Current Affairs Summary With Quiz 02 May 2021

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Contents:

Current Affairs Summary With Quiz 02 May 2021

Haryana announces full lockdown in the state for a week starting tomorrow

India’s Covid Situation

World’s oldest water found in Canada, Oxford researchers say it dates back 1.6 billion years

Mars could have life below its surface

Scientists spot the largest flare ever from the sun’s nearest neighbour

Richest and poorest states in India by GDP

Here's a detailed look at the richest to the poorest states in India as of 2019-20-21.

SBI Reduces Home Loan Interest Rates

Govt appoints Rabi Sankar as next RBI deputy governor

Mahindra to acquire 100% stake in Meru

HDFC Bank’s New CEO Sashidhar Jagdishan Announces Changes In Business And Leadership

40 Tonnes of Fish die in Lebanon

Actions

Litani river

Recent environmental disasters in Lebanon

Battle of Litani River

Road construction worth Rs.15 lakh crore targeted in next two years

What are the plans?

Background

Recent Developments

Bharatmala Pariyojana

First-known pregnant mummy discovered by Researchers

About the Mummy

Warsaw Mummy Project

First Instalment of SDRF released

State Disaster Response Funds

National Disaster Response Funds

Stratolaunch test flies World Largest Airplane

About the test flight

Background

Other popular projects of Stratolaunch

Science behind Airplanes

400th Prakash Purab of Guru Tegh Bahadur commemorated

Guru Tegh Bahadur

Shaheedi Divas

Guru Granth Sahib

Golden Temple and Operation Blue Star

Germany to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

What are Benin Bronzes?

How are Benin Bronzes made?

Benin Expedition of 1897

Other countries on Benin Bronzes

About the Scheme

Benefits

Quiz

 

Haryana announces full lockdown in the state for a week starting tomorrow

COVID-19 second wave: Odisha govt announces 14-day lockdown; check details

Haryana home and health minister Anil Vij announced on Sunday that the state will go into complete lockdown for a week amid a sharp spike in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the state.

Haryana on Saturday registered its biggest single-day jump in Covid-related deaths as the state recorded 125 deaths which took the toll to 4,341, while 13,588 fresh cases pushed the infection count in the state to 501,566.

India’s Covid Situation

India reported 392,488 new Covid-19 on Sunday and a record 3,689 related fatalities which pushed the infection count to 19,557,457 and the death toll to 215,542 respectively. according to the Union health ministry's dashboard at 8am. With this, the active cases in the country crossed the 33-lakh mark as the country increase to 3,349,644, thus comprising 17.13 per cent of the total infections. The recovery rate in the country dropped to 81.77 per cent as the number of people who recuperated from the viral disease surged to 15,992,271.


World’s oldest water found in Canada, Oxford researchers say it dates back 1.6 billion years

World's oldest water samples found, may hold clues to alien life |  Newsmobile

A team from the University of Toronto in Canada has discovered what could be the ‘oldest’ water on Earth.

The researchers found samples of water from a mine in Ontario in 2009. Tests conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford found that the mean age of the samples was 1.6 billion years old, making it the oldest water sample ever found on Earth.

The team also found microbes in the water samples, which survived in trace amounts of hydrogen and sulfate. While such life forms are known to exist on the ocean floor, this is the first time that such microbial life has been found deep within continents.

The findings may help scientists better understand ancient Earth and how life evolved on this planet.

Mars could have life below its surface

Microbes could be living beneath the surface of Mars, according to researchers, as the planet could have a stable and nourishing environment there for billions of years.

To have sufficient chemical energy for life, reducing compounds and oxidising compounds should be present. Reduction is a chemical process that gives a molecule more electrons, and oxidation takes them away. Microbes would need these basic chemical ‘fuels’, along with liquid water, to survive.

While the surface of Mars is barren due to the lack of atmosphere, heavy radiation and cold temperatures, scientists think that beneath the surface, the warmth of the planet’s core keeps water liquid.

When the underground water touches Martian rocks, chemical reactions produce the reduction and oxidation chemicals essential for life.

The chemicals form because Mars rocks have small amounts of trapped radionuclides — atoms that are unstable and eventually release radiation.

When these nuclides emit radiation, it breaks up nearby water molecules into hydrogen gas and oxides, both highly reactive chemicals which go on to create other chemicals that can sustain life.

Scientists spot the largest flare ever from the sun’s nearest neighbour

US scientists have spotted one of the largest stellar flares ever recorded in our galaxy, from the sun’s nearest neighbour Proxima Centauri.

The research has implications for the hunt for life beyond Earth’s solar system. The star has long been a target for scientists hoping to find life beyond Earth’s solar system.

Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf — the smallest, dimmest and most common type of the main sequence stars in the galaxy — relatively close to our solar system, just four light-years away. It hosts one planet, Proxima Centauri b, in what is known as the “habitable zone” — a region around a star that has the right range of temperatures for harbouring liquid water on the surface of a planet.

However, while studying Proxima Centauri with the ground and space-based telescopes, scientists detected a flare or a burst of radiation that began near the surface of a star and was one of the most violent seen anywhere in the galaxy.

The team’s findings hint at new physics that could change the way scientists think about stellar flares. It also means that the star is volatile, reducing the likelihood of any form of life on it.


Richest and poorest states in India by GDP

India is the 6th largest economy in the world. While it has been knocked off course somewhat through the impact of the pandemic, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) forecast that the Indian economy would expand by 9% in 2021 and by 7% in 2022.

Maharashtra has the highest GSDP among 33 Indian States and Union Territories. As of the FY 2018-19, Maharashtra contributes 13.88% of India's GDP at current prices, followed by Tamil Nadu (8.59%) and the most populous state Uttar Pradesh (8.35%). Other states in the top 5 are Gujarat (7.92%) and Karnataka (7.87%).

India's largest state Rajasthan is at number 7, behind West Bengal, poorest state Bihar is at number 14, and capital Delhi is at number 12.

The top 5 states share 46.6% of India's total economy. Five states of South India together account for close to 30%. Eight states of North-East India share 2.8%.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands has the lowest GSDP in the list of 33 states/UTs. Followed by Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Manipur.

Here's a detailed look at the richest to the poorest states in India as of 2019-20-21.

Rank I State/Union Territory I Nominal GDP ₹ lakh crore = INR trillions

1 Maharashtra ₹28.18 lakh crore (US$400 billion) 2019-20

2 Tamil Nadu ₹19.43 lakh crore (US$270 billion) 2020–21[3]

3 Uttar Pradesh ₹17.05 lakh crore (US$240 billion) 2020–21[3]

4 Karnataka ₹16.65 lakh crore (US$230 billion) 2020–21

5 Gujarat ₹16.49 lakh crore (US$230 billion) 2019–20

6 West Bengal ₹12.54 lakh crore (US$180 billion) 2019–20

7 Telangana ₹9.78 lakh crore (US$140 billion) 2020–21

8 Andhra Pradesh ₹9.71 lakh crore (US$140 billion) 2019–20

9 Rajasthan ₹9.58 lakh crore (US$130 billion) 2020–21

10 Madhya Pradesh ₹9.17 lakh crore (US$130 billion) 2020–21

11 Kerala ₹8.54 lakh crore (US$120 billion) 2019–20

12 Delhi ₹7.98 lakh crore (US$110 billion) 2020–21

13 Haryana ₹7.65 lakh crore (US$110 billion) 2020–21

14 Bihar ₹6.12 lakh crore (US$86 billion) 2019–20

15 Punjab ₹5.41 lakh crore (US$76 billion) 2020–21

16 Odisha ₹5.09 lakh crore (US$71 billion) 2020–21

17 Assam ₹3.51 lakh crore (US$49 billion) 2019–20

18 Chhattisgarh ₹3.50 lakh crore (US$49 billion) 2020–21

19 Jharkhand ₹3.29 lakh crore (US$46 billion) 2019–20

20 Uttarakhand ₹2.53 lakh crore (US$35 billion) 2019–20

21 Jammu and Kashmir ₹1.76 lakh crore (US$25 billion) 2020–21

22 Himachal Pradesh ₹1.56 lakh crore (US$22 billion) 2020–21

23 Goa ₹0.815 lakh crore (US$11 billion) 2020–21

24 Tripura ₹0.597 lakh crore (US$8.4 billion) 2020–21

25 Chandigarh ₹0.421 lakh crore (US$5.9 billion) 2018–19

26 Puducherry ₹0.380 lakh crore (US$5.3 billion) 2019–20

27 Meghalaya ₹0.348 lakh crore (US$4.9 billion) 2020–21

28 Sikkim ₹0.325 lakh crore (US$4.6 billion) 2019–20

29 Nagaland ₹0.319 lakh crore (US$4.5 billion) 2019–20

30 Manipur ₹0.318 lakh crore (US$4.5 billion) 2019–20

31 Arunachal Pradesh ₹0.273 lakh crore (US$3.8 billion) 2019–20

32 Mizoram ₹0.265 lakh crore (US$3.7 billion) 2019–20

33 Andaman and Nicobar Islands ₹0.088 lakh crore (US$1.2 billion) 2018–19

 SBI Reduces Home Loan Interest Rates

5 things to note before applying for a Home Loan | 5 News – India TV

State Bank of India (SBI) on Saturday announced that it has slashed its home loan interest rates. Now, customers can get home loans at an interest rate starting from 6.7% per annum for loans up to Rs 30 lakh. For loans above Rs 30 lakh to Rs 75 lakh, the interest rate is fixed at 6.95%. Those who apply for home loans above Rs 75 lakh, will get an interest rate of 7.05%, the bank mentioned. The new rates will be effective from May 1, India’s largest lender said.

Further, women borrower are eligible for a special concession of 5 bps on home loan interest rates. Individuals applying for a home loan via the YONO App will receive an additional interest concession of 5 bps, the bank mentioned.

This move aims to improve the affordability of prospective home loan customers, State Bank of India said.

“SBI, being the market leader in home finance, assumes the ownership in bolstering consumer sentiments in the home loan market. The affordability for the consumer increases immensely with the present home loan interest rate offerings which reduce the EMI amounts substantially," said C S Setty, managing director (Retail & Digital Banking).

“I am sure these measures will give a fillip to the real estate industry too,” he further mentioned.

“With the latest reduction announced by SBI, home loan rates are once again at a historic low. Needless to say, the move will encourage people, particularly fence-sitters, to finally take a call and book their dream homes," Dhruv Agarwala, Group chief executive officer, Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com said.

In April, SBI had revised its home loan rates, starting from 6.95%. The home loan portfolio of the bank has crossed the milestone of Rs 5 lakh crore. It is the largest mortgage lender in the country. SBI commands over 34% market share in home loans, the lender said.

“As SBI is the largest lender in the country and also a trendsetter in many ways, other banks have started following suit and, likely, many more HFCs will also do the same in the coming days, which is in line with the government’s and RBI’s strategy to boost the real estate sector," Agarwala mentioned.


Businesses get relief on GST interest, late fee

The government has granted relief to businesses on a series of goods and services tax (GST) compliance requirements, including a reduction in interest and late fee for delayed return filing for March and April, a set of official orders issued late on Saturday showed.

The government, on the advice of the GST Council, also gave extra time for the authorities to complete certain statutory proceedings falling due between 15 April and 30 May till 31 May.

Accordingly, businesses with up to 5 crore sales will have no interest liability for late reporting of monthly summary of transactions for March and April for the first 15 days from the due date.

For the next fifteen days, there will be a concessional 9% annual interest and 18% thereafter. The same relief—waiver of interest for the first 15 days followed by a 9% concessional rate for the next 15 days—is also given to small businesses filing quarterly returns, for their March 2021 quarterly return.

Also, there is a late fee waiver for the monthly returns to be filed for March and April. Those with sales up to five crores get a late fee waiver for a month from the due date while larger businesses get a 15-day waiver, showed the orders issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). States will also be issuing corresponding orders.

Small businesses that file quarterly returns have been given late fee waiver for 30 days from the due date for the March quarter returns. They have also been given extra time of one month till the end of May to file their annual returns for FY21.

Given the impact of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic on the tax authorities, consultants and taxpayers, the government also gave extra time for certain procedures that have to be completed between 15 April and 30 May. These could now be completed by 31 May. These include passing orders, issuing notices or granting sanctions or approvals by any authority, commission or tribunal. Also, this will apply to the filing of appeals, replies, reports, documents or records under GST laws.


Govt appoints Rabi Sankar as next RBI deputy governor

T. Rabi Sankar appointed as RBI's new deputy governor

The government has appointed RBI Executive Director T Rabi Sankar as the fourth deputy governor of the central bank.

Sankar fills the vacancy created by the retirement of BP Kanungo on April 2, after completing a one-year extension.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Saturday cleared his appointment for a three-year tenure or till he superannuates, whichever is earlier.

The other three deputy governors are Michael D Patra, who heads the all-important monetary policy department; Mukesh Kumar Jain, the commercial banker-turned-central banker; and Rajeshwar Rao.

Sankar’s portfolio may include the departments headed by Kanungo, which included fintech, information technology, payments system and risk monitoring.

He had joined the central bank as a research officer in September 1990. Sankar has a Master’s degree in science and statistics from the Banaras Hindu University and a diploma in development planning from the Institute of Economic Growth, according to a Linkedin post.

Last year, Sankar was appointed as the chairman of the Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services, an RBI subsidiary. Before that, he also worked with the International Monetary Fund on bond markets development for the government and also with the central bank of Bangladesh.


Mahindra to acquire 100% stake in Meru

Meru Cabs: Customer Data Exposed - BankInfoSecurity

Mahindra has announced that it has entered into agreements with shareholders of Meru Travel Solutions Private Limited (Meru) to buy their respective stakes in the ride-sharing company.

Mahindra will acquire 44.14% shares from Private Equity investor, True North and others for an amount not exceeding Rs. 76.03 crores. It will acquire 12.66% shares from Mr Neeraj Gupta and Mrs Farhat Gupta for an amount not exceeding Rs. 21.63 crores. With this arrangement, Mahindra will enhance its current shareholding in Meru from 43.20% to 100%.

Meru Cabs is a ride-sharing company founded in 2006. It has a presence in the airport transfer business, operating in the ride-hail segment and providing employee transportation services to corporates in India.

Neeraj Gupta, Founder, CEO and Whole Time Director of Meru and its subsidiary company Meru Mobility Tech Private Limited and Director of two other Meru subsidiaries - V-Link Automotive Services Private Limited and V-Link Fleet Solutions Private Limited, will be stepping down effective close of business hours of April 30, 2021. He will continue as an employee until June 30, 2021.

Pravin Shah, who was President Automotive, Mahindra till March 2017 will be the CEO of Meru and its subsidiary companies, with effect from May 1, 2021.


HDFC Bank’s New CEO Sashidhar Jagdishan Announces Changes In Business And Leadership

Sashidhar Jagdishan, who took over as the CEO in October 2020, has announced changes to the bank’s business model and its leadership team. In a statement released on April 30, the bank said it will reorganise itself into three clear areas, including business verticals, delivery channels and technology.

By focussing on each of these areas, the bank said it aims to be “future-ready”. As part of its strategy, HDFC Bank will increase its focus on the commercial banking, or micro, small and medium enterprises unit. The MSME business at present is dealt with as part of the wholesale banking book. By increasing its focus on the MSME business, HDFC Bank aims to bring in more focused products and services for these clients.

As part of its reorganisation strategy, the bank said Rahul Shukla, who is currently the head of wholesale banking, will lead the MSME and rural verticals for the bank. The increased focus on the small business vertical is an important shift in strategy for HDFC Bank, which has grown to be one of the largest retail lenders in the country over the last decade or so.

The MSME business has already become a large area for the bank, with MSME loans accounting for Rs 2 lakh crore, out of Rs 5.46 lakh crore worth wholesale advances as of Dec. 31, 2020. HDFC Bank has been consistently increasing the share of wholesale loans on its book for the last few quarters, with such loans now accounting for 57% of the domestic portfolio.

Under its new strategy, HDFC Bank said that technology and digitisation will become the focus in all of its delivery channels.

“We’re creating engines of growth with top tier talent backed by technology and digital transformation to capitalise on opportunities that will accrue in the coming time,” Jagdishan was quoted as saying in the statement.

Other leadership changes include:

Parag Rao, group head-payments business, will now also lead the bank’s digital and technology initiatives. Ramesh Laskhminarayanan, chief information officer, and Anjani Rathor, chief digital officer, will report to Rao.

Ashish Parthasarathy, group head- treasury, to also lead teleservices, sales and relationship channels

Sampath Kumar, group head-NRI business, will now be in charge of the self-service relationships of the bank.

Rakesh Singh, group head- investment banking and private banking, will also be responsible for marketing, retail liability products and managed programmes

Smita Bhagat, group head- government and institutional business as well start-ups, will additionally drive the expansion of HDFC Bank’s rural presence.


40 Tonnes of Fish die in Lebanon

River Litani is the longest river in Lebanon. It has an artificial lake called the Qaraoun lake created by the Litani river dam. Around forty tonnes of fish were recently washed on the banks of the lake due to excessive pollution. The pollution was mainly due to sewage dumping. This has gained an international spotlight. Such a huge disaster is happening for the first time in the region.

Actions

A fishing ban in the reservoir was imposed in 2018. However, the actions were inadequate to stop the pollution.

Litani river

The river is an important water source for the southern part of Lebanon.

The Litani dam was constructed in 1959 for irrigation and hydropower projects.

It rises in the Beqaa valley and empties in the Mediterranean sea.

The rivers originate and flow entirely inside Lebanon, that is, it is not a transboundary river.

Recent environmental disasters in Lebanon

In April 2021, the volunteers removed sticky tar from the beaches on the Lebanon coast after an oil spill.

In August 2020, a huge explosion occurred in Beirut port that devastated the country. It even led to the country’s Prime Minister resigning his office. Here are the Beirut Explosion details:

A Massive Explosion occurs at the Lebanese capital, Beirut

The Prime Minister of Lebanon Hassan Diab announces his resignation

India sends humanitarian aid to Lebanon

UNESCO launches new initiative to revamp the heritage buildings in the country

United Nations launches 3RF plan to revitalise Beirut

Battle of Litani River

It was fought on June 9, 1941. It was a battle of the second world war. It was fought to advance Beirut. During the war, the Australian troops crossed the Litani river and fought with the Vichy French troops. This was a part of the Syria-Lebanon Campaign, which is a British invasion of Vichy French, Lebanon and Syria. Vichy French was an independent ally of Germany.

Road construction worth Rs.15 lakh crore targeted in next two years

The Minister of Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari recently announced that the Government of India has set a target of road construction worth Rs 15 lakh crores in the next two years.

What are the plans?

To achieve the above target, the Government of India aims to construct forty kilometres of road per day in 2021-22.

The GoI is permitting 100% Foreign Direct Investment in the road sector.

Background

This will help to boost the National Infrastructure Pipeline. Under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the Union Government aims to provide world-class infrastructure to the citizens and thereby improve their quality of lives. There are 7,300 projects to be implemented under the NIP. The total cost of the project has been estimated as Rs 111 lakh crores.

Recent Developments

The GoI recently approved Rs 1,229.38 crores for the state of Punjab under the Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase I. Under this project, a six-lane greenfield is to be built between Amritsar and Bathinda.

Bharatmala Pariyojana

It was launched to improve the road network in India. It aims to achieve the following:

9,000 kilometres of Economic corridors

5,000 kilometres of roads to improve connectivity

2,000 kilometres of roads that fall under Border Road Organisation or roads under international connectivity

2,000 kilometres of port connectivity roads

Construction and maintenance of 10,000 new roads

It will mainly focus on creating Green Field Expressways for better management of freight and traffic.

As of August 2020, 12,413 kilometres of roads have been constructed. Phase I of the project aims to construct 34, 800 kilometres of National Highways in five years. The timeline of the phase is between 2017 and 2022. The project was approved at an estimated cost of Rs 5,35,00 crores.


First-known pregnant mummy discovered by Researchers

World's first pregnant Egyptian mummy discovered in Poland | South China  Morning Post

The researchers of Poland recently discovered the first embalmed pregnant woman. This is the first time in history scientists have found a foetus in a mummy. Initially, the researchers thought the Mummy was a male priest.

About the Mummy

The Mummy was first brought to Warsaw in 1826.

It was believed to be the mummy of a male priest due to the inscription on the coffin. However, recent scans have revealed that there is a foetus in the mummy.

The identification was made under the “Warsaw Mummy Project” by anthropologists and archaeologists at the National Museum in Warsaw.

This Mummy was found at the Royal Tombs in Thebes. Thebes is an ancient Egyptian city along the Nile River.

The Mummy was dubbed as the “Mysterious Lady of the National Museum in Warsaw”. She is believed to be 20 to 30 years old.

The scientists confirmed that the embalmed woman was pregnant when they saw the little foot and little hand. Usually, the mummification process includes removing the organs from the abdomen and chest. They are still wondering why wasn’t the foetus removed. One possibility is that it was difficult to remove the foetus from the womb without causing serious damage.

Warsaw Mummy Project

It was initiated by a group of archaeologists from the University of Warsaw in 2015. It aims to examine the animal and human mummies at the National Museum in Warsaw.

Under the project, the scientists are using X-ray, CT-scan, endoscopy and dactyloscopy to analyse the mummification methods and the state of tissue preservation. These advanced techniques helped in discovering the first pregnant mummy though she was unearthed a century ago.

Note: Podoscopy is footprint examination and Dactyloscopy is fingerprint examination


First Instalment of SDRF released

The Ministry of Finance recently released the first instalment of the State Disaster Relief Fund. According to the Finance Ministry, the funds have been released early. The ministry released 50% of the amount, which is Rs 4,436.8 crores. According to the recommendation made by the Finance Commission, the funds were to be released by June 2021. The total amount of SDRF to be released for 2021-22 is Rs 8,873 crores.

State Disaster Response Funds

They were constituted under Disaster Management Act, 2005.

In 2020, the Home Ministry issued an order to include COVID-19 as a “notified disaster”. This was done to provide temporary accommodation, clothing, food, medical care to the homeless people including the stranded migrant labourers.

The SDRF is the major fund available with the State Government to respond to disasters.

The Central Government contributes 75% of the SDRF allocation for general category states. Around 90% is contributed to the Special Category States and Union Territories.

The State Disaster Response Funds are supplemented by the National Disaster Response Funds.

National Disaster Response Funds

The National Calamity Contingency Funds were renamed the National Disaster Response Fund.

These funds are placed under the “Public Account”. It does not bear any interests.

The expenditure from these funds does not require the approval of the Parliament.

The National Disaster Response Funds are audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The fund is also used for relief activities for the calamities such as pest attacks, drought, frost, cold wave, that is, basically those calamities associated with farmers. Such funding is monitored by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation. It operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.


Stratolaunch test flies World Largest Airplane

World's largest plane flies again: 10 top stories of the week

The World largest aeroplane built by Stratolaunch recently completed its second test flight from Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

About the test flight

The flight reached an altitude of 4,267 metres during its test flight.

It reached a top speed of 320 kilometres per hour.

The plane can carry more than 220 tonnes of payload.

The wingspan of the aircraft is 117 metres. This is greater than an American football field.

It has been named “Roc”. Roc is an enormous bird usually addressed in the mythological stories of the Middle East. It is quite popular from “Sinbad, the Sailor”.

It carries a twin-fuselage configuration. The fuselage is the main body section of the aircraft. It holds the cargo, crew and passengers. A twin-fuselage design has two fuselages.

The fuselages are supported by twelve main landing gear wheels and two nose gear wheels.

The left fuselage cockpit is unmanned. It only houses support equipment. Both the fuselage cockpits are pressurised and separated from the unpressurised vehicle.

Background

Stratolaunch was established by Paul Allen in 2011. He was a co-founder of Microsoft.

Other popular projects of Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch is also developing a reusable hypersonic flight vehicle that shall be used to launch satellites.

Science behind Airplanes

The air wings of the planes are shaped to make the air move faster over the top of the wings. As the air is moving faster, its pressure decreases. This pressure drop occurs on the top of the wing. This in turn creates a pressure difference between the top and bottom of the wings of the aeroplane. This pressure difference creates a force that lifts the wing into the air.


400th Prakash Purab of Guru Tegh Bahadur commemorated

On May 1, 2021, India is celebrating the four hundredth Prakash Purab of Guru Tegh Bahadur. He was the ninth Sikh Guru.

Guru Tegh Bahadur

He was born in Amritsar, Punjab in 1621. He was the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib.

He wrote 115 hymns that were included in Guru Granth Sahib.

Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed on the orders of Aurangazeb. The Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib marks the execution place of Guru Tegh Bahadur and the Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib marks the cremation place of Guru Tegh Bahadur.

Shaheedi Divas

His martyrdom ( the suffering of death on account of adherence to a cause ) is commemorated as Shaheedi Divas of Guru Tegh Bahadur. It is commemorated on 24th November every year.

Guru Granth Sahib

It is the religious scripture of Sikhism. According to the Sikhs, it is the final, sovereign and eternal guru.

The first rendition of Guru Granth Sahib is called the Adi Granth. It was compiled by the fifth Guru Arjan Dev. He completed the Adi Granth in 1604 and installed it inside the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Later Guru Har Gobind Singh added Ramkali Ki Vaar. Finally, Guru Gobind Singh added the hymns composed by Guru Tegh Bahadur. Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth guru of the Sikhs.

Golden Temple and Operation Blue Star

There were insurgencies in Punjab for a separate Sikh homeland called Khalistan.

In 1973, Akali Dal passed Anandpur Resolution demanding more autonomy to the states. Akali Dal was a political party in Punjab.

In 1982, Akali Dal and Bhindranwale joined hands to implement the Anandpur Resolution.

In 1983, Bhindranwale fortified the Golden Temple complex. He started hiding there to avoid arrest.

In 1984, the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi sent the Indian Army to the Golden temple to capture Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. The Indian Army launched “Operation Blue Star” to capture Bhindranwale.

Germany to return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

Germany first to hand back Benin bronzes looted by British | Germany | The  Guardian

The Government of Germany recently announced that it is to return the artefacts called the “Benin Bronzes” to Nigeria. The “Benin Bronzes” are currently held in the museum of Germany.

What are Benin Bronzes?

They are a group of thousand metal sculptures. These sculptures once decorated the royal palace of the Kingdom of Benin, current Nigeria. Some of these sculptures were looted by the British during the Benin Expedition of 1897.

Though they are named bronzes, they are mostly made of brass. They are also made of mixtures of brass and bronze. Some of them are even made of ivory, wood or ceramic.

The golden ages of the sculptures occurred during the reigns of Esigie and Eresoyen.

How are Benin Bronzes made?

They are made using the lost-wax casting process. It is a process of making copies from a model. The method had been used in Indus Valley Civilisation as well.

Benin Expedition of 1897

It was a punitive expedition of a British force under Sir Harry Rawson. The troops captured Benin city and put an end to the Kingdom of Benin. It was then absorbed into colonial Nigeria.

Other countries on Benin Bronzes

The University of Aberdeen in Scotland was the first institute to agree to return the Benin Bronzes.

The National Museum of Ireland has agreed to return the artefacts as well.

Similarly, the Church of England also signalled that it will repatriate the sculptures.


Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capex

The Ministry of Finance recently announced that it is to provide Rs 15,000 crores to the states for their Capital Expenditure for 2021-22. This is being provided as an interest-free fifty-year loan to spend on capital projects. Fresh guidelines have been announced in this regard called the “Scheme of Financial Assistance to States for Capital Expenditure”.

About the Scheme

In 2020-21, Rs 12,000 crores were allocated for the scheme and Rs 11,830.29 crores was released to the states.

Part I of the Scheme

Part I of the scheme is to be implemented in the North Eastern States and Hilly states of India. Around Rs, 2,600 crores have been allocated for this part of the scheme. Of this Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Uttarakhand are to get Rs 400 crores each.

Part II of the scheme

Al the other states are included under this part of the scheme. Rs 7,400 crores has been allocated to these states. This fund is to be allocated in proportion to their share of central taxes as prescribed by the fifteenth commission of 2021-22.

Part III of the scheme

Under this part of the scheme, incentives are to be provided to the states for disinvestment of state public sector enterprises and for recycling or monetisation of infrastructure assets. To achieve this, Rs 5,000 crores have been allocated.

Benefits

The scheme will help to speed up the National Infrastructure Pipeline projects. It will help the states to settle the pending bills in the ongoing capital projects. Also, the funds provided under the scheme shall be used for new capital projects.


Quiz

1. Who is the Health Minister of Haryana?

a) Anil Vij

b) Dushyant Chautala

c) Bhupinder Singh Hooda

d) Manohar Lal Khattar

2. Where is the world’s oldest water sample found?

a) Alberta.

b) British Columbia

c) Ontario

d) Manitoba

3. What is the second closest star to Earth?

a) Arcturus

b) Proxima Centauri

c) Fomalhaut

d) Vega

4. Which state or Union Territory in India recorded the lowest GDP?

a) Bihar

b) Uttar Pradesh

c) Goa

d) Andaman & Nicobar Islands

5. What is the revised interest rate for home loans by SBI for loans up to Rs. 30 lakh?

a) 6.70%

b) 6.95%

c) 7.05%

d) 5.95%

6. Who is the fourth deputy governor of RBI?

a) B.P. Kanungo

b) Mahesh Kumar Jain

c) T Rabi Sankar

d) Michael Patra

7. Which company among the following fully acquires Meru Cabs?

a) Tata Motors

b) Mahindra and Mahindra

c) Eicher Motors

d) Ashok Leyland

8. What is the longest river in Lebanon?

a) Ghadir River

b) Jaouz River

c) Litani River

d) Damour River

9. The Government of India aims to construct___ kilometres of road per day in 2021-22.

a) 40

b) 50

c) 60

d) 70

10. The Government of Germany recently announced that it is to return the artefacts called the “Benin Bronzes” to ____.

a) India

b) Nigeria

c) Cambodia

d) South Africa

11. The World largest aeroplane built by Stratolaunch. Stratolaunch was established by Paul Allen in 2011. He is the co-founder of ____.

a) Google

b) Microsoft

c) Intel

d) Airbus


Answers:

1. Who is the Health Minister of Haryana?

Anil Vij

2. Where is the world’s oldest water sample found?

Ontario

3. What is the second closest star to Earth?

Proxima Centauri

4. Which state or Union Territory in India recorded the lowest GDP?

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

5. What is the revised interest rate for home loans by SBI for loans up to Rs. 30 lakh?

6.70%

6. Who is the fourth deputy governor of RBI?

T Rabi Sankar

7. Which company among the following fully acquires Meru Cabs?

Mahindra and Mahindra

8. What is the longest river in Lebanon?

Litani River

9. The Government of India aims to construct___ kilometres of road per day in 2021-22.

40

10. The Government of Germany recently announced that it is to return the artefacts called the “Benin Bronzes” to ____.

Nigeria

11. The World largest aeroplane built by Stratolaunch. Stratolaunch was established by Paul Allen in 2011. He is the co-founder of ____.

Microsoft

 

 

 

 

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