Current Affairs : 21 June 2021

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  • Jun 21, 2021
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Current Affairs : 21 June 2021

Third wave is unlikely to disproportionately affect children : WHO- AIIMS survey

According to a seroprevalence research undertaken by the World Health Organization and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the anticipated third wave of COVID-19 in India is unlikely to disproportionately harm children over adults.

During a media conference, Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, stated that the WHO-AIIMS survey showed that seropositivity in people under and over the age of 18 is about similar.

Highlights

  • Seropositivity rates in urban areas are 78% for those under the age of 18 and 79% for those over the age of 18. 
  • Seropositivity rates in rural regions are 56% for individuals under the age of 18 and 63% for those over the age of 18. 
  • The survey results suggest that the youngsters were infected, but it was a mild infection, according to Dr. VK Paul. 
  • During the likely third wave of COVID, he suggested that only isolated cases of infection in youngsters may emerge. 
  • According to the WHO-AIIMS seroprevalence study, the SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity rate among children was high and equivalent to that of adults.
  • The poll was done with a total sample size of 10,000 people in five different states. 
  • For the outcomes of the midterm study, data from around 4,500 individuals from four Indian states was collected. More information is expected in the following two to three months. 
  • The study discovered a relatively high seroprevalence of 74.7 percent in resettlement colonies in South Delhi’s metropolitan districts with a particularly packed population. 
  • In fact, the seroprevalence was the highest ever recorded in any sero-assembly to date. 
  • Dr. Puneet Misra, Professor of Community Medicine at AIIMS, New Delhi, who headed the survey, revealed that, even before the second wave, the study found that children under the age of 18 in South Delhi had the same seroprevalence (73.9%) as those over the age of 18 (74.8%). 
  • After the severe second wave, locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (Faridabad) may have greater seroprevalence, according to the study. 
  • Because children in Delhi’s congested metropolitan neighbourhoods already have high seroprevalence, reopening schools may not be a terribly risky idea.

Ebrahim Raisi – Iran’s 8th President elected 

Ebrahim Raisi, an ultra-conservative cleric and head of the judiciary in Iran, has been elected as the country’s eighth president. On June 19, 2021, the country’s interior minister verified this. Ebrahim Raisi received 61.95% of the vote in the last Presidential Elections, according to the ministry. 

The turnout for the elections was 48.8%, the lowest for a presidential election since the 1979 revolution.

Highlights

  • Ebrahim Raisi will assume office in early August, succeeding moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who was barred by the Iranian constitution from seeking re-election for a third consecutive term. 
  • After Raisi’s victory, he complimented the people on their choice.
  • Raisi received 28,933,004 votes, while Mohsen Rezaei, a former Revolutionary Guard commander, came in third with 3,412,712 votes.
  • Moderate Abdolnasswer Hemmati received 2,427,201 votes, while conservative Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi received 999,718 votes. 
  • With 3,726,870 votes cast in the Presidential election, void votes came in second place for the first time since the Islamic Republic’s founding. 
  • Prior to the announcement of Raisi’s victory, Mohsen Rezaei, Abdolnaser Hemmati, and Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi had all conceded defeat.
  • Ebrahim Raisi is the first Iranian president to be sanctioned by the US before even taking office, as he was designated in 2019. 
  • In 2019, the US placed Ebrahim Raisi on a no-fly list for his role in the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners, the 2009 Green Movement protests, and the administration of oversight over the executions of those who were juveniles at the time of their crime.

About Raisi

  • Ebrahim Raisi was born and raised in Mashhad, Iran’s northeastern metropolis, which is a major religious centre for Shia Muslims and the site of the grave of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia religious leader.
  • He studied under Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei and other famous Muslim intellectuals in Iran. 
  • He began his career as a prosecutor for several counties before being appointed deputy prosecutor in Tehran in 1985. 
  • In March 2016, he advanced in the legal system and was appointed by the supreme leader as the caretaker of the Astan-e Quds Razavi, Imam Reza’s influential mausoleum. 
  • He ran for president against Rouhani in 2017, but received only 38 percent of the votes.

India to host the virtual BRICS Summit on June 22-23.

India will hold a summit on Green Hydrogen Ideas, at which BRICS countries will share their initiatives and debate how to advance them. On June 22-23, the online event will be held through video conference. 

The virtual summit, which will be hosted by global energy giant National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), will bring together the brightest minds, policymakers, and important stakeholders from the BRICS countries.

Highlights

  • They’ll deliberate and talk about the future of hydrogen in the energy mix for a long time. 
  • On the first day, officials from each country will present their individual hydrogen-related projects as well as their long-term ambitions.
  • The second day will feature panel talks on different countries’ strategies for incorporating hydrogen into their overall energy policy framework. 
  • The discussions will cover finance alternatives for new green hydrogen technologies as well as the institutional support required to provide the necessary ecosystem for the technology to thrive. 
  • As the world swiftly proceeds to decarbonize the whole energy system, the Ministry of Power observed that hydrogen is positioned to play a critical role and build on the rapid scale-up of renewable resources around the world.
  •  Green Hydrogen is hydrogen that is created by electrolysis with renewable energy and has no carbon footprint.
  • This provides hydrogen an advantage over other fuels in terms of unlocking new green applications. 
  • However, there are problems in terms of technology, efficiency, financial sustainability, and scaling up, which the summit will seek to address, according to a press statement from the ministry. 
  • Green hydrogen can be used in a variety of ways. Ammonia and methanol are examples of green chemicals that can be used directly in existing applications such as fertilisers, mobility, power, chemicals, and shipping. 
  • To acquire universal adoption, green hydrogen mixing of up to 10% may be used in CGD networks.

Essar Power’s Mahan project in Singrauli to be acquired by Adani Power Limited

Adani Power Limited (APL), the country’s largest private power producer, would purchase Essar Power’s 1,200 megawatt (MW) Mahan Project in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli area. 

On June 17, a Resolution Professional of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) issued a Letter of Intent to Adani Power, according to a filing on stock exchanges by Adani Group. 

Highlights

  • The Mahan power station, operated by Essar Power, supplies electricity via the Mahan-Sipat transmission line and is also connected to a railway siding 18 kilometres away for the supply of coal and other raw materials. 
  • Adani Power is expected to spend close to Rs 3,000 crore on the Mahan Project, according to industry insiders.
  • The transaction’s completion will be contingent on the NCLT’s approval and the fulfilment of the Resolution Plan’s conditions precedent. 
  • The development comes at a time when power demand is expected to rise in tandem with the recovery of economic activity, as COVID-19 instances have begun to decline in recent weeks. 
  • The Adani Group has been buying up power producing assets all around the country. 
  • Softbank and Bharti Group sold SB Energy’s solar and wind power portfolio to Adani Group’s renewable energy business, Adani Green Energy, in the month of May.
  • SB Energy’s portfolio included solar projects with a capacity of 4,180 MW, wind-solar hybrid projects with a capacity of 450 MW, and wind power projects with a capacity of 324 MW. 
  • With a portfolio of approximately 24,000 MW in various phases of development, AGEL has emerged as one of the leading renewable energy firms. 
  • Adani Power’s thermal project portfolio spans Gujarat, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, with a total capacity of 12,500 MW. In Jharkhand, it is also commissioning a 1,600 MW facility. 
  • With the addition of 1,200 MW of generation assets, the business will further solidify its leadership position in the power sector.
  • Essar Power’s Mahan project, which now has two 600 MW units, can be enlarged to 1,800 MW by adding another unit.
  •  Essar Power began construction on two 600 MW units in late 2012 and mid-2017. 
  • The steep decline in demand caused by the nationwide lockdown enforced last year to battle COVID-19 had an impact on the company’s performance in FY 2020-21. 
  • However, its consolidated total income for fiscal 2020-21 was slightly higher at Rs 28,150 crore, compared to Rs 27,842 crore in the previous fiscal year. 
  • Its overall comprehensive income after tax for the fourth quarter of 2020-21 was Rs 18 crore, compared to a loss of Rs 1,299 crore in the previous quarter.

Max Verstappen wins F1 French Grand Prix

On the penultimate lap, Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen passed Lewis Hamilton to win the French Grand Prix and increase his lead over his title challenger to 12 points. 

On Lap 52, Verstappen used the DRS technology to catch Hamilton and pass him on the inside before speeding away to claim his third victory of the season and 13th overall. 

Highlights

  • Red Bull, who has never beaten Mercedes on the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France, had a terrific day thanks to a bonus point for the quickest lap. 
  • After seven races, Verstappen has 131 points to Hamilton’s 119. Sergio Perez of Red Bull snuck past a despondent Valtteri Bottas to take third place and extend Red Bull’s constructors’ championship lead.
  • Verstappen took pole position in front of Hamilton and his teammate Bottas. 
  • Verstappen got out cleanly, but then made a rookie mistake by clipping the curb on Turn 1 and handing the lead to Hamilton.
  • He made up for it at the end of another thrilling race, the Austrian GP, which takes place on Red Bull’s home circuit in a week.

French Grand Prix

  • The French Grand Prix, formerly known as the Grand Prix de l’ACF, is an annual Formula One World Championship race staged by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. 
  • It is one of the world’s oldest motor events, as well as the world’s first “Grand Prix.” 
  • Due to unfavourable financial circumstances and venues, it was discontinued shortly after its centennial in 2008, after 86 races had been held. 
  • In 2018, the event was reintroduced to the Formula One calendar, and it was held at Circuit Paul Ricard.

A Connecticut aquarium to auction off chance to name 3 beluga whales

To raise money for their care and to offset the cost of shipping them from Canada, a Connecticut aquarium plans to sell off the chance to name three of its five newly arrived beluga whales.

The Sea Research Foundation has teamed up with Guernsey’s, a New York-based auction house, to organise a fundraising auction on Aug. 19 at the Mystic Aquarium, which it owns and operates, according to President and CEO Stephen Coan.

Highlights

  • The aquarium intends to raise $4 million at the auction, which will feature donated art, possibly a yacht or vintage automobile, and some unique experiences like instructive dive visits with scientists to destinations like the Atlantic Ocean’s undersea Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. 
  • The aquarium will spend around $5 million per year to care for the beluga whales. 
  • This includes around $250,000 per year for each animal’s food and veterinary care, as well as costs connected with maintaining the habitat and conducting research.
  • Last month, the organisation spent millions of dollars transferring the whales from their previous home at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, aboard a C-130 cargo plane, using custom-made stretchers and special tanks.
  • Mystic Aquarium, which specialises in beluga research, spent months obtaining the necessary approvals from both countries and overcoming opposition from animal rights groups. 
  • The auction announcement comes on the same day that the three current beluga whales — Kela, Juno, and Natasha — were fully incorporated into the main area of the aquarium’s 750,000-gallon beluga exhibit.

21 June,2021: International Yoga Day

Every year on June 21, the International Day of Yoga is commemorated with zeal. This year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the seventh such gathering at 6:30 a.m., marking the start of International Yoga Day 2021. 

This year’s International Day of Yoga theme is ‘Yoga for Wellness,’ which is in line with contemporary concerns.

Highlights

  • Due to its global presence preparations for International Yoga Day normally begin three to four months in advance.
  • It would finally culminate in a magnificent programme in which millions of people gather to commemorate the day’s spiritual significance.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi originally proposed a UN-mandated International Day of Yoga during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2014. 
  • Prime Minister Modi described Yoga as an “invaluable gift of India’s ancient culture” and advocated for “harmony between man and nature” through it in his speech. 
  • This initiative received support from 177 countries, the biggest number of co-sponsors ever for a UNGA Resolution of this kind.
  • The event included holistic health, Ayurvedic, and nature-based wellness goods from Tribes India (TRIFED) and other Indian firms, in keeping with this year’s global theme, Yoga for Wellness. 
  • The kiosks drew a big crowd of people who were interested in learning more about the distinctiveness of Indian tribal, Ayurvedic, and natural items. 
  • The day-long yoga festival allowed both experienced and novice yogis to bring their mats to the landmark public area and participate in a free yoga class. 
  • The Consulate General presented a bag of TRIFED items as well as some wellness products made in India.

21 June, 2021 : International day of the celebration of the solstice

The International Day of the Solstice Celebration was declared by the United Nations General Assembly on June 21. It is thought that the celebration of the solstice reflects the global unification of cultural legacy. 

The solstice happens when the sun’s course is stationary at a northern or southern boundary before reversing direction. The Summer Solstice, which occurs around June 21 each year, and the Winter Solstice, which occurs around December 21, are the two solstices that occur each year.

Highlights

  • The solstice is when the Sun is at its greatest distance from the Earth, while the equinox is when space is at its smallest.
  •  For Christians, Muslims, and other religions, the solstice and equinox have different meanings. 
  • A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun reaches its most northerly or southerly day-arc relative to the equator.
  •  It is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sister (“to stand still”) because the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) appears to “stand still” at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.

Guruprasad Mohapatra passes away

Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary of the Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), died of Covid-19-related complications. He was 59 years old at the time. He was appointed to the DPIIT in August 2019 as a Gujarat cadre 1986-batch IAS officer. 

According to a PTI report, he was hospitalised at AIIMS in Delhi in mid-April and is the first serving secretary of the Government of India to succumb to the ailment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several senior ministers expressed their sorrow at the death of Mohapatra.

Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade

  • DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade) is an Indian central government department that reports to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 
  • It is in charge of developing and implementing promotional and developmental measures for the industrial sector’s growth, while keeping in mind national priorities and socio economic goals. 
  • Individual administrative ministries are responsible for the production, distribution, development, and planning aspects of the industries assigned to them, while the DPIIT is in charge of overall industrial strategy. 
  • It is also in charge of enabling and expanding the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) flows.
  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion was renamed to Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on January 27, 2019, as internal trade was added to its mandate.

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