Current Affairs

23 July, 2021

International

World’s 1st 3D-printed Steel Bridge Opened to Public in Amsterdam

World’s 1st 3D-printed Steel Bridge, a 12-meter long steel structure, developed by MX3D, a Dutch robotics company in collaboration with a consortium of experts, has been opened to the public in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The unveiled ceremony of the bridge was presided over by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands.
The 3D printed bridge has been installed over one of the oldest canals – Oudezijds Achterburgwal – in Amsterdam’s city centre. The 12 meter long smart bridge, equipped with hi-tech sensors will be a ‘living laboratory’ that will collect real-time data on the overpass’ performance. This data will be used by the digital twin, a computer model which will imitate the actual bridge in real-time to improve accuracy over time. The smart sensor network was designed and installed by the team from Alan Turing Institute.

EAM S Jaishankar virtually co-chaired 11th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ meeting

Union Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India and Prak Sokhonn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia virtually co-chaired the 11th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (11th MGC FMM) meeting. The Foreign Ministers of other MGC countries also attended the meeting. The MGC initiative comprising six countries India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam was launched in 2000 to boost cooperation in four areas of connectivity, tourism, education and culture.

Global emissions to hit Record High by 2023 as Govt Spending on clean energy is Marginal: IEA

In accordance with the “Sustainable Recovery Tracker” by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global greenhouse gas emissions will raise to record levels by 2023 as governments are providing fiscal support ($16 trillion) to stabilize their economies affected by coronavirus pandemic, but only about 2% (roughly $380 billion) of this spending has been allocated to clean energy measures. Both public and private funds towards clean energy measures are well below the level to attain international climate goals.

India’s score increased to 90.32% in ease of cross-border trade: UN 4th Global Survey on Trade Facilitation 2021

i.India’s efforts in streamlining the assessment and clearance of shipments to ease and boost cross-border trade have fetched fruitful results as India’s Trade facilitation score has increased to 90.32% from 78.49% in 2019 in the United Nations (UN) 4th Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation 2021.
ii.It tracked 143 economies on 58 parameters related to the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (CPTA), among others over a two-year period.
iii.India was among the best-performing countries in South and South West Asia, and the Asia Pacific region.
About United Nations (UN):
Establishment– 1945
Secretary General– Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres
Members– 193 (India became its member on October 30, 1945)
Secretariat– New York, United States (US)

National

NSE Foundation launches Project CAVACH in 5 Districts

NSE Foundation in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and NITI Aayog launched a COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign – Project CAVACH (COVID-19 and Vaccination Assistance Campaign for Health) in 5 Aspirational districts of India.
5-districts: ‘Nandurbar’, ‘Osmanabad’ in Maharashtra, ‘Karauli’ in Rajasthan, ‘Ramanathapuram’ in Tamil Nadu and ‘Kiphire’ in Nagaland.
i.NSE Foundation has united over 30 community-based organisations on a single platform to address the Vaccine hesitancy among people & create awareness on vaccination.
ii.It will run vaccination advocacy campaign across the districts, with the help of local Community networks, Youth volunteers, Gram panchayats, self-help group members
About NSE Foundation:
i.NSE Foundation is the subsidiary company of National Stock Exchange (NSE), and is responsible for conducting all its Corporate Social Responsible (CSR) activities.
ii.NSE is headquartered at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
About UNICEF:
Executive Director – Henrietta H. Fore
Headquarters – New York, USA
About NITI Aayog:
Chairman – Prime Minister of India
Established – 1st January 2015

Venkaiah Naidu Addresses World Universities Summit 2021

The Vice President Venkaiah Naidu virtually addressed the World Universities Summit 2021 (WUS 21) organised by O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana. Theme – “Universities of the Future: Building Institutional Resilience, Social Responsibility and Community Impact”. Discussions were held on 30 themes related to Universities & Higher Education across the world. Leaders from 6 continents & 25+ countries participated in the summit.
About O.P. Jindal Global University
Founding Vice Chancellor – Professor C. Raj Kumar
Location – Sonipat, Haryana

Defence Ministry issues RFP for Construction of 6 P-75 (I) Submarines

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a Request of Proposal (RFP) for construction of 6 AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) fitted Conventional Submarines named Project 75 (India) [P-75(I)] for the Indian Navy. The estimated cost of the project is over INR 40,000 Crore. It is the 1st Acquisition programme under the Strategic Partnership Model (SP Model), and is a major initiative towards ‘Make in India’. The Indian Applicant Companies who have been shortlisted for the project are Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) & Larsen & Toubro (L&T). They will collaborate with 5 Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) – Naval Group-France, TKMS-Germany, ROE-Russia, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co Ltd-South Korea & Navantia-Spain for the construction of submarines. The Foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) will be the technology partner in the SP Model.

About Ministry of Defence
Union Minister – Raj Nath Singh (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State – Ajay Bhatt (Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

Economy

FinMin Officer Rasmi Ranjan Das, Among 25 Tax Experts Appointed to UN Tax Committee

Rasmi Ranjan Das, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Finance(FinMin), Government of India has been appointed as a member of the UN Tax Committee, formally known as the United Nations(UN) Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. He is one of the 25 tax experts from across the globe who were appointed by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, for a period of 5 years from 2021 to 2025. The committee will promote International cooperation on domestic and international tax matters.

UN Tax Committee for 2021-2025:

i.The committee provides special attention to the developing countries and their policy environment.
ii.For the first time since its inception, the committee has a majority of women experts.
iii.The first meeting of the new members of the committee will be held in October 2021.
Members: The members of the committee include experts from Pakistan, Nigeria, Chile, South Korea, Malawi, Ghana, Mexico, Zambia, Jamaica, Ireland, Indonesia, Myanmar, Mauritania, Argentina, Angola, Netherlands, Russia, Canada, Germany, Ecuador, Italy, Sweden, and China.

China Launches World’s Largest Emissions Trading System

China’s National Carbon Market, the world’s largest Emissions Trading System (ETS) began its trading on July 16, 2021. China has replaced European Union (EU) as the largest Carbon Market. China is the world’s biggest emitter of Greenhouse gases; the scheme is part of China’s efforts to decarbonize its economy by 2060. In the initial stage, ETS will cover only the power sector; around 2,200 power firms will participate in the trading. China’s power sector is responsible for 14% of Global Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG). Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange will host the national carbon trade.
About China
President – Xi Jinping
Capital – Beijing
Currency – Renminbi

Sports

Hockey India launches ‘Heroes Connect’ Web-based Platform

Hockey India (HI) has launched its own player-oriented web-based engagement platform called ‘Heroes Connect’. It will create a detailed database of the players who have represented India in both men’s & women’s games. The platform will encourage former & current Indian hockey players to initiate constructive discussions around Hockey.

Highlights of Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics

The 32nd Edition of Olympic Games is set to take place in Tokyo, Japan from 23rd July, 2021 – 8th August, 2021. As many as 204 countries are participating in the games. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from 24th August – 5th September, 2021 Summer Olympic Mascot – ‘MIRAITOWA’; Paralympic Mascot – Someity. The 2020 Games mark the 2nd time that Japan is hosting the Summer Olympic Games, the 1st one also took place in Tokyo in 1964. It is the 1st City in Asia to host the Summer Games Twice (Including Winter Games, it is the 4th Olympic Games in Japan). Karate, Skateboarding, Sport Climbing, Surfing, and 4x400m mixed relay are set to make their Olympic debut in the 2020 Olympics. The Olympics are organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
About International Olympic Committee (IOC)
President – Thomas Bach
Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland

2032 Summer Olympics to be hosted by Brisbane, Australia

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the honour of hosting the Games of the 35th Olympiad or 2032 Summer Olympics to Australia’s Brisbane city. Brisbane was selected unanimously by the IOC’s 15-member executive board as the host city for the 2032 Olympics.
i.This will be the 3rd time Australia will host an Olympic game, after the Melbourne games in 1956 and Sydney games in 2000.
ii.Notably, Australia’s Queensland has recently hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games
iii.Venues of Upcoming Summer Olympic games:

2020 Olympics – Tokyo, Japan

2024 Olympics – Paris, France

2028 Olympics – Los Angeles, USA

About International Olympic Committee(IOC):
President– Dr. Thomas Bach(Germany)
Headquarters– Lausanne, Switzerland
About Australia:
World’s largest coral reef system – “Great Barrier Reef” is located over the coast of Australia
Prime Minister – Scott Morrison
Capital – Canberra

Miscellaneous

Russia Launches ‘Nauka’ Lab Module to ISS

Russia’s Space Agency Roscosmos successfully launched ‘Nauka’ (also called Multipurpose Laboratory Module) to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard Proton-M booster rocket. The rocket was launched from Russia’s space facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Nauka’s is Russia’s largest space laboratory, it will provide more room for scientific experiments and space for the crew in ISS. The 22-ton module initially scheduled to be launched in 2007 was delayed due to technical problems. Russia launched the 1st module of the ISS named ‘Zarya’ in 2000. Russia’s last module ‘Rassvet’ was sent to the ISS in 2010. ‘Nauka’ is expected to dock at ISS on July 29, 2021.
About Roscosmos:
Chief – Dmitry Rogozin
Headquarters – Moscow, Russia

DRDO successfully Tests Akash-NG Missile & Anti-Tank Guided Missile

Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) successfully tested the New Generation (NG) Surface-to-Air missile ‘AKASH-NG’ Missile for the Indian Air Force (IAF) & Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) for the Indian Army. The Akash-NG missile was flight tested from Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha. While the MPATGM missile was launched from a man portable launcher.
About Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO)
Chairman – Dr G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters – New Delhi

NASA’s new Spacecraft NEA Scout to launch in November 2021 as a part of Artemis I

National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) new spacecraft, named Near-Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout), is one of several payloads of the Artemis I program, which is expected to be launched in November 2021. It has completed all required tests and has been safely tucked inside the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

About NEA Scout:
i.It is a miniaturized spacecraft (about the size of a big shoebox), known as a CubeSat, developed under NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems Program. The CubeSat is being designed and developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Working of Cube Sat: The CubeSat will use stainless steel alloy booms to deploy an aluminum-coated plastic film sail – thinner than a human hair and about the size of a racquetball court.The large-area sail will generate thrust by reflecting sunlight.Energetic particles of sunlight, called photons, bounce off the solar sail to give it a gentle yet constant push.Over time, this constant thrust can accelerate the spacecraft to very high speeds, allowing it to navigate through space and catch up to its target asteroid.

ii.It is propelled by a solar sail measuring 925 square feet. This will be America’s first interplanetary mission using special solar sail propulsion useful for small, lightweight spacecraft.
iii.Its main mission is to fly by and collect data from a near-Earth asteroid.
iv.It’s work will take about two years and will be about 93 million miles away from Earth.
v.It is also equipped with high-grade scientific special cameras that can take pictures from ranges of 10 cm/pixels to 50 cm/pixels.

UK’s ‘Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City’ delisted from the World Heritage Site List

United Kingdom’s (UK) ‘Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City’ was delisted from the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites after marginalising losing the vote count conducted. The voting for delisting was conducted by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee Chairman Tian Xuejun during the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee that was held virtually from Fuzhou, China.
i.The Delisting proposal was favoured by 13 Countries, which is 1 vote more than the required two-third majority, while opposed by 5 (UK, Australia, Brazil, Hungary & Nigeria).
ii.Proposal for delisting the world heritage site came after overdevelopment over the region, which includes plans for constructing a new football stadium.
iii.World heritage committee recently proposed to place Australia’s Great barrier Reef in the danger category due to its deterioration caused by climate change.
Note – Te Wahipounamu park from New Zealand is the newest UNESCO World Heritage Site
Notable Points on Liverpool:
i.Liverpool was one of the World’s Major Trading Centres in the 18th & 19th centuries – with advanced facilities like dock technology, transport systems & port management.
ii.It was included into the World Heritage Site list in 2004.
iii.It is only the 3rd Site to get delisted from UNESCO’s list
Other Delisted Sites: Arabian Oryx Sanctuary from Oman, in 2007 Elbe Valley from Germany, in 2009

Former Indian Footballer Shibaji Banerjee will be Honoured with Mohun Bagan Ratna Award 2021 Posthumously

Former goalkeeper of the Indian Football team, Late Shibaji Banerjee (1950-2017), who has played for the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club (Kolkata, West Bengal) for more than a decade will be honoured with Mohun Bagan Ratna Award 2021(posthumously) at the Mohun Bagan Day Celebration which will be organised virtually on 29th July 2021. He is well known for stopping the free kick taken by Brazilian footballer Pelé during the 1977 exhibition match against New York Cosmos held in Eden Gardens, Kolkata, West Bengal. After retirement, he has served on the technical committee of Mohun Bagan.

Mohun Bagan awards 2021: i.Best Footballer Award 2021 will be given to Roy Krishna, Fijian footballer and the captain of ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League(ISL), for his performance in ISL 2020-2021 season. He won the ISL Golden ball for 2020-21.
ii.Best Cricketer Award 2021 will be given to Bengal skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran, who helped Mohun Bagan to win the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) first division One-day tournament.
iii.Best Athlete Award 2021 will be given to Athlete (hurdles & High jump) Bidisha Kundu who won the 100m hurdles and high jump in the National Championship

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Daily Current Affairs | 22nd September 2021

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