WHY IN NEWS?
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, chaired the 24th meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)
FSDC is an apex-level body that was set by the government of India in order to create a super regulatory body. Its establishment was first recommended by the Raghuram Rajan Committee in 2008. Finally in 2010, Pranab Mukherjee (the then Finance Minister of India) decided to set up this autonomous body to deal with macro prudential and financial regularities of entire financial sector in India. It is not a statutory body. No funds are allocated separately to the council to undertake its activities.
In order to strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism of maintaining financial stability, to enhance inter-regulatory coordination and to promote financial sector development, FSDC was set up as the apex level forum in December 2010.
Function of the FSDC
This council is considered as India’s initiative to be better conditioned in preventing any economic crisis in future.
Members of the council
WHY IN NEWS?
India and the United States had signed a Project Agreement for the ‘Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle’ in the end of July 2021.
The project agreement for the ALUAV is under the Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation Memorandum of Agreement that was first signed between MoD and U.S. DoD in January 2006. Agreement was renewed in January 2015.
Significance of the project
Project agreement is a significant step to deepen the defence technology collaboration in between India and United States by co-developing the defence equipment.
Aim of the DTTI
The Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) was launched with the aim of bringing sustained leadership focus in a bid to promote collaborative technology exchange between both the countries. It also seeks to create opportunities for co-production and co-development of future technologies military forces of India and US. Under the initiative, a Joint Working Groups on land, naval, air, and aircraft carrier technologies have been set up to focus on mutually agreed projects in respective domains. Initiative was announced in 2012 as an ambitious initiative for the co-production and co-development of military systems.
WHY IN NEWS?
Newest Mars rover of the American Space Agency, NASA has successfully collected the first rock sample for return to the Earth.
About Mars 2020
Mars 2020 is a ‘Mars rover mission’ under the NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. It comprises of rover Perseverance and a small robotic, coaxial helicopter Ingenuity. This mission was launched from Earth on July 30, 2020 on an Atlas V launch vehicle. It touched down the Martian crater Jezero on February 18, 2021. NASA named the landing site of the rover as Octavia E. Butler Landing on March 5, 2021. Perseverance and Ingenuity have been on Mars for 191 sols (196 total days) as of now.
What is Sol?
Sol is a solar day on Mars. It is the apparent interval between two successive returns of the Sun to the same meridian as witnessed by observer on Mars. Sol is longer than the Earth day by 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds.
WHY IN NEWS?
The Shikshak Parv-2021 will be observed from September 5, 2021.
Shikshak Parv-2021 will be celebrated by Ministry of Education (MoE) from September 5 to 17, 2021. It will be organised to recognise the valuable contributions of teachers and to take National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 ahead.
National Awards to Teachers
President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the National Award to Teachers through a webinar on September 5. For the award this year, an online self-nomination process was followed through a three-tier selection process at district, state and national level. During the event, a documentary film on each of the 44 awardee teachers will also be shown.
History of National Awards
National Awards to Teachers were first established in 1958 in order to recognise excellence and commitment of teachers towards shaping the minds and future of the youth. From the mid-60s onwards, September 5 was selected as a fixed date for the function to commemorate the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (former President of India).
Theme of the webinars
The theme of webinars has been divided into nine sub-themes such as
WHY IN NEWS?
World Social Protection Report 2020-22 was released by International Labour Organisation (ILO) on September 1, 2021.
Rich Poor divide
This report examined the impact COVID-19 pandemic on social protection. It found, an additional spending required to ensure minimum social protection for all and reduce the financing gap has increased by 30 per cent since the start of the pandemic. On an average, countries spend approximately 13 per cent of GDP on social protection. However, high-income countries spend 16.4 per cent of GDP on social protection. On the other hand, low-income countries spend just 1.1 per cent.
Social protection comprises of access to healthcare and income security in cases of unemployment, old age, inability to work, and for families with children.
WHY IN NEWS?
Ladakh adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as its State animal and State bird respectively on September 1, 2021.
Black-necked Crane is scientifically known as Grus nigricollis. It is a medium-sized crane found in Asia. It breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India & Bhutan. The crane is 139 cm long with a wingspan of 235 cm and weighs of 5.5 kg. It is whitish-grey in colour along with a black head, red crown patch, white patch to the rear of eye, black upper neck & legs. Some of its populations are known to make seasonal movements. It is respected in Buddhist traditions and is culturally protected in much of its range. In India, Black-necked crane are only found in Ladakh region. It was the State bird of J&K before it was made a UT in 2019. It is an endangered species.
Snow leopard is scientifically called as Panthera uncia. It is a felid of genus Panthera and is native to the mountain ranges in Central and South Asia. It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List as its global population is lesser than 10,000 mature individuals. It is expected to decline by 10% by 2040. Poaching and habitat destruction are the biggest threat to them.
WHY IN NEWS?
On September 2, 2021, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) awarded a 5-star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification to the Chandigarh Railway Station.
Which body is responsible for food supply?
Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) is the body responsible for food supply to the Railways. It also looks after the upgradation of railway stations. IRSDC has selected the Chandigarh Railway station to upgrade it on the line of World Class Railway Station.
Eat Right Station certification
The ‘Eat Right Station Certification’ was the part of the ‘Eat Right India’ movement. It is a large-scale effort made by FSSAI to transform food system in India in order to ensure safe, healthy and sustainable food for all Indians. As per IRSDC, Eat Right India adopts a mix of regulatory, capacity building, collaborative, and empowerment approaches in ensuring that the food is suitable both for people as well as planet.
Which stations have got this certification?
Chandigarh Railway Station has become the fifth station in India to receive this certification. Other stations with this certification include- Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station in Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, Mumbai Central Railway Station in Mumbai and Vadodara Railway Station in Vadodara.
WHY IN NEWS?
New Development Bank (NDB) by BRICS group of nations has added United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Bangladesh as the new members on September 2, 2021.
This first batch of new members was added to the bank as part of its expansion drive.
New Development Bank
New Development Bank was launched in 2015 by the BRICS Members- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was formerly referred as “BRICS development bank”. It is headquartered in Shanghai. The first regional office of the NDB was set up in Johannesburg, South Africa while second regional office was established in 2019 in Brazil, followed by in Russia.
Function of the Bank
The bank mobilises resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the member countries as well as in other developing nations. It complements the existing efforts made by multilateral and regional financial institutions towards global growth and development.
NDB started it membership expansion and started formal negotiations with prospective members in 2020. Admission of the UAE, Uruguay and Bangladesh as Bank’s first new member countries, was approved after a round of successful negotiations.
NDB’s capital and projects
The Bank has an authorised capital of USD 100 billion. It is open for subscription by members of the United Nations. NDB has approved about 80 projects in all of its member countries which amount to portfolio of USD 30 billion. Projects in areas of transport, water & sanitation, digital infrastructure, clean energy, social infrastructure and urban development are within the scope of NDB.
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, a mystery fever was reported from parts of Uttar Pradesh. It claimed about 40 lives, mostly children in one week. This viral fever was identified as Scrub typhus.
What is scrub typhus?
Scrub typhus is a re-emerging Rickettsial infection. This vector-borne disease has been earlier reported in India and other South Asian countries. This disease is marked by fever and rashes. It also affects the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, renal system and gastrointestinal systems. In complicated cases, it could lead to pneumonia, meningo-encephalitis, gastro-intestinal bleeding, acute renal failure, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
This disease has been named “scrub” after the type of vegetation that harbours the vector. Typhus is a Greek word with meaning “fever with stupor” or smoke. This disease took the form of an epidemic during World War II in some countries while during the Second World War, it emerged as the most dreaded disease among soldiers of the Far East. In India, this fever out in an epidemic form during Second World War in Assam and West Bengal.
How does it cause?
Scrub typhus fever is caused by a bacterium called Orientia tsutsugamushi. The name of the bacterium is of Japanese origin. The word “tsutsuga” means illness and “mushi” means insect. This disease spreads through bites of infected chiggers or larval mites. Bite marks are found on the armpit, genitalia or neck.
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