Home Daily Current Affairs Jun 10, 2021

Jun 10, 2021: Current affairs for UPSC/State PSC

COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX)

COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by the Vaccine Alliance GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is one of the three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator initiative begun in April 2020 by the WHO, the European Commission, and the government of France.

COVAX coordinates international resources to enable low-to-middle-income countries equitable access to COVID-19 tests, therapies, and vaccines.

COVAX is joined by more than 165 countries, a total of 92 low- and middle-income countries are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (AMC) financing instrument.

India joined COVAX through a membership with the GAVI alliance.

After initial deliveries to North Africa, West Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East in March and April 2021, India begun to limit "Covishield" exports until June 2021, due to soaring case numbers in the country.

It is possible for private donors to donate to COVAX through the "Go Give One" campaign.

International Relations

Minimum support price (MSP)

The Central government has hiked the minimum support price (MSP) for common paddy to ₹1,940 a quintal for the coming kharif season, close to 4% higher than last year?s price of ₹1,868.

The MSP is the rate at which the government purchases crops from farmers, and is based on a calculation of at least one-and-a-half times the cost of production incurred by the farmers.

MSP rate is to safeguard the farmer to a minimum profit for the harvest, if the open market has lesser price than the cost incurred.

MSP is not enforceable by law and is fixed on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) since 2009.

The Indian government sets the price for 23 commodities twice a year.

While CACP recommends the MSP of 23 crops every year, its recommendations have no legal binding on anyone including the government and mostly wheat and paddy are procured by the government on MSP.

Gov. Schemes

India-Thailand coordinated patrol (CORPAT)

The Indian and Thai navies on June 9 kicked off a three-day coordinated patrol in the Andaman Sea in the 31st edition of the India-Thailand coordinated patrol (CORPAT).

The two navies have been bi-annually undertaking CORPAT along their international maritime boundary line (IMBL) since 2005.

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 the countries in the Indian Ocean Region.

In November 2020, India held the Malabar exercise and invited Australia for the exercise effectively making it a drill by all the Quad member nations.

Defence

QS World University rankings

There are 22 Indian institutions in the top 1,000 list of QS World University rankings, compared to 21 last year.

Three Indian Universities have achieved top-200 positions - IIT Bombay (177th), IIT Delhi (185th) and IISc Bengaluru (186th).

IIT Bombay maintained its position as the top Indian institution for the fourth consecutive year, although it fell five places in the global rankings to the joint 177th position.

IISc Bengaluru ranked number 1 in the world for research.

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has entered the top 1,000 of the QS World University rankings for the first time.

Top 3 in the world: 1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2) University of Oxford, 3) Stanford University and University of Cambridge.

QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

It is the only international ranking to have received the approval of International Ranking Expert Group (IREG).

Social Issues

Keeling Curve

The Keeling Curve is a graph of the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere based on continuous measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory on the island of Hawaii from 1958 to the present day.

The curve is named for the scientist Charles David Keeling, who started the monitoring program and supervised it until his death in 2005.

Keeling's measurements showed the first significant evidence of rapidly increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere.

Environment

Re-introducing Asiatic cheetah

In 1952, five years after the last three wild cheetahs fell to hunting - cheetahs were declared extinct in the India.

There have been several calls to re-introduce it, the Asiatic cheetah, a Critically Endangered is found in the wild today only in Iran, which refused to entertain any relocation.

So, the plan turned its focus to African cheetah - among the areas identified for the Rs. 14-crore "Project Cheetah" is the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

IUCN status for Asiatic cheetah is Critically Endangered, while for African Cheetah, it is Vulnerable.

Environment

What is "SVAMITVA Yojana" ?

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption to Survey of India (Sol) from Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021.

The drone deployment permission has been granted for large scale mapping of inhabited areas of villages under the central government scheme - Survey of villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas (SVAMITVA).

The images captured through Drones would be processed by Survey of India in its Geographic Information System lab.

Read More: Swamitva Yojana

Gov. Schemes

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Urban (PMAY-U)

The Government approved 708 proposals for construction of 3.61 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Urban (PMAY-U) on 8th June 2021.

PMAY - U Awards 2021 - 100 Days Challenge was also launched to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contribution and performances by States, Union Territories (UTs), Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and beneficiaries for successful implementation of the Mission.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-U) was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) in Mission mode to achieve the provision of Housing for All by 2022.

The scheme seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:

1) Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource.

2) Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy.

3) Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors.

4) Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.

Gov. Schemes

CESL & Ladakh sign pact for carbon neutrality

State-owned Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) has signed a pact with the administration of the Union Territory of Ladakh for making it carbon-neutral, state.

Environment

Operation Pangea XIV

In an exercise code-named "Operation Pangea XIV" and coordinated by Interpol - More than 1.10 lakh web links, including websites and online marketplaces, have been taken down by the police, customs and health regulatory authorities of 92 countries against the sale of fake and illicit medicines and medical products.

International Relations