Important Current Affairs
A new book titled Being Gandhi written by award-winning author Paro Anand.
It marks the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The book is published by Harper Collins Children’s Books, explores the life events of Gandhiji.
The story revolves around a boy, Chandrashekhar who is bored of doing projects on Gandhi.
Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos have announced The Climate Pledge. The pledge is a commitment to meet Paris Agreement's goal 10 years early by achieving net-zero carbon across businesses by 2040. As a part of its pledge, the company has partnered with American startup Rivian and ordered 1 lakh electric vans (EVs) for deliveries starting 2021.
Amazon will have 10,000 new EVs on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030. The company expects that this induction of EVs will help in saving 4 Mn metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.
As per the Climate Pledge:
The company will measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis
Decarbonization strategies will be implemented by Amazon as per the Paris Agreement. The implementation will be done by real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies
The company aims to neutralize the remaining emissions to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
United Nations International Day of Peace is observed on September 21.
International Day of Peace 2019: Theme
The theme of International Day of Peace 2019 is Climate Action for Peace.
The theme focuses on the need of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. The climate change causes clear threats to international peace and security. Due to natural disasters millions of people are forced to leave their homes and seek safety. The food security is hampering by the salinization of water and crops.
International Day of Peace: History
The International Day of Peace established by the UN resolution on 1981. First time it was celebrated in 1982. It was celebrated on the third Tuesday of September each year. The main focus of declaring 21 September day as International Day of Peace is to encourage people to work in cooperation and to maintain worldwide peace.
In 2015, the United Nations member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals because it was understood that to obtain worldwide peace it is necessary to focus on the economic and social development for all people everywhere and to ensure that their rights were protected. The various issues are covered in the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.
The Sustainable Development Goal 13 focuses on Climate Action, need for immediate call to all to lower greenhouse gas emissions, to build resilience and improve education on climate change. There is a need to encourage people about the use of renewable energy, clean technologies.
Every year UN International Day of Peace is celebrated to encourage people about worldwide peace which can be achieved by focusing on and understanding the factors of climate change.
Indian Army conducted Exercise Changthang Prahar, a rare exercise in Eastern Ladakh bordering China. Such massive exercise is held for the first time in the region. It was conducted at an altitude of 12,000 feet.
The exercise involved the use of infantry, mechanized forces, T-72 tanks, with force multipliers such as artillery guns and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The army's aviation assets were used. Para jumping of troops was also included in the exercise. Indian Army has recently inducted new weapon systems and high-tech equipment. The Indian air force also roped in the exercise.
The military drill saw the massive deployment of soldiers in Eastern Ladakh. The drill also included war-waging techniques to prepare for any threat in the region.
As part of Exercise Changthang Prahar, the code name for the massive military drill, Indian Army's infantry, mechanized infantry, artillery, armoured regiments and paratroopers gave a display of their capabilities.
The Western Railway has installed a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle crushing machine in Mumbai Rajdhani Express for the first time ever. The PET bottle crusher machine was installed in the train under the Indian Railways' Swachh Bharat and Go Green missions. The move also ties in with an impending ban of single-use plastic by the Centre.
The installation of the PET bottle crusher is expected to reduce carbon footprints by 100% recycling. This will also avoid littering in landfill from bottle waste. To create awareness to the people about the ban on single-use plastic, the Western Railways has put up selfie points at Churchgate and Andheri stations.
PET bottle crusher machine:
PET bottle crusher machine can accept all types of PET bottles from 200 ml to 2.5 litres capacity and has an internal storage bin of approximately 20 litres which is equivalent to 1500 bottles. This crushing machine can crush up to 3,000 bottles per day.
The Indian Railways is also planning to serve tea, snacks, and meals in kulhads and other earthenware plates to the Rail passengers at 400 major stations across the country. To support the measure, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has agreed to provide 30,000 electric potter wheels along with the grinding machines to recycle/crush the earthenware.
Centre has launched the Unique Methods of Management and treatment of Inherited Disorders (UMMID) initiative. It was launched by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. He also inaugurated the National Inherited Diseases Administration (NIDAN) Kendras. It is supported by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
UMMID aims to tackle inherited genetic diseases of newborn babies. The initiative will ensure proper treatment to children and create awareness amongst the masses. UMMID initiative aims to work towards achieving wellness by promoting the prevention of genetic diseases under the National Health Policy, 2017 of the government.
UMMID is expected to be a path-breaking initiative in the health-care sector.
UMMID is to be implemented at government hospitals in order to help the people who cannot afford expensive care for genetic disorders.
The initiative will use cutting edge scientific technology and molecular medicine to extend Universal Health Coverage for all.
Under UMMID initiative
(i) NIDAN Kendras will be established. It will provide counselling, prenatal testing and diagnosis, management, and multidisciplinary care in Government Hospitals (GH) where the number of patients are more
(ii) Skilled clinicians in Human Genetics will be produced
(iii) Screening of pregnant women and newborn babies for inherited genetic diseases will be undertaken in hospitals at aspirational districts.
First phase of UMMID:
In the first phase of UMMID, 5 NIDAN Kendras have been established. It will provide comprehensive clinical care.
Training Centres have been set up at Madras Medical Mission-Chennai, SGPGIMS- Lucknow, CDFD – Hyderabad, AIIMS- New Delhi, MAMC- New Delhi, NIIH- Mumbai, and CMC Vellore. The center will provide training in Biochemical Genetics, Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics, and Clinical Genetics to the clinicians from government hospitals.
The movie Gully Boy has been selected as India's official entry to the 92nd Oscar Awards. The ceremony has been scheduled to take place on 9 February 2020.
The Zoya Akhtar directorial has drawn inspiration from the lives of Mumbai street rappers Vivian Fernandes aka Divine and Naved Shaikh aka Naezy. The story revolves around the underground rap movement in India.
Gully Boy was starred by Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt along with Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Vijay Raaz in pivotal roles.
The film received a number of awards including the NETPAC Award for Best Asian Film at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, South Korea and Best Film at the Indian Festival of Melbourne in August 2019.
92nd Academy Awards:
92nd Academy Awards will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The award honors the best films of the year 2019. The award ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on February 9, 2020.
Shondol dance created history by entering into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Ladakhi dance. The dance was performed in the Naropa Festival 2019. The Guinness Book of World Records official adjudicate, Swapnil Dangarikar presented the certificate to the chairman, Naropa Festival Organising Committee, Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche.
♦ In the occasion of Naropa Festival 2019, over 408 women dressed up in traditional dresses and beautiful headgears and performed the dance.
♦ Shondol dance is known as the royal dance of Ladakh.
♦ It is a famous dance in which the artistes used to perform for the king of Ladakh.
Naropa Festival 2019:
♦ The 4 day-long festivals was held from 16 September to 20 September 2019 near the Hemis Monastery, Ladakh.
♦ The festival is celebrated every 12th year of the Tibetan calendar. It is also known as the Kumbh Mela of the Himalayas.
♦ It aims to celebrate the life of Buddhist philosopher and scholar Naropa.
♦ The theme of the festival was Environmental sustainability of Ladakh and the Himalayan region.
♦ It was organized by the Live to Love India, Drukpa Charitable Trust, and Young Drukpa Association.
♦ The festival aims to end the use of plastics and also sensitize the leaders of the religious community on plastic waste management and recycling process.
Australian researchers have discovered nine new species of bees in Fiji. Some of the species have already shown signs of exposure to the environmental changes. The discovery of the bee species will give an opportunity to highlight the risks.
One of the newly discovered species has been named Homalictus terminalis. This species is at the risk of climate-related extinction. It is found only on Mount Batilamu near the city of Nadi. The species has only been found within 95 metres of the mountain peak.
Black Homalictus achrostus:
Black H. achrostus features unusual large mandibles. It is one of the most interesting endemic bee species on Fiji. It is found only on top of the mountain. It is one of the four previously described species of endemic bee in Fiji.
It is named in honour of Flinders biological sciences graduate Dr. Scott Groom. He uncovered the hidden diversity using molecular techniques with Flinders University and the South Australian Museum in 2009.
A giant earthworm was found at Kollamogaru, the foot of Western Ghats, Mangaluru, Karnataka. The earthworm measured 3 ft 5 cm. The earthworm is being preserved in chemical solutions at the laboratory of the department at the Mangalagangotri campus of the university. The giant earthworm is being studied at the Mangalagangotri campus of the university.
In 2008, the largest earthworm, Drawida nilamburensis, which belongs to the Moniligastridae family was found. That specimen was found from the Nilgiris and it measured up to 1,000 mm in length.
Centre has proposed a digital census, a mobile app used to collect data to determine the population of the country in the next census of India in 2021. The proposal was announced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. He also proposed the idea of a multipurpose ID card for every citizen which includes passport, Aaadhar, and the voter card.
♦ The digital technology for the upcoming Census will use Aadhaar number for the compilation of National Population Register (NPR). Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has approved the voluntary use of Aadhaar number. By including Aadhaar details, the NPR database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
♦ Census 2021 will be conducted in major Indian languages and on the mobile app. This aims to facilitate the people to easily update their details digitally, in their own language.
♦ The government is to spend Rs.12,000 crore for the decadal exercise and development of NPR.
India's last census was carried out in 2011. The population of India according to the 2011 base census stood at 121 crore. The report said that India comprises 2.4% of global land area and resources, whereas houses 17.5% of the global population. It is expected that Census 2021 will be the world's largest enumeration exercise.
Sixty-six countries signaled their intent to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050
The 66 governments are joined by 10 regions, 102 cities, 93 businesses and 12 investors all committed to net zero CO2 emissions by 2050
Around 60 world leaders have convened for the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.
The UN estimates that the world needs to increase its current efforts five-fold to contain climate change to the levels dictated by science a rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100 to avoid escalating climate damage.
Countries announced commitments to carbon reduction targets under the Paris Agreement of 2015, and are now expected to update their nationally determined contributions by 2020.