Current Affairs- 3rd June

Science and Technology

NASA announces Two Robotic Missions to Venus

NASA announces Two Robotic Missions to Venus
  • NASA on Wednesday announced plans to launch two new scientific missions to Venus between 2028 and 2030 — its first in decades — to study the atmosphere and geologic features of Earth’s so-called sister planet.
  • The United States space agency said it was awarding about $500m for development of each of the two missions, dubbed DAVINCI+ (short for Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging) and VERITAS (an acronym for Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy).

XraySetu launched to detect Covid in rural population via WhatsApp

XraySetu launched to detect Covid in rural population via WhatsApp
  • A new AI-driven platform will now help early intervention through rapid screening of coronavirus disease cases with the help of chest X-ray interpretation over WhatsApp for doctors who have access to X-ray machines.

  • The solution called X-Ray Setu can work with low-resolution images sent via mobiles, is quick and easy to use, and can facilitate detection in rural areas.

  • Artificial intelligence-based X-Ray Setu, which operates through Whatsapp, plans to onboard 10,000 doctors in small towns and rural areas where RT-PCR tests and CT-scans are not available to detect the cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

National

SCO Agreement On Mass Media Cooperation Gets India's Retrospective Nod

SCO Agreement On Mass Media Cooperation Gets India's Retrospective Nod
  • The Cabinet on Wednesday accorded an ex post facto approval for signing and ratifying an agreement on cooperation in the field of mass media between all member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
  • The agreement aims to promote equal and mutually beneficial cooperation among associations in the field of mass media.
  • The main areas of cooperation in the agreement are creation of favorable conditions for wide and mutual distribution of information through mass media in order to further deepen the knowledge about the lives of the peoples of their states.

ADB and India sign loan agreement to upgrade major district roads in Sikkim

ADB and India sign loan agreement to upgrade major district roads in Sikkim
  • The Asian Development Bank and India today signed a loan agreement to support project preparation and design activities to upgrade major district roads in Sikkim. It is a USD 2.5 million project readiness financing loan.
  • The Finance Ministry has said that this will help improve connectivity to important towns, rural areas, pilgrimage and tourist destinations in Sikkim. The Ministry added that Sikkim’s road network requires up-gradation to all-weather roads as frequent landslides and erosion damage them.

EC has suggested to link Aadhar with Voter ID card

EC has suggested to link Aadhar with Voter ID card
  • In a bid to ensure free and fair elections in the country and maximize the electoral coverage, the Election Commission of India has made a series of recommendations to the Law Ministry including cancellation of candidature & increasing the imprisonment to 2 years in case of false affidavit by poll candidates.
  • The Commission has suggested the Law Ministry to work on necessary amendments to include more than one cut off date for inclusion of people turning 18 years into the electoral list.
  • The Central poll body has also suggested linking the Aadhar Card with the Voter ID card in order to prevent duplicity of EPIC cards.

Paresh B Lal appointed as Grievance Officer of WhatsApp for India

Paresh B Lal appointed as Grievance Officer of WhatsApp for India
  • WhatsApp has finally announced its grievance officer for India. It has named Paresh B Lal as its grievance officer for the country.

  • On its website, Facebook-owned instant messaging app writes that now users can contact Paresh B Lal through a post box in Banjara Hills in Hyderabad, Telangana.

  • WhatsApp’s move comes in the backdrop of the new IT rules coming into effect last week. India’s new IT rules, announced on 25 February 2021, require “significant social media intermediaries” — those with other 50 lakh users — to appoint a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer.

  • And, these personnel are required to be resident in India.

India to Get 8 New Flying Training Academies

India to Get 8 New Flying Training Academies
  • India will get eight new Flying Training Academies under the liberalised Flying Training Organisation (FTO) policy of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.
  • These academies will be set up at five airports across the country – Belagavi and Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and Lilabari in Assam.
  • The setting-up of these new academies is aimed at making India a “global flying training hub” and at preventing Indian cadets from leaving the country to get training at foreign academies.
  • These FTAs will also cater the flying training requirements of cadets from the neighbouring countries

International

Dr. Patrick Amoth appointed as Chair of WHO Executive Board

Dr. Patrick Amoth appointed as Chair of WHO Executive Board
  • The Acting Director-General for Health Dr. Patrick Amoth has been elected the chairperson of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Dr. Amoth was elected to the position on Tuesday, June 1 during the 149th session of the WHO’s Executive Board held in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • He takes over from India’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, whose term ended on June 2 after chairing three consecutive Board sessions, since 2019.

  • The Executive Board consists of 34 members.

UNICEF signs COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with Moderna

UNICEF signs COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with Moderna
  • UNICEF has signed a long-term agreementwith Moderna for the supply of COVID-19 vaccine on behalf of the COVAX Facility. 

  • Through the supply agreement, UNICEF, along with procurement partners including the PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO), will have access to up to 34 million doses of the vaccine for around 92 countries and territories in 2021.

  • This is the fifth supplyagreement UNICEF has signed for COVID-19 vaccines, following previously announced agreements with the Serum Institute of India,Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Human Vaccine.

12th Clean Energy Ministerial currently underway in Chile

12th Clean Energy Ministerial currently underway in Chile
  • The 12th Clean Energy Ministerial, CEM is currently underway which is being organized by Chile.
  • The Ministry of Power has said that this year India along with the United Kingdom has launched a new workstream to promote industrial energy efficiency under the CEM’s Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative.
  • It added that the IDDI initiative has been supported by Germany and Canada, with more countries expected to join soon. It said that the objective is to infuse green technologies and stimulate demand for low-carbon industrial material.

Book and Author

ALL ROADS LEAD NORTH: Nepal's Turn to China by Amish Raj Mulmi

ALL ROADS LEAD NORTH: Nepal's Turn to China by Amish Raj Mulmi
  • The book is a blend of history, travel and elegant imagination enriched by the vivacity of prose and vigorous archival research but not without, I dare say, discernible bias for the elusive China card.

  • Mulmi, in fact, traces the birth of the China card to the deteriorating relations between India and China and events from January to September 1962 — the King Mahendra Janakpur bomb-throwing incident, the India-imposed unofficial blockade and Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Yi’s statement: “In case any foreign army makes a foolhardy attempt to attack Nepal, China will side with Nepalese people.”

Days and Dates

World Bicycle Day: 3 June

World Bicycle Day: 3 June
  • Acknowledging the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries, and that it is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health, the General Assembly decided to declare 3 June World Bicycle Day.
  • World Bicycle Day is a special day meant to be enjoyed by all people regardless of any characteristic. The bicycle as a symbol of human progress and advancement “[promotes] tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and [facilitates] social inclusion and a culture of peace.”

Other Important Affairs

  • ICMR approves PanBio Test Kit.

  • Dr. Vinay K Nandicoori appointed as Director of CCMB, Hyderabad.

  • Maharashtra Govt Launches Corona-Free Village Contest.

  • India-UK launch Workstream to promote industrial energy efficiency.

  • Govt Launches Seed Minikit Programme.