Daily Current Affairs - 11-02-2021

India is going to launch its first-ever diesel tractor that has been converted to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) on February 12, 2021.

Highlights

Benefits of converting a tractor to CNG

The benefits of converting the tractor to CNG with respect to farmers are:

  1. This retrofitted CNG tractor produces more power or equal when compared to the diesel-run engine.
  2. The CNG tractor will reduce the overall emissions by 70 per cent as compared to the emission by the diesel tractors.
  3. CNG tractor would also help farmers to save up to 50 per cent of the fuel cost.

Significance of CNG

CNG is a clean fuel. The carbon content in the CNG is the lowest among all the fuels. It is economical because of zero lead in it. It is non-corrosive, non-dilutive and non-contaminating in nature. These properties help to increase the life of the engine. Further, the fuel requires less regular maintenance.

The New Development Bank (NDB) has announced to invest $100 million into the NIIF Fund of Funds (FoF).

Highlights

NIIF Fund of Funds (FoF)

The FoF was established in the year 2018. It was established with the objective of providing the access of the homegrown Indian private equity fund managers to the institutional investor that operates at scale with focus on India. The FOF has made commitments to four funds till date. The aggregate commitment stands over ₹2,750 crore.

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

It is India’s first infrastructure specific investment fund. It is also called as a sovereign wealth fund. This fund was set up by the Government of India in February 2015. It was set up with the objective of maximizing the economic impact through infrastructure investment in both Greenfield and Brownfield projects which are commercially viable.

New Development Bank (NDB)

It was earlier known as the BRICS Development Bank. NDB is a multilateral development bank that was established by the BRICS nations namely, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The bank supports the public or private projects through loans, guarantees and equity participation.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

This bank was established with the aim to improve the economic and social outcomes in the Asia region. It currently has 103 members and 21 prospective members from across the world. The bank started operation on December 25, 2015.

The world celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science every year on the 11th day of February.  The year 2021 marked the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The day was celebrated under the theme “Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19″.

Highlights

About the Day

UNESCO Data

The UNESCO data for the year 2014-2016 states that, only around 30 per cent of all female students select the STEM-related fields for the higher education. Enrolment of female students is lower in natural sciences, mathematics and statistics across the world when compared with the men. Women are unable to move ahead in the science and technology sector due to gender biases and lack of representation.

A Chinese spacecraft named Tianwen-1 has successfully entered the orbit around Mars on February 10, 2021.

Key Facts

Objective of the mission

Tianwen-1

Tianwen-1 is an interplanetary mission by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Under the mission, the CNSA sent a robotic spacecraft to Mars. The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a deployable camera, a lander and a rover. The spacecraft was successfully launched on July 23, 2020 from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site. It was launched from a Long March 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle. The spacecraft has been named Tianwen-1 means “Questions to Heaven” following the Chinese poem that was written two millennia ago. It is China’s first independent MARS mission after its probe that was co-launched with Russia failed in the year 2011.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has announced to launch ‘NPCI PayAuth Challenge’. It is a global-level hackathon that will be organised to get the alternatives of the authentication of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions. One such alternative options is the use of biometric while making transactions.

Key Points

NPCI PayAuth Challenge

Prize Money

The hackathon also provides participants an opportunity to work with NPCI to develop a solution that could change the Digital Payments landscape in India. It has kept a prize money of $20,000 for the winner and the runner up of the challenge will get $10,000. Apart from that, the other winning teams will be getting the opportunity to work on a Proof of Concept (PoC) with NPCI.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

NPCI is a not-for-profit organisation. It operates the retail payments and settlement systems in India. It was established in 2008 by the Reserve Bank of India and Indian Banks’ Association. It is registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched the Financial Literacy Week (FLW) for the year 2021. The literacy week started from February 8 and it will conclude on February 12, 2021.

Financial Literacy Week (FLW)-2021

About FLW

Bank of India (BoI)

During the FLW-2021, the BoI will be organising 75 campaigns . It will be organised in 15 districts of Jharkhand.

The President of United States, Joe Biden, announced sanctions on the military leaders in Myanmar on February 10, 2021.

Key facts

Why Sanctions have been put?

The Biden administration has put the sanctions on military leaders in Myanmar in the backdrop of Military rule in Myanmar.

Military Rule in Myanmar

The military in Myanmar took over the control in the country and announced one-year state of emergency on February 1, 2021. The military also detained the State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other government leaders. This step was taken by the military in the backdrop of victory of Suu Kyi’s party in election that was held in November 2020. The military took over the country as it found the victory a result of frauds.  Following that, the Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement has been started in opposition to the military’s takeover.

How did military get the power?

The state emergency was announced after the Suu Kyi’s government was failed in tackling the situation of the country amid the Corona Pandemic. Despite that, the Suu Kyi’s party won the election again in November 2020. Thus, the military took over in the country in accordance with the Article 417 of the Myanmar’s constitution. This article gives power to the military to take over the country in times of emergency. The military had framed the constitution of Myanmar in 2008. Thus the military retains the power under the charter at the expense of democratic and the civilian rule.

The Indian Government on February 11, 2021 have categorically warned the Social Media platforms from the Rajya Sabha. The government said it will take action against Social Media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, if fake news and violence is spread through it.

Highlights

Section 69A of IT Act

This section gives powers to the authorities to intercept and monitor any information which are generated, transmitted, received or stored in the computer resource if it is necessary to do. This can be done in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India, defence & security of the country and for preventing incitement of any cognizable offence etc. The act also gives power to the government to block internet sites to safeguard the interests of the nation. However, the act does not impose any public emergency restriction for the government.

The “World Pulses Day” is observed on February 10 every year since 2018. This day is dedicated to the importance of pulses. In the year 2021, the day was celebrated under the theme: “Nutritious Seeds for a Sustainable Future.”

Highlights

Why this day is observed?

Pulses are highly nutritious and it plays a very important part in making the diet healthy for humans. But there are sections of people who do not have access to pulses and there are some people who do not know the nutritional value and health benefits of the pulses. Thus, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations established and dedicated this day in the year 2018 with the aim of increasing the awareness as well as access to pulses.

How this day is celebrated?

On the occasion of the world pulses day, people are requested to consume and donate pulses. They are also asked to raise awareness around them. At many places, people organise the lunches or dinners with having pulses on the menu. Some people get involved in donating pulses to those who do not have access to pulses. On social media, the events which are organised on the day are shared with hashtags like #worldpulsesday, #LovePulses.

The biennial Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 21) which is the largest wargame of the Indian Navy was started in January 2021. The exercise is still underway and it will end in the third week of February 2021.

About TROPEX-2021

Aim of the exercise

First Phase of the Exercise

In the first phase, exercise ‘Sea Vigil’ was conducted from January 12-13, 2021. The exercise was conducted with the aim of validating the coastal defence setup of India. The exercise was participated by the Indian Navy, Marine Police of 13 coastal States and Union Territories and the Coast Guard, besides the stakeholders in the maritime domain.

AMPHEX-21

The Tri-Service joint amphibious exercise AMPHEX-21 was held after the exercise Sea Vigil.  It was held in the Andaman and Nicobar from January 21-25, 2021. It was held with the aim of validating India’s capabilities so as to safeguard the territorial integrity of its Islands.

Weapon Workup Phase of TROPEX

This phase observed the multiple on-target ordnance deliveries such as torpedoes, missiles and rockets from frontline aircrafts, warships and submarines. It demonstrated the firepower of the Indian Navy.

The government is all set to launch the website of the India Toy Fair, 2021. The website will be launched on February 11, 2021. It will be launched by the Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi.

About Indian Toy Fair-2021

  1. Hydralulic JCB controlled using syringes,
  2. Robot made using a DC motor,
  3. Periscope to look beyond the wall,
  4. Easy learning of geometry through lamps.
  5. Explaining textbook trignometry through a sine wave car,

Background

The idea to organise a toy fair came from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address on August 30, 2020. In his address the prime minister highlighted the huge potential of toys market and the opportunities which can be used to promote the indigenous toys.

About Centre for Creative Learning (CCL)

CCL was established in April 2017. It comprises of a team of 10 that nurture the scientific temper and creativity in students and teachers.  CCL has created over 200 toys and models to showcase in the virtual event. It is also playing a role of an expert group for the content provider for the toy fair.

The government of India has set up a Nodal Authority in order to frame the Approved Standardised Deep-Sea Fishing Vessels Design and Specifications (ASDDS).  It would help the fisheries departments of states to implement the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY).

About ASDDS

About DSFV

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

It is a flagship scheme that focuses on the sustainable development of the fisheries sector. It will be implemented for a five-year period. The scheme was launched on April 1, 2020 in all States and Union Territories under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package.

Budget outlay

The PMMSY was launched with an estimated investment of Rs 20,050 crores. Out of this amount, an investment of about Rs 12,340 crores is allocated for the beneficiary-oriented activities in Inland fisheries, Marine and Aquaculture. Rs 7,710 crores was allocated for fisheries infrastructure.

Nodal Authority

The nodal authority will be headed by the director of CIFT. It would also comprise of the representatives from the Naval Architecture Department of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur or IIT Madras; Cochin Shipyard Ltd and the Indian Register of Shipping.

The Union Minister for Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, said in a written reply in Parliament that the Government has given its approval for inclusion of ‘Specialty Steel’ under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme.

Highlights

How Price is determined?

In a deregulated and open market scenario, the domestic steel price is determined through the market forces of demand and supply. It also depends upon the trends in prices of raw materials.  The price of the steel is also influenced by the global steel trade conditions.

PLI Scheme

The Production Linked Incentives scheme was launched with the aim to give the companies incentives on their incremental sales from those products which are manufactured in domestic units. This scheme also invites the foreign companies to set units in India.  The scheme also seeks to encourage the local companies in order to set up and expand the manufacturing units.

Benefits of PLI Scheme

Coverage of the sectors under the scheme makes the Indian manufacturers globally competitive. It also attracts the investment in the core competency and cutting-edge technology areas. The scheme also ensures the efficiency and creates the economy of scale. The scheme strengthens the exports with the aim of making India a part of global supply chain.

Specialty steels

These are also called as alloy steels. They are composed of the additional alloyed materials that results into special properties of the final product. The steels are engineered so as to provide a superior performance under specific conditions