HCS Yearly Current Affairs Topic Wise 2020: Miscellaneous-V
Baljit Dhaka

HCS Yearly Current Affairs Topic Wise 2020: Miscellaneous-V

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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: Miscellaneous Part-V

Haryana Civil Services Exam


Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: Miscellaneous Part-V

1. Poachers have killed two extremely rare white giraffes in Kenya, leaving just one such animal in the world.

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had classified giraffes as vulnerable in the Red List in December 2016.
  • They are listed under Appendix II of the CITES.
  • The two giraffes to be killed were a mother and her seven-month-old calf. The mother’s other male calf is the one that survived.
  • The white appearance of the giraffe is due to leucism, a genetic condition that causes skin cells to have no pigmentation.

2. Gudi Padwa is the Marathi New Year and is the New Year as per the luni-solar Chaitradi Hindu calendar. Chaitradi (Chaitra-aadi) means 'beginning with Chaitra' and denotes a calendar system that considers the month of Chaitra as the start of the new year.

  • This year it is on March 25. 
  • Gudi Padwa also marks the arrival of Spring season (Vasant Ritu) and the farming community, especially in Maharashtra and Goa, celebrates Gudi Padwa as their harvest festival.
  • Gudi Padwa is celebrated by hanging Gudi on the right side of the entrance of their house. Gudi is a bright yellow cloth tied to the tip of a long bamboo and copper pot placed in inverted on it along with a sugar garland.

3. ‘Attukal Pongala’ is one of the largest religious congregations of women.

  • Preparing ‘pongala’ (a sweet offering) is considered an auspicious all-women ritual as part of the annual festival of the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple, which is popularly known as the “Women’s Sabarimala”.
  • As per local legend, the Pongala festival commemorates the hospitality accorded by women in the locality to Kannagi, the heroine of the Tamil epic Silappadhikaram while she was on her way to Kodungallur in Kerala, after destroying Madurai city to avenge the injustice to her husband Kovalan.

4. Facebook India called for applications for its CSR initiative, Facebook Pragati, powered by N/Core (The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation).

  • The initiative will incubate and accelerate early-stage women-led non-profits that are working to drive women entrepreneurship and to spread awareness and adoption of technology among women in India.
  •  Facebook Pragati will award four grants of up to ?50 lakh for each non-profit to scale their work.

5. The University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS) of Shivamogga developed 'Sahyadri Megha,' a new red variety of paddy, as a part of its initiative to prevent a decline in the area under paddy cultivation. The new red variety of paddy is resistant to blast disease and is rich in nutrients.

  • Sahyadri Megha variety of paddy is developed under the hybridization breeding method by crossing Jyothi variety with Akkalu, a native disease-resistant, and protein-rich paddy variety.
  • The research work for the development of high-level resistance to blast disease was commenced in 2009.
  • The new variety of paddy was approved by the State-level Seed Sub-Committee. The new variety will be made available for farmers from the coming Kharif season.

6. Uttarakhand state is going to become the first state of the country to measure Gross Environment Product (GEP) for quantifying ecological growth measurement.  

  • A five-member committee in this regard has already been formed which is headed by the principal secretary of forests, Uttarakhand. 
  • Anil Prakash Joshi, a Padma awardee environmentalist, the man behind the concept has been advocating the implementation of the idea across the country especially in the Himalayas for years.
  • The demand caught pace after the 2013 tragedy of Uttarakhand which claimed thousands of lives.
  • The implementation of the concept and calculation of the GEP will help to understand the impact of anthropological pressure on our ecosystem and natural resources.
  • This will enable us to make policies that will allow sustainable development.

7. Navroz is a 3,000-year-old Zoroastrian tradition, a ritual celebration that signals the start of Spring and the Persian new year.

  • In 1079 AD, an Iranian king named Jalaluddin Malekshah introduced the Navroz (New Year) festival to generate revenue and collect taxes from people.
  • In India, the Parsi community, who follow Zoroastrianism, celebrate Navroz with full fervour.

8. Section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897 says, "Any person disobeying any regulation or order made under this Act shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, which will be used by the police to ensure that the lockdown is enforced properly.

Under Section 188, there two offences:

  1. Disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant, If such disobedience causes obstruction, annoyance, or injury to persons lawfully employed. Punishment: Simple Imprisonment for 1 month or fine of Rs 200 or both
  2. If such disobedience causes danger to human life, health or safety, etc. Punishment: Simple Imprisonment for 6 months or fine of Rs 1000 or both.

9. Indian Institute of Technology Madras will organize India’s 1st Global Hyperloop Pod Competition named as ‘Indian Hyperloop Pod Competition’, to increase the awareness & enthusiasm about Hyperloop in India.

  • The competition aims to encourage student teams in India & abroad to develop a Hyperloop Pod & compete to construct the fastest, highly innovative, effective design & also prototypes of related technologies.
  • Hyperloop is the 5th transportation mode, a high-speed train that travels in a vacuum tube. 
  • It is a sealed pipe where a pod can travel with reduced air resistance or friction. While being very efficient, the reduced air resistance allows the capsule within the tube to reach speeds of up to 1000 km/h conveying people or objects at high speed.
  • SpaceX & Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Elon Musk proposed the idea of Hyperloop to the world in 2013 through a white paper “Hyperloop Alpha.”

10. More than 900 Yakshagana scripts, including the ones printed in 1905 and 1907, have now been digitized and made available online for free.

  • Yakshagana is a traditional theatre form of Karnataka.
  • It is a temple art form that depicts mythological stories and Puranas.
  • It is performed with massive headgears, elaborate facial make-up, and vibrant costumes and ornaments.
  • Usually recited in Kannada, it is also performed in Malayalam as well as Tulu (the dialect of south Karnataka).
  • It is performed with percussion instruments like chenda, maddalam, jagatta, or chengila (cymbals) and chakratala or elathalam (small cymbals).

11. The Ministry of Textiles organized “Kala Kumbh”. It is an exhibition to promote GI (Geographical Indication) crafts and heritage of India. These exhibitions are sponsored by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts.

  • The exhibition has been planned in several cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. The exhibition is being held exclusively for GI tag handicrafts. The GI tag is used on handicrafts that correspond to a specific geographical location. As of August 2019, around 178 handicrafts have been provided with GI tag all over India.
  • The exhibition will include GI crafts such as Thrissur screw pine, Molakalmur hand block printing, Kolhapur chappal, Dharwad Kasauti Embroidery, Anathapur leather puppet, etc. These are all GI tagged handicrafts.

12. WHO, Lancet, and UNICEF together released a report titled “A Future for the World’s Children”. 

  • According to the report, a new Global index has been included in comparing the performance of child nutrition, education, and sustainability.
  • India ranked 131 in the flourishing index and 77 on the sustainability index.
  • Burundi was first on the Sustainability Index and Norway was first on Child Flourishing Index.
  • Around 180 countries were compared in the report. The parameters of comparison included child survival, child wellbeing, health and education, sustainability, child nutrition.
  • The children in countries such as the Republic of Korea and the Netherlands have the best chances of survival. 
  • On the other hand, Chad, Niger, Somalia, and Mali were the least performers and face very bad odds.

13. The Government Medical College in Maharashtra's Latur will be named after former Maharashtra chief minister and Congress leader late Vilasrao Deshmukh, who represented the area several times as MLA.

  • The approval was given by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray following a demand by former Latur (Rural) MLA Trimbak Bhise to name the college after the late stalwart.
  • The facility will now be known as Vilasrao Deshmukh Government Medical Science Centre, Latur.

14. Facebook launched its ‘We Think Digital’ programme which will provide digital literacy training to 1 lakh women across seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Bihar.

  • In partnership with the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Cyber Peace Foundation, the program aims to provide digital literacy training to one lakh women across seven states throughout the year.
  •  The programme will start with the state of Uttar Pradesh and expand to other states including Assam, West Bengal Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, and Bihar. 
  • We Think Digital, Facebook’s global digital literacy programme, was announced in 2019 during the second edition of its South Asia Safety Summit.

15. The top 20 best performing smart cities will be now paired as 'sister cities' with 20 poorly performing smart cities. The move was announced by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. 

  • Varanasi will guide Amritsar; Ahmedabad will help Chandigarh and so on.
  • The 20 best performing cities under the Smart Cities mission have been tasked with taking the bottom 20 cities up the ladder. 
  • A timeline of 100 days has also been set to bring a turnaround in the development of the laggard cities.
  •  Cities with similar regions and culture have been paired up under the initiative in order to ensure a harmonious exchange of ideas.
  • Apart from Ahmedabad(1st rank) and Varanasi the other top performers include Nagpur, Vadodara, Kota, Amravati, Ranchi, Dehradun, Surat, Tiruppur, Visakhapatnam, Bhopal, Udaipur, Indore, Agra, Kanpur, Pune, Nashik, Davanagere, and Vellore.
  • Among other pairs, Ranchi and Pune will collaborate with Shimla and Dharamshala respectively while Bhopal will share its ideas with Mizoram’s capital Aizawl.

16. The parasite has won the Oscar award for the Best motion picture of the year. 

  • The South Korean movie has also won the Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category and Best Direction categories.
  • The South Korean film became the first non-English/ foreign film in history to win the award.
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role: Joaquin Phoenix for Joker
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role: Renée Zellweger for Judy
  • Best Supporting Actress - Laura Dern for Marriage Story
  • Best Supporting Actor - Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood

17. The 21st edition of the 9-day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) 2020, one of the biggest open street arts and cultural festivals of India, has begun in Mumbai.

  • The theme for 2020 KGAF is “PAST FORWARD.
  • The festival sections are visual arts, dance, music, theatre, cinema, literature including children's literature as a subsection, workshops, heritage walks, and a vibrant street section including stalls selling eco friendly, hand made arts and crafts wares.

18. Pakistan, which is facing its worst locust attack in decades, has declared a national emergency to tackle the insects destroying crops on a large scale in Punjab province, the country's main region for agricultural production.

  • The decision was taken at a meeting convened by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
  • The meeting, attended by federal ministers and senior officials of the four provinces, also approved a National Action Plan (NAP) that requires a sum of ?7.3 billion to overcome the crisis.
  • Somalia has also declared a national emergency as large swarms of locusts spread across East Africa. 
  • The UN says the swarms are the largest in Somalia and Ethiopia in 25 years. 
  • Meanwhile, according to the UN Food and Agriculture organization, neighboring Kenya is also witnessing the worst locust threat of the last 70 years. However, Somalia is the first country in the region to declare an emergency over the infestation.

19. A month-long Nagoba Jatara festival is held in Telangana.

  • It is a tribal festival held in Telangana.
  • Also known as Keslapur jatra.
  • It is a huge religious and cultural event of the Mesram clan of the d Pardhan tribes.
  • During the festival, the maha puja of serpent god Nagoba is held.
  • The Gusadi Dance performance by dancers from the Gond tribe is a major special attraction of the event.

20. In Madhya Pradesh, a three-day Narmada Mahotsav is being started in the picturesque plains of Amarkantak on the occasion of Narmada Jayanti.

  • Local tribal art and culture will be duly demonstrated during Amarkantak Narmada Mahotsav-2020.
  • The Narmada is a major source of drinking water, irrigation, and hydroelectricity for Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. 
  • Narmada River is considered as the mother and the giver of peace.
  • On this occasion, the Narmada shrine and campus were decorated in traditional style.
  •  A Shobha Yatra – which set out from the temple with the Goddess Narmada enthroned on a chariot

21. Madhya Pradesh, which regained the coveted 'tiger state' tag last year, has added another feather to its cap by emerging on top in the count of gharials (freshwater crocodiles) this year.

  • As per a report of the Wildlife Trust of India, there are 1,255 gharials in the Chambal river of Madhya Pradesh and 255 in the Gandak river of Bihar.
  • In the 1980s, only about 200 gharials were left in the world. At that time, their number in India was 96, including 46 in the Chambal river that flows across Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Later, the river spread over an area of 435 km and was declared the Chambal Gharial Sanctuary
  • Every year, 200 gharials are released into the Chambal river under the 'grow and release' program for the conservation of this aquatic species," he said.
  • Gharials were earlier on the verge of extinction in the country, but now efforts to conserve the aquatic animal have paid and Madhya Pradesh has emerged at the top spot in this area also.

22. National Level India's Biggest Rural Technical Festival titled 'Antahpragnya 2020' was held in Telangana at Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies -Basar, the temple city, 180 km from Hyderabad.

  • The 3-day technical fest from Jan 31 to Feb 2 with the theme 'Spot and encourage rural tech innovators' had over 200 events viz. Campus Farming competition, Robo Racing, Robo Soccer, and others.
  • The fest showcases 300 prototypes, working models, exhibits, and technologies such as automatic switch for water, homemade electricity, smoke absorber, automatic street lighting system, smart dustbins, zero budget farming, automatic irrigation, and others.

23. The first inter-city electric bus service started between Mumbai and Pune. 

  • This bus will transport between Mumbai and Pune every two days.
  •  This bus service was launched by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
  •  This bus has a seating capacity of 43 people. Once charged, this bus can cover a distance of 300 km. The government of India will also start this type of bus service in other parts of Maharashtra. 
  • The Union Ministry of Transport is working to convert all buses into electric buses by 2020. This bus will be run under the public-private partnership model.

24. The Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly has adopted a new logo, reflecting the distinct identity and culture of the state.

  • Speaker PD Sona had circulated pictures of the new logo among the members of the house.
  • The new logo consists of the national emblem and foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa), the state flower.
  • The national emblem signifies the federal system of the Indian constitution, the foxtail orchid represents the state, its people, and culture as a whole, and the blue colour denotes the autonomy of the assembly secretariat.

25. Three of the world’s 10 fastest-growing urban areas are in Kerala, according to a survey published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

  • While Malappuram tops the list, Kozhikode ranks fourth and Kollam is in the 10th position.
  • No other Indian city has made it to the top 10 on the list, based on the United Nations population data.
  • According to the report, Malappuram recorded a 44.1% rise in population between 2015-2020, while Can Tho in Vietnam, ranking second on the list, saw its population increase by 36.7%.