Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 20 August 2022
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 20 August 2022
Baghel launches 'Krishna Kunj' plantation drive to increase green cover
- In an environment-friendly initiative to increase the green cover of Chhattisgarh, chief minister BhupeshBaghel launched the 'Krishna Kunj' plantation drive on the occasion of Janmashtmi in Ranchi. Trees of cultural and medicinal significance were planted in selected spots across the state.
- The chief minister said the rapid felling of trees in urban areas in the name of development has created a huge environmental problem. He said the motive behind naming the initiative as 'Krishna Kunj' was to make people understand the God-like and divine values of life-giving trees such as banyan, peepal, neem and kadamb.
- Trees like peepal, banyan and neem have a high capacity for releasing oxygen. They also grow at a rapid pace and have a long life and so, this initiative can also contribute to curtailing global warming to a great extent.
- The CM added that the initiative will help increase the number of trees of cultural significance and help preserve such unique trees.
- So far, 162 places in the state have been identified for 'Krishna Kunj'. Preparations for plantations are also being done with great enthusiasm.
- Numerous sites have been selected for Krishna Kunj which include 10 urban bodies of Raipur district Kurra, Kharora, Birgaon, Attari, Telibandha, Arang, Chandkhuri, KurudSamoda, Urla.
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In Europe, drought exposes ancient stones, WWII ships as water levels drop
- Weeks of baking drought across Europe have seen water levels in rivers and lakes fall to levels few can remember, exposing long-submerged treasures - and some unwanted hazards.
- In Spain, suffering its worst drought in decades, archaeologists have been delighted by the emergence of a prehistoric stone circle dubbed the "Spanish Stonehenge" that is usually covered by the waters of a dam.
- Officially known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal, the stone circle currently sits fully exposed in one corner of the Valdecanas reservoir, in the central province of Caceres, where authorities say the water level has dropped to 28% of capacity.
- It was discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1926, but the area was flooded in 1963 in a rural development project under Francisco Franco's dictatorship. Since then it has only become fully visible four times.
- Memories of past droughts have also been rekindled in Germany by the reappearance of so-called "hunger stones" along the River Rhine. Many such stones have become visible along the banks of Germany's largest river in recent weeks.
- Another of Europe's mighty rivers, the Danube, has fallen to one of its lowest levels in almost a century as a result of the drought, exposing the hulks of more than 20 German warships sunk during World War Two near Serbia's river port town of Prahovo.
- The vessels were among hundreds scuttled along the Danube by Nazi Germany's Black Sea fleet in 1944 as they retreated from advancing Soviet forces, and still hamper river traffic during low water levels.
Sebi moves to safeguard demat accounts through block mechanism
- Market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), has announced fresh steps to safeguard investors’ demat accounts. The regulator has said that the so-called block mechanism will become mandatory for all early pay-in transactions with effect from November 14. The early pay of securities is used by traders to reduce their margin obligations.
- Presently, the block mechanism facility is optional. So shares sold by an investor are either transferred to brokers’ pool and then sent to the clearing corporation or remain blocked in an investor’s demat account and get delivered to the clearing corporation directly. Going ahead, the former option will cease to exist.
- Sebi, in a circular on Friday, said that the decision was taken “considering the benefits of block mechanism”. The regulator added that it had extensive consultations with depositories, clearing corporations and stock exchanges on the block mechanism framework and that certain brokers were opposed to the move.
- Following the Karvy scandal in 2019, Sebi had announced a slew of measures to prevent misuse of client securities by brokers. These included doing away with the concept of power of attorney and introducing a new pledge and re-pledge mechanism.
Foreign exchange reserves fall $2.24 bn to $570 bn; FCA dips to $506.9 bn
- The country's foreign exchange reserves fell USD 2.238 billion to USD 570.74 billion in the week ended August 12, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data.
- In the previous week ended August 5, the foreign exchange reserves declined USD 897 million to USD 572.978 billion.
- The fall in the reserves in the reporting week ended August 12 was on account a decline in the Foreign Currency Assets (FCA), a major component of the overall reserves, according to the Weekly Statistical Supplement released by RBI on Friday.
- FCA declined USD 2.652 billion to USD 506.994 billion, the data showed.
- Expressed in dollar terms, FCA includes the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.
- Gold reserves surged USD 305 million to USD 40.618 billion.
- The Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) increased USD 102 million to USD 18.133 billion.
- The country's reserve position with IMF also rose by USD 7 million to USD 4.994 billion in the reporting week, as per the data.
::Science and tech::
Artemis III: NASA to announce potential landing sites for humans on moon
- The new NASA moon mission is special for multiple reasons. The US space agency will on Friday announce the first list of potential candidate landing sites under the Artemis III mission. A new moon rocket, as part of the two-year Artemis program, will make its debut test flight in less than two weeks. If successful, NASA aims for a lunar-orbiting flight with astronauts in two years and a lunar landing by a human crew (Artemis III) as early as 2025.
- The first potential landing sites are likely to be around the moon's South Pole. "Within each region, there are several potential landing sites," a statement highlighted.
- Artemis III will be the first time astronauts will set foot on the Moon since NASA’s Apollo 17 mission in 1972.
- The 322-foot-long rocket emerged from its mammoth hangar late Tuesday night, drawing crowds of Kennedy Space Center workers, many of whom were not yet born when NASA sent the world's first astronauts to the moon a half-century ago.
- NASA is aiming for August 29 for the liftoff for the lunar test flight. NASA has decided not to include humans inside the crew capsule atop the rocket, just three mannequins swarming with sensors to measure radiation and vibration.
- The capsule will fly around the moon in a distant orbit for a couple weeks, before heading back for a splashdown in the Pacific. The entire flight should last six weeks.
- Through the Artemis missions, NASA stated, it will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a stepping stone to send astronauts to Mars.
- The US space agency selected SpaceX’s Starship to provide the human landing system to deliver crew from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon during Artemis III.
Antim scripts a first at U-20 World Wrestling Championships
- Young AntimPanghal on Friday created history as she became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the U-20 World Wrestling Championships at Sofia in Bulgaria.
- Antim, the 18-year-old wrestler from Haryana, defeated AltynShagayeva of Kazakhstan 8-0 in the 53kg category final. Antim began her run in the prestigious junior event by winning her opening bout against German Amory Olivia Andrich on technical superiority. The young Indian then defeated Japan's Ayaka Kimura 4-0 in the quarter-finals before moving past Ukraine's NataliiaKlivchutska for a place in the final.
- In the 62kg final, India’s Sonam Malik went down fighting to Japan’s Nonoka Ozaki 0-6 for the silver. Priyanka lost to Japan’s MahiroYoshitake 0-8 to also bag silver in the 65kg category while Priya Malik too claimed silver in the women’s 76kg category after going down to Japan’s Ayano Moro 1-3 in the final.
- In women's freestyle, India finished second overall with one gold, three silver and three bronze medals. The men’s wrestlers stood third in the team rankings with a total of seven medals, including one silver and six bronze in freestyle.