Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 07 January 2021
Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Exam
- Rastriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) announces Kamdhenu Gau-Vigyan Prachar-Prasar Exam
- It will hold a countrywide online examination on gau vigyan(cow science).
- RKA is a permanent apex advisory body, under Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, to organize animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines, and to take steps for preserving and improving breeds.
- Prohibit the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
- It functions as an integral part of Rashtriya Gokul Mission (a project under National Programme for BovineBreeding and Dairy Development).
Sagarmala Seaplane Services
- Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is initiating the process of commencing operations of the Seaplane services, on the select routes, under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators.
- The project execution and implementation would be through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), which is under the administrative control of the Ministry.
- The joint development and operation of “Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS)” will be undertaken by forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL).
- To provide connectivity and easier accessibility to remote locations, SDCL is exploring plans to leverage the potential of the vast coastline and numerous water bodies/rivers across India by commencing seaplane operations.
- Sea Plane will utilize the nearby water bodies for take-off and landing and thus connect those places in a much economical way as conventional airport infrastructure like a runway and terminal buildings are not required for seaplane operations.
- The seaplanes services will be a game-changer providing a supplementary means of faster and comfortable transportation across the nation.
- Apart from providing air connectivity to various remote religious/tourist places, it will boost tourism for domestic and international holidaymakers.
- It will save travel time and stimulate localized short distance travelling especially in the hilly regions or across the rivers/lakes etc.
- In addition to the infrastructural enhancements at the places of operations, it will enormously boost tourism and business activities.
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Grand EthiopianRenaissance Dam
- Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt will resume negotiations to resolve their dispute over Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
- GERD is a hydropower project nearing completion on Blue Nile River in Ethiopia. When completed it will belargest dam in Africa.
- White Nile River and Blue Nile River are two major tributaries of the Nile.The Blue Nile supplies about 80% ofthe water in the Nile during the rainy season.
Why does Ethiopia want this dam?
- Ethiopia’s goal is to secure electricity for its population and to sustain and develop its growing manufacturing industry.
- Addis Ababa anticipates that this dam will generate approximately 6,000 megawatts of electricity when it is completed, that can be distributed for the needs of its population and industries.
- Researchers believe that in addition to its domestic requirements, Ethiopia may be hoping to sell surplus electricity to neighbouring nations like Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and South Sudan, that also suffer from electricity shortages, to generate some revenue.
World’s worst internet shutdowns cost India $2.8 billion in 2020
- According to estimates by Top10VPN,Internet shutdowns last year has cost India$2.8 billion.
- Top10VPN, a digital privacy research group, estimated that more than 1,600 hours of Internet blackouts and 7,000 hours of bandwidth throttling has cost the country about $2.8 billion, accounting to 70% of the total loss of $4 bn to the world economy.
- Restrictions in Kashmir, the longest internet shutdown in a democracy, have hurt businesses, schools and the distribution of medicine.
- The limiting of networks to 2G has made it impossible for online classes to function adequately.
- This caused willful harm to the careers of the students and teachers, violated the rights to education.
- They lifted the restrictions in March 2020, seven months after imposing it on the state.
- Authorities continued to throttle internet speeds to 2G levels even after lifting restrictions.
- Top10VPN estimates the true economic cost would be even higher as a major part of the blackouts in the villages and city districts were not included in the report.
- It focussed on larger region-wide shutdowns.
- Top10VPN defined internet shutdown as an intentional disruption of internet or electronic communications for a specific population or location, to exert control over the flow of information.
Prime Minister to inaugurate New Rewari-New Madar DFC section & flag off Double Stack Long Haul Container Train
- Prime Minister to inauguratethe 306 kilometre long Western Dedicated Freight Corridor’s (WDFC) New Rewari – New Madar section via video conferencing.
- He will also flag off the world’s first 1.5 kilometre long Double Stack Long Haul Container Train between New Ateli and New Kishangarh. The train will be hauled by electric traction.
Western Dedicated Freight Corridor:
- The WDFC section of New Rewari – New Madar is located in Haryana (around 79 Km, in the districts of Mahendragarh and Rewari) and Rajasthan (around 227 Km, in the districts of Jaipur, Ajmer, Nagaur, Sikar and Alwar).
- The DFC section comprises of nine newly developed stations in which six of them are crossing stations viz. New Dabla, New Pachar Malikpur, New Sri Madhopur, New Bhagega, New Sakun and New Kishangarh while the other three in New Ateli, New Rewari and New Phulera are junction stations.
- According to the PMO, the opening of this WDFC stretch will benefit various industries in Rewari – Phulera, Kishangarh, Manesar and Narnaul areas of Rajasthan and Haryana.
- It will also enable better usage of the container depot of CONCOR at Kathuwas. Also, seamless connectivity will be provided with this WDFC section to the western ports of Mundhra, Pipavav, Kandla and Dahej situated in the state of Gujarat.
- With the opening of this section, seamless connectivity will be achieved between the WDFC and EDFC.
Double Stack Long Haul Container Train:
- The Double Stack Long Haul Container Train Operation will have an enhanced axle load of 25 tons.
- It has been designed by the wagon department of RDSO for Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India.
- Trial runs have been completed for BLCS-A and BLCS-B wagon prototypes. It is being said that the design will maximize capacity utilization and uniform distribution as well as point loading.
- On the WDFC, these wagons can carry four times in terms of container units on a long-haul double stack container train compared to the current Indian Railways’ traffic.
Science and Technology
Pune Metro, DRDO sign MoU for using biodigester technology
- Pune Metro will use biodigesters developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation for treatinghuman waste and recycling water consumed in Pune metro rail.
- Biodigester technology is an eco-friendly, cost-effective, decentralised, on-site human waste treatmenttechnology that uses anaerobic microbial consortium (Bacteria that do not need oxygen).
- The end product of biodigesters are fertilizer and biogas.
- Biodigesters are suitable for ambient as well as sub-zero temperature of Himalayan region, glaciers, plains ofnorth India and coastal regions.
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- Union Ministry of Education, Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Union Ministry of Textile, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Union Ministry of MSME, Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have jointly launched Toycathon-2021 and Toycathon Portal.
- Under this, students, teachers, design experts, toy experts and startups will get together to crowd source ideasfor developing toys and games that are based on Indian culture and ethos.
- It will help India develop into a global hub for toys and games.
- It will also help children to understand the ethos and values of Indian culture.
- An estimated 70-80% of the market demand for toys is met by imports, with China contributing to 75-85%.