Daily Current Affairs - 07-08-2021

Ladakh Administration has removed the need of an Inner Line Permit (ILP) for all Indian nationals who seeks to visit protected areas of union territory.

Highlights

Inner Line Permit (ILP)

ILP is a document required by non- natives to visit or stay in states which are protected under ILP system. Presently, four North-eastern states Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland are covered under this system. Duration of stay and areas allowed to be accessed for any non-native are decided by ILP. It is issued by concerned state government and can be availed by applying online or in person.

Background of ILP

ILP is an extension of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 under which Britishers framed regulations to restrict entry in certain designated areas. This was done to protect interest of the Crown in some states by preventing Indians (British Subjects) from trading within these regions.

Government announced on August 7, 2021 that approximately five crore beneficiaries have been enrolled and four crores have been trained under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan Scheme as of August 2, 2021.

Key Points

Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan

This scheme was launched to make six crore persons residing in rural areas, across States and UTs, digitally literate. It was launched with the aim of bridging digital divide and specifically targeting rural population. It also includes marginalised sections of society such as Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Minorities, Below Poverty Line (BPL), women, differently-abled persons and minorities. This scheme is being initiated under Digital India Programme and would cover 6 crore households in rural areas in order to make them digitally literate.

Who are eligible for the scheme?

This Scheme is applicable only in rural areas of India. All the households where not a single family member is digitally literate will be eligible under the Scheme. The beneficiary must be Digitally Illiterate. Only one person per eligible household would be provided with training in the age group of 14 – 60 years.

Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine approved for emergency use India. With this vaccine, India has five Emergency Use Authorization vaccines. This move will further boost India’s collective fight against COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

This vaccine, also called as Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, has been developed by Janssen Vaccines in Leiden, Netherlands. Its Belgian parent company Janssen Pharmaceuticals is subsidiary of American company Johnson & Johnson.

Nature of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

This vaccine is a viral vector vaccine which has been developed on the basis of human adenovirus. Vaccine has been modified to contain the gene for making spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Immune system of body responds to this spike protein in order to produce antibodies. It requires only one dose to develop immune. This vaccine does not need to be stored frozen.

Emergency use authorization

Vaccine was granted an emergency use authorization by US Food and Drug Administration, conditional marketing authorization by European Medicines Agency (EMA) and UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Efficacy of the vaccine

Clinical trials for Johnson vaccine were started in June 2020. Phase III involved about 43,000 people. Vaccine was found to be 66% effective on one-dose regimen in preventing symptomatic while it was found to be 85% efficient in preventing severe COVID-19 cases. Vaccine delivered 100% efficacy in preventing hospitalization or death caused by covid-19 disease.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 6, 2021 announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award has been renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

Key Points

About Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award has been renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games after Dhyan Chand who was an Indian field hockey player. This award was instituted in 1991-1992. Its first recipient was chess legend Viswanathan Anand. The award is given annually by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Recipient(s) is/are selected by a committee constituted by Ministry. They are honoured for their “spectacular and most outstanding performance in sports over a period of four years. Award comprises of a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of ₹25 lakh. Some winners of the award are Leander Paes, Sachin Tendulkar, Dhanraj Pillay, Abhinav Bindra, Pullela Gopichand, Mary Kom, Anju Bobby George, and Rani Rampal in 2020.

About Dhyan Chand

Major Dhyan Chand, popularly known as The Wizard, was an Indian field hockey player. He is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of sport. He was well known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feat. He earned three Olympic gold medals, in 1928, 1932 and 1936. His influence extended beyond these victories because India won field hockey event in seven out of eight Olympics in between 1928 to 1964. August 29 (his birthday) is celebrated as National Sports Day in India every year.

Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, attended a memorial to commemorate the 76th anniversary of world’s first atomic bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Key Points

Atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

United States dropped two nuclear weapons over Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively on August 6 and August 9, 1945. Both the bombings killed some 129,000 to 226,000 people. Most of the victims were civilians. These bombings remain the only use of nuclear weapons in any armed conflict.

History

In the World War II, the Allies prepared for costly invasion of Japanese mainland. Manhattan Project of Allies had produced two types of atomic bombs:

  1. Fat Man– Plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapon
  2. Little Boy– Enriched uranium gun-type fission weapon.

How operation was carried?

509th Composite Group of United States Army Air Forces was trained. They were equipped with specialized Silverplate version of Boeing B-29 Superfortress. They were deployed to Tinian in Mariana Islands. Allies called for unconditional surrender of Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration in July 1945. But Japan ignored the ultimatum. So, United States dropped world’s first nuclear bomb called “Little Boy” against southwestern city of Hiroshima. It immediately killed 80,000 civilians. On August 9, US dropped second bomb called “Fat Man” on Nagasaki that killed another 74,000 civilians.

Consequence of Bombing

Following the bombing, Japan surrendered and the World War Two ended.

As per RBI Data, India’s foreign exchange reserves surged by USD 9.427 billion. Foreign exchange reserves now stand at a record high of USD 620.576 billion in the week ended July 30.

Key Points

Foreign Currency Assets (FCA)

FCA is the most important component of RBI’s foreign exchange reserve. They are assets like US Treasury Bills bought by RBI using foreign currencies. FCA makes the largest component of forex reserve. India’s foreign exchange reserves comprises of:

  1. Foreign currency assets (FCA)
  2. Gold
  3. Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)
  4. Reserve tranche position (RTP) in the IMF.

FCA is expressed in dollar terms. It includes effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units such as euro, pound and yen that are held in foreign exchange reserves.

Foreign Exchange Reserves or Forex reserves

Forex reserves are cash and other reserve assets like gold. They are held by central bank or other monetary authority. Reserves are primarily available to balance payments of the country. It influences the foreign exchange rate of its currency.

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr. Virendra Kumar, is to launch ‘PM-DAKSH’ Portal and ‘PM-DAKSH’ Mobile App on August 7, 2021 in Nalanda Auditorium at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, Delhi.

Key Facts

About PM-DAKSH

PM-DAKSH stands for Pradhan Mantri Dakshta Aur Kushalta Sampann Hitgrahi Yojana. This scheme is being implemented by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment from the year 2020-21.  Under this scheme, eligible target group will be provided skill development training programmes on:

About National e-Governance Division (NeGD)

NeGD was created in 2009 by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. It was created as an Independent Business Division under Digital India Corporation. NeGD has been playing a significant role in supporting Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology in management & implementation of Programme since 2009. It has been implementing several e-Governance Projects and initiatives at the Central as well as State levels.

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has been joined in by 25 countries and seven international organisations as member till date. Bangladesh is the new entrant to CDRI.

About CDRI

Background

CDRI was first proposed by Narendra Modi during 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that was held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. This idea was inspired by Modi’s experience in dealing with aftermath of “2001 Gujarat earthquake” as chief minister of Gujarat then. CDRI was conceptualised in first and second edition of the International Workshop on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (IWDRI) held in 2018-19. IWDRI was organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in association with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), World Bank, UN Development Programme, and Global Commission on Adaptation.

Textile Ministry is all set to organise 7th National Handloom Day on August 7. First National Handloom Day was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 7, 2015 in Chennai.

Key Points

Handloom Craft Villages

  1. Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  2. Mohpara Village of Golaghat district in Assam and
  3. Kanihama in Budgam, Srinagar

Aim of the handloom Craft Villages

Handloom Craft Villages are being set up with the aim of providing additional attraction for domestic and international tourists. It seeks to promote well-known Handloom and Handicraft Products of the region.

Background

Handloom day is being observed in line with the Prime Minister’s call for people to buy Indian Handloom products and showcase their grandeur to commemorate 75th year of independence.

History of the day

The Handloom Day on August 7 holds special significance because, on the same day, swadeshi movement was launched in 1905. The day is observed to pay tribute to handloom weavers and artisan communities across India.

Handloom weave in India

Every state of India specializes in different handwoven weave. For Instance,

  1. Assam is known for Kamrup cotton and eri silk.
  2. Dimapur and Phek towns in Nagaland are known for backstrap-loom textiles.
  3. Andhra Pradesh is known for Venkatagiri fine cotton & silk weave, embellished with jamdani and zari.
  4. Odisha is known for Maniabandha weft ikat in fine cotton and silk.

Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar, participated in G20 Research Ministers’ meeting on August 6, 2021.

Highlights

India at G20 meet

About G20

G20 is an informal group of 19 countries and the European Union. It also comprises of representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The grouping comprises of a mix of world’s largest advanced and emerging economies that represent about two-thirds of world’s population. G20 also represents 85% of global gross domestic product, 75% of global trade and 80% of global investment.

Members of G20

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia, France, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Italy, Republic of Korea, Russia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Turkey, United States, and European Union.

India and China have agreed to disengage their troops in the Gogra region of eastern Ladakh.

Key Facts

Area of conflict

India and China were engaged at six flashpoints. Out of six, troops from both sides have now backed down in four flashpoints including at Galwan and North & South banks of the Pangong Lake. However, standoffs in Depsang and Hot Springs continue.

Background

Border standoff between militaries of India and China started on May 5 in 2020 after a violent clash in the Pangong lake area. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment and rushed in tens of thousands of soldiers and heavy weaponry. Both sides are having about 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in sensitive sector.

Line of Actual Control (LAC)

LAC is the demarcation separating Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory. According to India, LAC is about 3,488 km long but according to China, it is about 2,000 km. LAC is divided into three sectors:

  1. Eastern sector which spans Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim,
  2. Middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and
  3. Western sector in Ladakh.

Parliamentary panel, in its report before Lok Sabha observed that, India is not having any water treaty with China. However, both the nations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) on Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers.

Key Points

Background

According to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), three hydropower projects have been approved by Chinese authorities on main stream of Brahmaputra River, in Tibet Autonomous Region. Apart from that, Chinese authorities declared a hydropower project at Zangmu as operational in October 2015.

A parliamentary panel, in its report before Lok Sabha, has recommended to renegotiate Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan in order to address the impact of climate change on availability of water in river basin.

Key Points

Indus Waters Treaty

Recommendations by Parliamentary Panel