- Jun 16, 2021
- Blog English, Current Affairs,
World’s first wooden satellite to be launched in 2021
By the end of 2021, Arctic Astronautics, a Finnish enterprise, will launch the world’s first wooden satellite into orbit.WISA Woodsat is a cube-shaped nanosatellite planned and constructed in Finland that will be launched in November 2021 on a Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from New Zealand.
This wooden satellite will aid scientists in monitoring how wood behaves in extremes of cold, heat, radiation, and space vacuum. Wood could become a viable material for use in space if it survives well.
- Jari Makinen, the co-founder of Arctic Astronautics, designed the WISA Woodsat, a nanosatellite.
- The cube-shaped satellite is 4x4x4 inches (10x10x10 cm) in size and weighs about 2.2 pounds (1 kg).
- The WISA Woodsat satellite will aid scientists in monitoring how wood reacts to cold, heat, radiation, and space vacuum.
- They’ll be able to investigate the endurance and behaviour of plywood in space under harsh conditions.
- The WISA Woodsat was shown to be capable of surviving in orbits as high as 500-600 km during pre-flight testing.
- In November 2021, the WISA Woodsat will be launched into a polar orbit at a height of 370 miles (500-600 km) using Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket.
- The European Space Agency (ESA) has donated a set of sensors to monitor the satellite’s functioning and aid with pre-flight testing.
- Birch plywood was used in the construction of the WISA Woodsat.
- To improve its chances of surviving in space, the wood has been dried and treated.
- The plywood was cured in a vacuum chamber because conventional plywood’s composition is too damp for space use.
- For improved performance, the panels have been coated with a very thin layer of aluminium oxide.
- The wood is expected to darken in space, according to experts.
- They’ll also be looking to see if the plywood fractures throughout its journey to space.
- The satellite is made up of metal tracks that will aid in its launch into space.
- The satellite will be equipped with two cameras, one of which will be mounted on an extendable selfie stick facing the body.
- The aluminium oxide will prevent any gas from escaping into space from the plywood.
- Aluminium oxide is a chemical substance that is commonly used to encapsulate electronics. It will also protect the surface of plywood panels from atomic oxygen, which is corrosive.
China to launch first human spaceflight with three men, first since 2016
In the coming days, a Chinese spacecraft will launch from the Gobi Desert on a Long March Rocket, ferrying three astronauts to an orbiting space module for a three-month stay. It will be the first time in nearly 5 years that China sends humans into space.
Shenzhou-12, which means “Divine Vessel,” will launch the third of 11 trips needed to finish China’s space station by 2022.
- Four of these will be human-manned missions, with the potential to launch up to 12 Chinese astronauts into space, more than the 11 men and women the country has launched into orbit since 2003.
- The three individuals from China’s first and second groups of astronauts will be on this trip, according to Yang Liwei, director of China Manned Space Engineering Office.
- Deng Qingming, 55, Nei Haisheng, 56, who will be the oldest Chinese astronaut into space, and Ye Guangfu, 40, are among the astronauts speculated by space bloggers.
- Authorities usually do not reveal the names of the mission’s crew until close to or after the launch.
- Shenzhou-12’s crew will live on the Tianhe, or “Harmony of the Heavens,” a 16.6-meter-long and 4.3-meter-diameter cylinder.
- While Yang Liwei stated that no women are intended to participate in the Shenzhou-12 mission, he also stated that they are expected to participate in all subsequent missions.
- After the initial batch of 14 guys in the mid-1990s, China’s second cohort, Wang Yaping and Liu Yang were chosen in 2011.
- In 2012, Liu Yang became China’s first woman in space, and Wang Yaping, at the age of 33, became the world’s youngest astronaut.
- The Chinese astronauts have a low profile in the international community.
- Tianhe, the first and largest of China’s three space station modules, was launched in April 2021, marking the start of the country’s space station construction.
- The government plans to send a robotic cargo resupply vehicle and three more humans to the International Space Station for a six-month stay in 2021.
- China, which hopes to become a major spacefaring power by 2030, became the second country to land a rover on Mars in May 2021, two years after the first spacecraft landed on the moon’s far side.
Navy’s first 3 three indigenous submarines to be made-in-India
The first three nuclear assault submarines would be built in India by the Indian Navy and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore. The submarines will be constructed in India in 95 percent of the cases.
The Union Cabinet Committee on Security is debating a proposal costing over Rs 50,000 crore for the indigenous construction of three nuclear attack submarines by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in Visakhapatnam.
- As 95 percent of the nuclear attack submarines will be built in India, it will be a significant boost to the country’s submarine building capability.
- This would also provide the domestic defence sector, both commercial and public, a significant boost.
- The nuclear attack submarine project is planned to be completed without the need for external assistance, although if necessary, the planners may enlist the assistance of strategic partner countries.
- The project is projected to result in the construction of three submarines.
- The project will be tremendously beneficial to the economy because it will create more employment in the defence sector.
- The Indian Navy and DRDO are likely to receive authorization for three submarines first, with the option of building three more after this project is completed.
- This project is distinct from the Arihant class project, which calls for the construction of six nuclear-powered submarines capable of launching ballistic missiles.
- The Indian Navy’s proposal to build six indigenous nuclear attack submarines was one of the first major defence modernization projects approved by the Narendra Modi government shortly after it took office in 2014.
- India has made significant headway in developing its own submarine-building capacity.
- The first of the Arihant class submarine boats was commissioned a few years ago, and the second, INS Arighat, is now completing sea testing and will be commissioned soon.
- India intends to modernise its naval ships by developing 24 submarines, six of which will be nuclear attack submarines.
- It would give it a modest advantage over enemies in the Indian Ocean region and assist the Navy in maintaining regional peace.
- The first of the six conventional boats are already under construction in Mumbai as part of the Kalavati class project, and the tender for the next six larger boats will be launched soon after the Defense Ministry has given its approval.
- Under Project 76, India also aims to build six more conventional submarines, but the project will take a long time to get started.
Delta Plus variant of Covid-19
The Delta Plus or AY.1 variation of COVID-19 has mutated from the highly transmissible Delta or B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2. The novel Delta Plus variant is resistant to COVID-19 monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment.
The Delta or B.1.617.2 variation of SARS-CoV-2 was first discovered in India in October 2020, and the World Health Organization (WHO) classified it as a Variant of Concern (VoC) on May 11, 2021.
- The Delta Plus or AY.1 variation of SARS-CoV-2 is one of the newer versions of the Delta or B.1.617.2 type.
- According to Vinod Scaria, physician and scientist at the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in Delhi, the novel variant is defined by the acquisition of the K417N mutation (IGIB).
- SARS-spike CoV-2’s protein contains the mutation K417N. The spike protein facilitates the virus’s entrance into human cells.
- According to Public Health England, 63 Delta (B.1.617.2) genomes bearing the novel K417N mutation have been discovered so far on the worldwide research programme GISAID.
- According to its most recent report, the Delta plus variant was discovered in six Indian genomes as of June 7.
- The Delta or B.1.617.2 variation of SARS-CoV-2 was first discovered in India in October 2020.
- The Delta variation of SARS-CoV-2 was found to be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha or B.1.1.7 variety, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom.
- Delta has a greater infection transmission rate, with a time frame spanning from 4.5 to 11.5 days.
- The Delta or B.1.617.2 variant has been identified as a major contributor to the increase in COVID-19 cases in India during the second wave.
- Resistance to the antibody cocktail treatment is not a sign of increased disease virulence or severity.
- The blood plasma of completely vaccinated patients will also be analysed to analyse the Delta plus variation and establish its ability to evade the immune system, according to the researcher.
NOVAVAX COVID-19 vaccine shows 90% efficacy
On June 14, 2021, the US biotechnology company NOVAVAX revealed that its COVID-19 vaccine gives 100 percent protection against the disease’s mild and severe symptoms, with an overall efficacy of 90.4 percent in phase 3 trials.
Stanley C Erck, President and CEO of NOVAVAX, stated that the company is now one step closer to meeting the essential and ongoing worldwide public health demand for new vaccinations while discussing the findings of clinical trials.
- The findings show that the NOVAVAX vaccine is highly efficient and provides complete protection against COVID-19 infections in both mild and severe cases.
- The Maryland-based firm stated that it planned to apply for regulatory approval by the third quarter of 2021.
- NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate for the NOVAVAX COVID-19 virus.
- It was created using the genetic sequence of the initial SARS-CoV-2 strain, the virus that produced COVID-19.
- The NOVAVAX vaccine, unlike certain Other COVID-19 vaccines, does not need to be stored at extremely low temperatures.
- According to the company, the vaccine was stored and stable at 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius, allowing it to be distributed through existing vaccine supply chain channels.
- It will make it easier to deliver the shots and administer them in countries where they are not available.
- NOVAVAX included 29,960 people across 119 sites in the United States and Mexico for phase 3 trials to assess the vaccine’s safety, effectiveness, and immunogenicity.
- COVID-19 has a significant impact on communities and demographic groups, hence recruiting a representative population of such communities and demographic groups was particularly important.
- In the third quarter of 2021, NOVAVX plans to file for regulatory approvals.
- Following regulatory approval, the firm plans to reach a manufacturing capacity of 100 million doses per month by the end of the third quarter and 150 million doses per month by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the business.
- The availability of a second COVID-19 vaccination will undoubtedly benefit disadvantaged countries as NOVAVX works to complete its regulatory approval.
- While some wealthy countries have made headway in vaccinating their populations, underdeveloped countries are being left out of the global vaccination campaign.
- These countries’ immunisation rates lag substantially behind those of the Group of Seven industrialised nations and other wealthy nations.
- According to the World Bank, the discrepancy between low-income countries and G7 nations in terms of doses provided thus far is 73 to one.
Israel permits indoor mask dropping
As the number of COVID-19 cases in Israel declines, the Israeli government has decided to allow people to go maskless indoors starting June 15, 2021. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, the necessity for wearing masks indoors will be eliminated on June 15, signalling the end of one of Israel’s last major Coronavirus restrictions.
- In June 2021, the country had either zero or one COVID-19 death each day.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health, new infection cases have been steadily declining since a sharp drop-off in February and March 2021.
- The Israeli government had previously eliminated the requirement to wear face masks outside from April 18, 2021, due to a decrease in new COVID cases.
- While announcing the decision, the health ministry also stated that some people will still need to wear masks to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Individuals en route to quarantine, long-term care facilities or homes for the elderly, and passengers on a flight are among those who have not been vaccinated or recovered at welfare institutions.
- For the time being, the Health Ministry has also decided to exempt schools from the relaxation of restrictions.
- As the majority of Israeli children under the age of 16 have not been vaccinated, they will be obliged to wear masks in class.
- Although tourists will continue to face various limitations and particular airlines may demand masks on planes, the recent policy of dropping the mask will also apply at Ben Gurion Airport.
- The Israeli Ministry of Health will also keep updating its list of red nations from which passengers must quarantine for ten days upon their return.
- On June 13, Israel began its vaccination campaign for youngsters aged 12 to 15, with 6,00,000 children eligible for vaccination.
- The announcement came six months after Israel began its adult vaccination campaign and six months after the US Food and Drug Administration authorised the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the age group.
- At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, there were 88,000 active patients out of which 1228 were severe cases.
- However, as of June 14, 2021, there were 212 active COVID-19 cases across the country, with 29 persons in critical condition.
- Previously, to combat the rising number of COVID-19 cases, several countries made wearing masks mandatory both indoors and in public spaces.
- Israel was also one of the countries that complied with the World Health Organization’s suggestion to use medical masks.
- Israel made it necessary for its residents to wear face masks while out in public on April 12, 2020.
- Later, the government announced that face masks would be required to be worn indoors as well.
ICC Test Team Ranking 2021
On June 13, 2021, New Zealand defeated India to become the world’s top-ranked Test team. After defeating England 1-0 in the two-match Test series on the same day, the team completed the feat.
While the first test ended in a tie, New Zealand cruised to an eight-wicket victory on Day Four of the second Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham on June 13. England hasn’t lost a Test series at home since 2014.
- In the ICC Men’s Team Test Rankings, New Zealand now has 123 points and is in top place, while India has dropped to second place with 121 points.
- In the ICC Men’s Test T20, Australia is ranked third with 108 points, while England is fourth with 107 points.
- From June 18, 2021, India and New Zealand will compete in the World Test Championship at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
- New Zealand’s recent two-match Test series victory over England will boost their confidence ahead of the World Test Championship Final, which could be a negative for India.
- New Zealand is currently the best ODI team in the world, with a rating of 121, followed by Australia in second place with a rating of 118, and India in third place with a rating of 115.
- England is ranked fourth with a 115 rating, while South Africa is ranked fifth with a 107 rating.
- India last met England in a Test series at home, where the team won 3-1.
- International Cricket Council
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) is cricket’s global governing body.
- In 1909, representatives from Australia, England, and South Africa formed the Imperial Cricket Conference.
- In 1965, it was renamed the International Cricket Conference, and in 1987, it adopted its current name.
- Currently, the ICC has 104 member nations: 12 Full Members who participate in Test matches and 92 Associate Members.
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) is in charge of organising and governing cricket’s main international competitions, including the Cricket World Cup and the ICC T20 World Cup.
- It also appoints the umpires and referees for all sanctioned Test, One Day Internationals, and Twenty20 International matches.
- It promulgates the ICC Code of Conduct, which establishes professional standards of conduct for international cricket and, through its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, coordinates action against corruption and match-fixing (ACSU).
16 June,2021: Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev
The first version of the holy Sikh scripture, the Adi Granth, was compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru and was later enlarged into the Guru Granth Sahib. On Guru Arjan Dev’s 415th Martyrdom Day, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh paid tribute to him “for his tremendous sacrifice” and “commitment towards the compilation of Adi Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the construction of Sri Harmandir Sahib.” Guru Arjan Dev laid the foundation for the Harmandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, in 1588 AD.
- On June 16, 1606, Guru Arjan Dev, the Sikhs’ fifth guru, was killed. Guru Arjan Dev’s Shaheedi Diwas will be held on June 14, 2021.
- The Shaheedi Diwas, or Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day, is observed on Jeth Sudi 4 (4th day of the bright half of the Jyestha month), which falls on June 14 this year, according to the Hindu calendar.
- Guru Arjan Dev, the first Sikh martyr, was born in 1563 in Goindwal, Tarn Taran area, and was executed on the orders of Mughal emperor Jahangir.
- His growing power in northern India, as well as the spread of Sikhism, alarmed the Mughals.
- People often hold religious ceremonies on Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom day, where they read Sri Guru Granth Sahib. In Gurudwaras, langars are also distributed.
- Every year, a group of Sikh pilgrims known as the jatha travels to Pakistan to commemorate Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore.
- The jatha was supposed to leave for Pakistan on June 6 this year.
- The jatha would not be able to visit Pakistan this year to commemorate Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom since Pakistan has refused to provide permission owing to the coronavirus outbreak.
UK-Australia free trade deal post Brexit
The free trade agreement with Australia is the government’s first major agreement since the United Kingdom exited the EU. In the next few days, a final agreement in principle will be released.
The pact is considered as a step toward the United Kingdom entering the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a larger Asia-Pacific free-trade agreement.
- It is also a key entry point into the fast-growing Indo-Pacific region.
- It aims to join the CPTPP, one of the world’s largest free trade agreements, involving £9 trillion in GDP and 11 Pacific nations ranging from Australia to Mexico.
- In 2019 and 2020, the United Kingdom was Australia’s fifth-largest trading partner, with a trade partnership worth £13.9 billion ($19.6 billion) last year.
- According to the government, the agreement will increase trade and provide more chances for young people (Brits under age 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely following the agreement).
- According to the United Kingdom government, the free trade deal will reduce the cost of selling vehicles, Scotch whisky, and confectionery into Australia.
- It was also stated that the move would benefit UK industries, which employ 3.5 million people across the country.
- However, this is the first customised deal in the post-Brexit period, and it represents Britain’s worldwide ambitions.
- The expectation is that this will pave the way for new alliances outside of the EU, beginning with the CPTPP, a group of trans-Pacific states.
- They only buy 8% of our goods, and we already have agreements with the majority of the members.
- However, the ultimate goal is for crucial partners, like the United States, to join.
- Farmers in the United Kingdom are concerned that they may face increased competition from their Australian counterparts on their home turf.
- Farmers in Australia have stated that they will not be flooding the market. Because the United Kingdom is so far away, even an increase in Australian imports of 80% is insignificant.
India exports GI certified ‘Jardalu’ Mangoes to UK
The first commercial consignment of (GI) certified Jardalu mangoes from Bhagalpur, Bihar, was exported to the United Kingdom today, giving a big boost to the eastern region’s agri-exports potential.
APEDA shipped delicious and aromatic mangoes that were packaged and treated in the APEDA packhouse in Lucknow in conjunction with the Bihar government, the Indian High Commission, and Invest India.
- Jardalu mangoes from the Bhagalpur region of Bihar got GI certification in 2018 for its unusual flavour and taste.
- APEDA has begun taking steps to increase mango exports from non-traditional areas.
- A week-long Indian mango promotion programme was recently held in Bahrain, with 16 kinds of fruit on display at importer Al Jazeera group megastores, including three GI certified Khirsapati & Laxman Bhog (West Bengal) and Jardalu (Bihar).
- To encourage mango exports, APEDA has held virtual buyer-seller meetings and a festival.
- In partnership with Indian embassies, APEDA recently organised mango festivals in Berlin, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan.
- In May 2021, APEDA organised a Virtual Buyer Seller Meet in partnership with the Indian Embassy in Seoul and the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Korea.
- India has exported a batch of GI-certified Banganapalli and Suvarnarekha mangoes produced from growers in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna and Chittoor districts.
- The mangoes exported to South Korea were treated, cleaned, and delivered from an APEDA-assisted and registered packhouse in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
- It was treated using a vapour heat treatment facility and exported by IFFCO Kisan SEZ (IKSEZ).
- This was IKSEZ’s first export shipment, which is a subsidiary of IFFCO, a multi-state cooperative with 36,000 organisations as members.
- Mango is also known as the “king of fruits” in India, and ancient scriptures refer to it as Kalpavriksha (wish-granting tree).
- While mango plantations can be found in almost every state in India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka produce the majority of the fruit.
- The Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) is an apex authority in India that encourages agricultural export commerce.
- APEDA, or the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, was established by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Government of India in December 1985.
- The act took effect on February 13, 1986 (34 years ago) as a result of a notification published in the Indian Gazette.
- APEDA is in charge of promoting the export of fresh fruits and vegetables, processed foods, livestock products, and cereals.
- It serves as a vital link between farmers, warehouses, packers, exporters, surface transportation, ports, railways, airlines, and everyone else involved in the export trade, as well as the world market.
India Inter-Agency Expert Committee on Malaria and Climate (IEC)
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have collaborated with Malaria No More, a non-governmental organisation, to form an expert group to investigate and push climate-based malaria-eradication strategies in India.
The India Interagency Expert Committee on Malaria and Climate (IEC) will be made up of leading experts and researchers from the fields of health, climate, and technology.
They will help define and operationalize sophisticated climate-based malaria prediction tools tailored to the Indian context. It would be done to help the country achieve its goal of eliminating malaria by 2030.
- Malaria is one of India’s most serious public health issues.
- Through this they may investigate micro-trends and predict malaria patterns by merging meteorological data with data from the health sector, accelerating our national progress toward malaria elimination.
- The Interagency Expert Committee created today will serve as a powerful forum for achieving this goal.
- The ICMR will provide the scientific rigour required to establish robust and scalable vector-borne disease use cases.
- They are working at the ICMR to address climate-sensitive diseases through a coordinated national strategic approach on climate and health.
- Malaria and other vector-borne diseases are high-priority priorities for intervention in the health-climate agenda.
- The links between these diseases and climate variables have been widely researched in the past, and now is the time to put this knowledge to work in designing programmatic solutions to help India speed its success against these diseases.
- The IEC’s debut is part of a global programme called Forecasting Healthy Futures, which aims to build weather-data-informed plans and policies to improve health outcomes.
- It would also speed up efforts against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.
- The IEC will work to improve models such as the one created by Malaria No More in Odisha.
- It employs a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary approach to identify and prioritise areas of scalable and long-term effect to improve malaria control and prevention.
- In the tribal districts of Koraput and Malkangiri in Odisha, the forecasting model integrates advanced weather data, health information, and deep learning algorithms to create useful visualisation outputs for local decision-making.
Nato Summit, 2021
On June 14, 2021, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) convened its 31st formal meeting of chiefs of government in Brussels, Belgium. NATO Summit 2021 is also known as the NATO Summit in Brussels.
NATO leaders reviewed important topics, made decisions regarding NATO’s future, and agreed on tangible steps to adapt NATO to the NATO 2030 agenda.
- The importance of NATO in a changing geostrategic environment, developing technologies, collective defence, climate change, and security were discussed.
- At their annual meeting in Brussels, Nato leaders announced that China poses a security threat.
- It marked the first time the usually Russia-focused military alliance has stated that it must respond to Beijing’s expanding might.
- China’s “stated objectives and forceful behaviour constitute structural threats to the rules-based international order,” according to the final communique, adopted by leaders of the 30-member alliance at the request of the new US administration.
- China’s “coercive actions” – an apparent allusion to the mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, the building of its nuclear weapons, and its “frequent lack of transparency and use of disinformation” were among the concerns expressed by Nato leaders.
- The language, which is significantly harsher than the G7 statement’s China remarks, is the result of lobbying and pressure from the Biden administration.
- It is attempting to create a balance of democratic nations in reaction to Beijing’s expanding economic and military supremacy.
- G7 leaders chastised Beijing for human rights violations in the Xinjiang area, urging Hong Kong to maintain its high level of autonomy.
- It demanded a complete inquiry into the coronavirus’s origins in China.
- In response, Alliance members agreed on a new cybersecurity policy and promised to help each other for the first time in the event of “significant cyber-attacks,” reflecting Nato’s commitment of collective defence in the traditional military realm, entrenched in article 5.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
- NATO, commonly known as the North Atlantic Organization, is a military alliance made up of 30 European and North American nations.
- NATO is responsible for enforcing the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty.
- It consists of a system of collective defence in which autonomous member states agree to defend each other in the event of an external attack.
- NATO’s headquarters are in Haren, Belgium, near Brussels. NATO began with 12 members and has now grown to 30.
- North Macedonia is the organization’s newest member, having joined on March 27, 2020.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine are among the prospective members.