Current Affairs NEET

  Google Cloud announced its plans to open a Delhi Cloud Region. This will be the company’s second cloud region in India since it launched one in Mumbai three years ago in 2017. The new cloud region will expand Google’s existing network which stands at 8 regions in the Asia Pacific and 22 regions globally. Google cloud regions bring Google Cloud Platform services to global organisations in industries like media and entertainment, retail and manufacturing. The Delhi cloud region will have three zones to protect against service disruptions. The project to be launched in 2021. In combination with the existing Mumbai cloud region Mumbai, it will also enable in-country disaster recovery for the customers’ mission-critical applications.

  Global sports brand PUMA has signed bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan as its new brand ambassador. She will be the face of the sports brand for its studio Collection which involves a low-intensity training apparel collection for yoga, barre and pilates workouts. The collaboration of the bollywood actress aims to encourage more women to lead a fit and healthy lifestyle. Puma is a german sportswear brand which is popular for its design and performance of its footwear, apparel and accessories. It provides performance and sport-inspired lifestyle products in various games ranging from football, running and training, basketball, golf to motorsports.

  The District Employment and Counseling Centre has organized a Workshop-cum-Awareness Programme on the Skill Development for Unorganized Workers. Awareness workshop for the unorganized workers was organized under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) Scheme. The workshop was held in Kulgam, Jammu & Kashmir. The participants were made aware of the various pension schemes run by the government such as Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan (PM- SYM) and Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyapari Mandhan (Karam Yogi) Pension Yojana (PM-LVMY).

  The 4th Global Ayurveda Festival will be held at Kochi, Kerala from 16th to 20th May. The theme of the event is Ayurveda Medical Tourism: Actualizing India’s credibility. GAF2020 is being organised by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA). It will be the largest Ayurvedic event ever to be held anywhere across the world. More than 500 stalls, the participation of over 5,000 international delegates, ethnic food carnivals, the exhibition of rich medicinal plants and workshops on Panchkarma to be the key highlights of GAF-2020. Ayurveda Tourist Centres and Spas giving rejuvenation therapy and their potential curative aspects will be showcased. GAF-2020 will bring together the world of Ayurveda wellness providers and it’s seekers to one platform.

 On March 6, 2020, the Lok Sabha passed Mineral Laws (Amendment) bill, 2020. The bill aims to amend Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) act, 1957 and also Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015.
  • Highlights
The bill was passed in the parliament without discussion. This was because of the constant uproar of the opposition over death of 52 people in the Delhi Violence over Citizenship Amendment Act.
  • Key Features of the bill
The bill opens up the coal sector completely for commercial mining. It also intends to remove end use restrictions to participate in coal mine auctions. This will mainly help reduce coal imports.
  • Coal Sector in India
The Coal output in India has been declining lately. This is mainly due to flooding of mines and labour unrest. Therefore, GoI has taken several steps to boost coal production in the country. The FDI in coal sector has been made to 100%. GoI is also taking several steps to reduce coal imports. In spite being the fourth largest producer of coal in the world, India imported 235 billion tonnes of coal in 2019. The GoI has also set a target to reach 1 billion tonnes of coal production by 2024.

 On March 6, 2020, the Jammu airport security was taken over by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). With this there are 63 airports under CISF at present.
  • Airport Security
The CISF is responsible for airport security at all commercial airports of India. Earlier the airports were under the control of airport police. However, after the hijack of Indian Airlines Flight 814 in 1999, it was handed over to CISF. Jaipur airport was the first airport to come under CISF control.
  • CISF
It was set up in 1969. However, it was made an armed force in 1983. Recently in 2017, the GoI increased the strength of CISF personnel from 145,000 to 180,000. It operates under Ministry of Home Affairs. Apart from airport, CISF also guards seaports, industrial sectors, atomic power plants, oil refineries, thermal power plants, mines and other public sector undertakings. It also guards currency note presses. There are 4 currency notes presses in India. Two operate at Nashik in Maharashtra and other 2 operate in Mysuru in Karnataka and Salboni in West Bengal.

 During India’s Smart Utility Week, India and European Union called upon Integrated Local Energy System. The countries are to work upon clean energy and climate. The collaboration will help to improvise clean energy supply
  • Highlights
The collaboration and steps that were taken are completely based on Mission Innovation. The collaboration will aim at increasing the contribution of renewables. Along side of the collaboration, India and Sweden are to work on Smart Grids. These projects are to be funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST). The DST has so far established 3 major international smart grids in 24 countries.
  • Smart Grid Systems
Smart Grids are electricity networks that allow devices to communicate (between consumers and suppliers), protect distribution network, allow to manage demand, save energy and reduce costs.
  • Mission Innovation
Mission Innovation is a global initiative of 24 countries. It aims at accelerating clean affordable energy to create commercial opportunities. It was announced by Bill Gates at COP21 in 2015 along with PM Modi, President Obama and President Hollande (French).

 On March 5, 2020, the Department of Science of Technology operating under Ministry of Science and Technology organized an International Conference on Nano-Science and Nano Technology (ICONSAT) at Kolkata. The Conference is to be held between March 5, 2020 and March 7, 2020.
  • Highlights
The Conference highlighted the current need of India in the field of Nano-Science. It includes 5Ms namely Material, Mechanical, Manufacturing, Manpower and Machines. The Conference was attended by more than 450 scientists from all over the world.
  • Current Scenario
India started its journey of nanotechnology with the launch of “Nano Science and Technology Initiative” (NSTI) in 2001 for a span of 5 years. In 2007, it was renamed as “Nano Mission”. Nano Mission had wider objectives and larger funding of 250 million USD. This effort paid off well with Indian researchers publishing more than 23,000 papers in the field in next 5 years. In 2013, India ranked third in research paper publication in the field after China and USA. Also, the contribution of private firms on Nano Technology has also been minimal. India currently works towards producing 10,000 researchers in the field in the next 10 years as of 2017.

  The National Water Mission organized the inaugural session of the workshop on “Increasing Water Use Efficiency in Industries”. The workshop on “Increasing Water Use Efficiency in Industries” was held in New Delhi. The National Water Mission organized the workshop under the initiative “HarKaamDeshkeNaam”. During the workshop, U.P. Singh, the Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation emphasized on the adoption of the Corporate Water Responsibility (CWR) as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provisions. He also stated that India is drawing 2.5 times more ground water than what seeps down under to maintain the water table level an this is the key reason we are facing the water scarcity.

  The 35th edition of AAHAR – the Food and Hospitality fair began in New Delhi. This fair is being organized by India Trade Promotion Organisation, ITPO, with support of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Agriculture and Processed Food Products Development Authority and several apex industry associations. This year, the fair will feature a wide range of food products, machinery, hospitality, Food and Beverage Equipment and Decoration items, and Confectionery items from over 750 participants from India and overseas. In the foreign category, the fair will witness participation from countries, including Hong Kong, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, UK and UAE. The event will also offer an insight into operational and food safety concerns and innovations to become energy-efficient, finding budget-friendly raw materials boosting productivity, while still aiming for greater profitability.

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