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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 6th September 2021

Today Current Affairs: 6th September 2021 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

International Fund For Agricultural Development:

IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) has committed to focus 30% of its climate finance to support nature-based solutions in rural small-scale agriculture by 2030.

  • Ahead of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress (WCC), it calls for more investment to protect biodiversity.
  • The IUCN convenes WCC every four years. The Congress brings together its various members, who vote on recommendations and set the agenda for the global conservation efforts.
  • IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency working in the field of poverty eradication in the rural areas of developing countries providing grants and loans with low interest for allied projects.
  • It works with marginalized and vulnerable groups such as farmers with small holdings, foresters, Pastoralists, Fishermen and small scale entrepreneurs by giving them disaster preparedness, access to weather information, technology transfer and social learning.
  • Formation: It was created in 1977, which is the outcome of the World Food Conference of 1974.
  • Headquarters: Rome, Italy
  • Members: It has 177 member countries.
  • India is also a member country.

Behler Turtle Conservation Award:

Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction.

  • There are 29 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises in the country.

About Behler Turtle Conservation Award:

  • Established in 2006, it is a major annual international award honoring excellence in the field of tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation and biology, and leadership in the chelonian conservation and biology community.
  • Also referred to as the “Nobel Prize” of Turtle Conservation.
  • Co-presented by Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Turtle Conservancy, and Turtle Conservation Fund.
  • In the present context, the three critically endangered turtles are being conserved as a part of TSA India’s research, conservation breeding and education programme in different parts of the country.
    • The Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska) is being conserved at the Sunderbans;
    • The Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) at Chambal;
    • The Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) at different temples in Assam.

6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF):

The Prime Minister of India (PM) addressed the plenary session of the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) via video-conferencing.

  • The PM highlighted the importance of India-Russia relations and potential areas of cooperation in line with the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’.

Highlights of PM’s Address:

  • Applauded Russia’s vision for the development of the Russian Far East region and reiterated India’s commitment (as part of its “Act East Policy”) of being a reliable partner of Russia in this regard.
  • Highlighted the significance of health and pharma sectors as important areas of cooperation that have emerged during the pandemic.
  • Referred to other potential areas of economic cooperation including diamond, coking coal, steel, timber etc.

About Eastern Economic Forum:

  • EEF was established by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation in the year 2015.
  • It takes place each year in Vladivostok, a city in Russia.
  • It serves as a platform for the discussion of key issues in the world economy, regional integration, and the development of new industrial and technological sectors, as well as of the global challenges facing Russia and other nations.
  • The Forum’s business programme includes a number of business dialogues with leading partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and with ASEAN, a key integration organization of dynamically developing nations in Southeast Asia.
  • Over the years, it has emerged as an international platform for discussing the strategy for developing political, economic and cultural ties between Russia and Asia Pacific.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Has Successfully Collected Its First Rock Sample:

NASA’s Perseverance rover has successfully collected its first rock sample for return to Earth. NASA has called it a perfect core sample.

  • NASA plans to launch more spacecraft to retrieve the samples collected by Perseverance.
  • Perseverance arrived in February 2021 at Mars’ Jezero Crater, the site on an ancient lake— in search of rocks that might hold evidence of ancient life.
  • It carried a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: which for the first time manufactured molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere (ISRU means In Situ Resource Utilization: or the use of local resources to meet human needs or requirements of the spacecraft).
  • It carried Ingenuity,the first ever helicopter to fly on Mars.
  • It is the planned first step to bring back rock samples from Marsfor analysis in sophisticated laboratories on Earth: with the goal of looking for biosignatures: or signatures of present or past life.

24th Meeting Of Financial Stability And Development Council (FSDC).:

The 24th meeting deliberated on various mandates of the FSDC such as financial stability, financial sector development, inter-regulatory coordination, financial literacy, financial inclusion, and macro prudential supervision of the economy including the functioning of large financial conglomerates.

The council also discussed issues relating to

  • Management of stressed assets,
  • strengthening institutional mechanism for financial stability analysis,
  • framework for resolution of financial institutions and issues related to IBC,
  • data sharing mechanisms of government authorities,
  • internationalisation of the Indian rupee and
  • pension sector related issues.

About Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC):

  • Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was set up by the Government as the apex level forum in December 2010.
  • The Chairman of the Council is the Union Finance Minister and its members include
    • The heads of financial sector Regulators (RBI, SEBI, PFRDA, IRDA & FMC)
    • Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs,
    • Secretary, Department of Financial Services, and
    • Chief Economic Adviser.

Prices Of Edible Oil:

Edible oil prices are likely to reduce by December as international commodity futures show a declining trend and the production of domestic oilseed crops.

  • Last year, the retail prices of six edible oils — groundnut, mustard, vanaspati, soya, sunflower, and palm oil had risen up to 48%.
  • This was due to
  • Surge in global prices, and lower domestic production of soybean which is India’s largest oilseed crop.
  • Excessive buying of edible oil by China.
  • Many major oil producers are aggressively pursuing biofuel policies and diverting their edible oil crops for that purpose.
  • Governmental taxes and duties also make up a major chunk of the retail price of edible oils in India.
  • India is the world’s biggest vegetable oil importer.
  • India imports about 60% of its edible oil needs, leaving the country’s retail prices vulnerable to international pressures.
  • It imports palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, soyoil from Brazil and Argentina, and sunflower oil, mainly from Russia and Ukraine.

Vanniyar Movement:

With local body polls round the corner, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK government in Tamil Nadu) has announced the construction of a memorial in Villupuram to people killed in police firing and clashes in 1987, during a movement demanding reservation for the Vanniyar community.

  • Vanniyars are one of the largest and most consolidated backward communities in the state.
  • They had raised massive protests in the mid-1980s demanding 20% reservation in the state, and 2% in central services.
  • The Vanniyars declared an agitation from September 17 to 23, 1987, which turned violent. At least 21 protesters were killed, mostly in police firing, and also in clashes with members of Scheduled Caste communities.
  • After the DMK government of M Karunanidhi came to power in 1989, the OBC quota was split into two: Backward Castes and Most Backward Castes. Vanniyars were categorised among the MBCs with 107 other communities, with 20% reservation.
  • Three decades later, the then AIADMK government passed a Bill, and the current DMK government has implemented it with a Government Order ensuring 10.5% reservation for Vanniyars within the 20% MBC quota.

What Is Blue stragglers?

Blue stragglers, a class of stars on open or globular clusters that stand out as they are bigger and bluer than the rest of the stars, have intrigued scientists who have for long probed their origin

  • Carrying out the first-ever comprehensive analysis of blue stragglers, Indian researchers found that
    • half of the blue stragglers in their sample are formed through mass transfer from a close binary companion star,
    • one third are likely formed through collisions of 2 stars, and
    • the remaining are formed through interactions of more than 2 stars.
  • This first-ever comprehensive analysis of blue stragglers is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  • The researchers compared the mass of the blue stragglers to the mass of the turnoff stars (which are the most massive ‘normal’ stars in the cluster) and predicted the formation mechanisms.

 

Journalists Welfare Scheme:

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has constituted a ten member Committee headed by Shri Ashok Kumar Tandon, renowned Journalist and Member, Prasar Bharati to take a look at the existing guidelines of Journalists Welfare Scheme of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and make appropriate recommendations for changes therein.

  • This decision is considered significant in the light of the several changes that have taken place in the media eco space including the loss of a large number of journalists due to COVID-19 and the broad basing of the definition of the “Working Journalists”.
  • With the enactment of Occupational, Safety, Health and Working Condition Code 2020, the definition of the Working Journalists has been broadened to include within its fold those working in both traditional and digital media.
  • Further, it was also considered necessary to look at the possible parity between accredited and non-accredited journalists from the perspective of welfare and availing of benefits under the scheme.

5- Star ‘Eat Right Station’

Indian Railways’ Chandigarh Railway Station has been awarded a 5- star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification for providing high-quality, nutritious food to passengers.

  • This certification is granted by FSSAI to railway stations.
  • The ‘Eat Right Station’ certification is awarded by FSSAI to railway stations adhering to standard food storage and hygiene practices that set benchmarks in providing safe and wholesome food to passengers.
  • The station is awarded a certificate upon a conclusion of an FSSAI-empanelled third-party audit agency with ratings from 1 to 5. The 5-star rating indicates exemplary efforts by stations to ensure safe and hygienic food is available to passengers.
  • The certification is part of the ‘Eat Right India’ movement- a large-scale effort by FSSAI to transform the country’s food system to ensure safe, healthy and sustainable food for all Indians.
  • Chandigarh Railway Station becomes the fifth station in India to get this recognition.
  • The other railway stations with this certification include Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station; (Delhi), Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus; (Mumbai), Mumbai Central Railway Station; (Mumbai) and Vadodara Railway Station.

Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL)

In a first, in Coal India Ltd. (CIL) under the Ministry of Coal, an innovative Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) at Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) was inaugurated.

  • Designed by the MCL’s Innovation Cell and the Department of E&T, the portal named “Vihangam’ for remote monitoring was created by a Mumbai-based start-up of drone manufacturing, robotics and automation.
  • This state-of-art initiative will enable the Company to access real-time video through the internet and pave the way for other allied potential use-cases of drones in mines.
  • Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) is one of the major coal producing company of India. It was carved out of South Eastern Coalfields Limited in 1992 with its headquarters at Sambalpur. It has its coal mines spread across Odisha.
  • MCL was the first coal company to introduce environment-friendly Surface Mining technology in 1999.

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