Daily Current Affairs - 04-10-2021

Odisha government has allocated Rs 445.75 crore to the distribution companies in order to increase ground clearance of electrical networks with the objective of preventing Elephant electrocution.

Key facts

Elephant conservation in state

As per the Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO), an environment pressure group working on elephant conservation, about 862 elephants have lost their lives in between April 2010 August 2021. Out of this, about 16 % accounting for 135 elephants died due to electrocution.

Concerns associated with elephant conservation

Elephant conservation in the state of Odisha is a challenging task because of inadequate patrolling and breakdown of supervision & monitoring by officers. This has made it easy for poachers to wipe out elephants from the state.

Electrocution cases

Lack of action against electricity distribution companies has resulted into multiple electrocution cases because of overhead sagging naked wires, wild boar poaching wires and electrified fences. These elephants would have been saved if companies had installed safety devices. Most recent case “killing of seven elephants in Dhenkanal district” in the year 2018 at Kamalanga because of a low height 11 KV wire.

As per NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information analysis, August 2021 was the 6th hottest month on the Earth, despite the fact that, Central Texas went through a cooler than average month.


Hottest summer in Northern Hemisphere

Year 2021 was also the 2nd hottest summer on record in Northern Hemisphere.  Year 2020 witnessed the hottest summer on record in the Northern Hemisphere. August end also wrapped up meteorological summer, a summer which was tied with 2019 as second hottest summer on record in the Northern Hemisphere.

Meteorological summer in Northern Hemisphere

June-August is known as meteorological summer in the Northern Hemisphere. June-August was the 4th warmest on record for Earth while Southern Hemisphere was going through winter. Global temperatures were recorded as 1.62 degrees F above the 20th Century.

6th warmest month

January-August ranks as the 6th warmest period ever recorded on Earth. The temperatures were 1.48 degrees F warmer as compared to 20th-century average.

Sea ice extent

In August, Arctic Sea ice witnessed the 10th smallest extent in 43-year records while Antarctic Sea ice coverage was 5th highest.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA is an American scientific and regulatory agency working under the “United States Department of Commerce”, that forecasts weather, charts the sea, monitors oceanic & atmospheric conditions, conducts deep sea exploration, besides managing fishing & protecting marine mammals.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is planning to find a “customer relationship management (CRM) as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions” on the basis of “Free and open-source software (FOSS)”.

Key Points

#FOSS4Gov innovation challenge

To make the solution reality, MeitY had announced #FOSS4Gov Innovation Challenge. As of now, 1,400 registrations have been received from across the country including from tier-II and tier-III cities. Winning teams will find a chance to work with the government on its several population-scale platforms. Teams will also get cash prizes of up to Rs 90 lakh for developing their solution. Three winners will be selected across CRM and ERP categories. First prize will be Rs 20 lakh, second prize of Rs 15 lakh while third prize will be of Rs 10 lakh.

Aim of #FOSS4Gov Innovation Challenge

This challenge is being organised with the aim of creating awareness and promote FOSS. It also seeks to identify solutions which can be used by the government.

Who will mentor the team?

MeitY has partnered with investment firm “Omidyar Network India (ONI)” to mentor the shortlisted teams for this programme. ONI will also be awarding a special prize to the team involved in developing and integrating citizen-centric safeguard to protect citizen’s data.

FOSS in digital services

Government have been using FOSS since 2016, to develop several digital services such as UPI, DigiLocker, Aarogya Setu, Aadhaar etc.

According to rating agency ICRA Ltd., India’s electricity demand is expected to increase by 8-8.5 % in Financial Year 2022.

Key facts

Coal stocks at power projects

  1. Resumption in economic activities,
  2. Heavy rains in September impacting coal production & dispatch, and
  3. lower electricity production by other fuel sources.

Under the “One District, One Product (ODOP) initiative” of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, first consignment of Kashmiri walnuts was flagged off from Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, recently.

Key Points

Why this consignment was sent?

‘One district, One product’ team recognised that walnuts were being imported into India on a large scale, despite the huge availability of Kashmir walnuts. Thus, the team started an in-depth market analysis and stakeholder consultations in Kashmir. Importers of walnuts were contacted. With the help of dedicated handholding at both ends, the team was able to facilitate the procurement. Such initiative would also boost the “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat campaign”.

Roundtable conference

During the flag off event, a roundtable conference was also organised in Budgam district. During the conference, inputs were sought from industry representatives with respect to trade and export ecosystem in Kashmir.  In the conference, Horticulturists and trade representatives recommended way forward for it such as:

On October 1, 2021, Pharmaceutical company “Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics” announced the early results of Phase-3 trials of its anti-viral drug called molnupiravir. As per the results, Molnupiravir has reduced the chances of hospitalisation by half among COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms.


Is molnupiravir effective against COVID-19 treatment?

Complete result of phase 3 trials form molunupiravir is still unknown. However, the drug has reassured the hospitalisation-avoidance rates. Company will be submitting data to the United States Food and Drugs Administration soon for a review. Following it, this drug may be approved for emergency use authorisation.

Patient tested with the drug

This drug has been tested only in patients having mild-to-moderate COVID-19, so far. Patients had started treatment within five days of testing positive. They had at least one risk factor, out of obesity, older age, diabetes or heart disease, which increased their risk for severe disease.

Working mechanism of molnupiravir

Molnupiravir drug has been named as ‘EIDD 2801’ by the company, where ‘E’ indicates it was developed at Emory University. The antiviral drugs work by inhibiting a process by which the virus replicates. In case of molnupiravir drug, when tested on cultured cells, it works by altering critical enzymes which are necessary for virus to start replicating the host cells of body.

Union Ministry of Power has notified new Electricity rules called “Electricity (Rights of consumers) Rules” in India, laying down the rights of power of consumers.

Key Points

Key areas covered under Electricity (Rights of consumers) Rules:

  1. Rights of consumers and Obligations of Distribution licensees
  2. Consumer as Prosumer
  3. Release of new connection and modification of existing connection
  4. Metering arrangement
  5. Reliability of supply
  6. Billing and Payment
  7. Disconnection and Reconnection
  8. Standards of Performance of licensee
  9. Compensation Mechanism
  10. Grievance redressal mechanism
  11. Call Centre for Consumer Services

Key Provisions of the rules

Former Cabinet Minister and former chairman of rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog launched the “Kamdhenu Deepawali 2021 campaign” on October 3, 2021.


Gomaya lamps

The Gomaya lamps were made by Cow Entrepreneurs and Cow owners. This lamo will save the environment by providing eco-friendly alternative for chemical based Chinese lights.

Who trains the start-ups?

Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog have been providing training in association with the volunteer organizations across India, giving rise to huge number of Cow dung based Start Ups.

Significance of the campaign

This campaign would benefit the Cow Entrepreneurs across India. It is a Eco friendly campaign which will also help Gaushalas in becoming Self Sustainable. Campaign would also empower the ‘Start-up India’ and ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

About Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog

It is an agency working under the “Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying” of “Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying”. It was established to protect cows.  The agency organises animal husbandry on scientific & modern lines. It also takes steps to preserve & improve breeds as well as prohibit slaughter of cows & calves. Agency also functions as an integral part of Rashtriya Gokul Mission.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

This mission was started in December 2014 by government with the aim of developing & conserving indigenous bovine breeds and genetic upgradation of bovine population.

On October 2, 2021, World’s largest national flag was inaugurated in Leh in the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is made up of Khadi.

Key facts

About World’s largest khadi national flag

Who conceptualised the flag?

Concept to make world’s largest khadi national flag was put forward by KVIC to celebrate “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”, marking 75 years of India’s Independence. The flag was handed over to the Indian Army because its handling and displaying required utmost care and precision.

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

KVIC is a statutory body, established in April 1957 under the ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’. It works under the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises.

Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, inaugurated the Wildlife Week 2021 on October 2, 2021 at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar.

Key facts

About Wildlife Week

India observes Wildlife Week from October 2nd to October 8th every year with the aim of protecting India’s fauna. During the week, experts conduct workshops in order to make people understand the importance of wildlife conservation. During the week, several awareness-building activities are organised across different levels in order to make people aware about wildlife.

Why this week is celebrated?

This week is celebrated because, wildlife plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of nature. Any harm to it can pose threat to entire ecosystem. Thus, it becomes important to preserve flora and fauna.

Biological Hotspot

India is a biological hotspot. It supports a number of animal species. India is home to more than 7 percent of world’s biodiversity. Faunal wealth of India is also incredibly diverse. It accounts for 7.4% of the world’s fauna.

History of Wildlife Week

First ever Wildlife Week was observed in the year 1957. Wildlife Week 2021 is the 67th edition. Wildlife Week was conceptualised by the Indian Board of Wildlife in 1952 in order to raise the awareness regarding long-term goals of protecting the wildlife across India. Initially, Wildlife Day was celebrated in 1955, but in 1957 it was upgraded as the Wildlife Week.

Theme of Wildlife Week 2021

Wildlife Week 2021 is being celebrated under the theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet”.

On October 3, 2021, the “Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Award for National Integration and National Contribution 2021” was conferred by the Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Key Facts

Shillong Chamber Choir

Shillong Chamber Choir was founded in 2001 by founder, mentor and conductor of the choir Neil Nongkynrih. Its repertoire includes the works of western classical music such as Bach, Handel, Gershwin and Mozart besides Khasi folk songs & opera. The choir has performed in Poland, Britain, Switzerland, Italy, Sri Lanka, as well as in Indian cities of Delhi, Mombai, Bangalore and Guwahati. In the year 2021, it had won the reality TV show, India’s Got Talent. It had also awarded with three gold awards at the 6th World Choir Games for Gospel, Musica Sacra and Popular Music.

Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Award

It is one of the biggest civilian awards of Assam, which is bestowed upon the institutions and individuals from diverse fields to honour their exemplary contributions towards integration of nation.

Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust

This trust was set up on January 9, 1946, when Mahatma Gandhi visited Assam. It has been working for rural women and children.

Dr Nirod Kumar Baruah

He is based in Germany. He did his masters in History and Political Science from Kashi Hindu University while M Phil from Bonn University, Germany. He has written several books on Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi.

On October 2, 2021, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav started off tiger rallies in 18 tiger range States in India.

Key Points

  1. Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple (BRT) Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
  2. Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra and
  3. Sanjay Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh.

Guidelines on sustainable eco-tourism

On the occasion, minister also released guidelines on sustainable eco-tourism across the forest and wildlife areas. Guidelines on field guide to monitor the Ganges & Indus River dolphins, aquatic fauna & habitat including Nagar Van guidelines were released.

Online Portal on Wetlands

An online portal on wetlands was also released which will act as a single-point access for all information related to such ecosystems.

Theme of the rallies

The rallies were kicked off with the theme “India for Tigers- A Rally on Wheels”. The rally will journey across 51 tiger reserves in 18 tiger range States. In the range states, field directors, deputy directors & associated staff of the tiger reserves will follow an assigned routes and unite at a designated focal point of celebration. Focal point of the celebration is the first nine tiger reserves that were designated during the launch of Project Tiger in 1973.

Aim of the rally

The rallies were started with the aim of raising awareness regarding the importance of tiger conservation. It will bring together people from different areas.