Monday, June 1, 2020

Rohit Sharma nominated for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award


On May 31, 2020, the BCCI nominated Rohit Sharma for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards. The Award is considered to be the highest sporting honour award in India.

Highlights

  • The period of consideration for a person to get nominated is from January 2016 to December 2019. 
  • Rohit has become the first T20 cricketer to score four centuries. 
  • Also, he holds record of 150 plus score in around 8 ODIs. 
  • He also holds the greatest number of centuries in ODI matches since 2017, that numbered to 18.
  • He was also the ICC ODI Cricketer of the year, 2019. 
  • He received this award as he was the first player to score five ODI centuries in a single edition of the World Cup.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

  • The award is the highest sporting honour of India. The award is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and sports. 
  • The award is presented for outstanding performance for a period of 4 years. 
  • The award comprises of cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakhs.

What is “George Floyd” protest in news currently?


The United States is facing nation wide protests over the death of an African American George Floyd.

Highlights

  • George Floyd, an African American man of age 46 died after the police arrested him near a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
  • This has created the current unrest in the country.
  • Mr Floyd was from Houston and has been living in Minneapolis several years. 
  • He was left jobless due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • He was reported to the police by a shopkeeper to have used a counterfeit currency.
  • People even claim that the “Black Lives Matter” movement is back

Black Lives Matter Movement

  • The Black Lives Movement is an African-American movement that campaigns against violence and racism towards black people. 
  • The movement campaigns against killings of black people, police brutality, racial profiling and racial inequality in the United States. 
  • The movement began in 2013. The movement spread to Canada, Australia and Germany as well.

GoI discontinues 7.75% savings bonds


The Reserve Bank of India recently announced that the Government of India has discontinued 7.75% savings bonds.

Highlights

  • The 7.75% savings bonds that are also called government bonds or RBI bons were issued in 2018. 
  • They were available for the resident citizens of India alone. 
  • The value of one bond was Rs 1000 and there was no maximum limit of investment. 
  • The interests of the bonds were taxed under Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • Apart from discontinuing savings bonds, GoI had also introduced other measures.

Other Measures

  • The rates of Small Savings scheme were cut. 
  • Also, the rates of PPF were cut from 7.9% to 7.1%. 
  • On the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, the rates were cut from 8.4% to 7.6%. 
  • RBI also reduced the repo rates twice after COVID-19.

Savings Bonds

  • The bonds are like guarantees provided by the GoI. 
  • On investing on these bonds, the GoI will return the amount with maturity at 7.75% interest rate. 
  • However, due to global recession, Government has now recently stopped issuing these bonds.
  • However, the move will deprive investors of the other saving options that provided high tax returns to the investors.

Scorpaenospsis neglecta: Rare fish found in Gulf of Mannar


The Researchers at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute have found a rare fish from the Gulf of Mannar. The specimen was deposited at the National Marine Biodiversity Museum of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

Highlights

The fish is locally called Scorpion Fish for its venomous tail. When the spines in the tail pierces an individual, the venom gets injected and causes severe pain. This is the first time, the species has been found alive in the Indian waters.

Gulf of Mannar

It is a shallow bay in the Indian Ocean between Sri Lanka and India. A Chain of low islands and reefs called Ram Sethu separates Gulf of Mannar from Palk Bay. Ram Sethu is also called Adam’s bridge. Gulf of Mannar is also called Adam’s bridge. Gulf of Mannar is a biosphere reserve.

Biosphere Reserve

There are 18 Biosphere reserves in India. Biosphere reserves protect larger area than that of animal sanctuary and national park. The list of Biosphere Reserves in India are as follows
  • Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
  • Gulf Of Mannar
  • Nokrek
  • Sundarbans
  • Manas
  • Simlipal
  • Dihang-Dibang
  • Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
  • Achnakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve
  • Great Rann of Kutch
  • Cold Desert
  • Khangchendzonga
  • Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
  • Great Nicobar
  • Dibru-Saikhowa
  • Seshachalam Hills
  • Panna

PM Modi launches “My Life My Yoga”


On May 31, 2020, PM Modi launched “My Life My Yoga”, a video blogging contest. The contest is to be conducted as a joint effort of Ministry of AYUSH and ICMR (Indian Council of Cultural Research).

Highlights

  • The contest is being launched to inspire people to participate in the sixth International Day of Yoga (IDY) that is to be celebrated in 21st June, 2020. 
  • Any participant from the world can take part in the contest.
  • In order to participate in the contest, the participants have to upload 3 minutes video on yogic practices such as Asana, Kriya, Bandha, Pranayama or Mudra. 
  • The participants should also include the message how yogic practices influenced their lives.
  • First, Second and third prizes of worth Rs 1 lakh, Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 have been announced.

Yoga

  • India has taken several measures to make people in India and all over the world to adopt yogic practices. 
  • India also took Yoga to United Nations in 2014. 
  • A resolution was brought in and International Day of Yoga is being celebrated on June 21, 2015 since then.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Why are the recent Locusts Attacks the worst in history?


The Locusts swarming in the Northern parts of India have so far reached Rajasthan, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh.

Highlights

  • According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, much of the movement of these locusts is mainly due to Westerlies. 
  • The Locust Warning Organization that monitors locusts swarms announced that there are no immediate danger to Delhi due to these swarms.

History

  • There were eight locust attacks between 1812 and 1889 in India. 
  • Also, between 1926 and 1931 India faced Rs 2 crores (100 million USD today) of crop damages.

Desert Locust

  • Desert Locusts are from the family of grasshoppers. They normally live and breed in desert regions. 
  • However, they feed on green vegetation. 
  • A single swarm of locusts consist of 40 to 80 million adults. 
  • They are capable of travelling upto 150 km in a day.

How badly is India affected?

  • The Locusts are said to have come from Ethiopia and Somalia after crossing Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan. 
  • As India has just finished harvesting its Rabi crops, the damages were not major.
  • However, the Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that there are several severe successive waves of locust invasion that will come up in July and are expected to hit Rajasthan, Odisha and Bihar. 
  • This is mainly due to wind movements. 
  • Later the locusts are expected to return to Rajasthan along with South West Monsoon winds.
  • As the locusts are invading in wind direction this year, they are considered to be the worst. 
  • Also, the wind direction is changing that makes it difficult to predict the path of the locusts.

Control of Locusts

  • The Locusts are controlled with spray of pesticides such as organo-phosphate. 
  • This year chemicals such as deltamethrin, lambdacyhalothrin, chlorpyriphos, fipronil, malathion have been recommended.

Goa celebrates Statehood Day


On May 30, 2020, Goa celebrated its Statehood Day. Goa was the 25th state to join the union of India.

History

  • As India gained independence on August 15, 1947, India requested the Portugese to cede their territories. 
  • However, Portuguese refused. In 1961, Indian Government launched Operation Vijay and annexed Daman and Diu, islands and Goa with the Indian mainland.
  • On May 30, 1987, the territory was split and Goa was formed. Daman and Diu remained the Union Territory. Konkani is the official language of the state.

Controversy

  • As Goa was formed controversies emerged that Goa should be merged with Maharashtra or Mysore. 
  • However, in 1967 a opinion poll was conducted and was concluded that Goa will remain as state and Daman and Diu shall remain as union territory.

Role of Goa in history

  • Goa attracted monks and missionaries that left great impression in the culture of Goa. 
  • Apart from this, Goa was a part of Vijayanagar Empire in 1370 and later was a part of Bijapur Sultanate as well.

Portuguese in Goa

  • The Portuguese conquered Goa in 1510 under the leadership of Afonso de Albuquerque. 
  • As they conquered Goa, they took control of the spice trade.