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Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 19 April, 2021

Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.
1. Vaccine Nationalism
Why in news?
The All India People’s Science Network (AIPSN) has said vaccine nationalism was a “wholly misconceived” idea and it must be given up.
Key points are:
– The Centre has imposed some restrictions on exports, potentially undoing the goodwill earned earlier by free supply of vaccines to friendly developing countries and by its substantial contribution to the international COVAX programme to supply vaccines to lower-income countries.
– Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries.
– This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 17 April, 2021
2. RBI gets applications for ‘on tap’ licences
Why in news?
The Reserve Bank of India has received four applications each for on-tap universal private bank licences and small finance bank licences.
Key points are:
This is part of the RBI’s guidelines for such licences released in August 2016 and December 2019 respectively.
According to the guidelines released by the central bank in August 2016:
Eligible entities seeking universal bank licences must be:
– Individuals/entities with at least 10 years of experience in banking and finance at a senior level or private companies or groups with at least 10 years of successful track record.
– Groups or companies applying for such licences must have assets of Rs 5,000 crore or above and the non-financial businesses don’t account for 40% or more of these assets.
– Individuals must have at least 10 years of experience in the banking and finance sector at senior levels.
– Groups, companies, existing payments banks, non-banking finance companies, microfinance companies, local area banks and cooperative banks applying for these licenses must have at least five years of successful track record.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 16 April, 2021
3. FASTag and Right to Freedom of Movement
Why in news?
Recently, the Union government told the Bombay High Court that making FASTag mandatory for all vehicles does not breach a citizen’s fundamental right to freedom of movement in any way.
Key points are:
– A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Court challenging the government’s decision to make FASTag, the electronic toll collection chip, mandatory for all vehicles at toll plazas on national highways.
– The FASTag is a reloadable tag that allows automatic deduction of toll without having to stop for carrying out the cash transaction.
– The tag uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and is fixed on the windscreen of the vehicle once active.
– RFID is the use of radio waves to read and capture information stored on a tag attached to an object.
– A tag can be read from up to several feet away and does not need to be within the direct line of sight of the reader to be tracked.
– FASTag ensures seamless traffic movement, cut travel time short, and that all decisions had been taken in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicles (CMV) Rules.
– Section 136A of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019 puts the responsibility on the Central Government to make rules for the electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety.
– Legislating the establishment of robust electronic enforcement for traffic violations will result in a reduction in human intervention and the associated corruption.
– A robust electronic enforcement system including speed cameras, closed-circuit televisions cameras, speed guns and such other technology will ensure violations being captured at a greater scale.
– However, such vehicles were required to pay twice the toll amount.
– The double user fees or penalties imposed on vehicles without FASTag on national highways were also in accordance with the National Highway Fee (determination of rates and collection) Rules, 2008.
– Entertaining such petitions would cause “irreparable loss” to the National Highways Authority of India.

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4. EatSmart Cities Challenge and Transport 4 All Challenge
Why in news?
Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched the EatSmart Cities Challenge and Transport 4 All Challenge.
Key points are:
– The challenges aim at creating an environment of right food practices and habits and to make public transport safe, affordable, comfortable, and reliable.
– The EatSmart Cities Challenge is envisioned as a competition among cities to recognize their efforts in adopting and scaling up various initiatives under Eat Right India.
– The challenge is open to all Smart Cities, capital cities of States /UTs, and cities with a population of more than 5 lakh.
– The challenge has the potential to create social and behavioural change towards food safety, hygiene and nutrition.
About Transport 4 All Challenge:
– The initiative has been launched in collaboration with The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and aims to bring together cities, citizen groups, and start-ups to develop solutions that improve public transport.
– ITDP is a non-governmental non-profit organization that focuses on developing bus rapid transit systems, promoting biking, walking, and non-motorized transport, and improving private bus operators margins.
– The Transport 4 All Digital Innovation Challenge Aims to develop digital solutions that will make public transport safe, affordable, comfortable, and reliable for all.

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 1 April, 2021
5. Iran started enriching uranium to 60%
Why in news?
Iran has started enriching its uranium supply to 60 per cent purity – the closest the country has ever come to the level needed for a weapon – in response to the sabotage of an Iranian nuclear site last weekend linked to Israel.
Key points are:
– Uranium contains a rare radioactive isotope, called U-235, that can be used to power nuclear reactors at low enrichment levels and to fuel nuclear bombs at much higher levels.
– The goal of uranium enrichment is to raise the percentage levels of U-235, which is often done through the use of centrifuges – machines that spin a form of unrefined uranium at high speeds.
– According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear monitoring arm of the United Nations, Iran as of February had amassed 2,967.8 kilograms of uranium roughly 14 times the limit under the nuclear accord and theoretically enough to power about three atomic bombs if refined to weapons-grade. The stockpile includes 17.6 kilograms enriched to 20 per cent also forbidden under the accord until the year 2030.
– After President Donald J. Trump repudiated Iran deal in 2018, reimposed economic sanctions on Iran and added other penalties, Iran undertook a graduated series of steps away from compliance with the deal to retaliate increasing its 3.67 per cent uranium supply, adding centrifuges, raising uranium purity in some of the supply to 20 per cent and restricting international inspectors’ access to some nuclear sites. All the while, the country said these were easily reversible actions.

Daily Gist of 'The Hindu', 'PIB', 'Indian Express' and Other Newspapers: 19 April, 2021_40.1

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6. Purdue University have created an ultra-white paint
Why in news?
The team of researchers from Purdue University have created an ultra-white paint. The newer paint is whiter and keeps the surface areas it is painted on cooler and thus can act as a breakthrough in combating the woes of global warming.
Key points are:
– The new ultra white white paint reflects 99% of all light that hits it, remaining significantly cooler than the ambient temperature, even when sitting in full sunlight.
– Typical commercial white paint gets warmer instead of cooler and paints currently available in the market reflect only 80-90% of the sunlight and therefore, they can’t make surfaces cooler than their surroundings.
– Older formulations of white paints were made of calcium carbonate, while the new one is made up of barium sulphate making it more white.
– Barium Sulphate is used to make photo paper and cosmetics white. Different sized particles of this chemical compound helps in scattering different amounts of light. This allows for light to scatter in a broad range, resulting in the highest reflectance.
– The paint could be the closest equivalent to the blackest black paint Vantablack, which is able to absorb 99.9% of visible light.
– Vantablack has a diverse range of applications including high-performance infrared cameras, sensors, satellite-borne calibration sources etc.
– Its ability to absorb light energy and convert it to heat is also of relevance in solar power development.
– Every object is seen by the eye because of the absorption or reflection of light.
– The light is made up of seven different colours (Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red or VIBGYOR). Specifically, light is made up of wavelengths of different colours.
– The colour of any object or thing is determined by the wavelength the molecules are not able to absorb.
– This is dependent on how electrons are arranged in an atom (the building block of life, an atom is made up of electrons, protons and neutrons).
– For example, if an individual is looking at a sofa that is green, this is because the fabric or material it is made up of is able to absorb all the colours except green (reflect the green coloured wavelengths).
– If an object is black, it is because it has absorbed all the wavelengths and therefore no light is reflected from them.
– This is the reason that darker objects, as a result absorbing all wavelengths tend to heat up faster (as during absorption the light energy is converted into heat energy).

Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 30 March, 2021
7. Global Diabetes Compact: World Health Organisation
Why in news?
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a Global Diabetes Compact to better fight the disease while marking the centenary of the discovery of insulin.
Key points are:
– The programme was launched at the Global Diabetes Summit co-hosted by the Government of Canada.
– The Global Diabetes Compact has the vision of reducing the risk of diabetes and ensuring that all people who are diagnosed with diabetes have access to equitable, comprehensive, affordable and quality treatment and care.
– It will also support the prevention of type 2 diabetes from obesity, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
– It will set standards for tackling the diseases in the form of ‘global coverage targets’ for ensuring a wider reach of diabetes care.
– A key aim of the program is to unite key stakeholders from the public and private sectors, and, critically, people who live with diabetes, around a common agenda, to generate new momentum and co-create solutions.
– Today, approximately 6% of the world’s population more than 420 million people live with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
– It is the only major non-communicable disease for which the risk of dying early is going up, rather than down.
– It has emerged as one of the major comorbid conditions linked to severe Covid-19 infections.
– The International Diabetes Foundation Diabetes Atlas, in 2019, placed India among the top 10 countries for people with diabetes.

Daily Gist of 'The Hindu', 'PIB', 'Indian Express' and Other Newspapers: 19 April, 2021_50.1

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