14 July 2021 Current Affairs English

  1. Indian Navy ramps maritime arsenal with Boeing’s 10th P-8I anti-submarine aircraft.

  • Boosting the maritime capabilities, the Indian Navy has obtained the 10th P-8I anti-submarine warfare aircraft from America-based aerospace company Boeing.
  • This is the second of the four additional P-8I aircraft contracted by India under an optional clause inked in 2016.
  • In 2009, the first contract was signed by the Defence Ministry for eight P-8I aircraft. Later in 2016, the second pact was inked for four additional P-8I aircraft.The remaining two are expected to be delivered later this year.
  • In addition to unmatched maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the P-8I has been deployed to assist during disaster relief and humanitarian missions.
  • Notably, the Indian Navy is the first international fleet, which operated P-8I along with the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force.

Significance of P81 aircraft

  • This aircraft was designed to protect vast coastline and territorial waters of India. It has the capability to conduct anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW), maritime patrol, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Role of Boeing

  • Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation involved in designing, manufacturing and selling airplanes, rockets, rotorcraft, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles across the world. Boeing extends its support to India’s growing P-8I fleet by providing training to crews, spare parts, ground support equipment and field service representative support. It also provides an integrated logistics supports which enables a high state of fleet readiness at lowest possible cost.
  1. BHIM-UPI in Bhutan.

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Finance Minister of Bhutan Lyonpo Namgay Tshering jointly launched BHIM-UPI in Bhutan.
  • ​BHIM-UPI is one of the brightest spot and an achievement for digital transactions in India during the time of COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100 million UPI QRs have been created in the last five years and BHIM-UPI in 2020-21 has processed 22 billion transactions worth Rs 41 lakh crore.
  • This launch fulfils the commitment made by the two countries during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Bhutan in 2019. Following that visit, India and Bhutan have already enabled inter-operability in the acceptance of Rupay cards in each other’s countries.
  • With today’s launch of BHIM-UPI in Bhutan, the payment infrastructures of the two countries are seamlessly connected.
  • It will benefit a large number of tourists and businessmen from India who travel to Bhutan each year.
  • This will enhance the ease of living and ease of travelling through cashless transactions at the touch of a button
  • Bhutan is the first country to adopt UPI standards for its QR deployment, and the first country in our immediate neighbourhood to accept mobile based payments through the BHIM App.

Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)

  • It is an Indian mobile payment App developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and named after B. R. Ambedkar. It was launched on December 30, 2016. This app facilitates e-payments directly through banks and supports all Indian banks which use UPI.
  1. Bihar tops list of states with maximum deaths due to lightning strikes since 2019.

  • Bihar witnessed a jump of 81% in such deaths from 221 deaths reported during April 2019 and March 2020 to 401 during April 2020 and March 2021
  • Bihar saw a 168% increase in lightning strikes in 2020-21, followed by Haryana 164%, Puducherry 117%, Himachal Pradesh 105%, and West Bengal 100%.
  • Lightning in India has appeared as the biggest cause of death by forces of nature in the country.

According to India’s second annual Lightning Report,

  • Bihar has reported the most deaths due to lightning between April 1, 2020- March 31, 2021 (401 deaths), followed by Uttar Pradesh ( 238 deaths), Madhya Pradesh (228), Odisha (156), and Jharkhand (132), respectively.
  • Other states reported less than 100 deaths in the same period, as per the report.
  • Majorly, states have reported a decline in deaths due to thunderbolt strikes between 2019 and 2020, barring Bihar.
  • Instead, Bihar witnessed a jump of 81% in such deaths from 221 deaths reported during April 2019 and March 2020 to 401 during April 2020 and March 2021.
  • Lightning is a huge spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground.
  • There are three kinds of lightning–Inter-cloud; Intra-cloud, and Cloud-to-ground. As per the report, humans are killed because of cloud-to-ground lightning.
  • According to the report, the most number of deaths are due to people standing under isolated tall trees.

How to minimise deaths due to lightning

  • “It is recommended that states should undertake lightning micro-zonation for geographical region-wise precise handling of the risk. The Lightning Risk Management programme for each state has to be customised as per seasonality, intensity, and frequency of lightning,” the report said.
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) also does lightning forecasts and gives colour-coded warnings for incidents.
  1. India to display relics of St. Ketevan.

  • Almost 400 years after she was murdered in present day Iran, relics of St. Queen Ketevan that were found in Goa in 2005 are likely to be put on display in India as well as her native Georgia, according to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials.
  • On July 10, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar handed over one part of the relics to Georgia as a gift from India. According to senior ASI officials with knowledge of the matter, parts of the bone of the right arm were found at St. Augustine Church in Old Goa in 2005.
  • Queen Ketevan was killed in 1624 in Shiraz for not converting to Islam and parts of her remains were brought to Goa by Augustinian monks. Revered as a martyr, her relics remained lost till 2005 as the St. Augustine Church collapsed in 1842, another official said. A DNA analysis by the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, confirmed their authenticity in 2013.

 Public display

  • The official said the larger part of the relic remained with the ASI in Goa and would be publicly displayed for the first time. The smaller part had been handed over to Georgia, where it was likely to be displayed publicly with the citation that it was a “gift from people of India to people of Georgia”.
  • The larger part of the relic had been sent to Georgia for an exhibition for six months in 2017.
  1. Deepak Kabra becomes first Indian gymnastics judge at Olympics.

  • Deepak Kabra has become the first Indian to be selected for judging the gymnastics competition of the Olympic Games.
  •  Kabra will be seen officiating the men’s artistic gymnasts at the Tokyo Games, which gets underway on July 23.
  •  The 33-year-old from Maharastra took to the sport quite late and soon realised his fundamentals were not strong enough to make it big as an athlete.
  •  says Kabra, I knew I didn’t have a future as an athlete, my fundamentals were not strong but I had the passion so I started judging. My coach Kaushik Bediwala was also a judge, so I took inspiration from him and soon took a course and topped it in 2009.”
  •  The 2010 Commonwealth Games in India was his first international assignment and Kabra went on to become the first Indian judge to officiate in the 2014 Asian Games and Youth Olympics.
  •  He also officiated as a judge in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2018, Youth Olympics in Argentina, besides other international events such as World Cups.

 6. Sher Bahardur Deuba sworn in as the new PM of Nepal .

  • Sher Bahadur Deuba took oath as the Prime Minister of Nepal on Tuesday, a day after the country’s Supreme Court overturned the dissolution of the House of Representatives and said that Deuba must be appointed PM.
  • President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office to Deuba at a ceremony held at her office on Tuesday evening. Deuba, 75, president of the Nepali Congress, was sworn in as Prime Minister for the fifth time.
  • The Supreme Court on Monday overturned Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli’s May 21 decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and ordered the appointment of Deuba as prime minister. The five-member Constitutional Bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana said that Oli’s claim to the post of prime minister was unconstitutional.
  • Although the apex court’s order has paved the way for Deuba to become a new prime minister, for now, Deuba will have to secure majority votes in Parliament to survive as the prime minister for the remaining term of the 275-member House.
  1. INDIA’S FIRST GREEN HYDROGEN MOBILITY PROJECT.

       

  • REL, a 100% subsidiary of NTPC, signed a MoU with Union Territory of Ladakh and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) to setup the country’s first Green Hydrogen Mobility project. The signing of the MoU was also marked with the inauguration of NTPC’s first solar installations in Leh in form of solar trees and a solar car port.
  •  NTPC has planned to ply 5 hydrogen buses, to start with, in the region and the company will be setting up a solar plant and a green hydrogen generation unit in Leh towards this end. This will put Leh as the first city in the country to implement a green hydrogen based mobility project. This would be zero emission mobility in true sense.
  •  NTPC has been aggressively pushing for greening its portfolio and green hydrogen project is another step towards achieving low carbon footprint. NTPC has also been promoting usage of green hydrogen based solutions in sectors like mobility, energy, chemical, fertilizer, steel etc.
  • NTPC has recently revised its target of achieving 60GW renewables capacity by 2032, almost doubling the earlier target. Recently, NTPC has commissioned India’s largest floating solar project of 10MW at Vishakhapatnam.
  •  The MoU will enable NTPC to help Ladakh develop a carbon free economy based on renewable sources and green hydrogen. This is also in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of a ‘carbon neutral’ Ladakh.
  1. Yashpal Sharma, 1983 World Cup winning cricketer, passes away.

  • Best remembered for his exploits in the 1983 World Cup, Yashpal Sharma succumbed to a massive heart attack on Tuesday morning. He was 66.
  •  Known for his gritty batting, immaculate fielding and brisk running between the wickets, Yashpal returned home from his morning walk and collapsed. He is survived by wife, two daughters and a son.
  •  During a career between 1973 and 1993, Yashpal played Ranji Trophy for Punjab (47 matches), Haryana (14) and Railways (6).
  • In an international career from 1978 to 1985, Yashpal was never out for a duck in 42 ODIs. During his 37-Test career that began at Lord’s, Yashpal’s 140 against England at Chennai in 1982, was the highpoint.
  •  His top-score was part of a 316-run stand with wrist-artist G. Viswanath who scored a career-high 222. Yashpal “learnt by watching the master at work” as the duo batted throughout the second day.
  •  Yashpal leaves behind memories of his modest, yet memorable, contributions in a triumph that changed the face of Indian cricket forever.

 9. Google hit with EUR 500 million fine by France’s Competition Authority.

  • Google has been hit with a 500 million euros fine by France’s Competition Authority for failing to negotiate in good faith with news organisations over the use of their content.
  • The authority accused Google of not taking an order to do so seriously. The fine is the latest skirmish in a global copyright battle between tech firms and news organisations.
  • Last year, the French Competition Authority ordered that Google must negotiate deals with news organisations to show extracts of articles in search results, news and other services.
  • Google was fined because, in the authority’s view, it failed to do this.

Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market

  • The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market is a European Union (EU) directive which has been adopted and came into force on 7 June 2019. It is intended to ensure “a well-functioning marketplace for copyright”.
  • It extends existing European Union copyright law and is a component of the EU’s Digital Single Market project.
  • In 2019, France became the first EU country to transpose a new Digital Copyright Directive into law. The law governed so-called neighbouring rights which are designed to compensate publishers and news agencies for the use of their material.
  1. EU approves Military Training Mission in Mozambique to support armed forces there to protect civilian population.

  • The European Union has approved a Military Training Mission in Mozambique to support armed forces there to protect the civilian population.
  • It aims to train and support the military in restoring security to northern Cabo Delgado, which has been plagued by extreme violence amid Jihadist attacks since 2017.
  • The mission will involve military training, including operational preparation, specialised training in counter-terrorism and training and education in the protection of civilians. Its mandate will initially last for two years.
  • During this period, its strategic objective will be to support the capacity building of the Mozambican Armed Forces units that will form part of a future rapid reaction force, a Council of the European Union statement noted.
  • Over the last three years, more than 2,800 people have died in the violence which has forced about 9,00,000 others from their homes.

Cabo Delgado

  • Cabo Delgado is the northernmost province of Mozambique.
  • As well as bordering the neighbouring country of Tanzania, it borders the provinces of Nampula and Niassa.
  • The region is an ethnic stronghold of the Makonde tribe, with the Makua and Mwani as leading ethnic minorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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