Daily Current Affairs - 24-08-2021

A study led by scientists at Northern Arizona University has highlighted clues to help in understanding the active lunar surface.


How iron nanoparticles are formed on moon?

Data from NASA and JAXA

Data from NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spacecraft helps scientists to understand how quickly iron nanoparticles form on moon over time.

How solar radiation influence moon?

Even though Iron absorbs a lot of light but very small amounts of such particles are detected from far. This makes particles a great indicator of change on the moon. Smaller iron nanoparticles are formed at a rate similar to radiation damage in samples that returned from Apollo Missions to the Moon.

Significance of the study

Study of the solar radiation environment and possible resources on moon is significant in the backdrop of NASA’s plan to land the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024 under the Artemis Mission.

Apple Inc CEO, Tim Cook and Microsoft Corp Chief Executive, Satya Nadella are set to attend White House cybersecurity meeting.

Key Points


U.S. President Joe Biden signed a national security memorandum in July 2021 to launch a new public-private initiative in order to create “performance controls” for cybersecurity at critical companies in America like water treatment and electrical power plants. The announcement was made following multiple high-profile cyberattack on American companies and government agencies in 2021.


Cyberattack is an offensive act that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, or personal computer devices. Attacker include a person or process that attempts to access data, functions, or other such restricted areas of system without authorization. Cyberattack can be employed by sovereign states, groups, individuals, society or organizations. It may originate from anonymous source. Cyberattack may steal, destroy or alter a specified target by hacking the susceptible system.

Cybersecurity in US

United States provides different tone of voice when it comes to cyberwarfare. It provides security plans strictly against the cyberwarfare. It basically goes defensive when they are attacked by devious cyber methods. Responsibility of cybersecurity is shared between Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Defense.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has come up with an “Announcement of Opportunity’ under which it seeks a proposal for scientifically analyse and utilise data from all experiments of the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter.


Chandrayaan-2 orbiter

This orbiter is currently moving in a 100 km x 100 km circular polar orbit across the Moon. It carries eight experiments such as studies ranging from surface geology and composition to exospheric measurements that will help in building upon the understanding from past lunar missions. Data from Chandrayaan-2 orbiter payloads was released on December 24, 2020 for public for scientific analysis. In July 2021 another set of data were released from payloads.

About Chandrayaan-2

It is the second lunar exploration mission by ISRO, after Chandrayaan-1. It comprises of lunar orbiter, Vikram lander, and Pragyan lunar rover. All these equipments were developed in India. This mission was launched with the objective of mapping and studying variations in lunar surface composition.

Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu, launched “Vaccinate India Programme” on August 24, 2021. On the occasion, he appealed to the people to strictly follow COVID-19 norms.

Key points

COVID-19 vaccination in India

India started its COVID-19 vaccines programme on January 16, 2021. As of August 23, more than 588 doses have been administered including first and second doses of recently approved vaccines. India firstly approved the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine that was manufactured under license by Serum Institute of India & named as Covishield as well as Covaxin that was developed locally by Bharat Biotech. These vaccines have now been joined by Sputnik V, Moderna vaccines, ZyCoV-D and Johnson & Johnson. India crossed the milestone of 500 million doses on August 6, 2021 within 6 months of onset of the vaccination program.

Johnson and Johnson Single-dose vaccine

DGCI approved emergency use of Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine on August 7, 2021.

Sputnik V

Sputnik V is being manufactured under license by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, with additional production from Serum Institute of India to be started from September 2021.

ZyCoV-D approval

India granted the emergency use approval for world’s first DNA based COVID-19 vaccine called ZyCoV-D on August 20, 2021. It has been manufactured by Zydus Cadila for adults and children aged 12 years and more. This vaccine is administered through a needle-free applicator.

Tropical Storm Henri has made its landfall near western Rhode Island on August 24, 2021.


About Rhode Island

Rohde island is a state in New England region of the United States. With respect to area, it is the smallest U.S. state and the seventh-least populous state. However, it the second most densely populated state following New Jersey. Name of the state has been taken from an island of the same name. most of the state lies on the mainland. It shares its borders with Connecticut in west, Massachusetts in north & east and Atlantic Ocean in south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. It also has a small maritime border with New York.

History of Rhode Island

Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was the first among Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown in 1776. It was also the fourth state to ratify Articles of Confederation in 1778.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is observed on August 23, every year. This day is observed with the aim of memorialising millions of people who were the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Key Points


Significance of the day

August 23 is significant because, during the night of August 22-August 23 in 1791, an uprising started on the island of Saint Domingue (now Haiti). The uprising had set forth events leading to abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

How this day is celebrated?

UNESCO Member States celebrate this day by organizing events and inviting participation from young people, artists, educators and intellectuals.

Slave Trade

Slave Trade was the result of affair between imperialism and racism. During those times, racist ideology was a basis for unjust political, social and economic practices which ultimately helped imperial powers in building their economies. Practice of racism and prejudices continue to haunt modern world. Even today, people of colour face discrimination because of stigmatising attitudes and perceptions.

India pitched its indigenously built fighter aircrafts at the International Military-Technical Forum ‘ARMY-2021’ in Moscow.


Defence Exports from India

According to the officials, Defence Exports from India has a huge potential to grow further with the efforts of DRDO. DRDO is a developer of most of the indigenous systems.

Aim of DRDO in ARMY-2021

DRDO showcased aircrafts in ARMY-2021 with the aim of making people aware that India can export such defence systems. Some business deals will also be started on the basis of past exhibitions.

Contributions of DRDO

DRDO is developing several advanced technologies and systems in the fields of missiles, Light Combat Aircraft, Main Battle Tanks, Radars, Multi-barrel Rocket Launcher, Missile-based Air Defence System, life sciences related products and Naval Systems.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)

DRDO, under the Department of Defence Research & Development in Ministry of Defence, conducts research and development for military. It is headquartered in Delhi. DRDO was established in 1958 by merging Technical Development Establishment, Directorate of Technical Development and Production of Indian Ordnance Factories with Defence Science Organisation.

Indian Institute of Technology (Madras) has developed India’s first indigenous motorised wheelchair vehicle called NeoBolt.

Key Facts

Wheelchair import

India currently imports 2.5 lakh of wheelchairs out of total three lakh wheelchairs that are sold in India annually. This is because, products with comparable features are available only in international market. But those wheelchairs are three to five times more expensive as compared to what has been developed by IIT Madras researchers.

Who designed the wheelchair?

Researchers collaborated with organisations and hospitals that are working for people with locomotor disability to build this wheel chair considering their experiences and making design adjustments.

Who developed the wheelchair?

Wheelchair has been developed by Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development, of the IIT Madras. This vehicle was commercialised by means of a startup called “Neo Motion”.

What is the cost of wheelchair?

Wheelchair will be available for users at a price of Rs 55,000.

The government launched a new geospatial planning portal called ‘Yuktdhara’ under Bhuvan. It was launched by Giriraj Singh, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

Key Facts about Yuktdhara

How this portal was named?

The name Yuktdhara is very apt. Word ‘Yukt’ has been derived from Yojanam, the planning while ‘Dhara’ indicates the flow.

Who planned for this portal?

Launch of the portal is culmination of joint efforts of ISRO and Ministry of Rural development towards realising the requirement of G2G service for rural planning in order to support the decentralized decision making.

Geoportal Bhuvan

Geoportal Bhuvan is a rich information base of ISRO. It provides satellite images and analytical capabilities. It has thus become a de-facto geospatial platform for several developmental planning activities across India.

Reserve Bank of India had appointed committee headed by N. S. Vishwanathan to make suggestions on structure for the urban cooperative banks (UCBs)

Key Points

Recommendations by panel

  1. Tier-1- with deposits up to Rs 100 crore;
  2. Tier-2 with deposits between Rs 100-Rs 1000 crore,
  3. Tier-3 with deposits between Rs 1000 crore to Rs 10000 and
  4. Tier-4 with deposits more than Rs 10000 crore.

Consolidation of UCBs

Panel reports on consolidation of UCBs highlights that, RBI should be largely neutral to voluntary consolidation except where supervisory action is required. RBI should use the route of mandatory merger in to resolve UCBs that are not meeting with prudential requirements. It also suggests that, under Banking Regulation (BR) Act, RBI can come up with the scheme of compulsory amalgamation or reconstruction of UCBs.

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, unveiled a four-year National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) scheme on August 23, 2021.

About NMP scheme

Significance of the monetisation

According to Finance Minister, monetisation will help in creating further value for infrastructure creation India and exploring innovative ways of private participation without transferring the government ownership.

Key challenges of the scheme

Major key challenges in the NMP roadmap include:

  1. Lack of identifiable revenue streams across various assets,
  2. Level of capacity utilisation across gas and petroleum pipeline networks,
  3. Dispute resolution mechanism,
  4. Regulated tariffs in power sector assets, and
  5. Low interest among investors for national highways below four lanes.

Assets in the NMP list

Assets on the NMP list include-

  1. 26700 km of roads, railway stations, train operations & tracks
  2. 28608 CKT km of power transmission lines
  3. 6 GW of hydroelectric & solar power assets
  4. 86 lakh km fibre assets & 14,917 towers in the telecom sector
  5. 8154 km of natural gas pipelines and
  6. 3930 km of petroleum product pipelines.

Indian naval ship (INS) Shakti reached Sri Lanka on August 22, 2021 carrying 100 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) in a bid to help the island nation in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.


India’s assistance to Sri Lanka

India’s assistance to Sri Lanka amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been varied and need-based in nature. During April-May 2020, 26 tonnes of essential medical supplies were gifted to the country while in July 2020, Currency swap of USD 400 million was provided. India also donated first consignment of covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka in January 2021. Following the donation of vaccines, Sri Lanka rolled out its vaccination programme ahead of the schedule.

Covid-19 cases in Sri Lanka

Covid-19 cases have been rising rapidly in Sri Lanka. The death toll has increased to more than 7,000 with nearly 200 fatalities in a single day. As a result, the demand of LMO has increased by 30 percent in order to handle the rapid rise on new covid-19 cases.

INS Shakti (A57)

INS Shakti, a Deepak-class fleet tanker, is in service with the Indian Navy. It was constructed by Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilding company from Trieste. It is the second and final ship in the Deepak Class. This ship is among the largest ships in Indian Navy. Its construction was started in November 2009, launched in October 2010 and commissioned in October 2011.

Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, launched COVID-19 Affected Livelihood Support Scheme on August 23, 2021.

Key points

About Manipur

The northeastern state of India, with its capital in Imphal, is bounded by the Nagaland in the north, Mizoram in the south and Assam in the west. It also shares borders with two regions of Myanmar namely- Sagaing Region in the east and Chin State in the south. The state is spread over an area of 22,327 square kilometres. It has a population of 3 million. Meitei group is in majority group in the state. Other tribes living in the state include- Meitei Pangals (Manipuri Muslims), Kuki or Zo tribes, Naga tribes, and other communities. They speak a variety of Sino-Tibetan languages.