Daily Current Affairs - 26-02-2021

A Currency and Finance (RCF) report by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) official has recommended that, the time span that was considered to measure whether monetary policy-setting panel has failed in achieving its objectives or not should be of four quarters rather than current time period of three-quarter. However, RBI made it clear that the report does not represent any institutional view with respect to it.

Key Findings

Background

Report stated that, there happens to be no failure of the MPC in accordance with the three-quarter definition till March 2020.

A new highly contagious Covid-19 variant, which is being called as B.1.526, is causing severe damage in the city of New York.

Key Points

Lineage P.1 or Brazilian Variant

It is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease. This variant has 17 unique amino acid changes. Out of them, 10 is present in its spike protein, including the N501Y and E484K. This variant was first detected in Japan on January 6, 2021 by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in four people. These four people had arrived in Tokyo after visiting the Amazonas in Brazil. The variant caused huge infection in the city of Manaus.

The Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, lauded India and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, for sharing the Covid-19 vaccines and supporting the “Vaccine Equality” across the world.

Highlights

Background

COVAX initiative

The Union education minister, addressed the 16th FICCI Higher Education Summit on February 25, 2021. The summit is being organised in New Delhi from February 25, 2021 to February 27, 2021. While addressing the summit the minister said it will make India the knowledge capital of the world.

Highlights

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

The FICCI was established in the year 1927. It is the largest and oldest apex business organisation of India. It is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation which acts as the voice of business and industry in India. The organisation is involved in the engaging with policy makers & civil society and encouraging debate. The organisation serves as the members from the Indian private & public corporate sectors. The organisation also provides the platform for networking and consensus building across sectors. It is the first port of call for the Indian industry, international business community and policy makers.

Institutes of Eminence (IoE)

It is a recognition scheme for the higher education institutes of India. This recognition is set by University Grants Commission in 2017. The plan is to include twenty institutions out of which 16 have already been declared Institutes of Eminence. The institutes which are recognised as IoE are granted more autonomy with respect to administration and academics.

The Ministry of consumer affairs had decided to integrate the Common Service Centres (CSCs) with the E-Daakhil portal to facilitate the consumers for e-filing.

e-Daakhil Portal

Consumer Protection Act, 2019

The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in July 2019 by the Minister of Consumer Affairs, food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan and was passed by the Lok Sabha in July 2019. In the month of August 2019, it was passed by the Rajya Sabha as well. The act repealed and replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This act came into effect from July 2020. The act focuses on providing the customer more power bringing more transparency. Following this, the government also declared a new draft known as advertising code in September 2020. This code provides the customer protection against any false advertisements. It also protects them from the celebrities who fool the customers by doing paid reviews for any products or services. This advertising code is applicable throughout all the mediums of communication such as Social Media and Print Media.

The Global anti-terrorism watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided to maintain Pakistan into Grey List till June 2021 on February 25, 2021.

Key Facts

What does FATF said?

FATF said that, Pakistan needs to work on implementing following three remaining items out of 27 items:

  1. It needs to demonstrate the Terror funding investigations and prosecutions targeting the persons & entities acting on behalf of the designated persons or entities.
  2. It needs to demonstrate that Terror funding prosecutions results in to Proportionate, effective and dissuasive sanctions.
  3. It needs to demonstrate the effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all the UN security council resolution 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists.

Background

The FATF had also kept the Pakistan into grey list in October, 2020 and decided that FATF will continue to make it difficult for Pakistan to get aid from World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and European Union. India being a member of FATF also has repeatedly asked Pakistan to take necessary steps comply with the international standards to stop the financial crimes.

United Nations Security Council resolution 1267

This resolution was adopted on October 15, 1999. Under this resolution, Council had designated Osama bin Laden and the associates as terrorists. The council established a sanctions regime in order to cover the individuals and entities who are associated with the Al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden or Taliban.

The second edition of the Khelo India Winter Games began at Gulmarg in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on February 26, 2021. This is a five-day event and will conclude on March 2, 2021.

Highlights

Khelo India Winter Games

It is a national level multidisciplinary grassroot winter games in India. The winter events comprise of the snow rugby, snow skiing, snow ice stock, snow baseball, snow shoe, ice hockey, snow mountaineering, figure skating and speed skating. The Khelo India Winter Games was started in the year 2020 following the success of multiple editions of Khelo India Youth Games.

Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG)

It was formerly known as Khelo India School Games (KISG). This event is held annually in the month of January or February. It is a national level multidisciplinary grassroot games which is organised for two categories. The first category is under-17 years school students while the second category is under-21 college students. In this annual event, best 1000 kids are given the scholarship of ₹5 lakh for 8 years in order to prepare them for international sport events.

The task force on Interlinking of Rivers has approved the Mahanadi-Godavari Link on February 25, 2021. Approval was given to the preparation of final detailed project report on proposed Mahanadi -Godavari link.

Highlights

National Water Development Agency (NWDA)

It is a Registered Society working under the Ministry of Irrigation which is now called as Ministry of Water Resources. The agency was set up in 1982. The agency is involved in carrying out the detailed studies, surveys and investigations with respect to the Peninsular Component of National Perspective for the Water Resources Development. Later its function was modified to include the Himalayan Component of National Perspective for Water Resources Development in the year 1994.  The composition of Society and Governing Body was also modified in the year 2003 & 2004 respectively. The NWDA was authorised to explore the feasibility of linking sub-basins of rivers in States such as Bihar in the year 2006. It then worked for preparation of Detailed Project Report of Ken-Betwa river link in accordance with the priority links under Peninsular Component of National Perspective Plan.

India and Ireland held the bilateral consultations on UN Security Council issues on February 26, 2021 in the virtual mode.

Highlights

India-Ireland relations

The bilateral relation between India and Ireland dates back to the British Era. Both the countries were former possessions of the British Empire. They flighted against the common adversary. Both the countries also flighted together for their respective independence movements. India has brought many of the constitutional provisions from Irish constitution. The relation between both the countries were strengthened by people including Rabindranath Tagore Jawaharlal Nehru, Sister Nivedita and Annie Besant.

Background

During the independence struggle, leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Eamon de Valera were in talk with each other. Similarly, Vithalbhai Patel and Subhas Chandra Bose and other Irish nationalist leaders were in touch with each other.  The strongest link between both the countries was Annie Besant who belonged to an Irish family but was a supporter of Indian self-rule.

Home Rule League

Annie Besant had launched the Home Rule League to make Indian independence similar to Irish struggle.

Diplomatic Relation

The Formal relation between both the countries started in 1947 after Indian independence, while diplomatic exchange was started at the later stage with the establishment of Indian embassy in Ireland in the year 1951. Ireland opened its embassy in India in 1964.

The Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, announced that all departments of Delhi government will now use only electric vehicles. This transition to the electric vehicles will be done within 6 months.

Highlights

Switch Delhi Campaign

Background

The Delhi government had launched its Electric Vehicle Policy in August 2020. The policy was launched in order to tackle the problem of air pollution. Under this policy, the government proposed to waive off the registration fee and road tax. The government will also be providing an incentive of up to ₹1.5 lakh for new electric cars in Delhi. Under it, 12 four-wheeler models are available and eligible to get the purchase and scrapping incentives.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has launched a standard personal accident cover called Saral Suraksha Bima. This accident cover will be mandatorily offered by the general and health insurers from April 1, 2021.

Saral Suraksha Bima

Other Benefits

In the month of January-February six elephants died at the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary in Kalahandi. Following that, a central team was set up by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The team in its preliminary report highlighted that, the elephants died because of haemorrhagic septicaemia which is caused by bacteria Pastuerella multoceda.

Highlights

Pasteurella multocida

It is a Gram-negative, nonmotile, penicillin-sensitive coccobacillus that belongs to the family Pasteurellaceae. Strains of this species are classified into five serogroups namely A, B, D, E, F. they have subdivided into fiver groups on the basis of capsular composition and 16 somatic serovars. This germ causes several diseases in the mammals and birds. Some of the diseases include fowl cholera in poultry, bovine hemorrhagic septicemia in cattle & buffalo and atrophic rhinitis in pigs. It also causes a zoonotic infection in humans because of bites or scratches from domestic pets. Mammals such as domestic cats & dogs and birds harbour it under their normal respiratory microbiota.

Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary

This wildlife sanctuary is located in Kalahandi district which is a popular tourist attraction of Odisha in India. It is located at this distance of 15 km from Bhawani Patna (district headquarters). It covers an area of 175 square kilometres. It lies in the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests.  The sanctuary is home to leopard, tiger, nilgai, sambar, mouse deer, barking deer etc.