21th April 2021 | UPSC Current Affairs
21th April Current Affairs MCQs
Trade Marks Act of 1999
Context: The Central Government by way of an Ordinance, has abolished the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) which was established in 2003 under Trade Marks Act, 1999.
More about Trademarks act of 1999
- A trademark is a graphical representation of a product or service that allows it to be distinguished from others.
- It may be words, symbols, sounds, colours, product shapes, visual representations, or packaging, among other things.
- It defends the owner against unfair competition, protects the owner’s image, and promotes consumer protection.
- Under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT) Ministry of Commerce, trademarks in India are regulated by the Trademarks Act, 1999 (which deals with the precise type of rights one may obtain in respect of trademarks).
- The Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks is the implementing entity.
- The latest trademark regulations went into effect on March 6, 2017. The goal is to make the entire trademark registration process easy, painless, and fast.
- Sound marks,3D marks are now registrable; e-filing is encouraged; provisions for well-known marks are included; and there is a special fee structure for individuals, start-ups, and small businesses.
The disc-footed bat (Eudiscopus denticulus)
Context: The disc-footed bat (Eudiscopus denticulus) was recorded in the northeastern State’s Lailad area near the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, about 1,000 km west of its nearest known habitat in Myanmar.
More about the Species
- The disk-footed bat (Eudiscopus denticulus) is a species of vesper bat in the Vespertilionidae family found in Laos and Myanmar.
- Now Meghalaya has yielded India’s first bamboo-dwelling bat with sticky discs, taking the species count of the flying mammal in the country to 130.
- IUCN conservation status of this species is the least concern.
- A team of scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and a few European natural history museums findings have been published in the latest edition of Revue Suisse de Zoologie, a Swiss journal.
- The newly recorded bat was presumed to be a bamboo-dwelling species, but its flattened skull and adhesive pads helped in identifying it as the disc-footed known from specific localities in southern China, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar.
- The disc-footed bat has raised Meghalaya’s bat count to 66, the most for any State in India. It has also helped add a genus and species to the bat fauna of India.
Relevance: Art and Culture
Context: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to the great philosopher, saint & social reformer, Shri Ramanujacharya Ji on his Jayanti.
More about Ramanujacharya
- Ramanuja or Ramanujacharya was an Indian philosopher, Hindu theologian, social reformer, and one of the most important exponents of the Sri Vaishnavism tradition within Hinduism.
- His philosophical foundations for devotionals were influential to the Bhakti movement.
- Ramanuja’s guru was Yādava Prakāśa, a scholar who was a part of the more ancient Advaita Vedānta monastic tradition.
- According to Sri Vaishnava tradition, Ramanuja disagreed with his guru and the non-dualistic Advaita Vedanta, and instead followed the scholars Nthamuni and Yamunchrya of Tamil Alvars tradition.
- Ramanuja is known as the founder of the Vishishtadvaita school of Vedanta, and his disciples are thought to be the writers of texts including the Shatyayaniya Upanishad.
- Ramanuja himself wrote influential texts in Sanskrit, including bahsya on the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.
- His Vishishtadvaita (qualified non-dualism) philosophy has competed with the Dvaita (theistic dualism) philosophy of Madhvāchārya, and Advaita (non-dualism) philosophy of Ādi Shankara, together with the three most influential Vedantic philosophies of the 2nd millennium.
Relevance: Science and technology
Context: when the moon comes between Earth and Mars, people will be able to see Mars, which is seen as a red dot in the night sky, next to the moon. The phenomenon known as occultation can be seen with naked eyes.
More about Occultation
- An occultation is an occurrence when one object is hidden from the observer by another object. This term is frequently applied in astronomy, but also in any situation in which the object in the foreground blocks an object in the background (occults).
- If the closer body does not entirely conceal the farther one, the event is called a transit. Both transit and occultation may be referred to generally as occlusion; and if a shadow is cast onto the observer, it is called an eclipse.
- Occultations led to the discovery of planet Uranus’ rings by Nasa’s Kuiper Airborne Observatory when the planet occulted a star. Moon-Mars occultations are visible from Earth twice a year.
- Along with India, people on the western coast of southern Africa to Indonesia have seen the occultation.
Relevance: Geography through the map
Context: Fighting for the key Yemeni region of Ma’rib has intensified, between pro-government and Houthi rebel fighters.
More about the News
- The Houthis have been trying to seize oil-rich Marib, the government’s last significant pocket of territory in the north of Yemen.
- The Iran-backed rebels in late 2014 overran the capital Sanaa. That prompted a Saudi-led coalition to intervene in March 2015 to prop up the government.
- The loss of Marib could lead to humanitarian disaster as huge numbers of civilians displaced from fighting elsewhere have sought refuge in Marib camps.
- It is located approximately 120 kilometres east of Yemen’s modern capital, Sana’a, and is in the region of the Sarawat Mountains.
Relevance: Science and technology
Context: Astronomers have discovered a dozen quasars that have been warped by a naturally occurring cosmic “lens” and split into four similar images.
More about Quasar
- A quasar (also known as a quasi-stellar object, abbreviated QSO) is an extremely luminous active galactic nucleus (AGN), in which a supermassive black hole with mass ranging from millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun is surrounded by a gaseous accretion disk.
- As gas in the disk falls towards the black hole, energy is released in the form of electromagnetic radiation, which can be observed across the electromagnetic spectrum.
- The power radiated by quasars is enormous; the most powerful quasars have luminosities thousands of times greater than a galaxy such as the Milky Way.
- High-resolution images of quasars, particularly from the Hubble Space Telescope, have demonstrated that quasars occur in the centres of galaxies and that some host galaxies are strongly interacting or merging galaxies.
- Till now More than a million quasars have been found. The nearest known quasar is about 600 million light-years away (Markarian 231).
- This rare discovery increases the number of known quasars or quads by about 25% and can help determine the expansion rate of the universe and address other mysteries.
Context: In a rare sight Black Panther was spotted in Kabini Wildlife sanctuary.
More about Black Panther
- It is the same species as a normal coloured panther with a high amount of pigment (melanin caused by the agouti gene) causing the animal to appear black.
- Conservation Status of Black Panther: Vulnerable according to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
- Schedule I: Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Appendix I: CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
- Other habitats of Black Panther:
- Kerala (Periyar Tiger Reserve),
- Karnataka (Bhadra Tiger Reserve, Dandeli-Anshi Tiger Reserve and Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary),
- Chhattisgarh (Achanakmar Tiger Reserve, Udanti-Sitanadi tiger reserve),
- Maharashtra (Satara) etc.,
- The phenomenon of Melanism: Melanism is the undue development of dark-coloured pigment in the skin which gives black skin in many animals, birds and even fish. Melanism is hereditary- but it is not necessarily passed on directly to the next generation.
Start-up India Fund scheme (SISFS)
Relevance: Government schemes and initiatives
Context: Ministry of Commerce & Industry has launched the SISFS.
- The Fund aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market-entry, and commercialization.
- The scheme is expected to support an estimated 3,600 startups through 300 incubators.
- The SISFS will secure seed funding, Inspire innovation, Support transformative ideas, facilitate implementation, and Start a startup revolution.
- This Scheme will create a robust startup ecosystem, particularly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns of India, which are often deprived of adequate funding.
- The online portal created by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), for the scheme, will allow incubators to apply for funds under it.
- An Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) has been created by DPIIT to execute and monitor the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.
- The Grants of up to Rs 5 Crores shall be provided to the eligible incubators selected by the EAC.
- The selected incubators shall provide grants of up to Rs 20 lakhs for validation of Proof of Concept, or prototype development, or product trials to startups.
- Furthermore, investments of up to Rs 50 lakhs shall be provided to the startups for market entry, commercialization, or scaling up through convertible debentures or debt-linked instruments.
- The detailed guidelines of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme are provided on the Startup India portal.
SPo2 based oxygen system
Relevance: Science and Technology
Context: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) based supplemental Oxygen Delivery System to deal with covid-19.
More on News:
- It acts as a supplemental Oxygen Delivery System for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas.
- The system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking into a state of Hypoxia, which is fatal in most cases, it sets in.
- This automatic system can also prove to be a boon during the current Covid-19 situation.
- Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is inadequate to fulfil all the energy requirements of the body.
- This is exactly the situation that gets replicated in a Covid patient due to the virus infection and has been a leading factor in the current crisis.
- The electronic hardware of the system is designed for functioning at extreme altitudes featuring low barometric pressures, low temperatures and humidity.
- The software safety checks incorporated into the system are critical in ensuring the functional reliability of the system in field conditions.
India-Germany agreement on plastics
Relevance: International Relations
Context: India and Germany have signed an agreement on ‘Cities combating plastic entering the marine environment’.
More on News:
- The project’s outcomes are completely in line with the objectives of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban focusing on sustainable solid waste management.
- This project is envisaged under the contours of the Joint Declaration of Intent regarding cooperation in the field of ‘Prevention of Marine Litter’ signed between the Republic of India and the Federal Republic of Germany in 2019.
- The project, aimed at enhancing practices to prevent plastic from entering the marine environment, will be undertaken at the national level (at MoHUA), select states (Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and in the cities of Kanpur, Kochi and Port Blair for a period of three and a half years.
India-Japan Webinar on De-carbonisation
Relevance: International Relations
Context: India-Japan Webinar has been organised on De-carbonisation: Exploring the Hydrogen Prospects and Innovative Technologies.
More on News:
- Eminent Experts, Scientists, and Technocrats from India and Japan discussed the most recent innovations, trends, concerns, and solutions adopted in the field of decarbonisation and promotion of Hydrogen based technologies at the India-Japan Webinar on De-carbonisation.
- The webinar jointly organized by the Embassy of India in Japan, the Department of Science & Technology(DST) along with The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
- DST highlighted India’s ambitious targets of achieving 450 GW power generation by 2030 from renewables.
- Japan is the first country to formulate a basic hydrogen strategy. Hydrogen is included in the fifth Energy plan of Japan.
- The country thus has a good ecosystem for R&D and commercialization, which could be used by the Scientific and Commercial Communities of the two countries.
- India and Japan have strategic relationships, and this has to be elevated to a strategic partnership enabling sharing of knowledge without any inhibition on Hydrogen and utilization of H2 in future.
IT-enabled Integrated Hotspot Analysis System (ITIHAS)
Context: Union Government has urged the States to use ITIHAS for contact tracing, surveillance and identification of hotspots.
More on News:
- This application traces travel history monitors positive cases.
- It also helps the authoritiesto map out containment zones or hotspots.
- It was developed by an IIT-Madras.
The Black Sea
Relevance: International Relations
Context: The UK sends the warship to Sail for the Black Sea amid Ukraine-Russia Tensions.
About the Black Sea:
- The countries bordered by the Black Sea: Ukraine,Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.
- It is connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean Sea and Aegean and various straits.
- To the north, it is connected to the Sea of Azov by the Kerch Strait.
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