Twitter, Facebook?

In 2019, the Government of India ordered Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms to remove 3,433 URLs between January and October, 2019. The numbers have increased by five times since 2016. This was done under Section 69A of Information Technology Act.

Section 69A of IT act

It provides powers to block public access of any information through a computer resource. Persons failing to comply with the directions shall be punished with an imprisonment up to seven years.

The World Health Organisation recently identified twenty-five countries with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025. This is called the E-2025 initiative.

What is the plan?

The identified 25 countries will work by responding to the dual threat of malaria and COVID-19. The WHO is to provide technical guidance and specialised support to these countries under the initiative.

Three of the identified countries were from Africa namely Eswatini, Botswana and South Africa.

Malaria in Africa

Background

The World Health Organisation launched the E-2020 initiative in 2017. The E-2020 aimed to support a group of countries to achieve zero indigenous cases of malaria by 2020. However, certain countries are yet to achieve this target. Thus, they were identified under the E-2025 initiative and new plan is to be launched.

How were the countries selected?

The countries were selected based on four criteria. They were as follows:

The Indian Army recently initiated the Ladakh Ignited Mines Project to provide educational opportunities for the Ladakhi students.

About the project

Recent Developments in Ladakh

About the Geo Thermal Project

Importance of Ladakh

Tissue Chips are devices designed to mimic the functions of human organs. They are also called Organ on chips.

Why is it in News?

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently launched Crew 2 Mission. The mission carried four astronauts to the International Space Station.

The astronauts are to conduct more than two hundred experiments in space. One of them is using Tissue Chips.

What is the plan?

The astronauts will use the Tissue chips and find out how bodily systems respond to spaceflight. The following are the experiments to be conducted by the astronauts using the tissue chips:

About CHIME

Chime is Characterizing Human Immunodeficiency in Microgravity Environments Microgravity. This project is sponsored by the UAE. The project will look into how microgravity affects the differentiation of monocytes into macrophages. Macrophages are cells involved in detection and destruction of bacteria. Monocytes are White Blood Cells.

Background

Several changes that occur in human body during spaceflight progresses aging. Also, diseases in the earth occur much more quickly in microgravity conditions. The astronauts will conduct experiments using the tissue chips to find out the reasons behind these things.

Crew 2 Mission

It was launched under the Commercial Crew Programme of NASA. It aims to transport cargo and crew to and from the International Space Station.