Daily Current Affairs - 02-08-2021

❖ Tamil scholar R.Ilangumaran, the recipient of Tamil Nadu Government's Thiru.Vi.Ka Award, has recently passed away.
❖ He was 94 years old.
❖ He was born in Vazhavandaalpuram village in Nellai district.
❖ With his creativity he completed the story line of partially availed epic Kundalakesi.
❖ The epic was then launched in 1958 at the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai.
❖ In 1963, the Prime Minister Nehru published his collection of essays on Tirukural.

❖ Prithika Yashini from Salem district became the first transgender sub-inspector of Tamil Nadu in 2017.
❖ Following her, Sivanya, a transgender from Tiruvannamalai district, has now become the second transgender Sub Inspector of Police of the state.
❖ Sivanya lives in Pavupattu village of Tiruvannamalai district.

The President of India will address the commemoration of the 100th year of the Madras Legislative Council on August 2, 2021.

About:

* Tamil Nadu Legislative Council was the upper house of the former bicameral legislature of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

* It began its existence as Madras Legislative Council, the first provincial legislature for Madras Presidency.

* It was initially created as an advisory body in 1861, by the British colonial government. It was established by the first Indian Council Act of 1861, enacted in the British parliament in the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

* Its role and strength were later expanded by the second Council Act of 1892.

* Limited election was introduced in 1909.

* The Council became a unicameral legislative body in 1921 and eventually the upper chamber of a bicameral legislature in 1937.

* After India became independent in 1947, it continued to be the upper chamber of the legislature of Madras State, one of the successor states to the Madras Presidency.

* It was renamed as the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council when the state was renamed as Tamil Nadu in 1969.

* The Council was abolished by the M. G. Ramachandran administration on 1 November 1986.

NATIONAL

The Ministry of Ayush has collaborated with the U.K.’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) to conduct a study on ‘Ashwagandha’ for promoting recovery from COVID-19.

About:

* ‘Ashwagandha’ (Withania somnifera), commonly known as ‘Indian winter cherry’, is a traditional Indian herb that boosts energy, reduces stress and makes the immune system stronger.

* All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Ayush, and the LSHTM recently signed a MoU to conduct clinical trials of ‘Ashwagandha’ on 2,000 participants in three U.K. cities — Leicester, Birmingham and London (Southall and Wembley).

* While there have been several studies on ‘Ashwagandha’ to understand its benefits in various ailments, this is the first time the Ministry of Ayush has collaborated with a foreign institution to investigate its efficacy on COVID-19 patients”.

President Ram Nath Kovind has congratulated ace shuttler P V Sindhu for winning Bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

About:

* Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (born 1995) is an Indian professional badminton player from Hyderabad.

* She is the first Indian to become the Badminton World Champion and only the second individual athlete from India to win two consecutive medals at the Olympic Games. Wrestler Sushil Kumar is the first and only other Indian to win two Olympic medals.

* She is the first Indian woman to win medals in two Olympic games. Sindhu won silver at Rio 2016.

* She is only the fourth player in Women's singles badminton to claim two medals at the two consecutive Olympic games.

The Goa Assembly passed the Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill, 2021.

About:

* It recognises anyone living in the state for 30 years or more as a ‘Bhumiputra (son of the soil)’ and giving such a person the right to own his or her ‘small dwelling unit’ if ownership was undetermined so far.

* Once recognised as a Bhumiputra, an individual can stake claim to ownership of their house of not more than 250 sq m, built before April 1, 2019.

* The objective was to enable the ‘mool Goenkar (original Goan)’ to live with dignity.

* The Bill provides for the constitution of the Bhumiputra Adhikarini — a committee consisting of the Deputy Collector as its Chairperson.

* Why is the Opposition objecting? This Bill has open the floodgates for the migrant population that has been staying in densely populated areas in Goa and has no legality. This would recognise encroachments by slum-dwellers that are over 30 years old as Bhumiputras.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari instructed to open one side of the Kuthiran Tunnel in Kerala.

About:

* This is the first road tunnel in the state and will drastically improve connectivity to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

* The 1.6 km long tunnel is designed through Peechi- Vazahani wildlife sanctuary.

* The road will improve connectivity to important ports and towns in North – South Corridor without endangering wildlife.

❖ The Kerala Police launched a new initiative called the Pink Protection project.
❖ This project is for the protection of women in public, private and digital spaces.
❖ The Pink Protection project aims to prevent dowry-related issues, cyber-bullying & humiliation in public places.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah lays foundation stone of Uttar Pradesh State Institute of Forensic Sciences in Lucknow.

About:

* The institute, which would operate under the ministry of home affairs, is proposed to be affiliated to Gujarat-based National Forensics Sciences University (NFSU).

* The forensic sciences institute would be headed by a senior police officer.

* It would pave the way for research and modernisation of policing in the country. The institute will also work to train scientists working in forensic labs and police personnel by developing professional skills for scientific investigation of cases of complex crimes

* The forensic sciences institute would take in 150 students once it starts operating and provide cutting edge expertise in discourses such as behavioural science, civil and criminal law, police science, criminology and forensics among others.

* A centre for excellence for DNA would come up on a five acre land at the forensic sciences institute’s campus in collaboration with the NFSU.

Deepak Das took charge as the 25th Controller General of Accounts (CGA), with effect from August 1, 2021.

About:

Parent agency: Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

What is it? It is the Principal Accounting Adviser to Government of India and is responsible for establishing and maintaining a technically sound Management Accounting System.

Functions:

* The Office of CGA prepares monthly and annual analysis of expenditure, revenues, borrowings and various fiscal indicators for the Union Government.

* Under Article 150 of the Constitution, the Annual Appropriation Accounts (Civil) and Union Finance Accounts are submitted to Parliament on the advice of Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

* Along with these documents, an M.I.S Report titled 'Accounts at a Glance’ is prepared and circulated to Hon’ble Members of Parliament.

* It is also responsible for coordination and monitoring the progress of submission of corrective/remedial action taken notes (ATNs) on the recommendations contained in Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) reports as well as the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) reports through its web based Audit Para Monitoring System (APMS).

A hotline was established between the Indian Army in Kongra La, north Sikkim, and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Khamba Dzong in the Tibet Autonomous Region to further the spirit of trust and cordial relations along the border. The event coincided with ‘PLA Day’ on August 1.

About:

* India and China have two military hotlines in eastern Ladakh, among others at Chushul and Daulat Beg Oldi.

* These hotlines in various sectors go a long way in maintaining peace and tranquility at the borders.

* In February 2021, the Foreign Ministers of India and China had agreed to establish a new hotline between the Foreign Ministries to ensure “timely communication” in the backdrop of the Ladakh stand-off.

* This will be in addition to the long delayed hotline between the Indian Army’s Director General of Military Operations and China’s Western Theatre Command, which is expected to be established soon.

Union Minister for Commerce & Industry reviewed the functioning of the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks in Mumbai.

About:

* The Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) is located at Mumbai.

* It functions under the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

* The Controller General supervises the working of the Patents Act, 1970, the Designs Act, 2000 and the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and also renders advice to the Government on matters relating to these subjects.

* The Head Office of the ‘Patent office’ is in Kolkata, ‘Trade Mark Registry’ is in Mumbai and the ‘GI Registry’ is in Chennai.

* The Offices of ‘The Patent Information System’ (PIS) and ‘National Institute of Intellectual Property Management’ (NIIPM) are at Nagpur.

Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal at the 2020 Summer Tokyo Olympics in Women's 49 kg, becoming the first Indian weightlifter to win silver at the Olympics and the second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win an Olympic medal.

About:

* Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (born 8 August 1994) is an Indian weightlifter from

* She won the silver medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Women's 49 kg.

* Chanu had won the silver medal in the women's 48 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow; she went on to break the games record en route to the gold medal at the 2018 edition of the event held in Gold Coast.

* In 2017, she won the gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, California.

* She was awarded the Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2018.

❖ The All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has announced that it is creating a database of resources so that colleges can offer more programmes in the regional languages of the country.
❖ This step has been taken so as to promote regional languages in the field of technical education.
❖ In eight states, 14 engineering colleges are going to start engineering studies in five Indian languages.
❖ They are Bengali, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi.

❖ The centre has announced 27% reservation for OBCs and a 10% quota for students from the economically weaker sections (EWS) for undergraduate and
postgraduate medical and dental courses under the All-India Quota (AIQ) scheme.
❖ Under the AIQ scheme, 15% of seats at the UG level and 50% seats at the PG level are kept domicile free in government medical and dental colleges against which students from other states to are offered admission.
❖ While the rest of the seats are kept only for students from within the state.
❖ The AIQ scheme was introduced in 1986 under the direction of the Supreme Court.

❖ The 14 Tiger Reserves in India received the accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS).
❖ 14 tiger reserves - Manas, Kaziranga, Orang (Assam), Satpura, Kanha, Panna (MP), Pench (Maharashtra), Valmiki (Bihar), Dudhwa (UP), Sunderbans (West Bengal), Parambikulam (Kerala), Bandipur (Karnataka) and Mudumalai and Anamalai (Tamil Nadu).
❖ Officially launched in 2013, CA|TS has been agreed upon as accreditation tool by the global coalition of Tiger Range Countries (TRCs).
❖ It sets minimum standards for effective management of target species and encourages assessment of these standards in relevant conservation areas.

❖ Madhya Pradesh (79%) has the highest seroprevalence, or the presence of antibodies to the novel coronavirus.
❖ It is followed by Rajasthan (76%) and Bihar (75%).
❖ Kerala has the lowest among 21 States studied.
❖ After Kerala, the least antibody prevalence was in Assam (50%) and Maharashtra (58%).
❖ These are according to the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) fourth national serology survey.

❖ The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) has announced that it would return 14 works of art from its Asian art collection to India including Sambandar.
❖ Dancing child-saint Sambandar of 12th century belongs to Chola dynasty.
❖ Sambandar was one of the Nayanmars.
❖ Nayanmars is a group of sixty-three saints active in South India from the sixth to the ninth century.
❖ They were instrumental in popularizing the worship of Shiva through devotional poetry and song.

❖ India and the US renewed for five years a global development partnership agreement to work together in African and Asian countries.
❖ They will work on key issues such as regional connectivity, clean energy and disaster risk reduction.
❖ The two countries signed the second amendment to the Statement of Guiding Principles on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development.
❖ The SGP agreement, originally inked in November 2014, provides a framework for development cooperation in third countries, especially in Asia and Africa.
❖ The second amendment to the SGP agreement extends the validity of the pact till September 2026.

❖ Vaidehi Dongre, a 25-year-old girl from Michigan, has been crowned Miss India USA 2021 at the beauty pageant.
❖ She won the ‘Miss Talented’ title in the pageant for giving a flawless performance of Indian classical dance form Kathak.

❖ The Sitio Burle Marx site, a landscape garden in Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro has been added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.
❖ The site has been named after Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape architect.

According to Titagarh Wagons Ltd, its plant in Italy has rolled out first train for Pune Metro coach.

Key Points

Features of Pune Metro

Titagarh Wagons

It is a railway wagon manufacturer based in Titagarh, West Bengal. It manufactures coaches for Indian Railways, bailey bridges, as well as mining equipment. Its subsidiary, Titagarh Marines, operates in shipbuilding industry. Titagarh acquired a 90% stake in Italian rail equipment firm Firema Trasporti in 2015 and renamed it as Titagarh Firema SPA. Titagarh is now having 100% stake of Firema Trasporti. Titagarh wagons also acquired Kolkata-based Corporated Shipyard in 2012 and merged it with its subsidiary Titagarh Marines. Merged entity now manufactures ships for Indian Navy and was given the first defence contract in 2017.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 3 to 17.

Key Points

Vaccination in UAE

As per health ministry of UAE, 78.95% of population of 9 million have received one vaccine dose while 70.57% have been fully vaccinated.

Covid-19 cases in UAE

UAE registered 1,519 new coronavirus infections on August 1 taking total tally to 682,377 cases and 1,951 deaths.

BBIBP-CorV Vaccine

This vaccine is also known as Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine. It is one among two inactivated virus COVID-19 vaccines that were developed by Sinopharm’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products. Vaccine’s Phase III trials were completed in Argentina, Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Peru, Pakistan and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on some 60,000 participants. BBIBP-CorV was developed using similar technology as CoronaVac and Covaxin. Its product name is SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell).

Efficacy of Vaccine

As per phase III trials in United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, BBIBP-CorV vaccine is 78.1 percent effective against symptomatic cases while 100 percent effective against severe cases.

Which countries are using this vaccine?

BBIBP-CorV is being used by several countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.

BBIBP-CorV in COVAX

World Health Organization approved this vaccine for use in COVAX on May 7, 2021. Sinopharm signed purchase agreements of 170 million doses from COVAX.

European Union has imposed a fine of $886.6 million or 746 million euro on Amazon.com Inc. European Union fined Amazon for processing personal data in violation of EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Key Points

Background

Tech giants have increasingly come under scrutiny of regulators in EU after it enacted its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. GDPR provides enough teeth to go after any abuse of users’ data.  GDPR was put forward after three years of negotiations among EU members. Now, GDPR have been incorporated as part of their national laws as a result companies can face action across jurisdictions in case, they violate the rules.

About GDPR

GDPR came in to effect in 2018. Basic idea of the regulation is that companies should get explicit consent of users before leveraging any data or information they collect from them. It seeks to achieve its goal by imposing steep fines.

Google under GDPR

Apart from Amazon, largest penalty was slapped on tech giant Google in 2019. French data privacy watchdog had asked google to pay $57 million. Fine was imposed after finding that “advertising targeting on its Android operating system does not comply with DGPR”.

Indian women’s hockey team has created history by qualifying for Olympic Games semi-finals for the first time. In the match on August 2, India played against three-time champions Australia and made it to the semi-finals by beating Australia by solitary goal.

Key Points

Background

India’s best performance in Olympics dates back to 1980 Moscow Games where Indian team finished fourth out of six teams. In that edition of the Games, women’s hockey made its debut to Olympics. Sport was played in a round-robin format in which top two teams qualified for the final.

Women’s field hockey tournament

Women’s field hockey tournament at 2020 Summer Olympics is the eleventh edition of field hockey event for women at the Games. Hockey event will be held from July 24 to August 6, 2021. All hockey games will be played at Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Game was originally scheduled to be held from July 25 to August 7, 2020. But Olympics were postponed to 2021 because of COVID-19 pandemic. This year, games are being played behind closed doors.

Muslim Women Rights Day was observed on August 1 in India.

Highlights

Year 2021 marks second anniversary of triple talaq bill which is officially called as Muslim Women Act (Protection of Rights on Marriage) passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Background

Why this date is regarded as ‘Muslim Women Rights Day’?

The Triple Talaq law made ‘triple talaq’ a criminal offence. This law is considered as a crucial step because it ensured protection of Muslim women against gender inequality and empowerment by lawfully criminalising practice of instantaneous ‘talaq’. Hence this day is observed as Muslim Women Rights Day. This law seeks to promote women’s self-reliance, self-respect, and boost self-esteem because it strengthens fundamental and democratic rights of Muslim women.

About Triple Talaq Law

As per the Triple Talaq Act, declaration of talaq would be treated as a cognizable offence. Law provides for imprisonment of 3 years imprisonment along with a fine.

Success of the law

Ever since the law was passed, there has been a reduction in Triple Talaq cases by 82 per cent.

Which countries have banned triple talaq?

Egypt was the first country to ban triple talaq in 1929. Egypt is followed by Sudan, Pakistan (in 1956), Malaysia (in 1969), Bangladesh (in 1972), Iraq (in 1959) and Syria (in 1953). In the recent years, UAE, Morocco, Iran, Cyprus, Qatar, Jordan, Brunei, Algeria as well as India, have banned this practice.

Myanmar’s military has extended emergency for two years, after seizing power from elected government of Myanmar.

Highlights

Background

Military had seized power in Myanmar in a coup in February 2021. This is the third military coup in Myanmar’s history since its independence from British rule in 1948. One-year state of emergency was imposed in February, while democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained.

Why military seized power?

In parliamentary election of November 2020, Suu Kyi’s party National League for Democracy (NLD) secured majority of the seats. But when newly elected Myanmar government were to hold first session of Parliament in 2021, military imposed state of emergency for one year highlighting massive voting fraud in parliamentary elections. Government was failed in tackling situation of Covid-19 pandemic.

How powerful military is in Myanmar?

Military gets power to took over under Article 417 of Myanmar’s constitution. Under article 417, military can take over in times of emergency. Constitution of Myanmar was framed by military in 2008. So, it retains power under charter at expense of democratic, civilian rule. Apart from that, in Parliament of Myanmar, military holds 25% of total seats and several key ministerial positions are reserved for military appointees.

About Myanmar

Myanmar is a Southeast Asian country sharing border with Bangladesh & India in the northwest, with China in the northeast, with Laos & Thailand in the east & southeast and with Andaman Sea & Bay of Bengal in the south & southwest. It is the largest country in Mainland Southeast Asia and 10th largest in Asia by area. Its capital city is Naypyidaw. Myanmar share border with the Indian States of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

AYUSH Ministry is to conduct clinical trials of “Ashwagandha” in collaboration with UK’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Team will check its efficacy on COVID-19 infection.

Highlights

What is Ashwagandha?

Significance of the Trial for India

Successful completion of clinical trial can provide a major breakthrough and provide scientific validity to traditional medicinal system of India. After successful trial, Ashwagandha will be authorized for medicinal treatment to prevent infection and will be recognized by scientific community globally.

Recent study on Ashwagandha

Recently, randomized placebo-controlled trials of Ashwagandha were conducted in humans in India.  Study demonstrated its efficacy on reducing anxiety & stress, improving muscle strength and reducing symptoms of fatigue in patients treated for chronic conditions. It also showed its efficacy on treating non-restorative sleep.

All-India Institute of Ayurveda

It is an Apex Institute for Ayurveda under AYUSH. It aims to bring synergy between Traditional Wisdom of Ayurveda and Modern tools & technology. Institute was set up to offer postgraduate and doctoral courses in several disciplines of Ayurveda. It focuses on fundamental research of Ayurveda, drug development, standardization and scientific validation of Ayurvedic medicine.

PV Sindhu, a 26-year-old badminton player, has become first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals after defeating ‘He Bingjiao’ of China.

Highlights

Where does Sindhu stand internationally?

Who is PV Sindhu?

Sindhu is an Indian badminton player who came to limelight at international level after winning Asian Championships bronze medal in 2014. In the same year she also won bronze medals at Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. She also won her first of 5 World Championship medals in 2014 it self.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to launch “e-RUPI Digital Payment Solution” on August 2, 2021. e-RUPI is an e-voucher-based payment solution.

Highlights

What is e-RUPI Platform?

Working Mechanism of e-RUPI

e-RUPI will be delivered to mobile phones of beneficiaries through SMS-string or a QR code. It will be like a prepaid gift-voucher that can be redeemed at specific accepting centres without any credit or debit card, mobile app or internet banking. It will connect sponsors of the services with beneficiaries and service providers digitally without any physical interface.