Daily Prelims Newsletter(UPSC)|22 April 2021 | RaghukulCS

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Daily Prelims Newsletter(UPSC)|22 April 2021 | RaghukulCS

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

22 April 2021

Table Of Contents

Environment
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 
Science and Technology 
  • African swine fever 
  • RESPOND Program 
Economy 
  • Startup India Seed Fund Scheme 
Indices and Reports
  • World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) 2021
Places in News 
  • South China Sea 

Environment

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Why in News?

Recently, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released its annual “State of the Global Climate Report 2020”.

About WMO

  • It is an intergovernmental organization having a membership of 192 member states and territories, including
  • It was established by the WMO Conventionin 1950.
  • WMO became the specialized agency of UN for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and other related geophysical sciences.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Science and Technology

African swine fever

An estimated 1,011 wild boar in Germany have contracted African swine fever since an initial report last autumn and several countries have put up meat import ban from Germany.

About African Swine Fever (ASF):

  • It is a highly contagious and mostly fatal animal disease.
  • It infects domestic and wild pigs, resulting in an acute form of hemorrhagic fever.
    • Hemorrhagic fevers refers to illness caused by four families of viruses- Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever, and yellow fever viruses.
  • ASF’s first case was detected in Africa in the 1920s.
  • The mortality is almost 100 per cent.
  • Since there is no treatment known, the only way to stop it spreading is by culling the animals.
  • ASF is not a threat to human beings. It is known to spread only from animals to other animals.
  • According to the FAO, ASF has high potential for transboundary spread. It is a disease of growing strategic importance in context ofglobal food security and household income.

RESPOND Program

Why in News?

Recently, ISRO has announced that it will support eight research projects mooted by the Space Technology Cell (STC), IIT-Delhi.

About RESPOND Program:

  • RESPOND(Research Sponsored) Program was started by ISRO in 1970s.
  • Its objective is to encourage academia to contribute to various Space related research activities.

Economy

Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

Why in News?

Recently, GoI launched the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS).

About SISFS:

  • It aims to provide financial assistance to the start-ups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry, and also commercialization.
  • Launched by: DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade)

Key Eligibility Parameters:

  • A startup, as recognized by DPIIT, incorporated less than 2 years ago at the time of application.
  • The Startups should not have received more than ₹ 10 lakh of monetary support under any other Central or State Government scheme.

Key Features:

  • Support about 3,600 entrepreneurs through 300 incubators in the next 4 years.
  • An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC), constituted by DPIIT, would be responsible for the overall execution of the Scheme.
  • Grants upto₹ 5 crore will be provided to the eligible incubators as selected by the committee.

About Startup India Scheme:

  • It aims to build a robust Startup ecosystem in the country to nurture innovation and provide opportunities to budding entrepreneurs.
  • The scheme was launched in 2016.
  • The action plan focuses on following three areas:
    • Simplification and Handholding.
    • Funding Support and Incentives.

    • Industry-Academia Partnership and Incubation.

Indices and Reports:

World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) 2021

Why in News?

India was ranked 142ndout of 180 nations in the recently released World Press Freedom Index.

About WPFI, 2021:

  • It is published each year by a not-for-profit international body, Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
  • It is based in Paris.
  • RSF is an independent NGO havingconsultative status with the
    • United Nations,
    • UNESCO,
    • Council of Europe, etc.
  • It ranks countries according to the level of freedom the journalists enjoy in the country. However, it does not indicatethe quality of journalism.
  • The key parameters include:
    • pluralism,
    • media independence,
    • media environment and self-censorship,
    • legislative framework,
    • transparency, etc.
  • India’s Performance:
  • India was also ranked at 142 in 2020, thus indicating no improvement in the environment it provides to its journalists.
  • Even among neighbours, India has fared poorly- Nepal at 106, Sri Lanka at 127 and Bhutan at 65. Pakistan closely follows at 145th
  • The report has indicated the fact that critical journalistare often brandished as anti-state or anti-national.

Places in News

South China Sea

Why in News?

Philippines will deploy military ships to the South China Sea to assert its claim over oil deposits in a contested part of the South China Sea.

About South China Sea:

  • It is an extension of the Western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia.
  • It is connected by Taiwan Strait with the East China Sea and also by Luzon Strait with the Philippine Sea.
  • Bordering states & territories: The People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Philippines,Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
  • Important islands: Paracel, Spratly, Scarborough Shoal.

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