Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has decided to celebrate the POSHAN MAAH throughout the month September starting from September 1, 2021.
POSHAN Abhiyaan stands for Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition. It is a flagship programme of government to improve nutritional outcomes for pregnant women, lactating mothers, children and adolescent Girls. This program was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan on March 8, 2018.
Government announced POSHAN 2.0 programme in Budget 2021-2022 with the focus on aims of POSHAN Abhiyaan. It is as an integrated nutrition support programme that seeks to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcomes. It focuses on developing practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity towards disease and malnutrition.
World’s first Plant-based smart air-purifiers called “Ubreathe Life” by the scientists of Indian Institutes of Technology, Ropar & Kanpur, and Faculty of Management Studies of Delhi University.
The Ubreathe Life technology works by air-purifying natural leafy plant. In it, air of the room interacts with leaves and goes towards soil-root zone where maximum pollutants are purified. Technology used in this product is called as ‘Urban Munnar Effect’ and patent-pending “Breathing Roots”. These technologies amplify the phytoremediation process of the plants.
It is the process by which plants effectively remove pollutants from the air.
This technology effectively improves indoor air quality by removing particulate, gaseous and biological contaminants. It also increases the oxygen levels in indoor space with the help of specific plants, UV disinfection and a stack of pre-filter, charcoal filter and HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. It also comprises of a centrifugal fan which creates a suction pressure inside the purifier and releases purified air.
The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) recorded more than 3 billion transactions in August 2021.
UPI crossed 1 billion transactions in October 2019, for the first time and in October 2020, it crossed 2 billion transactions for the first time. The mark of 3 billion transactions was touched in just 10 months’ time, indicating the popularity of the UPI for retail digital payments among consumers.
UPI is an instant real-time payment system, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It facilitates inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions. It is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Currently, IIT Madras is working to integrate voice command feature in order to support English and Indian vernacular language in future.
The Supreme Court of India recently directed demolition of two 40-storey towers, comprising of 850 flats, of Supertech Ltd Group in Noida.
Supreme Court upheld the ruling by the Allahabad High Court. In its decision, supreme court directed the two towers namely Apex and Ceyane by Emerald Court project of Supertech, to be demolished within three months. All the expenses will be borne by the developer. Supertech was also asked to refund at an annual interest rate of 12% to all those who had purchased flats in the towers within two months. Apart from that, Supertech has to pay Rs 2 crore to the Residents’ Welfare Association of 15 other towers that were constructed as part of the original plan. It also rejected the argument by the NOIDA administration that, rules dealt with distance between two adjacent building blocks and that two towers were part of one block.
Supertech had made appeal against the Allahabad High Court ruling of April 2014 in Supreme Court. Allahabad High Court had directed the company to demolish the twin towers and sanctioned prosecution of the involved officials. These towers had been under construction when High Court gave its ruling. The Supreme Court has also ordered a status quo.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), its Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal, met the head of the Taliban’s political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, on August 31, 2021.
140 Indians and members of the Sikh minority are still remaining in Kabul. India has transported 565 people, including 112 Afghan nationals to Delhi, so far. This numbers have been far lower as compared to countries like the U.S. US has evacuated 1,22,000 people, including about 1,00,000 Afghan nationals.
This meeting was held after India was recalibrating its earlier position on the Taliban as a terrorist group, as the Taliban militants took control of Afghanistan on August 15. In particular, India has had concerns regarding the Haqqani group, which is a part of the Taliban as well as Taliban Deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who carried the attacks on the Indian Embassy in 2008-2009. Further, it is believed that the Taliban is a proxy of Pakistan.
The United Nations marked the first-ever International Day for People of African Descent on August 31, 2021 to celebrate the enormous contributions of African diaspora in field of human endeavour.
UN General Assembly had adopted the resolution to establish the International Day for people of African Descent in December 2020. Resolution also recalled two similar UN initiatives namely, 2001 “World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” that was held in Durban, South Africa as well as the “declaration of International Decade for People of African Descent” which will run till 2024.
UNGA established this day with the objective of promoting greater recognition and respect for diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent towards the development of societies. The day also seeks to promote respect for their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The day is significant in the light of increasing momentum towards ending racism, twenty years after the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. Furthermore, in Latin America, there are about 134 million people of African heritage and they suffer poverty, lack of access to basic services and inequality. In Brazil, overall poverty rate is 11.5 percent while poverty among people of African descent is 25.5 percent.
According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), use of leaded petrol has been eradicated from the globe.
During 1970s, almost all the gasoline that used to be sold worldwide contained lead. The UNEP launched its campaign called “Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV)” for eradication of ‘leaded petrol’ in 2002. Major economies including United States, China and India had already stopped using fuel in 2002. But, the situation in lower-income countries was critical. Concerns regarding the leaded petrol were first raised in 1924.
Eradication of leaded petrol is expected to support realization of multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) like good health & well-being, clean water, clean energy, sustainable cities, climate action and life on land.
According to the data of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, economic growth of India accelerated to a record high in the quarter through June 2021.
Market value of all final goods and services that are produced within an economy is called as Gross Domestic Product. It is calculated in two ways:
In case of high rate of inflation, nominal GDP will be higher than the real GDP. But in case of deflation, real GDP will be e higher than the nominal GDP.
A road connecting Leh to the Pangong Lake was inaugurated on August 31, 2021 by Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.
This road will play a significant role in boosting the socio-economic status of local residents, primarily for the people of Lalok region of Ladakh. It will facilitate tourism and tourists will see world’s highest motorable road, rare medicinal plants, participate in snow sport activities etc.
It is an endorheic lake spreading into eastern Ladakh and West Tibet. It is situated at an elevation of 4,225 m. The lake is 134 km long and divided into five sub lakes namely, Pangong Tso, Rum Tso (twin lakes), Tso Nyak, and Nyak Tso. 50% of the length of overall lake in located in Tibet China while 40% in Ladakh India. 10% of the lake is disputed and is considered as de-facto buffer zone between India and China. This lake is 5 km wide at its broadest point. It freezes completely during winter, despite being saline water.
The lake is currently in the process of being identified under Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance and will be the first trans-boundary wetland in South Asia under the Ramsar convention.
8th Meeting of Agricultural Experts of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Countries was hosted by India on August 31, 2021.
BIMSTEC was founded in 1997 with the objective of pursuing mutual trade, connectivity & cultural, technical & economic development in the region. It earlier included six sectors viz., technology, trade, energy, transport, fisheries, and tourism. Sectors were later expanded to 14 areas of cooperation. Agriculture is one among the 14 sectors.
It provides a unique link between South and South-East Asia. Five countries viz., India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka are from South Asia while two countries viz., Myanmar and Thailand are from South-East Asia.
1st meeting of the BIMSTEC agriculture Ministers was held on July 12, 2019 in Myanmar. During the meeting, a stronger agricultural cooperation was reiterated among BIMSTEC countries. This cooperation has become more significant amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation and its impacts on the food system.
Lok Sabha speaker, Om Birla, inaugurated a parliamentary outreach programme to empower Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Parliamentary Outreach Programme for Empowerment of PRIs is a unique initiative of Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla. This is a first of its kind Programme that seeks to strengthen the institution of governance and planning at the grass-root level.
Key objectives of the Programme include:
Sri Lanka declared a state of emergency over food shortages on August 31, 2021 after private banks in the country ran out of foreign exchange to finance imports.
Economy of Sri Lanka reduced by a 3.6 percent in 2020 because of the covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020, government also banned imports of vehicles and other items like edible oils and turmeric in order to save foreign exchange. Central Bank of Sri Lanka also increased interest rates in order to shore up the local currency.
Foreign Reserves of Sri Lanka decreased to $2.8 billion as of July, 2021 from $7.5 billion in November 2019. As per data from bank, rupee has lost 20 percent of its value against the US dollar in the same period.
Sri Lanka was successful in handling the first wave covid-19 pandemic. However, it failed to handle second and third waves of the pandemic. This resulted into surge in COVID-19 deaths since November 2020. As of August 2021, Sri Lanka has become the country with fourth-largest daily deaths worldwide by population. Other three countries are Georgia, Tunisia, and Malaysia.
According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report, the number of hate crimes in United States increased to highest level in the year 2020.
It is a national coalition that gathered data on racially motivated attacks related to the pandemic. It reported 9,081 incidents between March 2020 to June 2021. 4,548 incidents were from 2020 while 4,533 from 2021.
FBI is the domestic intelligence & security service and a principal federal law enforcement agency of United States. It operates under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice. It also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community.