Daily Current Affairs - 27-05-2021

Recently; Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, asked neighbouring Dominica to handover India’s fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi to India directly.

Highlights

As per Prime Minister, Choksi was living in Antigua and Barbuda since 2018 after taking citizenship in 2017 under the ‘Citizenship by Investment Programme’. He will not be having same rights in Dominica as he was having in Antigua and Barbuda.

What is Citizenship by Investment Programme?

It is a program allowing individuals to get residence or citizenship of a country in return of making qualifying investments. These programs offer-

  1. Citizenship by investment in which the person gets “golden passport” or “cash-for-passports”
  2. Residence by investment in which person gets a “golden visa” or
  3. Hybrid with immediate residence followed by accelerated citizenship.

Applicants of Program must fulfil multiple qualification criteria. Investment by them can be done in various forms including contribution to government funds, purchase of qualifying real estate, investment in qualifying business or creation of specific number of jobs.

Which countries run this programme?

As of now, five countries in Caribbean – Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia); Egypt; Cambodia, Malta; Jordan, Montenegro, Vanuatu and North Macedonia are running the citizenship by investment programme.

Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, announced a secretary level committee will formulate guidelines and recommendations on implementation of “Smart Kitchen Scheme” in state to fulfil commitments of LDF.

About the scheme

Left Democratic Front (LDF)

LDF is an alliance of left-wing political parties of Kerala which has again come power after winning elections in 2021. The party is in power since 2016. It is major political alliances in Kerala along with Congress-led UDF.  LDF has been in power in State Legislature of Kerala under E. K. Nayanar, who is the longest serving Chief Minister of Kerala and has served for 11 years during 1980-1981, 1987-1991, 1996-2001.

2021 Assembly election

LDF led by Pinarayi Vijayan returned to power in 2016 Assembly Election in which it won 91 out of 140 seats. This number again increased to 99 seats in 2021 Assembly Election. Pinarayi Vijayan has become the first Chief minister of Kerala who was re-elected after a full term five years in office in 2021 election. This election was historic because, incumbent government won again for first time in 40 years.

Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has launched ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT) OPD Portal.

Highlights

Service Will be provided by defence services doctors who are on regular duties. Persons aged 75 and above can consult without waiting. Similar portal called “e-sanjivani platform’ have provided facility of telecommunication to about 5 lakh people in recent months.

About SeHAT Portal

Portal has been launched to provide telemedicine services in Armed Forces, further strengthening the commitment governments towards e-governance and digital India. Through this OPD, serving defence personnel from Army, Airforce, Navy and ex- service personal can get tele consultations from specialists’ doctors in Armed forces. OPD will provide benefits to around four crore people and family members of defence personnel.

What is e-sanjeevani platform?

eSanjeevani is the first component of telemedicine service, implemented under Ayushman Bharat health initiative, providing doctor-to-doctor interaction. It connects all the 1.5 lakh health and wellness centre established under Ayushman Bharat. Service is restricted to Android users currently and has been implemented in 23 States.

About eSanjeevaniOPD

It is second component of tele-consultation service which enables patient-to-doctor interaction. It was launched amid COVID-19 pandemic to ensure health services reaches to doorstep following the norms of social distancing.

Indian economist and Nobel Laureate, Amartya Kumar Sen, was conferred with “Princess of Asturias Award” in social sciences category which is Spain’s top prize. He was selected out of 41 candidates from 20 countries.

Why he was selected?

Amartya Sen was selected for his best-known work- “Poverty and Famines”.

About the Award

Sen has been conferred which Spain’s highest prize in social science category for called “Princess of Asturias Award”. It comprises of a Joan Miro sculpture as a symbol, an insignia, a diploma, and a cash prize of 50,000 Euros. His candidature was forwarded by Director General of Casa Asia (Barcelona), Javier Parrondo.

Sen’s views on Poverty and famines

In this work, Sen has demonstrated, “hunger is not a result of lack of food, but is result of inequalities in its mechanisms of distribution.

About Amartya Kumar Sen

He is an Indian economist and philosopher. He has taught and worked in United Kingdom and United States since 1972. He has made contributions to welfare economics, economic and social justice, social choice theory, economic theories of famines, development economics, decision theory, public health etc. Currently, he is a professor in Thomas W. Lamont University and Professor of Economics & Philosophy at Harvard University.

His achievement

In 1998, he has been awarded with Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and Bharat Ratna in 1999 in  category of welfare economics. 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade was conferred on him by German Publishers and Booksellers Association for his scholarship on ïssues of global justice and combating social inequality in education & healthcare”.

Beloved Children’s author and illustrator, Eric Carle, died at age 91. He was famous among children for his classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other such works.

About Eric Carle

He was an American designer, illustrator, and children’s author. He wrote a famous picture book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” that has been translated into about 66 languages. About 50 million copies have been sold. His career as an illustrator and children’s author gained pace when he collaborated on “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”.  He had illustrated more than 70 books.

His awards

He has been awarded with American Library Association called “biennial Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal” which is now called as Children’s Literature Legacy Award. This prize is conferred on writers or illustrators of children’s books published in U.S. Eric Carle was also a U.S. nominee for international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2010.

Early Life

He was born to German immigrant parents in Syracuse, New York. However, they had returned to Nazi Germany (then), when Eric was 6. Under the Nazis, modern, expressionistic and abstract art works were banned. They only allowed realistic and naturalistic arts.

Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, appointed “Guardian Ministers” in state.

Functions of Guardian Ministers

Allocation of districts

Out of the 13 ministers, eight ministers were allocated three districts each and five ministers were allocated two districts each.

Who is a Guardian Minister?

He/she is an ex-officio chairperson of the District Planning Committee (DPC), which is constituted in every district as per law. However, rule does not mention who should head the DPC. It can be headed by administration as well as by elected representatives.

Ayush Clinical Case Repository portal will be launched by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on May 27, 2021. Along with the portal, third version of Ayush Sanjivani App will also be launched.

Ayush Clinical Repository portal

This portal will act as a platform providing support both to Ayush practitioners and general public. It will be launched with the aim to provide aggregate information regarding clinical outcomes achieved by Ayush practitioners on a large scale. It will also help to widen solid scientific base of all streams of Ayush.

Third Version of Ayush Sanjivani App

This app will facilitate a significant study and documentation regarding the efficacy of selected Ayush interventions such as Ayush-64 and Kabasura Kudineer medicines in managing asymptomatic and mild to moderate patients of COVID-19.

About Ayush Sanjivani App

It was developed by Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY). It seeks to reach out to 50 lakh people in India. The app generate data on usage of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-rigpa and Homoeopathy) advocacies. It also measures the impact of AYUSH in prevention of Covid-19.

Governor of Haryana, S N Arya, approved the Haryana Recovery of Damages to Property Bill. According to the bill (now act), any damage created to people’s shops, houses, vendor carts, government offices, buses, vehicles and other such public property will be recovered from protestors.

Background

“Haryana Recovery of Damages to Property During Disturbance to Public Order Bill, 2021” was passed in March 2021, a move similar to Uttar Pradesh government which had passed the “Uttar Pradesh Recovery of Damages to Public and Private Property Act, 2020.

Key provisions of the act

Government’s stand

Government of Haryana approved the act stating, it is responsibility of state government to protect any government or private property in state.

just before the celebration of “World No Tobacco Day on May 31”, Global Burden of Disease collaboration has published studies on number of smokers worldwide.

Smokers in India

As per study, India had about 2 crores smokers aged 15-24 in 2019. It is the second highest number of tobacco smokers worldwide. India also witnessed highest increase of male smokers since 1990 in age group 15-24.

Global Scenario

Countries with largest number of smokers

10 countries with highest number of tobacco smokers accounts for two-thirds of global tobacco smoking population. Top 10 countries (In that order) are- China, India, Indonesia, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, and Philippines.

World no Tobacco Day

The day is observed on May 31, every year across the globe. It is celebrated to make people aware of the dangers of using tobacco and business practices of tobacco companies. It further informs the public; what World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to curb use of tobacco. It also seeks to draw attention on negative health effects.

Background

World No Tobacco Day was created in 1987 by WHO to get global attention on tobacco epidemic and preventable death & disease it causes.

A sacrificial pit was recently discovered at Sanxingdui Ruins Site in China, highlighting the greatness of Chinese civilization.

Highlights

According to National Cultural Heritage Administration, Chinese archaeologists found six new sacrificial pits and about 500 items dating back to 3,000 years at Sanxingdui Ruins in Sichuan Province. Archaeologists have found gold masks, gold foil, miniature ivory sculptures, bronze trees, bronze masks, carbonized rice and seeds in four of the six pits.

Where are Sanxingdui ruins located?

Sanxingdui ruins are located in Guanghan city which is about 60 km from provincial capital of Sichuan, Chengdu. These ruins belonged to Shu Kingdom existed some 4,800 years ago and lasted at least 2000 years ago.

About Sanxingdui

It is an archaeological site and a major Bronze Age culture of China. It was discovered in 1986 after preliminary finding in 1927. Remarkable artifacts were excavated by archaeologists which radiocarbon dating placed in 12th–11th centuries BC. These artifacts are similar to artifacts of ancient kingdom of Shu and are currently displayed in Sanxingdui Museum located near Guanghan.

Significance of the excavation

Excavation at Sanxingdui including the discoveries like Xingan tombs in Jiangxi, challenges traditional narrative of spread of Chinese civilization from central plain of Yellow River.

Administrator of Lakshadweep, Praful Khoda Patel, is being opposed by people of the union territory and politicians over policies he drafted in recent time.

What are those policies?

1.   Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 (LDAR)

Lakshadweep Development Authority (LDA) was recently created with extensive powers such as eviction of land owners. This is being criticised as they think LDA was pushed by real estate lobby against the will of islanders. The legislation, LDAR, provides extensive powers to authority to prepare comprehensive development plans for any area and to remove or relocate people living in Lakshadweep from their property for the purpose of town planning or any developmental activity.

2.   Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA)

This act was introduced in January 2021. According to it, person can be detained without any public disclosure for a period of up to one year.

3.   Draft Panchayat notification

According to the notification, a member with more than two children stands disqualified from being a member.

About Praful Khoda Patel

Praful Khoda Patel, an Indian politician, is currently holding the post as Administrator of Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep. He is the 1st administrator of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu. He was made administrator of Lakshadweep in December 2020 by unfollowing the earlier practice of appointing only IAS officers as administrator.

Who appoints administrator?

Administrator is appointed by the President of India. This is an important post for any union territory because person is charged to do all functions in area. Administrator acts on behalf of the President.

Recently, Uttarakhand high court has criticized state government for neglecting and forcing families of Van Gujjars nomadic tribe to survive in conditions below animal’s existence.

HC’s Order

Court has ordered Uttarakhand government to provide them accommodation, food, water and medicines. It also ordered to get their Covid-19 testing done before they enter Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in Uttarkashi.

State’s View

State government were of the view that; if tribes will enter national park, they will endanger the wildlife because, coronavirus may spread from humans to animals.

Background

HC was responding on a PIL filed by Delhi based NGO called Think Act Rise Foundation in 2019 to highlight situation of Van Gujjars, who continue to occupy certain areas of forests in Uttarakhand. PIL has asked the count to make community a beneficiary under Forest Right Act, to give land rights and to cases against them.

About Van Gujjars nomadic tribes

Van Gujjars are nomadic tribes inhabiting in foothills of Himalayas and in states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. They are buffalo-herders. They are among the tribes who are living or have lived in deep dependence on wild habitats.

Origin of Van Gujjars

It is believed, Gujjars belonged to Gurjara kingdom and they migrated tostates of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in Indian Subcontinent. On the other hand, Muslim Gujjars including Van Gujjars migrated to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indian Himalayan states of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It is also believed that, ancestors of van Gujjars migrated from Kashmir to Uttarakhand some 1500 years ago.

United Nations has warned, “there is a risk of famine in Tigray region, if assistance is not provided urgently”. According to officials of UN, measures need to be taken to avoid famine in Ethiopia Tigray region.

What is the issue?

Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, had ordered ground and air military operation in Tigray in November 2020. Operations were launched after accusing then-ruling party of northern region, that is Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of attacking on federal army camps. This operation is in seventh month now. Conflict has killed about thousands of people and left about five million in need of aid.

Current situation in Tigray

About 20 percent of population in war-torn area is facing emergency food insecurity. Destruction and violence against civilians are still continuing. In about seven months, about two million people have been displaced. Civilians are being killed and injured. Rape and similar forms of abhorrent sexual violence are widespread. Public and private infrastructure like hospitals and agricultural lands have been destroyed. As a result of which, 90 percent of the harvest was lost and 80 percent of livestock were looted or slaughtered.

Tigray People’s Liberation Front

It is a militia-turned-party. The party was part of coalition which brought an end to military dictatorship in 1991.

Recently, professor Jayashankar from Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) inked a memorandum with Mumbai based Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Learning to provide an AI-Based Pest Management system to the farmers.

Objective of the memorandum

Memorandum was signed in a bid to provide information regarding any possible infestation of pink bollworm in cotton field which in turn empower the farmers with advance information.

How this system will work?

AI-based pest or insect management system, developed by Wadhwani Institute, will help in identify possibility of pink bollworm and other insect or pest infestation on cotton in advance. It will then share this information to farmers in that areas who have been identified for programme. Advanced information will help farmers to take suitable measures to save their crops.

Which areas would benefit?

This system will be implemented in Khammam, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Nagarkurnool, Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar districts of Telangana. These districts were selected because, during 2020 kharif season, these districts accounted for Cotton production on 20.88 lakh acres out of 60.54 lakh acres cultivated in entire Telangana.

Who will collaborate for the project?

Agriculture Department, Krishi Vigyan Kendras of agriculture university, Information Technology department and Wadhwani Institute would collaborate for the project.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati have developed a smart window material which can automatically control climate of buildings.

How will it control climate?

Researchers working on the window highlighted, smart window material can effectively control the amount of heat and light passing through it when voltage is applied to it. Thus, it will help to develop efficient automatic climate control.

Why this window was developed?

Demand and attention have increased to get a sustainable architectural design for better light and heat management in buildings over the year. Thus, these smart window materials can be installed to get sustainable design.

Characteristics of Smart Windows

  1. Design of smart windows are suitable for all-weather conditions.
  2. Smart window glasses have been designed using noble metals which can dynamically control the solar radiations.
  3. They are inexpensive as they make use of materials like copper and indium tin oxide.
  4. It can maintain the ambient indoor temperature and lighting in buildings or vehicles.

How is it different than conventional windows?

Conventional window designs are static. They are designed for specific climatic conditions. On the other hand, newly developed window can dynamically adjust amount of light and heat radiation entering through it. Thus, it will help in conserving the energy of building.