Daily Current Affairs for 21th June 2022

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Why in news

The Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise “Ex Khaan Quest -2022” culminated at the Peace Support Operations Training Centre in Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

About Khaaan Quest-2022

● Khaan Quest 2022 is a regularly scheduled, multinational exercise co-sponsored by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and hosted annually by the Mongolian Armed Forces. Khaan Quest 2022 is the latest in a series of exercises designed to promote regional peace and security.
● Khaan Quest 2022 includes a combined brigade-level command post exercise (CPX) and battalion-level field training exercise (FTX). It focuses on peacekeeping operations (PKO) within a realistic scenario and coordination with humanitarian organizations and host nation partners.
● The exercise conducted from 06 June to 20 June 2022 provided a platform for mutual learning and sharing best practices amongst the armies from 16 Nations.
● The Indian contingent consisting of personnel from the LADAKH SCOUTS participated in the field training as well as the Command Post exercise.
● The military exercise will improve defence cooperation between the Indian Army and participating countries, particularly with the Mongolian Armed Forces, resulting in improved bilateral relations.


Why in news

For the special occasion of International Day of Yoga, the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises’ Center of Excellence for Khadi (CoEK) has designed a range of ‘Wellness wear – Svadha’ to showcase the versatility of khadi.

About ‘Svadha’- The Wellness Wear

● The design team at CoEK set up by KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission), Ministry of MSME at NIFT, has designed a range of ‘Wellness wear’ ‘Svadha’, especially for International Yoga Day. ‘Svadha’ as per Atharva Veda, means ease, comfort, or pleasure. The wellness collection is also focused on these traits or features.
● The ensembles of Svadha were tested with yoga practitioners and yoga enthusiasts. For their ease, the ensembles have features such as
○ a bias yoke on the shoulder,
○ a box pleat in the center back of top-wear and
○ a low crotch, and
○ Wrap-around bottom wear for ease in stretching.
● The designs are curated to attract all age groups and have used hand-spun khadi in natural hues.

Khadi – The fabric of India

● Khadi, a handspun cloth, has become a symbol of ‘swadeshi’ and freedom. It was at the heart of India’s struggle for independence. This fabric of freedom has undergone many transitions. Admired for its quality and austere simplicity, Khadi wasn’t only a call to become self-reliant but it was also an appeal to wear something that displayed the might and power of a united India.
● Khadi, also known as ‘Khadar’, uses no machines or energy or any kind of fuel for its manufacturing. Posing compatibility with the environment, a metre of khadi fabric consumes 3 litres of water as against one metre of mill-produced fabric that requires 55 litres of water. This zero-carbon footprint fabric also solves one of the most pressing issues of today – the water crisis in both rural and urban India.

About KVIC

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament. In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.The KVIC is an apex organization under the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises responsible for the promotion, planning, organization, and implementation of initiatives for the development of Khadi and other rural industries. It also helps in employment generation in the Khadi industry.


Why in news

The schooling models saw a paradigm shift during the unprecedented times of Covid-19. The technological interventions aided in building crisis-resilient learning systems. Recently, UNESCO recognized the use of information and communication technology (ICT), under a comprehensive initiative called PM eVIDYA by the department of school education, Ministry of Education.

Important News

The Central Institute of Educational Technology (CIET), a constituent unit of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) under the Department of School Education and Literacy (DOSEL), Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India, has been conferred the UNESCO’s King Hamid Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize, for the 2021 edition.


● The spread of Covid-19, which led to the nationwide lockdown, has also created a major impact on the education sector. With the schools shut down, the government reimagined the schooling models and the ways in which education can be imparted to students without interruptions.
● Hence, PM e-VIDYA, a unique and comprehensive initiative was launched by the Ministry of Education in May 2020 which aimed at unifying all efforts to enable multi-mode access to education.
● Under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,’ the initiative’s objective is to benefit 25 crore school children with its comprehensive accessibility.
● One of the major initiatives of PM eVidya is 12 eVidya TV Channels based on the line – ‘One Class-One Channel’ for classes 1 to 12, airing educational content related to the respective classes.
● 12 eVidya DTH channels are especially useful for the learners of those remote areas where stable internet is not available. These channels telecast curriculum-based educational content developed by NCERT and other agencies such as CBSE, KVS, NIOS, Rotary, etc.

TV Channels Under PM eVidya Program Expanded

● The PM eVidya program will be expanded by the government under one class one TV program from 12 to 200 TV channels in order to impart supplementary teaching and build a resilient mechanism for education.
● The announcement for the same was made by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the union budget 2022-23. She also emphasised the fact that due to the pandemic, the government has launched the PM Vidya Yojana in order to provide digital education.
● In addition, there will be 750 virtual labs and 75 skill labs in Science and math.

Models Of PM eVIDYA Program

Digital infrastructure for knowledge sharing
● This platform has been formally launched by the Vice President of India on 5th September 2017.
● Through this platform learning material that fits the needs of the prescribed School curriculum is provided.
● This portal can be accessed in English and various other languages.

Swayam portal
● This portal has been initiated in order to achieve three cardinal principles of education that are access, equity, and quality.
● Through this portal best teaching-learning resources for all the students are available including the most disadvantaged.
● Any student at any time can access this portal free of cost.
● This portal provides video lectures, specially prepared reading material, self-assessment tests, and an online discussion forum for clearing doubt
Specially e-content for children with special needs
● Children with special needs will be provided with special e-content.
● The National Institute for open schooling(NIOS) will make its website accessible to people with disabilities.
● Keyboard support, ease of navigation, display setting, content readability and structure, alternate description for images, and audio-video description will be provided through the website to the students so that students do not have to face any obstacle in getting an education.

Summer solstice

Why in News?

June 21 is the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
Solstice events
● Solstices happen twice per year: one for the winter and one for the summer and this is interchanged depending on which Hemisphere you live in.
○ The Earth orbits the sun at an angle. So for half the year, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun and therefore, it is summer for the Northern hemisphere and winter for the Southern Hemisphere. During the other half of the year, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, thus creating winter in the Northern Hemisphere and summer in the south.
● The longest day of the year happens on the day of the summer solstice since the earth receives the longest period of daylight during the day.
Summer Solistice
● The summer solstice marks the beginning of the astronomical summer and occurs when the earth has its maximum tilt towards the sun.
● For temperate regions, the summer solstice is when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky.
What causes this?
● Solstice means “sun stands still” in Latin.
● Solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun.
● At the June solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that our world’s North Pole is leaning most toward the sun.
● As seen from Earth, the sun is directly overhead at noon 23.50 north of the equator, at an imaginary line encircling the globe known as the Tropic of Cancer – named after the constellation Cancer the Crab. This is as far north as the sun ever gets.


● The solstice has been seen as a significant time of the year in many cultures and has been marked by festivals and rituals across the globe.
● Interestingly, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested June 21 as the international day of yoga at a UN address in 2021 since that was the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.
● Christmas happens around the day of the summer solstice in Australia and other countries in the southern hemisphere.

Ban on single-use plastic

Why in News?

The Centre has defined a list of single-use plastic items that will be banned from July 1.

What is single-use plastic?

● As the name suggests, it refers to plastic items that are used once and discarded.
● Single-use plastic has among the highest shares of plastic manufactured and used — from packaging of items, to bottles (shampoo, detergents, cosmetics), polythene bags, face masks, coffee cups, cling film, trash bags, food packaging etc.

Why is it a cause of concern?

● A 2021 report by one of the Australian philanthropic organisations the Minderoo Foundation said single-use plastics account for a third of all plastic produced globally.
● Single-use plastic also accounts for the majority of plastic discarded.
● On the current trajectory of production, it has been projected that single-use plastic could account for 5-10% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Where does India stand?

The report found that India features in the top 100 countries of single-use plastic waste generation – at rank 94 (the top three being Singapore, Australia and Oman.

What are the items being banned?

● The items on which the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) have announced a ban are earbuds; balloon sticks; candy and ice-cream sticks; cutlery items including plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, trays; sweet boxes; invitation cards; cigarette packs; PVC banners measuring under 100 microns; and polystyrene for decoration.
● The Ministry had already banned polythene bags under 75 microns in September 2021, expanding the limit from the earlier 50 microns.
● From December, the ban will be extended to polythene bags under 120 microns.
● According to the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, there is also a complete ban on sachets using plastic material for storing, packing or selling gutkha, tobacco and pan masala.
Ban in phases
● Ministry officials have explained that the ban is being introduced in phases to give manufacturers time to shift to thicker polythene bags that are easier to recycle. While manufacturers can use the same machine for 50- and 75-micron bags, the machinery will need to be upgraded for 120 microns.
How will the ban be enforced?
● The ban will be monitored by the CPCB from the Centre, and by the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) that will report to the Centre regularly.
● Directions have also been issued to SPCBs and Pollution Control Committees to modify or revoke consent to operate issued under the Air/Water Act to industries engaged in single-use plastic items. Local authorities have been directed to issue fresh commercial licenses with the condition that SUP items will not be sold on their premises, and existing commercial licences will be cancelled if they are found to be selling these items.
● Violators can also be asked to pay Environmental Damage Compensation by the SPCB. In addition, there are municipal laws on plastic waste, with their own penal codes.
How are other countries dealing with single-use plastic?
● Earlier this year, 124 countries, parties to the United Nations Environment Assembly, including India, signed a resolution to draw up an agreement which will in the future make it legally binding for the signatories to address the full life of plastics from production to disposal, to end plastic pollution.
● Bangladesh became the first country to ban thin plastic bags in 2002.
● New Zealand became the latest country to ban plastic bags in July 2019.
● China issued a ban on plastic bags in 2020 with phased implementation.
● As of July 2019, 68 countries have plastic bag bans with varying degrees of enforcement.

Telecom PLI scheme extended

Why in News:

The Department of Telecommunications has extended the production-linked incentive scheme for telecom by one year.

What is in News?

● The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has extended the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for telecom by one year.
● It has amended the scheme to raise the incentive rate by an additional 1 per cent, aimed towards incentivising design-led manufacturing in the sector.
● “With the objective to build a strong ecosystem for 5G, the Union Budget 2022-23 has proposed to launch a scheme for design-led manufacturing as part of the existing PLI scheme.
What are the incentives under the amended telecom PLI?
● The design-led manufacturing scheme is open for both medium and small-scale enterprises (MSMEs) and non-MSMEs, including domestic and global companies.
● The DoT also said applications for design-led manufacturing will be prioritised over other manufacturers.
● The scheme requires an investment threshold of Rs 10 crore for MSMEs and Rs 100 crore for non-MSMEs, excluding land and building cost.
● The Centre will provide additional incentives of over Rs 4,000 crore under the amended scheme.
● The incentives will be based on incremental sales of the manufactured goods, and range between 4 per cent to 7 per cent for different categories over the years.
● MSMEs will get an additional 1 per cent incentive in the first, second, and third years.
What is the PLI Scheme?
● The PLI scheme was conceived to scale up domestic manufacturing capability,accompanied by higher import substitution and employment generation.
● The government has set aside Rs 1.97 lakh crore under the PLI schemesfor various sectors and an additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore was made towards PLI for solar PV modules in Budget 2022-23.
● Launched in March 2020, the scheme initially targeted three industries:
○ Mobile and allied Component Manufacturing
○ Electrical Component Manufacturing and
○ Medical Devices
● Incentives Under the Scheme:
○ The incentives, calculated on the basis of incremental sales,range from as low as 1% for the electronics and technology products to as high as 20%for the manufacturing of critical key starting drugs and certain drug intermediaries.
○ In some sectors such as advanced chemistry cell batteries, textile products and the drone industry, the incentive to be given will be calculated on the basis of sales, performance and local value addition doneover the period of five years.
● Sectors for the which PLI Scheme has been Announced:
○ So far, the government has announced PLI schemes for 14 sectors including automobile and auto components, electronics and IT hardware, telecom, pharmaceuticals, solar modules, metals and mining, textiles and apparel, white goods, drones, and advanced chemistry cell batteries.

Black Swan event

Why in News?

A study by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has spoken about the possibility of capital outflows to the tune of $100 billion (around Rs 7, 80,000 crore) from India in case of a major global risk scenario or a “black swan” event.
What is a ‘black swan’ event?
● A black swan is a rare, unpredictable event that comes as a surprise and has a significant impact on society or the world.
● These events are said to have three distinguishing characteristics:
○ They are extremely rare and outside the realm of regular expectations
○ They have a severe impact after they hit
○ They seem probable in hindsight when plausible explanations appear.
When did the term originate?
The black swan theory was put forward by author and investor Nassim Nicholas Taleb in 2001, and later popularised in his 2007 book – The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.
Is the Covid-19 pandemic a black swan event?
● Taleb does not agree with those who believe it to be one. In an interview to Bloomberg in 2020, he called it a “white swan”, arguing that it was predictable, and there was no excuse for companies and governments not to be prepared for something like this.

Term in News:

Dutch Disease:

● Dutch Disease in economics refers to a phenomenon wherein a country witnesses uneven growth across sectors due to the discovery of natural resources, especially large oil reserves.
● According to the concept, when a country discovers natural resources and starts exporting them to the rest of the world, it causes the exchange rate of the currency to appreciate significantly and this, in turn, discourages the exports from other sectors while encouraging the import of cheaper alternatives.

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