Home Daily Current Affairs Jul 10, 2021

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

This section contains daily current affairs taken from all major news papers and magazines like - The Hindu, Indian Express, PIB, Live Mint, RSTV etc.

These current affairs are written in a easy to remember format and are useful for competitive exams like - UPSC Civil Services, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPPSC, State PSCs and other competitive examinations.

What is "African Union" ?

Egypt and Sudan urged the UN Security Council to undertake "preventive diplomacy" and call for a legally binding agreement to resolve a dispute with Ethiopia over the availability of water from Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam or GERD, but Ethiopia insisted the matter can be solved by the African Union (AU).

The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 member states located on the continent of Africa.

The AU was announced in the Sirte Declaration in Sirte, Libya, on 9 September 1999, calling for the establishment of the African Union.

The bloc was founded on 26 May 2001 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and launched on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa.

The most important decisions of the AU are made by the Assembly of the African Union, a semi-annual meeting of the heads of state and government of its member states.

The AU's secretariat, the African Union Commission, is based in Addis Ababa.

International Relations

Algae bloom in Chinese port city of Qingdao

The northern Chinese port city of Qingdao has deployed thousands of boats and powered scoops to deal with a massive algae bloom that is threatening sea life, tourism and water transport.

Such blooms can displace critical food sources for ocean animals while giving off a strong smell.

Algae blooms can occur naturally, but are thought to be growing worse due to a rise in sea temperatures and the heavy use of chemical-based fertilizers.

They are also appearing more widely, with outbreaks seen from California to the Suez Canal.


Vande Bharat Express (Train 18)

Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train 18, is India's first indigenously built higher-speed intercity electric multiple unit.

It was designed and built by Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur, Chennai under the Make in India initiative over a span of 18 months.

At the original price (Rs 1 billion), it is estimated to be 40% cheaper than a similar train imported from Europe.

The train was launched on 15 February 2019 and the service was named 'Vande Bharat Express' on 27 January 2019.

The Indian Railways operates two Vande Bharat trains on the New Delhi-Varanasi and New Delhi-Katra sectors.

In January 2021, Indian Railways awarded the contract for supply of propulsion and control equipment of 44 rakes to Medha Servo Drives, based at Hyderabad.

Vande Bharat Express is capable of a peak speed of up to 200 km/h (120 mph), but the due to speed limit of railway track of routes which used by Vande Bharat Express, the actual top operating speed is 130 km/h (81 mph).

During the trials it achieved a maximum speed of 180 km/h (110 mph). This makes it the fastest train in India.

It is provided with Bio toilets.

Gov. Schemes

National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY) is insuring "Himalayan yaks"

The high-altitude yak, feeling the climate change heat across the Himalayan belt, will now be insured.

The National Research Centre on Yak (NRCY) at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh's West Kameng district has tied up with the National Insurance Company Ltd. for insuring their livestock.

The insurance policy will shield the yak owners against the risks posed by weather calamities, diseases, in-transit mishaps, surgical operations and strikes or riots.

The total yak population in India is about 58,000.

The animal finds it difficult to tolerate the conditions at below 7,000 feet above sea level.

Rise in temperature forces the yak to go higher, which gives us an indication of fluctuations in the weather.

ICAR - National Research Centre on Yak is a premier research institute exclusively engaged in research and development of yak in India. The institute was established in 1989 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research at Dirang, West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.


Critically Endangered "Great Indian bustard"

The Great Indian Bustard, which is the State bird of Rajasthan, is considered India's most critically endangered bird.

The grassland habitat with adult grass cover in the Cholistan desert (Pakistan) is very similar to the habitat in Rajasthan's Desert National Park (DNP), where the GIB's last remnant wild population is found.

The GIB's population of less than 100 in Rajasthan accounts for 95 percent of its total world population.

Its population is confined mostly to Rajasthan and Gujarat. Small populations occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

These birds are often found associated in the same habitat as blackbuck.

It is protected under Wildlife Protection Act 1972 of India.

IUCN categorised the GIBs as critically endangered in 2011.

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) estimates that about 15% of the great Indian bustard (GIB) population dies each year due to collision with power lines, making this the most significant threat.

The main threats are hunting and habitat loss.

IUCN: Critically Endangered
CITES: Appendix1
CMS: Appendix I
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule 1


The Ramayana of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

PM Modi has received the first copy of the book, The Ramayana of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji penned by Late Mrs. Baljit Kaur Tulsi Ji.

The book has been published by Mati Ghar IGNCA (Indira Gandhi National Center For The Arts).

Social Issues

India Industrial Land Bank (IILB)

The India Industrial Land Bank (IILB) is a GIS-based portal - a one-stop repository of all industrial infrastructure-related information - connectivity, infra, natural resources & terrain, plot-level information on vacant plots, line of activity, and contact details.

The system has been integrated with industry-based GIS systems of 17 states to have details on the portal updated on a real-time basis and will achieve pan-India integration by December 2021.


Bihar's Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR)

Bihar?s Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) have started planning for conservation of vultures after 150 of the birds were sighted recently in the protected area.

Different species of vultures including Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), White-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) and Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis) were among the 150 individuals spotted in the reserve.

Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) forms the easternmost limits of the Himalayan Terai forests in India.

Situated in the Gangetic Plains bio-geographic zone of the country, the forest has a combination of bhabar and terai tracts.

Indian flying foxes can be sighted here.

There are nine recorded species of vultures in India - the Oriental white-backed, long-billed, slender-billed, Himalayan, red-headed, Egyptian, bearded, cinereous and the Eurasian Griffon.


NASA's Cassini spacecraft

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected an unusually high concentration of methane, along with carbon dioxide and dihydrogen, in the moons of Saturn.

The spacecraft has found that Titan has methane in its atmosphere and Enceladus has a liquid ocean with erupting plumes of gas and water.

Saturn has 82 moons. Fifty-three moons are confirmed and named and another 29 moons are awaiting confirmation of discovery and official naming.

Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is an icy world whose surface is completely obscured by a golden hazy atmosphere.

Cassini-Huygens mission

The Cassini?Huygens space-research mission involved a collaboration among NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) to send a space probe to study the planet Saturn and its system, including its rings and natural satellites.

Launched in 1997, it was the first landing ever accomplished in the outer Solar System.

Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit.

Its design includes a Saturn orbiter and a lander for the moon Titan. The lander, called Huygens, landed on Titan in 2005.

Science & Tech