Daily Current Affairs - 29-04-2021

On April 27, 2021, India, Australia and Japan formally launched the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative. The initiative was launched to counter the dominance of China in the Global Supply Chain. It aims to prevent disruptions in the supply chain as seen during COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will mainly focus on diversification of investment and digital technology adoption.

Objectives of Supply Chain Resilience Initiative

About Supply Chain Resilience Initiative


Chinese moves

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare recently announced that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund recently crossed Rs 8,000 crore mark. The Ministry has received 8,665 applications so far. The worth of these applications has amounted to Rs 8, 216 crores. Out of this, Rs 4, 000 crores have been sanctioned by the Ministry so far.

About the Applications and Sanctions

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

The IA 2030 is Immunisation Agenda 2030. It was launched by World Health Organisation, GAVI and the UNICEF. It has been titled as the “A Global Strategy to leave No One Behind”. It aims to maximise lifesaving impact of vaccines. The Immunisation Agenda 2030 was launched during the World Immunisation Week.

Key Features of IA 2030

What are the targets of IA 2030?

What are the priorities of IA 2030?

The seven priorities of IA 2030 are as follows:


In August 2020, the 73rd World Health Assembly passed the resolution of “IA 2030 Agenda”.

Recent Developments

GAVI is Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. In January 2021, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan was nominated as a member on GAVI board.

In May 2020, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan was elected as the Chairperson of the WHO Executive Board.

In March 2021, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan was appointed as the chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board.

The United Kingdom has become the first country to announce regulation for the use of self-driving vehicles at low speeds.


The UK wants to be at the forefront in rolling out autonomous driving technology. The Government of UK forecasts that around 40% of UK cars will have self-driving capabilities by 2035. This will create 38,000 jobs in the country.

What is the plan?

The Government of UK has been working on the highway code for the use of self-driving vehicles. The Ministry of Transport is to begin with Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS).

About the Regulations


According to the UK Government, the technology will help reduce accidents caused due to human errors. 85% of accidents in UK are caused due to human errors.

How do Self Driving Vehicles work?

Levels of Driving

On April 29, 2021, China launched the core module of its Space Station. This is an important milestone in the country’s ambitious plan of establishing a permanent human presence in space.


Previous Chinese Mission

International Space Station

After International Space Station retires, Tiangong will be the only space station orbiting the earth.

Lunar Missions

The Chinese are also planning to build a separate lunar space station with Russia. This space station might either be placed in the orbit of the moon or on its surface.

The Union Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman inaugurated the first 3D printed house at IIT Madras.

About the House

What is 3D printing?

3D Printing in India

In 2020, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released the National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing.

India holds only 1.4% of the global market share in Additive Manufacturing. Within ASEAN grouping, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia account to about 80% of the Additive Manufacturing market.

National Strategy for Additive Manufacturing

The key goal is to position India as a global hub for additive manufacturing. It will address the following challenges in 3D printing in India:

3D Printing in Construction

In the construction sector, it takes a lot of hard work to create a detailed, handmade and scaled product. With 3D printing the task becomes easier especially when complex geometries are involved. It can render detailed models in terms of colour and range of materials.

Types of Additive Manufacturing

According to the National Strategy of Additive Manufacturing, there are seven types of Additive Manufacturing processes. They are as follows:

The archaeologists recently found that the jars in the “Plain of Jars” were used as burial sites. They have also found that though the jars could be 3,000 years old, the human remains suggest that people were buried along side these jars 700 years ago, which is relatively recent.

About the recent Discoveries

Where is the Plain of Jars located?

About the Jars

Michael Collins was an American Astronaut. He was the pilot of the Apollo 11 command module. On July 20, 1969, Michael Collins stayed behind when Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to walk on the moon.

About Michael Collins

Apollo 11

NITI Aayog recently said that the Government of India should provide incentives on purchase of electric vehicles over and above existing subsidies being provided under FAME II scheme. Also, it has recommended to provide interest subvention on loan amount taken for Electric Vehicle purchases.

What are the recommendations made by NITI Aayog?

Why were the recommendations made?

The Government had notified National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, 2020 that aims to increase domestic manufacturing capacities of EV. Also, the FAME II scheme was launched to stimulate the EV market. In spite of all these measures, the share of EVs in the total sale of vehicle sales in the country is just 1%. Therefore, NITI Aayog has come up with these recommendations.

The Central Institute of Brackish Aquaculture located in Chennai has developed an indigenous vaccine for Viral Nervous Necrosis. The name of the vaccine is Nodavac-R

Viral Nervous Necrosis

Viral Nervous Necrosis in India

In India the disease has been a serious concern affecting freshwater, marine and brackish water fishes largely. They result in 100% mortality in fishes that are in juvenile and larval stages.

Red Spotted Grouper Nervous Necrosis Virus is the only genotype found in India. The infected adults are the main carriers. They transmit the virus to their offspring through the eggs.


The best way to control the disease in the country is to vaccinate adult fish and also the fingerlings. The Nodavac-R is safe for all species that are susceptible to Viral Nervous Necrosis. They are to be used in fish hatcheries to bring down the incidence of the disease. Fish Hatchery is the place for artificial breeding of fishes.

What are Teleost fish?

They range from giant oars fish that measure 7.6 metres in length to minute Angler fish that measure 6.2 milli metres. They are economically important. The Teleost fish are captured for food all over the world.


India ranks second in aquaculture and more than 14.5 million Indians are dependent on fish production.

The Health Regulator of Brazil recently announced that the Sputnik V vaccines of Russia carried live cold virus. It has thus raised questions about the integrity of the manufacturing process of the virus.

The Adeno Virus Vector

Vector means the carrier of the virus. In this case the COVID-19 virus. These vectors carry only a portion of the virus which is generally referred to as antigen.

The Adeno Virus is normally used as a vector as they induce innate (natural) and adaptive immune responses.

What is the issue with Adeno virus based COVID vaccines?

Adeno virus normally causes mild respiratory illness in humans. However, in vaccines, they are modified in such a way that they cannot replicate. Their structure is edited to carry the DNA instructions for human cells to develop immune system against COVID-19. That is, it carries a part of dead COVID-19 material and also it trains the immune system to fight against this virus.

Adeno Virus in Sputnik V

Usually, the adeno virus-based vaccines are administered in single shot. This is because, the adeno virus naturally occurs in humans. People with a weak immune system are more likely to get an adeno virus infection.

However, Sputnik V which is also an adeno virus-based vaccine is administered in two shots. In the first shot, adeno virus type 26 Ad 26 is administered and in the second shot adeno virus Ad5 is administered.

The Expenditure Secretary T V Somanathan was recently designated as the Finance Secretary by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

About T V Somanathan

Currently he is the senior most officer among all the secretaries in the Ministry of Finance. He is a 1987 batch Indian Administrative Service Officer of Tamil Nadu cadre.

Tuhin Kanta Pandey is the current Secretary of Department of Investment Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Ajay Seth is the current secretary of Department of Economic Affairs.


The Department of Disinvestment was renamed as DIPAM. DIPAM aims in efficient management of investments of the Central Government and also its disinvestments.

Currently the Government of India is pursuing disinvestment to enhance its efficiency and not to vacate the public sector. The current disinvestment policy aims at the following:

Difference between Privatisation and Disinvestment in India

If the sales of equity of a Public Sector Unit is greater than 50% it is called privatisation. On the other hand, disinvestment is when the Government sells only a part of its stake in the PSU and retains majority of the shares. Disinvestment is basically done to tinker the PSU. Tinkering is repairing or improving something.

Why is Disinvestment important?

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently sanctioned the procurement of one lakh oxygen portable oxygen concentrators from the PM-CARES Fund.

Oxygen Generation Plants

Why is India facing a huge Oxygen Shortage crisis?

Why are Oxygen levels low with COVID-19?

The COVID-19 virus causes Hypoxia. Hypoxia is difficulty in breathing. A healthy lung keeps the blood level oxygen at 95% to 100%. When the blood level oxygen dips below 92% it causes a concern and supplementary oxygen should be provided.

The COVID-19 virus affects the lung cells. Their infection damages the walls and linings of the air sacs where the exchange of the gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) occurs.

The Government of India has set up a High level Inter-Ministerial Group to establish procedures for immediate clearance of relief materials from foreign countries.

About the Group

As the number of COVID-19 cases in India have started increasing to a great extent, several foreign countries such as UK, USA, France Germany, Ireland, Kuwait have been sending essentials such as ventilators, oxygen concentrators, respiratory materials. The high level Inter-Ministerial Group will make sure if these materials are cleared and dispatched promptly to the recipient institutions located in different parts of the country.

What are the relief materials received from foreign countries?

Help from the US