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Current Affairs 2021

The value of Current Affairs in Civil Service Examinations is enormous. This is the most critical part of both Prelims and Mains Exam. Aspirants should study in depth to understand the significance of current affairs for the Union Public Service Commission. In fact, all the questions in Civil Service Exams are framed around current affairs. Questions are not asked directly for current news and information in the exam. Questions are framed by combining current affairs with practical knowledge. The primary motive behind this type of strategy is to check the ability of correlation a candidate can make to the fact.

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Why current affairs is more important in Civil Service Exam?

Success in Prelims and Mains Exam is directly related to an aspirant’s awareness in current affairs. Preparation of current affairs for UPSC is the key to unlock the exam. It requires practice and revision in a well-connected manner... In such a scenario the preparation of current affairs topics related to India and the world is an important part of your preparations. The students have to be aware of the happening in India and around the world as this portion is an integral part of the general studies paper.

In order to make you ready for the challenges of the Current Affairs preparation, we are covering the current affairs topics on a regular basis. Our current topics are categorised in such a way that it includes; political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, government's scheme and policies and international affairs.

We provide you comprehensive topics of preparation that covers not only India's current scenario but also international events. We also cover Indian news headlines and other important international events under the current affairs segment.

For the very purpose of getting you ready for the challenge that is current news and views in India, we are covering the current affairs 2020 on a regular basis. Our hot topics are categorised such that they include political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, current government affairs and international affairs. Only studying India's current scenario or political affairs is not sufficient as you have to cover international events and affairs along with the Indian news space, as well as important and current events in the field of science and sports.

Current Affairs Topics 2021

Current Affairs June 07 to June 13

Arts

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shivrajyabhishek Divas: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant recently released afilm titled “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shivrajyabhishek Divas” on social media in Konkani and Hindi version.

Highlights:

The film was released on the occasion of anniversary of Maratha king’s coronation "Shivrajyabhisek" day highlighting history of Goa and Shivaji’s role in fighting Portuguese.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was crowned the king of Maratha Swaraj at Raigad Fort on June 6 in 1674.

The day is of great significance to the Maratha community and is celebrated on a large scale, especially in Raigad.

About the Movie:

The movie covers the history of Goa and Shivaji’s role in fighting the Portuguese

It also highlights hundreds of true stories that future generations need to be aware of.

The movie speaks about royal tax imposed by traitorous landlords in Pernem, Maneri, Bicholim, and Sattari in North Goa to oppress locals, after which they betrayed the land and state and revolted against Portuguese.

According to the film, in 1677, the Portuguese Governor, Conde De San Vincent, had given an “open warning to Hindus” that said that if they wanted to live in Bardez (in North Goa), they would either have to abandon their religion or leave Bardez”.

However, this was not acceptable to Shivaji, who attacked Colvale Fort with 5,000 soldiers, after which the Portuguese surrendered in three days.

Shivaji was the first Indian king to defeat the Portuguese.

Additional Info:

Shivaji Maharaj's 13th direct descendant Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje, who is also a BJP lawmaker, released 'Hoan', an antique coin of the king's era, on the occasion.

About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj:

Shivaji Bhonsle, also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was an Indian warrior king and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan.

He was named after the local Goddess Shivai to whom his mother Jijabai prayed for a son.  

He carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire.

In 1674, he was formally crowned as the Chhatrapati (Monarch) of his realm at Raigad.

Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with the help of a disciplined military and well-structured administrative organisation.

His innovative military tactics, pioneering non-conventional methods leveraged strategic factors like geography, speed, and surprise and focused pinpoint attacks to defeat his larger and more powerful enemies.

He established Maratha navy.

He is not only a hero for the people of Maharashtra but also for the rest of India as his military prowess and guerilla tactics of warfare are considered of great importance in the Indian history.

He was instrumental in uniting the Maratha chiefs of Mayal, Konkan, and Desh regions.

During his life, Shivaji got engaged in alliances as well as hostilities with Mughal Empire, Sultanate of Golkonda and Sultanate of Bijapur besides European colonial powers.

He not only captured but also built forts.

He revived the ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of Marathi and Sanskrit, rather than Persian, in court and administration.

Books and Authors:

1232 km: The Long Journey Home: 1232 km: The Long Journey Home is a new book by filmmaker Vinod Kapri.

Highlights:

  • The book is published by Harper Collins.
  • The nationwide lockdown in March 2020 forced thousands of migrant workers to return to their native villages by covering thousands of kilometres on foot.
  • According to the author, he was curious to know what makes labourers’ cycle 1,232 kilometres without food or any help in such extreme circumstances.
  • He wanted to see them up close.
  • So Kapri accompanied these seven migrant workers — Ritesh, Ashish, Ram Babu, Sonu, Krishna, Sandeep and Mukesh — on their 1,232-km journey from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh to Saharsa in Bihar.

About the Book:

  • It is a story of courage as well as the desperation of seven men braving police lathis and insults, battling hunger and exhaustion to reach their home.
  • The book chronicles the journey of seven migrant workers from Bihar, who journeyed back home on their bicycles and reached their destination after seven days.
  • The book is published by Harper Collins.
  • The nationwide lockdown in March 2020 forced thousands of migrant workers to return to their native villages by covering thousands of kilometres on foot.

National Films Awards 2021: The film "Water Burial" directed by the independent filmmaker Shantanu Sen has bagged the best film National Award on environment conservation at 67th National Films Awards 2021.

Water Burial is produced by AM Television.

About the Movie:

  • The movie Water Burial based on environment conservation.
  • Inspired by the Assam novel 'Saba Kota Manuh' by Yeshe Dorjee Thongchai, the film Water Burial is in Monpa dialect and has an intriguing storyline around a dark ritual of a local tribe in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The story of the film revolves around an anthropologist who sets off to find his friend’s favorite drink. The journey takes him to a remote place, Jung, where he stumbles upon a local tribe’s dark ritual. Thus he takes up the mission of bringing it forth into the mainstream.

About National Film Awards:

  • The National Film Awards is the most prominent film award ceremony in India.
  • It was established in 1954.
  • The ceremony has been administered by the Indian Directorate of Film Festivals, along with the International Film Festival of India and the Indian Panorama, by the Indian government's Directorate of Film Festivals since 1973.
  • The Government of India (GoI) conceived the ceremony to honour films made across India, on a national scale, to encourage the furthering of Indian art and culture.
  • The National films Awards are awarded for excellence in cinematic achievements for Indian cinema.
  • The National Film Awards are presented in three main categories:
  • Feature Films
  • Non-Feature Films
  • Best Writing on Cinema
  • In addition, a lifetime achievement award, named after the father of Indian cinema Dadasaheb Phalke, is awarded to a film personality for the outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema.
  • All the award winners are awarded with a Medallion, cash prize and a certificate of merit.
  • Six categories from Feature Films section, two from Non-Feature Films and Best Writing on Cinema sections each have been made eligible for Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus Award) and rest of the categories for Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus Award).

Jury:

  • The juries are appointed by the Directorate of Film Festivals in India.
  • Every year, a national panel appointed by the government selects the winning entry, and the award ceremony is held in New Delhi, where the President of India presents the awards.
  • This prestigious National cinema awards hold the distinction of awarding merit to the best of Indian cinema overall, as well as presenting awards for the best films in each region and language of the country.

BAFTA TV Awards: The BAFTA TV Awards winners were recently announced at a hybrid event filmed at London's Television Centre.

Highlights:

  • This gala event was hosted by Richard Ayoade. Well, amid the rapid spread of Covid-19, the organizers have kept all the protocols in the mind.
  • Only the nominees of the main categories were present in person and all others joined virtually.
  • Michaela Cole bagged two of the biggest awards for her BBC and HBO series I May Destroy You.
  • Other winners include Aimee Lou Wood as Female Performance in Comedy for Netflix's Sex Education, Leading Actor went to
  • Paul Mescal for Normal People. Season 4 of The Crown did not win any awards, despite bagging the Golden Globes.

 The list of winners:

Sport: England v West Indies Test Cricket – Production Team – Sky Sports and Sky Sports Cricket

Single Documentary: Locked In: Breaking the Silence (Storyville) Xavier Alford, Sacha Mirzoeff, Colette Hodges, Poppy Goodheart – Marble Films/ BBC Four

Short-Form Program: They Saw the Sun First – Jess Lowe, Stefan Hunt, Red Bull Media House/ Red Bull TV, Adam Gee – Fresh Film

News Coverage: Sky News: Inside Idlib – Production Team – Sky News

International: Welcome to Chechnya: The gay Purge (Storyville) – Alice Henty, David France, Joy A. Tomchin, Askold Kurov – Public Square Films/ BBC Four.

Current Affairs: America’s War on Abortion (Exposure) – Darin Prindle, Andrew Smith, Deeyah Khan – Fusse Films/ ITV

Leading Actress: Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You – Various Artists, BBC One/FALKNA

Leading Actor: Paul Mescal – Normal People – BBC Three/Element Pictures

Drama Series: Save Me Too – Jessica Sykes, Simon Heath, Lizzie Rusbridger, Lennie James, Jim Loach, Coky Giedroyc – Sky Atlantic/World Productions

Single Drama: Sitting in Limbo – Production Team – BBC One/ Left Bank Pictures

Comedy Entertainment Program: The Big Narstie Show – Nathan Brown, Obi Kevin Akudike, Rina Dayalji, Toby Baker, Ben Wicks – Expectation, Channel 4/ Dice Productions Entertainment

LIVE Event: Springwatch 2020 – Production Team – BBC Two/ BBC Studios Natural History

Factual Series: Once Upon a Time in Iraq – Miriam Walsh, Jo Able, James Bluemel, Andrew Palmer, Will Anderson, Simon Sykes – BBC Two/Keo Films

Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment (voted by the public): Britain’s Got Talent – Diversity perform a routine inspired by the BLM protests – Thames, ITV/Syco

Soap and Continuing Drama: Casualty – Loretta Preece, Simon Harper, Jenny Thompson, Sarah Beeson – BBC One/ BBC Studios

Mini-Series: I May Destroy You – Production Team – Various Artists, BBC One/ FALKNA

Reality and Constructed Factual: The School That Tried to End Racism – Production Team – Channel 4/ Proper Content

Female Performance in a Comedy Program: Aimee Lou Wood – Sex Education – Netflix/Eleven Film

Specialist Factual: The Surgeon’s Cut – James Van Der Pool, Andrew Cohen, James Newton – Netflix/BBC Studios

Male Performance in a Comedy Program: Charlie Cooper – This Country – BBC Three/BBC Studios

Daytime: The Great House Giveaway – Production Team – Channel 4/ Chwarel

Supporting Actor: Malachi Kirby – Small Axe – Turbine Studios, Lammas Park/ BBC One

Features: Long Lost Family – Born Without Trace – Rose Schellenberg, Paddy Lynas, Alice Goodyear, Sally Benton – ITV/Wall to Wall Media

Entertainment Program: Life and Rhymes – Production Team – CPL Productions, Licklemor Productions/Sky Arts

Supporting Actress: Rakie Ayola ‘Anthony’ – BBC One/ LA Productions

Scripted Comedy: Inside No 9 – Steve Pemberton, Andam Tandy, Matt Lipsey, Reece Shearsmith, Guillem Morals – BBC Two/BBC Studios

Entertainment Performance: Romesh Ranganathan – The Ranganation – BBC Two/ Zeppotron

About BAFTA Awards:

  • BAFTA is the acronym for The British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
  • BAFTA Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the BAFTA.
  • BAFTA, initially the British Film Academy was formed in 1947 with an aim to promote, support, and develop the art form of the moving image such as film and television in the UK.
  • The first ever Awards, given in 1955, consisted of six categories.
  • Until 1958, they were awarded by the Guild of Television Producers and Directors.
  • From 1958 onwards, after the Guild had merged with the British Film Academy, the organization was known as the Society of Film and Television Arts.
  • In 1976, this became the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

UK Asian Film Festival: Indian actress Tillotama Shome has made the country proud by winning the Best Actor award at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF).

Highlights:

  • Tillotama won the award for her role in the film Raahgir: The Wayfarers.
  • The film has been directed by Goutam Ghose.
  • The UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) 2021 was the 23rd edition of the annual event.
  • Apart from Tillotama, filmmaker Goutam Ghose has also won the Best Director award at the UKAFF.

About the Raahgir: The Wayfarers:

  • This film stars Adil Hussain (Lakhua), Tillotama Shome (Nathuni) and Neeraj Kabi (Chopatlal).
  • It is a story of three strangers, living on a daily wage basis, who cross each other’s path accidentally on a journey and develop a strong bond.

About UKAFF:

  • The UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) is the longest running South Asian film festival in the world.
  • UKAFF was previously known as the London Asian Film Festival. is a British film festival organised by the not-for-profit organization Tongues on Fire Ltd.
  • It takes place annually in the spring in London.
  • Founding directors Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry and Mrs Harvinder Nath started the festival in 1999.
  • The festival caters mainly to South Asian films to date, with main events usually held at either BAFTA or the BFI.
Read More

Economics

e-filing portal: The Income Tax Department launched its new e-filing portal on June 7, 2021.

Highlights:

  • The new portal can be accessed through www.incometax.gov.in.
  • The new e-filing portal is aimed at providing a modern, seamless and more convenient experience to the taxpayers.

About the New e-filing portal:

  • The new taxpayer-friendly portal has been integrated with immediate processing of Income Tax Returns and quick refunds to taxpayers.
  • The portal will display all interactions and uploads or pending actions on a single dashboard for follow-up action by the taxpayer.
  • It will act as a one-stop centre for all such actions.
  • The portal offers free-of-cost ITR preparation software with interactive questions to help taxpayers.
  • It will enable taxpayers to proactively update their profile to provide certain details of income including salary, house property and profession, which will be used in pre-filling their ITR.
  • It will also enable pre-filling with salary income, interest, dividend and capital gains after TDS and SFT statements are uploaded and the due date for the same is June 30, 2021.
  • The new portal will also include a new call center for taxpayer assistance for prompt response to taxpayer queries.
  • It will provide detailed FAQs, User Manuals, Videos and chatbot/live agent.
  • It would comprise of functionalities for filing Income Tax Forms, Add tax professionals, Submit responses to Notices in Faceless Scrutiny or Appeals would be available.

Other Details:

  • The new tax payment system will be launched on June 18th, 2021 after the advance tax installment date to avoid any taxpayer inconvenience.
  • A mobile app will also be released by IT department subsequently after the initial launch of the portal, to enable taxpayers to get familiar with the several features.

About ITD:

  • The Income Tax Department (also referred to as IT Department or ITD) is a government agency undertaking direct tax collection of the Government of India (GoI).
  • It functions under the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance.
  • Income Tax Department is headed by the apex body Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  • Main responsibility of IT Department is to enforce various direct tax laws, most important among these being the Income-tax Act, 1961, to collect revenue for GoI.
  • It also enforces other economic laws like the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988and the Black Money Act, 2015.

World Accreditation Day (WAD) 2021: World Accreditation Day (WAD) is celebrated every year on 9 June every year.

WAD is a global initiative established by International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

The day is celebrated to promote the role of accreditation in trade & the economy.

Theme of 2021:

The theme for WAD 2021 is “Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

Purpose of Accreditation:

Accreditation has an important role in supporting the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to meet objectives such as increasing trade, addressing environment and health and safety concerns, and improving the general overall quality of output in an economy.

Events:

National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), the two accreditation boards of the Quality Council of India (QCI) have organized a Webinar on 2 SDGs to commemorate the event. They are:

SDG Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being

SDG Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitization.

What means accreditation?

Accreditation is a third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body (such as certification body, inspection body or laboratory) conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks (such as certification, inspection and testing).

About NABL:

NABL is a Constituent Board of Quality Council of India.

It is an autonomous body setup under Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India (GoI).

It was formed in 1988 with the objective to provide Government, Industry Associations and Industry in general with a scheme for third-party assessment of the quality and technical competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

It is headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana.

The current CEO of NABL is N. Venkateswaran.

CHATT: CHATT is the name of a new industry association established by Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra. Tfull fprm oh CHATT is “Confederation of Hospitality, Technology & Tourism" Industry.

Highlights:

  • The tourism body aims to promote small companies and travel and hospitality technology enterprises.
  • The association was launched virtually in presence of Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel.

About CHATT Association:

  • It will promote domestic tourism and help it in digital transformation.
  • It will position itself to be a thought leader that also imparts educational training and beneficial programs to its entire industry segments. Every member will have the access to CHATT resources and benefits.
  • It provides for participation in year-round programmes, access to travel-tech ecosystem, signature business events, inclusion of experts & regional leads among others.

Members of CHATT association:

CHATT association comprises of biz leaders and startup founders including the following:

  • Amanpreet Bajaj who is General Manager of Airbnb – India, Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong
  • Nishant Pitti who is Co- Founder & CEO of EaseMyTrip.com;
  • Rohit Kapoor who is CEO of OYO India & Southeast Asia and
  • Dhruv Shringi who is Co-Founder and CEO of Yatra.com.

Airbnb Inc.

  • It is an American company which operates an online marketplace for lodging, homestays for vacation rentals and tourism activities.
  • It was founded in 2008 by Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk
  • It is based in San Francisco, California.
  • Platform can be accessed via website and mobile app.
  • Company does not own any of listed properties and earn profits by receiving commission from each booking.

Bandhan Bank: The Reserve Bank of India has recently granted approval for the re-appointment of Chandra Shekhar Ghosh as MD and CEO of Bandhan Bank, for a period of three years.

The re-appointment as above is subject to the approval of shareholders at the ensuing annual general meeting of the bank.

About Chandra Shekhar Ghosh:

  • Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has been one of the foremost proponents of microfinance in India.
  • He founded Bandhan in 2001 as a not-for-profit enterprise that stood for financial inclusion and women empowerment through sustainable livelihood creation.
  • He was at the forefront of its transformation into an NBFC-MFI and finally the universal bank.
  • Bandhan Bank is headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal.

RAMP: It refers to Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) Programme. The World Bank has recently approved a USD 500 million program to help boost India’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector which has been heavily impacted by way of the COVID-19 crisis.

Highlights:

  • The programme targets improvements in the performance of five lakh 50 thousand MSMEs.
  • Out of some 58 million MSMEs in the country, more than 40 per cent lack access to formal sources of finance.
  • The MSME sector is the backbone of the country’s economy, contributing 30 percent of India’s GDP and 40 percent of exports.

RAMP Program by World Bank:

  • The USD 500 million Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Performance (RAMP) Programme is the World Bank’s second intervention in this sector.
  • The first being the USD 750 million MSME Emergency Response Program, approved in July 2020 to address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of millions of viable MSMEs.
  • The RAMP programme will provide better access to finance and working capital for MSMEs by strengthening the receivable financing markets.
  • It will also scale up online dispute resolution mechanisms to address the problem of delayed payments.
  • The programme targets improvements in the performance of 5.5 lakh MSMEs and is expected to mobilise financing of USD 15.5 billion, as part of the government's USD 3.4 billion MSME Competitiveness - A Post-COVID Resilience and Recovery Programme (MCRRP).
  • The USD 500 million loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a maturity of 18.5 years including a 5.5-year grace period.

Mahesh Kumar Jain: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the re-appointment of Mahesh Kumar Jain as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for two more years with effect from June 22, 2021.

  • The three-year term of MK Jain as RBI Deputy Governor was to end on June 21, 2021.
  • At present, Michael Patra, M Rajeshwar Rao and Rabi Sankar are the other three serving RBI Deputy Governors.

RBI:

  • It refers to the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The RBI is India's central bank, which controls the issue and supply of the Indian rupee.
  • It carries out India's monetary policy and exercises supervision and control over banks and non-banking finance companies in India.
  • RBI was set up in 1935 under the Reserve Bank of India Act,1934.
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai.
  • RBI plays an important part in the Development Strategy of the Government of India.
  • The current Governor of RBI is Shaktikanta Das.
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Defence

Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar: Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, AVSM, VSM recently assumed charge as Director General Naval Operations.

Highlights:

  • The Flag Officer is a specialist in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and has served on frontline warships of the Navy as ASW Officer and later as the Executive Officer and Principal Warfare Officer of Guided Destroyer INS Mysore.
  • He has commanded the missile corvette INS Kora, the missile frigate INS Shivalik and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat.

About Indian Navy:

  • The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy.
  • The Chief of Naval Staff, a four-star admiral, commands the navy.
  • Indian Navy was founded on 26 January 1950.
  • The current Chief of Navy Staff (CNS) is Karambir singh.

Indo-Thai CORPAT: The 31st edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) kicked off on June 09, 2021, in the Andaman Sea.

Highlights:

  • The three-day coordinated patrol between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy was conducted from 09 to 11 June 2021.
  • From the Indian side, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, participated while from Thailand Navy, HTMS Krabi participated in CORPAT, along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies.
  • The exercise aims to consolidate interoperability between Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy and also to keep the Indian Ocean safe and secure for International trade.

About the CORPAT:

  • The CORPAT exercise is being conducted between the two navies bi-annually since 2005, along their International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
  • CORPAT builds up understanding and interoperability between navies and develops measures to prevent and suppress unlawful activities like Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.

Additional Info:

  • In sync with the government’s vision of SAGAR (Security And Growth for All in the Region), the Indian Navy has been proactively engaging with countries in the Indian Ocean Region towards enhancing regional maritime security.

About Thailand:

  • Thailand, formerly known as Siam, and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia.
  • It is located at the centre of the Indochinese Peninsula.
  • Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar.
  • It also shares maritime borders with Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, and Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest.
  • Bangkok is the capital of Thailand.
  • The currency used here is Thai baht.
  • The current Prime Minister of Thailand is Prayut Chan-o-cha.

INS Sandhayak: INS Sandhayak, the Indian Navy's oldest Hydrographic Survey Vessel was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam after serving the nation for 40 glorious years.

The ship was decommissioned in a solemn and low-key event due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic when the National Flag, Naval Ensign, and the Decommissioning Pennant were lowered at sunset time in the presence of Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, AVSM, VSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, and the Chief Guest for the ceremony.

About:

  • INS Sandhayak undertook over 200 major hydrographic surveys in Western and Eastern coasts of the Indian peninsula, the Andaman Sea, and minor surveys in neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • The ship also took part in the following important operations:
  • Operation Pawan (assisting the Indian Peace Keeping Force) in Sri Lanka in 1987 in Sri Lanka, 1987,
  • Operation Rainbow for Humanitarian Assistance in the aftermath of the Tsunami in 2004
  • The maiden Indo-US HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) Exercise Tiger-Triumph in 2019.
  • The ship was commissioned to the Indian Navy on February 26, 1981.

About Sandhayak-class Survey Ships:

  • The Sandhayak-class survey ships are a series of eight vessels built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata and Goa Shipyard, Ltd., Vasco for the Indian Navy.
  • These Hydrographic vessels carry out surveys related to measurement and description of features which affect maritime navigation, marine construction, offshore oil exploration and related activities.

ALH MK III: The Indian Navy recently inducted three indigenously-built advanced light helicopters ALH MK-III in their fleet.

The three Maritime Reconnaissance and Coastal Security (MRCS) helicopters were inducted in a ceremony at Naval Air Station, INS Dega, Eastern Naval Command (ENC) in Visakhapatnam.

Highlights:

  • These helicopters are built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at the Indian Naval Station (INS) Dega in Visakhapatnam will be used for maritime reconnaissance and coastal security.
  • These helicopters are equipped with modern surveillance radar and electro-optical equipment.
  • It enables them in doing search and rescue operations even at the night.
  • It is also fitted with a removable medical intensive care unit (ICU) to airlift critically ill patients.
  • It can also undertake constabulary missions.
  • These multi-role helicopters can be equipped with torpedoes and missiles and will significantly boost the navy’s anti-submarine/anti-ship warfare and surveillance capabilities.

Note: Currently, a team from India is stationed in the US to receive training on the flying machines.

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Environment

E-100 project: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the E-100 pilot project in Pune to mark the World Environment Day on 5 May 2021.

Highlights:

  • The E-100 project aims to set up a network for production and distribution of ethanol across the nation.
  • PM Modi also released the 'Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025'.
  • The report is in line with the theme for World Environment Day this year - promotion of biofuels for a better environment.

Ethanol Sector in India:

  • According to PM Modi, India has taken several steps for development of ethanol sector.
  • Ethanol has become a major priority of 21st century India because ethanol has a better impact on environment and lives of farmers.
  • In the line, Government resolved to achieve target of 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol by 2025.
  • Earlier the resolve was to achieve the target by 2030 which is now preponed by 5 years.
  • Till 2014, about 1.5 percent of ethanol used to be blended in India.
  • Now it has reached to 8.5 percent.

Adoption of Ethanol blending:

Ethanol blending in petrol is being adopted by many countries including India in a bid to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and reduce import burden on crude petroleum.

Presently, bioethanol blending in petrol stands at 5%, which can replace around 1.8 million Barrels of crude oil.

What is Ethanol Blending?

An ethanol blend is defined as a blended motor fuel containing ethyl alcohol that is at least 99% pure, derived from agricultural products, and blended exclusively with gasoline.

Ethanol-blended fuels are one pathway to compliance with elements of the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS).

Significance of Ethanol Blending:

Ethanol molecule comprises oxygen which allows engine to completely combust fuel. This result in fewer emissions and reduces environmental pollution.

Ethanol, being a by-product of sugar industry, is a renewable source that leads to net reduction in emission of Carbon dioxide, Carbon Monoxide and hydrocarbons.

What is ethanol?

  • The chemical formula of Ethanol is C2H5OH.
  • It is the organic compound Ethyl Alcohol which is produced from biomass.
  • It is also an ingredient in alcoholic beverages.
  • It has a higher octane number than gasoline, hence improves the petrol octane number.
  • Ethanol has insignificant amount of water in it.

World Ocean's Day 2021: World Ocean Day is observed globally on 8th June every year. Owing to the pandemic, all the celebrations on 8th June 2021 will happen virtually.

Highlights:

  • On the occasion of World Oceans Day 2021 the United Nations (UN) has called for sustainable efforts and stopping plastic pollution in order to save the oceans.
  • Speakers from different fields, including scientists, environmentalists, oceanographers, geologists, experts in solid waste management, marine biologists, volunteers, NGO representatives and others will participate in the World Ocean Day celebrations.
  • Tadi Deepika, a native of Antarvedi in East Godavari district, has got an opportunity to represent India in a virtual meeting being organised by the United Nations Organisation (UNO) on the occasion of World Oceans Day-2021.
  • She works with an NGO on waste management in coastal villages.

World Ocean Day 2021 Theme:

  • The theme of World Ocean Day 2021 is 'The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods'.
  • This year's theme is especially relevant in the lead-up to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, Goal 14, “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources”, which will run from 2021 to 2030
  • The Decade will strengthen international cooperation to develop scientific research and innovative technologies that can connect ocean science with the needs of society.

About World Ocean Day:

  • The day is observed annually on June 8.
  • This day is observed to raise global awareness about the importance of the ocean in our lives and the ways through which we can protect it
  • The day provides governments across the world an opportunity to inform people about impact of economic activities and human actions on ocean.

World Ocean Day History:

  • This was first suggested in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
  • The aim behind this was to not only celebrate the vast water body and its benefits in our lives but also to raise awareness about what can be done to make it a part of sustainable development.
  • On December 5, 2008, a resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly to designate this day.
  • The first World Oceans Day was observed in the year 2009 with the theme ‘Our Oceans, Our Responsibility’.

World Ocean Day Significance:

  • Oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustainable development.
  • UNESCO states that this day is observed to remind everyone that oceans are the lungs of our planet.
  • In order to preserve them, it is necessary to spread awareness, World Oceans Day informs people about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways they can help protect it.
  • Awareness is raised about how to conserve it and rescue it from the eventual degradation that is caused by our careless activities.

About International Marine Organization:

  • International Marine Organization was formed in 1973.
  • The organization was formed to address issues of pollution from ships by oil, noxious liquid substances which are carried in bulk, garbage, sewage, garbage and to check air pollution from ships.

Mission Innovation 2.0: India along with the Governments of 23 nations have collectively launched a bold new plan called Mission Innovation 2.0.

The new plan has been launched to catalyze action and spearhead a decade of innovation for global investment in clean energy research, development and demonstrations.

About Mission Innovation 2.0:

  • Mission Innovation 2.0 is the second phase of the global Mission Innovation initiative, launched alongside the Paris Agreement at the 2015 COP21 conference.
  • The new initiative was launched at the Innovating to Net Zero Summit, hosted by Chile.
  • The main objective of launching this bold plan is to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible throughout this decade; To accelerate action towards the Paris Agreement; and Net-zero pathways.
  • Under this new MI 2.0, a series of new Missions will be undertaken, which will be supported by a new global Innovation Platform to strengthen confidence and awareness in emerging innovations and maximize the impact of national investments.

India’s Effort:

  • As a part of this Platform, India has launched the Mission Innovation CleanTech Exchange, to create a network of incubators across member countries.
  • The network will provide access to the expertise and market insights needed to support new technologies to access new markets globally.

Dihing Patkai: Assam Government recently notified Dihing Patkai as a National Park which was the last remaining stretches of the Assam Valley tropical wet evergreen forests.

Key points:

  • This notification comes four days after creating 422-sq. km Raimona National Park in Kokrajhar district of Assam.
  • Assam now has 7 parks which is the third most National Parks in India.
  • Madhya Pradesh with 12 national parks maintains the top slot and it is followed by Andaman & Nicobar Islands having 9 national parks.

National Parks in Assam:

Assam has five older National Parks including-

  • Kaziranga National Park
  • Manas National Park
  • Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
  • Nameri National Park
  • Orang National Park

Among them, Kaziranga & Manas are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and tiger reserves.  

Nameri and Orang are also designated tiger reserves.

About Dihing Patkai:

  • Dihing Patkai is a 234.26-sq. km stretch covering Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam.
  • It is a major elephant habitat.
  • It has recorded 310 species of butterflies. Park also comprise of 47 species of reptiles & mammals, including tiger and clouded leopard.
  • It will be administered by Soraipung Range of Digboi Forest Division & Jeypore Range of Dibrugarh Forest Division.
  • Dihing Patkai was in focus for illegal coal mining in its vicinity comprising of erstwhile Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, Jeypore Reserve Forest and western block of Upper Dihing Reserve Forest.

Geography:

Aravalli: The Supreme Court of India recently ordered the Haryana government and the Faridabad Municipal Corporation to take “all essential measures” to remove encroachments, including about 10,000 residential constructions, in the ecologically fragile Aravali forest land near Lakarpur Khori village.

Key Points:

  • The Aravalli Range (also spelled Aravali) is a mountain range in Northwestern India.
  • It runs approximately 670 km (430 mi) in a south-west direction, starting near Delhi, passing through southern Haryana and Rajasthan, and ending in Gujarat.
  • The highest peak is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 metres (5,650 ft). Guru Shikhar is a peak in the Arbuda Mountains of Rajasthan.
  • It is 15 km from Mount Abu.
  • Three major rivers and their tributaries flow from the Aravalli, namely Banas and Sahibi rivers which are tributaries of Yamuna, as well as Luni River which flows into the Rann of Kutch.

Fun Fact: Aravalli, a composite Sanskrit word from "ara" and "vali", literally means the "line of peaks".

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