Current Affairs- 29th June

Science and Technology

Abu Dhabi Introduces Facial Covid Scanners

Abu Dhabi Introduces Facial Covid Scanners
  • Abu Dhabi will use facial scanners to detect Corona virus infections at malls and airports, from today, after a trial of 20,000 people showed a high degree of effectiveness.
  • The technology can detect infections by measuring electromagnetic waves, which change when the RNA particles of the virus are present in the body, state-run WAM reported.
  • The results showed 93.5 per cent sensitivity, reflecting the accuracy of identifying those infected.
  • The United Arab Emirates, of which Abu Dhabi is part, has one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, but daily new cases have continued to hover around 2,000 since March.

National

India raises Jammu air base attack at UN, says use of drones by terrorists needs attention

  • India has raised at the UN, the issue of drones being used for terror activities. It came days after explosions at the Air Force Station in Jammu with the help of low-flying drones.
  • New Delhi said, being a low-cost option and easily available, utilisation of these aerial and sub-surface platforms by terrorist groups for sinister purposes such as intelligence collection, explosives delivery and targeted attacks has become an imminent danger for security agencies worldwide.
  • This was stated by Special Secretary in the Home Ministry, V.S.K. Kaumudi, while addressing the 2nd UN High Level Conference of the Head of Counter Terrorism Agencies of the Member States.

Science and Technology

Govt plans to link e-courts with land records to ease property registration

  • Seeking to help bonafide buyers know whether the land they plan to buy is under any legal dispute, the government plans to link e-courts with land records and registration database.
  • The government feels that in the long run it will reduce dubious transactions, help in dispute containment and also reduce clogging of the court’s system.
  • The pilot project on linking of e-Court with land records and registration database has been successfully completed in Maharashtra along with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and soon it will be launched across the country.

International

Mobile World Congress 2021

  • Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s biggest mobile event of the year, will begin on June 28 in Barcelona.
  • Unlike last year when the event got cancelled due to the growing cases of Covid-19, one of the biggest tradeshows is returning this year in a hybrid form. The annual telecom industry gathering is synonymous with some big announcements in the past, and although not every major tech company is convinced with the new hybrid settings of the event, we are still excited about MWC 2021.
  • Brands like Goggle, Nokia, Xiaomi, Facebook and Sony aren’t attending this year’s in-person event, though it’s not clear if they have plans to announce new products even virtually. Still, there’s a lot of rumours being passed around what we can expect from this year’s MWC.

Stolen Picasso painting found nine years after elaborate Athens art heist

  • In Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, rebel forces have recaptured its capital, Mekelle. Residents reported scenes of joy, with fireworks and thousands waving flags.
  • There had been recent reports of renewed fighting between fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and government forces outside Mekelle. But a rapid offensive on Monday led to the unexpected recapture of the city by the rebels.
  • The Ethiopia government, which took Mekelle in November after rebels rejected political reforms and captured army bases, has now called a humanitarian ceasefire in the region.

Ethiopia's Tigray conflict: Street celebrations as rebels seize capital

  • In Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, rebel forces have recaptured its capital, Mekelle. Residents reported scenes of joy, with fireworks and thousands waving flags.
  • There had been recent reports of renewed fighting between fighters of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and government forces outside Mekelle. But a rapid offensive on Monday led to the unexpected recapture of the city by the rebels.
  • The Ethiopia government, which took Mekelle in November after rebels rejected political reforms and captured army bases, has now called a humanitarian ceasefire in the region.

China starts Baihetan Hydro Project

  • The giant Baihetan hydropower plant on the upstream branch of China’s Yangtze river has begun generating electricity for the first time on Monday, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
  • The project’s first two 1-gigawatt (GW) turbines will go into formal operation after a three-day trial, CCTV said. The project will eventually consist of 16 such units, making its total generation capacity second only to the Three Gorges Dam once it is fully completed in July next year.
  • The project is part of a national scheme to generate electricity and deliver it to high energy-consuming regions on the eastern coast, and is also designed to strengthen control over water flows during the heavy summer flood season.

Sports

Sudirman Cup moved to Finland, World Tour Finals to Indonesia

Sudirman Cup moved to Finland, World Tour Finals to Indonesia
  • In badminton, two key tournaments, the Sudirman Cup Finals 2021 and the BWF World Tour Finals, which were originally planned to take place in China this year, have now been moved to Vantaa, Finland and Bali, Indonesia respectively.
  • Vantaa, Finland is the new host of the Sudirman Cup Finals 2021 from September 26 to October 3, followed by the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2020 in Aarhus, Denmark which had been postponed last year.
  • The final tournament of the calendar year will be the World Championships in Huelva, Spain in mid-December.

Awards and Honours

Journalist P Sainath wins Japan’s Fukuoka Grand Prize

Journalist P Sainath wins Japan’s Fukuoka Grand Prize
  • Renowned journalist and founder of PARI (People’s Archive of Rural India) P Sainath has been awarded the Fukuoka Grand Prize for 2021.
  • Sainath, who worked with The Hindu previously and wrote a seminal book titled “Everybody loves a good drought”, is known for his in-depth reporting of issues affecting rural India.
  • “Despite his brilliant career, Mr. Sainath’s dogged approach to the pursuit of ‘knowledge’ has stayed unchanged. He collects information by scrupulously walking around the villages and talking to people, captures the reality in photographs and reveals the real situations of poverty and natural disasters,” reads the citation of the prize.

Book and Author

Fiercely Female: The Dutee Chand Story

Fiercely Female: The Dutee Chand Story
  • Dutee Chand, the first openly homosexual athlete from India, scripted history in 2019 when she became the first Indian to win a gold in a 100 metre event at the World Universiade in Naples.
  • Journalist Sundeep Mishra’s book titled ‘Fiercely Female: The Dutee Chand Story’ chronicles Chand’s journey with a detailed narrative of the gender-identity controversy that made her an iconic figure in Indian sport.
  • However, controversy regarding her gender identity abruptly interrupted her dreams as she was dropped from the 2014 Commonwealth Games on the charge that she was ineligible to compete as a female athlete.

Days and Dates

National Statistics Day: 29th June

National Statistics Day: 29th June
  • Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation today celebrated Statistics Day, 2021 through video conferencing.
  • The theme for this year’s Statistics Day was Sustainable Development Goal-2 (End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture).
  • Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation Rao Inderjit Singh graced the occasion as Chief Guest and addressed the participants through virtual mode.

Other Important Affairs

  • ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) today reviewed its activities and exchanges over the past year and deliberated on the future plans and efforts.
  • The Delhi Metro has received prestigious ‘Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award’ for the year 2020 from the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) for its “High-Quality” infrastructure development projects under Phase I, II and III.
  • The International Day of the Tropics is observed every year on 29 June to highlight opportunities, unique challenges faced by nations lying between the tropics and celebrates the diversity of tropical regions.
  • Atmanirbhar Krishi App was launched by the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Union Government today.
  • South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has been sentenced to 15 months in jail by the country’s highest court.