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

Patel Launches “Life In Miniature” Project Virtually

Focus: GS1.

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


Context

Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (I/C), virtually launched ‘Life in Miniature’ project, collaboration between the National Museum, New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, and Google Arts & Culture.

Background

  • Speaking at the launch of the project, Patel emphasized the importance of the Prime Minister’s ‘Digital India’ initiative and the role of technology in the preservation of India’s heritage.
  • He commended Google for its leadership in the technology sector and its focus on product innovation, stating that Google’s commitment to driving social empowerment and inclusion is a true asset to India.

About the project

  • The project uses technologies like machine learning, augmented reality and digitization with high-definition robotic cameras, to showcase these special works of art in a magical new way.
  • On the Google Arts & Culture app, online viewers can experience the first Augmented Reality-powered art gallery designed with traditional Indian architecture and explore a life-size virtual space where you can walk up to a selection of miniature paintings.
  • The artworks showcased are presented along five universal themes of the human relationship with nature, love, celebration, faith and power.
  • Another highlight of the launch is the application of Machine Learning-based algorithms to the corpus of paintings being brought online, so that users can explore these miniature marvels guided by Artificial Intelligence.
  • If a single miniature painting is a rare joy to behold, this experience - named “Magnify Miniatures” - which enables online users to explore multiple artworks simultaneously is a stunning new experience.
  • With “Life in Miniature”, users will be able to see famous miniature collections of the National Museum, like the Ramayana, Royal Saga, Pahari style paintings in never before seen ways and in extraordinary detail, in just a few clicks at g.co/LifeInMiniature.
  • The project reinforces the comprehensive collaboration between the National Museum and Google Arts & Culture, a partnership that began in 2011.

Source: PIB.

Permanent campus for IIT Ropar

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ dedicated the permanent campus of IIT Ropar to the nation.
  • He inaugurated the newly built permanent campus through online mode and got a glimpse as well as information of the different buildings and laboratories of the campus through video.

About IIT Ropar

  • Indian Institute of Technology Ropar is a higher education institute located on the river Satluj in Rupnagar, Punjab.
  • It was founded in 2008 and is one of the eight newer Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) under The Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 2011.
  • IIT Ropar has shared the top place in India after IISc Bangalore with its position in the 351-400 rank in Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021.
  • IIT Ropar has been ranked as number one in the world in research citations. In NIRF, IIT Ropar stood 25th in all India Engineering institutional ranking 2019-20.
  • In QS India Rankings 2020 with an overall rank of 25th in India, IIT Ropar is ahead of all IITs in research quality, scoring highest in Citations per Paper.

Source: Indian Express.

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Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh addresses 1st ever Ministerial Meetingof G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Context

India today reiterated its commitment for eradication of corruption under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Speaking at the 1st ever Ministerial Meeting of G-20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said.

Background

  • Dr Jitendra Singh referred to the India’s Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, which the Modi government amended after 30 years in 2018 to introduce a number of new provisions including criminalizing the act of giving bribe also in addition to taking bribe and at the same time putting in place an effective deterrence for such actions by individuals as well as corporate entities.
  • Dr Jitendra Singh said the present Act brought on the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims at checking corruption in big places and striking hard against corporate bribery.
  • It seeks to establish a vicarious liability so that the actual bribe giver is also exposed.

Highlights

  • The commitment of the present government, said Dr Jitendra Singh is to bring in more transparency, more citizen centricity and more accountability in governance and is indicated by its decisive initiatives to operationalize the institution of the Lokpal in the country to check corruption at high places.
  • Reminding the G20 Meeting Delegation that the world is presently combating serious emerging challenges of Fugitive Economic Offenders and Assets which flee across national jurisdiction.
  • He said, India’s Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 empowers authorities for non-conviction based attachments and confiscation of proceeds of crime and properties as well as assets of a Fugitive Economic Offender.

Source: DD News.

Sex workers to be recognized as informal workers

Focus: GS1.

Topic: Social empowerment.


Context

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recognised sex workers as informal workers in their advisory issued on October 7 on “Human Rights of Women in the context of COVID 19”.

Highlights

  • The NHRC in an effort to secure the rights of all women who have been excluded and marginalised during the Covid-19 pandemic, included sex workers as informal workers in their advisory on ‘Women at Work’.
  • The advisory asked the Ministries of Women, Labour, Social Justice, Health, and Consumer Affairs in all states and UTs to recognise sex workers as informal workers and register them so they are able to avail the benefits of a worker.

Source: Indian Express.

CBSE introduces ‘Facial Recognition System’ for accessing digital academic documents of Class 10 and 12

Focus: GS2.

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


Context

  • In a move that can bring relief to many students, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has now introduced “Facial Recognition System” for accessing digital documents.
  • Using the latest facial recognition system, CBSE will enable students to download their digital academic documents of class 10 and Class 12.

Background

  • This computer application matches human face from a digital image already stored in the database of the board.
  • The computer and the human interact to map the facial features.

Highlights

  • Similarly, a live image of the student will be matched with the photograph on the CBSE admit card already stored in repository, and once successful, the certificate will be emailed to the student.
  • This application is now available on “Parniaam Manjusha” and Digi Locker at https://digilocker.gov.in/cbse-certificate.html for all 2020 records.
  • CBSE has already pushed 12 crores digital academic documents in Digi locker which can be opened by a student to access Mark sheets, Pass certificate and Migration certificate.
  • It is expected that the latest facility of face matching will immensely help foreign students and those who are unable to open Digi locker account for any reason such as Adhaar Card or wrong mobile numbers.

Source: Hindustan Times.

PM Modi to interact with 45 CEOs of leading global Oil & Gas companies

Focus: GS3.

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


Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with CEOs of leading Global Oil & Gas Companies in the annual event organized by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas via video conferencing, said Prime Minister's Office.

Background

"India is an important player in the global Oil and gas sector being the 3rd largest consumer of crude oil and the 4th largest LNG importer. Realizing the need for India to graduate from a passive consumer to an active and vocal stake-holder in the global Oil & Gas value chain, NITI Aayog initiated the first roundtable of global Oil & Gas CEOs with the Prime Minister of India in 2016," said PMO in an official release.

Highlights

  • The growth of the event was apparent as around 45-50 global CEOs and key stakeholders who shape the global Oil & Gas sector assembled every subsequent year to interact and discuss the issues and opportunities with PM Modi.
  • The objective behind the meeting is to deliver a global platform to understand best-practices, discuss reforms, and inform strategies for accelerating investments into the Indian Oil and Gas value chain.
  • The annual interaction has gradually become one of the most important gatherings of not only intellectual debate but also of executive action.
  • The event also grows in stature with the rise of India, the world's third-largest energy consumer, which is likely to see over $300 billion investment by 2030 in the Oil & Gas sector to meet rising demand.

Source: LiveMint.

India Meteorological Department Commissions Flash Flood Guidance Services for South Asia

Focus: GS3.                                 

Topic: Disaster and disaster management.


Context

Dr. M. Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences dedicated Flash Flood Guidance services, first of its kind for South Asian countries namely India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Background

  • An automated mode of dissemination is to be established with the stakeholders along with the use of social media, so that the information reaches to concerned disaster authorities in a timely manner.
  • Regional & International coordination with member countries, Hydrologic Research Center & World Meteorological Organization must be strengthened for exchange of data, expertise, development and sustaining the services in the region.

Highlights

  • Flash Floods are highly localized events of short duration with a very high peak and usually have less than six hours between the occurrence of the rainfall and peak flood.
  • There is general lack of flash flood warning capabilities and capacities of the nations across the world.
  • Recognizing that flash floods have a particularly disastrous impact on lives and properties of the affected populations, the Fifteenth WMO Congress had approved the implementation of a Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) project with global coverage that had been developed by the WMO Commission for Hydrology jointly with the WMO Commission for Basic Systems and in collaboration with the US National Weather Service, the US Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) and USAID/OFDA.
  • India Meteorological Department has highly advanced capabilities with respect to computing power, Numerical Weather Prediction, vast observational network (ground, air and space based), and an internationally acclaimed Weather Forecasting System.
  • Therefore, WMO has entrusted India with the responsibility of Regional Centre of South Asia Flash Flood Guidance System for coordination, development and its implementation.

Source: PIB.

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Test your Knowledge

  1. Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct about Snow Leopard:
  • It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
  • It inhabits alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft).
  • Like other cats, snow leopards use scent marks to indicate their territories and common travel routes.

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



2. Consider the following:

  • It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Hemis National Park is located in:

      A. Uttarakhand
      B. Sikkim
      C. Ladakh
      D. Arunachal Pradesh

Solution: C

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