Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - December 26, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

Coastal radar network

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • India looks at integrating more countries into coastal radar network. Efforts are in advanced stages to set up coastal radar stations in Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • As part of efforts to further expand the coastal radar chain network meant to enable real time monitoring of the high seas for threats as also expand India’s assistance for capacity building to Indian Ocean littoral states, efforts are in advanced stages to set up coastal radar stations in Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Background

  • Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already been integrated into the country’s coastal radar chain network.
  • Similar plans are in the pipeline with Maldives and Myanmar and discussions are ongoing with Bangladesh and Thailand.

About the Info fusion centre

  • Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), was meant to promote Maritime Domain Awareness.
  • International Liaison Officers (ILO) from France, Japan and the U.S. have already joined the centre.
  • IFC-IOR had established itself as the hub of maritime security information in the IOR through white shipping exchange agreements with 21 countries and 20 maritime security centres.
  • Under Phase-I of the coastal radar chain network, 46 coastal radar stations have been set up across the country’s coastline.
  • Under Phase-II of the project, which is currently under way, 38 static radar stations and four mobile radar stations are being set up by the Coast Guard and is in advanced stage of completion.

Source: The Hindu.

Rescue And Rehabilitation Centre For Monkeys

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

The first rescue and rehabilitation centre for monkeys in the Telengana State was inaugurated at Gandi Ramanna Haritavanam near Chincholi village in Nirmal district.

Background

  • It is the second such facility for the primates in the country. 
  • First in the country was in Himachal Pradesh. 

Highlights

  • To make the rehab centre a sustainable habitat for the primates, several fruit and flower variety plants, tree varieties that would given good shade and medicinal plants would be grown. 
  • The monkeys that venture into human habitations would be caught in a phased manner and brought to the rehab centre where they would be operated upon for birth control and would be released into forests against after the rehab period.

Source: The Hindu.

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Dharmendra Pradhan dedicates Bengal basin to nation, says discovery would aid India's energy security

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

  • The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan dedicated the 8th producing Basin of India, Bengal Basin, to the nation.
  • The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited has started to produce crude oil from Asokenagar-1 well, in the Bengal Basin in 24 Parganas district.

Background

  • This makes the Bengal Basin the eighth producing basin in India.
  • Sedimentary basins are the primary locations on the continent where there is sufficient subsidence to preserve continental sediments for a long time.

Highlights

  • When sediments are buried, they will be under increasing pressure and begin the process of compaction and lithification, thereby turning them into sedimentary rocks.
  • Sedimentary basins have important economic significance.
  • Almost all natural gas, petroleum and all coal in the world are found in sedimentary rocks.
  • India has 26 sedimentary basins with an area of ​​3.14 million square kilometers.
  • These include 16 on-land basins, 7 on-land and partial offshore basins, and 3 fully offshore basins.

Source: PIB.

“JSA II: Catch the Rain” Awareness Generation Campaign launched

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.


Context

  • National Water Mission(NWM), Ministry of Jal Shakti in collaboration with Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports launched the “JSA II: Catch the Rain” Awareness Generation Campaign.
  • As a preparatory phase of JSA-II, the Ministry has involved Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan (NYKS) for undertaking ‘Catch the Rain’ awareness campaign to cover 623 districts. 

Background

  • The awareness generation phase of campaign will run from mid-December 2020 to March 2021.
  • NYKS will undertake this awareness building campaign through various IEC activities which will include conducting education & motivational programs, mass awareness campaigns, environment building including wall writing, banners & e-posters, knowledge competitions, demonstration activities like theme-based nukkadnataks& skits, branding & popularize the campaign by logos & printed IEC materials etc.

Highlights

  • NWM has launched a campaign Catch the rain” with tag line “catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls” in order to nudge all stake-holders to create Rain Water Harvesting Structures (RWHS) suitable to the climatic conditions and sub-soil strata to store rain water as rains falling in the four/five months of monsoon are the only source of water for most parts of the country. 
  • Drives to make water harvesting pits, rooftop RWHS and check dams; removal of encroachments and de-silting of tanks to increase their storage capacity; removal of obstructions in the channels which bring water to them from the catchment areas; repairs to traditional water harvesting structures like step-wells and using defunct bore-wells and old wells to put the water back to aquifers etc, are some of the activities suggested to be taken up with peoples’ active participation under this campaign.
  • The collaboration with NYKS is a step to engage people at the grassroots through effective campaigning & IEC activities for implementation of the campaign.

Source: PIB.

US President Donald Trump confers Legion of Merit on PM Modi

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India's interests, Indian diaspora.


Context

  • United States’ President Donald Trump has conferred the Legion of Merit, one of the highest military honours of the US, on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “exceptionally meritorious service” as the leader of India.
  • The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, was bestowed on Modi on behalf of Trump.

Background

  • The medal is rarely awarded and can only be conferred by the US President.
  • It is usually given to heads of state or heads of government.

About the award

  • The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, is a domed five-pointed American white star plaque of heraldic form and is bordered in purplish-red enamel, with 13 white stars on a blue field emerging from a circle of clouds.
  • Backing the star is a laurel wreath with pierced, crossed arrows pointing outward between each arm of the star and the wreath.
  • The reverse is engraved with the words “United States of America.”
  • The citation for the award conferred on Modi stated it was being bestowed “for exceptionally meritorious service as the Prime Minister of the Republic of India from May 2014 to August 2020”.

Source: Hindustan Times.

Shigellosis

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

Health officials in Kozhikode district of Kerala convened emergency meetings and kicked in preventive measures last week after six cases of shigella infection and nearly two dozen suspected cases were detected within the urban corporation limits.

Background

  • Shigellosis, or shigella infection, is a contagious intestinal infection caused by a genus of bacteria known as shigella.
  • The bacteria is one of the prime pathogens responsible for causing diarrhea, fluctuating between moderate and severe symptoms, especially in children in African and South Asian regions.

Highlights

  • The bacteria, after entering the body through ingestion, attack the epithelial lining of the colon resulting in inflammation of the cells and subsequently the destruction of the cells in severe cases.
  • It takes only a small number of shigella bacteria to enter a person’s system and get her sick.
  • People with shigellosis may start experiencing symptoms within one or two days of the entry of germs in the body.
  • The common symptoms are diarrhoea (often bloody and painful), stomach pain, fever, nausea and vomiting.
  • There have been cases too where people don’t experience any signs of the bacterial infection.
  • The infection is known to spread person-to-person when the bacteria is swallowed accidentally.
  • This can happen in child-care settings if a person does not wash his hands after cleaning the baby’s diaper and then eats food with the same hands.
  • Spread through contaminated food and water is the most common form of transmission across the world.

Source: Indian Express.

Govt decides to constitute High Level Committee to commemorate 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Focus: GS1.                                

Topic: The Freedom Struggle - its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

Context

  • Government has decided to constitute a High Level Committee to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
  • The Committee will decide on the activities for a one year long commemoration starting 23rd January, 2021.

Background

  • The High Level Committee will be headed by Home Minister Amit Shah.
  • The Commemoration is being held as a tribute and as a mark of gratitude to the colossal contribution Netaji made to India’s freedom struggle.

About the committee

  • The members of the Committee will include experts, historians, authors, family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as well as eminent persons associated with Azad Hind Fauj-INA.
  • The Committee will also lend guidance to the commemoration activities in Delhi, Kolkata and other places associated with Netaji and Azad Hind Fauj, both in India as well as overseas. 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Netaji Subhas Bose’s bravery is well-known.
  • He said, a scholar, soldier and statesman par excellence, we are soon to commence his 125th Jayanti celebrations.
  • Mr Modi said, a high-level committee has been formed.
  • He called upon everyone to mark this special occasion in a grand manner.

Source: AIR News.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt B.1.1.7 lineage:
  • It is the new SARS-CoV-2 variant was revealed to be the reason behind the rapid surge in Covid-19 cases in South and East England.
  • The variant is the result of multiple mutations in the spike protein of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as well as mutations in other genomic regions of the RNA virus.
  • Preliminary analysis suggests that it is less transmissible than previously circulating variants.

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: A

  • Preliminary analysis suggests that it is more transmissible than previously circulating variants.

  1. Which of the following countries does not border Vietnam?

      A. China
      B. Laos
      C. Cambodia
      D. Thailand

Solution: D

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