Daily Current Affairs - 17-09-2021

MyGov India has launched the “Planetarium Innovation Challenge” for Indian start-ups and tech entrepreneurs.

Highlights

Background

This challenge has been Inspired by the Chandrayaan launches. Prior to the launch, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had conducted the ISRO Quiz Competition-2019 in collaboration with MyGov. In the quiz, several schools, parents and enthusiastic mentors actively participated.

Planetarium Innovation Challenge

Cash Prizes

The first, second and the third winner under this contest will respectively get the cash prizes of five lakh, three lakh and two lakh rupees.

About MyGov

MyGov is a citizen engagement platform, launched by central government on July 26, 2014 in order to promote the active participation of Indian citizens in the governance and development of India. It aims to create common platform for Indian citizens in a bid to “crowdsource governance ideas from citizens”.

China has applied to join the Asia-Pacific Free Trade grouping of 11-nation in a bid to increase its influence over international policies.

Highlights

About CPTPP

CPTPP is a trade agreement among 11 countries namely, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam. This grouping was evolved from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP had been signed on 4 February 2016,that never entered into force because of withdrawal of the United States. Eleven signatories of the grouping have a combined economies that represents 13.4 percent of global gross domestic product.

China’s promise

Government of China has promised to increase imports of goods. However, it faces complaints on failing to carry out promises when it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001 in order to open finance and other service industries. China is also a member of other trading arrangements like Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called to develop a template by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at the virtual meeting on September 17, 2021.

Highlights

Challenges in the region

In the virtual meeting, Modi highlighted that, radicalisation is the “root cause” of problems that the region is facing. Developments in Afghanistan reflected this challenge. Other challenges in this area include peace, security and trust deficit for which the root cause is increasing radicalisation. This, Modi called SCO to develop a template to fight radicalisation and extremism. According to him, SCO should work for development of a strong network among moderate, tolerant and inclusive institutions as well as traditions associated with Islam.

India’s commitment

According to Prime Minister, India is committed towards increasing its connectivity with Central Asia. Any connectivity initiative cannot be a “one-way street” and such projects should be consultative, transparent and participatory.

About SCO

SCO was created in the year 2001. It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation. This Eurasian political, economic and military organisation was created with the aim of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region. SCO Charter was signed in the year 2002, and entered into force in 2003. The charter is a statutory document that outlines the goals & principles of SCO. It also highlights the structure & core activities of SCO. Official languages of SCO are Russian and Chinese.

Swachhata Pakhwada 2021 was launched at the Cochin Port Trust and the Swachhata pledge was administered in all departments on September 16, 2021.

Highlights

About Swachhta Pakhwada

Swachhta Pakhwada was Started in April 2016, with the objective of bringing a fortnight of intense focus on issues and practices of the Swachhta by engaging all the government ministries & departments in their jurisdictions. In order to plan the Pakhwada activities, an annual calendar is circulated among the Ministries in advanced. Ministries that observe Swachhata Pakhwada are monitored by means of online monitoring system of Swachhata Samiksha. On this system, action plans, images & videos related to Swachhata activities are uploaded and shared.

Background

This is an environment awareness campaign launched under Swachh Bharat Mission. It was launched to achieve the goal of total sanitizations and cleanliness by October 2, 2019. Under the campaign, several ministries organise a theme wise campaign called “Swachh Bharat Fortnight”. It is a voluntary exercise and it seeks to raise awareness and target programmes.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)

SBM is a country-wide campaign that was initiated by central government in 2014 with the objective of eliminating open defecation and improving solid waste management. This mission is a restructured version of Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan which was launched in 2009. Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan failed to achieve its intended targets. Phase 1 of the Swachh Bharat mission ended in October 2019 while Phase 2 of the mission has been implemented between 2020–21 & 2024-25.

Indian Railways took a leap in advancement of Skill India Mission by launching the “Rail Kaushal Vikas Yojana (RKVY)” under the aegis of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)”.

Highlights

Significance of the mission

This mission incorporates the vision of skill development of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mission will train about 50 thousand youth. It was launched with the aim of imparting training skills to the youth across several trades to bring qualitative improvement. Under the mission, training will also be conducted in remote areas. It will improve the employability of the youth as well as upgrade the skills of self-employed. It will also cater to those who are working with contractors through re-skilling and up – skilling.

Training under RKVY

Under the mission, training will be provided to 50000 candidates in a period of three years. In the initial phase, training will be provided to 1000 candidates. Youth will be trained in four trades namely, Electrician, Welder, Machinist and Fitter. Mission comprises of initial basic training of 100 hours. In later phases, zonal railways will add other trades to the training programs. Youth will be trained for free and participants will be selected from applications received online, on the basis of marks in matriculation. Candidates who are 10th passed and between 18-35 years shall be eligible to apply.

World Ozone Day or the International Day for preservation of Ozone Layer was observed on September 16, 2021 across the world.

Highlights

This day is celebrated every year and is dedicated to a cause which might not be visibly relevant but is important for the protection of the ozone layer.

History

Significance of the day

This day is significant in the light of depleting Ozone Layer. Ozone is the fragile layer of gas that protects people from harmful cosmic rays. But people have itself became a threat to the natural paradigm of the Earth. Thus, this day is celebrated with the objective of curbing all human-led ozone-depleting substances.

Theme of the Day

Theme of the day in year 2021 is “Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food, and vaccines cool”. This theme is selected to highlight the long-term results of 35-year-old Montreal protocol, which is the first ever protocol to be ratified by all the 197 members of the United Nations.

India’s efforts

Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change initiated “India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)” in 2019. This action plan aims to provide an integrated vision towards reducing refrigerant transition, curbing cooling demand and enhancing energy efficiency. The ICAP aligns with the international theme of the day in 2021.

About Montreal Protocol

It was a deal for countries to curb the existence of all ozone-depleting substances like chlorofluorocarbon aerosols, halons, etc. that are widely used for cooling and refrigeration purposes. The usage of these harmful substances had resulted in a hole in the ozone layers in Antarctica. This hole was discovered in 1970 and led to acute global warming in past 20 years.

Reserve Bank has given its nod to the Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) to form a special committee of directors on September 15, 2021 in order to oversee the operations in absence of an MD and CEO.

Highlights

What is the issue?

Ujjivan SFB witnessed some top-level exits in recent days besides high level of bad assets and management issues. Its overall stressed pool stands at 15.6 per cent of the loan book. It also includes gross non-performing assets of 9.8 per cent as well as restructured loans of 5.8 per cent. Furthermore, the portfolio-at-risk has come down to 30 per cent as of June 2021. Its stock closed at Rs 20.60 apiece on BSE.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Limited

It is an Indian small finance bank, with headquarter in Bangalore. Its operation was started from February 1, 2017. Ujjivan Financial Services is having a stake of 80 percent in the bank. The bank is licensed under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 in order to carry out small finance bank business. It received Scheduled Bank status in August 2017 from the Reserve Bank of India.

Union Government has approved the decks for National Asset reconstruction Company Limited (NARCL) on September 16, 2021.

Highlights

Who issue security receipts?

Security Receipts (SR) are issued by Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) when NPAs of the commercial banks (CB) or financial institutions (FI) are acquired by the ARCs for recovery.

About National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL)

NARCL is a type of Bad Bank that are set up to resolve the problem of bad loans which are impacting the public sector banks. They take over the stressed assets of lenders. Proposal to create NARCL was announced in the Budget for 2021-22. It is having a public sector character because e idea is mooted by the government and majority ownership is likely to rest with state-owned banks.

Who Sponsored NARCL?

NARCL is primarily sponsored by Canara Bank. Canara Bank is likely to take 12% equity stake in NARCL. NARCL also has equity participation by other nationalised banks.

Functions of NARCL

NARCL will buy bad loans from banks and issue security receipts (SR) to them for up to 85%. Remaining 25% will be provided in cash. These receipts can be redeemed as and when the ARC recovers a particular loan.

About Bad Bank

Bad-banks are the entities that houses the bad loans or the non-performing assets of banks and liquidates them in order to recover money.

Union minister of state for electronics & information technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, inaugurated three National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) centres of northeast states on September 16, 2021.

Highlights

NIELIT Centre, Churachandpur

It is the second centre of NIELIT in Manipur. Its campus spreads over 4.13 acres of land provided by the state government. It comprises of eight laboratories and two class rooms. Its annual training capacities is of 600 students.

National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT)

NIELIT was formerly known as the DOEACC Society. It offers Information Technology & Electronics training at different levels. It is associated with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and works as an autonomous Statutory Organisation under the Central Government. NIE:IT enjoys the power similar to Organisations like CBSE, UGC etc.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on technologies in order to develop reusable GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.

Key Points

How reusable vehicle is being developed?

To develop reusable GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle, a “wholesale change or augmentation” has been made. One of the ways of bringing change is that, vehicle would have to rework its three stages. Second liquid stage will be replaced with a semi-cryo stage, while the terminal cryo stage C-25, will be converted into C-32. Apart from this, inert mass for the terminal stage will be optimised.

About GSLV Mk-III

This launch vehicle, chosen as launch vehicle for Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, is a three-stage heavy lift launch vehicle. It was developed by ISRO. It comprises of two solid strap-ons, a core liquid booster as well as a cryogenic upper stage. It was designed to carry 4-tons of satellites into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) as well as10 tons to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). First developmental flight of GSLV Mk III called GSLV-Mk III-D1 had successfully placed GSAT-19 satellite in to the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) on June 05, 2017.GSLV MkIII-M1 had successfully placed the Chandrayaan-2 in to Earth Parking Orbit on July 22, 2019.

State Cabinet has approved the transfer of 15 acres of government land in favour of the Tribal welfare Department for construction of Eklavya Model Residential School, in Visakhapatnam district.

Key points

Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS)

EMRS is a government scheme for the construction of model residential school for Indian tribals that is Scheduled Tribes across India. This scheme was started by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It was introduced in the year 1997-98. The scheme seeks to ensure that tribal students get access to quality education in their remote tribal areas.

Which article empowers the govt to fund this scheme?

EMRSs are set up in States and UTs with government’s grants in accordance with the Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

Which blocks can set up EMRs?

According to budget 2018-19, blocks having 50% ST population and at least 20,000 tribal persons, will have to set up Eklavya Model Residential School by the year 2022.

National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) released its report titled “Crime in India”. According to the report, the year of lockdown (2020) witnessed lesser traditional crimes like against women & children but more of civil conflicts.

Key findings of the report

Offences against state

‘Offences against the State’ comprise of cases related to sedition, waging war against the nation as well as cases under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Damage to Property Act & Official Secrets Act.

Communal Violence

Caste conflicts

Caste conflicts increased from to 736 in 2020 from 492 in 2019. Bihar recorded the highest number of 208. Bihar is followed by Maharashtra (125 cases), UP (116 cases), Karnataka (95 cases) and Tamil Nadu (69 cases).

The United Nations children’s fund (UNICEF) has called on education authorities to reopen schools as soon as possible, in countries where millions of students are allowed to go to their classrooms for 18 months amidst the covid-19 pandemic.

Highlights

About UNICEF

UNICEF is also called as “United Nations Children’s Fund”. It is a United Nations agency that provides humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. It is among most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations. It is present in 192 countries and territories. UNICEF’s activities comprise of providing immunizations & disease prevention, enhancing childhood & maternal nutrition, administering treatment for children & mothers with HIV, improving sanitation, providing emergency relief in response to disaster and promoting education.

Background

UNICEF is the successor of “United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund”. It was created on December 11, 1946, in New York. U.N. Relief Rehabilitation Administration had created this in order to provide immediate relief to the children and mothers affected by World War II. It became a permanent part of United Nations System in 1953.