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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

07 June 2022 – Current Affairs

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Multinational Joint Exercise “Ex Khaan Quest 2022”

(Paper 2 International Relations)

Why in News?

Recently Indian Army Contingent Participates In Multinational Joint Exercise “Ex Khaan Quest 2022”.

Key Points –

  • On 06 june, 2022 a Multinational Peacekeeping exercise “Ex Khaan Quest 2022” featuring participation from military contingents from 16 countries has commenced in Mongolia.
  • Mr Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, the Hon’ble President of Mongolia inaugurated the Exercise in an impressive ceremony organised at the exercise location in Mongolia.
  • Indian Army is represented by a contingent from the LADAKH SCOUTS.
  • The 14 day exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, building military to military relationships, developing peace support operations and military readiness among participating nations.
  • The exercise will also enable sharing of best practices between the Armed Forces of participating nations and will include field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures and demonstration.
  • The military exercise will enhance the level of defence co-operation between Indian Army and participating countries especially with the Mongolian Armed Forces which will enhance bilateral relations between the two countries.

Source – PIB

Single Nodal Agency (SNA) Dashboard

(Paper 3 Economics)

Why in News?

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman to launch of Single Nodal Agency (SNA) Dashboard during the Iconic Week Celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations of Ministry of Finance.

Key Points –

  • Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman to launch of Single Nodal Agency (SNA) Dashboard during the Iconic Week Celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations of Ministry of Finance, in New Delhi.
  • It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Finance & Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ Iconic Week celebrations from 6th June to 12th June 2022 were launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi here today morning.
  • Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman will be the Chief Guest and Finance Secretary, Dr. T.V. Somanathan, and the Controller General of Accounts, Smt. Sonali Singh will grace the occasion along with other dignitaries.
  • It is noteworthy that the SNA Dashboard forms part of a major public financial management reform that was initiated in 2021 with regards to the manner in which funds for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) are released, disbursed and monitored.
  • This dashboard will give complete information to the ministries about the amount released by them to different states, release from the state finance department into SNA accounts, information about expenditure by agencies, interest received by banks on SNA accounts.
  • This revised procedure, now referred to as the SNA model, requires each State to identify and designate a SNA for every scheme. All funds for that State in a particular scheme will be credited in this bank account, and all expenses will be made by all other Implementing Agencies involved from this account.
  • The SNA model, therefore, ensures that allocation of funds to States for the CSS are made in a timely manner and after meeting various stipulations. Effective implementation of this Model has brought about greater efficiency in CSS fund utilization, tracking of funds, pragmatic and just-in-time release of funds to the States; ultimately all contributing to better Cash Management of the Government.
  • In order to give the stakeholders of SNA model the necessary feedback and monitoring tools in the operation of the schemes, Public Financial Management System (PFMS) has developed the SNA Dashboard.
  • The Dashboard depicts releases made to different States by Ministries, further releases made by State Treasuries to the SNA accounts, expenditure reported by the agencies, interest paid by banks to SNA accounts etc. in intelligible, informative and visually appealing graphics.
  • The programme will also have presentations on ‘Best Practices in Cash Management through SNA and Treasury Single Account (TSA)’. The presentations will be made by Joint Controller General of Accounts, State Government of Odisha and Canara Bank showcasing their experiences on the subject.

Source – PIB

Leaders in Climate Change Management Program

(Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution)

Why in News?

Recently Shri Hardeep Singh Puri launches the Leaders in Climate Change Management Program to help urban professionals champion climate action in India.

Key Points –

  • In conjunction with the World Environment Day that was observed on June 5, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and World Resources Institute (WRI) India, jointly announced ‘Leaders in Climate Change Management’ (LCCM), a practice-based learning program today.
  • It aims at building capacity among urban professionals to lead climate action across sectors and geographies in India.
  • To facilitate this face-to-face learning program, the Administrative Training Institute (ATI), Mysuru, also singed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NIUA and WRI India, becoming the first delivery partner of the LCCM program.
  • LCCM envisions capacitating 5,000 professionals, including mid to junior-level government officials and frontline workers, and preparing them to champion climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions towards a coordinated effort to achieve India’s climate commitments. The launch also marked the achievements of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs towards India’s urban climate goals.
  • The Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, launched the learning program and a half-day workshop today to build capacities among climate leaders in Indian cities.
  • LCCM is a blended learning program for urban practitioners looking to upskill and prepare themselves to deliver effective climate action. The program has four phases:-
  • the first phase- is an online learning module that can be completed over eight weeks;
  • the next includes face-to-face sessions spanning four to six days;
  • the third phase mandates participants to complete a project over six to eight months and attending exposure visits; and
  • the final phase includes networking and establishing a community of practice.
  • The online learning will be hosted on the National Urban Learning Platform (NULP), the capacity building arm of NIUA. It will also be hosted and supported by ATI, Mysuru. The program aims to sign similar MoUs with ATIs across India over the next few months.
  • Simultaneously, Mr Puri also launched the Climate Data Observatory 2.0 website, Knowledge Product on Public Spaces, Urban Outcomes Framework 2022 – Data Collection Portal, and Citizen Engagement for Urban Transport Compendium, to celebrate another milestone achieved by NIUA in the urban environment sector. The National Climate Photography Award Winners and Stage One qualifying cities for Transport 4All Innovation Challenge were also announced.

About Leaders in Climate Change Management (LCCM)

  • Leaders in Climate Change Management is a capacity-building program that seeks to build a pool of leaders to champion and lead climate action – across sectors and geographies.
  • The program has been designed and implemented through core partners, being, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), World Resources Institute (WRI) – India, United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), and Indian School of Business (ISB).

About NIUA

  • Established in 1976, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) is India’s leading national think tank on urban planning and development.
  • As a hub for the generation and dissemination of cutting-edge research in the urban sector, NIUA seeks to provide innovative solutions to address the challenges of a fast-urbanizing India, and pave the way for more inclusive and sustainable cities of the future.

About WRI India

  • WRI India, an independent charity legally registered as the India Resources Trust, provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development.
  • Its work focuses on building sustainable and liveable cities and working towards a low carbon economy. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being.
  • It is inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization.

Source – PIB

Life Campaign

(Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution)

Why in News?

On June 5,  on the occasion of World Environment Day, India’s  Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Environment-Fair Lifestyle Movement’ (LIFE) through video conferencing.

Key Points –

  • Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, on Sunday, June 5,  launched the ‘Environment-Fair Lifestyle Movement’ (LIFE)  through video conferencing on the occasion of World Environment Day.
  • With this launch, the ‘LiFE Global Call for Ideas and Papers’ has also started,  inviting   individuals, universities, think tanks, non-profit and others from all over the world to come up with excellent climate-friendly behaviour change solutions that can be expanded.
  • This idea of the  LiFE  campaign was mooted by the Prime Minister of India  during  the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow in 2021.
  • It will expand measures to promote an environmentally conscious lifestyle and  focus on ‘careful and proper use’, rather than “spending resources and spending money without thinking”.
  • LiFE’s approach is to adopt a lifestyle that suits our planet and does not harm it.
  • “Mission LiFE, drawing inspiration from the past, taking action in the present, focuses on the future.”  ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ are the basic concepts of our lives. The cyclical economy has been an integral part of our culture and lifestyle.
  • The mission has been launched by the Government of India in partnership with the United Nations, The World Resources Institute, the Centre for Social and Behavioural Change (CSBC) and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

The objective –

  • The aim of the LiFE Movement is to harness the power of collective action and to inspire individuals around the world to take simple climate-friendly actions in their daily lives.
  • In addition, under the LiFE  movement,  there will also be an effort to take advantage of the strength of the social network to influence the social norms around the climate.
  • The mission plans to create a global network  of individuals, called ‘Pro-Planet People’ (P3),  which will be a shared commitment to adopt and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.
  • Through this movement,  an attempt will be made to transform the non-responsible ‘use-and-settlement’ economy, which is currently in force, into a circular economy, thereby expanding cautious and sustainable use.

Source – PIB

“Sital Sasthi” festival

(Paper 1 Art & Culture)

Why in News?

Week-long ‘Sital Sasthi’ festival is being celebrated in Odisha.

Key Points –

  • Sital Sasthi is a sacred Hindu festival is being celebrated in Odisha.
  • This week-long special festival highlights the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
  • According to the Hindu calendar, Sital Sasthi is observed on the sixth day of the Jyestha month during the Shukla Paksha.
  • People observing this festival believe that Lord Shiva represents the scorching heat of summer while Goddess Parvati signifies the first rain. So, this holy and lavish wedding is observed for a good monsoon.
  • Sital Sasthi is a celebration wherein Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are adopted by two families, and their wedding is solemnised with the involvement of rituals. After the marriage is performed, the God and Goddess are then carried around  the city via a procession
  • During the week-long festival, devotees in large numbers take part in the most famous Sitala Sasthi Yatra that is conducted at Sambalpur in Western Odisha.
  • This festival is usually celebrated in a form of a grand carnival. Artists and individuals from different states come together and participate in the celebrations. The Sambalpur carnival, which is a popular event, attracts thousands of tourists from all over India and abroad.
  • This year, an assembly of more than 6,000 artists from across Odisha as well as other states are likely to perform at the cultural extravaganza after a gap of two years. Events like folk music, dance, and other such festivities form the chief attraction of this carnival.

Source – All India Radio

Arignar Anna Zoological Park

(Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution)

Why in News?

Recently The Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Chennai has introduced a novel method to check the littering of plastic bottles inside its premises.

Key Points –

  • Coinciding with the World Environment Day, the authorities of the state’s biggest zoo have begun collecting a deposit of ten rupees each for every bottle of water from the visitors.
  • The money is refunded if they return the empty bottle. The officials say the initiative has begun yielding good results.
  • Meanwhile, the state environment minister Siva. V. Meyyanathan and health minister Ma. Subramanian in Chennai distributed the traditional cloth bags called “Manchappai,” which means ‘yellow bags,’ to promote use of environmentally friendly carry bags instead of the harmful plastic bags.

About Arignar Anna Zoological Park –

  • Arignar Anna Zoological Park (abbreviated AAZP), also known as the Vandalur Zoo, is a zoological garden located in Vandalur, is in the southwestern part of Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • It was Established in 1855, it is the first public zoo in India.
  • It is affiliated with the Central Zoo Authority of India.Spread over an area of 602 hectares (1,490 acres), including a 92.45-hectare (228.4-acre) rescue and rehabilitation centre, the park is the largest zoological park in India.
  • The park, with an objective to be a repository of the state’s fauna, is credited with being the second wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu after Mudumalai National Park.
  • The main objectives of the park are ex-situ propagation of critically endangered species to prevent their extinction, wildlife education and interpretation aimed at a wider public appreciation of wildlife, and wildlife research to promote wildlife conservation and management.
  • The park has 81 enclosures and more than 170 species of mammals, birds and reptiles,such as the barking deer, blackbuck, sambar, sangai, nilgai, wolf, tiger, jaguar, hog deer, jackal, hyena, lion, giraffe, camel, otter, llama, elephant, and a number of monkey species such as Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, baboon, Hanuman langur and leaf-capped langur.
  • There are about 46 endangered animals of the Western Ghats, the Eastern Ghats and the Indian subcontinent such as the Nilgiri macaques, as well as other rare species including monitor lizard, chimpanzees, European brown bear, Muscovy duck, giraffe, Bengal tiger, white tiger, lemur, macaque, vulture, and star tortoises.
  • The park is also home to exotic species such as the Australian flightless bird species of emu and cassowary.
  • The park contains about 138 plant species, including cashew and eucalyptus. The dense vegetation of the park supports about 56 species of butterfly.

Source – All India Radio

World Food Safety Day

(Paper 2 Health)

Why in News?

Every year, on June 7, ‘World Food Safety Day’ is celebrated all over the world.

Key Points –

  • It is worth mentioning that the purpose of celebrating it is to make people aware of food security, who become prone to serious diseases due to consuming bad food. At the same time, it is to ensure that every person can get enough safe and nutritious food.
  • It is worth mentioning that every year the theme  is  set  to celebrate “World Food Safety Day”  .  The theme of World Food Safety Day 2022 is “Safer food, better health”.
  •  The theme for 2021  was “Safe Food Today for Healthy Tomorrow”.

importance

  • Food security ensures that every step of the food chain is completely safe from the production,  storage and distribution of the crop before the consumption of food items and that is why the importance of Food Security Day increases. 
  • According to the World Health Organization, one in 10 people get sick every year from contaminated food or bacterial food. The number of sick worldwide is nearly 600 million, of which 3 million people die. It is only to reduce this figure that special attention is paid to the quality of food items.
  • It has been nominated by the United Nations to promote food security by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization. The first State Food Safety Index has been developed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to provide safe food. Special device ‘Raman 1.0’ has also been brought into action to detect adulteration in edible oil and ghee in less than a minute.

Background –

  • First, in July 2017, at the 40thsession of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference, a  presentation was made to celebrate ‘World Food Security Day’.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO)  expressed its support to this proposal in December 2017.
  • The resolution was then placed before the second committee of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly,  which was adopted by the General Assembly (UNGA) and announced  to celebrate World Food Security Day on 7  June each year  on 20 December 2018.
  • Under this, the first World Food Safety Day was celebrated on June 7, 2019.
  • The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization work closely in collaboration with other organizations related to the region. The World Health Assembly has decided to strengthen efforts towards food security to reduce the burden of foodborne diseases in the world.

 Source- Hindusthan Times

Norovirus

(Paper 2 Health)

Why in News?

Recently two cases of norovirus have been found in Thiruvananthapuram among lower primary school students.

Key Points –

  • At least two cases of norovirus have been found in Thiruvananthapuram among lower primary school students.
  • Health department officials said the infection, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea and fever as symptoms, was diagnosed after samples were tested at a government analytical lab. More samples have been sent for examination. So far, it is believed that students got food poisoning from mid-day meals distributed at the schools.

What is norovirus?

  • Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is also sometimes referred to as the ‘stomach flu’ or the ‘ winter vomiting bug’.
  • It can be transmitted through contaminated food, water, and surfaces. The primary route is oral-faecal.
  • It is similar to diarrhoea-inducing rotavirus and infects people across age groups. Disease outbreaks typically occur aboard cruise ships, in nursing homes, dormitories, and other closed spaces.
  • According to the WHO, emerging evidence suggests that “norovirus infection is associated with intestinal inflammation, malnutrition and may cause long-term morbidity”.
  • an estimated 685 million cases of norovirus are seen annually, including 200 million cases amongst children under 5

symptoms of norovirus –

  • The initial symptoms of norovirus are vomiting and/or diarrhoea, which show up one or two days after exposure to the virus.
  • Patients also feel nauseous, and suffer from abdominal pain, fever, headaches and body aches. In extreme cases, loss of fluids could lead to dehydration.

Precautions –

  • One may get infected multiple times as the virus has different strains. Norovirus is resistant to many disinfectants and can withstand heat up to 60°C.  Therefore, merely steaming food or chlorinating water does not kill the virus. The virus can also survive many common hand sanitisers.
  • The basic precaution is also the most obvious — repeatedly washing hands with soap after using the lavatory or changing diapers. It is important to wash hands carefully before eating or preparing food. During outbreaks, surfaces must be disinfected with a solution of hypochlorite at 5,000 parts per million.
  • The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that those infected should avoid contact with others and avoid preparing food for others while sick and for two days after symptoms stop.

Treatment for norovirus –

  • The disease is self-limiting. The infection, even though it takes a lot out of the patient, normally lasts only two or three days, and most individuals who are not very young, very old, or malnourished can ride it out with sufficient rest and hydration.
  • Diagnosis is done by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. No vaccines are available for the disease.

Source – Indian Express

AGNI-4 Missile

(Paper 3 : Security, Internal Security)

Why in News?

Recently Strategic missile Agni-4 successfully test fired.

Key Points –

  • India on Monday 06 june,2022 successfully tested the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-4, which met all parameters.
  • A successful training launch of an Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile, Agni-4, was carried out from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha.
  • The successful test was part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command, it stated.
  • The missile, one of many in the Agni series of strategic missiles, has a range of over 3,500 km.

About Agni-IV Missile –

  • Agni-IV is the fourth in the Agni series of missiles which was earlier known as Agni II prime.
  • It has been developed by India’s DRDO and displayed a number of new technologies and significant improvement in missile technology.
  • The missile is light-weight and has two stages of solid propulsion and a payload with re-entry heat shield.
  • With 3,500 to 4,000 km range,it is capable of striking targets in nearly all of mainland China, if launched from northeastern part of India.
  • The missile is lighter in weight and uses a two-stage rocket engine powered by solid propellant. The Composite Rocket Motor which has been used for the first time has given excellent performance.
  • The missile system is equipped with modern and compact avionics with redundancy to provide a high level of reliability.

Source – The Hindu

CO2 levels reach a new peak,

(Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution)

Why in News?

Recently, researchers reported in their research that  in  May 2022, CO2 levels reached a new peak, 50% higher than in the pre-industrial period.

Key Points –

  • This is the first time in human history that the monthly average level of  carbon dioxide (CO2)  present in the atmosphere has reached  a record 420.78 parts per million (ppm) in May 2022.
  • This level is 50 per cent higher than before the industrial period, which is really a matter of concern. This information has been revealed in data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
  • At the same time, if you look at the data taken by NOAA from the observatory at the summit of its Hawaiian islands, the average measurement of carbon dioxide has been recorded at 420.99 ppm, which is 1.8  ppm more than in 2021.
  • This is the first time in the last 4 million years that the average level of carbon dioxide has been recorded so high in a single month. According to scientists, before the industrial revolution until the end of the 19th century, the level of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere  was 280 parts per million (ppm), but since then as humans have progressed, it has also had a huge impact on the atmosphere, as a result of which the level of this harmful gas present in the atmosphere today is increasing rapidly.

The level of carbon dioxide (CO2)  present in the atmosphere –

  • According to scientists, for about 6000 years of human history before the Industrial Revolution, the level of CO2 was around 280 ppm. Since then humans have emitted about 1.5 trillion tonnes of CO2. Part of which will continue to warm the atmosphere for the next thousands of years. 
  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were recorded at 417.64 ppm in May 2020. Significantly, this is when the global economic slowdown caused by the lockdown had led to a 7 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. In May 2021, its level was recorded at 419.13 ppm.
  • The Mauna Lowa Observatory in Hawaii, US, has been tracking the level of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere since the 1950s, according to it, where the annual average of the amount of carbon dioxide in 1959 was 315.97, which increased by 92.55 points in 2018 to an all-time high of 408.52.
  • In 2014, for the first time, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere crossed 400 ppm. If we look at its average, from every 1959 to 2018, the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere was increasing at the rate of 1.57 ppm every year.

How dangerous is the rising level of CO2 to the earth ?

  • According to some scientists, more than 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is dangerous from the point of view of climate change. To a great extent, emissions from the burning of industries and fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are largely responsible for this gas growing in the atmosphere. At the same time, agriculture, rapid forest destruction, transportation and power generation are also the reasons for the increasing level in the environment.
  • Carbon dioxide, along with other gases, absorbs the heat reflected from the earth, which is causing an increase in global temperatures. If these gases do not do this, this heat will go into space. Due to this, the increase in global temperature is affecting the climate.
  • As a result,  the possibility of extreme weather events like floods, droughts, storms, thunderstorms on the earth has increased. Because of this, it is raining a lot, so somewhere the drop of water is not falling. Not only this, cyclones are also becoming more destructive with time.
  • Not only the earth, this gas growing in the atmosphere is also affecting the oceans and their ecosystems.  This is where the temperature of the sea surface is increasing. At the same time, its water level is also increasing. As a result, the risk of flooding has also increased. Not only this, due to this, the water of the seas is becoming much more acidic, due to which there is a shortage of oxygen in the seas. Because of this, the lives of marine animals have been put in danger.
  • In this regard, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinard says that the way we humans are changing our climate, our economy and infrastructure have to adapt to it. We can see the climate changes around us and its impacts every day.
  • The carbon dioxide being measured in Mauna Loa and its steady rise is a reminder that we need to be much more prepared for changes in the climate. At the same time, serious steps have to be taken immediately to deal with it.

Source – Down to Earth


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