Daily Current Affairs - 11-08-2021

India and Saudi Indian is all set to conduct their first ever naval exercise called “AL-MOHED AL-HINDI 2021”.

Highlights

Harbour phase of the exercise

Harbour phase of the Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021 exercise started on August 9, 2021. Sea-based drills started from August 11. After INS Kochi arrived at the Jubail port, it was given a warm welcome by officials of Royal Saudi naval forces.

Significance of the exercise

The joint naval exercise is taking place amid increasing tension in the Gulf region following a drone attack on the merchant tanker off Oman that killed a British national and Romanian citizen. United Kingdom and United States accused Iran for carrying the attack on MV Mercer Street.

INS Kochi

It is the second ship of Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers. It was built for Indian Navy under the code name Project 15A. The ship was constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai and commissioned to Indian Navy service in September 2015. This ship is classified as a ‘Network of Networks’ since it is equipped with sophisticated digital networks, sophisticated array of state of art weapons and sensors that can neutralise any threat from air, sea and underwater.

India was ranked at 122nd position among 181 countries in Global Youth Development Index, 2020. Commonwealth Secretariat released this triennial ranking of youth development for 181 countries.

Key Facts

How this index ranks countries?

Gain in Health

Health witnessed the largest gain of 4.39 per cent. It is driven by 1.6 per cent decline in global youth mortality rates and 2 per cent decline in HIV, alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

National Maritime Heritage Complex (NMHC) is to be developed as an international tourist destination. It will be dedicated to the legacy of maritime heritage of India, at Lothal in Gujarat.

Highlights

  1. Virtual reality to offer immersive experience of maritime heritage.
  2. Sound and light shows
  3. Touch screen kiosks and
  4. Short films on important events of Maritime history.

About NMHC

NMHC will be developed in Lothal region of Gujarat as an international tourist destination. It will showcase maritime heritage of India from ancient to modern times. It seeks to create an edutainment approach (meaning education with entertainment) for the interest of visitors. It will cover an area of 400 acres comprising of structures like Heritage Theme Park, National Maritime Heritage Museum, Maritime Institute, Lighthouse Museum, eco-resorts etc. It will also comprise of pavilions where all coastal states of India and union territories can showcase artifacts and maritime heritage. NMHC will recreate the ancient Lothal city, a prominent city and port of ancient Indus valley civilization.

About Lothal

Lothal was the southernmost cities of ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Its construction started in 2400 BCE. The city had world’s earliest known dock, that connected the city to the ancient course of Sabarmati River. The river lied on the trade route of Harappan cities in Sindh and peninsula of Saurashtra.

National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) was constituted in 1999 in accordance with the National Policy for Older Persons (NPOP).

Key Points

Reconstitution of NCOP

NCOP was reconstituted in 2012 to encourage more participation from every region. Council was renamed as National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC).

Meeting of NCOP

  1. Council suggested to strengthen the “Amendments to the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007”. Following it, government introduced “Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019” in the Lok Sabha.
  2. Council suggested to organise more distribution camps under Rashtriya Vayoshri Yojana (RYY). Based on this, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment revised RVY to cover all the districts across country.
  3. Council also advised to simplify the process of registration of NGOs following which, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment has been running a simplified Online NGO portal called e-Anudaan.
  4. It suggests to provide financial assistance to senior citizens who are cancer patients from Senior Citizen’s Welfare Fund (SCWF). In line with the suggestion, government is providing financial assistance of up to Rs 2 lakh under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) scheme.

Recently, a study was published in “The Lancet Regional Health-Americas” on impact of covid-19 on pregnancy. According to the study, covid-19 during pregnancy is linked with preterm birth.

Key findings

Why preterm birth is a concern?

because, Preterm birth is linked with several challenging outcomes for pregnant people and babies. Preterm births also carry highest risk of infant complications.

Covid-19 vaccine and pregnancy

Pregnant people have several concerns regarding the vaccines and health of their baby. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on July 30, issued updated guidance and strongly recommended pregnant individuals to get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant people are a high-risk population for COVID-19. Despite that, less than a quarter have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Births amid covid-19

Out of 240,157 recorded births, some 9000 indicated a COVID-19 diagnosis in pregnancy. Preterm birth rate among birthing people diagnosed with Covid-19 was 11.8 per cent as compared to 8.7 per cent among those without Covid-19.

Hong Kong is all set to implement China’s anti-sanctions law. It will be implemented in some form in the country and will add fresh regulatory pressure on international companies.

Highlights

Aim of the anti-sanctions law

Basic purpose of the Anti-Sanctions Law is to defend China’s sovereignty, security and development interests.

About Hong Kong

The metropolitan area called Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China located on the Delta of eastern Pearl River in South China, having the area of 1,104 square kilometre. It is one of the most densely populated places worldwide.

History of Hong Kong

Hong Kong was established in 1841 as a colony of British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island from Xin’an County following the First Opium War. After the second opium war, colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860. It further extended in 1898 when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories.

On August 10, 2021, Taliban captured ‘Pul-e-Khumri’ (capital of northern province of Baghlan) and Afghan security forces retreated towards Kelagi desert. Pul-e-Khumri is the seventh regional capital that came under control of the Islamist militants within a week.

Joy Biden’s call

Taliban’s control

Taliban forces have gained control of over 65% of Afghanistan. They now threaten to take 11 provincial capitals. They also seek to deprive Kabul of its traditional support from national forces.

How government in Afghanistan is tackling the situation?

Afghan government has withdrawn from hard-to-defend rural districts and has started focusing on holding population centers. Officials have appealed to put pressure on Pakistan to stop Taliban reinforcements and supplies flowing from border.

Displaced Civilians

According to the head of national disaster authority, fighting has been going on across 25 provinces out of 34. It has resulted into displacement of some 60,000 families in past two months. They are seeking refuge in Kabul. In the recent months, 400,000 Afghans have been displaced. Number of people fleeing to Iran has also increased. India also sent a flight to northern Afghanistan to take back its citizens. United States and Britain also advised citizens to leave Afghanistan.

Industrialization in China occurred at breathtaking pace which lifted people out of poverty and transformed India into the world’s factory. However, this also made China the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide. As a result, China has set the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2060.

What is carbon neutral?

Carbon neutral means cutting carbon dioxide emissions as large as possible and offsetting what cannot be eliminated. This can be done by switching to renewable energy sources like using solar power instead of coal.

China’s goal

Despite being world’s second-largest economy, China is considered as developing nation. Accordingly, it has not reached its emissions peak. By 2030, China will be committing to bring down carbon neutrality by 2060. If China gets success in it, it will be the fastest decline from peak emissions.

How China can achieve the goal?

Impact on economic policy

To break the link between growth and emissions, China will require policies that focuses on fossil fuels and encourage development of renewable energy.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) informed that, countdown for launch of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-F10 EOS-03 mission has started.

Background

Union minister of state (MoS), Jitendra Singh, recently confirmed in Lok Sabha that the Earth Observation Satellite-03 is scheduled to be launched on August 12.

About GSLV-F10 EOS-03 mission

Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)

GSLV is an expendable launch system of ISRO. It has been used in thirteen launches from 2001 to 2018. GSLV is completely different than GSLV Mark III even though they share the name. GSLV project was first launched in 1990 with the objective of acquiring capability of Indian launch for geosynchronous satellites.

Is GSLV similar to PSLV?

GSLV uses major components of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) launch vehicles. It uses solid rocket booster S125/S139 and liquid-fuelled Vikas engine. Third stage is powered by a LOX/LH2 Cryogenic engine due to the thrust required to inject the satellite in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

First development flight of GSLV

First development flight of GSLV (Mk I configuration) was launched in 2001. But its payload failed to reach the intended orbit parameters. This launcher was declared operational following the success of second development flight of GSAT-2 satellite.

Chief Scientist of World Health Organization, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, urged the nations to prioritize reopening of schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highlights

School Drop out rate in India

Infrastructural Issues

Right to Education Forum also highlighted infrastructural issues such as distance from school was the important roadblocks for girls to access higher education. According to it, for every 100 elementary schools in rural India, there were only 14 offering secondary and six offering higher secondary grades.

Enrolment Ratio among vulnerable women

Enrolment declined drastically for girls belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Muslims as they were subject to multiple marginalisation. Enrolment was 19.34 per cent at the elementary level, 18.6 percent at secondary level among SC girls. This scenario was worst among ST girls.

World Health Organization (WHO) urged the 20 leaders with power to end the disgraceful covid-19 vaccine inequity and global imbalances before October in order to reverse the tide.

Highlights

Who can solve the problem of equity?

Vaccine count

WHO’s target

WHO wants countries to have vaccinated at least 10 percent their population by the end of September and at least 40 percent by the end of 2021 to cover some 70 percent population by the middle of 2022.

Unequal vaccination rate

According to New York Time Covid World Vaccination Tracker, more than 4.46 billion vaccine doses were administered across the world as of August 9. It equals to 58 doses for every 100 people. According to it, 83% of shots having been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries while, 0.3% in low-income countries. Vaccination rate (number of doses administered per 100 people) is 90% in Europe and 86% in North America while only 5.5% in Africa.

Delhi government will launch faceless transport services on August 11, 2021. It will bring all the driving licences, registration and services related to permit online.

Key points

What are those faceless services?

List and faceless services comprise of renewal of driving license, learning licences, transfer of ownership, duplicate registration certificate, fresh permit from goods and passenger vehicles, international driving permit, change of address, hypothecation termination etc.

e-learning licence (eLL)

eLL could be obtained by applicants following an online test at home or workplace through Aadhaar authentication. e-LL can immediately be generated with the help of link provided by NIC. Applicants not using Aadhaar will be required to apply online and seek appointment for learner’s test. Applicants using their Aadhaar number will receive an OTP on their Aadhaar-linked mobile number. This OTP will be used as their e-KYC. Similar procedure will be used in case of foreign nationals and applicants temporarily staying in Delhi.

Software by transport department

Transport department has developed a software through NIC that will integrate hypothecation data of banks with Vahan software in order to issue automatic on-line NOC by banks.

Who is the in-charge of zones?

Zonal deputy commissioners will be the in-charge of zones under their jurisdiction. They will ensure that applications related to DL and RC are processed preferably within seven days of the receipt of application.