It gives us great pleasure to release the monthly edition of the PRAVAHINI - Monthly e-Compendium & Weekly e-Periodicals of Current Affairs. The magazine’s members have shown considerable cooperation as well as devotion. We at successmantra.in work tirelessly to create this magazine and bring it to you with a great sense of gratitude.
The PRAVAHINI June-2021 eBook covers the current events that happened in the month of June. Current Affairs is a crucial component of any competitive exams including CLAT, AILET, DU-LLB, HM, CAT, IAS, PCS, SSC, Banking, MBA and various other competitive examinations.
Current Affairs play the bigger role in many competitive and government exams. It holds the power of making or breaking your chance of success. Therefore, the candidates should cover the Current Affairs thoroughly and smartly.
The PRAVAHINI June-2021 eBook is divided into different sections keeping in mind the need of various exams. The sections covered namely International, National, Economy, Ecology and Environment, Science & Technology, Legal Affairs, Sports, States News Makers and few others.
We would also be pleased to receive any suggestion that could assist us with the upcoming editions.
Success Mantra (GTB Nagar, Delhi)
Mail Id: [email protected]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. National Affairs
2. International Affairs
3. Economic Affairs
5. Awards And Honors
6. Important Dates & Sports
7. Reports And Indexes
8. Science & Technology
CENTRAL GOVT. LAUNCHED 'PROJECT O2 FOR INDIA'
The government of India has launched ‘Project O2 for India’ to step up production of medical oxygen to meet the potential increase in demand due to further waves of the pandemic.
‘Project O2 for India’, an initiative of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (GoI), aims to help stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet the rise in demand for medical oxygen.
Under the project, a ‘National Consortium of Oxygen’ is enabling the supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors, final products such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators.
Besides, the consortium is also working to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem for long-term preparedness.
MINISTRY OF AYUSH LAUNCHED 'NAMASTE YOGA' APP
The Ministry of Ayush organised a curtain raiser event for the 7th International Day of Yoga. The event was organised by the Ministry of Ayush in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY).
The event brought together several Yoga Gurus and experienced Yoga exponents on the virtual platform, to appeal to the world community to adopt Yoga in their daily life for the betterment of both the individual self and mankind.
The event underlined the importance of the central theme of IDY 2021 “Be With Yoga, Be At Home”. As a part of the event, a mobile application devoted to Yoga named “Namaste Yoga”, was also launched.
The Namaste Yoga” app has been designed as an information platform for the public, with the aim to raise awareness about yoga and make it accessible for the larger community.
H. VARDHAN ADDRESSED GLOBAL YOGA CONFERENCE 2021
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare addressed the inaugural ceremony of Global Yoga Conference 2021.
The event was organised by ‘Mokshayatan Yog Sansthan’ along with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India &Indian Council for Cultural Relations to mark the occasion of the 7th International Day of Yoga which falls on 21st June 2021.
Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted how Yoga has helped people during COVID restrictions on public activities.
The benefits of Yoga in immunity building and management of stress are well documented with evidence. With programmes like this Global Yoga Conference, more people shall be drawn into the fold of practising Yoga and related activities.
UNION CABINET APPROVED "DEEP OCEAN MISSION"
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of “Deep Ocean Mission”.
This mission is proposed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
About the Mission: The 5 year Mission will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs. 4077 crore in a phase-wise manner.
The first phase will be carried during 2021-2024, at an estimated cost of Rs. 2823.4 crore. The main objective of the Deep Ocean Mission is to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry for implementing this multi-institutional ambitious mission.
The Deep Ocean Mission consists of the following six major components:
• Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible
• Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services
• Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity
• Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration
• Energy and freshwater from the Ocean
• Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology
PM MODI ADDRESSED 5TH VIVATECH IN PARIS
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech. VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events of Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016.
PM Modi was invited as a Guest of Honour to deliver the keynote address at VivaTech 2021, which has been organised from 16-19 June 2021 in Paris.
During his address, PM Modi invited the world to invest in India based on the five pillars: Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and, Culture of openness.
About the event: Other prominent speakers of the event include the President of France Mr. Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Pedro Sanchez, and Ministers/MPs from various European countries.
VivaTech is jointly organized by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos, a leading French media group.
The event brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem. It includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions and startup contests.
47TH G7 LEADER'S SUMMIT 2021 HELD IN CORNWALL, UK
The 47th G7 Leaders’ Summit 2021 (Outreach Session of the G7 meeting) took place in a Hybrid format from June 11-13, 2021 at Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK).
It was hosted by the United Kingdom (UK) as it holds the Presidency of G7 for 2021. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually participated in the meeting and called G7 summit members for the ‘One Earth One Health’ approach to effectively deal with the coronavirus pandemic globally, and sought the support of the G7 grouping to lift patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines.
Key highlights of the summit: The theme for the Summit – ‘Building Back Better’. The UK invited Australia, India, South Korea, and South Africa (jointly called ‘Democracy 11’) as Guest Countries to the 2021 summit.
US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi attended the Summit in person.
The 47th G7 Leaders’ Summit has been called the 1st ever net-zero G7 as all have committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 (or at the latest with ambitious reductions targets in the 2020 decade).
PM Narendra Modi participated in the 1st Outreach Session of the G7 Summit, he was the lead speaker for the session titled ‘Building Back Stronger – Health’, which focused on global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and on strengthening resilience against future pandemics.
NAFTALI BENNETT TAKES CHARGE AS ISRAEL'S NEW PM
Naftali Bennett, the former Defence Minister of Israel, and leader of the Yamina party took oath as the Prime Minister of the country.
The 49-year-old former tech entrepreneur replaces Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been forced out of office after 12 years (2009 to 2021). (Netanyahu is the longest-serving PM of Israel).
Bennett will lead a new coalition government, formed with Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party.
The new Coalition government will run on a rotation basis, which means that Bennett would serve as Israel’s prime minister until September 2023, following which Lapid would take charge of the office, for the next two years, until 2025.
NATO SUMMIT 2021 HELD IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
The leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held a face-to-face summit on NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
The 2021 Brussels summit of NATO was the 31st formal meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the alliance. The summit of the 30-member NATO group was held as a part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first foreign trip since he took office.
About the summit: All the leaders agreed on the “NATO 2030” agenda, a comprehensive initiative to make sure that the alliance remains ready to face future challenges.
The agenda also states that NATO will strengthen political consultation and the resilience of society, reinforce defence and deterrence, sharpen the technological edge, and develop its next Strategic Concept in time for the summit in 2022.
The bloc agreed on a new cyber defence policy, to ensure that the bloc has strong technical capabilities, political consultations, and military planning in place to “keep its systems secure.”
NATO DECLARES CHINA ' A GLOBAL SECURITY CHALLENGE'
NATO leaders declared that China poses a constant security challenge and is working to undermine global order.
This is a message in sync with US President Joe Biden’s efforts to get allies to speak out with a more unified voice against China’s trade, military and human rights practices.
The NATO leaders said that China’s goals and ‘assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security.
The warning to China comes as Biden has stepped up his effort to rally allies to put up a unified voice about China’s human rights record.
Biden has also criticised China’s trade practices and its military’s increasingly assertive behaviour that has unnerved US allies in the Pacific.
UAE, BRAZIL, ALBANIA, GABON & GHANA ELECTED TO UNSC
UN Security Council elected Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and UAE as non-permanent members for the 2022-23 term.
All countries, elected unopposed, will begin their term from 1 January 2022. The election for the non-permanent members of the Security Council is held through secret ballot and candidates require a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly to get elected.
India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway had begun the term as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council from 1 January 2021.
In the election, Ghana obtained 185 votes while Gabon received 183 votes. The United Arab Emirates received 179 votes and Albania got 175 votes. Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirate were elected from the African and Asian States seats.
Brazil is elected from Latin American and Caribbean Group seat and the Eastern European Group seat went to Albania.
EX-MONGOLIAN PM KHURELSUKH WON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Former Mongolian Prime Minister, Ukhnaa Khurelsukh became the country’s sixth democratically elected president, further consolidating the power of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) with a landslide victory.
With 99.7% of votes counted overnight, Khurelsukh’s tally had reached 821,136, or 68% of the total, the largest share of the vote since the democratic era began in 1990.
Khurelsukh will replace incumbent Khaltmaa Battulga, who was denied an opportunity to seek re-election following controversial changes to Mongolia’s constitution that restricted presidents to one term in office.
ISRAEL BECOMES WORLD'S 1ST MASK-FREE NATION
Israel will become the world’s first mask-free country in the Corona period. Here the rule of applying masks in closed places will end from June 15.
This was announced by Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. The rule of applying masks outside has already been abolished in the country.
However, most restrictions related to foreign travel have not yet been lifted. For example, travel to nine countries is still banned. There is a rule of quarantine for travellers coming from these countries. His corona test is also being done.
RUSSIA BUILDING 1ST FULLY STEALTH WARSHIP
Russia is building the first naval ship that will be fully equipped with stealth technology to make it hard to detect.
The hull of the Mercury naval corvette dubbed project 20386 has already been built and the vessel is expected to be delivered to the navy next year. The warship will be armed with cruise missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and artillery.
The naval ship is capable of searching for and destroying submarines. Stealth technology can make military assets such as ships and planes harder for radar to detect.
While Russia has used stealth technology, such as a radar-absorbing coating into some of its navy vessels, they have not had full stealth technology.
UK & AUSTRALIA AGREED ON HISTORIC FTA
A new free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will deliver more Australian jobs and business opportunities for exporters, bringing both countries closer together in a changing strategic environment.
Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson have agreed on the broad outlines of an Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The FTA is the right deal for Australia and the United Kingdom, with greater access to a range of high-quality products made in both countries as well as greater access for businesses and workers, all of which will drive economic growth and job creation in both countries.
Australian producers and farmers will receive a significant boost by getting greater access to the UK market.
INDIA'S RANKS IN TERMS OF MONEY IN SWISS BANK
According to ‘Annual Bank Statistics of 2020’ released by Swiss National Bank (SNB), the Central Bank of Switzerland.
India with Swiss Francs (CHF) 2.55 billion (INR 20,706 Crore) has been placed at 51st place in the list of foreign clients’ money in Swiss Banks during 2020. The United Kingdom (UK) topped the list with CHF 377 billion, followed by the US (152 billion).
India was ahead of countries like New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Mauritius, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in terms of foreign clients’ money in Swiss banks.
Funds held by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks rose over 2.55 billion Swiss francs (over Rs 20,700 crore) in 2020 marking the highest level in 13 years.
The figures stood at a record high of nearly CHF 6.5 billion in 2006, after which it has been mostly on a downward path, except for a few years including in 2011, 2013, and 2017, as per the Swiss National Bank (SNB) data.
• Swiss National Bank Chairman of the Governing Board: Thomas J. Jordan
• Swiss National Bank Head Offices: Berne, Zurich.
FACEBOOK NAMED SPPORTHI PRIYA AS GRIEVANCE OFFICER
Facebook has named Spoorthi Priya as its grievance officer for India, the company said on its website.
This move comes close on the heels of the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, coming into force last month.
According to the new government guidelines, social media companies with over 50 lakh users have to appoint a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. All three personnel will have to be residents of India.
WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google had shared information on their compliance officer, resident grievance officer and nodal contact person with the government on May 29. Two days after the new IT rules kicked into action.
Under the new rules: Social media platforms also have to publish the name and other relevant information of the grievance officer on their website so that users can easily reach out to them.
REBECCA GRYNSPAN AS SECRETARY GENERAL OF UNCTAD
The U.N. General Assembly has approved the appointment of Costa Rican economist Rebecca Grynspan, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
She will serve a four-year term of office. She is the first woman and Central American to head UNCTAD. She was nominated as Secretary-General by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Grynspan would replace Isabelle Durant, who is serving as acting Secretary-General since 15 February 2021.
Prior to this, Grynspan served as UNDP’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean and second vice president of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.
About the UNCTAD: UNCTAD is a Geneva-based U.N. agency to promote trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.
MICROSOFT CEO 'SATYA NADELLA' NAMED AS CHAIRMAN
Microsoft Corp, named Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella as its new chairman. He took over as the software giant’s CEO in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.
He is credited with bringing new energy to the company, founded in 1975. The company also appointed former chairman John Thompson as a lead independent director.
The top-level executive change comes just over a year after Gates stepped down from the board, saying he would focus on philanthropic works of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s biggest charities.
AWARDS & HONOR
ZIMBABWEAN NOVELIST WINS PEN PINTER PRIZE
Tsitsi Dangarembga, the Booker-shortlisted Zimbabwean writer who was arrested last year in Harare while protesting against corruption, has been awarded the PEN Pinter prize, praised for her “ability to capture and communicate vital truths even amidst times of upheaval”.
Dangarembga was also shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for her work, This Mournable Body.
Established in 2009, PEN Pinter prize is given in memory of Nobel-laureate playwright Harold Pinter.
The annual award is given to an author who, the website specifies, must have “a significant body of plays, poetry, essays, or fiction of outstanding literary merit, written in English.”
NOVAK DJOKOVIC WINS FRENCH OPEN TITLE
Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift the French Open title for the second time in his career. Djokovic, with his 19th Grand Slam title, has closed in on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam titles list. Both the players have won 20 Grand Slams each.
Djokovic has also become the first man in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam twice. (He has won the Australian Open nine times, Wimbledon five times, and the US Open three times.)
He has become the first man in 52 years, after Rod Laver, to win all the four Grand Slams twice. Overall, he is the third male tennis player to achieve this unique feat. The third being Roy Emerson.
Winners of French Open Tennis Tournament 2021
• Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
• Women’s Singles: Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
• Men’s Doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert (France) and Nicolas Mahut (France)
• Women’s Doubles: Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic) and Kateřina Siniaková (Czech Republic)
• Mixed Doubles- Desirae Krawczyk (United States) and Joe Salisbury (United Kingdom).
VINOO MANKAD & OTHERS INDUCTED INTO ICC HALL OF FAME
The ICC has inducted 10 icons of the game, including India’s Vinoo Mankad, into its illustrious Hall of Fame with two players each from five eras, dating back to cricket’s early days, making it to the list.
The announcement has been coincided with the inaugural World Test Championship final, to be played between India and New Zealand from June 18 in Southampton.
The 10 legends of the game to be inducted have all made a significant contribution to the history of Test cricket, and join an illustrious list of ICC Hall of Famers, taking the total number to 103 as a result of this intake.
The inductees are:
• Aubrey Faulkner of South Africa and Monty Noble of Australia for the early era (pre-1918),
• Sir Learie Constantine of West Indies and Stan McCabe of Australia for the inter-war Era (1918-1945),
• Ted Dexter of England and Vinoo Mankad of India for the post-war Era (1946-1970).
• Desmond Haynes of the West Indies and Bob Willis of England were inducted from the ODI era (1971-1995)
• Andy Flower of Zimbabwe and Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka were from the modern era (1996-2016).
DATES & DAYS
WORLD DAY AGAINST CHILD LABOUR: 12TH JUNE
World Day against Child Labour is observed globally on 12th June every year. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are about 152 million children globally who are engaged in child labour, 72 million of whom are in hazardous work.
This year’s World Day Against Child Labour focuses on action taken for the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. The theme of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour is Act now: End child labour!.
It is the first World Day since the universal ratification of the ILO’s Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and takes place at a time when the COVID-19 crisis threatens to reverse years of progress in tackling the problem.
About World Day Against Child Labour: The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the worldwide extent of kid labour and therefore the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
Each year on 12 June, this Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, also as many people from around the world to spotlight the plight of kid labourers and what are often done to assist them.
• Headquarters of the International Labour Organization: Geneva, Switzerland.
• President of the International Labour Organization: Guy Ryder.
• International Labour Organization Founded: 1919.
WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY: 14TH JUNE
World blood donor day is observed globally on June 14th every year. The aim is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion and of the critical contribution voluntary, unpaid blood donors make to national health systems.
The day also provides an opportunity to call to action to governments and national health authorities to provide adequate resources and put into place systems and infrastructures to increase the collection of blood from voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors.
For 2021, the World Blood Donor Day slogan will be “Give blood and keep the world beating”. The host country for World Blood Donor Day 2021 is Rome, Italy. Every year on the birth anniversary of Landsteiner on 14 June 1868, World donor Day is widely known.
This event was first initiated and established to be celebrated on 14 June 2004 by the “World Health Organisation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies” with an aim to boost public awareness about the necessity for safe blood donation voluntarily and unpaid by the healthy person.
GLOBAL WIND DAY: 15TH JUNE
Every year the Global Wind Day is celebrated worldwide on 15 June to spread awareness about wind energy, the various uses of wind energy, and the ways and possibilities as to how wind energy can help change the world.
Global Wind Day was first observed as Wind Day in 2007. Later, it was renamed Global Wind Day in 2009. Global Wind Day is organized by WindEurope and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), wind energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources in the world. India will install 20GW of wind capacity over 2021-25.
Wind energy is a source of clean energy and it is inexhaustible. At present, India has a total installed wind power capacity of 38.789 GW. India has the fourth-largest installed wind power capacity in the world.
• Global Wind Energy Council Headquarters location: Brussels, Belgium;
• Global Wind Energy Council Founded: 2005.
WORLD DAY TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION & DROUGHT
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17th June every year. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, and highlight methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.
“Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land” is the theme for 2021 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to market public awareness of the difficulty.
The World Day to Combat Desertification may be a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification is often effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, which key tools to the present aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation in the least levels.
INT. DAY FOR ELIMINATION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN CONFLICT
International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed globally on 19th June every year.
The day aims to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.
Worldwide Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict: On 19 June 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/69/293) announced 19 June of consistently the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
The date was picked to recognize the selection on 19 June 2008 of Security Council goals 1820 (2008), during which the Council censured sexual savagery as a strategy of war and a hindrance to peacebuilding. 2021 marks the seventh year of celebration of the day.
REPORT & INDEXES
AUCKLAND TOPS GLOBAL LIVEABILITY IMDEX 2021
New Zealand and Australian cities dominated the Global Liveability Index 2021 published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Auckland has been ranked the best on liveability rankings due to the ability of New Zealand city to contain Covid-19 faster.
Japanese cities of Osaka and Tokyo grabbed second and fourth place and Adelaide, Australia spot 3rd place on EIU’s Global Liveability Index 2021. living conditions remained worst in the Syrian capital Damascus.
The top 10 most livable cities in the worldAuckland, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
10 least liveable cities in the world:Damascus (Syria)
Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
ALL INDIA SURVEY ON HIGHER EDUCATION (AISHE)
All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20 report has been released by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.
As per AISHE in the last five years (2015-16 to 2019-20), student enrolment has grown by 11.4%. As per AISHE, female enrolment in Higher Education has increased by 18.2% from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
Key features of AISHE 2019-20 are given below: Total Enrolment in Higher Education: It stands at 3.85 crores in 2019-20.
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER): It is denied as the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in Higher Education. It is 27.1% in 2019-20.
Gender Parity Index (GPI) in Higher Education: It stands at 1.01 in 2019-20. It shows improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males. Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Higher Education: It is 26 in 2019-20. The number of students pursuing PhD: It is 2.03 lakh in 2019-20.
15TH GLOBAL PEACE INDEX (GPI) 2021
The 15th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) announced by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) Sydney, the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.
The index ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.
Global: Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.
It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia.
Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq.
South Asia: India has moved up two notches from its previous year’s ranking to become the 135th most peaceful country in the world and the 5th in the region.
Bhutan and Nepal are named as the first and second most peaceful in this region. Bangladesh has been ranked 91th out of 163 countries in Global Peace Index for 2021. According to the list, Bangladesh is the 3rd most peaceful in South Asia.
Sri Lanka has slipped down 19 rungs from 2020, to become 95th globally in this year’s rankings, and the 4th in South Asia.
CHINA, INDIA & PAK EXPANDING NUCLEAR ARSENAL: SIPRI
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released the SIPRI Yearbook 2021. The report assesses the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security.
China is in the middle of significant modernization and expansion of its nuclear weapon inventory, and India and Pakistan also appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals.
According to the yearbook, India possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021 compared to 150 at the start of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020.
China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads up from 320 at the start of 2020. The nine nuclear-armed states – the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021.
Russia and the U.S. together possessed over 90% of global nuclear weapons and have extensive and expensive modernization programmes underway.
INDIA RANKED 120TH IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REPORT
According to the 6th Edition of ‘Sustainable Development Report 2021 (SDR 2021)’ released by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), India with a score of 60.1 has been placed at 120th rank out of 165 countries. Finland topped the Index followed by Sweden & Denmark.
For the 1st time since 2015, all countries have shown a reversal in progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
SDR 2021 has been written by a group of authors led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of the SDSN and has been published by Cambridge University Press.
SDR Report: SDR is an annual report which ranks the 193 UN member countries based on their performance against the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
It has been released since 2015 and is based on official data sources (UN, World Bank, etc.) and non-official data sources (research institutions and non-governmental organizations).
• Sustainable Development Solutions Network President: Jeffrey Sachs
• Sustainable Development Solutions Network Headquarters: Paris, France & New York, USA.
BENGALURU MOST LIVEABLE 'EASE OF LIVING INDEX'
Bengaluru has been named as the most liveable city of India, in the Ease of Living Index 2020, released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
The Ease of Living Index 2020 is part of the report titled State of India’s Environment 2021. Bengaluru is followed by Chennai, Shimla, Bhubaneshwar, and Mumbai, as the top five best cities respectively.
The report focused on four parameters to determine the ease of living index score of each city, which are: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizens’ perceptions.
Each city was rated out of 100 in all parameters. The Ease of Living Index 2020 is the second edition of the index after the first one was launched in 2018.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ESA TO LAUNCH 'ENVISION MISSION' TO VENUS
European Space Agency (ESA), is now developing its own probe to study Venus, for holistic view of the planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere. The mission dubbed as “EnVision” will probably be launched to the planet in early 2030.
About the EnVision: EnVision probe of ESA will determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently, even while being in the habitable zone to the Sun.
ESA will undertake this mission with contributions from NASA. EnVision spacecraft will carry a range of instruments to study the planet’s atmosphere and surface, monitor trace gases in the atmosphere and analyse its surface composition. NASA would provide a radar to image and map the surface.
ESA TO LAUNCH WORLD'S 1ST WOODEN SATELLITE
The European Space Agency (ESA) has planned to launch the world’s first wooden satellite. It is going to be launched from New Zealand.
It will be launched from a Rocket Lab Electron rocket by the end of 2021. The satellite is the brainchild of Jari Makinen.
The satellite, WISA Woodsat, is a nanosatellite. It is 10cm on each side, length, height, and width. The sensors of the satellite have been developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and designers have placed the wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to keep it dry.
A very thin aluminium oxide layer has been used to minimize the vapour coming from the wood and to protect it from the erosive effects of atomic oxygen. The non-wooden external parts are made up of aluminium rails.
• European Space Agency Headquarters: Paris, France.
• European Space Agency Founded: 30 May 1975, Europe.
• European Space Agency CEO: Johann-Dietrich Worner.
LEGENDARY SPRINTER 'MILKHA SINGH' PASSED AWAY
Legendary Indian sprinter, Milkha Singh has passed away due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19), at the age of 91.
A former army man, Milkha Singh won several laurels for the country in track and field events across the globe.
Milkha Singh won four gold medals for India in the Asian Games, winning the 200 metre and 400-metre races in the 1958 Tokyo Asiad.
He followed it up with gold medals in the 400 metre and 4×400 metre relay races in the 1962 Jakarta Asiad. He was unlucky to have missed out on an Olympic medal as he finished a close fourth in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Rome Olympics.