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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 18th February 2022

Today Current Affairs: 18th February 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Solar Waste:

 

While India ramps up its solar power capacity, the nation does not yet have a firm policy on managing waste that results from used solar panels or from the manufacturing process.

  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) last December estimated that the global photovoltaic waste will touch 78 million tonnes by 2050, with India expected to be one of the top five generators of such waste.
  • India currently considers solar waste a part of electronic waste and does not account for it separately, according to a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Minister for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) R.K. Singh said a committee had been constituted under the chairmanship of the Ministry’s Secretary to propose an action plan to evolve a “circular economy” in solar panel, through reuse/recycling of waste generated.
  • The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
  • It is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energy.
  • It was founded in 2009 and its statute entered into force in 2010.
  • The agency is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

Organisation Of The Islamic Cooperation (OIC):

 

India lashed out at the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), after the grouping called on the UN Human Rights Council to take “necessary measures” on the issue of Muslim girl students being told not to wear the hijab in Karnataka schools.

  • The Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation is the world’s second largest multilateral body after the UN.
  • It counts 57 members, all of which are Islamic countries or Muslim majority members.
  • The Central African Republic, Russia, Thailand, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the unrecognised Turkish Cypriot “state”, have Observer status.
  • The OIC’s stated objective is “to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world”.
  • The Organisation of the Islamic Conference was established by the First Islamic Summit Conference held in Morocco in September 1969, to marshal the Islamic world after an act of arson at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jersualem by a 28-year-old Australian in 1969.
  • As a country with the world’s second largest Muslim community, India had been invited to the founding conference at Rabat in 1969, but was humiliatingly ejected at Pakistan’s behest.

Abraham Accords:

 

This week, in what is being called a historic first, Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett undertakes a two-day official visit to Bahrain, one of the seven Gulf countries whose relations with Israel have been sour on account of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

  • The visit signals the growing ties that are developing between Israel and the Gulf countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).
  • It comes a couple of years after another the UAE — a key ally of the US — normalised relations with Israel in 2020 after signing the ‘Abraham Accords’.
  • Abraham Accords deal, sponsored by the US, was part of the country’s regional security agenda to counter Iran.
  • As part of this security agenda — signed during the Trump administration — the US prioritised improving relations between Israel and the Gulf countries, something that the latter nations have been wary of because of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
  • As part of the Abraham Accords, Israel agreed to stop further annexation of Palestinian territory.
  • The accords were signed by the leaders of Bahrain, Israel and the UAE in September 2020. Bennett visited the UAE in December 2021, becoming the first leader from Israel to visit the federation of seven emirates.

Tarapur Massacre:

 

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said February 15 would henceforth be commemorated as “Shahid Diwas” in memory of the 34 freedom fighters who were killed by police in Tarapur town (now subdivision) of Bihar’s Munger district 90 years ago.

  • The freedom fighters had never got their due, the Chief Minister said, even though the Tarapur massacre was the biggest carried out by the British police after the one in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in 1919.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi had referred to the Tarapur massacre in his Mann ki Baat radio address of January 2021.
  • On February 15, 1932, a group of young freedom fighters planned to hoist an Indian national flag at Thana Bhavan in Tarapur. Police were aware of the plan, and several officers were present at the spot.
  • Around 2 pm, even as the police carried out a brutal lathicharge, one Gopal Singh succeeded in raising the flag at Thana Bhavan. A 4,000-strong crowd pelted the police with stones, injuring an officer of the civil administration.
  • The police responded by opening indiscriminate fire on the crowd. After about 75 rounds were fired, 34 bodies were found at the spot, even though there were claims of an even larger number of deaths.

Hackathon Event:

 

As a part of the Fintech Open Month, NITI Aayog in association with PhonePe will be hosting the first-ever open-to-all Hackathon event for ideating and coming up with the most creative solutions for the FinTech space.

  • The Hackathon will provide an opportunity for innovators, digital creators and developers from all over India to think, ideate and code
  • Participants at the hackathon need to use any open-data APIs like PhonePe Pulse along with frameworks such as Account Aggregator as a foundation to power the following use cases:
    • Alternate risk models for Lending, Insurance or Investments with focus on financial Inclusion
    • Innovative Products that use the power data signals for various demographics and Geos for broader adoption of financial services
    • Improved Visualisation and Derived intelligence based on the Digital payments data
  • The final app that participants come up with must incorporate one of the above.

Capacity Development (CD) Scheme:

 

The Cabinet has approved the continuation of the Capacity Development (CD) Scheme till 31.03.2026 or till further review, whichever is earlier, subject to the adherence to Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) recommendations and the financial ceilings etc.

  • The outlay approved for the continuation of the Scheme during 15th Finance Commission cycle is ₹3179 crore.
  • The CD Scheme is an Ongoing Central Sector Scheme of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
  • The Scheme comprises Capacity Development (Main) Scheme and two sub schemes viz. Support for Statistical Strengthening (SSS) and Economic Census (EC).
  • The Support for Statistical Strengthening (SSS) is an ongoing sub scheme of the CD Scheme, which aims to improve the statistical capacity and operations of State Statistical Systems for collecting, compiling and disseminating reliable official statistics.
  • Economic Census sub-scheme conducted periodically gives the complete count of all non-farm economic establishments located within the geographical boundary of India.

New India Literacy Programme:

 

Government approved a new scheme “New India Literacy Programme for the period FYs 2022-2027 to cover all the aspects of Adult Education to align with National Education Policy 2020 and Budget Announcements 2021-22.

  • School will be Unit for implementation of the scheme.
  • Schools to be used for conducting survey of beneficiaries and Voluntary Teachers (VTs).
  • Foundational Literacy and Numeracy will be imparted through Critical Life Skills to all non-literates in the age group of 15 years and above.
  • Performance Grading Index (PGI) for State/UT and district level will show the performance of States and UTs to implement the scheme and achievements on yearly basis by weighing both the physical and financial progress through UDISE portal.
  • From now onwards the term “Education For All” will be used in place of “Adult Education” by the Ministry as the terminology “Adult Education” is not incorporating appropriately all non-literates of 15 years and above age group.

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