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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 1st June 2021

Today Current Affairs: 1st June 2021 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

First Human Case Of H10N3 Bird Flu:

 

The First Human case of H10N3 bird flu was reported in the eastern province of Jiangsu in China.

  • A 41-year-old man has become the first human case of infection with the H10N3 strain of bird flu. He was diagnosed with the H10N3 avian influenza virus on May 28. It is still not confirmed how he was infected with a virus.
  • H10N3 is a low pathogenic or less severe strain of the virus in poultry.
  • The risk of it transmitting on a large scale is also very low. In about 40 years, only 160 isolates of this virus were reported, in wild birds or waterfowl across Asia and North America. It has not been detected in chickens.
  • It is commonly called as “the flu”.
  • This infectious disease is caused by influenza viruses. Its symptoms include mild to severe fever, runny nose, sore throat, headache, coughing, muscle pain, and fatigue.
  • Symptoms usually start 1–4 days after exposure to virus and last for 2–8 days.
  • It may also cause pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, encephalitis, meningitis, and worsening of pre-existing health problems like asthma.

Bird flu:

  • It caused by viruses adapted to birds. It is similar to swine flu, horse flu, dog flu, and human flu. Among three types of influenza viruses namely, A, B, and C; influenza A virus is zoonotic infection which entirely affects birds.

Space Agreement With NASA: Newzealand:

 

New Zealand has become the latest country to sign “space agreement with NASA” with the objective of boosting nascent space industry of New Zealand.

  • New Zealand is the eleventh signatory to Artemis Accords.
  • Artemis Accords is a blueprint for space cooperation and supporting NASA’s plan to return humans to the moon by 2024. It also supports NASA’s plan of launching a historic human mission to Mars.
  • New Zealand wants to ensure, future space exploration is conducted in a safe, sustainable and transparent manner in accordance with international law.
  • New Zealand is also interested in ensuring that minerals are taken from the moon or elsewhere in space are used sustainably

Artemis Accords:

  • Artemis accords are an international agreement and American-led effort which seeks to relaunch humans to Moon by 2024.
  • The agreement was signed by governments participating in the Artemis program with the objective of expanding and deepening space exploration. It was drafted under the aegis of NASA.
  • It provides a framework for cooperation in civil exploration and peaceful use of Mars, Moon, and other astronomical objects.
  • The accord was signed on October 13, 2020.

Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council: MICROSOFT:

 

Microsoft has launched the first-ever “Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council”. It was launched with the aim of building a strong communications channel to address cyber threats and to share best practices among participating countries.

  • Cybersecurity Council comprises policy makers and influencers from countries like Indonesia, Korea, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand.
  • It is supported by cybersecurity professionals. Council was set up with the aim of accelerating public-private partnerships in cybersecurity, and share threat intelligence.
  • Council was set up to build a strong coalition and to strengthen cyber security defense.
  • It was launched in the view that; these countries experience a higher-than-average encounter rates of malware and ransomware attacks.
  • They experience 1.6 times higher malware attacks and 1.7 times higher ransomware attacks as compared to other countries.

BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting:

 

BRICS foreign ministers meeting held virtually on June 1, 2021.

  • During the minister’s meet, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted significant principles which were guiding BRICS.
  • He also referred to international law and the UN Charter which recognizes sovereign equality of all states and respects territorial integrity.
  • According to him, desired change can be achieved only by conducting policies in line with these principles.
  • The BRICS meeting was hosted by India in its capacity as chair of BRICS.
  • It was attended by Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov; Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi; Minister of International Relations of South Africa, Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor; and Foreign Minister of Brazil, Carlos Alberto Franco.
  • BRICS foreign ministers, for the first time, have agreed on the common goal of “reforming the multilateral system”.
  • They also agreed, such reform should cover all key multilateral institutions, including-
  • UN and its principal organs such as the UN general assembly, UN Security Council, etc.
  • International financial architecture such as IMF & World Bank
  • A multilateral trading system such as WTO & UNCTAD and
  • Global health governance system along with WHO.
  • BRICS ministers agreed to bring in new life on discussions regarding reform of UN Security Council.

World Milk Day:

 

Every year, the first day of June is observed as World Milk Day.

  • On this occasion, the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying announced the launch of the Gopal Ratna Awards and integration of the e-Gopala App with the UMANG platform.

UMANG Platform:

  • Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) Mobile App is a unified, secure, multi-channel, multi-platform, multi-lingual, multi-service mobile app launched under the Digital India initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in 2017.
  • It is a unified application that can be used to avail a number of pan India e-government services such as: Filing income tax, Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) services, Aadhar, Pension, ePathshala, e- Land Records, Crop Insurance etc.

About:

  • World Milk Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 2001.
  • The day is intended to provide an opportunity to bring attention to activities that are connected with the dairy sector.
  • FAO is one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • 2021 Theme:
    • The theme will focus on Sustainability in the dairy sector with messages around the environment, nutrition and socio-economics.
    • In doing so it will reintroduce dairy farming to the world.

State Of Finance For Nature Report:

 

The UN report, titled State of Finance for Nature, analyzes the investment flow in nature-based solutions (NbS) and identifies the future investment needed to meet the climate change, biodiversity and land degradation targets (set in three Rio Conventions).

  • The report was jointly produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Economic Forum and the Economics of Land Degradation.

About the ‘Nature-based solutions (NbS)’:

  • The NbS refers to sustainable management and use of nature to tackle socio-environmental challenges, which range from disaster risk reduction, climate change and biodiversity loss to food and water security as well as human health.
  • NbS creates harmony between people and nature, enables ecological development and represents a holistic, people-centred response to climate change.
  • Thus, NbS underpin the Sustainable Development Goals, as they support vital ecosystem services, biodiversity, and access to fresh water, improved livelihoods, healthy diets and food security (organic agriculture) from sustainable food systems.
  • Also, NbS are an essential component of the overall global effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Key Findings of Report:

  • Approximately USD 133 billion currently flows into nature-based solutions annually (using 2020 as the base year).
  • It comprises about 0.10% of the global gross domestic product.
  • The funds flow to protect biodiversity and landscapes, mixed with activities such as sustainable forestry.
  • NbS finance is much smaller in scale than climate finance and relies more heavily on public finance.
  • Public vs Private Funds:
    • Public funds make up 86% and private finance 14% of these investments.
    • The public financial services providers included the government, development finance institutions (DFIs), environmental/climate funds.
  • Top Spenders:
    • Public sector spending for the same is dominated by the United States and China, followed by Japan, Germany, and Australia.
    • Countries such as Brazil, India, and Saudi Arabia are likely spending large amounts of money too, but they do not report internationally comparable data.

Government e-Marketplace (GeM):

 

Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs Piyush Goyal called upon Government e-Marketplace (GeM), public procurement portal to expand its scope and include more participants in GeM portal for public procurement of both Products & Services.

  • GeM is an online marketplace that was launched in 2016.
  • Objective: To ensure that public procurement of goods and services in India (done by government bodies) worth more than Rs. 5 lakh crore annually is carried out through the online platform.
  • It has been developed by the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposal (DGS&D) with technical support of the National E-Governance Division (NEGD), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Benefits of GeM:

  • Transparency: GeM eliminates human interface in vendor registration, order placement, and payment processing, to a great extent.
  • Efficiency: Direct purchase on GeM can be done in a matter of minutes.
  • Secure and safe: GeM is a completely secure platform and all the documents on GeM are e-Signed at various stages by the buyers and sellers.
  • Savings to the Government: The transparency, efficiency, and ease of use of the GeM portal has resulted in a substantial reduction in prices on GeM.

One Nation One Standard” Mission Of BIS:

 

RDSO (Research Design & Standards Organization) of Indian Railways has become the FIRST Institution to be declared SDO under “One Nation One Standard” mission of BIS ( Bureau of Indian Standards) which is an Institution under Department of Consumer Affairs.

  • To attain “ Nation One Standard” vision of Govt. of India, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standards Body, has launched a scheme that provides for the “Recognition of SDO”.
  • Through this scheme, BIS aims at aggregating and integrating the existing capabilities and dedicated domain specific expertise available with various organizations in the country engaged in standards development in their specific sectors, and enable the convergence of all standard development activities in the country resulting in “One National Standard for One Subject”.
  • Research Designs & Standards Organization (RDSO), Lucknow, which is the sole R&D Wing of the Ministry of Railways, is one of India’s leading Standard formulating Body undertaking standardization work for the railway sector.
  • RDSO took the initiative to seek recognition as a Standards Developing Organization (SDO) under the BIS SDO Recognition Scheme.

Dr. K.P. Krishnan Headed Expert Committee:

 

Dr. K.P. Krishnan headed the expert committee on the Variable Capital Company has submitted its report on the feasibility of Variable Capital Companies in the International Financial Services Centres in India to the Chairperson of the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), Shri. Injeti Srinivas.

  • The IFSCA set up this Committee to explore the potential for allowing another legal structure – popularly known as a variable capital company (VCC) – as an additional option through which asset managers could pool the investors’ funds.
  • The VCC structure dispenses with some of the key limitations of companies and LLPs and provides for higher regulatory standards than those applicable to trusts.
  • The Committee assessed the features of a VCC or its equivalent, in other jurisdictions such as the UK, Singapore, Ireland and Luxembourg.
  • The Committee recommended the adoption of a VCC-like legal structure for the purpose of conducting fund management activity in IFSCs
  • The Committee recognized that the legal framework governing entities that undertake fund management should provide certainty and clarity to investors.

Central Government Health Scheme:

 

Union Minister of Health launched the revamped Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) and the Umbrella schemes of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) and Health Minister’s Discretionary Grant (HMDG) on National Health Authority (NHA)’s IT platform for providing cashless, paperless and citizen-centric services.

Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS):

  • The CGHS is a comprehensive Health Scheme for Serving Employees, Pensioners, Members of Parliament, ex-MPs, etc., and their dependent family members.
  • During last 7 years it has expanded to 72 Cities with more than 38 lakh beneficiaries are covered under the scheme.
  • Although CGHS started in 1954 in New Delhi, wherein till 2014 only 25 cities were covered.
  • CGHS retired pensioners are provided Cashless treatment at empanelled centres which will now be made seamless in the new platform.
  • e-referral module developed by NIC has enabled CGHS dispensaries and wellness centres to issue online referral to empanelled hospitals.

Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN)

  • Harsh Vardhan informed that under RAN, financial assistance up to Rs 15 lakhs is provided to poor patients suffering from major life-threatening diseases/cancer/rare diseases, for medical treatment at Government hospitals.
  • The eligibility criteria to avail services under RAN had been based on State/UT-wise BPL threshold. But getting a state specific BPL certificate from competent authority has remained a time-consuming process.

Health Minister’s Discretionary Grant (HMDG)

  • Similarly, under HMDG a maximum amount of Rs.1,25,000/- is provided to patients whose annual income does not exceed Rs.1,25,000/-, to defray a part of the expenditure on hospitalization/treatment in Government Hospitals.
  • Beneficiaries can apply for financial assistance under both schemes by providing their Ration card number and undergoing beneficiary verification process at any of the empanelled Govt. hospital.

‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) Insurance Scheme For Health Workers Fighting COVID-19’:

 

The Union Government has extended the ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19’ for one year

  • This will continue to provide the safety net to the dependents of health workers, who are deputed to take care of COVID-19 patients.
  • The scheme is being implemented through an Insurance policy from the New India Assurance Company (NIACL).
  • The scheme was initially launched w.e.f. 30.03.2020 initially for a period of 90 days. The insurance policy has been extended twice so far.
  • It aims to provide comprehensive personal accident cover of Rs. 50 lakh to all healthcare providers, including community health workers and private health workers drafted by the government for the care of Covid-19 patients and for those who may have come in direct contact with COVID-19 patients and were at risk of being impacted by it.

SATAT Initiative:

 

Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas presided over a virtual ceremony in which a number of initiatives were launched to provide major fillip to the SATAT initiative.

  • This included signing of a Cooperation Agreement by Oil and Gas majors including IndianOil, HPCL, BPCL, GAIL and IGL, for the promotion and development of the SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) scheme.
  • The SATAT scheme aims to set up Compressed Bio-Gas production plants and make CBG available in the market for use as a green fuel.
  • ‘SATAT’, launched on 1.10.2018, envisages to target production of 15 MMT of CBG from 5000 plants by 2023.
  • Besides the potential to boost availability of more affordable transport fuels, better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, the 5000 CBG plants will provide an investment of 1.75 lakh crore, an additional revenue source to farmers, and 75,000 direct job opportunities and lakhs of indirect jobs.
  • The minister also laid the foundation stones of 5 upcoming CBG Plants.
  • He also inaugurated the first injection of CBG into the CGD pipeline network at Govardhannathji Energies into Gujarat Gas CGD network at Nadiad Kheda Distt., Gujarat.

Section 304B Of Indian Penal Code (IPC):

 

The Supreme Court (SC) has widened the scope of section 304B of Indian Penal Code (IPC) by indicating that there is no straitjacket formula to determine the cruelty against women.

  • According to Section 304B, to make out a case of dowry death, a woman should have died of burns or other bodily injuries or “otherwise than under normal circumstances” within seven years of her marriage.
  • She should have suffered cruelty or harassment from her husband or in-laws “soon before her death” in connection with demand for dowry.

Highlights of the Judgement:

  • Section 304B of IPC must be interpreted keeping in mind the legislative intent to curb the social evil of bride burning and dowry demand.
  • The court should use their discretion to determine if the period between the cruelty or harassment and the death of the victim would come within the term “soon before”.
  • For such determination, an important factor is the establishment of a “proximate and live link” between the cruelty and the consequential death of the victim.
  • Over the years, courts had interpreted the phrase ‘soon before’ in Section 304B as ‘immediately before’. This interpretation would make it necessary for a woman to have been harassed moments before she died.
  • Even the spectrum of cruelty is quite varied, as it can range from physical, verbal or even emotional. No straitjacket formulae can therefore be laid down to define what exact the phrase ‘soon before’ entails.
  • Further, the phrase “otherwise than under normal circumstances” in the section calls for a liberal interpretation.
  • Section 304-B, IPC does not take a pigeonhole approach in categorising death as homicidal or suicidal or accidental.
  • Also, the examination of the accused about the incriminatory material against him should be done in a fair manner.
  • However, there is a need to balance other important considerations such as the right to a speedy trial.

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