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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 28th May 2021

Today Current Affairs: 28th May 2021 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc


Mehul Choksi Has Been Arrested In Dominica:

Fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi has been arrested in Dominica after he was reported missing early this week from his home in Antigua and Barbuda, the Caribbean nation of which he has been a citizen since early 2018.

  • Mr. Choksi, wanted for defrauding banks in India, was arrested in Dominica after an Interpol Yellow Notice was issued against him.
  • Dominica is an island country in the Caribbean.
  • Its capital is Roseau.
  • It is geographically situated as part of the Windward Islands chain in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Dominica has been nicknamed the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” for its natural environment.
  • It is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles, and in fact, it is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity, as evidenced by the world’s second-largest hot spring, called Boiling Lake.
  • The country is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nations, the Organization of American States and the Non-Aligned Movement.

Switzerland – European Union:

Switzerland said goodbye to years of negotiations with the European Union over a proposed overarching agreement that would have upgraded its relations with the bloc – which are currently governed by a patchwork of more than 120 bilateral deals.

  • The talks failed after the two sides could not agree over issues such as full access for EU citizens to the Swiss labor market, and the collapse is expected to hamper future ties as the multiple existing agreements become outdated or lapse.
  • Switzerland is the EU’s fourth-largest trading partner and is surrounded by EU countries.
  • Relations between the two partners rest on the foundation of over 120 separate treaties, something which has frustrated the EU for a long time. Unlike the UK, Switzerland has access to the EU single market and maintains open borders.
  • For years, the EU had been pushing for an “institutional framework agreement” with Switzerland, suggesting that the lack of an overarching agreement could also hamper cooperation in the labor market, the health sector, education, and research.
  • Switzerland is a landlocked country bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.
  • It is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.

International Eni Award 2020 : C. N Rao:

Bharat Ratna Professor C.N.R. Rao has received the International Eni Award 2020 for research into renewable energy sources and energy storage, also called the Energy Frontier award.

  • The Energy Frontiers award has been conferred for his work on metal oxides, carbon nanotubes, and other materials and two-dimensional systems, including graphene, boron-nitrogen-carbon hybrid materials, and molybdenum sulfide (Molybdenite – MoS2) for energy applications and green hydrogen production.
  • The Eni Awards 2020 will be presented on 14 October 2021, during an official ceremony held at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, attended by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.
  • The award, which has become internationally recognized over the years in the field of energy and environmental research, aims to promote better use of energy sources and encourage new generations of researchers in their work.
  • This is considered to be the Nobel Prize in Energy Research.
  • It includes a cash prize and a specially minted gold medal.

NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Countries Virtual Meet:

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare virtually participated in a meeting with Ministers of Health of the NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Countries.

  • The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.
  • After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.
  • Drawing on the principles agreed at the Bandung Conference in 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement was established in 1961 in Belgrade, SR Serbia, Yugoslavia through an initiative of the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, Indonesian President Sukarno, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.
  • Its Coordinating Bureau, also based at the UN, is located in New York.

SeHAT OPD Portal:

Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh launched ‘Services e-Health Assistance & Tele-consultation (SeHAT) OPD portal through video conferencing on May 27, 2021.

  • The portal provides telemedicine services to the serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and their families.
  • The services can be availed by registering on the website.
  • This is the final version of the SeHAT OPD portal with advanced safety features. The trial version was made functional in August 2020.
  • Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS), Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), and Centre for Development of Artificial Computing (C-DAC) Mohali are involved in the development of the portal.
  • The portal will help reduce the load on hospitals and patients will be able to get contactless consultations in an easy and effective manner.

Laurence des Cars: President Of Louvre(Art Museum):

Art historian and curator Laurence des Cars has become the first woman to be appointed the president of Louvre in its 228-year history.

  • Louvre is the world’s largest art museum, based in Paris. It is located on the Right Bank of the Seine.
  • It is best known for being the home of the Mona Lisa, a half-length portrait painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Between 2007 and 2014, Des Cars were one of the leading figures who set up the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the capital of the UAE.

Blackbuck Population Increased In Odisha:

A census carried out by the Odisha State Forest Department revealed that Odisha’s blackbuck population has doubled in the last six years.

  • The blackbuck is known in Odisha as Krushnasara Mruga.
  • Blackbucks are confined to Balukhand-Konark coastal plain/wildlife sanctuary in Puri District; Balipadar-Bhetnoi and adjacent areas in Ganjam District.
  • As per the latest census, the antelopes numbered 7,358, compared to 2,194 in 2011.
  • Improvement of habitats, the protection is given by the local people, and forest staff were some of the reasons for the increase in the population.

About Blackbuck:

  • The Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), or the Indian Antelope, is a species of antelope native to India and Nepal.
  • It is widespread in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and other areas throughout peninsular India.
  • It is considered the epitome of grassland.
  • It is considered to be the fastest animal in the world next to Cheetah.
  • The blackbuck is a diurnal antelope (active mainly during the day).
  • It has been declared as the State Animal of Punjab, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Cultural Importance: It is a symbol of purity for Hinduism as its skin and horns are regarded as sacred objects.
  • For Buddhism, it is a symbol of good luck.
  • Protection Status:
    • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule I
    • IUCN Status: Least Concern
    • CITES: Appendix III

MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS)::

MPs have written to Speaker Om Birla to restart the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS).

  • The Union government had resorted to Disaster Management Act to suspend the member of Parliament local area development (MPLAD) scheme in April 2020.

About MPLAD scheme:

  • Launched in December 1993.
  • Seeks to provide a mechanism for the Members of Parliament to recommend works of developmental nature for creation of durable community assets and for provision of basic facilities including community infrastructure, based on locally felt needs.
  • The MPLADS is a Plan Scheme fully funded by the Government of India.
  • The annual MPLADS fund entitlement per MP constituency is Rs. 5 crores.
  • MPs are to recommend every year, works costing at least 15 percent of the MPLADS entitlement for the year for areas inhabited by Scheduled Caste population and 7.5 per cent for areas inhabited by S.T. population.
  • Funds are released in the form of grants-in-aid directly to the district authorities.
  • The funds released under the scheme are non-lapsable.
  • The liability of funds not released in a particular year is carried forward to the subsequent years, subject to eligibility.
  • The MPs have a recommendatory role under the scheme.
  • The district authority is empowered to examine the eligibility of works, sanction funds, and select the implementing agencies, prioritize works, supervise overall execution, and monitor the scheme at the ground level.
  • At least 10% of the projects under implementation in the district are to be inspected every year by the district authority.

Israel’s Air Strikes On Gaza May Constitute War Crimes:

The UN rights chief recently said that Israel’s recent deadly airstrikes on Gaza may constitute war crimes.

  • Meanwhile, countries are discussing launching a broad, international investigation.
  • If found to be indiscriminate and disproportionate in their impact on civilians and civilian objects, such attacks may constitute war crimes.
  • Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire on Gaza killed 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 people in 11 days of the conflict.
  • According to the United Nations, a war crime is a serious breach of international law committed against civilians or “enemy combatants” during an international or domestic armed conflict.
  • In contrast with genocide and crimes against humanity, war crimes have to occur in the context of armed conflict.
  • The meaning of war crimes was clarified in the four 1949 Geneva Conventions.
  • Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines war crimes as “wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly”.

Golden Visa: UAE:

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt recently received his Golden visa from the UAE government.

  • In 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) implemented a new system for long-term residence visas, thereby enabling foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100 percent ownership of their business.
  • The Golden Visa system essentially offers long-term residency (5 and 10 years) to people belonging to the following groups: investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with outstanding talents the likes of researchers, medical professionals and those within the scientific and knowledge fields, and remarkable students.
  • The main benefit of the visa will be security as through the issuance of the Golden Visa, the UAE government has made it clear that they are committed to providing expatriates, investors, and essentially everyone looking to make the UAE their home an extra reason to feel secure about their future.