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16 May Current Affairs

Bolt Malware

In News:

The Computer Emergency Response of Team (CERT) of India has issued warning against a new malware called “EventBot”. The malware according to CERT steals personal financial information from Android phone users.

Highlights:

The Eventbolt malware that is spreading is a Trojan. It cheats victims secretly attacking computer or phone operating system. Currently, the malware is capable of targeting more than 200 different financial applications. The malware has already looted crypto currency wallets, bank accounts in Europe and US. It targets money-transfer services, financial applications.

Current Scenario:

According to CERT, the malware has currently attacked financial applications such as Paypal, UniCredit, HSBC, Coinbase, TrasnferWise, etc.

CERT:

Cert operates under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It is the nodal agency in India that deals with hacking, cyber security threats, phishing, etc. CERT represents India at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization MoU signed by India. Around 7 countries signed this MoU. This includes Australia, Korea, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, India and Uzbekistan.

Apart from International measures, CERT has been carrying out several initiatives within India. This mainly includes “Cyber Swachhta Kendra”

Cyber Swachhta Kendra:

The Cyber Swachhta Kendra aims to create secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections within the country. It is operated by CERT according to the provision in Section 70B of Information Technology Act, 2000.

Investment Capacity of India in renewable sector reached 500-700 billion USD

In News:

The Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a study according to which India has increased its potential of renewable energy investments to 500-700 billion USD. This is mainly because of improvements in solar power in the country.

Highlights:

According to the study, the ultra-mega solar parks in the country have attracted foreign capital. The Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan is the largest solar park in the world. It is spread over 14,000 acres. The capacity of the park is 2245 MW of power.

Ultra-Mega Power Plant:

The concept of ultra-mega solar parks was framed by India in 2016. In 2016, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had set a target of setting up of 40 industrial solar parks with a capacity of 20GW. The target was doubled to 40 GW in 2022.

The concept of ultra-mega solar parks involves local distribution companies and the state governments. This is mainly because large areas of land need to be acquired to set up a solar park. And since land is a state subject, state governments should certainly be involved.

India finds a tool to get deeper insight into Parkinson’s Disease

In News:

The Scientists of IIT Dhanbad and CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) have teamed up together to find a major cause of Parkinson’s disease a solution.

Key Findings:

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease and so far, no cure has been found to heal the disease. The researchers of these institutes have found a technique to monitor the aggregation of ASyn protein.

ASyn Protein:

The aggregation of protein called Alpha Synuclein (ASyn) has a crucial role in causing the disease. The aggregation of this protein leads to the death of the neuronal cells of the Parkinson’s patients.

Significance:

The aggregation of protein ASyn has always remained a mystery to doctors. The aggregation generally happens in the mid brain of the patients. The end points of the aggregation forms fibres. These fibres emit fluorescence. Therefore, it is highly difficult to target them.

However, the new technique of Indian scientists that will help monitor these fibres and also study them. This will certainly help find a solution to heal Parkinson’s disease. The fibres are also called fibrils.

New Scheme for Diary Sector: GoI subsidizes interest rates on working capital

In News:

On May 14, 2020, the Government of India launched a new scheme for the diary sector. The scheme has introduced Interest Subvention on Working Capital to support Diary Cooperatives and FPO (Farmer Producer Organization).

Key Features:

The scheme intends to modernize existing milk processing units. It will also enhance the milk processing capacity of the country to 126 lakh litres per day.

The scheme will provide interest subsidies to the loans that were availed by the banks to the cooperatives and farmer owned milk organizations and companies. The scheme will include those loans that were sanctioned between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

The scheme has also provided interest subvention of 2% per annum. An additional incentive of 2% of interest subvention will be provided if the farmers repay the loans on time.

The modified scheme is expected to make 100 crores of rupees available in farmers’ hands. The scheme is to be implemented by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB).

NDDB:

The National Dairy Development Board was established through an act of Parliament of India. It was founded in 1965. The main aim of the board was to spread similar successes as that of the AMUL Cooperative. The World Bank assisted the mission. It was named “Operation Flood” and lasted for 26 years.

“Collective Conscience”

In News:

Project 39A was conducted by a team of National Law University, Delhi. According to the project, the Indian Courts invoke “Collective Conscience” of the society in most of the death penalty cases.

Project details:

The study chose three states and Union Territories namely Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra. These states were chosen as they ranked high in awarding capital punishments

Findings:

The study has found out that around between 2000 and 2015, 72% of cases of Delhi trial courts that awarded death penalty has invoked “Collective Conscience”. In Madhya Pradesh, this was invoked in 42% of death penalty cases and in Maharashtra it was invoked in 51% of death penalty cases.

In all these cases, the courts opined that the crime was heinous to shake the “collective conscience” of the society. Thus, the harshest punishment is being sentenced.

Recommendations of Law Commission:

The Law Commission in 2015, headed by Justice A P Shah proposed to abolish capital punishments. However, the commission had made the proposal only to non-terrorism cases. According to the commission, India is one among few countries that still carry out executions. The other countries that practice executions include Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China. By the end of 2014, 98 countries had abolished death penalty.

India attends second G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meet

In News:

The Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal represented India at the second G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting through video conferencing.

Highlights:

The video conferencing was hosted by the current chair of G20 grouping, Saudi Arabia. Since April 2020, Saudi Arabia has hosted a series of such virtual summits to discuss COVID-19 threats, containment measures and economic challenged posed by the virus.

This meeting, the ministers agreed to work on ensuring flow of vital medical supplies and other essential goods across borders. They also agreed to deliver free, non-discriminatory, fair and transparent trade and investment environment. They also agreed to keep global supply chains functioning.

The main issue that every country is facing today due to COVID-19 crisis is excessive price volatility in food prices. This is threatening the food security as well. The G20 ministers agreed to work upon the issue at the meet.

Background:

On 30 March, the G20 leaders agreed on the requirement for a “Coordinated Global Response”. In order to implement actions taken under coordinated global response, meetings were held on energy, labour, employment, agriculture, tourism and digital economy.

Earlier G20 meet:

The G20 leaders have been focusing on tourism, energy and labour. In the end of April 2020, the corresponding ministers of the three sectors from the member countries held video conferences to work together and address the issue.

India attends Common Wealth Health Ministers Meet

In News:

On May 14, 2020, India attended the 32nd Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting through video conferencing. The meeting was held under the following theme

Theme: Delivering a coordinated Commonwealth COVID-19 response

Highlights:

The member countries shared their experiences and lessons in the fight against COVID-19. They also discussed on the essential collective and national actions. The ministers made recommendations to make sure the unreached population are not left behind. The meeting was chaired by the Fiji Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete.

India’s contributions:

India at the meet, shared its measures in response to COVID-19 crisis. The following were presented by Dr Harsh Vardhan at the meet.

India has announced economic packages of 265 billion USD so far to support economic recovery.

India is currently at the phase of easing down the lock down.

India was the first country to initiate global action in the fight against COVID-19 by convening the meeting of SAARC nations

India has also provided Hydroxychloroquine to almost 100 countries that were in urgent need

Common Wealth Grouping:

The Common Wealth Grouping comprises of 54 countries. It was established in 1926. It was constituted through London Declaration in 1949. The idea of the grouping was initiated by the British.

SAMARTH scheme implemented by NIT Kurukshetra

In News:

On May 14, 2020, NIT implemented the SAMARTH scheme. It was developed by the Department of Higher Education operating under Ministry of Human Resources and Development developed SAMARTH, an e-governance platform. The platform was developed under National Mission of Education in Information and Communication Technology Scheme. It is called the NMEICT Scheme in short.

About SAMARTH

The platform will provide information to strengthen the productivity through better information management. It caters faculties and students by providing different study modules. It is an open source architecture and works on a n automated software. It works through a secure, scalable and evolutionary process. The platform has been implemented at the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra.

Currently the platform offers 38 modules to the institution.

National Institute of Kurukshetra

The institute is currently participating under the World Bank scheme called Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme.

Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme

The Programme was launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2002. It aims to upscale the quality of technical education and enhance capacities of institutions.

The first phase of the programme was implemented with an assistance of Rs 1,389 crores. Around 127 institutions from India participated in the programme. In phase II, the World Bank provided Rs 2,430 crore. In Phase III, the north eastern states, Jammu and Kashmir and Andaman and Nicobar Islands were focused. In the third phase, the skills of unorganized sector in these areas were focused to boost local produce and also to support the locals.

 

 

 

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