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Daily Current Affairs March 27th- Vignan IAS

With $200 billion of India’s trade flows with Europe, North America and South America at risk due to the blockage of the Suez Canal, the Department of Commerce is planning re-routing shipments through the Cape of Good Hope.
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa.
A common misconception is that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa. Contemporary geographic knowledge instead states the southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas.
When following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, however, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward.
Important Info :
Cape Agulhas
Cape Agulhas is a rocky headland in Western Cape, South Africa.
It is the geographic southern tip of the African continent and the beginning of the dividing line between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Source : The Hindu


NASA and ISRO are collaborating on developing a satellite called NISAR, which will detect movements of the planet’s surface as small as 0.4 inches over areas about half the size of a tennis court.
NISAR is an SUV-sized satellite that is being jointly developed by the space agencies of the US and India.
The name NISAR is short for NASA-ISRO-SAR. SAR here refers to the synthetic aperture radar that NASA will use to measure changes in the surface of the Earth.
Essentially, SAR refers to a technique for producing high-resolution images.
Because of the precision, the radar can penetrate clouds and darkness, which means that it can collect data day and night in any weather.

The partnership agreement was signed between NASA and ISRO in 2014.
NASA will provide one of the radars for the satellite, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers and a payload data subsystem.
ISRO, on the other hand, will provide the spacecraft bus, the second type of radar (called the S-band radar), the launch vehicle and associated launch services.

The satellite will be launched in 2022 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, India, into a near-polar orbit.
It will scan the globe every 12 days over the course of its three-year mission of imaging the Earth’s land, ice sheets and sea ice to give an “unprecedented” view of the planet.
Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech


Eritrea will pull its troops out of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, said. It is a potential breakthrough in a drawn-out conflict that has seen atrocities carried out against civilians.
The Tigray Region is the northernmost of the nine regions (kililat) of Ethiopia.
Tigray is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples.
Tigray is also known as Region 1 according to the federal constitution.
Its capital and largest city is Mekelle.
Tigray is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, the Amhara Region to the south and the Afar Region to the east and south east.
Important Info :
Recent conflict:
The Tigray War is an ongoing armed conflict that began in November 2020 in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia.
It is fought between the by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)-controlled Tigray Regional Government, and the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF).
The conflict escalated in September, when Tigray held local elections in insubordination of the Ethiopian federal government. these elections were considered “illegal” by the federal government, further leading to conflict with Tigray authorities.
Source : The Hindu

The Centre has only rejected 4.3% of all Right to Information (RTI) requests in 2019-20, the lowest ever rate, according to the Central Information Commission’s annual report.
However, almost 40% of these rejections did not include any valid reason, as they did not invoke one of the permissible exemption clauses in the RTI Act, according to an analysis of report data by RTI activist Venkatesh Nayak.
This includes 90% of rejections by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Public authorities under the Central government received 13.7 lakh RTI requests in 2019-20, out of which 58,634 were rejected for various reasons.
Rejection rates have fallen since the 13.9% rate in 2005-06 and have been steadily trending downwards since the 8.4% spike in 2014-15. In 2019-20, they hit their lowest level so far.
The Home Ministry had the highest rate of rejections, as it rejected 20% of all RTIs received. The Agriculture Ministry’s rejection rate doubled from 2% in 2018-19 to 4% in 2019-20.
The Delhi Police and the Army also saw increases in rejection rates.
Important Info :
The RTI Act allows public authorities to reject RTI requests on a number of grounds, ranging from information which would endanger life and safety to that which involves irrelevant personal information, Cabinet papers, foreign governments, copyrights, or sovereignty, security and intelligence matters.
Public authorities are expected to cite the relevant clause of the Act to invoke the exemption.
Source : The Hindu
Polity & Governance



Legendary singer Asha Bhosle will be presented the Maharashtra Bhushan award for the year 2020, the State government’s highest honour.
A committee headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting earlier today in this regard.
The award, instituted in 1996 by the State government to recognise distinguished work and achievements of eminent persons from the State, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a citation.
Born on September 8, 1933, in Maharashtra’s Sangli district, Ms. Bhosle was initiated into music by her father, the renowned Marathi stage actor-singer Dinanath Mangeshkar.
Bhosle received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2000.
Important Info :
The first Maharashtra Bhushan awardee was Marathi writer P.L. Deshpande and the last winner of this award was historian Babasaheb Purandare who got it for the year 2015.
Her sister Lata Mangeshkar won the award for 1997.
Source : All India Radio


The third phase of the Indian beamline project, a facility for materials research set up under India-Japan Scientific and Technological Cooperation, was initiated on March 23, 2021, with special focus on industrial application research.
The phase would increase the number of young researchers from India to be trained in advanced X-ray techniques of material research.
Besides, steps will be taken to allocate more beamtime so that more researchers can get access to it. At present, only 50 % of Indian researchers who apply receive beamtime.
The Indian beamline has been constructed and maintained by Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), Kolkata and Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore; in Japanese synchrotron light source Photon Factory (PF) of High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), with support from Nano Mission, Department of Science and Technology (DST).
This India-Japan Scientific and Technological Cooperation project was initiated between the DST and the KEK on 24 July 2007.
In the first phase (2009-2015) of this project, an X-ray beamline (BL18B) was constructed by SINP in PF. In the second phase (2016-2021), JNCASR and SINP jointly developed the beamline further to cater to the need of various users from India.
Source : PIB


Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched ‘Tribal TB Initiative’ in pursuit of TB Mukt Bharat.
A Guidance Note on Joint Action Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination, a Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB, and a document on Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative was also released.
Over 104 million tribal population lives in India, across 705 tribes, accounting for 8.6 % of the country’s population.
177 tribal districts were identified as high priority districts where physical remoteness, malnutrition, poor living conditions and lack of awareness contribute to the vulnerability of the tribal population to TB.
Initially, the activities of the joint plan will be focusing on 161 districts across 18 identified States. This would involve periodic TB active case finding drives and provision of TB Preventive Therapy (IPT) to identified vulnerable population and develop long term mechanisms for vulnerability reduction.
Important Info :
the Union Territories of Lakshadweep and district of Badgam in Jammu and Kashmir have been declared TB Free on World TB Day this year.
The government has already increased the Budget allocation for TB in India a four-fold in the last 5 years.
Source : PIB
Social Issues


In the presence of Union Minister of Environment the MoU was signed by representatives of State Pollution Control Boards, Urban Local Bodies and Institutes of Repute for 132 identified cities for implementation of city specific action plans under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
It targets to achieve 20% to 30% reduction in Particulate Matter concentrations by 2024 (with 2017 as base year).
A National Knowledge Network comprising leading air quality specialists has also been constituted as a technical advisory group to support activities under NCAP and guide local Institutes of Repute (IoRs) in conducting air quality researches.
Source : PIB


India’s First Indo-Korean Friendship Park was jointly inaugurated by Mr Suh Wook, Minister of National Defence, Republic of Korea and Rajnath Singh, Raksha Mantri, at Delhi Cantonment on 26 March 2021.
It is in Delhi Cantonment.
The park’s significance is not only because of it being a symbol of strong India-South Korea friendly relations, but also as a monument to India’s contributions as part of 21 countries which participated in Korean war 1950-53, under the aegis of the United Nations.
The park has been developed in joint consultation with Ministry of Defence, Government of India, Indian Army, Delhi Cantonment Board, Embassy of Korea and Korean War Veterans Association of India.
One of the pillars in the park encompasses Nobel Laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s narration of Korea as “The Lamp of the East” which was published in Korean daily “Dong-A-llbo” in 1929.
Source : PIB
Defence & Security


Election Commission of India, in exercise of the powers under sub-section(1) of Section 126A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 has notified the period between 7:00A.M on 27th March, 2021 (Saturday) and 7.30 PM on 29thApril, 2021 (Thursday), as the period during which exit polls are banned.
During this period, conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing the result of exit poll by means of the print or electronic media or in any other manner shall be prohibited in the ongoing General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal & Puducherry.
Further, under Section 126(1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
Important Info :
In multi-phase elections it is prohibited to conduct exit polls from the 1st phase till the last phase of elections to prevent influencing voters’ behaviour. After last phase one can conduct an exit poll and publish result.
This was done by bringing amending the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in 2009 which inserted Section 126A was inserted into the RPA.
Contravention of Section 126A has been made punishable under Section 126A(3) with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
Additionally, Section 126B has also been inserted to the RP Act, 1951 for punishment to companies who commit any offence under Section 126A.
Source : PIB
Polity & Governance