Daily Current Affairs - 01-03-2021

The Reserve Bank of India has recently published its State of the Economy Report. The report highlights that, the Indian state refiners’ daily gasoline sales in February 2021 have increased from 1.5% from the year 2020. According to the report, this is the slowest pace of growth in the six months as record-high retail prices have hit the consumption.

Key Findings of the report

The report further highlights that,

Concerns raised by RBI

The RBI has raised the concern that, the rising diesel and petrol prices might increase the inflation. This increase in inflation will make hard for RBI to continue its accommodative monetary policy.

Gasoline

It is a clear petroleum-derived flammable liquid which is used as a fuel in the spark-ignited internal combustion engines. The liquid comprises of the organic compounds which are obtained by fractional distillation of petroleum.

The 78th Golden Globe Awards ceremony recently took place in a virtual as well as in offline format on February 28, 2021. The award ceremony was filmed from Los Angeles and New York City.

Highlights

The award ceremony was co-hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey consequently for the fourth time. All the winning stars accepted their awards in the virtual mode. They also delivered their acceptance speeches virtually.

About Golden Globe Awards 2021

The Golden Globe Awards for the year 2021 were the first major televised awards amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The ceremony also got postponed from its usual date in January.

Who are the winners?

This year Netflix had received the most nominations with the total count at 42. Out of these, 22 nominations were in film categories including the Best Picture (Drama) nominations. The Netflix film called “Mank” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7” were nominated for the Best Picture (Drama) Nominations. 20 Netflix shows were nominated in the Television categories that was dominated by the show like “The Crown” and “Schitt’s Creek.”

Best Motion Picture-Drama award

The award for the best Motion Picture-Drama award went to Nomadland while the Best Director award went to the director of Nomadland, Chloe Zhao. She became the second woman ever to win this award after Barbra Streisand won in the year 1984.

Best Actor in Motion Picture

The award for the best action in Motion picture was won by the Late American actor Chadwick Boseman for his portrayal of Levee Green in the motion picture called ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’.

The Secretary of Ministry of Housing and Housing Affairs (MoHUA), Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, has launched the field assessment of Swachh Survekshan, 2021. It is the sixth edition of this annual cleanliness survey which is conducted by the Government of India.

Background

The Swachh Survekshan 2021 was introduced by the MoHUA in the year 2016. It was launched as a competitive framework in a bid to encourage the cities to improve their status of the urban sanitation. It also encourages the citizens to participate on a large scale. In the year 2016, when this initiative was launched, only 73 cities with million plus population were grown. But in the subsequent surveys, the number of cities increased. In 2017, 434 cities were covered; in 2018, 4203 cities were covered; in 2019, 4237 cities were covered while it further raised to 4242 cities in 2020. It also includes 62 cantonment boards. Since 2016, the cities are regularly filling their data and updating their progress in the MIS along with the other citizen centric campaign.

Significance of the Swachh Survekshan

The Swachh Survekshan was laid down the spirit of healthy competition between the cities and towns of India.

How the survey is conducted?

The on-field assessments for the survekshan takes place in between January 4-31 every year. In the year 2021 it got delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The assessment will be conducted between 1-28 March 2021.

Swachh Survekshan 2021

The framework for the survekshan is redesigned innovatively each year in order to ensure that this process becomes stronger. This in order to maintain the sustainability in the sanitation value chain, indicators for the year 2021 will focus on parameters like wastewater treatment and reuse and the faecal sludge. It would also be focusing on the waste management and remediation of landfills.

The Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting said that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is associating with IIT Bombay to form a Centre of Excellence in gaming and other related areas.

Highlights

This announcement was made while addressing a virtual exhibition and prize announcement of “Khel Khel Mein” which us a Pan Maharashtra toy or game project design competition. The minister highlighted that the Central government is at an advanced stage of preparation. This centre of excellence (CoE) in gaming will come into effect when the new session will begin in 2021.

What is the need of CoE?

The minister highlighted that there are games like PUBG and other games on which is played on mobile and other gadgets. There games are “violent, explicit and addictive in nature”. It also creates a complex in mind of children. He also said that, criticising such games is not the solution. There is a need to create our own games and apps in order to comply with the “Make in India initiative”. The centre of excellence will help in achieving this motive.

Make in India initiative

This initiative was launched by the central government in order to encourage the companies to manufacture in India. This initiative also turns the dedicated investments into manufacturing. This initiative was launched with the approach of creating a conducive environment for investments and to develop a modern and efficient infrastructure. It also seeks to open up new sectors for foreign capital. This initiative targets the 25 economic sectors to create jobs and to enhance the skills. This initiative was launched with the aim of transforming India into a global hub in the field of design and manufacturing.

The Indian wrestler, Vinesh Phogat, has won the gold medal in women’s 53-kg category. She won the medal at XXIV Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Highlights

In the event, the Indian Wrestler, Vinesh Phogat, defeated the world number seven, Vanesa Kaladzinskaya from Belarus in the finals match. It was a fight to win the gold medal. After winning the wrestling match, she made a winning return to her first competitive outing played after the lockdown imposed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the 26-year-old wrestler will be back into action in the first ranking tournament of the season from March 4 to March 7, 2021 in Rome.

Background

The Asian Games and Commonwealth Games gold medallist defeated the Ana A from Romania by fall in the semi-final to qualify for the final summit clash. The wrestler also booked her place in the Tokyo Olympics recently for the 53 kg category. She is the only Indian woman wrestler who have qualified for the Tokyo Games.

Tokyo Games 2020

The 2020 Summer Olympics is also known as Tokyo 2020. It is an upcoming international multi-sport event which has been scheduled to held from July 23 to August, 8 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. It was earlier scheduled from July 24 to August 9, 2020. But it was postponed in March 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic. The event retains its name “Tokyo 2020” even though it has been rescheduled for 2021. The Olympic Games have been postponed and rescheduled for the first time rather than cancelled.

Olympic Games or Olympics

There are leading international sporting events that features the summer as well as the winter sports competitions. In the event, thousands of athletes across the world participate in several number of competitions. These games are considered as the world’s foremost sports competition in which more than 200 nations participates. The Games are normally held after four years in the Summer while the Winter Olympics are held every two years with in the four-year period.

The Union Minister for Social justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, will launch the “Sugamya Bharat App” in the virtual mode on March 2, 2021. the minister will also launch a handbook called “Access – The Photo Digest”.

Key Facts

The Sugamya App and the handbook were developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the parent head of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Mobile App can be downloaded after the department will launch it officially from Play Store by the Android users. However, the IoS version of the App will be made available by March 15, 2021.

About Sugamya Bharat App

It is a Crowdsourcing Mobile Application which has been developed as a means to sensitise and enhance the accessibility within the 3 pillars of Accessible India Campaign namely- transportation sector, built environment and ICT ecosystem in India.

Features of the App

This mobile app comprises of five main features. Out of these features, 4 are directly related to enhancing accessibility while the one is a special feature which cater to the Divyangjan with respect to the COVID-19 related issues. The accessibility related features of the app are- registration regarding the complaints of inaccessibility across 3 broad pillars of Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan. It also comprises of various user-friendly features such as easy drop-down menus, videos in Hindi and English,  sign language interpretation and uploading complaints with photographs.

Registration on the App

This Mobile App is simple to use because of its easy registration process. The registration only requires 3 mandatory fields that is Name, Mobile number and Email-id. After the users are registered with the app, they can raise issues with respect to the accessibility.

The Russian Space agency, Roscosmos, has successfully launched its first ever Arctic-monitoring satellite that will monitor the Arctic’s climate and environment.

Highlights

The space agency blasted off the Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket which is also carrying the Arktika-M satellite on board. The rocket was blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on February 28, 2021. The Arktika-M spacecraft was launched to the orbit later.

Application of the Satellite

The development of this satellite system in the highly elliptical orbits is required to collect the information in order to solve the operational meteorology problems as well as the hydrology problems. The satellite will also monitor climate and environment of the Arctic region. It will be providing round-the-clock continuous monitoring over the northern territory of Russia as well.  Arktika-M satellite will also transmit the overview images of Earth’s northern polar region and the adjoining areas every 15-30 minutes.

About Arktika-M

This satellite is one among a series of planned Russian remote-sensing and emergency communications satellites. The satellite is operating in the highly elliptical 12-hour orbit. Constellation of two Arktika-M satellites has also been designed to monitor the high-latitude areas of the Earth. The satellite will be based on the Lavochkin Elektro-L meteorological satellite. The payload of the satellite comprises of MSU-GSM multi-spectral imager along with the transmitters for meteorological systems and rescue systems. The first launch for the satellite was scheduled for 2013 but it has been delayed and was launched in 2021.

Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Roscosmos)

It is a state corporation of Russian Federation which is involved in the space flights, aerospace research and cosmonautics programs. The Roscosmos was emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the year 1991. It was initially established as the Russian Space Agency, in 1992.  The Roscosmos is headquartered in Moscow. It has its main Mission Control Center located in the nearby city Korolyov,

The Computer maker HP has developed its first ever consumer PC using the plastic waste in ocean.

Highlights

This move was built on the basis of sustainability commitment of the company. The company has manufactured the Pavilion 13, Pavilion 14, and Pavilion 15 Laptops using the ocean-bound plastics. Company estimates that using the plastics in such electronic devices will result into moving around 92,000 plastic bottles from the oceans and landfills. Outer boxes and fibre cushion that were used to pack the laptops are also made with the 100% recyclable material. As per the HP, these Pavilion PCs are having Wi-Fi 6 that will provide up to four times faster Wi-Fi speeds. Further, it will be providing 75% lower latency.

HP Pavilion 13

This laptop is available in silver and ceramic white colours. It has been priced at Rs 71,999. It is having i5 and i7 variants comprising of 1TB SSD. It as a full HD displays up to 8.5 hours of battery life.

HP Pavilion 14

This laptop comes in silver, ceramic white and tranquil pink colour. It has been priced at Rs 62,999. It also comes in i5 and i7 variants comprising of 1TB SSD. It has either HD or full HD display panel.

HP Pavilion 15

This laptop comes in Silver colour having a starting price of Rs 67,999. This laptop is i5 GFX powered along with the Iris Plus GFX. It has a screen size of 15″. The laptop will come in Silver, Ceramic White and Fog Blue colours.

Plastic pollution

Accumulation of plastic objects and particles such as plastic bottles, bags and microbeads in the environment is termed as plastic pollution.  It adversely impacts the wildlife, wildlife habitat, and humans. Plastics pollutants are categorized into three different sizes namely, micro debris, meso debris and macro debris on the basis of their size. Plastic pollution can affect the land, waterways and oceans. As per an estimate, 1.1 to 8.8 million tonnes plastic waste enter into the ocean from coastal communities per year. Living organisms including the marine animals can be harmed with through the mechanical effects like entanglement in plastic objects, ingestion of plastic waste etc; or through exposure to chemicals within plastics.

Initiatives by Indian Government

In October, 2019 the government in India decided to ban the single use plastics. It also took the measures to recycle and reuse the plastic.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its approval for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. This is the third vaccine which was authorised in the United States.

Highlights

It is a cost-effective alternative vaccine of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This vaccine can be stored in the refrigerator rather than a freezer. The first doses of the vaccines will be available in second week of March 2021 for the public.

Who else will get the vaccines?

The countries including United Kingdom (UK), European Union (EU) and Canada have already ordered the vaccine doses. Further, 500 million doses have been ordered in accordance with the COVAX scheme so as to supply the vaccines to poorer countries.

COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Scheme

It is a global initiative which was launched with the aim of providing equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccines. The scheme is led by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), World Health Organization (WHO) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The scheme is one among the three pillars of “Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator” which is an initiative launched in April 2020 by World Health Organization, European Commission, and government of France to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVAX scheme was launched with the aim of coordinating with the international resources in order to establish the system of equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines.

Who have joined the scheme?

So far, 165 countries have joined COVAX scheme that represents around 60% of population.

Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT Accelerator)

It is a Global Collaboration to Accelerate Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 vaccines. It was launched by G20 countries. This initiative was announced by Mohammed al-Jadaan in April 2020.

The Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) will celebrate its 70th anniversary in March 2021. In the celebration, the Indian Air Force’s Sarang, Surya kirans and Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will participate in Colombo from March 3 to 5, 2021.

Significance

The participation of the Indian Air Force in the 70th anniversary celebration of SLAF signifies the strong professional bonds between the two air forces.

Surya Kiran

It is an aerobatics demonstration team of Indian Air Force (IAF). Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) is a part of 52nd Squadron of the IAF. It was formed in the year 1996. This team performs the several demonstrations with nine aircraft. Till 2011, the squadron was composed of HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 military trainer aircraft. This squadron was based in Karnataka’s Bidar Air Force Station. But this team got suspended in February 2011 and was re-established in the year 2017 with Hawk Mk-132 aircraft.

Sarang

It is the helicopter air display team under the IAF. The team flies four modified HAL Dhruv helicopters which is also known as the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). This team was formed in October 2003. The team gave its first performance at Asian Aerospace show in Singapore in the year 2004.

HAL Tejas

The HAL Tejas has been designed by the Aeronautical Development Authority. It is a single-engine, fourth-generation and multirole light fighter. This fighter was designed in collaboration with the Aircraft Research and Design Centre of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It is used in the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF)

It is the air wing of Sri Lanka Armed Forces. SLAF was established in the year 1951 as Royal Ceylon Air Force (RCyAF) in association with the Royal Air Force (RAF). The air wing played a significant role in the Sri Lankan Civil War. It operates more than 160 aircraft. It comprises of 27,400 trained airmen and 1,300 officers. Commander of Air Force is the professional head of Sri Lanka Air Force.

The All-India Football Federation has announced that, Odisha will host the Indian Women’s League (IWL). However, the but the dates will be announced at the later stage.

Highlights

The Indian football has been trying to restart the on-field sporting action now amid the ongoing Covid-19 cases. The matches started with the I-League qualifiers. This is followed by the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League. Both of the leagues, namely, ISL and I-League are presently being played.

Women’s Football

In the recent times, the Indian women’s football is also getting a fair exposure at the international stage. The senior India team will be assembling in Goa on December 1, 2021 for a two-month long training camp. They will also be playing three matches against Russia, Serbia and Ukraine in Turkey.

Indian Women’s League

It is the top division women’s professional football league which is organised in India. The first session of the league was organised in Cuttack in October 2016. It is organised by the All-India Football Federation (AIFF). The tournament provides platform for a lot of budding footballers so as to showcase their talent. It also provides them opportunities to pursue football as a career.

All-India Football Federation (AIFF)

It is the governing body that governs the association football in India. It is a part of South Asian Football Federation.  It was established in the year 1937. AIFF is also a founding member of the Asian Football Confederation which is the overseer of football in Asia. The governing body sanctions and runs all the competitive football tournaments and leagues on the national level such as Indian Super League, super-cup and I-League. It also manages local football competitions in association with the state. It also manages the India national football team, women’s team and several youth national sides.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the first satellite for the year 2021. The satellite called PSLV-C51 which also carried Amazonia-1 and 18 other satellites was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on February 28, 2021.

Highlights

PSLV-C51 rocket is the 53rd mission of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The satellite in the first move launched the Amazonia-1 satellite of Brazil as the primary satellite. Later, 18 co-passenger payloads were launched from the first launch pad of the spaceport. The co-passenger satellites also comprise of the Satish Dhawan Sat (SD SAT) from the Space Kidz India (SKI) which is based in Chennai. After the launch, the Amazonia-1 got successfully separated from fourth stage the launch vehicle PSLV-C51 and injected into the orbit.

About the Mission

PSLV-C51/Amazonia is the first ever commercial Mission the commercial arm “New Space India Limited (NSIL)”. The NSIL undertook the mission after establishing a commercial arrangement with the Seattle, Spaceflight Inc. which is the mission management provider and the US-based satellite rideshare. Further, the Amazonia-1 is the first Brazilian Satellite that was launched from India.

What does the satellite carry?

The spacecraft carries the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi featured on the top panel. This was done to show the solidarity & gratitude for the Aatmanirbhar initiative which was started by PM and space privatisation. The satellite also carries the names of ISRO chairperson, Dr K Sivan and Dr R Umamaheswaran, scientific secretary featured at the bottom panel. It is also carrying an electronic copy of the ‘Bhagavad Gita’. It has been placed in the secured digital card.

About Amazonia-1

It is the optical earth observation satellite which was developed by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE). It will strengthen the existing structure since it will provide the remote sensing data to users in order to monitor the deforestation in Amazon region of Brazil. It will also analyse the diversified agriculture in the country.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, takes first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on March 1, 2021 at AIIMS, New Delhi. After vaccination, he appealed to those people who are eligible to get their vaccination done.

Covid-19 Vaccination in India

The national vaccination programme to for the virus called “SARS-CoV-2” which has caused ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic was started on January 16, 2021. In the first phase of the vaccination, prioritises were given to the healthcare and frontline workers. Those aged above 60 years were also covered under this vaccination drive. Then those aged above 45 and suffering from certain comorbidities were administered vaccine. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, recently in January 2021 stated that, the vaccine-production capacity of India is the best asset world have got. As of February 2021, 1,43,01,266 vaccine doses have been administered across India.

Who developed the vaccine?

The Serum Institute of India had started the Covid-19 vaccination trial on animals by February 2020. It also tested the Zydus Cadila in March 2020. Later, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) associated with the Bharat Biotech in May 2020 in order to develop the vaccine completely in India. India had 30 candidates of vaccine in development till May 2020. Following the clinical trials, ICMR announced to launch BBV152 COVID vaccine or Covaxin which is the first COVID-19 vaccine on August 15, 2020 to cut red tape. Covaxin  had positive results on animals with respect to building immunity against COVID-19. The vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D by Zydus Cadila also underwent the human trials. However, in August 2020, the COVAXIN got approval from DCGI for trial phases II & III. The Serum Institute also joined GAVI along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation so as to produce 100 million doses of vaccine.