Current Affairs 2021: 5 June 2021

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  • Jun 05, 2021
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Current Affairs 2021: 5 June 2021

5 June 2021: World Environment Day

Every year 5 June is celebrated as World Environment Day. The main purpose of celebrating this day is to make people aware about the damage caused by pollution due to environmental exploitation.

Higlights

  • The theme of World Environment Day 2021 is ‘Restoring the Ecosystem’.
  • This topic is related to restoring the ecosystem by planting trees and giving new life to the forests.
  • This year Pakistan has been made the global host of World Environment Day.
  • The initial discussion about World Environment Day took place in 1972 during the Conference on Human Environment.
  • After 2 years of this, World Environment Day is organized every year since 1974.
  • The celebration of World Environment Day started in Sweden’s capital Stockholm.
  • The foundation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was laid in this first environmental conference.

About the United Nations

  • The United Nations was established 75 years ago on 24 October 1945. It has its headquarter in New York, United States.
  • Its current Secretary-General is Antonio Guterres. He took over as the ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations on 1 January 2017.
  • The total number of member states of the United Nations is 193.
  • It has a total of 6 official languages. These include English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin and Russian.

Center amends pension rules

The Pension Rules for Civil Servants were revised by the Centre, making it illegal for retired officials from intelligence or security-related organisations to disseminate any information about their organisations without first obtaining permission from the appropriate government. The retired officials will be required to sign a commitment to that effect, and their pensions may be withheld or revoked if they do not follow the guidelines.

The ban is supposed to affect retired police chiefs and intelligence agency personnel who have written a book or write regular pieces for newspapers and magazines.

Highlights

  • No government servant shall, without prior clearance from the Competent Authority, work in any Intelligence or Security-related organisation listed in the Second Schedule of the Right to Information Act, 2005 (22 of 2005).
  • It shall not publish in any form, whether while in service or after retirement, any information, material, or knowledge related to the organization’s domain and obtained from working there.
  • It makes it illegal for retired officials to share sensitive material “publication of which would jeopardise India’s sovereignty and integrity, as well as the country’s security, geopolitical, scientific, or economic interests, or relations with other countries.”
  • The Central Civil Services (Pension) Amendment Rules, 2020 update rule 8 (3A) regarding pensions contingent on future good behaviour.
  • The retiring officials will be required to sign “form 26,” which is a legal agreement not to reveal such information in the public realm.
  • Sensitive material that might jeopardise India’s sovereignty and integrity, its security, geopolitical, scientific, or economic interests, or its relationship with a foreign state, or lead to the incitement of an offence if disclosed.

Current pension rules

  • Government employees’ pensions are already tied to their post-retirement behaviour. “Future good behaviour shall be an implied condition of every grant of pension and its continuation…” reads Rule 8 of the CCS Pension Rules.
  • If a pensioner is convicted of a significant crime or is found guilty of considerable misbehaviour, the appointing authority may withhold or revoke a pension or a portion of it, permanently or for a set amount of time, by order in writing.
  • The term “grave misconduct” refers to the communication or disclosure of any secret official code or password, as well as any sketch, plan, model, article, note, document, or information, obtained while serving in the government, to jeopardise the general public’s interests or the state’s security.

4th June 2021: International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

Every year on June 4th, the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is commemorated worldwide. The United Nations’ commitment to protecting children’s rights is reaffirmed on this day. This day honours the suffering of children throughout the world who have been subjected to physical, mental, and emotional abuse. The primary goal of today’s celebration is to raise awareness about the agony and suffering experienced by victims as youngsters.

Highlights

Graca Machel Report

  • Graça Machel, the first Minister of Education and Culture of independent Mozambique, submitted a report to the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, highlighting the depth of the harm caused by violent wars to children.
  • Machel was well-known for her humanitarian efforts, notably with refugee children, for which she earned the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Nansen Refugee Award (UNHCR).
  • On February 20, 1997, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 51/77 resolution in response to the Machel report. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children must be protected from all types of exploitation, violence, and sickness.

Cabinet approves MOU between Maldives and India on cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was informed of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of Sustainable Urban Development signed between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) of the Government of India and the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure of the Government of Maldives. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed in February 2021.

A Joint Working Group (JWG) would be formed under the MoU to design and implement cooperation programmes, according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The Joint Working Group will convene once a year, in the Maldives or India, on alternate years.

Highlights

  • The Memorandum of Understanding will encourage robust, deep, and long-term bilateral collaboration between the two nations in Sustainable Urban Development.
  • The MoU is anticipated to generate jobs in sectors such as urban planning, smart cities development, solid waste management, affordable housing, urban green mobility, urban mass rapid transportation, and smart cities development.
  • The MoU takes effect on the date of signature by the two contractual parties, which is February 20, 2021, and will last indefinitely.
  • The MoU’s goals are to facilitate and strengthen technical cooperation between India and the Maldives in the areas of sustainable urban development.
  • These also include urban planning, smart cities development, solid waste management, affordable housing, urban green mobility, urban mass rapid transit, smart cities development, and any other related area that the contracting parties agree on it.

Agreement between India and Maldives

  • EXIM Bank of India and Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation have signed a letter of intent for 2,000 social housing units.
  • This shows that Indian investors are becoming more interested in the Maldives.
  • India and the Maldives have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the Geydhoshu Masplant at Noonu Kendhikulhudhoo.
  • The agreement would offer Indian grant support towards constructing small-scale fish processing units in the Maldives under the High Impact Community Development Projects Scheme.
  • The Second Amendatory Dollar Credit Line Agreement was also signed between the EXIM Bank of India and the Maldives government.
  • It will use the remaining funds from the USD 40 million Line of Credit from 2011 to build roads around the island, which is a much-needed investment in the Maldives.

Bihar CM announces 33% reservation for girls in engineering and medical colleges of Bihar

The Bihar government has suggested reserving 33% of seats in medical and engineering institutions for girls, which might be a first for any state. The administration intends to introduce two new bills in the upcoming Assembly session to formalise the proposal: the Bihar Engineering Universities Bill and the Bihar Medical Education Bill.

The state’s 11 medical and 38 engineering institutions have 2,035 engineering seats and 1,330 medical and BDS seats. According to a government official, whereas girls make up 30% of the student body at government medical schools, they make up just approximately 15% of the student body at engineering schools.

Highlights

  • The decision to reserve seats for girls is being viewed as yet another political masterstroke by CM Nitish Kumar to bolster his “caste-neutral” female constituency.
  • In 2006, the Nitish-led administration set aside 50% of primary school seats for females and 35% of secondary school seats for girls at panchayat levels.
  • In addition, the state has set aside 35% of police employment and 33% of other government posts for women.
  • The state offers a monetary incentive of Rs 50,000 to those who complete their degree to encourage ladies to seek further education.
  • The chief minister also stated that the state government was attempting to enact a bill that would assist in establishing engineering and medical institutions that would be better able to oversee the institutes and increase the quality of education in Bihar.
  • A video conference was used to provide the proposed bill’s presentation.
  • Lokesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, presented a presentation on the ‘Bihar Engineering University Act-2021’ and the ‘Power and Function of Universities, Jurisdiction and Other Provisions’.

Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates Indus Best Mega Food Park in Chhattisgarh

With Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, and Rameswar Teli, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Narendra Singh Tomar virtually launched the Indus Best MegaFood Park.

The Mega Food Park will provide value addition, a longer shelf life for agricultural food, improved price realisation for farmers, excellent storage facilities, and an alternate regional market for farmers.

Highlights

  • The Mega Food Park will provide value addition, the longer shelf life for agricultural goods, improved price realisation for farmers, good storage facilities, and an alternative market for farmers in the region.
  • Roughly 5,000 people will be employed directly and indirectly as a result of the park, and about 25,000 farmers in the CPC and PPC catchment regions would benefit.
  • Tomar further stated that the modern infrastructure for food processing constructed at Park would greatly benefit the processors and consumers of Chhattisgarh and the surrounding areas and provide a significant boost to the state’s food processing sector’s growth.
  • The cutting-edge infrastructure and processing facilities built at Indus Best Mega Food Park will decrease agricultural waste and assure value addition.
  • Farmers, Self-Help Groups (SHGs), and micro-entrepreneurs will be able to conduct processing activities on a plug-and-play basis, creating many job possibilities in the Park’s catchment region.
  • It would also assist to double farmer income and attract more investment to Chhattisgarh.

Asian Development Bank and India signed an agreement for a road upgradation project in Sikkim

The Asian Development Bank and the Indian government have agreed to fund a road improvement project in Sikkim. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $2.5 million project readiness financing (PRF) credit to Sikkim to support projects relating to the upgradation of main district highways. It will increase connection while also boosting the state’s economic activity.

The project readiness financing (PRF) would aid in connecting key district and other highways to the national and state highway networks. To increase road connectivity in Sikkim, the ADB-funded North Eastern State Roads Investment Program was established in 2011. State agencies will create comprehensive engineering blueprints for several sub-projects.

Highlights

  • State agencies will create detailed engineering designs and feasibility assessments for chosen sub-projects.
  • Due to landslides and erosion, Sikkim’s road network has to be upgraded regularly.
  • Rajat Kumar Mishra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, who signed for the Government of India, and Mr Takeo Konishi, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB, were the signatories to the PRF for the proposed Sikkim Major District Road Upgradation Project.
  • The PRF project intends to assure implementation preparedness through feasibility studies, comprehensive engineering designs of chosen subprojects, and state agency capacity building to promptly finish the next project.
  • It will also assist in incorporating components of road safety, maintenance, and climate adaptation and mitigation into the subsequent project for the long-term sustainability of constructed assets, says the report.
  • Because regular landslides and erosion destroy roads and impede intra-state connection, Sikkim’s road network needs to be upgraded to all-weather roads.
  • The PRF will assist the state in upgrading the main district and other highways to increase connectivity.
  • The PRF will help the state upgrade key districts and other roads to strengthen links to the national and state highway networks, which connect vital towns and commercial hubs.
  • The state’s master plan for transportation management, which was prepared with ADB technical help in 2012, includes some of the priority highways designated for upgrading.
  • Sikkim has already benefited from the ADB-funded North Eastern State Roads Investment Program, which began in 2011.

Asian Development Bank

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank based in the Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.
  • It was founded on December 19, 1966. To support social and economic development in Asia, the firm has 31 field offices across the world.
  • Non-regional developed nations and members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, previously the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) are allowed to join the bank.
  • ADB presently has 68 members, up from 31 when it was founded.
  • The ADB is based on the World Bank and uses a weighted voting method in which votes are awarded in proportion to members’ capital contributions.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) publishes an annual report that details its activities, budget, and other documents for public consumption.

China developed a combined air defence system along LAC

China and Pakistan are conducting a combined military drill in Tibet, marking a new milestone along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It has two objectives: attacking warships and launching land attacks from the sea, and improving air-defence capabilities to target enemy aircraft, missiles, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The drill takes place against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) backdrop, which recently integrated its troops with air-defence capabilities with the PLA-Air Force (PLAAF) along the LAC for the first time.

Highlights

  • China and Pakistan frequently engage in joint exercises.
  • This year’s practice takes place against the backdrop of a nearly one-year military stalemate in eastern Ladakh between India and China. It is unknown how many Pakistani forces are participating in the drill.
  • Chinese forces from the 3 Air Defence Division are taking part in the exercise. The PLA conducted a pre-exercise training for the Pakistan army at Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan, leading up to the exercise.
  • Some of the missiles employed in this drill are already in use in Pakistan.
  • This suggests that identical arsenals might be on board PLA navy and Pakistan navy warships, which is bad news for India. Furthermore, Indian pilots, drones, and missiles might be targeted in the same way.
    India’s situation
  • The Indian security establishment is aware of the usage of the Chinese LY-80 low-to-medium altitude air-defence system.
  • This is a medium-range surface-to-air missile system with a range of roughly 150 kilometres.
  • It can intercept and destroy low- and medium-altitude aircraft targets.
  • The SM-6 Eagle anti-ship cruise missiles (better known in military circles by their numbers — YJ-81, YJ-82, and C-802) are the second group of missiles employed in the exercise.
  • With a range of 120-150 kilometres, the C-802 is the export variant of the YJ-802 ground assault and the anti-ship cruise missile.
  • A fighter plane may also launch the C-802 anti-ship missile.

Union Cabinet approves MoC between India-Japan on urban development

The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Sustainable Urban Development between India’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, which will replace an existing MoU on Urban Development signed in 2007.

Under the terms of the MoC, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be formed to develop and implement cooperative programmes. The Joint Working Group will convene once a year, in Japan or India, on alternate years.

Highlights

  • The Indian Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism will sign the MoC. It will take the place of the existing MoU on urban development from 2007.
  • The partnership under this Memorandum of Understanding shall begin on the date of signature and will last for five years. It can then be automatically renewed for up to five years at a time in the future.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding will encourage robust, deep, and long-term bilateral collaboration between the two nations in the field of Sustainable Urban Development.
  • Urban Planning, Smart Cities Development, Affordable Housing (including rental housing), Urban Flood Management, Sewerage and Waste Water Management, Urban Transport (including Intelligent Transport Management System, Transit-Oriented Development, and Multimodal Integration), and Disaster Management are all expected to benefit from the MoC.
  • The MoC’s goals are to facilitate and strengthen India-Japan technical cooperation in the areas of sustainable urban development, such as urban planning, smart cities development, affordable housing (including rental housing), urban flood management, sewerage and waste water management, Intelligent Transport Management System, Transit-Oriented Development, Multimodal Integration, and Disastification Management.
  • The proposed Memorandum of Understanding will allow for the exchange of essential learnings and best practices in the aforementioned areas.

Navy’s Hydrographic Survey Ship Sandhayak To Be Decommissioned

After 40 years of service, the Indian Navy’s oldest hydrographic survey ship, INS Sandhayak, was retired on Friday at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam.

According to an official statement issued by the Indian Navy, the ship has been an active participant in many significant operations, including Operation Pawan (assisting the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka in 1987) and Operation Rainbow (providing humanitarian assistance following the 2004 tsunami).

Highlights

  • Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the ship was decommissioned in a solemn and low-key ceremony.
  • The National Flag, Naval Ensign, and Decommissioning Pennant were lowered at sunset in the presence of Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, the Chief Guest.
  • INS Sandhayak conducted approximately 200 major hydrographic surveys on the western and eastern shores of the Indian peninsula, the Andaman Sea, and lesser surveys in neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Bangladesh throughout its 40 years of commissioned duty.
  • It also took part in the first combined INDO-US HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) exercise, dubbed “Tiger-Triumph,” in 2019.
  • On February 26, 1981, the ship was commissioned into the Indian Navy.
  • For the advantage of a broader audience, the ceremony was live-streamed on the Internet and the Naval intranet for serving personnel, veterans, and outstation ex-crew who had been on board the ship.
  • Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar, AVSM, NM Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India, was among the virtual guests. Hydrographic boats conduct surveys to measure and describe characteristics that impact maritime navigation, marine building, offshore oil exploration, and refuelling.

About Indian Navy

  • The Indian Navy is the Indian Armed Forces’ naval arm. The Indian Navy’s Supreme Commander is India’s President.
  • The navy is led by the Chief of Naval Staff, a four-star admiral.
  • The navy’s main goal is to protect the country’s maritime borders and, in concert with the other Armed Forces of the Union, to deter or defeat any threats or aggression against India’s land, people, or maritime interests, in both war and peace.
  • The Indian Navy develops bilateral ties with nations through joint exercises, goodwill visits, and humanitarian missions, including disaster assistance.
  • The Indian Navy has a fleet of 150 ships and submarines and 300 aircraft, as of June 2019, with 67,252 active and 75,000 reserve people on duty.

Mauritius former prime minister Sir Anerood Jugnauth passes away

Former President and Prime Minister of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, has died. He was 91 years old when he died. In 2020, Jugnauth was awarded India’s second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, for his service as President of Mauritius twice and Prime Minister six times.

Mauritius has lost one of its most distinguished patriots. They were essential in the country’s campaign for complete decolonisation to exercise sovereignty over the whole Republic of Mauritius’ territory, including the Chagos Archipelago.

Highlights

  • He was born on March 29, 1930, and became one of the country’s most well-known and respected leaders, according to the Le Mauricien newspaper.
  • He died on Thursday and would be on Saturday, being laid to rest.
  • From 2003 to 2012, Jugnauth was President of Mauritius, and from 1982 to 2017, he was Prime Minister six times.
  • He then resigned in favour of his son Pravind Jugnauth. He began his political career in 1963 when he was elected to the Legislative Council as a lawyer. In 1951, he enrolled at the University of London’s Lincoln’s Inn to study law.
  • He joined the London Constitutional Conference in 1965 to examine concerns concerning the country’s independence.
  • Jugnauth was a trailblazer in the arduous battle for the decolonisation of the Chagos Archipelago and the promotion of the Chagossian community’s well-being.
  • His lawsuit resulted in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling that the Chagos Archipelago is an essential component of the Republic of Mauritius’ territory.

Three caves found in Buddhist Caves Complex, Nasik

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has discovered three additional caves in the same place nearly two centuries after a British military officer described the Trirashmi Buddhist caverns — also known as Pandav Leni — on a hill in Nashik.

The caves’ age, which researchers say might be older than the Trirashmi caves, has yet to be determined; nevertheless, researchers investigating them believe they might be older than the Trirashmi caves.

Highlights

  • Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD, a set of 25 caverns known as the Tri Rashmi or Pandav Leni caves were cut out of Trirashmi Hill.
  • Captain James Delamaine described the caverns complex in 1823, and it is today an ASI protected site and a tourist destination.
  • On May 22, Salim Patel, a “multi-tasking worker” of the ASI’s Nashik branch, discovered two of the caverns.
  • Following the unexpected discovery, Senior Conservation Assistant Rakesh Shende, who leads ASI Nashik, conducted a more extensive investigation of the region, which led to discovering the third cave.
  • According to ASI authorities, the first two caverns were found during the yearly pre-monsoon cleaning of a drainage line on the hill.
  • Patel came into a cavity while seeking a location to deposit the dirt, dried grass, and dry wood removed.
  • The facility was cleaned and secured soon following the discovery.
  • The caverns are now inaccessible to the public due to the lack of walkways and safety rails.
  • These caverns are 70-80 feet above the present complex and on the opposite side of the current complex.
  • The caverns were cut out of a steep slope, and based on the carving technique, and they appear to be monks’ quarters, much older than the existing complex.
  • All of the caverns include verandahs and the monks’ traditional square stone platform.
  • Similar to the Kanheri and Wai caves, there are unique accommodations for monks to meditate.
  • The Buddhist sculptures and caves (in Nashik) represent the Hinayana tradition of Buddhism and are a noteworthy early example of Indian rock-cut architecture.
  • Images of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas and sculptures with Indo-Greek architectural motifs may be found in the caverns.

Teacher Eligibility Test certificate made valid for lifetime

The government has decided to increase the validity term of the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) qualifying certificate from 7 years to lifetime with retrospective effect from 2011, according to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal’ Nishank’. The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) authorised the extension of the TET certificate validity from 7 years to a lifetime during its 50th meeting in 2020.

Highlights

  • He stated that the individual state governments/UTs would take the appropriate steps to revalidate/issue new TET certificates to those applicants whose 7-year timeframe has already expired.
  • TET will be conducted by state governments, according to NCTE rules of February 11, 2011, and the TET certificate would be valid for seven years from the date of passing TET.
  • This, according to Pokhriyal, will be a significant step toward improving job prospects for those interested in pursuing a career as a teacher.
  • In India, passing a suitable TET is required for a job as an elementary school teacher.
  • The CBSE administers the national-level Central Teacher Eligibility Test (CTET), and the CTET credential is required when applying for a teaching position in primary schools.
  • Most states also provide TET examinations at the state level.

Teacher Eligibility Test

  • The Teacher Eligibility Test, or TET, is the minimum qualification necessary in India for recruitment as a teacher in classes I through VIII.
  • For teaching employment in Indian government schools, an examination is required. The TET is administered by India’s national and state governments.
  • The majority of states have their own TET.
  • The examination is being carried out to satisfy the goals of the 2009 Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.
  • The test, based on the Government of India’s National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education, is a requirement for new teachers in Classes I through VIII.
  • The examination is open to anybody with a professional teaching certificate, such as the B.T.C (D.El.Ed), B.Ed, or B.El.Ed.
  • To pass, candidates must have a score of at least 60%.

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