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Daily Current Affairs – 21st Dec. 2020

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Daily Current Affairs

Given below are the daily current affairs for 21st Dec. 2020. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.

SOCIAL ISSUE

Any exploitation of Sentinel Island will wipe out tribals

Context:

  • The Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) has released a policy document for the Sentinelese island.
  • The policy document was prepared at the behest of the Andaman and Nicobar administration.

Details:

  • The North Sentinel Island of the Andamans consists of one of the most secluded tribal population in the name of Sentinelese.
  • The policy document released by the Anthropological Survey of India talks about the need to protect the rights of the Sentinelese.
  • The policy document highlights the need to develop a repository of the Sentinelese tribe, which could help in understanding the tribe better.

What are  Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs)?

  • In 1973, the Dhebar Commission created Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs) as a separate category, who are less developed among the tribal groups.
  • In 2006, the Government of India renamed the PTGs as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
  • PVTGs have some basic characteristics -they are mostly homogenous, with a small population, relatively physically isolated, social institutes cast in a simple mould, absence of written language, relatively simple technology and a slower rate of change etc.

Who are the Sentinelese?

  • The Nicobar tribes are Mongoloid; the Andaman tribes, including the Sentinelese, are Negrito.
  • The Sentinelese are a pre-Neolithic people who have inhabited North Sentinel Island for an estimated 55,000 years without contact with the outside world.
  • The Sentinelese have remained hostile to any efforts from the Government to reach out, they have time and again rebuffed any such efforts.
  • In 2006, two fishermen who went harvesting crabs illegally off North Sentinel Island did not return. The more recent incident of John Allen Chau who set foot on the shores of the land of Sentinelese met the same fate.

Policy document

  • The document has warned that any attempts at commercial exploitation or a strategic venture in the North Sentinel Island of the Andamans could be detrimental to the existence of the Sentinelese tribe.
  • AnSI says that the right of the people to the island is non-­negotiable and cannot be traded off for commercial and strategic gains.
  • The state has the cardinal duty to protect is to protect these rights as eternal and sacrosanct.
  • The Sentinelese, with a population of about 50 to 100 on the North Sentinel Island, are among the most isolated of nearly 70 PVTGs across the country.
  • Sentinelese also is among the five in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which include the Great Andamanese, the Onge, the Jarawa, and the Shompens.

SECURITY

India to bring more nations into coastal radar network

Context:

Efforts are in advanced stages to set up coastal radar stations in the Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Details:

  • The coastal radar chain network is meant to enable real-time monitoring of the high seas for threats as also expand India’s assistance for capacity building to Indian Ocean littoral states.
  • Under Phase-I of the coastal radar chain network, 46 coastal radar stations have been set up across India’s coastline.
  • Under Phase-II of the project, which is currently underway, 38 static radar stations and four mobile radar stations are being set up by the Coast Guard and are in the advanced stage of completion.
  • The recent developments are part of efforts to further expand the coastal radar chain network.
  • Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka have already been integrated into India’ coastal radar chain network. Similar proposals are being pursued with some more countries.
  • Two of the coastal radar stations in the Maldives were functional as of 2019 and work was underway on the third station.

Note:

  • The Indian Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) located in Gurugram is the nodal agency for maritime data fusion.
  • It was set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
  • As part of information exchange regarding traffic on the high seas, the Navy has been authorised to conclude white shipping agreements with 36 countries and three multilateral constructs.
    • So far, agreements have been concluded with 22 countries and one multilateral construct.
  • Navy’s Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) is meant to promote Maritime Domain Awareness.

SPORTS

Indigenous games & sports

Context:

Sports Ministry includes Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba in Khelo India Youth Games 2021.

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Details:

Khelo India Programme is a national yojana/scheme for the development of sports in India launched in 2018.

The Khelo India Games 2021 are scheduled to be held in Haryana.

Gatka:

  • Gatka originates from the state of Punjab.
  • It is a traditional fighting style of the Nihang Sikh Warriors and is used in self-defence as well as sport.

Kalaripayattu:

  • Kalaripayattu is a traditional martial art form originating from Kerala.
  • It is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India and is also among the oldest martial arts in existence worldwide.
  • Its origins date back to at least the 3rd century BCE.

Thang-Ta:

  • Thang-Ta is a martial art form from Manipur.
  • It is a part of the martial art Huyen langlon. Thang-Ta means armed combat. The other aspect of Huyen langlon is sarit sarak (unarmed fighting).
  • ‘Thang’ means sword and ‘Ta’ means spear – both of which are the primary weapons of Huyen langlon.

Mallakhamba:

  • Mallakhamba or Mallakhamb is a traditional sport, originating from the Indian subcontinent, in which a gymnast performs aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope.
  • Three popular versions of Mallakhamb are practised using a Sheesham pole, cane, or rope.
  • In 2013, it was declared the state sport of Madhya Pradesh.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

India, U.S. mull over unfinished work

Context:

As Trump tenure winds down, deals in trade, sanctions, nuclear energy hang fire between India and the US. The unfinished businesses include:

  1. No blanket waiver of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions for buying Russian/Chinese arms.
  2. Failure to reverse the decision to revoke India’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP).
  3. Commercial contract to be finalised for the decade-old MoU between U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Company and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) to build six reactors in Andhra Pradesh.

Achievements so far:

  1. The growing defence partnership, enhanced military exchanges bolstered by the signing of four foundational agreements: GSOMIA, LEMOA, COMCASA and BECA.
  2. U.S. grant of the STA-1 Strategic Trade Authorisation to India, capped by intelligence sharing and quick procurements during the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  3. Crystallisation of the “Quad” arrangement.

What is the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP)?

  1. It is a U.S. trade program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories.
  2. GSP was instituted on January 1, 1976, by the Trade Act of 1974.
  3. GSP has been given on non-reciprocal basis. Yet the US has linked it with market access and tariff reduction which is against the basic tenets of GSP.

When was it withdrawn?

The privilege was withdrawn by outgoing President Donald Trump’s administration in Washington DC in June 2019 and India has been prodding the United States to restore it.

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Benefits of GSP:

  1. Indian exporters benefit indirectly – through the benefit that accrues to the importer by way of reduced tariff or duty free entry of eligible Indian products.
  2. Reduction or removal of import duty on an Indian product makes it more competitive to the importer – other things (e.g. quality) being equal.
  3. This tariff preference helps new exporters to penetrate a market and established exporters to increase their market share and to improve upon the profit margins, in the donor country

MISCELLANEOUS

First rescue and rehabilitation centre for monkeys in Telangana

  1. The first rescue and rehabilitation centre for monkeys in the State was inaugurated at Gandi Ramanna Haritavanam near Chincholi village in Nirmal district recently.
  2. It is the second such facility for the primates in the country (first one is in Himachal Pradesh).
  3. The monkeys that venture into human habitations would be caught in a phased manner and brought to the rehab centre where they would be operated upon for birth control and would be released into forests against after the rehab period.

Himalayan trillium

  1. The Himalayan trillium, a common herb of the Himalayas was declared ‘endangered’ by the IUCN.
  2. The herb has numerous uses for human beings thus inviting people to utilize it, paving way for overutilization.
  3. Temperate and sub-alpine zones of the Himalayas at an altitude of 2400 meters to 4000 meters.
  4. India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan has been home to this specie.

ONGC begins production in Bengal basin, making it India’s eighth functional

  1. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited has begun crude oil production from the Asokenagar-1 well, Bengal Basin in 24 Paragana district.
  2. This has made the Bengal basin India’s eighth producing basin, joining the ranks of Krishna-Godavari (KG), Mumbai Offshore, Assam Shelf, Rajasthan, Cauvery, Assam-Arakan Fold Belt and Cambay.
  3. There are 26 sedimentary basins in India, covering a total area of 3.4 million square kilometer. Of these, 16 are onland basins, 7 located both onland and offshore and 3 completely offshore.

NGT panel for protection of Mahanadi floodplain

What’s in News?

The National Green Tribunal has constituted a high-level committee to identify floodplain zones of the Mahanadi (Odisha’s largest river).

  • This comes in the wake of the State government reclaiming 424 acres of land from the river for development projects.
  • The Chief Minister had announced that every inch of the 424 acres reclaimed land would be utilised to add ecological, recreational, sporting, cultural and technological value in the lives of the people of Cuttack.
  • An activist had moved NGT to prevent irreversible damage to the riverine ecology by enforcing the applicable rules.

India International Science Festival

Context:

India International Science Festival (IISF) to be held from 22 – 25 December 2020.

Details:

  • IISF is an annual event organised jointly by science & technology-related Ministries and Departments of the Government of India and Vijnana Bharati (Vibha).
  • IISF is a festival to celebrate the achievements of India’s scientific and technological advancements with students, innovators, craftsmen, farmers, scientists and technocrats from India and abroad.
  • The aim is to engage the public with science and celebrate the joy of science and show the ways how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) provide us with the solutions to improve our lives.
  • The first IISF was held in 2015.
  • Theme for IISF 2020: Science for Self-Reliant India and Global Welfare.

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