Daily Current Affairs - 22-02-2021

The state of Uttar Pradesh has become the first Indian State that has tabled the paperless budget. The State finance minister, Suresh Khanna presented the State Budget for 2021-2021 on February 22, 2021 in the paperless mode.

Highlights

Key Facts from the Budget

The budget was presented with the motive of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vishwas’. It seeks to bring, taps, water, electricity and roads in every household. It also aims to make every village digital. While highlighting the budget, the Chief minister also stated that, ‘Abhyuday Yojana’ was launched for competitive exams. Under this, eligible students for the competitive exams like UPSC, banking, Railway, NEET and IIT-JEE will be given tablets.

The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has announced to rename the Hoshangabad city of MP as Narmadapuram.

Highlights

Background

New Name of the city

The Hoshangabad will now be named as Narmadapuram named after River Narmada. River Narmada is the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh. The river is the 5th largest river across India. It flows through the rift valley. It also forms an estuary at its mouth. Cities like Jabalpur, Hoshangabad, Mandla, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar Narsinghpur, Badwabuare and Jhabua, are situated on the bank of river Narmada.

Narmada River

The river is also known as Reva river. Earlier it was also known as Narbada (Nerbudda). It is located in states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. He river is often called as the “Life Line of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat”. T rises from the Amarkantak Plateau in the Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh. It forms a boundary between North India and South India. It is a west flowing river. The total length of the river is 1,312 km. It drains into the Arabian Sea through the Gulf of Khambhat.

The rare birds namely the Yellow-Billed Babbler, Green Sandpiper and Grey-Necked Bunting Were spotted in the Mangalore University.

Highlights

Background

The campus bird count in the Mangalore university had recorded 77 species in the 2016. In 2017, 95 species were recorded, in 2018, 110 species were recorded while 107 species were discovered in 2019 besides 103 species in the year 2020.

Bird Count of India

It is an informal partnership of organizations and groups that working together so as to increase the collective knowledge regarding the distribution of birds and their populations. The organization works with them aim of documenting the distributional range and abundance birds in India.

Yellow-billed babbler

It belongs to the family Leiothrichidae. The bird is endemic to southern India and Sri Lanka. Scrub, cultivation and garden land are the habitat of the bird. The bird is not migratory.

Grey-necked bunting

Its scientific name is Emberiza buchanani. It is also called as the grey-hooded bunting. This species belongs to the family Emberizidae. It breeds in the range from Caspian Sea to Altai Mountains in Central Asia and in winters it also breeds in the parts of Southern Asia.

The first-ever National Toy Fair will be starting from the February 27th, 2021. The festival will conclude on March 2, 2021. It will be organized in the virtual format.

Highlights

About the toy fair

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

Background

The idea of toy fair emerged from the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat address on August 30, 2020. He had highlighted the huge potential of toys market and the opportunities that can be used to promote indigenous toys. Recently, on February 11, 2021, the government had launched a website for the toy fair.

The Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICG) named as C-453 was commissioned into services in Chennai on February 19, 2021. This was the 17th interceptor boats out of the 18 which are being indigenously built by Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

ICGS C-453

Functions of the interceptor boat

The ship will be deployed to do surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone and other duties in accordance with the Coast Guard Charter. This will help in safeguarding the maritime interests of India.

Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)

As per the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982, the EEZ is an area in the sea for which a sovereign state owns a special right for the exploration and use the marine resources like energy production from water and wind. It includes the area from the baseline out to the 200 nautical miles (nmi) from the coast of any state. It can also include the continental shelf. However, it does not comprise of the territorial sea or continental shelf beyond the 200 nmi limit. This area is different than the territorial sea in the light that, this zone provides “sovereign right” which means rights of the coastal state below the surface of the sea.

Territorial sea

It is the area from the baseline in which a state has a full sovereignty over the waters. It is a belt of coastal waters that extends up to 12 nautical miles from the baseline of the coastal state. In this zone, foreign vessels are allowed for innocent passage.

The World Day of Social Justice is observed on February 20 every year. The day is dedicated to advantages and issues which can be tackled by Social Justice. In the year 2021, the day was celebrated under Theme– “A call for social justice in the Digital Economy.”

Why this day is observed?

Background

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) started gave its approval to observe the World Day of Social Justice on November 26, 2007. In the 63rd session of the UNGA, February 20th was selected as the World Day of Social Justice.

Significance of the day

In the year 2021, this day became more significance amid the covid-19 pandemic. The global pandemic has brought the entire nation to a standstill. Some part of the world is still struggling with the covid-19 cases caused due to different variants of the virus. While, there are several countries where healthcare systems are at work and have started vaccination.  As a result, world has been bifurcated into two parts. One part of the world is getting all the services they need while major portion of the world has not enough resources to avail the services. Thus, the social justice becomes more important.

The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has prepared a report on two-way mass migration of the blue earthworms in the state of Meghalaya.

Key Facts

Concerns

There are some areas in the state where the unsustainable land-use practices have drastically reduced the population of earthworms. The damage has been caused mostly by the stone quarry and heavy earth-cutting. The factors including the developmental activities, erratic weather patterns, predation, and climate change results into the mass migrations of earthworms.

Blue earthworm

The scientific name of the blue earthworm is Perionyx excavates. It is also called as composting worms, blues, or Indian blues. The species is known for its ability to create the fine worm castings so quick. The species have become popular in North America recently where it is used for composting purposes. Scientists believe that its origins are in the Himalayan mountains. It is also suited for vermicomposting in tropical and subtropical regions.

The Uttarakhand government has put forward an ordinance providing the co-ownership rights to women in the ancestral property of their husband.

Highlights

Significance of the decision

Women’s property rights in India

The property rights of women in India vary with respect to the religion and tribe. Usually, the right is subject to a complex mix of law and custom. However, Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 is a step towards granting the women equal legal property rights. Further, the Hindu personal laws of 1956 which is applicable to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains provides the women rights to inheritances.

The six-day Khajuraho Dance Festival was started on February 21, 2021. The dance festival is being organised at the Khajuraho Temple which is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Madhya Pradesh and known for its ancient Hindu temples as well as Jain temples.

Highlights

Background

The dance festival was started being organised at this site some 46 years ago om 1974 with the objective of promoting the heritage and tourism. ASI cancelled the permission after two years in 1976 following the reports of destruction of monuments and defacement of idols present in the premise. So, the festival was organised in an open garden for the past 44 years.

Khajuraho Dance Festival

This dance festival is organised by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad annually from February 20th to February 26th. It is a one-week festival of classical dances.  It is organised in the premise of the Khajuraho temples in Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh. The dance festival showcases the richness of Indian classical dance styles including the Odissi, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, and Kathakali. Recently, the Modern Indian dance was also added to the festival.

Khajuraho temple

Khajuraho is the group of monuments comprising of Hindu temples and Jain temples. It is located in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is located at around 175 kilometres southeast from the Jhansi. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Khajuraho temples are famous for nagara-style architectural symbolism. Most of the temples were built between 885 AD and 1050 AD by Chandela dynasty.

The chairman of National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), Bhagwan Lal Sahni, said that the NCBC is in favour of four subcategories of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs). This move complies with the recommendation of the Justice Rohini Commission.

Justice Rohini Commission

It was constituted on October 2, 2017. This commission has been appointed in order to study and report about the sub-categorisation of OBCs. The commission will be submitting the report by July 2021. The panel’s terms of reference are to study the extent of inequitable distribution of benefits of reservation among castes or communities. The panel will also work out on the mechanism, criteria and parameters for sub-categorisation within the OBCs.

Sub-Categorisation of OBCs

Existing OBC categorisation

The subcategorization of OBCs is already in place in Bihar. Bihar has subcategorised it as OBCs and EBCs.

National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC)

NCBC was constituted on August 14, 1993 in the aftermath of commission was the outcome of Indra Sawhney & Ors. Vs. Union of India case. It was given the status of constitutional body in accordance with the 123rd constitutional amendment bill 2017 and the 102nd amendment of 2018. Article 338B of the Indian Constitution deals with the NCBC. The body works under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. NCBC was established to pursue the provisions of National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993.

Article 338 B

As per this article, the commission comprises of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and three other Members. The appointment, conditions of service and tenure of office of all of them is decided by the President.

Saudi Arabia has opened up the armed forces for Women. Following the order, the female recruits can now trade their abayas for military uniforms.

Key Facts

Criteria for the recruitment

Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia

Rights of the women in Saudi Arabia have been limited when compared to the rights of women in many of its neighbouring countries. There is a strict interpretation and application of sharia law in the country. However, in the year 2017, Mohammed bin Salman was appointed the Crown Prince. Since then, he has been bringing a series of social reforms witnessing the women’s rights.

Status of Women

As per the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, the Saudi Arabia was ranked at 141 out of 144 countries with respect to gender parity. The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) had elected Saudi Arabia to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women for 2018–2022. This move was also widely criticised by the international community. As of 2019, Women just constituted 34.4% of the native workforce in the country. In the recent times, they have started various campaign that resulted in the improvements to their status.

Key decisions for women empowerment in Saudi Arabia

  1. In the year 2015, Women were allowed to vote in elections.
  2. They were also allowed to be appointed in the consultative assembly in 2015.
  3. In 2017, women were allowed to access the government services like health and education.
  4. The government allowed women to drive in 2017.
  5. In 2019, women were given right to register the divorce.
  6. In 2019, marriage age was capped at and above 18 years.
  7. In 2021, it was decided that women can now be appointed as court judge.

The state of Uttar Pradesh is all set to export a consignment of 20 tonnes of Kala Namak rice to Singapore. This move is a major boost to the farm exports from the state.

Highlights

Kala Namak Rice

One District One Product (ODOP)

It is an initiative which has been initiated as a transformational step forward so as to realize the true potential of a district. This initiative will also fuel the economic growth and generate employment and rural entrepreneurship to achieve the goals of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. The initiative is operationally merged with the ‘Districts as Export Hub’ initiative. It is being implemented by Department of Commerce along with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) which is acting as a major stakeholder

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has brought the State Bank of Sikkim under its regulation.

State Bank of Sikkim

Why this bank was not regulated by RBI?

The state of Sikkim was made an associate state and then given the status of a state at a later stage. It was made a part of India following a referendum in the year 1973. Thus, this state enjoys a special status under article 371F. Following which, Banking Regulation Act 1949 and Companies Act does not extend to Sikkim. It still follows the old laws as per the Article 371F of the Constitution. Further, the central direct taxes are also not extended to Sikkim. As per Sec 10(26AAA) any income arising to the Sikkimese through any source in the State or through the dividend or interest on securities are not included in the total income. The people are also not subject to Income Tax. This, the RBI had limited agreement to manage the public debt of the bank.

The 10th round of Corps Commander Level Meeting between India and China on February 21, 2021. It was held on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in Moldo.

Highlights

India – China border dispute

It is an ongoing territorial dispute with respect to the sovereignty over some large and several smaller territories. One of the disputed regions is Aksai Chin which is claimed by China under the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Tibet Autonomous Region. While, India claims it as a part of the union territory of Ladakh. Other disputed territory includes McMahon Lin. India maintains that McMahon Line is the legal border in the east India but China never accepted that border.

Galwan Valley dispute

Both the countries recently engaged in a brawl at the Galwan River valley. It led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers. China earlier denied any casualty at their end but recently confirmed the deaths of four soldiers.

Galwan River

The river flows from the disputed Aksai Chin region which is administered by China in the Ladakh region of India. The river originates on the eastern side of the Karakoram range while it flows west and join the Shyok River.