Daily Current Affairs for 07th Feb 2021

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Statue of Equality

Why in News

• The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the ‘Statue of Equality’ to the nation in Hyderabad. The 216 feet tall Statue of Equality has been erected in the memory of the 11th century Bhakti saint Sri Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all walks of life including religious allegiance, caste and creed.
Key point
• The inauguration of the Statue of Equality is part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Millennium Celebrations as part of the 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Ramanujacharya currently underway.
• The Prime Minister also participated in the ‘Purnahuti’ of ‘Vishwakasen Ishti Yagya’. It is a sacrifice of fulfillment of resolutions and goals. The Prime Minister dedicated the ‘sankalp’ of this yagya for the fulfillment of the ‘nectar’ resolutions of the country and dedicated the fruits of this yagya for the dreams of 130 crore countrymen.
• The Prime Minister referred to the tradition of India’s sages, who have seen knowledge rise above denial, acceptance-rejection. The Prime Minister said, ‘We have Advaita as well, there is also duality. And, incorporating these duality-advaita, there is also the Vishishta-duality of Sri Ramanujacharya ji.’ He said that on the one hand Ramanujacharya’s commentaries are the culmination of knowledge, and on the other hand he is also the father of the path of devotion. On the one hand he is also a saint of the rich sanyasa tradition, and on the other hand he also presents the importance of karma in the Gita Bhashya. The Prime Minister further said, “In today’s world, when it comes to social reforms, when it comes to progress, it is believed that reforms will take place away from the roots. But, when we see Ramanujacharya ji, we realize that there is no contradiction between progressiveness and antiquity. It is not necessary that we have to go away from our roots for improvement, but it is important that we connect with our real roots, get acquainted with our real power.

Statue of Equality

• The statue is made of ‘Panchdhatu’ (Panchaloh) consisting of gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc and is one of the tallest metal statues in the world in a sitting position.
• It is established on 54 feet high base building, whose name is ‘Bhadra Vedi’. The complex houses a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery, which give information about the works of Sri Ramanujacharya.
• The statue was conceptualized by Sri Chinna Jeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.
• A 3D presentation mapping on the life journey and teachings of Shri Ramanujacharya was performed during the programme.
• The Prime Minister also circumambulated the 108 Divya Desams (Carved Temples) built around the Statue of Equality.
• Shri Ramanujacharya had worked tirelessly for the upliftment of the people with the spirit of treating every human being as equal regardless of nationality, gender, race, caste or creed.

Lata Mangeshkar

Why in News

• Famous singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away on 06 February 2022 in Mumbai. She was 92 years old. He was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital in January after being infected with Kovid-19 and was undergoing treatment in the ICU.

Key point

• The Government of India has announced two days of national mourning after the death of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar. Apart from this, the national flag was flown at half-mast for two days in his memory. Lata Mangeshkar’s last rites were performed with full state honours.

What did Prime Minister Narendra Modi say?

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that I cannot express my sadness in words. He said that the kind and affectionate Lata didi has left us. They have left a void in our country which cannot be filled. He will be remembered for generations to come as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerize people

Lata Mangeshkar: At a Glance

• Lata Mangeshkar was born on 28 September 1929 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Lata Mangeshkar’s family had a relationship with art, her father was an artist.
• Lata Mangeshkar started her career in the year 1942 at the age of just 13. He has sung more than 30 thousand songs in many Indian languages so far.
• He has also been awarded the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award. Apart from this, he has also been honored with Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
• Lata Mangeshkar sang her first Hindi film song for the film ‘Mahal’ in the year 1949. His singing in this film was highly praised.
• Lata Mangeshkar worked with all the big music directors of her era, Anil Biswas, Shankar Jai Kishan, Naushad, SD Burman and other big names including Lata Mangeshkar sang the song.
• Along with India, his magical voice is crazy all over the world. Lata Mangeshkar also had the opportunity to sing with the Rain Orchestra at the world famous Royal Albert Hall in Britain in the year 1979. She was the first Indian to get such an opportunity.

National Youth Empowerment Program Scheme

Why in News

• With a view to develop the personality and leadership qualities of the youth and involve them in nation building activities, the Government has announced an outlay of Rs 2,710.65 crore for the period of 15th Finance Commission cycle (from 2021-22 to 2025-26). It has been decided to continue the “Youth Empowerment Program” scheme.
Key point
• The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports thanked the Prime Minister for approving the continuation of the National Youth Empowerment Program (RYSK) scheme.
• RYSK scheme is the flagship central sector scheme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. As per the definition of ‘Youth’ in the National Youth Policy, 2014, the beneficiaries of the scheme are youth in the age group of 15-29 years. In the case of program components especially for adolescents, the beneficiaries are in the age-group of 10-19 years.
The programs of the RYSK scheme are implemented through the following seven sub-schemes:-
• Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS)
• National Youth Corps (NYC)
• National Program for Youth and Adolescent Development (NPYAD)
• International Cooperation
• Youth Hostel (YH)
• Assistance to Scouting and Guiding Organizations
• National Youth Leadership Program (NYLP).
• Under the NYKS sub-scheme of RYSK, at present around 50.34 lakh youth volunteers are enrolled through 2.57 lakh Yuva Mandals and cover 623 districts across the country.
• The primary objective of the RYSK scheme is to motivate the youth to strive for excellence in their respective fields and bring them to the forefront of the development process. With this scheme immense youth energy will be used for nation building.
• The objective of the RYSK scheme is to promote National Integration, Adventure Action, Youth Leadership and Personality Development, Development and Empowerment of Adolescents, Technological and Resource Development.
• Supporting skilling and self-reliant India in RYSK scheme programme, combating COVID-19: mass awareness and action campaigns, setting up of disaster risk reduction and preparedness teams, youth leadership Fit India Movement, youth wellness and positive lifestyle, Training to youth on cleanliness, village-green village-harvesting rain water, formulation of Yuva Mandal Vikas Abhiyan-action plan, celebrating days of national importance, National Youth Day and Week, District Youth Conference, Awards and speeches to excellent youth clubs Competition and nation building, Tribal Youth Exchange Programme, North Eastern Region Youth Exchange Program and other youth exchange programs.
• A fund of Rs 41.60 crore has been provided to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for creation of National Youth Volunteer Registry under RYSK scheme.
• Creation of National Youth Volunteer Registry will facilitate quick and effective mobilization and deployment of volunteers and enable real-time tracking of volunteer work in the country.
• National Youth Parliament is being organized under RYSK scheme on the call of Prime Minister in Mann Ki Baat programme.
• The first National Youth Parliament was organized in 2018-19 and during the year 2020-21, National Youth Parliament was organized in 36 States/UTs with the participation of 2,34,353 youth.
• The Ministry also collaborates with United Nations agencies such as United Nations Volunteers (UNV)/ United National Development Program (UNDP) and Commonwealth Youth Program (CYP) on various youth related issues. Under the RYSK scheme, youth hostels provide good accommodation to youth at reasonable rates and financial assistance is provided to scouting and guiding organizations.
• Other features of the scheme have been retained for continuity and strengthening of good practices. Further, it has been rationalized by simplifying the scheme and simplifying the structure and approval process as well as removing redundancies and shortcomings.

High wave activity threatens coastal communities

Why in News

• The study took a detailed look at future extreme wind-wave projections.
• Its relationship with wind speed, sea level pressure and sea surface temperature was studied

Key point

• A recent study by Indian scientists has indicated that the Bay of Bengal, South China Sea and South Indian Ocean region may experience high wave activity in the future, which may affect the coastal communities in the region. Serious danger is likely to arise.
• Resident communities in these areas are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and other environmental factors due to severe flooding in coastal areas and frequent rises of excessive water levels in adjacent areas.
• Impacts from coastal flooding can affect human populations with changes in shoreline morphology, damage to infrastructure, salt water admixture into groundwater, crop destruction and a range of socio-economic consequences.
• Scientists around the world are trying to estimate the magnitude of this effect.
• The present study took into account future extreme wind-wave projections and wind speed, sea level pressure, under two different greenhouse gas emissions scenarios estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5. and conducted a detailed investigation on their relationship with sea surface temperatures for the middle and end of the century.
• Analysis of the projections indicated maximum extreme wind and wave activity over the South Indian Ocean region during June-July-August and September-October-November.
• Areas over the central Bay of Bengal show higher wind activity than century-end projections, indicating the possibility of more extreme events. The peak wave height has been observed to exceed about 1 meter over the South Indian Ocean during the months of June-July-August.
• The maximum significant increase in wave height of 0.4 m is expected over the areas of North Indian Ocean, Northwest Arabian Sea, Northeast Bay of Bengal and South China Sea.
About the study
• A team of scientists from Department of Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur jointly organized Climate Change Program with the help of Department of Application Science, National Institute of Technology Delhi and Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. – CCP), which was recently published in the Springer Journal ‘Climate Dynamics’.
• The study findings suggest that the predicted change in wave height is maximum for the South China Sea at RCP 4.5, while the maximum increase at RCP 8.5 is projected to be around 23% by the end of the century.
• In addition, predicted changes in winds and waves in the western tropical Indian Ocean are in line with changes in sea level pressure and warm ocean temperatures.
• Significant increase in sea surface temperature is expected to be in the range of 1.5 to 2.0ºC over the Arabian Sea during the months of December-January-February and June-July-August and 0.5ºC over the Bay of Bengal.
• Estimates suggest that regions of the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf may experience warming rates in excess of 8.5 °C under RCP 2 by the end of the century.
• The team elaborates that the seasonal interference in extreme wind-wave patterns over the Indian Ocean is directly related to the location of extreme wind activity.
• End-of-the-century projections identified hotspots of extreme wind activity over the central Bay of Bengal with magnitudes reaching 13–15 m/s, demarcating the potential for more extreme events in the region.
• Projected changes during the mid and late century showed a dipole behavior or fluctuation (seesaw) effect in the tropical Indian Ocean Belt with two distinct dipoles in the western and eastern regions.
• Between 1-1.25 m by century-end under extreme RCP induced scenario over northern, central and eastern regions of Bay of Bengal, southern part of South China Sea, northern and western regions of Arabian Sea and eastern tropical Indian Ocean. Change can be seen.
• The new findings of this study are expected to lead to more advanced research on extreme wind-wave activity for the north Indian Ocean region and to a broader investigation into possible relationships and teleconnections with climate indices in a changing climate. There is also a possibility of doing so.

Copper-based nanoparticle-coated antiviral face mask

Why in New:
• A team of Indian scientists in collaboration with an industry partner has developed a self-disinfecting ‘copper-based nanoparticle-coated antiviral face mask’ to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key point
• This mask works well against the COVID-19 virus as well as many other viral and bacterial infections and is biodegradable, breathable and washable.
• The use of masks in public places is most effective in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus caused by SARS-CoV-2.
• SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped positive sense single strain RNA virus, which is transmitted through the air through respiratory particles.
• Work on the science related to the use of masks to reduce the spread of the virus is progressing rapidly. At the same time, expensive masks are being sold in the Indian market, which do not have antiviral and antibacterial features.
• In view of these factors, it is very difficult to control the infection by wearing traditional masks, especially in densely populated places like hospitals, airports, stations, shopping malls etc. where the number of viruses is high.
• In the current situation where the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly spreading due to mutations in the corona virus, there was an urgent need to develop a low-cost antiviral mask.
Nano Mission Project
• International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials – an autonomous R&D center of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in collaboration with Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) and Bengaluru based company Resil Chemicals Scientists at ARCI have developed a self-disinfecting ‘copper-based nanoparticle-coated antiviral face mask’.
• This work has been done under the sponsored Nano Mission project of DST for the fight against COVID-19.
• ARCI developed copper based nanoparticles of about 20 nanometers through a flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) process to decompose the material by spraying a flame of fire.
• Stable nanoparticle suspension was obtained by optimizing the solid loading and pH (potential of hydrogen).
• A uniform layer of this nano-coating was obtained on cotton fabric with good adhesion using a suitable binder.
• This coated fabric demonstrated an efficiency of over 99.9 percent against bacteria. CSIR-CCMB tested the efficacy of this fabric against SARS-CoV-2 for its disinfecting properties and reported 99.9 per cent germicidal ability as is evident from the standard results.
• Variously designed prototype (preliminary sample) masks like single layer and three layers with nano particle coated fabric as outer layer were demonstrated.
• A single layer mask is particularly useful as a protective antiviral outer mask over a regular mask.
• Industrial partner in this initiative Bengaluru-based Resil Chemicals is now manufacturing such double layer masks on a large scale.
• Currently, face masks do not kill viruses, they only filter them. In view of this, there is a risk of infection if the mask is not worn properly or not disposed of properly.
• The use of common multi-layer cloth masks in the community presents a practical solution in reducing COVID-19 infection and wearing these self-disinfecting cloth masks is certainly one of them.

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