June 14th Current Affairs
- June 14, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Culture Current Affairs Daily News Defense & Security Disaster Management Economy Education Environment & Ecology Ethics Geography Governance Health History International Relation Persons in News Polity Science & Technology Social Issues Sports Uncategorized UPSC Notification Videos
1. ALH Mk-III
In line with Atmanirbhar Bharat vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar inducted Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Mk-III in Indian Coast Guard (ICG).
- The state-of-the-art helicopters are indigenously designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru.
- The ALH Mk-III marine version has been designed and developed with in-house customisation of 19 additional equipment by HAL to meet ICG requirements.
- The HAL will supply 16 ALH Mk-III to the ICG by mid next year.
- The helicopters are capable of undertaking embarked operations from ships which will enhance Coast Guard capabilities towards sea-air co-ordinated search, interdiction capabilities, coastal security, search and rescue operations, medical evacuation, humanitarian missions, pollution response missions, etc.
- On induction, the 16 ALH Mk-III will be positioned at four Coast Guard squadrons at Bhubaneshwar, Porbandar, Kochi and Chennai.
- The shared maritime boundaries with littoral states are highly susceptible to illegal activities and the regions are prone to frequent cyclones.
- These squadrons with embarked operations will ensure seamless surveillance and provide assistance to fishermen in distress at sea.
2. iDEX – DIO
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore to Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) – Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO) for the next five years.
- The budgetary support will provide a big boost to the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi as iDEX–DIO has the primary objective of self-reliance and indigenisation in defence & aerospace sector of the country.
- The creation of the iDEX framework and establishment of the DIO by the Department of Defence Production (DDP) is aimed at creating an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in defence and aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes & academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D development which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.
- The scheme, with budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore for the next five years, is aimed at providing financial support to nearly 300 start-ups/MSMEs/individual innovators and 20 partner incubators under the DIO framework.
- It will support increased awareness in the Indian innovation ecosystem about defence needs and, conversely, in the Indian Defence establishment about the potential of the Indian innovation eco-system to deliver innovative solutions to meet their needs.
- The DIO, with its team, will enable the creation of channels for innovators to engage and interact with the Indian Defence production industry.
- The long-term effect to be realised by the group is the establishment of a culture, where enlisting the effort of innovators by the Indian military is commonplace and frequent.
- The scheme aims to facilitate rapid development of new, indigenised and innovative technologies for the Indian defence and aerospace sector to meet their needs in shorter timelines; create a culture of engagement with innovative start-ups to encourage co-creation for defence and aerospace; empower a culture of technology co-creation and co-innovation within the defence and aerospace sector and boost innovation among the start-ups and encourage them to be a part of the ecosystem.
3. 44TH GST COUNCIL MEETING
The 44th GST Council met under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister. The Council in its meeting has decided to reduce the GST rates on various items being used in Covid-19 relief and management till 30th September, 2021.
- It decided to waive the tax levied on two critical drugs against COVID-19 and mucormycosis — tocilizumab and amphotericin B — and reset the tax rate to 5% for 14 major pandemic relief items, till September 30.
- The 5% GST levied on vaccines was left unchanged.
- The GST rate on Remdesivir and anti-coagulants like Heparin has been reduced from 12% to 5%.
- Ambulances, which are currently taxed at 28%, will attract a GST levy of 12%, while temperature checking equipment and electric furnaces used in crematoriums will attract a 5% GST instead of 18%.
- For oxygen concentrators, medical grade oxygen and related devices such as ventilators, BiPAP machines, the GST rate has also been brought down to 5% from 12%.
- The same reduction has been approved in the levies on COVID-testing kits and pulse oximeters.
- The 5% rate will apply to personal imports of oxygen concentrators as well as pulse oximeters, while the 18% GST payable on hand sanitisers has been reduced to 5%.
4. Operation Oliva
Recently, the Indian Coast Guard has pressed into service an aircraft for ‘Operation Oliva’ to protect Olive Ridley turtles.
- Every year, the Indian Coast Guard’s “Operation Olivia”, initiated in the early 1980s, helps protect Olive Ridley turtles as they congregate along the Odisha coast for breeding and nesting from November to December.
- It also intercepts unlawful trawling activities.
- Round-the-clock surveillance is conducted from November till May utilising Coast Guard assets such as fast patrol vessels, air cushion vessels, interceptor craft and Dornier aircraft to enforce laws near the rookeries (colony of breeding animals).
- From November 2020 to May 2021, the Coast Guard devoted 225 ship days and 388 aircraft hours to protect 3.49 lakh turtles that laid eggs along the Odisha coast.
- They are found in warm waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.
- The Odisha’s Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is known as the world’s largest rookery of sea turtles.
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix I
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
Olive Ridley Turtles:
- The Olive ridley turtles are the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles found in the world.
- These turtles are carnivores and get their name from their olive colored carapace.
- They migrate thousands of kilometers between feeding and mating grounds in the course of a year.
- They are best known for their unique mass nesting called Arribada, where thousands of females come together on the same beach to lay eggs.
- They are extensively poached for their meat, shell and leather, and their eggs.
- However, the most severe threat they face is the accidental killing through entanglement in trawl nets and gill nets due to uncontrolled fishing during their mating season around nesting beaches.
- An ever-increasing debris of plastics, fishing nets, discarded nets, polythene and other garbage dumped by tourists and fishing workers.
5. PROJECT O2
Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Government has initiated ”Project O2 for India” with the aim of ensuring supply of critical raw materials like zeolites, Manufacturing of compressors and setting up of small oxygen plants.
- This project was initiated in aftermath of second wave of COVID-19 which witnessed an increase in demand for medical oxygen across the country.
- Thus, it is important to meet the current demand as well as manufacture medical oxygen to ensure adequate supply of oxygen for future needs.
- This project has been launched by office of Principal Scientific Adviser to enable stakeholders who are working to augment India’s ability to meet surge in demand for medical oxygen.
- Under the project, a National Consortium of Oxygen will be set up which would enable adequate national level supply of critical raw materials like zeolites.
- It would also set up small oxygen plants, manufacture compressors and final products like oxygen plants, concentrators & ventilators. Consortium will look forward to provide immediate short-term relief as well as work to strengthen manufacturing ecosystem in long-term.
- Committee of experts has been constituted to evaluate critical equipment like concentrators, oxygen plants and ventilators from India-based start-ups, manufacturers and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
- It includes Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE), IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay and more than 40 MSMEs.