Current Affairs- 21th July
Science and Technology
Maharashtra to issue educational documents using Blockchain Technology
- LegitDoc, a blockchain startup, is helping the Government of Maharashtra implement the world’s largest blockchain-powered educational credentialing system by issuing nearly 1 million tamper-proof diploma certificates.
- LegitDoc (owned by Crossforge Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), a unique SaaS-based platform that leverages a combination of Ethereum blockchain and cryptographic techniques, has facilitated issuing and verifying of around 1 million digital diploma certificates for students of MSBSD across 8 academic years. These certificates can be instantly verified from anywhere around the world.
IIT Ropar develops nation’s first of its kind oxygen rationing device
- To increase the life of medical oxygen cylinders three fold, the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a first-of-its-kind Oxygen Rationing Device – AMLEX that supplies a required volume of oxygen to the patient during inhalation and trips when the patient exhales CO2. This process saves oxygen which otherwise unnecessarily get wasted.
- So far, during exhalation, the oxygen in the oxygen cylinder/pipe is pushed out along with the exhaled CO2 by the user. This leads to wastage of a large volume of oxygen in long run. In addition to this, a large volume of oxygen escapes from the openings of the mask to the environment in the resting period (between inhalation and exhalation) due to continuous flow of life saving gas in the mask.
- “The device can operate on both portable power supply (battery) as well as line supply (220V-50Hz)”, said Director, IIT, Ropar, Prof. Rajeev Ahuja.
DRDO successfully tests new generation surface-to-air Akash Missile
- Defence Research and Development Organisation, DRDO today successfully flight-tested the New Generation Akash Missile, a surface-to-air Missile from Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha. The flight trial was conducted from a land-based platform with all weapon system elements such as Multifunction Radar, Command, Control and Communication System and launcher participating in deployment configuration.
- The missile system has been developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad in collaboration with other DRDO laboratories.
DRDO successfully test flights indigenous Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile
- In a major boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat and strengthening Army, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire and forget Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM) today.
- The missile was launched from a man-portable launcher integrated with thermal site and the target was mimicking a tank. The missile hit the target in direct attack mode and destroyed it with precision. The test has validated the minimum range successfully.
India to take part in environment ministers' meet at G20 Summit
- The two-day Environment Ministerial Meeting (EMM) of the G20 countries is scheduled to be held from Thursday.
- The meeting is being held in hybrid format and India shall participate through video conferencing. The 16th G20 Summit in 2021, under Italian Presidency, is slated to revolve around its primary theme of ‘People’, ‘Planet’ and ‘Prosperity’.
- India shall be represented by a delegation led by Hon’ble Union Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav and shall include Minister of State, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and senior officers of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- Under environment track, the Environment Ministers of G20 countries shall be discussing and making interventions during the sessions on ‘Natural Capital to Protect and Manage’ and ‘Joint Efforts for Sustainable and Circular Resource Use’.
Liverpool stripped of world heritage status by UNESCO
- Liverpool has been stripped of its World Heritage status after a UN committee found developments threatened the value of the city’s waterfront. The decision was made following a secret ballot by the UNESCO Committee at a meeting in China. UNESCO had previously warned that the developments, including the new Everton FC stadium, had resulted in a “serious deterioration” of the historic site.
- Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said the decision was “a retrograde step that does not reflect the reality of what is happening on the ground”.
- The government said it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision and believes Liverpool still deserves its heritage status “given the significant role the historic docks and the wider city have played throughout history”
Ariel Henry sworn-in as new Haiti PM
- Ariel Henry has been sworn in as the new prime minister, around two weeks after the country’s President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated. Moise had asked Henry to take up the role days before he was murdered in the capital Port-au-Prince. Ariel Henry could not take over the post immediately as he was locked in a political tussle with Claude Joseph, the country’s interim PM at the time of the attack.
- However, Joseph stepped down on Monday paving the way not only for Henry’s swearing-in but also for elections in September this year. After taking the oath, Henry said that one of his priorities would be to reassure the people that the government will do everything to restore order and security.
China debuts world's fastest Maglev train
- China has unveiled a high-speed maglev train with a designed top speed of 600 kms per hour. As per Chinese official media reports on Tuesday, it is stated to be the world’s fastest ground vehicle.
- The new maglev transportation system made its public debut in the coastal city of Qingdao, China’s east Shandong province, state-run news agency reported.
- Launched in October 2016, the high-speed maglev train project saw the development of a magnetic-levitation train prototype with a designed top speed of 600 kms per hour in 2019, and conducted a successful test run in June 2020, the report said.
Australia’s Brisbane to host 2032 Summer Olympics
- Brisbane will host the 2032 summer Olympics, after the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved its nomination in a vote that Australia’s prime minister hailed as a historic moment for city and country.
- The city, where hundreds of people gathered at the river-side South Bank erupted in cheering as the defining moments of the IOC session were broadcast on a big screen, becomes the third in Australia to get the Games after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
- According to an estimate, the cost to prepare Brisbane for the event is 5 billion dollars.
New Motto of the Olympics
- The Olympic motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger” was updated to “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together“ to reflect solidarity across the world at the time of Covid-19. The International Olympic Committee approved the change at its session ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed last year and were in danger of cancellation over the pandemic.
- “We see everywhere the collaborative effort bringing faster and better solutions than working in silos,” said IOC president Thomas Bach as the proposal received unanimous backing. “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” or “Citius, Altius, Fortius” in Latin, has been the Olympic motto since 1894, when it was adopted at the birth of the IOC at the suggestion of the body’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin.
Other Important Affairs
- Kerala Health Minister Veena George has informed that three more people in the state have been diagnosed with the Zika virus. The virus has been confirmed in the residents of areas in Thiruvananthapuram. With this, a total of 41 people in the state have been diagnosed with Zika virus.
- Russia says it has successfully test-fired its new S-500 air defense missile system in a training exercise at a training range and struck a fast-moving ballistic target with accuracy.
- The Kunariya village of Kutch district in Gujarat has come out with a unique idea of holding Balika Panchayat. The first-ever elections of this Balika Panchayat were successfully held.
- Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has been appointed as the deputy Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha.
- The Indian Olympic Association has appointed retired IPS officer B K Sinha will perform the dual role of Security as well as Press Attache of the country’s contingent at the Tokyo Games, which begins on July 23.