Daily Current Affairs - 12-01-2021

The entomologists from all over the world attended the proceedings of National Academies of Sciences recently. According to the entomologists, the insect population is declining at rapid rate. The scientists have named this as Insect Apocalypse.

What is Insect Apocalypse?

The Earth is losing 2% of its insects every year. This is being termed as “Insect Apocalypse”.

What are the main reasons for the Insect Apocalypse?

The main reasons of Insect Apocalypse are as follows:

Which two insects best illustrate insect decline?

Honey Bees and Butterflies.

What are the main reasons for the decline of honey bees?

Lack of food, insecticides, herbicides and parasites.

How bad is insect decline?

Insect decline is the worst in North America and in parts of Europe. The first Global Scientific review published in the Biological conservation journal has found the following:

Why are insects important?

Insects outweigh humanity by seventeen times. They are essential for the proper functioning of the ecosystem as pollinators, food for other creatures and as recyclers of nutrients.

When was the insect decline discussed internationally for the first time?

The United Nations Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS COP-13) discussed the effects of insects decline on migratory species for the first time. According to the Convention on Migratory Species, insect extinction is to begin. A draft resolution was prepared at the convention. The resolution will help understand die off of the insects and its effects on migratory species.

The Global Ebola Vaccine stockpile was recently established by four international health and humanitarian organizations.

What are the four international organizations that established Global Ebola Vaccine Stockpile?

World Health Organization (WHO), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and UNICEF.

What is International Coordinating Group (ICG)?

Together WHO, MSF, UNICEF and IFRC (the above 4 organizations) are called the International Coordinating Group.

Who is to provide financial support to the Global Ebola Vaccine Stockpile?

GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation), the vaccine alliance.

What is the current status of Ebola vaccine?

The Ebola Vaccine was licensed by the European Medicines Agency in November 2019. The vaccine was pre-qualified by World Health Organization. It has also been licensed by US Food and Drug Administration. Also, the vaccine has been licensed in eight African countries.

Who is to manage the Ebola vaccine stockpile?

UNICEF is to manage the Ebola vaccine stockpile on behalf of ICG.

What are the other vaccines stockpiles managed by UNICEF?

Meningitis, Cholera and Yellow Fever vaccine stockpiles.

How will the vaccines be delivered under the Global Ebola Vaccine Stockpile?

Are there natural markets for Ebola Vaccine?

No. This is because, the Ebola outbreaks are rare and unpredictable. Therefore, there is no natural markets for Ebola currently.

Is Global Ebola Vaccine Stockpile the only way to obtain Ebola vaccine?


What is SAGE-recommended requisite of an emergency stockpile of vaccine?

500,000 doses. This means that when a stockpile of vaccine is established, it should have at least 500,00 doses.

What is SAGE?

SAGE is Strategic Advisory Group of Experts operating under WHO.

The United States recently designated Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

What is US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism?

The United States lists the countries that repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism under the State Sponsors of Terrorism. The list was first released in 1979 with Iraq, Libya, Syria and South Yemen in it.

What is the history of US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism?

Cuba was added in 1992, Iran in 1984. Later North Korea and Sudan were added in 1988 and 1993 respectively. Later South Yemen was removed in 1990. Iraq has been removed twice from the list, once in 1982 and then again in 2004. Libya was removed in 2006. North Korea was removed in 2008 and again re-added in 2017. Cuba was removed in 2015 and has now been re-added.

What are the other countries that are currently in the list of state sponsors of terrorism?

Iran, Syria and North Korea.

Which country was recently removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism?


Why was Sudan removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism?

Sudan was recently removed to sign Israel-Sudan Normalisation Agreement. The agreement was signed in October 2020 to normalize relations between Israel and Sudan. The agreement was signed after Bahrain and UAE signed peaceful agreements with Israel.

What are the issues between Cuba and US?

Between 1908 and 1902, Cuba had become a US protectorate as per Treaty of Paris. By 1958, after Cuban revolution, the US-Cuba relations had further deteriorated. Later again in 2016, a peculiar syndrome had affected US diplomats visiting Havana. It was named the Havana Syndrome and it further soured the relationship between the countries.

What sanctions can US place listing a country under State Sponsor of Terrorism List?

The United States can place four categories of sanctions on countries that are part of the list. They are as follows:

The Supreme Court recently suspended the implementation of three farm laws to end the disagreement between the farmers and Government of India.

What was the judgement pronounced by the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court has directed to form a committee to resolve the issue. The apex court also indicated that it was highly disappointed with the negotiation process between the farmers union and the union government. The central government and the farmer unions were unable come to a conclusion even after eight rounds of talks.

What are the Farm Laws?

The three farm laws that were recently enacted by the Union Government are as follows:

Why are the farmers protesting against the Farm Laws?

The laws lay the framework to sell the produce directly to the corporates. The farmers do not trust the corporates. According to the farmers, this might end the Minimum Support Price system in the country.

Why are the protests high in Punjab and Haryana?

The agriculture in Punjab and Haryana is high as Green revolution was first introduced in these states. So are the MSP procurement in these states. Around 89% of rice produced in Punjab and 85% produced in Haryana are procured by the Government.

The Henley Passport Index was launched by the International air Transport Association. Around 227 different travel destinations are considered to launch the index. The index is released based on the number of destinations the holders can access without visa.

What are the Key findings of Henley Passport Index?

What was the rank of India in Henley Passport Index?

India ranked 85th in the Henley Passport Index. India scored 58 in the Henley Passport Index.

What is new about Henley Passport Index, 2021?

Over the past sixteen years, the top positions of Henley Passport Index were taken by the European Union countries, USA and UK. This year, the Asia Pacific countries have become the top performers.

What is Passport Index?

The Passport Index is an online tool. It provides insights about visa-free travel option. The Passport Index includes World Openness score, Visa-free scores and Global mobility scores.

What are Visa free destinations?

There are 58 destinations in the world that does not require prior visa. Of these twenty are in Africa and eleven are in Asia.

The Union environment Minister shri Prakash Javadekar recently released Management Effectiveness Evaluation report of 146 National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The report is first of its kind in the country

What are the Key findings of the report?

What were the highest performing wildlife sanctuaries?

In the northern region, Great Himalayan and Tirthan Wildlife sanctuary scored the highest. In the southern region, Someshwara wildlife sanctuary and Gulf of Mannar marine national park scored the highest. In the eastern region, Jaldapara Wildlife sanctuary and Raiganj wildlife sanctuary were the highly performers. In the western region, Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary and Pachmarhi wildlife sanctuary were the highest performers. In the north-eastern region, Khangchendzonga National Park and Nongkhyllem wildlife sanctuary of Meghalaya were the highest performers.

What are the other announcements made by the minister?

The minister also announced that from 2021, ten best national parks, top five zoos, top five coastal and marine parks are to be ranked in the country.

From where was the assessment process of the report adopted?

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)

What are the key features of the report?

The report was generated based on thirty headline indicators developed under six elements of the Management Effectiveness Evaluation framework.

The One Planet Summit was held on January 11, 2021. The summit aims to advance the protection of nature.

What is One Planet summit?

The One Planet summit is an international event that focused on biodiversity to mobilize commitments to protect the ecosystems and make links to human health.

What is the aim of One Planet summit?

The One Planet Summit aims to promote worldwide ecological transformation. The summit will measure environmental and climate protection combined with innovation and economy.

What is the theme of One Planet Summit, 2021?

Let’s act together for nature

Who organizes One Planet Summit?

United Nations, World Bank and France.

Why is One Planet Summit important?

The COVID-19 has reminded the importance of nature for our daily lives and economies. It is highly challenging to reverse trend set by the pandemic. The One Planet Summit will help to transform the value chains, consumption habits and business models.

With the global economic powers like the United States withdrawing from Paris Agreement, it is important for international organizations act swiftly. The One Planet Summit will help the world in this direction.

When was the first One Planet Summit held?

  1. The first One Planet Summit was organised two years since the historic Paris Agreement. It then adopted twelve international commitments. They are as follows:

The second edition of coastal Defence Exercise Sea Vigil-21 is to be conducted between January 12 and January 13, 2021.

What is Sea Vigil Exercise?

The Sea Vigil exercise will be undertaken along the 7,516 kilo metres coastline. It involves all the thirteen coastal states, Union Territories and the Exclusive Economic Zone. Also, the exercise involves the fishing and coastal communities. The exercise is conducted by the Indian Navy.

The Sea Vigil is a build-up towards the major theatre level exercise TROPEX that the Indian Navy conducts every two years. Both Sea Vigil and TROPEX will together cover the entire spectrum of maritime security challenges. This includes transition from peace to conflict.

What is Exclusive Economic Zone?

An Exclusive Economic Zone is an area in the sea where a sovereign state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources. The Exclusive Economic Zone are demarcated according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

When was the first Sea Vigil exercise held?


How frequently is the Sea Vigil exercise held?

Once in two year. Sea Vigil is a biennial exercise.

What is TROPEX?

TROPEX is Tropical Level Readiness and Operational Exercise. It is an inter-service military exercise that involves the participation of Indian Air Force, Indian Army and Indian Navy. It is generally held at the beginning of the year. The exercise is held to test the combat readiness of the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army and Indian Coast Guard. The first TROPEX was held in 2005.

How is the TROPEX conducted?

The TROPEX is conducted in three phases namely independent workup phase, tactical phase and joint workup phase.

What is the significance of the exercises?

According to the US Pentagon, the Chinese PLA Navy is the largest navy in the world. Therefore, it is important for India to maximize its potential in the Indian Ocean region.

Every year National Youth Day is celebrated on January 12. It is also called the “Yuva Diwas”. The National Youth Day is celebrated to create awareness about rights of people in India. It educates people to behave properly in the country.

What is the theme of National Youth Day, 2021?

YUVAAH-Utsah Naye Bharat Ka

Why is National Youth Day celebrated on January 12?

The National Youth Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

Why is National Youth Day celebrated?

The National Youth Day is celebrated to propagate ideals and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda.

When is International Youth Day celebrated?

The International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12. The International Youth Day is celebrated by the United Nations and several other international organizations. The first International Youth Day was celebrated in 2000.

Why is International Youth Day celebrated?

The International Youth Day is celebrated to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding the youth.

About Swami Vivekananda

He was born on January 12, 1863. In 1881 he met Shri Ramkrishna Pramahamsa at the Dakshineswar Kali Temple and became his disciple. He introduced the principles of Yoga and Vedanta to the western world. Swami Vivekananda represented India at the Parliament of the World Religion in 1893. It was held at Chicago.

How does India celebrate National Youth Day?

India organizes National Youth Festival to celebrate National Youth Day. The National Youth Festival is organised by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The National Youth Parliament is held as a part of National Youth Festival. This year, in 2021, PM Narendra Modi is to address the National Youth Parliament. The first National Youth Festival was celebrated in 1995. National Youth Festival is organised by the National Service Scheme every year.

Pope Francis recently changed the Church laws to allow women to do more things during Mass. The law that defines proceedings during Mass and in Altar is called Code of Canon Law. This law has now been amended to allow women to serve in Altar.

Can women become priests under the new laws?


What are the amendments made to the Code of Canon Law?

Pope Francis has created a second study commission to study if women could be deacons. The first commission failed to reach a consensus.

What is Code of Canon Law?

The Code of Canon Law is the code of ecclesiastical laws that govern the Catholic Church.

It is also called the Johanno-Pauline Code. It is the fundamental laws of Latin Church. It was promulgated by John Paul II and took legal effect in 1983. It replaced the Code of Canon Law, 1917. The Code of Canon Law was promulgated by Benedict XV.

Which was the first Code of Canon Law?

The Code of Canon Law, 1917 promulgated by Benedict XV was the first.

What is Canon?

It is the Greek word for rule.

Who are controlled by the Code of Canon Law?

Only those who are baptized in the Catholic Church are bound by the laws. It does not apply to travelers or locals who are not baptized.

What is Baptism?

Baptism is the Christian religious rite of sprinkling water to a person’s forehead symbolizing purification and admission to the Christian Church.

The Reserve Bank of India recently announced the introduction of Legal Entity Identifier System.

What is Legal Entity Identifier System?

Under which act has the Legal Entity Identifier system introduced in India?

Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.

What is Legal Entity Identifier?

It is a twenty-digit unique number. It is a global identifier for entities participating in financial transactions. It is developed by International Organization for Standardization.

What is the validity of Legal Entity Identifier?

One year from the period of registration.

Why was Legal Entity Identifier System introduced?

During the financial crisis of 2008, the international regulators realized that there was no single code to each financial institution with which it can be identified in all countries universally. Every country had their own set of identity numbers. This made it difficult to assess the risk exposures, analyzing and resolving risks across the market.

When was the first LEI issued?


Does Legal Entity Identifier follow ISO?

Yes, it follows International Organization for Standardization.

What is the code structure of LEI?

It is an alpha-numeric string. The first four characters identify the local operating unit. The characters five to eighteen are assigned by the Local Operating Unit. The last two characters are Checksum digits. The Checksum digits are used to identified the errors that occur during the process of transaction.

The Supreme Court recently cleared the Central Vista Project that covers a three kilo metre stretch between the Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate. Following this, the Heritage Conservation Committee has approved the construction of a new parliament.

What is Heritage Conservation Committee?

The Heritage Conservation Committee is set up under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary, Ministry of Urban Affairs under the provisions of Section 23 in Delhi Building Byelaws, 1983 to protect heritage buildings. Only buildings in and around Delhi are governed by these laws. Similar conservation committees are set up at state levels as well. The local authority should consult the Heritage Conservation Committee before granting permission. The heritage buildings are graded by the Heritage Conservation Committee for developmental activities.

What are the gradings offered by the Heritage Conservation Committee?

The Heritage conservation Committee offers three grades. They are as follows:

Grade I: The buildings under Grade I includes buildings of historic importance. No interventions are permitted either on the interior or exterior of the Heritage buildings unless it is essential in the interest of strengthening the life of the building.

Grade II: These buildings comprises of regional or local importance processing architectural merit or historical significance. Internal changes are allowed in these buildings. Also, adaptive reuse shall be allowed.

Grade III: It comprises of buildings that evoke architectural or sociological interest. Both internal changes and adaptive reuse of these buildings are allowed.

What is the applicability of Heritage Conservation Committee?

The regulations of Heritage Conservation Committee applies to heritage sites such as artifacts, buildings, areas and structures that are listed in Unified Building Bye Laws for Delhi, 2016.

What are the notified Heritage buildings?

There are 886 buildings notified in the list. The list is prepared by the National Disaster Management Committee, Delhi Development Authority.