Daily Current Affairs - 10-02-2021

The Supreme Court have put a stay on the dismantling of the INS Viraat that was decommissioned recently. This decision was taken in the backdrop to restore the everlasting glory of this legendary warship of the Indian Navy.


The SC’s stay on the dismantling while hearing a petition filed by a firm. The firm filed the petition seeking a permission to convert INS Viraat into a maritime museum and a multi-functional adventure centre. The centre had informed the Parliament in July 2019 about their decision to dismantle the INS Viraat after holding due consultation with the Indian Navy.

SC’s Take

Firm’s take

The firm that filed the petition has proposed to buy the aircraft carrier for Rs 100 crore.

INS Viraat

It was a Centaur-class aircraft carrier in the Indian Navy. The aircraft carrier was the flagship of Indian Navy till 2013 before INS Vikramaditya was commissioned into services. INS Viraat was completed and commissioned in the year 1959 as the Royal Navy’s HMS Hermes. In the year 11984 it was decommissioned. The aircraft carrier was sold to India in the year 1987. Following that, it was commissioned into the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987.The carrier has served the Indian Navy for 29 years and decommissioned in 2017. This was the last British-built ship that was serving the Indian Navy.

The “Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2020” was passed in the Rajya Sabha on February 10, 2021. The bill was passed using the ballot votes. 84 votes were in favour while 44 votes were against it. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in September 2020.

Significance of the Bill

Provisions of the bill

  1. The bill aims to provide more autonomy in decision-making.
  2. It will provide autonomy to the 12 major ports of India, Namely’
  1. The bill will also professionalise the governance of the port with the formation of boards.
  2. The bill will replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.
  3. It comprises of the provisions of creating a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port that in turn will replace the existing Port Trusts.

Composition of the board

The Board will consist of a Chairperson and a deputy Chairperson. Both will be appointed by the central government following the recommendation of a selection committee. The board will also include one member from each of the respective state governments, Railways Ministry, Defence Ministry, and Customs Department.  It will also have two to four independent members. Further, it will include two members who will represent the interests of the employees from the Major Port Authority.


The bill is being criticised and opposed alleging that it is aimed at privatising the ports. The bill will deplete the powers of states with respect to the land use.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released the first images of the glacier burst that happened in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The glacial burst has so far caused 32 lives. After the incident, more than hundred people are still missing.


What caused the glacial burst?

scientists are still investigating about the reason for the glacial burst or the avalanche or the release of the accumulated water. Bu the experts are pointing that climate change can be blame. This is so because, the warming temperatures is resulting into the shrinking of glaciers across the world.


It is an advanced Indian Earth Observation satellite. The satellite has been built and developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It replaced the IRS series. The satellite comprises of a panchromatic resolution of 0.25 metres. Thus, it is the imaging satellite having highest resolution in the world. It has Mx of 1 metre with a high-quality resolution.

Uses of CARTOSAT-3

Satellite is used to map the weather, in the cartography or defence, and in the strategic applications

Features of CARTOSAT-3

The satellite has a resolution of 25 cm. It uses 1.2 m optics. The satellite uses the optical devices, adaptive optics, and in-orbit focusing using MEMs. The age of the satellite is 5 years.

The office of the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) was inaugurated in Karnataka.


How digital economy would be strengthened?

To strengthen the digital economy, the government will focus to improve the connectivity even to remote parts. It will provide 24/7 electricity in those areas. The government will also reduce the rural-urban divide by creating the needed infrastructure.

Aim of the KDEM

The KDEM is aimed at attracting the investments for the IT or ITeS sector in the state. It also seeks to create 10 lakh jobs by 2025. The office will work to achieve the target with the focus on 5 verticals of IT namely the Innovation & Startups, products & services, Electronic System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM), ‘Beyond Bengaluru’, and ‘Talent Accelerator’. The office has been established with the aim of reaching to the goal of 150 billion dollars in IT exports through the state. It also wants to make Karnataka a 300 billion dollars economy by 2025.

The 18th edition of BioAsia event will be held in between February 22, 2021 to February 23, 2021. It will be organised under the theme: ‘Move the Needle’.


About BioAsia 2021

Significance of the event

This event is significant because, India is all set to become the world’s most populous country of the world. With the increase in the population, the burden of disease is also increasing. Thus, this becomes important because, it is attended by the investors, researchers, start-ups, conglomerates and health care representatives who discuss the needs of evolving Life Science industry. Further, the event would give a boost to India’s biotechnology sector.

India’s Biotechnology Sector

India has become the third largest biotechnology destination in the Asia Pacific region. India have more than 500 United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approved Indian owned biotechnology plants which is the second highest number across the world. The country is also the largest supplier of vaccines of BCG, DPT and measles.

The Government of India has launched a new Central Sector Scheme called the “Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)”.


Why this scheme has been launched?

About FPOs Scheme

Implementing Agencies (IAs)

There are presently nine implementing agencies namely,

  1. Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC),
  2. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD),
  3. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC),
  4. North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC),
  5. Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium Haryana (SFACH),
  6. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED),
  7. Watershed Development Department (WDD)- Karnataka
  8. Tamil Nadu-Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (TN-SFAC) and
  9. Foundation for Development of Rural Value Chains (FDRVC)- Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).

These IAs will engage the Cluster Based Business Organizations (CBBOs) to aggregate, registered and provide the handholding support to each FPOs. The support will be provided for a period of 5 years.

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have unveiled the ambitious 10-year space program of his country on February 9, 2021.


Turkey’s Moon Mission


The announcement that the President made is however being criticised because the space programme would require vast sums of money at a time when its economy is suffering. On the other hand, it is being praised because the space programme will create jobs for researchers.

Turkish Space Agency (TSA)

TSA is a government agency that does the national aerospace research in Turkey. The agency was established through the presidential decree on December 12, 2018. The agency is headquartered in Ankara. It works under the parent head of Ministry of Science and Technology of Turkey.

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change has published its new research in Lancet Planetary Health Journal recently. The report has highlighted the benefits of adoption of the Paris Agreement to health.


Key findings of the report

  1. 4 million lives as a result of better diet
  2. 6 million lives as a result of cleaner air, and
  3. 1 million lives as a result of increased exercise.

Thus, the health benefits of the strengthened Nationally Determined Contributions commitments can be achieved by the direct climate change mitigation along with the supporting actions. Both of the measures together can help in reducing the exposure to harmful pollutants. It would also help in improving the diets and enabling a safer physical activity. There are countries who have benefitted from dietary improvements. For instance, in Germany 188 deaths were avoided per 100,000 of population; In USA 171 per 100,000 deaths were avoided while in China 167 per 100,000 deaths were avoided; report highlights.

The Joe Biden administration in United States is all set to re-join the UN Human Rights Council. The United States had withdrawn from the council in the year 2018 under Presidency of the Donald Trump


About UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR)

UNHRC Sessions

The UNHRC held three regular sessions in a year. The session lasts for a total of 10 weeks. The session take place for four weeks in the month of March, three weeks in the month of June and three weeks in the month of September. The sessions are held at the UN Office Geneva in Switzerland.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has put a probe called Hope in the orbit around the MARS. By doing so, UAE has become the fifth country to launch the spacecraft into the orbit of MARS after United States, Soviet Union, Europe and India.


Emirates Mars Mission

It is a UAE Space Agency space exploration mission to Mars. In the process UAE had launched the Hope orbiter 19 July 19, 2020. The orbiter reached Mars on February 9, 2021. It was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan. The orbiter was launched with the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA launch vehicle which is a Japanese launcher.

Design and Development

The design, development, and operations of the MARS mission are led by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC).  It was developed by MBRSC in collaboration with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulde.  The mission was also developed with the help of Arizona State University (ASU). Lastly, the spacecraft was assembled at the University of Colorado.

Purpose of the Mission

The space mission will carry the study on daily and seasonal weather cycles and weather events such as dust storm in the lower atmosphere. It will study how weather varies in different regions on the MARS. The spacecraft also seeks to study why the planet is losing the hydrogen and oxygen into space.

India and Afghanistan have inked the deal to build a dam, called Sahtoot dam, in order to supply water to the Kabul City. Following the deal, the prime minister of India called for a ceasefire in Afghanistan in order to end a spike in violence.


About Sahtoot Dam

India-Afghanistan MoU

In order to start the project, External affairs minister of India, S Jaishankar and the Afghan counterpart Haneef Atmar have signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build the Lalandar or Shatoot dam.

Significance of the project

The project is significant for both the countries. It shows the India’s continuing commitment to support Afghanistan. The signing of the agreement becomes more significant in the backdrop of the troubled peace process with the Taliban and the violence that targets journalists, officials and civil society activists across the country. It also shows India’s strong and long-term commitment of the socio-economic development in Afghanistan.

India-Afghanistan Relation

India and Afghanistan are close neighbours and strategic partners. Both the countries have committed for a region free from terrorism and extremism. India also supports the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace process to negotiate with the Taliban.

Recently, a committee was set up by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) on the request of some insurers. The committee has recommended to introduce the index-linked insurance policies (ILIPs).

Index-linked insurance policies (ILIPs)

Significance of the ILIPs

The ILIPs offer a greater transparency. Index-linked products can fit in between the traditional products with less transparency and the Unit-linked products with higher transparency.  In the ILIPs the investment risks will be completely borne by the policyholders as in the cases of Unit-Linked products.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)

It is an autonomous, statutory body. It regulates and promotes the insurance and re-insurance industries of India. The body was established under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. Its headquarters are in Hyderabad, Telangana. The headquarter moved from Delhi to Telangana in 2001. IRDAI comprises of 10-member namely the chairman, five full-time members and four part-time members who are appointed by the government of India.  Presently, Dr. Subhash C. Khuntia is the chairman of the body.

Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP)

It is a product offered by insurance companies. The product provides the investors both the insurance and the investment under an integrated plan. The policy holders can customize the investment plan according to them. In India, the first ULIP was launched by the Unit Trust of India (UTI).

In the Union Budget 2021-2022, total of Rs.913.43 crores have been dedicated to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR). This amount to 32% increase in the revised estimate of budget 2020-21.

How Rs 913.43 crores have been distributed?

  1. Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA)-
  1. SVAMITVA scheme

Pilot phase of SVAMITVA

Continuous Operating Reference System (CORS) network

Under the SVAMITVA scheme, 210 CORS are being set up in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. SVAMITVA Scheme aims that the CORS network reaches all across the Country by 2022. The CORs networks are used by any State agency or Department namely, the Revenue Department, Public Works Department, Gram Panchayat (GP), Agriculture, Rural Development Department, Education, Drainage & Canal, Water, Electricity, Health etc. to survey the works and implementation of schemes. This network uses the GIS based applications to survey the works. It overhauls the traditional survey system in the rural areas. The network provides accuracy up to 5 centimetre-level in real-time.