Daily Current Affairs : 26-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. SWINE FLU

  2. INDIA-US DEFENCE DEAL

  3. BLUE DOT NETWORK

  4. WORLD AIR QUALITY REPORT , 2020

  5. BHARAT NET

  6. NATIONAL PAYMENTS CORPORATION OF INDIA (NPCI)

  7. AJEYA WARRIOR 2020


SWINE FLU

  • Why in news? Five supreme Court judges have been infected with swine flu, also known as H1N1 virus.


Highlights :

  • Swine influenza, also called pig influenza, swine flu, hog flu and pig flu, is an infection caused by any one of several types of swine influenza viruses. Swine influenza virus (SIV) or swine-origin influenza virus (S-OIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs.

  • Influenza A (H1N1) virus is the subtype of influenza A virus that is the most common cause of human influenza.

  • It is an orthomyxovirus that contains the glycoproteins haemagglutinin and neuraminidase. For this reason, they are described as H1N1, H1N2 etc. depending on the type of H or N antigens they express with metabolic synergy. Haemagglutinin causes red blood cells to clump together and binds the virus to the infected cell. Neuraminidase is a type of glycoside hydrolase enzyme which helps to move the virus particles through the infected cell and assist in budding from the host cells.

  • Some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans and cause a small fraction of all influenza-like illness and a small fraction of all seasonal influenza. Other strains of H1N1 are endemic in pigs (swine influenza) and in birds (avian influenza).

Source : Hindu and Google


INDIA-US DEFENCE DEAL

Why in news?

  • India signed defence deals with US worth $3 billion during the visit of US president Donald Trump to India.


Highlights :

  • We are purchasing 24 MH-60R Seahawk and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.

  • About MH-60R Seahawk :

  • The procurement is through the Foreign Military sales (FMS) route of the US government and is worth $2.12 billion.

  • MH-60R is the mainstay of the US Navy’s Anti-Submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities.

  • These will replace Sea King Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters de-inducted in 1991 and one Sea king 42B MRH lost in accident. The current MRHs in service, Sea king 42Bs, were inducted in the 1980s and are in need for replacement.

  • They are capable of carrying out anti-ship, anti-submarine, electronic warfare, net-centric over the horizon offensive and defensive roles.


APACHE :

  • These will be operated by the Army and deployed with its strike corps in the western sector.

  • Earlier India has purchased 24 Apache for Air Force.

  • It is a heavy attack helicopter and the most advanced craft currently in service globally.

  • India is the 16th nation to select the Apache.

  • It is a multi-role heavy attack helicopter.


Source : Hindu

BLUE DOT NETWORK

Why in news?

  • Blue dot network was discussed between the US president and Indian PM during the visit of the former to India.


Highlights :

  • The US, Japan and Australia recently launched a new initiative, the ‘Blue Dot Network’ (BDN), to combat China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Key holders -

  • The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC),

  • Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and

  • Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Aim : Infrastructure development

What it does :

  • It certifies nominated infrastructure projects to ensure they are transparent, financially sustainable, and socially and environmentally responsible.

  • It doesn't provide any financial assistance like Belt and Road initiative of China.

Source : Indian Express

WORLD AIR QUALITY REPORT , 2020

Why in news?

  • The report has been released by pollution tracker IQAir and Greenpeace.


Highlights :

  • India accounts for two-third of the world’s most polluted cities – 21 of the most polluted 30 cities, 14 of the highest 20 and 6 of the highest 10.

  • The ranking is based on the PM2.5 levels.

  • Average PM2.5 is highest in Bangladesh, followed by Pakistan. India is at no. 5

  • Cities in India exceed the WHO target for annual PM2.5 exposure by 500%.

  • National air pollution decreased by 20% from 2018 to 2019, with 98% of the cities experiencing improvement.

  • These improvements are due to economic slowdown.

  • Air pollution contributes to 7 million deaths a year.

  • Ghaziabad is the most polluted city in the world.


Source : Indian Express

BHARAT NET

Why in news?

  • As per a report, Bharat net connectivity project is set to miss deadline with only half services ready till date.


Highlights :

  • The central government’s flagship scheme aims to provide internet connectivity to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats.

  • Under BharatNet phase one, the government aimed to provide optical fibre connectivity to 1.5 lakh GPs.

  • The progress has been good in states of Punjab and Bihar which are handled by Bharat Broadband Network limited (BBNL).

  • The progress has been least in the southern states due to lack of regulatory approvals.


NATIONAL PAYMENTS CORPORATION OF INDIA (NPCI)

Why in news?

  • The RBI has proposed to set up a “for-profit” umbrella entity to manage digital payments in the country alongside the not-for-profit National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).


Highlights :

About NPCI :

  • A ‘not for profit’ company, the NPCI has been set up by the RBI and the Indian Banks’ Association as a consortium of six public sector banks and four private banks.

  • Besides bringing innovations in the retail payment systems, it is also effectively handling a sea of online financial data.

  • Its unique payments platform, Unified Payment Interface or UPI, has been well accepted.

  • The NPCI also supports and promotes Aadhaar-enabled payments services and the RuPay card network.

  • It collaborates with nearly 144 banks.


Problems with the RBI’s proposal :

  • The RBI stipulates a minimum capital base of ₹500 crore and net worth of ₹300 crore; hence, a nimble outlier does not stand much of a chance. Only an established private player with sufficient experience and interest in the digital payments can thus become the counterpart.

  • Such a player will have the same degree of access to financial data, even while operating under a ‘for profit’ framework leading to regulatory challenges.

  • Issues of data privacy breach and misuse by private sector should be ironed out.


Source : THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE


AJEYA WARRIOR 2020

Why in news?

  • Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR - 2020, a joint military training exercise between India & United Kingdom (UK) culminated at West down Camp, Salisbury Plains Training Area, UK.


Highlights :

  • It was the fifth edition of the exercise and included joint training in urban and semi urban areas.

  • As part of the exercise, important lectures, demonstrations and drills related to counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations were rehearsed and executed jointly.

  • The highlight of the exercise was the Bonhomie and Camaraderie displayed by the troops, thereby ensuring integration and achievement of interoperability at all levels.

  • Besides promoting understanding and interoperability between the two armies, it further helped in cementing ties between both the nations.

Source : PIB

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