Current Affairs The Universe

  The 4th Anniversary of the launch of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) being observed today. On 21st February 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Mission with the vision to deliver catalytic interventions to rural areas on the threshold of growth. The Mission aims at transforming these Rurban clusters by stimulating local economic development, enhancing basic services and creating well planned Rurban clusters. This will lead to the holistic development of the region and encourage integrated and inclusive rural development. Under the mission, 300 Rurban clusters are envisaged to be developed in a time-bound manner. Spurred by the success of Rurban clusters, NITI Aayog has recently proposed a new and extended programme for over 1,000 clusters in the next three years.

 Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha announced retirement from international and first-class cricket. He played his last match for India in 2013 during Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell Test against the West Indies in Mumbai. He played 24 Tests between 2009 and 2013 in which he took 113 wickets. From 18 ODIs, he grabbed 21 wickets. He also played six T20 Internationals.

  Sanjay Kothari has been selected as the new Central Vigilance Commissioner by a high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is presently served as the Secretary to the President. The Central Vigilance Commission is an-corruption watchdog with autonomous status.
Other Appointments:
  • The committee has also chosen former Information and Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka as the new Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission.  He is currently serving as an Information Commissioner. The Central Information Commission was constituted under the Right to Information Act and has jurisdiction over all central public authorities.
  • The panel also decided by majority the appointment of Suresh Patel as Vigilance Commissioner and Anita Pandove as Information Commissioner.

  HDFC Bank, Mastercard and SAP Concur have joined hands for spending management services for the corporate sector. HDFC Bank will offer a corporate credit card for business travellers, providing a one-stop solution for payment and expense management during business trips. The corporate credit card will enable the seamless integration of all business-related to spend into SAP Concur offerings, enhancing the employee experience, increasing visibility, saving money, and improving corporate efficiency. The card is supported by Mastercard. SAP Concur is a travel, expense, and invoice management solutions provider. HDFC is headquartered in Mumbai and has more than 100,000 employees. It’s India’s largest private sector lender when viewed by assets, and it’s the largest bank in India by market capitalization.

  Haryana government will open Atal Kisan – Majdoor canteens across the state. These canteens provide affordable and cheap meals to farmers and labourers at a concessional rate of 10 rupees per plate in all mandis and sugar mills. 25 such canteens will be established this year. This was stated by Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya during his address to the Budget Session of State Assembly. Haryana government will also provide free and concessional travel facility to 41 different categories of residents in the ordinary buses of Haryana Roadways. Under a new initiative, the women and girls belonging to 11 lakh BPL families will be given sanitary napkins free of cost during the year 2020-2021.

  Former Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) president V L Dutt passed away. He headed FICCI in 1991-92. He was the chairman of the India Vietnam Joint Business Council of FICCI. He graduated from the Business Institute of Management, London. He served as the chairman of The KCP Group of companies. V L Dutt was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of letters by the Nagarjuna University. The award recognized his outstanding contribution in the area of rural development, medical care, education, and industry. He also served as the honorary consul general of the Republic of Turkey in Chennai.

  Larry Tesler, the computer scientist who introduced the cut, copy and paste commands passed away. The scientist was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1945, and worked in the genesis stage of computers in the 1960s, aiming to make them more accessible and intuitive. In 1973, Tesler joined Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and this is where he developed to cut, copy and paste.
These concepts were instrumental in the development of text editors and early computer operating systems.
  • This is how to copy and paste on a Mac and on Windows
  • Mac in time: 35 years of Apple’s legendary Macintosh
  • Google Chrome will soon let you copy the text on one device and paste it on another
While cut, copy and paste were developed at PARC, the research centre is more well known for its early work on graphical user interfaces and using a mouse to navigate them because Apple co-founder Steve Jobs used many of its ideas as inspiration for Apple’s products. In fact, Tesler was even part of some of the Jobs’ visits to Xerox. Tesler worked for blue-chip firms including Apple, Amazon and Yahoo. He appropriately began his Silicon Valley career at photocopying company Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (Parc) before being recruited by Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. He worked at Apple for 17 years and rose through the ranks to become a chief scientist. He specialised in user interface design and is most famous for devising the cut and paste command alongside his colleague Tim Mott at Parc. He worked for Apple in 1980 after being recruited from Xerox by late co-founder Steve Jobs. The command was incorporated into Apple’s software on the Lisa computer in 1983 and on the original Macintosh the following year.

 On February 21, 2020, the Maharashtra Government ordered to destroy the Thai Mangur fish breeding centres. This is mainly because the fish is cultivated in unhygienic conditions.
  • Highlights
The fish whose breeding is to be stopped in Maharashtra is commonly called Thai Mangur or foreign Mangur or African Mangur. As they are being cultivated in unhygienic conditions and have enough potential to make people sick, their breeding centres are being destroyed. The National Green Tribunal in 2000 banned the cultivation of the Thai Mangur. So far, the State Government has destroyed 32 tonnes of Thai Mangur
  • Thai Mangur
The Mangur Fish was banned in India as the fish poses threats to other fishes in an ecosystem. A study in Mumbai says hat the Mangur fish is responsible for 70% decline in native fish species of the country
  • Why so Popular?
In spite of several drawbacks, cultivation of Mangur and their sales is popular for its surviving capabilities. The fish grows 3 feet to 5 feet. They can survive even in mud waters between rains. Other factors such as omnivorous diet, burrowing capabilities, ability to survive on land and ability to hide in vegetation make the species easy and economical for farming.

 The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved its revision of interest subvention rates from 2% to 2.5% per annum. This is being done under Diary Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF).
  • Highlights
Under the DIDF, GoI will now provide interest subvention up to 2.5% to NABARD till 2030. This shall enable NABARD in devising its own strategy of borrowing. In turn, it will be able to provide low cost of funds to milk unions.
  • Impacts
There are more than 95 lakh milk producers that will be benefitted with this move. It will help in establishment of 28,000 milk coolers and create 210 metric tonnes of milk drying capacity.
  • Implementation
The major activities that are covered under the fund includes chilling infrastructure, electronic adulteration testing kit, modernization of milk processing facilities and project management.
  • DIDF scheme
The DIDF Scheme was announced in Union Budget 2017-18 by the Ministry of Finance. Under the scheme DIDF considerable amount is contributed by NABARD to the National Diary Development Board and National Cooperative Development Corporation.

 Sweden has created 1 million USD worth prizes to feed billion of people. The prize is named as the “Food Planet Prize”. The main aim of the step is to address the climate change threats towards food supply all over the world.
  • Highlights
The prize is to be awarded annually. Sweden is to offer two Food Planet prizes. They are “an existing scalable solution for sustainable foods” and the other includes “innovative initiatives to transform global food sector”.
  • Need
Today, the world population is 7.8 billion and is expected to grow by 10 billion by 2050. In order to feed such a huge population, it is essential to transform the eating habits, reduce food waste and also improve food production. Today there are more than 820 million people that lack sufficient food. There are many others that consume low-quality diet. The data was provided by the LANCET publication. Therefore, the prize will encourage people to work towards sustainable food production.


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