Daily Current Affairs - 29-09-2021

E-commerce giant, Amazon India, announced the launch of “Amazon Future Engineer” on September 27, 2021 in India. Amazon Future is its global computer science education programme.

Highlights

Aim of the programme

Amazon Future Engineer programme was launched with the aim of addressing the gap by bringing early exposure and access to computer science education to students by means of in-person, online and blended learning formats.

Who is collaborating with Amazon?

Amazon is working in collaboration with its global knowledge partner Code.org which is a global non-profit organization dedicated to computer science education.

Curriculum of the programme

Considering the local nuances, curriculum has been contextualized for Indian teacher and student community across government school settings. It will offer students with coding fundamentals along with the future-focused tech courses such as Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing (Voice Technology) in Indian languages and Machine Learning.

Who will be covered under it?

Amazon Future Engineer Programme will enable students from underserved communities in India to get, who face disproportionate barriers to education, especially in computer science, right exposure & accessibility to quality computer science education. This programme will bring Computer Science curriculum closer to all students in the languages of their choice.

France and Greece signed a multibillion-euro defence deal on September 27, 2021, to boost the defence capabilities.

Highlights

About the deal

Background

Greece-France defence deal

Greece has already bought 18 French Rafale fighter jets. It has also planned to purchase another six jets, under a program in order to modernize its armed forces.

Significance of the deal

Deal between France and Greece is significant considering the tensions between Greece and Turkey, that have increased in recent years over gas exploration rights across the eastern Mediterranean and waters between both the countries.

The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, launched “Ease of Logistic Portal” on September 27, 2021.

Key Points

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)

FIEO is the apex trade promotion organisation, set up by the Ministry of Commerce in 1965. It is responsible for representing and assisting Indian entrepreneurs and exporters across the foreign markets. FIEO is the premier body comprising of export promotion councils, export development authorities and commodity boards in India. It provides a crucial interface between international trading community of India and the central & state governments, ports, railways, financial institutions, surface transport etc in export trade facilitation.

Ease of Logistics Portal

It is a trade facilitation portal, developed by FIEO. It was launched in order to bring exporters and logistics service providers (LSPs) on a single platform. On this portal, exporters can post details of their container requirements to the service providers directly in order to provide their best quotes.

Defence Ministry has issued an order to dissolve the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) in effect from October 1, 2021.

Highlights

Background

Union Cabinet had approved a long pending reform plan of corporatizing the OFB on June 16. OFB has 41 factories and it was corporatized into seven fully government-owned corporate entities on the lines of DPSUs. Accordingly, the management, control, operations & maintenance of all the 41 production units and identified non-production units will be transferred to seven government companies from October. Those seven companies are: Munitions India Limited, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, Armored Vehicles Nigam Limited, Yantra India Limited, India Optel Limited, Troop Comforts Limited and Gliders India Limited.

Would it lead to unemployment?

Why OFB is being restructured?

OFB is being restructured with the aim of transforming it into productive and profitable assets, deepening specialization in product range, enhancing competitiveness and improving quality & cost-efficiency.

According to Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Sarbananda Sonwal, government has aimed to increase India’s share of renewable energy to 60% in Major ports through solar and wind power.

Highlights

Energy efficiency requirements

India will implement energy efficiency requirements of International Maritime Organization (IMO), for ships and carbon intensity requirements across all of its coastal or international vessels in order to help IMO in achieving greenhouse gas reduction targets. India is currently supplying shore power to vessels with power demand of less than 150 kW.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) of India under the Paris Agreement for 2021-2030 comprises of “cutting the emissions intensity of its gross domestic product by 33%-35% by 2030”. NDC seeks to achieve 40% of cumulative power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030 by transferring technology and low-cost international finance.

ES 2021 take on energy

As per Economic Survey for 2021, India will require around $206 billion in between 2015 and 2030 to implement adaptation actions in key areas such as forestry, agriculture, fisheries, water resources, infrastructure and ecosystems. Economic survey hopes to achieve 40% of cumulative installed power capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. It also hopes to increase its forest and tree cover by 2030 in order to create an additional carbon sink equal to 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.

BRICS Energy Technology Report 2021

As per this report, India will account for one-fifth of global renewable energy deployment target for 2030.

Union minister for health and family welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, addressed the closing session of 4th Indo-US Health Dialogue on September 28, 2021. This session was hosted by India.

Highlights

  1. One MoU was signed between health ministry of India and Department of Health and Human Services of USA regarding cooperation in the field of health & biomedical sciences.
  2. Second MoU was signed between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases for cooperation on International Centre for Excellence in Research (ICER).

India-US relations

Relation between India and US have become multi-faceted and it covers cooperation in areas like trade, defence & security, civil nuclear energy, education, health, science & technology, space technology & applications, and environment. Both the countries had established a “Strategic Dialogue” in July 2009 with the objective of strengthening bilateral cooperation across different sectors.

Home Minister Amit Shah released the training manual of Aapda Mitra Scheme on September 29, 2021, on the occasion of 17th foundation day celebrations of “National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)”.

Key Points

Aapda Mitra Scheme

Aapda Mitra scheme will soon be launched in 350 districts of India by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Under this scheme, more than one lakh young volunteers from 350 districts will be trained. So far, 5500 Aapda Mitra and 5500 Aapda Sakhi have been trained, who can extend help in case of disaster or natural calamity like flood in remote places. All these volunteers would get life insurance by the government.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

NDMA is an apex Body, that lay down policies for disaster management. It was established through the Disaster Management Act, which was enacted by the Government on December 25, 2005. NDMA has been tasked with framing policies, laying down guidelines & best-practices to coordinate with the State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs). It seeks to ensure a holistic and distributed approach towards disaster management. NDMA is headed by the Prime Minister and can have up to nine other members. There have been five other members, since 2020. Provision to have Vice Chair-Person is also there.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched ‘Amul Honey’ on September 28, 2021. Amul Honey is a product of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.

Highlights

Background

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had put forward his desire to bring in a “sweet revolution” in the state of Gujarat. Amul Honey was launched to fulfil this.

Honey Quality in India

In India, quality of honey is a major concern. To ensure the quality, 5 large scale Regional Honey Testing Labs and 100 Mini Honey Testing Labs are being set up across the country.

National Bee Board (NBB)

NBB was set up as a society by Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It was set up in 2000 and was reconstituted in June 2006. It mainly works with the objective of developing beekeeping by promoting scientific beekeeping across India in order to increase the productivity of crops.

National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM)

NBHM is a central sector scheme, which was announced under the “Atma Nirbhar Bharat scheme”. This mission was launched with the aim of promoting & developing scientific beekeeping in India for achieving the goal of ‘Sweet Revolution’.

International day for Universal Access of Information is observed on September 28 every year by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Key Facts

Theme of the day in 2021

In the year 2021, the day was observed under the theme- “The Right to Know – Building Back Better with Access to Information.” This theme highlights the fact that need of public for accurate and reliable information has never been stronger than now, amidst struggle by countries to overcome COVID-19 pandemic rebuild communities and institutions.

Focus of the day

The International day for Universal Access of Information (IDUAI) mainly focus on making information accessible to all, in order to develop robust structure of sustainable policies in society. The day also ensures that “access to information is continuous” at times of crisis in a bid to make collectively informed decision to find solution to it.

Background

IDUAI was proclaimed on October 15, 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly. Initially it was designated by the UNESCO General Conference. The day was inaugurated in November 2015 and was first observed on September 28, 2016. This day was recognised as “International Right to Know Day” since 2002.

The markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) tightened norms for related-party transactions on September 28, 2021 in order to boost corporate governance standards. It approved a framework of spot trading in gold.

Key facts

Which entities would be counted?

According to SEBI, following entities would be counted as related parties:

  1. People or entities that are part of promoter group
  2. Entity withholding of 20% or more in a listed entity, either as beneficia; owner or directly during the preceding fiscal.
  3. Entities withholding of 10% or more starting April 1, 2023.

Definition of RPTs

Definition of related party transactions (RPTs) will comprise of deals between listed entities or any of the units of entities with a related party.

Approval of shareholder

Spot trading of gold

SEBI also approved the framework for spot trading of gold in India. It allows vault managers to accept gold deposits and issue securities called “electronic gold receipts (EGRs)”. These EGRs can be traded on exchanges and will have clearing and settlement features like other securities.

World Maritime Day is observed on the last Thursday of September month. In the year, it will be observed on September 30, 2020.

Key Points

How this day is celebrated?

In India, International Maritime Day is observed by organising “awards ceremony” every year. It is organised to recognise the contribution made by members of the Indian Maritime industry in past 12 months. In the year 2021, event will centre around an international conference which was held on World Maritime Day in South Africa. During the event, industry influencers will convene to raise awareness regarding the focus issues for those in the seafaring community.

About World Maritime Day

World Maritime Day is an annual celebration, which was founded by the United Nations (UN) in association with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The day celebrates the contribution that the maritime industry makes towards the global economy. Without international transportation of goods, facilitated by the maritime industry, global economy would be unable to function. But this fact is overlooked by many. However, World Maritime Day is organised to address this issue.

Background

World Maritime day was first held on March 17, 1978 to mark 20th anniversary of establishment of IMO. Since its conception, IMO members states have increased from original 21 to 167. IMO now encompasses all major nations who are involved in maritime industry.

Theme of World Maritime Day 2021

The IMO will observe the day under the theme- “Seafarers: At the Core of Shipping’s Future”.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched India’s First Pan-India helpline for Senior Citizens, called “Elder Line” having a Toll-Free No. 14567. This line will extend support to senior citizens in the challenges and problems they face.

Highlights

Elder Line will help senior citizens in providing free information and guidance on pension issues, legal issues, on field intervention in cases of abuse, emotional support, rescue and care for homeless senior citizens etc.

Why this helpline number was launched?

It is expected that, India will have nearly 20% elderly population accounting for more than 300 million senior citizens by 2050. It is significant because many countries have a population less 300 million. Senior citizens are a basket of wisdom and untapped resource for overall economic and social growth. But this age group faces several mental, financial, emotional, legal and physical challenges. Thus, this helpline number was launched to extend them support.

Objective of ‘Elder Line’

‘Elder Line’ was launched with the objective of providing all senior citizens, or their well-wishers, with ONE platform in India, in a bid to connect and share their concerns, get information & guidance on problems faced by them on a day-to-day basis.

Who operationalize Elder Line?

Elder Line is a culmination of the initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with its partner, Vijayavahini Charitable Foundation. It was launched in collaboration with the Government of Telangana in Hyderabad in 2018, to help the elderlies there. Tata Trusts continues to engage in strategic philanthropy in order to create deep, wide & irreversible impact. Currently, Tata Trusts & NSE Foundation are working as technical partners and are jointly supporting the Ministry in operationalizing Elder Line.

Which states are having Elder Line?

Elder line has been opened by 17 states for their respective geographies, as of now.

On September 28, 2021, “Amrit Grand Challenge Programme” titled “जनCARE” was launched by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh.

Key Facts

10th Biotech Innovators Meet

10th Biotech Innovators Meet was organised by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in New Delhi under the theme- “Vigyan se Vikash”. While addressing the event, Dr Jitendra Singh pledged to provide full support to Start-ups from ideation to deployment stage. He directed the BIRAC to pro-actively reach out to Young Start-ups to help and support them. According to him, Young promising Innovations will get priority with respect to help, support and hand-holding than the established industrial hubs.

India’s Bio-Economy

Bio-Economy in India is on way to achieve 150-billion-dollar target and will contribute effectively to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a 5 trillion-dollar economy by 2024-25. Sunshine Biotech Sector is also set to become more than double from current 70 billion dollar to 150 billion dollar by 2025.

Contribution of BIRAC in Bio-Economy

BIRAC has established 60 world class Bio-incubators in India. It currently engages with more than 5000 Start-ups and young entrepreneurs.