Daily Current Affairs - 12-08-2021

Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra has finished at number 2 rank in the World Athletics ranking after securing Gold Medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Highlights

Chopra at Tokyo Olympics

Neeraj Chopra

He is an Indian track and field athlete, competing in the javelin throw. He is the Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army. He has become the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics. He is also the first track and field athlete who won IAAF World U20 Championships. In 2016, he achieved under-20 world record of 86.48 m. He is one among two Indians to have won an individual Olympic gold medal as of 2021. Other gold medalist being Abhinav Bindra. He has also become the youngest-ever Indian gold medalist in the individual event and the first to won gold in his Olympic debut.

India’s cleanest city, Indore, has now been declared as India’s first water plus city under the Swachh Survekshan 2021.

Key Points

How this certification is provided?

To get the certification, following criteria has been set:

  1. dirty water should not go into any river or drain.
  2. Further, 30 percent of the city’s sewer water needs to be recycled and reused.
  3. Public toilets must be connected to sewer lines and it must be cleaned.

About Swachh Survekshan

It is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation across cities and towns in India. It was launched under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. This abhiyan was started with the aim of making India clean and free of open defecation by October 2, 2019. The first survey was done in 2016 and covered 73 cities. By 2020, survey grown to cover 4242 cities. It was tagged as the largest cleanliness survey across the world.

Sixth edition of survey

To scale up the coverage of ranking exercise and encourage towns and cities to actively implement mission initiatives, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) conducted sixth edition of the survey to rank all cities under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban in association with the Quality Council of India .

Objective of the survey

This survey is conducted with the objective of encouraging large scale citizen participation and ensure sustainability of initiatives towards garbage free and open defecation free cities. Survey also seeks to instil the spirit of healthy competition amongst towns and cities in order to improve their service delivery to citizens.

The Union minister of Roads, transport, and Highway, Nitin Gadkari, has announced roads and highways projects worth Rs 1,000 crores in Uttarakhand.

Key Points

Two-lane tunnel for Tehri Lake

This tunnel is proposed near Rajpur in Dehradun. It will terminate at Koti Colony near Tehri Lake. Total length of the tunnel will be around 35 km. Estimated cost of the tunnel project amounts to Rs 8,750 crore.

Tehri Lake

Tehri was a small town in Uttarakhand, located on the confluence of Bhagirathi and Bhilangna Rivers. The town got submerged in water which resulted in creation of a large catchment area. This way, the Old Tehri town became The Tehri Lake. It is the largest manmade lake in Asia. Town of Tehri was evacuated to make space for Tehri dam. It is located at an elevation of 1700 meters. It is an artificial dam reservoir that came into existence when water from Bhagirathi River was diverted to fill the Tehri dam reservoir.

Tourism at Tehri Lake

Tehri lake was developed as a site of adventure tourism, when Tehri Dam was being made by Uttarakhand Government. Tehri Lake includes several activities from Jet Skiing to Hot air balloon rides.

According to the Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO), the elephant landscape in Odisha has undergone a dramatic change because of mindless mining and unplanned developmental activities.

Key Points

Why elephants are getting distressed in state?

Instance of the distressed elephants in Odisha has gone up with time because their habitats and paths are continuously encroached upon for farming, mining, industries and urbanisation. In the districts like Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda and Angul, elephants lost their habitats due to rampant mining.

Elephant count in state

State had 2,044 elephants in Odisha in the year 1979. But as per census 2017, their numbers have reduced to 1976 as they were compelled to leave native forests. Now, elephants are restricted to 26 districts out of 30 districts. 2017 census highlights that, 344 out of 1,976 elephant population were male.

Status of elephant corridors

Most of the elephant corridors and reserve plans are only confined to paper. Traditional elephant corridors have been degraded that has restricted their migration. In 2010, Fourteen elephant corridors were officially identified covering over 870 sq. km.

India and Australia are expected to hold their first minister-level 2+2 meeting in September 2021.

Key facts

2021 Talisman Sabre exercise

Talisman Sabre exercise comprises of Australia, Japan, South Korea and U.S. Its 2021 edition was recently concluded in August. Its next edition is scheduled for 2023. It is the biggest war exercise of Australia.

What is 2+2 dialogue?

A ‘two plus two dialogue’ is a term adopted by foreign conferences. It is usually used to instal a dialogue mechanism between defence and external affairs ministries of two countries. It is an expression used to indicate that two appointed ministers from two country that is ministers of defence and external affairs, will meet to discuss the strategic and security interests of both the countries. Such dialogues seek to establish a diplomatic conversation between two countries.

President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-26) and climate chief of United Kingdom government, Alok Sharma is to visit India in August to meet the leaders of country that has become the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases following US and China.

Key Points

About COP-26

COP-26 is extended as “The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference”. It is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, which is scheduled to be held in city of Glasgow, Scotland. It will be held from 31 October to 12 November 2021. United Kingdom holds presidency of the conference. Conference will also incorporate the 26th Conference of Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), third meeting of parties to Paris Agreement (CMA3) and 16th meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP16). During this conference, Parties are expected to commit to enhanced ambition for first time since COP21.

Venue of COP 26

Venue for the conference is SEC Centre in Glasgow. Originally it was to be held at same place in November 2020. But the event was postponed for twelve months because of COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland.

Wildfires in Algeria have killed 42 people including 25 soldiers.

Highlights

Wildlife Fires

Forest fires are also called as bush or vegetation fire or forest fire. It can be defined as uncontrolled and non-prescribed combustion or burning of plants in natural setting like forest, brush land or tundra, grassland. It consumes natural fuels and spreads in accordance with environmental conditions such as wind or topography. Such fires can be incited by human actions like land clearing or extreme drought or by lightning.

Forest Fires in India in 2021

Impact of Forest Fire

Forest fires have several adverse effects on forest cover, tree growth, soil, vegetation, flora and fauna. Fires turns hectares of forest useless and leave behind ash, which in turn make the forest unfit for any vegetation growth. Heat generated during fires damages animal habitats. It also decreases soil quality, soil moisture and fertility.

The Skytrax World Airport Award ranking 2021 was recently published in which Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi has emerged among world’s top-50 best airports in the 2021.

Highlights

Airport ranking list

Bengaluru is at 71st number, 3 places down from 68th rank in 2020.

Ranking of airports globally

  1. Doha Hamad International Airport
  2. Tokyo Haneda airport
  3. Changi airport Singapore
  4. Seoul Incheon International Airport and
  5. Tokyo Narita

How airports are ranked?

United Kingdom based Skytrax provides the best airports awards on the basis of customer reviews. Ranking is considered as the quality benchmark for world airport industry. It assesses customer service and facilities across 550 airports.

About Skytrax

Skytrax is a United Kingdom-based consultancy, running an airline and airport review & ranking site.

Indira Gandhi International Airport

This international aviation hub of New Delhi is spread over an area of 5,106 acres. It is situated in Palam and has been named after former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi. It is the busiest airport of India in terms of passenger traffic since 2009. Globally, it is the 17th busiest airport and 6th busiest airport in Asia by passenger traffic. It handles about 70 million passengers. It was operated by the Indian Air Force and transferred to the Airports Authority of India, later. In 2006, management of IGI was transferred to Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), led by the GMR Group.

World’s third oldest and Asia’s oldest football tournament called Durand Cup, is all set to be held in Kolkata from September 5 to October 21, 2021.

Highlights

About Durand Cup

The Durand Cup is the prestigious football tournament. It was first held in 1888, at Dagshai in Himachal Pradesh. This tournament has been named after Mortimer Durand. He was the then Foreign Secretary in charge of India.

Background of the tournament

This tournament was a conscious way to maintain health and fitness amongst the British troops. However, it was later opened to civilians. Presently, it is one of the leading sports events globally.

Successful teams

Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the most successful teams of the Durand Cup. Both the teams have won for sixteen times each.

About the Trophy

Winning team is provided with three trophies

  1. President’s Cup which was first presented by Dr Rajendra Prasad
  2. Durand Cup- it is the original challenge prize and a rolling trophy and
  3. Shimla Trophy which was first presented by citizens of Shimla in 1903. Since 1965, it has become a rolling trophy.

Where it will be held?

The football Tournament was shifted from Delhi to Kolkata in 2019. 2019 Gokulam Kerala won the 2019 tournament by beating Mohun Bagan with 2-1 in the finals. Thus, Kolkata will again host this four-week long tournament. Sixteen participating teams from India, including four teams from the Services, will bring out the competitive and sportsman spirit to fight for the  trophies.

11th Annual meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for the year 2021 was inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner of India & Chairman of FEMBoSA, Sushil Chandra.

Key Points

Logo of FEMBoSA

Logo of the FEMBoSA with golden pearls stands for eternal values of democracy, transparency, impartiality and cooperation.

Theme of the meeting

FEMBoSA meeting was held under the theme of ‘Use of Technology in Elections’.

Digitization of election process in India

Sushil Chandra highlighted that; election commission of India has digitized many processes by keeping pace with rapid strides of Technology. Technology driven processes have become more important during the Covid 19 situation as it is helping in minimizing person-to-person contact.

Supreme Court of India directed Union and State governments to fill vacancies in the consumer disputes redressal commission within eight weeks.

Key Points

Background

In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Union minister of state for consumer affairs, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, noted that, there were 638 district fora functional in 28 states and 8 Union territories. He also informed that, all 36 state consumer commissions were operational. According to him, 25 presidents and 68 members were appointed in state commissions while 367 presidents and 695 members were working in district fora, as of June 2021. He did not cite any vacancies in the commission.

Suo Motu case

Senior counsel Gopal Sankaranarayanan and advocate Aditya Narain, registered the case suo motu and produced a tabular chart stating that, district consumer fora have 721 vacancies including 188 for presidents. 72 posts were vacant across state commissions while national consumer commission has 3 vacancies.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC)

NCDRC is a quasi-judicial commission of India. It was set up in 1988 under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It is headquartered in New Delhi. NCDRC is headed by sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. Justice R K Agrawal, former judge of the Supreme Court, is the present head of the commission.

Section 21 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986

Section 21 of the act provides for jurisdiction of NCDRC to entertain any complaint with value of more than one crore. It also provides for Appellate and Revisional jurisdiction from orders of State Commissions or District fora.

Maharashtra government has announced for creation of a new award named “Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Information Technology (IT)”.

Key Points

Creation of new award was announced days after the central government renamed the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

Why this award will be presented?

According to Minister of State for Information and Technology, Satej Patil, award will be given to institutions and companies for their outstanding performance in information technology sector on the occasion of birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

When award will be presented?

The award will be announced on August 20, 2021. It was decided to announce this award at a meeting of IT department on July 7.

Who are eligible for the award?

Who will present the award?

Award will be presented by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Who will propose the award?

Maharashtra IT Corporation Limited (MAHA-IT), a state government enterprise, has been appointed a nodal agency to propose the newly constituted award.

Rajiv Gandhi

He was an Indian politician, served as the sixth prime minister of India in between 1984 to 1989. He took office of President at the age of 40 after assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. He became the youngest Indian prime minister of India.

India and USA signed an agreement on Monsoon Data Analysis and cooperation in order to improve weather forecasts.

Highlights

Background

This agreement is a follow-up of the memorandum of understanding signed between Ministry of Earth Sciences and NOAA in October 2020 for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observations and Earth Sciences.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA is an American scientific and regulatory agency under the United States Department of Commerce. It forecasts weather, monitors oceanic and atmospheric conditions. It charts the seas, manages fishing & protection of marine mammals, conducts deep sea exploration in the U.S. exclusive economic zone.

Monsoon Prediction in India

When there were no computers, Indian meteorological department (IMD) used to forecast monsoon based on the snow cover. Lesser snow cover meant better monsoon. British physicist Gilbert Walker, head of the IMD, designed a statistical weather model to predict weather on the basis of relationship between two weather phenomena. IMD started using numerical models in 2014 to supplement statistical models to forecast over long range. Now, IMD uses numerical models, developed by the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction. However, their forecast capacity is still weak as a longer period of forecast creates more uncertainty in prediction. IMD provides district-wise weather data but it’s not sufficient. This is because when IMD forecasts for scattered rainfall over a particular district, it means that 26-50% area of that district will receive rainfall.