Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - January 05, 2021 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Modi flags off New Bhaupur-New Khurja section of Eastern Freight Corridor

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.


Context

  • Prime Minister inaugurated the New Bhaupur-New Khurja section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC).
  • This corridor was built at a cost of Rs 5,750 crore, and stretches over 351 km.

Background

  • Opening of the operation control centre at Prayagraj, and flagging-off of the first goods trains from Bhaupur and Khurja stations of the EDFC, were both conducted at the function.
  • Addressing the event, PM Modi said the project was envisaged by earlier governments but not implemented on time. “Approvals for this project initially came in 2006, but implementation was largely on paper and till 2014, less than 1 km was completed,” he said.

Highlights

  • The 351-kilometre New Bhaupur- New Khurja section of EDFC is built at a cost of Rs. 5,750 crore and most of its part passes through Uttar Pradesh.
  • The section will decongest the existing Kanpur-Delhi main line and will enable Indian Railways to run faster trains.
  • The agro products of Uttar Pradesh will now reach at a faster speed to other parts of the country and it will increase the export capacity of the state which is a landlocked area and doesn’t have any port to send the items abroad.
  • The Prime Minister also inaugurated Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor’s Operation Control Centre at Prayagraj.
  • This will act as the command centre for the entire route length of the EDFC.
  • Talking about the Operation Control Centre at Prayagraj Prime Minister said that it is equipped with state of the art facilities which are indigenously designed.

Source: Times of India.

National Summit On Good, Replicable Practices And Innovations In Public Healthcare Systems In India

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources, issues relating to poverty and hunger.


Context

  • Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare digitally inaugurated the 7th National Summit on Good, Replicable Practices through a video conference.
  • The first one was held in 2013 at Srinagar. 

Background

  • The summit is held to recognize, showcase and document various best practices and innovations in public healthcare system. 
  • Union Minister of Health also launched New Health Management Information System (HMIS) along with the Operational Guidelines for TB services at AB-HWCs and the Operational Guidelines 2020 on Active Case Detection and Regular Surveillance for Leprosy.

Highlights

  • While the first one was held in 2013 at Srinagar to recognize, showcase and document various best practices and innovations in public healthcare system, the last was held at Gand hinagar, Gujarat.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji has set a bold target of a TB-free India by 2025, five years ahead of the SDG targets of 2030.

Source: Indian Express.

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Exhibition ‘Raag-Bhopali’ being organized to promote Zari-Zardozi crafts of Bhopal

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


Context

In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Mantra of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Madhya Pradesh Government is introducing Campaign regarding promotion of “Ek Zila- Ek Shilp ''.

Background

  • The State Government is focussing on local traditional art of each district in the state and making efforts to promote it.
  • The first of such kind of exhibition called Raag-Bhopali is being organized to promote Zari-Zardozi crafts of Bhopal.

Highlights

  • Embroidery done with metallic threads is called kalabattu and forms the zari.
  • The main zari production centres are Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Here the metal ingots are melted into metal bars called pasa from which lengths are got by beating it after treatment.
  • This is then pulled through perforated steel plates to make it into wires, followed by the tarkashi process to make it thin with rubber and diamond dies.
  • The last stage is called badla where the wire is flattened and twisted with silk or cotton thread to become kasab or kalabattu.

Source: AIR News.

Proxima Centauri: the closest star to the Sun

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.


Context

Astronomers running the world’s largest initiative to look for alien life have recently picked up an “intriguing” radio wave emission from the direction of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Sun.

About Proxima Centauri

  • Proxima Centauri is 4.2 light-years away from the Sun – considered a close distance in cosmic terms.
  • Its mass is about an eighth of the Sun’s, and it is too dim to be seen with the naked eye from Earth.
  • Proxima b, one of the two planets that revolve around the star, is the subject of significant curiosity.
  • Sized 1.2 times larger than Earth, and orbits its star every 11 days, Proxima b lies in Proxima Centauri’s “Goldilocks zone”.

Highlights

  • Astronomers at the Breakthrough Listen project, started by the legendary physicist Stephen Hawking, regularly spot blasts of radio waves using two powerful telescopes.
  • They are Parkes Observatory in Australia or the Green Bank Observatory in the US.
  • All of their findings so far, though, have been attributed either to natural sources or interference caused by humans.
  • This raises the possibility that the emission could be an alien “techno-signature”, meaning something which provides evidence of alien technology.
  • There are also reasons to believe that the signal might not mean ‘aliens’.
  • Another possibility could be that the signal could have been caused by something behind Proxima Centauri or by a natural phenomenon whose existence we so far do not know of.

Source: Business Standard.

BARC develops eye cancer therapy for treatment of ocular tumours

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

  • The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai has developed an eye cancer therapy in the form of the first indigenous Ruthenium 106 Plaque for the treatment of ocular tumours, an official statement said.
  • The handling of plaque is very convenient for surgeons and it has been acknowledged to be at par with international standards, the statement said.

Background

  • In October last year, Chairman-cum-Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), K N Vyas had held a detailed discussion with Singh regarding the feasibility of developing this regimen of ophthalmic patches.
  • Following this, on the intervention of Singh, the Department of Atomic Energy entered into a collaboration with Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

About Ruthenium-106

  • Ruthenium-106 is a radioactive form of the rare heavy metal ruthenium, which is a "platinum group" metal similar to platinum.
  • Ruthenium-106 is produced from the fission or splitting of uranium-235, the type of uranium used in nuclear fission reactors, so it's found in spent nuclear fuel.
  • It's used in medicine for cancer radiation therapy, especially for eye and skin tumours.
  • It's also used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators that power satellites.

Source: Times of India.

‘Digital Ocean’: the Digital Platform for Ocean Data Management

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.


Context

  • The Ministry of Earth Sciences has inaugurated the web-based application “Digital Ocean” developed by INCOIS.
  • Digital Ocean is a first of its kind digital platform for Ocean Data Management.

About the platform

  • The platform will be promoted as a platform for capacity building on Ocean Data Management for all Indian Ocean Rim countries.
  • It would help share ocean knowledge about the ocean with a wide range of users including research institutions, operational agencies, strategic users, the academic community, and maritime industry and policymakers.
  • It also provides free access to information to the general public and the common man.
  • It will play a central role in the sustainable management of our oceans and expanding ‘Blue Economy’ initiatives.

Source: Indian Express.

When ED attaches the property of an accused

Focus: GS3.                                

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context

Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued orders for the attachment of several properties belonging to former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and leader of the National Conference Dr Farooq Abdullah in connection with its investigation into alleged money laundering in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) case.

Background

  • The attached properties include Farooq Abdullah’s Gupkar Road residence in Srinagar, where he lives.
  • They also include two other residential properties in Tangamarg and Sunjwan, apart from commercial properties on Srinagar’s Residency Road.

Highlights

  • The ED order would be valid for 180 days, during which time it must be confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
  • If it is not confirmed, the property would be automatically released from attachment.
  • And if it is, the accused can challenge the confirmation in the Appellate Tribunal within 45 days, and subsequently in the concerned High Court and the Supreme Court.
  • The purpose of attachment is to deprive an accused of the benefits of the attached asset.
  • The law also provides for the property to remain out of bounds for the accused until the trial is complete.
  • However, properties that are in use are generally not sealed until the case reaches its logical conclusion.
  • Usually, the accused secures release of the property in appellate tribunals or High Courts, or is able to get a stay, and continue to enjoy it while the matter remains pending in the courts.
  • Also, running businesses are not shut down.
  • Therefore, a running hotel can, for example, be attached under the PMLA, and still continue its business.
  • In 2018, the ED attached the Holiday Inn Hotel at Delhi’s IGI airport in connection with the Air India case.
  • But the hotel continues to host guests as usual.
  • The law provides for the resting of operational profits with the ED.
  • But businesses can get a stay on this from the courts, for the matter to be finally decided in the eventual outcome of the case.
  • Also in 2018, the ED had attached 50% of former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s bungalow in New Delhi’s Jor Bagh.
  • Chidambaram and his family continue to enjoy the property.
  • The ED had last year issued an eviction notice to Chidambaram’s son Karti, who has secured legal protection against the notice.

Source: Indian Express.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary:
  • Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in Telangana state.
  • It is located in the western Satpura Range south of the Narmada River.
  • It shares a common boundary with Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

      A. 1 and 2 only
      B. 2 and 3 only
      C. 1 and 3 only
      D. AOTA

Solution: B

  • Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in Gujarat state.
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the ambitious New Bhaupur-New Khurja section of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) in:

       A. Kerala
       B. Assam
       C. Uttarakhand
       D. Uttar Pradesh 

Solution: D

 

 

 

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