NASA rejected the claim of danger from Asteroid Apophis
National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) has ruled out the chances of asteroid names Apophis causing any damage to the Globe for the next century.
What is Apophis?
It is a large (about 330 meters wide) near Earth asteroid.
It was named after the ancient Egyptian God of darkness and chaos.
It was discovered in 2004, after which NASA itself claimed that the asteroid poses the greatest threat to the earth.
NASA Predicted Apophis’s coming between 2029 – 2036 but now ruled out these events.
What are asteroids?
Rocky objects that revolve around the Sun but are much lesser in size as compare to planets.
Asteroids are also known as Minor Planets.
Its USA based independent Space agency
It was established in 1958
HQ – Washinton DC
Founder – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Exercise Vajra Prahar was conducted between India – USA
The Special Forces of the Indian Army and the army of the United States of America have participated in the joint military exercise named Vajra Prahar held in Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh.
The exercise is an annual affair conducted alternatively in India and the USA.
It is the 11th edition of the exercise.
What is the aim of such bilateral exercise?
To improve interoperability between the Special Forces of both the countries
To share the best practices, knowledge, and experiences in areas such as joint mission planning, counter-terrorism, and operational tactics.
Other Military Exercise between India – USA:
– Yuddh Abhyas (Indian Army)
– Cope India (Indian Air Force)
Multilateral Exercise in which both Defence Forces of India and USA participate:
– Red Flag
– Malabar Exercise (Naval exercise among QUAD countries)
– La Perouse (Scheduled in April 2021)
World Immunization and Logistic Summit
The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has participated in a virtually organized ‘World Immunisation and Logistics Summit. A panel discussion was held on vaccine production and distribution across Asia.
About the summit:
Over 1000 attendees participated in the conference from around the region and the world in active discussion around solving key issues which have been faced by the global supply chain as the world faces the largest and most complex logistical operation in mankind’s history.
The objective of the discussion was to deliver life saving vaccines worldwide so that every person in need has access to it.
The 2-day summit was conducted by Abu Dhabi.
Education Minister inaugurated ANANDAM – The Centre of Happiness
Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank inaugurated the ANANDAM – The Centre for Happiness. In the virtual event, Lt Gov of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory was also present.
It is a center for happiness that aims to transfer India’s Education System 2021 and it aligns with the National Education Policy 2020.
The program is envisaged under prime activities which are divided as:
– Holistic Wellness
– Elective Courses on Happiness Development
– Research and Leadership
– Faculty Development
The tagline of ANANDAM is – ‘Sarvabhutahiteratah’, which stands for being always engaged for the wellbeing of all.
India – South Korea Friendship Park was inaugurated in Delhi Cantt
During the visit of the South Korean Defence Minister, the Indian Defence Minister along with his S. Korean counterpart has inaugurated the India – South Korea Friendship Park.
The park is spread across six acres with an entrance made in Korean style.
The park consists of the statue of Gen K. S. Thimayya. After the Korean War, he led a United Nations unit dealing with the repatriation of prisoners of war as a Chairman of Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission.
One pillar of the park possesses an engraved narration of Nobel Laureate Gurudev Rabindranath. It explains Korea as ‘The Lamp of the East.
The park was co-developed by the Ministry of Defence, Indian Army, Delhi Cantt Board, Embassy of Korea, and Korean War veterans Association of India.
NITI Aayog released ‘Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector Report
The Chief Executing Officer of NITI Aayog has released the Investment Opportunities in India’s Healthcare Sector Report along with NITI Aayog member Dr. V. K. Paul and Additional Secretary Dr. Rakesh Sarwal.
Highlights of the report:
In 2022, the investment in the healthcare sector is expected to reach $372 billion
A jump of 13.5 times has recorded in the inflow of Foreign Development Investment in 2011 from USD 94 million to 1275 million UD dollars.
The healthcare sector potential to create 5,00,000 lakh jobs in a year.
The sector holds the potential of the largest employment opportunities in the country.
As far as revenue is concerned healthcare sector can be the largest revenue generating sector of India.
About NITI Aayog:
Chairperson – Narendra Modi (Ex-Officio)
CEO – Amitabh Kant
HQ – New Delhi
India Japan signed 4 pacts for supporting healthcare sector
Under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects Japan will support Healthcare projects in India. All four agreements worth 29.30 Million Yen (Rs. 1.93 Cr/USD 2,65,000).
Japan assisted other projects in India:
Medical Equipments worth Rs. 49 lakhs to Anchal Charitable Trust, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Medical Equipment worth Rs 45 lakh to Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh
Medical Equipment cost Rs 53 lakh to Saint Hardyal Educational and Orphans Welfare Society, Amroha Uttar Pradesh
Medical Quipment worth Rs. 48 lakh to Shija Hospital, Imphal West, Manipur.
About Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects Scheme:
The project was introduced in 1989 by the Japanese Govt to assist developmental projects financially in developing countries.
Capital – Tokyo
Prime Minister – Yoshihide Suga
Former Prime Minister- Shinzo Abe
New Species of Butterfly discovered in Western Ghats
New Butterfly species have been discovered in Western Ghats by an All India Research team.
About the Species:
Species belongs to genus Nacaduba, sub family of Lycaenide.
These species are spread across India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Samoa and other East Asian Countries.
Heart of Asia Summit
External Affairs Minister of India S. Jaishankar attended the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process conducted in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
The Minister in his addressed urged for a “double peace” which means peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan and also cleared India’s support to the Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN).
The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (Hoax-IP):
The process was founded in November, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.
It provides sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by putting Afghanistan at its centre, in recognition of the fact that a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region.
This platform was made to address the problems and interests of Afghanistan, its neighbours and regional strategic partners.
The Heart of Asia comprises 15 participating countries, 17 supporting countries, and 12 supporting regional and international organizations.
India is a participating country of Heart of Asia.
Since its inception the process has become a vital element in regional cooperation and has created a platform for Afghanistan’s neighbouring nations, international supporters and organizations to cooperate in constructive talks and discussions and to address the existing and emerging regional issues through regional cooperation with Afghanistan at its core.
Intra-Afghan Negotiations (IAN):
It refers to the discussion between Ashraf Ghani led Afghan government and Taliban extremist group with the aim of ending to nearly two decades of a conflict that has costed life of more than tens of thousands of combatants and civilians.
The participants of intra-Afghan negotiations will discuss the date and policies of ceasefire, including agreement over the future political leadership of Afghanistan.
The negotiations will cover rights of women, free speech, and changes to the country’s constitution.
Regional Connectivity Initiatives:
During the conference, the Afghanistan appreciated the number of regional connectivity initiatives taken by India including the Chabahar port project, as well as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline.
India is in favour of Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled, respects the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and preserve the progress made in the establishment of a democratic republic Afghanistan.
The interests of vulnerable sections, minorities, women, etc of the society must be preserved and the violence across the nation and its neighbourhood has to be effectively resolved.
TAPI Pipeline is a 1,814km natural gas pipeline that originates from Turkmenistan and passes through Afghanistan and reach India by bisecting Pakistan.
It is also known as Peace pipeline.
It aims to exploit Turkmenistan’s gas reserves and supply them to neighbouring countries to use of natural gas and improve energy security.
The project is being developed by an independent authority named TAPI Pipeline Company (TPCL), a consortium constituted by four individual state-owned gas undertakings from all the four stakeholders, i.e., Turkmengaz (Turkmenistan), Afghan Gas (Afghanistan), Interstate Gas Service (Pakistan), and Gas Authority of India and Indian Oil (India).
Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have signed an Inter Government Agreement (IGA) and Gas Pipeline Framework Agreements (GPFA) a decade ago for the development of the pipeline.
International Transgender day of Visibility 2021
The International Transgender Day of Visibility 2021 was observed on 31st March.
Aim – The day is observed to create awareness about the discrimination and violence faced by trans people.
Objective – To celebrate the lives of transgender people and educate public about the history of Trans.
Person in News
Didier Ratsiraka former President of Madagascar passed away
Former President of Madagascar Didier Ratsiraka nicknamed as ‘Rear Admiral’ passed away at the age of 84.
He had visited India two times for official visits, in 1980 and in 1983.
He was born in Vatomandory, Madagascar.
ISSF World Cup 2021
ISSF World Cup was conducted in New Delhi’s Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Ranges.
India topped the medal tally with 30 medals including 15 golds. Indian players also earned 9 silver and 6 Bronze.
The send place was grabbed by the USA followed by Italy. USA won 8 medals and Italy won 4 medals.
Three events were featured in the World Cup as follows:
More than 300 players from 43 countries have participated in the World Cup.
It is considered as the most successful outing in a single edition of the World Cup for India.
It stands for International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF).
President – Vladimir Lisin
HQ – Munich, Germany
Saraswati Samman Award 2020
Marathi writer Dr. Sharankumar Limbale was given the prestigious Saraswati Samman for the year 2020.
The award was given for the writwers Marathi Novel ‘Sanatan’.
The novel features the story of socio-cultural struggles of the untouchables.
About Saraswati Samman:
The annual award is instituted by K. K. Birla Foundation in 1991.
It was the 30th edition of the award.
It is one of the highest literary awards in India.
The award is given every year to the writers for their outstanding contribution in literary field of one the 22 languages of India.