Daily Current Affairs -17-02-2021

The Labour Minister, Santosh Gangwar, will launch the software applications for five all India surveys on February 18, 2021.

Key Facts

  1. on Migrant workers.
  2. on Domestic Workers.
  3. on Employment Generated by Professionals.
  4. on Employment Generated in Transport Sector and
  5. Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey.

All-India Survey on Domestic Workers

All-India Survey on the migrant workers

All-India survey on employment generated by professionals

  1. To estimate the total number of active professionals in the country and
  2. To capture the employment generated by these professionals.

All-India survey on employment generated in Transport Sector

It will assess the employment generated in Transport Sector of India.

All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey

This survey will measure the relative change in employment situation in the successive quarters for a sizeable group of non-farm economy. It will cover all the eight important sectors of Indian economy.

The Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015 on February 17, 2021.

Key Facts

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

The act was passed by Parliament of India by replacing the Indian juvenile delinquency law called the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. This act allows the juveniles, aged 16 to 18 who are in conflict with Law and are involved in Heinous Offences, to be tried as adults.  It also seeks to create a universally accessible adoption law in India. The Act came into force in 2016. In order to smoothen the procedures for orphan, abandoned and surrendered children the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was given the status of statutory body.

Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA)

It is an autonomous and statutory body under the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It was established in 1990. CARA is the nodal body of the adoption of Indian children. It also monitors and regulate the in-country and inter-country adoptions.

The government of India has approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) norms for the telecom sector on February 17, 2021.

Key Facts

Objectives of the Decision

Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme

This scheme was launched in the March 2020 in a bid to boost the domestic manufacturing. It also seeks to cut down on import bills. The scheme was launched with the aim of giving the companies incentives on incremental sales of the domestically manufactured products. This scheme does not stop any foreign companies to set shop in India. But, it also encourage the local companies to set up or expand the existing manufacturing units.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences has asked for suggestions on the Draft Blue Economy Policy for India. The stakeholders such as NGOs, industry, academia and citizens have been asked to submit their inputs and ideas by 27th February 2021.

Key Facts

  1. National accounting framework of the blue economy and ocean governance;
  2. Coastal marine spatial planning and tourism;
  3. Marine fisheries, fish processing, and Aquaculture
  4. Manufacturing, services, trade, technology, and skill development;
  5. Logistics, infrastructure and shipping
  6. Coastal & deep-sea mining and
  7. Offshore energy & security, strategic dimensions and international engagements.

What is Blue Economy?

The concept of the blue economy aspires to promote the economic growth and social inclusion. It is also involved in the preservation or improvement of livelihoods. It also seeks to ensure the environmental sustainability in the oceans and coastal areas. It comprises of the sectors for which the returns are linked to living renewable resources in the oceans like fisheries. It also comprises the sectors whose return comes from non-living & non-renewable resources including the seabed mining, dredging and offshore oil & gas extractions.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan. This was launched under the Jal Jeevan Mission- Urban (JJM-U).

Highlights

Jal Jeevan Mission- Urban

AMRUT Mission

This mission was launched in June 2015 by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The mission seeks to ensure that every household has access primarily to tap water followed by a sewerage connection. It also seeks to increase amenity value of cities by creating green spaces and well-maintained open spaces. The mission was launched to reduce pollution by switching to public transport. It also seeks to construct facilities for non-motorized transport such as walking and cycling.

Iran and Russia recently held “Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021″, a two-day naval exercise. The exercise is being held in the northern part of the Indian Ocean. Iran claimed that India had joined the security bely. However, Indian Navy clarified that it did not participate in the exercise.

Highlights

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)

It is a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces. The branch was founded after the Iranian Revolution in April 1979. The IRGC was founded by the order of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It defends the Iranian borders and maintains the internal order. The Iranian Constitution has tasked the Revolutionary Guard with the work of protecting the country’s Islamic republic political system. It also helps in preventing the foreign interference and coups.  The Revolutionary Guards had 250,000 military personnel as of 2011. It includes ground forces, aerospace forces and the naval forces. The Naval forces are the primary forces having operational control of the Persian Gulf. The naval force also controls the paramilitary Basij militia. Sepah News is the media arm of the IRGC.

Persian Gulf

It is the Mediterranean Sea in the West Asia. The gulf is an extension of the Indian Ocean. It is extended through the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz. This water body is situated between Iran in the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula in the southwest.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has launched an app called Sandes. This instant messaging platform is similar to WhatsApp. It can be used for any type of communications by anyone. It requires a mobile number or an email id to get registered with the app.

Highlights

Background

The ministry of home affairs in the year 2020 had issued the advisory for the government employees to not use the platforms like Zoom for official communications because of security concerns. Before that, the Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In) had also issued an advisory against Zoom with respect to the safety and privacy concerns.

Features

The interface of the application is similar to other applications that are available in the arena. This app has no option to transfer chat history between two platforms. However, the chats on the government instant messaging systems (GIMS) or the Sandes App can be backed up with a users’ email. The app requires a valid mobile number or email id to register the user. It comprises of the features like broadcast message, group making, message forwarding and emojis. It also has an additional safety feature. The platform allows the user to mark the message as confidential. Thus, it makes the recipient aware that the message should not be forwarded to other users.

The lower house of the French parliament has approved the Ant-Radicalism bill in a bid to fight the Islamic radicalism.

Anti-Radicalism Bill

Background

The bill was passed in the backdrop of fighting extremism in the country. This fight against extremism gained momentum after a teacher was beheaded in October 2020.

How Muslims are reacting?

Many of the French Muslims stated that this draft law will limit the religious freedom. They are of the view that this bill unfairly targets them since there are already enough laws to fight the terrorist violence in the country. Further, the critiques are of the view that this bill was passed keeping in view the Presidential election of 2021 in order to win the support from conservative and far-right voters.

French Parliament

The French Parliament is a bicameral legislature of the French Republic. It comprises of the Senate and the National Assembly. Both of the assembly conducts the legislative sessions at different locations in Paris. The senate holds the sessions at the Palais du Luxembourg while the National Assembly holds the sessions at Palais Bourbon. Both the houses have their own regulations and rules of procedure.

Radicalism

It was a historical political movement of the 18th and 19th centuries in the domain of liberalism. This movement is a precursor to the social liberalism. The movement seeks to transform or replace the fundamental principles of society through the social change, revolution, structural change or radical reform.

The Pi Beam, which is an IIT Madras-incubated start-up, recently launched the electric two-wheeler called ‘PiMO’.

Highlights

About PiMO

Features of the e-bike

The e-bike stands between an electric bicycle and the entry-level electric scooter. It has a top speed of 25 kmph. The e-bike provided a higher travel range when compared to the electric bicycle category. The bike also offers a Battery Swapping’ Technology.

Battery Swapping Technology

Using this technology, a drained battery can be exchanged with a fully charged battery at the designated locations.

Pi Beam Electric

It is an an IIT Madras-incubated start-up. The company provides for a range of green, stylish, affordable and easy-to-use EV solutions for personal and commercial uses. IT also offers an end-to-end micro-mobility sustainable EVs. The EVs are data-driven that augment the productivity for the last-mile logistics and transportation.

ACC Ready Mix Concrete has recently introduced its new low carbon range of concrete called ECOPact. It is a “Green Concrete” that has been introduced for a high-performing, sustainable and circular construction.

About ECOPact

Significance

Types of the ECOPact range products

The customers can choose the concrete on the basis of desired level of CO2 reduction and sustainability objectives.

  1. ECOPact PRIME- It offers CO2 reduction up to 50-70 percent.
  2. ECOPact MAX- It offers CO2 reduction greater than 70 percent.
  3. ECOPact ZERO- It is a combination of concrete technology excellence and climate action. Thus, it offers the elimination of carbon footprint of concrete. Thus, reduces the overall carbon footprint of any structures.

ACC Limited

It is one of the largest producers of cement. The company is a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim. It was established in Mumbai in August 1936.

The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)

It is a part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). It was established in 2001. The council seeks “To enable a sustainable built environment for all”.  It also seeks to make India a global leader in sustainable built environment by 2025.

The ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will release the third edition of the Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary on February 17, 2021. The new edition will comprise of 10,000 terms of daily. It will also include the academic, legal, medical technical, administrative and agricultural terms in it.

Background

The second edition of the Indian Sign language was released in the year 2019. It comprised of 6,000 terms while its first edition was released in the year 2018 with 3,000 terms.

Significance of the launch

The launch of the ISL dictionary is a step towards fulfilling needs of hearing and speech impaired in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. It also complies with the initiative by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called “Accessible Digital Textbooks for All”. The ISL will be essential in enhancing the vocabulary and the capabilities to understand concepts of the impaired.

What is Indian Sign Language (ISL)?

It is a set of hand and facial gestures that is used to communicate. It is commonly used by the hearing and speech impaired. The ISL has its own grammar, syntax and regional dialects. It comprises of different gestures for same word or sentiment. The sign language is a recognized official language in many countries including USA.

Impairing in India

The World Health Organization (WHO) report states that, prevalence of hearing impairment in India is around 6.3% as of 2018. It means around 63 million people are suffering from auditory loss. Further, the adult-onset deafness in India accounts for 7.6% while the childhood-onset deafness accounts for 2%.

Government initiatives to prevent disability

  1. The government had started the accessibility of news and educational videos by incorporating sign language or written text subtitles and transcripts.
  2. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 was passed to Include provisions for hearing impaired.
  3. New Education Policy, 2020 also contain provisions of universalization of education for all including the disabled with 100% Gross Enrolment ratio from preschool to secondary level by 2030.
  4. National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) was launched in 2006 to tackle high incidence of deafness.

The government will bring about amendments in the two acts in order to facilitate the privatisation of public sector banks (PSBs).

Key Facts

Background

Recent Merger of Banks

Banking Companies (Acquisition and transfer of undertakings) Act, 1970

This act deals with the merger of banks. It provides for the acquisition and transfer of undertakings of certain banks with respect to their size, coverage, resources, and organization so as to control heights of the economy.

The Reserve Bank of India revealed the credit default swaps (CDS) and has allowed the retail users to do the transactions in permitted credit derivatives in order to hedge their underlying credit risk.

Key Highlights

What is Credit Default Swap?

What is Hedging?

It is a risk management strategy that is employed to offset losses in investments. The losses are offset by taking an opposite position in the defaulted asset. Hedging though reduces the risk associated with the assets but it also reduces the potential profits.