15-04-2021 Current Affairs Summary with Quiz

ISRO Espionage Case

On April 15, 2021, the Supreme Court ordered a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) into the role of 
Kerala Police officers in framing Nambi Narayanan in the 1994 Espionage Case. Nambi Narayanan was a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation.

In 1994, Nambi Narayanan was charged for leaking vital defence secrets to Maldivian intelligence officers Fauzia Hassan and Mariam Rashida. He was accused of selling confidential flight test data from the experiments with satellite and rocket launches. He was arrested and he spent fifty days in jail.

In May 1996, the charges against the scientist were dismissed. It was later dismissed in Supreme Court in April 1998.

In 1999, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) passed strictures against the Kerala Government for damaging Narayanan’s career in space research. He was then given a desk job at ISRO.

In 2001, the National Human Rights Commission ordered the Kerala Government to pay a compensation of Rs 1 crore. He then retired in 2001.

In 2013, Narayanan pushed to get justice and bring out the people involved in framing a false case on him. In 2018, the Supreme court appointed a three-member panel to probe the case. Later a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra ordered to award Rs 50 lakh compensation for the mental cruelty suffered by the scientist all these years.

In 2019, GoI conferred Padma Bhushan to Nambi Narayanan.

MANAS Application launched

The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India recently launched a mobile application to promote the mental wellbeing of the people of India. It is called the MANAS App.

MANAS stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System. It is a comprehensive and national digital wellbeing platform. The MANAS integrates indigenous tools developed and researched by various national bodies and research institutions. The MANAS app was jointly executed by NIMHANS Bengaluru, C-DAC, AFMC. However, it was mainly developed by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing). The app is supported with teleconsultation, especially for mental health-related problems. The app was launched during the 34th Foundation celebrations of C-DAC.

Online Grievance Management Portal of NCSC launched

The Union Minister for Communication and IT and Law and Justice recently launched the “Online Grievance Management portal of NCSC”. NCSC is the National Commission of Scheduled Castes.

The portal was launched on the occasion of the 130th birth anniversary of Dr B R Ambedkar. The Scheduled Caste community in the country can register their complaints in the portal from any part of the country. The portal was designed by Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geoinformatics. The institute operates under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Withdrawal of US Forces from Afghanistan

US President Biden recently announced that America is to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan. The new deadline announced by the US coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the 09/11 attacks. In February 2020, the US and its NATO allies signed a deal to withdraw all troops in fourteen months if the Taliban upheld all its promises.

WHO Guidelines on Zoonosis

The World Health Organisation, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Organisation for Animal Health laid down fresh guidelines to reduce the 
risk of transmission of zoonotic pathogens to humans in food production.

Zoonosis is an infectious disease that transfers from non-human animals to humans. These pathogens may be viral, bacterial or parasitic. They spread to humans through direct contact, water, food and the environment.

Suspension of trade in live caught wild animals of mammalian species for food or breeding. To shut down food markets that sell wild animals of mammalian species. To strengthen standards of hygiene, sanitation in traditional food markets to reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases. To conduct a risk assessment. They will provide evidence-based developing regulations to control the risks of transmission of zoonotic microorganisms. To strengthen animal health surveillance systems. To develop and implement food safety information campaigns for stallholders, market traders, consumers and the wide general public.

Himachal Day: April 15

Every year, the state of Himachal Pradesh celebrates Himachal Day on April 15. The day is celebrated to commemorate the creation of Himachal Pradesh. On April 15, 1948, Himachal Pradesh was formed as the province to be administered Chief Commissioner. Later, it was made a “C” category state on January 25, 1950.

Deadly algae kill 4,000 tonnes of Salmon in Chile

Deadly algae have killed more than 4,000 tonnes of Salmon in Chile. The algal bloom in the water reduced the amount of oxygen suffocating the salmon fishes. More than eighteen salmon fish farms that produce 26% of world salmon have been affected.

New Zealand Climate Change law for Financial firms

New Zealand recently introduced a bill on Climate Change for financial firms. The bill is the first of its kind in the world. New Zealand has fixed 2050 as the deadline to become carbon neutral.

It will require the insurers, banks and investment managers to report the impacts of their funding on the effect of climate change. It will also force the financial firms to evaluate the companies they are lending in terms of environmental impacts. All the banks in New Zealand with a total asset of more than 1 billion New Zealand dollars (703 million USD) will now have to make disclosures about their asset management. The financial firms will now have to explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities.

Virat Kohli named Wisden Almanack’s ODI Cricketer of Decade

Indian skipper 
Virat Kohli was awarded the title of Wisden Almanack’s ODI Cricketer of the 2010s on April 15, 2021. This honour was conferred by the annual sports publication the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.

On the 50th anniversary of the first One-day International, five ODI cricketers of the decade were named in the 2021 edition of the Wisden Cricketers Almanack.

The 32-year-old Virat Kohli had made his debut in the ODI in August 2008 against Sri Lanka. In 2011, Kohli won the ICC Cricket World Cup. Kohli has made more than 11,000 runs in the 10 years, scored 42 centuries, and earned a place among the finest batsmen of all times.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2020 had also recognized Virat Kohli as the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade and ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade. The year 2019 also saw Virat Kohli surpassing MS Dhoni as India’s most successful Test skipper.

Agriculture Ministry inks MoU with Microsoft for a pilot project to boost farmer’s income

The Ministry of Agriculture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft to run a pilot programme for 100 villages in 6 states. The program will help the farmers in reducing their input costs and will boost income.

The Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar was also present at the signing ceremony. Microsoft has entered into an agreement with the Agriculture Ministry along with its associate Crop Data Technologies.

While speaking on the occasion, the Agriculture Minister stated that PM Modi’s idea of digital agriculture is now taking shape. He added that Prime Minister has always laid great emphasis on the use of modern technologies in agriculture to increase farmers' incomes.

India's first floating LNG storage and regasification unit in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has got India’s first Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU). The unit arrived at H-Energy’s Jaigarh Terminal Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. 

A statement from H-Energy read that the LNG terminal- FSRU Höegh Giant had sailed from Keppel Shipyard in Singapore and had berthed at Jaigarh terminal in Maharashtra in April 12, 2021. 

This will be the first year-round Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Maharashtra.


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