21st September 2021 Daily current Affairs

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Questions :-

1) Zayed Talwar “naval exercise held between India & which of the following countries

  1. Saudi Arabia
  2. Iran
  3. Israel
  4. UAE

Answer – UAE

2) With Which following group of countries Israel share its border with:

  1. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt
  2. Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Jordan
  3. Cyprus, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt
  4. Turkey Syria, Iraq, Yemen

Answer – 1. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt

Israel borders Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian territories of West bank and Gaza Strip it shares maritime borders with Cyprus .

3) Consider the following statements UNITE AWARE Platform

  1. It is the platform for funding startups selected through Defence India Startup Challenge
  2. India in partnership with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations has launched this platform.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  • a) 1 only
  • b) 2 only
  • c) Both 1 and 2
  • d) Neither 1 and 2

Answer – 2 only

  • India’s External Affairs Minister has announced the launch of the UNITE AWARE platformAbout UNITE AWARE Platform:
  • Launched by :  India in partnership with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Operational Support.
  • Purpose: UNITE Aware is a technology platform that utilises modern surveillance technology for real-time threat assessments to UN peacekeepers and helps them enhance their security.

Prelims Specific Important Facts  :-

1) A new study’s “treasure map” suggests that a planet several times more massive than Earth could be hiding in our solar system, camouflaged by the bright strip of stars that make up the Milky Way.

Q.Which planet was downgraded to dwarf planet status?

  • (a) Pluto
  • (b) Mars
  • (c) Earth
  • (d) Venus

Planet 9

  • Planet Nine is a hypothetical planet in the outer region of the Solar System.
  • Its gravitational effects could explain the unlikely clustering of orbits for a group of extreme trans-Neptunian objects (ETNOs), bodies beyond Neptune that orbit the Sun at distances averaging more than 250 times that of the Earth.
  • Based on earlier considerations, this hypothetical super-Earth-sized planet would have had a predicted mass of five to ten times that of the Earth, and an elongated orbit 400 to 800 times as far from the Sun as the Earth.

2)Delhi-Mumbai Expressway

  • The ambitious infra project started in the year 2018 is being constructed at a cost of Rs 98,000 crore and is scheduled for completion by March 2023.
  • States: Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra
  • Once ready, the expressway will feature a spur to Noida International Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port to Mumbai through a spur in the financial capital.
  • It will reduce travel time between certain cities to 12-12.5 hours from 24 hours.
  • The project is expected to improve connectivity to economic hubs of India like Jaipur, Ajmer, Kishangarh, Chittorgarh, Kota, Udaipur, Ujjain, Bhopal, Indore, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, and Surat.

3) Archaeological Survey of India (ASI

  • Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) discovered remains of an ancient temple dating back to the Gupta period (5th century) in Bilsarh village in Uttar Pradesh’s Etah district.
  • Note: The Bilsarh site was declared as a ‘protected’ site in 1928. Every year, the ASI undertakes scrubbing work at the protected sites.

What has the ASI discovered?

  • ASI has discovered two decorative pillars of an ancient temple dating back to the Gupta period (5th century).
  • The stairs of the temple had ‘shankhalipi’ inscriptions. The inscription possibly reads Mahendraditya which was the title of king Kumaragupta I.
  • This discovery becomes significant since only two other structural temples from the Gupta age have been found so far — Dashavatara Temple (Deogarh) and Bhitargaon Temple (Kanpur Dehat).

What is ​​Shankhalipi Script?

  • Shankhalipi Script is also called a “shell-script”. It is found in inscriptions across north-central India and dates back to between the 4th and 8th centuries. 
  • It was discovered in 1836 on a brass trident in Uttarakhand’s Barahat by English scholar James Prinsep.
  • Moreover, the script is found to be similar to the Brahmi Script as both are stylised scripts used primarily for names and signatures.
  • The inscriptions consist of a small number of characters, suggesting that the shell inscriptions are names or auspicious symbols or a combination of the two.
  • Prominent sites with shell inscriptions include the Mundeshwari Temple in Bihar, the Udayagiri Caves in Madhya PradeshMansar in Maharashtra and some of the cave sites of Gujarat and Maharashtra. In fact, shell inscriptions are also reported in Indonesia’s Java and Borneo.

4)Who is King Shankar Shah?

  • King Shankar Shah was a Gond king of Garha Kingdom in the Gondwana region of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Despite his state being under British rule during the first war of independence in 1857, the king and his son, Raghunath were saddened by the British era atrocities and kept igniting the rebellion through their poetry. 
  • As the British officers learnt about their acts, the duo was arrested and sentenced to death and on September 18, 1858. They were tied to the mouth of the cannon and blown up.
  • The locals in Jabalpur mark their martyrdom day on September 18 every year.

Important News Items

1) COVID19 vaccine export to resume –

2) Filters installed in smog tower, IIT Bombay team begins study –

  • Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers. They are usually fitted with multiple layers of air filters, which clean the air of pollutants as it passes through them.
  • Tower has large-scale air filters that draw in air through fans installed at the top before passing it through the filters and releasing it near the ground.
  • The filters installed in the tower use carbon nanofibres as a major component, and are fitted along its peripheries. The tower focuses on reducing particulate matter load.

Other examples in the world

China, which has been battling air pollution for years, has two smog towers — in its capital Beijing and in the northern city of Xi’an.

All About Smog –

  • Sulfurous smog is also called “London smog,” (first formed in London).
  • Sulfurous smog results from a high concentration of SULFUR OXIDES in the air and is caused by the use of sulfur-bearing fossil fuels, particularly coal (Coal was the mains source of power in London during nineteenth century. The effects of coal burning were observed in early twentieth century).
  • This type of smog is aggravated by dampness and a high concentration of suspended particulate matter in the air.
  • Photochemical smog is also known as “Los Angeles smog”.
  • Photochemical smog occurs most prominently in urban areas that have large numbers of automobiles (Nitrogen oxides are the primary emissions).
  • Photochemical (summer smog) forms when pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (primary pollutant) and organic compounds (primary pollutants) react together in the presence of SUNLIGHT. A gas called OZONE (Secondary pollutant) is formed.
  • Nitrogen Dioxide  +  Sunlight  +  Hydrocarbons  =  Ozone (Ozone in stratosphere it is beneficial, but near the earth’s surface it results in global warming as it is a greenhouse gas)

3) Stubble burning: govt. to spray biodecomposer in paddy fields –

Biodecomposer is a solution, which, if sprayed in fields, decomposes straw and stubble into manure. The government sees it as a solution to stubble burning and has also been urging other States to adopt it.

A biodecomposer capsule, developed by Pusa Institute, is made into a solution through a weeklong process and then sprayed on stubble and straw left behind on fields after harvesting. The Delhi government first sprayed it last year and it claimed that the results were positive.

4) President honours  Brig. Saraswati –

  • National Florence Nightingale Award 2020 on Deputy Director General of Military Nursing Service (MNS) Brig. S.V. Saraswati for her contribution to the MNS as nurse administrator, a Defence Ministry statement said.
  • The award is the highest national distinction a nurse can achieve for selfless devotion and exceptional professionalism.

5) Western Ghats offer major additions to flora –

  • The Botanical Survey of India, in its new publication Plant Discoveries 2020 has added 267 new taxa/ species to the country’s flora.
  • The 267 new discoveries include 119 angiosperms; 3 pteridophytes; 5 bryophytes, 44 lichens; 57 fungi, 21 algae and 18 microbes.
  • In 2020, 202 new plant species were discovered across the country and 65 new records were added.

Balsam blossoms –

Nine new species of balsam (Impatiens) and one species of wild banana (Musa pradhanii) were discovered from Darjeeling and one species each of wild jamun (Syzygium anamalaianum) from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and fern (Selaginella odishana) were recorded from Kandhamal in Odisha.

There are 14 new macro and 31 new micro fungi species recorded from various parts of India.

6) Climate change is a key driver of financial risk’ –

  • “Climate risks can impact the financial sector through two broad channels;
  • first physical risks which mean economic costs and financial losses resulting from the increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events and long-term climate change, and second transition risks which arise as we try to adjust towards a low-carbon economy,” M. Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI)., said in a speech at the CAFRAL Virtual Conference on Green and Sustainable Finance on September 16.
  • “It is, therefore, important to understand these risk drivers which are likely to affect the financial firms,” he added.
  • Mr. Rao said physical risk drivers are directly observable and often refer to frequent extreme weather events which inflict direct economic costs and financial losses on financial firms as well as cause a longer-term but gradual shift in climate. Such acute physical risks arise from extreme climate events such as heat-waves, landslides, floods, wildfires and storms.

Compliance cost-

Transition risks essentially reflect as compliance cost when one embarks upon adjustment to a low-carbon economy.

About CAFRAL –

The Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL) is an independent body set up by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the backdrop of India’s evolving role in the global economy, in the financial services sector and its position in various international fora. CAFRAL seeks to develop into a world class global institution for research and learning in banking and finance.

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