Today Current Affairs: 5th July 2021 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Pushkar Singh Dhami: Chief Minister Of Uttarakhand:
Pushkar Singh Dhami took oath as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. He replaced Tirath Singh Rawat.
- Tirath Singh Rawat’s term as Uttarakhand Chief Minister — that lasted just 114 days — was riddled with controversies over his remarks as well as reversal of decisions taken by his predecessor Trivendra Singh Rawat who had resigned in March after leading the state government for four years.
- Days after the swearing-in, the Tirath cabinet suspended Trivendra’s decision to declare the state summer capital of Gairsain as the third administrative division in the state after Garhwal and Kumaon.
- In a meeting of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and saints in Haridwar Kumbh in April, Tirath had announced a review of the Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Board that was constituted by Trivendra on January 15 last year.
- Key constitutional provisions for CMs:
- Article 163(1): There shall be a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions, except in so far as he is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.
- Article 164(1): The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- Article 164(2): The Council of Ministers shall be collectively responsible to the Legislative Assembly of the State.
Draft Trafficking In Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021:
The Ministry of Women and Child Welfare invited suggestions and comments for its draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021 which it has released.
- A previous draft had been introduced in 2018, and had been passed by Lok Sabha despite stiff opposition from both parliamentarians as well as experts.
- It was later never introduced in Rajya Sabha. Experts say that nearly all the concerns raised in 2018 have been addressed in this new draft Bill.
- The law, once enacted, will extend to all citizens inside as well as outside India and a foreign national or a stateless person who has his or her residence in India at the time of commission of offence under this Act
- The scope of the Bill vis a vis offenders will also include defence personnel and government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or anyone in a position of authority.
- Exploitation has been defined to include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation including pornography, any act of physical exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced removal of organs, illegal clinical drug trials or illegal bio-medical research.
- The Bill also extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims to now include transgenders as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking ,it also does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim.
- Property bought via such income as well as used for trafficking can now be forfeited with provisions set in place, similar to that of the money laundering Act.
- While the penalty will hold a minimum of seven years which can go up to an imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh, in most cases of child trafficking, especially in the case of the trafficking of more than one child, the penalty is now life imprisonment.
- In certain cases, even the death penalty can be sought.
The Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education launched National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN Bharat) on 5th July, 2021.
- The vision of NIPUN Bharat Mission is to create an enabling environment to ensure universal acquisition of foundational literacy and numeracy, so that every child achieves the desired learning competencies in reading, writing and numeracy by the end of Grade 3, by 2026-27.
- NIPUN Bharat will be implemented by the Department of School Education and Literacy.
- A five-tier implementation mechanism will be set up at the National- State- District- Block- School level in all States and UTs, under the aegis of the centrally sponsored scheme of Samagra Shiksha.
A unique scientific exercise for reducing desertification and providing livelihood and multi-disciplinary rural industry support has been initiated by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
- The project named “Bamboo Oasis on Lands in Drought” (BOLD) is the first of its kind exercise in India which was launched todayfrom the tribal village NichlaMandwa in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
- 5000 saplings of special bamboo species – BambusaTulda and BambusaPolymorpha specially brought from Assam – have been planted over 25 bigha (16 acres approx) of vacant arid Gram Panchayat land.
- Project BOLD, which seeks to create bamboo-based green patches in arid and semi-arid land zones, aims for reducing land degradation and preventing desertification in the country.
- The initiative has been launched as part of KVIC’s “Khadi Bamboo Festival” to celebrate 75 years of independence “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
- KVIC is set to replicate the Project at Village Dholera in Ahmedabad district in Gujarat and Leh-Ladakh region by August this year.
- KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said the green patches of bamboo on these 3 places will help in reducing the land degradation percentage of the country, while on the other hand, they will be havens of sustainable development and food security.
Punjab Suba Movement:
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) commemorated the first entry of a police force inside the Golden Temple on 4th July, 1955 during the Punjab Suba movement (Morcha).
- It started in Punjab soon after Independence. Shiromani Akali Dal (Political Party) was leading the movement for a Punjabi speaking state.
- However, there was also opposition to this idea.
- Those in favour of the demand used to raise the slogan Punjabi Suba Amar Rahe and those opposing the demand were raising slogans in favour of ‘Maha-Punjab’.
- It was in April, 1955 that the government banned the slogans fearing law and order problems under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
- The demand for creation of Punjabi Suba automatically gave basis to the demand for having a separate state of Haryana.
- Demand of the Movement: A Punjabi speaking state which will have Punjabi speaking areas’ population.
- There should be no attempt to temper for increasing or decreasing its size artificially. The Punjabi speaking state will be under the Indian Constitution.
The ‘Last Ice Area’ (LIA):
Last Ice Area: This region is located north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
- This area was believed to be strong enough to withstand global warming.
- The total disappearance of summer ice in the Arctic was estimated by the year 2040, however the ‘Last Ice Area’ was the exception.
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Canada was believed to be the first to call this area the ‘Last Ice Area’.
- It was thought to be able to help ice-dependent species as ice in the surrounding areas melted away.
- It is used by polar bears to hunt for seals who use ice to build dens for their offspring. Walruses too, use the surface of the ice for foraging (to search for food).
- Sea ice is a highway for inuit, who use it to travel and hunt.
- The term Inuit refers broadly to the Arctic indigenous population of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.
- About 80% of thinning can be attributed to weather-related factors such as winds that break up and move the ice around.
- The remaining 20% can be attributed to longer-term thinning of the ice due to global warming.
- The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.
- The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.
- Land within the Arctic region has seasonally varying snow and ice cover.
- Since 2013, India has had observer status in the Arctic Council, which is the predominant inter-governmental forum for cooperation on the environmental and development aspects of the Arctic.
Anti-Methanogenic Feed Supplement: Harit Dhara:
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed an anti-methanogenic feed supplement ‘Harit Dhara’ (HD), which can cut down cattle methane emissions by 17-20% and can also result in higher milk production.
- HD decreases the population of protozoa microbes in the rumen, responsible for hydrogen production and making it available to the archaea (structure similar to bacteria) for reduction of CO2 to methane.
- It has been made from tannin-rich plant-based sources. Tropical plants containing tannins, bitter and astringent chemical compounds, are known to suppress or remove protozoa from the rumen.
- Fermentation after using HD will help produce more propionic acid, which provides more energy for lactose (milk sugar) production and body weight gain.
- This leads to economic benefits for farmers.
Methane Production in Cattle:
- Rumen, the first of the four stomachs where they eat plant material, cellulose, fibre, starch and sugars. These get fermented or broken down by microorganisms prior to further digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Carbohydrate fermentation leads to production of CO2 and hydrogen. These are used by microbes (Archaea) present in the rumen to produce methane.
Methane Emissions from Cattle:
- Belching cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats in India emit an estimated 9.25 million tonnes (mt) to 14.2 mt of methane annually, out of a global total of 90 mt-plus from livestock.
- The 2019 Livestock Census showed India’s cattle population at 193.46 million, along with 109.85 million buffaloes, 148.88 million goats and 74.26 million sheep.
- Being largely fed on agricultural residues – wheat/paddy straw and maize, sorghum or bajra stover – ruminants in India tend to produce 50-100% higher methane than their industrialised country counterparts that are given more easily fermentable/digestible concentrates, silages and green fodder.
- Methane’s global warming potential – 25 times of carbon dioxide (CO2) over 100 years, makes it a more potent greenhouse gas.
Swami Vivekananda:Death Anniversary:
About Swami Vivekananda:
- He was a true luminary, credited with enlightening the western world about Hinduism.
- He was an ardent disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India.
- He pushed for national integration in colonial India, and his famous speech remains as the one that he gave in Chicago in 1893 (Parliament of the World Religions).
- In 1984 the Government of India declared that 12 January, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, will be celebrated as National Youth Day.
- He was Born in Kolkata on January 12, 1863 in Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda was known as Narendra Nath Datta in his pre-monastic life.
- He is known to have introduced the Hindu philosophies of Yoga and Vedanta to the West.
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had called Vivekananda the “maker of modern India.”
- In 1893, he took the name ‘Vivekananda’ after Maharaja Ajit Singh of the Khetri State requested him to do so.
- He formed the Ramakrishna Mission in 1897 “to set in motion a machinery which will bring noblest ideas to the doorstep of even the poorest and the meanest.”
- In 1899, he established the Belur Math, which became his permanent abode.
- He preached ‘neo-Vedanta’, an interpretation of Hinduism through a Western lens, and believed in combining spirituality with material progress.
- Books written by him: ‘Raja Yoga’, ‘Jnana Yoga’, ‘Karma Yoga’ are some of the books he wrote.
US Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA):
US adds Pakistan, along with 14 other countries, to the list of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act.
- The list identifies foreign governments with government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers and subjects them to certain restrictions.
- Other countries which have been added to the annual TIP list of the US State Department are Turkey, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
About the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, 2008:
- It identifies foreign governments having government-supported armed groups that recruit or use child soldiers.
- The Act requires publication in the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report a list of foreign governments that have recruited or used child soldiers during the previous year.
- Designation under this act could result in restrictions on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment.
- The term child soldier means any person under 18 years of age who takes a direct part in hostilities or who has been compulsorily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces.
- It also means any person under 15 years of age who has been voluntarily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces or any person under 18 years of age who has been recruited or used in hostilities by armed forces distinct from the armed forces of a state.
- It also includes any such person who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role, such as a cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard or sex slave.
“Unity 22” Mission:”:
Unity 22” will be Virgin Galactic’s next rocket-powered test flight of its SpaceShip- VSS Unity.
- As part of the mission, the crew will be flying to the edge of space on July 11 on board the ‘Unity’ rocket ship developed by Virgin Galactic.
- This will be the 22nd mission for VSS Unity.
- This will be Virgin Galactic’s fourth crewed spaceflight.
- It will also be the first to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson, who will be testing out the private astronaut experience.
- Objectives of the mission:
- Unity 22 will focus on testing the cabin and customer experience.
- Currently, two additional test flights remain before the Virgin Galactic plans to commence commercial service in 2022.