Lamont Marcell Jacobs has won Men’s 100m Gold at Tokyo Olympics 2020. He belongs to which country?
WHY IN NEWS?
- Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs outshone a field of unusual suspects to claim a shock Olympic gold in the men’s 100 metres, breaking retired Jamaican star Usain Bolt’s 13-year hold on the blue-riband event.
- American Fred Kerley took silver in a personal best of 9.84 with Canada’s Andre de Grasse repeating his bronze of 2016 in 9.89, also a new best.
- Elaine Thompson-Herah led a Jamaican sweep in the women’s 100 meters at the Tokyo Summer Games, capturing gold in an Olympic-record time of 10.61 seconds. Thompson-Herah’s time was also the second-fastest women’s 100 of all time.
- Veteran teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver in 10.74 seconds while Shericka Jackson, also of Jamaica, was third in 10.76. Teahna Daniels of the U.S. was seventh in 11.02.
The Great Sitkin Volcano is located in which country?
WHY IN NEWS?
Three remote Alaska volcanoes are in different states of eruption. One of the volcanos is producing lava while other two is blowing steam and ash.
- None of the small communities surrounding the volcanoes have been affected, till now.
- Webcams on August 6 showed episodic low-level ash emissions from Pavlof Volcano.
- Following the emissions, observatory has raised volcano’s threat level from yellow to orange that indicates an eruption is underway with minor volcanic ash emissions.
- Ash clouds were rising just above volcano’s 2,518-metre summit and were drifting about 9.7 kilometres to the south before dissipating.
- The Pavlof Volcano was last erupted in 2016 and dropped some ash on Nelson Lagoon community of Alaska.
- The observatory also received reports from Adak community regarding a lava fountain at the summit of Great Sitkin volcano.
- Semisopochnoi Volcano also erupted at Aleutian Island.
It is a stratovolcano of Aleutian Range on the Alaska Peninsula. It is one of the most active in United States since 1980. It has erupted in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986–1988, 1996–1997, 2007, 2013. It erupted two times in 2014. Its last eruption was recorded in March 2016. This volcano mostly erupts Basaltic andesite lava with 53 % SiO2. This volcano is monitored by Alaska Volcano Observatory which is a joint program of United States Geological Survey, Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and State of Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.
Great Sitkin Volcano
It is a stratovolcano comprising of caldera and dome. It is located about 1,851 kilometres southwest of Anchorage.
This volcano is located about 241 kilometres away on an uninhabited island at western end of Aleutian Islands. It has been erupting intermittently. On August 4, 2021 it spitted an ash cloud that went to about 3,048 metres into the air.
The Lushai Hills are spread across which states in India?
WHY IN NEWS?
Senior ministers from governments of Assam and Mizoram held a detailed discussion on August 5, 2021 regarding the boundary dispute between Assam & Mizoram.
- Following the meeting, a joint statement was released stating that boundary disputes would be resolved amicably.
- Assam Government also issued an order to revoke and withdraw a travel advisory for state residents and asked them to think before visiting Mizoram.
- Governments of Assam and Mizoram later agree to take forward initiatives taken by Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Chief Ministers of both the states were asked to remove tension prevailing around interstate borders. They were also asked to find lasting solutions of the disputes through discussion.
How peace will be maintained?
To maintain peace in inter-state border areas and deployment of central forces, both the government highlighted that, Assam and Mizoram would not send their respective forest and police forces for the purpose of patrolling, domination, enforcement or for fresh deployment in any area where confrontation had taken place between police forces of both the states. It includes the areas along Assam-Mizoram border in the districts of Karimganj, Hailakandi & Cachar in Assam, and Mamit & Kolasib districts of Mizoram.
Assam-Mizoram Boundary Dispute
Boundary dispute between Assam and Mizoram dates back to colonial era when inner lines were demarcated in accordance with administrative needs of British Raj. This dispute started from two notifications passed under British era.
- Notification of 1875- It differentiated Lushai Hills from the plains of Cachar. It was derived from Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) Act, 1873.
- Notification of 1933- It demarcated a boundary between Lushai Hills and Manipur.
Mizoram is of the view that, boundary should be demarcated on the basis of the 1875 notification and is opposing the 1933 notification citing that Mizo society was not consulted. While, Assam government follows notification of 1933. Thus, dispute is there because of differing perception of the border.
Which country is the largest producer of sugar in the world?
WHY IN NEWS?
India is pushing for cars to run on ethanol made from sugar. This move of Indian government is increasing the risks of higher cost of sweetener worldwide.
- Indian government will fast-track an ethanol program. This programme will divert about 6 million tons of sugar toward fuel production annually by 2025.
- This amount to almost entire sugar that India currently exports to international market. India is the world’s second-biggest producer of sugar after Brazil.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had advanced the target for blending 20% ethanol in gasoline to 2025 which is five years earlier than it was planned.
How this target will be achieved?
In order to meet the 2025 target, India is required to almost triple ethanol production by about 10 billion litres in a year. It will require $7 billion of investment.
Challenges that India will face
- Major challenge associated with the target would be to create the kind of capacity needed in about three to four years.
- Prices of ethanol is increasing since 2017 amid a supply crunch. Prices have increased partly due to wild weather in Brazil. Further surge will increase the food inflation risks.
Advantages of ethanol blending
- Ethanol blending will reduce air pollution.
- It will cut India’s oil import bills.
- It will also help in soaking up domestic sugar glut and increase investment across rural areas.
How government is supporting the process?
Government is offering financial support to sugar mills in order to set up or expand distilleries. For instance, Balrampur Chini Mills Ltd. will stop producing sugar at some of its mills and start processing cane juice to make ethanol.
India is following the Brazilian model that has promoted sugarcane-based ethanol for more than 40 years in order to increase energy security, ease its sugar glut and cut dependency on oil imports. Presently, Brazil has the largest fleet of flex-fuel cars running on any blend of ethanol and gasoline. India will also allow production of ethanol-based flex engines.
Russia’s initiative ‘Moscow Format’ of talks is aimed to ensure peace and stability in-
WHY IN NEWS?
India has not been invited Russia led ‘extended Troika meet.
- Extended Troika meet will be held on the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan.
- Meeting is expected to be attended by Pakistan, China and the US.
- India also sought to downplay its absence stating that it engages with Russia on the issue of Afghanistan regularly.
- Extended Troika meeting is scheduled to be held on August 11 in Qatar.
- Before this meeting, talks earlier took place on March 18 and April 30.
Why this meeting will take place?
Russia led meeting will be held because Taliban is still continuing its major offensive in Afghanistan. So, Russia has stepped up its efforts in order to reach out to all key stakeholders in war-torn country so that violence can be stopped. Meeting will also give a push to Afghan peace process.
Other steps by Russia
Russia has also been holding ‘Moscow Format’ of talks in order to bring peace and create conditions for process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov also highlighted in Tashkent that, Russia will continue to work with India and other countries to find solution for Afghanistan.
India’ stands on Afghanistan peace process
At the last Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in Dushanbe, India urged Taliban to abide by Moscow format, Doha process (talks in Qatar), as well as Istanbul processes (an initiative of Turkey and Afghanistan) in order to instil peace in Afghanistan. India also asked Taliban to ensure that neighbours like Iran & Central Asia are not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism. In Moscow, India maintained that, basis for the India-Russia-Iran partnership followed in mid-1990s still remain valid because India asserted that, legitimacy of who ruled Afghanistan cannot be ignored.
Samudra Shakti defence exercise is a bilateral exercise between India and-
WHY IN NEWS?
Australia is keen that India joins its biggest war games ‘Exercise Talisman Sabre’ in 2023. And a formal invite could be extended during Australian Defence Minister’s visit to India, in next couple of months.
About Exercise Talisman Sabre
According to the Australian Defence Ministry,
- Talisman Sabre 2021 is the largest bilateral combined training activity between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the U.S. military.
- It also saw the participation of approximately 17000 military personnel from seven nations on land, air and sea.
- The other countries include Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and U.K.
India’s participation in other Exercises
Four frontline warships from the Navy’s Eastern Fleet are scheduled to depart on an overseas deployment of over two months to South East Asia, the South China Sea and Western Pacific during which they will conduct a series of exercises and interactions.
- SIMBEXwith Singapore
- Samudra Shaktiwith Indonesia
- AUS – INDEXwith Australia
- Malabar 21 Exercise (hosted by US) with Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, Royal Australian Navy and the United States Navy
Such exercises and interactions are conducted to:
- Deepen interoperability and high technology cooperation between member countries
- Enhance synergy and coordination between the Indian Navy and friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and commitment towards Freedom of Navigation at sea
Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas campaign comes under the ambit of-
WHY IN NEWS?
The government of India has launched the People’s Plan Campaign titled ‘Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas’ campaign for inclusive and holistic preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
About Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas Campaign:
- Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas campaign has been launched by the Ministry of Panchayats Raj from 2nd October 2020 to 31st January 2021. It was also launched during 2018 and 2019.
- Aim: To help Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the preparation of a convergent and holistic Gram Panchayat Development Plan(GPDP) through the identification of sectoral infrastructural gaps in respective areas.
Objectives of the Sabki Yojna Sabka Vikas Campaign: The objectives of the campaign includes:
- Strengthening of elected representatives and Self Help Groups
- Evidence-based assessment of progress made in 2020-21 and proposals for 2021-22 in all 29 subjects of XI Schedule
- Public disclosure on Schemes, finances and
- Preparation of inclusive, participatory and evidence based GPDP for 2021-22.
Significance of the campaign:
- Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas is an effective strategy for ensuring the preparation of GPDP in a campaign mode. It also converges all resources available at the Panchayat level related to 29 subjects listed in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution.
About Gram Panchayat Development Plan(GPDP):
- Under Article 243 G of the Constitution, Gram Panchayats have been mandated for the preparation of GPDP for economic development and social justice utilizing the resources available to them.
- The GPDP planning process should be comprehensive and participatory by involving full convergence with the schemes of all related Central Ministries / Line Departments.
IUCN categorises Swinhoe's softshell turtle as _________species.
WHY IN NEWS?
In recent years, a lot of efforts have been put by the conservationists to save the world’s most endangered turtle, Swinhoe’s softshell turtle from the brink of extinction.
- The animal is also known as the Hoan Kiem turtle or Yangtze giant softshell turtle.
- In Vietnam, these animals have great cultural significance as people in Hanoi revere this creature as a living god.
Scientific Name: Rafetus swinhoei
- These turtles are gray with light gray or yellow spots.
- Some researchers have highlighted their importance to the seafloor biosystem, where they contribute by enriching soil nutrients and facilitating seed dispersion.
- The natural habitat for these turtles are wetlands and large lakes.
- Native to China and Vietnam.
- IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered
- CITES: Appendix II
- They have been driven to the brink by hunting for its meat and eggs, as well as by destruction of its habitat.
‘Project Himank’ is a project of the Border Road Organisation being implemented in-
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed and completed black topping the world’s highest motorable road at Umling La pass in Eastern Ladakh, located at an altitude of 19,300 ft.
About the Road:
- By constructing this road, BRO has created a record in high-altitude road construction.
- It bettered the previous record of a road in Bolivia connecting to its volcano Uturuncu at 18,953 ft.
- The strategic road built under ‘Project Himank’ passes through the Umling La Top and connects Chisumle and Demchok villages.
- It will enhance the socio-economic condition and promote tourism in Ladakh.
- The road is close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and will allow quick movement of troops and equipment.
- Project Himank, is a project of the BRO being implemented in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir.
- This project started in 1985.
- Under this project, BRO is responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads and related infrastructure including the world’s highest motorable roads.