Current Affairs- 13th, 14th &15th August

Science and Technology

IIT-B, Kasturba researchers develop quick test to predict high-risk severe Covid patients

IIT-B, Kasturba researchers develop quick test to predict high-risk severe Covid patients
  • IIT, Bombay has developed a novel method using infra-red technology to detect which patients are more at risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19. The head of the Proteomics Facility at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Professor Sanjeeva Srivastava, has confirmed that there is a correlation between a person’s blood chemical signature and becoming severely unwell with COVID-19.
  • According to an official statement, the pilot study conducted in collaboration with Mumbai’s Kasturba Hospital, Australia’s QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Agilent Technologies was found to be 85 percent accurate.

Chandrayaan-2 orbiter detects water molecules on lunar surface

Chandrayaan-2 orbiter detects water molecules on lunar surface
  • India’s ambitious Chandrayaan-2 moon mission may have made a hard landing on the lunar surface in 2019, but the orbiter accompanying it has been providing useful information to scientists back on Earth. And earlier this week, a research paper revealed that the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter confirmed the presence of water molecules (H2o) and hydroxyl (OH) on the surface of the moon.
  • The findings were published in the journal Current Science. “The initial data analysis from IIRS clearly demonstrates the presence of widespread lunar hydration and unambiguous detection of OH and H2O signatures between 29 degrees north and 62 degrees north latitude,” the August 10 research article said.

National

ICG Hoists National Flag At 100 Islands To Commemorate 75th Independence Day

ICG Hoists National Flag At 100 Islands To Commemorate 75th Independence Day
  • Indian Coast Guard today hoisted the National flag at selected 100 islands across the country to commemorate the 75th anniversary celebrations of India’s Independence and foster patriotism among people.
  • Of these, 36 islands are on the west coast, while 25 are on the east coast of the mainland. The tricolour was also hoisted simultaneously at 24 islands of Andaman and Nicobar and 15 islands of Lakshadweep and Minicoy.
  • Defence Ministry said, as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Indian Coast Guard also conducted a series of programmes at various Coast Guard stations to evoke the feeling of patriotism among people.

Nation celebrates 75th Independence Day with patriotic fervor

Nation celebrates 75th Independence Day with patriotic fervor
  • The 75th Independence Day is being celebrated with patriotic fervor across the country and around the world today.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the national flag on the 75th Independence Day and addressed the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi. He also inspected the Guard of Honour.
  • For the first time this year, as soon as the national flag was hoisted by the Prime Minister, two Mi 17 1V helicopters of the Indian Air Force showered flower petals.
  • The PM extended his greeting to people and to all those who love India, love democracy all over the world on 75th Independence Day. He said, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas is important in fulfilling all the aspirations of the nation.

PM introduces policy aimed at phasing out old and unfit vehicles

PM introduces policy aimed at phasing out old and unfit vehicles
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’s new vehicle scrappage policy has the potential to generate fresh investments of more than ₹10,000 crore, creating thousands of jobs.
  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the policy in her February budget for FY22 to phase out unfit, polluting vehicles.
  • The policy is an attempt by the government to boost automobile demand that has been hit by weak consumer sentiment amid a slowdown in the broader economy.

Four more Indian sites added to Ramsar list

Four more Indian sites added to Ramsar list
  • Thol Wildlife Sanctuary near Ahmedabad and Wadhwana wetland in Vadodara are among the four wetlands of the country that have been included on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, the Union government said on Saturday. With this, the number of Ramsar listed wetlands in Gujarat goes up to three and the listings come nine year after Nalsarovar had earned the tag in 2012.
  • “Four more wetlands from India get recognition from the Ramsar Secretariat as Ramsar sites. These sites are Thol and Wadhwana from Gujarat and Sultanpur and Bhindawas from Haryana,” a release from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) stated on Saturday. “With this, the number of Ramsar sites in India are 46 and the surface area covered by these sites is now 1,083,322 hectares.

International

UN urges Afghanistan’s neighbours to keep their borders open for civilians fleeing Taliban onslaught

UN urges Afghanistan’s neighbours to keep their borders open for civilians fleeing Taliban onslaught
  • The United Nations has urged Afghanistan’s neighbours to keep their borders open as the number of civilians fleeing the Taliban onslaught is increasing. Warned of a humanitarian catastrophe, the World Food Programme (WFP) said, thousands of those internally displaced have been arriving in Kabul, seeing the capital as their last safe refuge.
  • The Taliban yesterday seized the country’s second-largest city Kandahar, the latest provincial capital to fall. The southern Afghan city was once the Taliban’s stronghold and is strategically important because of its international airport, agricultural and industrial output.

Navies of 21 countries kick off US-led drills in Southeast Asia

Navies of 21 countries kick off US-led drills in Southeast Asia
  • The United States-led Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT) military exercises are under way in Singapore and online.
  • Now in its 20th year, the annual drills began on Tuesday and involve the navies of 21 countries.
  • They include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, East Timor, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
  • In a statement, the US Navy 7th fleet said this year’s drills include 10 ships and more than 400 personnel.

Sports

Indian Bank signs MoU with Paralympic Committee to support athletes

Indian Bank signs MoU with Paralympic Committee to support athletes
  • Public sector Indian Bank on Wednesday stated that ihas signed an MOU with Paralympic Committee of India to become one of the Banking Partners ahead of the Paralympic Games, Tokyo 2020. The Paralympic Games are scheduled to start from the 24th of August, 2021.
  • In an year-long association, the bank will provide financial assistance to Paralympic athletes to prepare for the coveted sporting events in domestic arena as well as global platforms.
  • Deepa Malik , President, PCI and Ravindra Singh, Field General Manager (Delhi), Indian Bank, said, “The resources offered by the bank will be channelized towards meeting the requirements of the Indian Para athletes ranging from their training, nutrition, equipment, certifications to name a few.”

Komalika Bari becomes new under-21 recurve world champion at Youth World Championships

Komalika Bari becomes new under-21 recurve world champion at Youth World Championships
  • In Archery, Komalika Bari became the new under-21 recurve world champion at the Youth World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland yesterday. India’s Junior recurve archers also bagged gold in the men’s and the mixed team event. In the U21 men’s recurve team final the Indian team of Dhiraj Bommadevara, Aditya Choudhary, and Parth Sushant Salunkhe clinched the gold medal in a very exciting fashion.
  • Indian trio came from behind to clinch the 5-3 win against Spain. Parth Salunkhe later joined Komalika Bari in the mixed team event, to capture another gold for India.

Awards and Honours

Charanjit Singh to be conferred President’s Home Guards & Civil Defence Medal for his distinguished service

Charanjit Singh to be conferred President’s Home Guards & Civil Defence Medal for his distinguished service
  • AIRIn Punjab, Divisional Commandant of Home Guards, Charanjit Singh would be conferred the President’s Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for his distinguished service.
  • A spokesperson informed that President of India would also honor Company Commander (Home Guards) Rawel Singh and Platoon Commander (Home Guards) Madhu with Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for their meritorious services. An official communiqué has been sent to Punjab Government by Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard.

President approved 144 Gallantry awards to Armed Forces, police & paramilitary personnel

President approved 144 Gallantry awards to Armed Forces, police & paramilitary personnel
  • President Ram Nath Kovind has approved 144 Gallantry awards to Armed Forces, police and paramilitary personnel on the eve of Independence Day. These include one Ashok Chakra, one Kirti Chakra, 15 Shaurya Chakras, four Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 116 Sena Medals (Gallantry), five Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and two Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
  • ASI of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Babu Ram has been posthumously honoured with Ashok Chakra while Altaf Hussain Bhat who was serving as a Constable in Jammu and Kashmir police has been posthumously honoured with the Kirti Chakra.
  • Of the 15 Shaurya Chakra awardees, three have been given the honour posthumously.

Days and Dates

World Organ Donation Day: 13th August

World Organ Donation Day: 13th August
  • World Organ Donation Day is observed on August 13 every year to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation and address and debunk myths related to donating organs. This day strives to encourage people to donate their healthy organs after death in order to save more lives. Donating organs like the kidneys, heart, pancreas, eyes, lungs, etc can help save the lives of those who are suffering from chronic illnesses. Numerous people lose their lives due to the unavailability of healthy organs that could save them.
  • India has its own organ donation day that is observed on November 27 each year. On this day, the government encourages Indian citizens to volunteer to donate their organs and save lives.

Other Important Affairs

  • Senior Officials from External Affairs Ministry, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, Foreign Affairs Ministry of Japan and Department of State of the US met by video conference yesterday to continue their consultations. The consultations provided an opportunity to exchange views on the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19 in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind has called upon the countrymen to imbibe the motto of – Har Kaam Desh Ke Naam – as a mantra and work with full devotion and dedication for the development of the nation.
  • The upcoming Tokyo Paralympics will witness the largest ever Indian contingent being send, with 54 para-sportspersons participating across 9 sports disciplines. The 54-member Indian contingents were given a formal and virtual send-off on August 12, 2021, by Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag.
  • HCL Technologies’ market capitalisation (market-cap) touched Rs 3 trillion for the first time. HCL becoming the fourth Indian information technology (IT) firm to achieve this milestone after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys and Wipro.