Total lunar eclipse and supermoon

Why in News

The Moon will have the nearest approach to Earth on May 26, and therefore will appear to be the closest and largest Full Moon or “supermoon” of 2021.

Key Points

  • On May 26, two celestial events will take place at the same time. One is the supermoon and the other is a total lunar eclipse.
  • While observers all over the world will be able to view the supermoon throughout the night if the sky is clear. It will be the highest overheard late in the night or in the early morning hours.
  • The partial eclipse, which is when the moon moves into and out of Earth’s shadow will be visible from India, Nepal, western China, Mongolia, and eastern Russia just after the Moon rises in the evening.

Total Lunar Eclipse

  • When the Moon and Sun are on opposite sides of the Earth, then the event of ‘Total Lunar Eclipse’ occurs.
  • Because of the total lunar eclipse, the moon will also appear to be red because of the Earth which will block some of the light from the Sun from reaching the moon.
  • After that Earth’s atmosphere filters the light, it will soften “the edge of Earth’s shadow” “giving the Moon a deep, rosy glow.”


  • According to the NASA, Supermoon occurs when the Moon’s orbit is closest to the Earth at the same time that the Moon is full.
  • As the Moon orbits the Earth, there is a point of time when the distance between the two is the least and this least distance is called the perigee. This time the average distance is about 360,000 km from the Earth. (Note: a point of time when the distance is the most called the apogee when the distance is about 405,000 km from the Earth).
  • When a full Moon appears at the point when the distance between the Earth and the Moon is the least, it appears brighter as well as larger than a regular full moon.
  • According to NASA, the term supermoon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979.
  • In a typical year, there may be two to four full supermoons and two to four new supermoons in a row.


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

Why in News

Recently, Subodh Kumar Jaiswal appointed as the new CBI Director.

Key Points

  • He is currently pursuing as the Director General of the CISF and an IPS officer from the 1985 batch Maharashtra cadre.

Central Bureau of Investigation

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is the premier investigating agency of India.
  • It operated under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (India).
  • Originally, it was established as the Special Police Establishment in 1941, to investigate cases of corruption in the procurement during the Second World War.
  • After the recommendation of Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) established.

Functions of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)

  • The CBI is not a statutory body and derives powers from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • Functions of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are as follows:
  • Investigation of cases related to corruption, bribery and misconduct of Central government employees.
  • Investigation of cases related to infringement of fiscal and economic laws, that is, breach of laws concerning export and import control, customs and central excise, income tax, foreign exchange regulations and so on. However, such cases are taken up either in consultation with or at the request of the department concerned.
  • Investigation of cases related to serious crimes, having national and international ramifications, committed by organized gangs of professional criminals.
  • Coordinating the activities of the anti-corruption agencies and the various state police forces.
  • Taking up, on the request of a state government, any case of public importance for investigation.
  • Maintaining crime statistics and disseminating criminal information.

Appointment Committee and Selection committee

  • The CBI Director is appointed, for a term of 2 years, by the Appointment Committee on recommendation of Selection Committee as mentioned in DSPE Act 1946.
  • The Appointment Committee consists of:
  • Prime Minister – Chairperson
  • Leader of Opposition of Lok Sabha or the Leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha member
  • Chief Justice of India or a Supreme Court Judge recommended by the Chief Justicemember
  • The Selection Committee constituted under Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946 nominates a certain number of names to the Appointment Committee. The Selection Committee consists of:
  • Central Vigilance Commissioner – Chairperson
  • Vigilance Commissioners – Members
  • Secretary to the Government of India in-charge of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Central Government – Members
  • Secretary, Co-ordination and Public Grievances, Cabinet Secretariat – Member

One Stop Centres (OSCs)

Why in News

The Central government will set up One Stop Centres (OSCs) across 10 missions to provide assistance to Indian women who are survivors of gender-based violence.

Key Points

  • According to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the missions where the OSCs will come up are Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada and Singapore.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development will also set up 300 OSCs in the country in addition to the nearly 700 existing ones across all districts.
  • The aim will be to cover districts with high rates of crimes against women.
  • The Ministry has also decided to set aside ₹ 74 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund to provide shelter, food and transportation to rape survivors who are abandoned by their families, especially those who become pregnant. This will be done with the aim to ensure they are able to provide evidence before court.

One Stop Centre (OSCs)

  • One Stop Centres (OSCs) are intended to support women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace.
  • Women facing physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse, irrespective of age, class, caste, education status, marital status, race and culture will be facilitated with support and redressal.
  • Aggrieved women facing any kind of violence due to attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honour related crimes, acid attacks or witch-hunting who have reached out or been referred to the OSC will be provided with specialized services.
  • It will be integrated with 181 and another existing helpline.
  • Women affected by violence and in need of redressal services could be referred to US through these helplines.

Objectives of One Stop Centres (OSCs)

  • The objectives of the Scheme are:
  • To provide integrated support and assistance to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces under one roof.
  • To facilitate immediate, emergency and non-emergency access to a range of services including medical, legal, psychological and counselling support under one roof to fight against any forms of violence against women.

Nirbhaya Fund

  • Nirbhaya Fund is a fund associated with the Government of India to support initiatives protecting the dignity and ensuring safety of women in India.
  • The fund was recognized by the Government of India under 2013 Union Budget.
  • The Finance Ministry in 2013 expected the fund. Nirbhaya (fearless) was the pseudonym given to the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development and several other ministries decided the application of the fund. One use was to open One Stop Centres to support women who are victims of violence.


Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

Why in News

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the Centre’s new digital rules that are scheduled to come into force on 26th May.

Key Points

  • There is no clarity on the immediate consequences of non­compliance.
  • According to the Experts, these companies could lose the ‘safe harbour’ protection that currently gives them protection against liability (civil as well as criminal) for content posted on their platform by third party users.

Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

  • The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were notified on February 25, 2021 under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 has been framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • It supersedes the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011.

Salient features of new IT Rules

  • Due Diligence to Be Followed by Intermediaries:
  • In case, due diligence is not followed by the intermediary, safe harbour provisions will not apply to them.
  • Section 79 of the IT Act provides safe harbour protection to the intermediaries for any kind of third-party content.
  • Grievance Redressal Mechanism:
  • There is a provision to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving resolving complaints from the users or victims.
  • Intermediaries shall appoint a Grievance Officer to deal with such complaints and share the name and contact details of such officer.
  • Grievance Officer shall acknowledge the complaint within 24 hours and resolve it within fifteen days from its receipt.
  • Ensuring Online Safety and Dignity of Users, Especially Women Users:
  • Intermediaries shall remove or disable access withing 24 hours of receipt of complaints of contents that exposes the private areas of individuals, show such individuals in full or partial nudity or in sexual act or is in the nature of impersonation including morphed images etc.
  • Such a complaint can be filed either by the individual or by any other person on his/her behalf.
  • Two Categories of Social Media Intermediaries:
  • The Rules also make a distinction between social media intermediaries and significant social media intermediaries which will be based on the number of users on the social media platform.
  • The Rules require the significant social media intermediaries to follow certain additional due diligence.
  • Additional Due Diligence to Be Followed by Significant Social Media Intermediary:
  • Appointment:
  • Chief Compliance Officer,
  • Nodal Contact Person for 24×7 coordination with law enforcement agencies,
  • Resident Grievance Officer who shall perform the functions mentioned under Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
  • Monthly compliance report: A monthly compliance report should be publish mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints as well as details of contents removed proactively by the significant social media intermediary.
  • Physical contact address: Significant social media intermediary shall have a physical contact address in India published on its website or mobile app or both.
  • Voluntary User Verification Mechanism: Users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with demonstrable and visible mark of verification.
  • Giving Users an Opportunity to Be Heard: In cases where significant social media intermediaries remove or disables access to any information on their own accord, then a prior intimation for the same shall be communicated to the user who has shared that information with a notice explaining the grounds and reasons for such action.
  • Removal of Unlawful Information:
  • An intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge in the form of an order by a court or being notified by the Appropriate Govt. or its agencies through authorized officer should not host or publish any information which is prohibited under any law in relation to the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, friendly relations with foreign countries etc.

International Day of Biological Diversity

Why in News

The International Day for Biological Diversity is marked on May 22, 2021.

Key Points

  • The International Day of Biological Diversity organised virtually as part of the celebrations of the 75th year of India’s independence: Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsava on May 22, 2021.
  • Experts from different parts of India discussed the importance and different aspects of biodiversity conservation, its relationship with technology and sustainable development at a programme organised on the occasion of International Day of Biological Diversity.
  • Scientists of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, emphasised the importance of nature and culture-based solutions for biodiversity conservation in his talk titled ‘Biodiversity and Technology: Towards integrated nature-culture solutions’
  • The programme was organised by BioNest-IASST, along with Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Paschim Boragaon, Guwahati.
  • Biodiversity gives the answer to several sustainable development challenges, so conservation of Biodiversity is necessary.
  • Bio-Diversity & Eco-System is one of the thrust areas of research at IASST and the meeting highlighted the different biodiversity-related ongoing research projects in this institute.

International Day for Biological Diversity

  • ‘International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB)’ is the United Nations sanctioned international programme celebrated every year on May 22.
  • It is celebrated every year to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
  • When first created by the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly in late 1993, 29 December was designated The International Day for Biological Diversity.
  • But, in December 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted 22 May as IDB, to commemorate the adoption of the text of the Convention on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act of the Conference for the Adoption of the Agreed Text of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
  • This year 2021 the theme is “We’re part of the solution”. The slogan was chosen to be a continuation of the momentum generated last year under the over-arching theme, “Our solutions are in nature”, which served as a reminder that biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges.