Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Jan 04, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Environment Ministry issues guidelines as Bird flu deaths on the rise

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The Union Ministry of Environment, Science and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has ordered a strict vigil on the wintering habitats of migratory birds for any sign of a flu outbreak in the backdrop of rising deaths of birds.

According to the letter:

“Considering this grave situation, the ministry requests all states / Union territories to take all possible measures / precautions to prevent the transmission of diseases, if any, in other animals / birds and human beings. Surveillance for mortality of wildlife, particularly in needs to be taken up on priority and States are requested to report such incidences of mortality to this ministry.”

The guidelines have asked all states to report to the Union ministry every week. It also laid down protocols for personal and bird care as well as monitoring of migratory birds.

The guidelines

  1. In terms of personal care, the guidelines stated, the personnel should wear rubber gloves and protective clothing that can be disinfected or disposed of, including protective eyewear and face shield.
  2. The influenza virus is sensitive to many common disinfectants such as detergents, 10 per cent household bleach, alcohol and other commercial disinfectants. The virus is much more difficult to inactivate if it is encrusted in organic material such as faeces or soil,” the guidelines states.
  3. It said influenza anti-viral drug has to be taken daily for the entire time one is in direct contact with infected birds or a contaminated environment.
  4. All states are required to immediately report to the Union ministry in case of any bird deaths.

For bird care, the guidelines stated:

Surveillance should not be restricted to the Protected Areas alone, but to all such wetlands and habitats that provide staging grounds to the migrating birds and to areas where there is a possibility of interaction of migratory birds and poultry, more so in backyard poultry.

Latest report about Migratory Birds:

Current Affair 2:
Banana Grit

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Recently, scientists at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) at Pappanamcode in Kerala have come up with a new product, Banana Grit or Granules, developed from raw Nendran bananas.

The concept was introduced to utilize the presence of resistant starch in bananas, which is reported to improve gut health. Hence, the dishes prepared with Banana Grit and its byproduct banana powder incline to the new focus on gut health, which the scientific community is widely discussing now to maintain health and well-being.

Nendran bananas:

Chengazhikodan Nendran Banana, also known as Chengazhikode Banana, is among the most popular traditional fruits cultivated in Thrissur district, Kerala. The Chengalikodan Nendran banana grown in Kerala got Geographical indication (GI) Tag in 2014.

Developing new uses for Nendran also comes as a boon to farmers who have often been struggling against falling prices, according to the scientists. The technology had been transferred to Kochi-based Moza Organic and the product would hit the market soon.

About Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India.

The Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), known for its cutting-edge R&D knowledgebase in diverse S&T areas, is a contemporary R&D organization. Having a pan-India presence, CSIR has a dynamic network of 38 national laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 Innovation Complexes and 5 units.

CSIR covers a wide spectrum of science and technology – from radio and space physics, oceanography, geophysics, chemicals, drugs, genomics, biotechnology and nanotechnology to mining, aeronautics, instrumentation, environmental engineering and information technology.

Current Affair 3:
Ice Age woolly rhino unearthed in Siberia

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A perfectly preserved woolly rhinoceros was found by scientists in Yakutia, in Russia’s far north, according to a report on the science website.

The rhino was revealed by the melting permafrost in the Abyisky region of Yakutia in north-eastern Russia. With most of its internal organs intact, the rhino is among the best-preserved animals ever found in the region.

The rhino is believed to have lived in the late Pleistocene era, anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago

Current Affair 4:
FSSAI slashes limit for trans-fat levels in foods

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has capped the amount of trans fatty acids (TFA) in oils and fats to 3% for 2021 and 2% by 2022 from the current permissible limit of 5% through an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations.

It was in 2011 that India first passed a regulation that set a TFA limit of 10% in oils and fats, which was further reduced to 5% in 2015.

While the present regulation comes into effect immediately, industry players were made to take a pledge back in 2018 that they would comply with the WHO’s call for action to reduce TFA by 3% by 2021 allowing them three years to comply with the latest norm.

The revised regulation applies to edible refined oils, vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils), margarine, bakery shortenings and other mediums of cooking such as vegetable fat spreads and mixed fat spreads.

It has been suggested that the regulation must not be restricted to oils and fats, but must apply to all foods. It is hoped that the FSSAI will address this as well before January 2022 to eliminate chemical trans fatty acids from the Indian platter.

Types of Trans fats:

  1. Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats.
  2. Artificial trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Since they are easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time, and give foods a desirable taste and texture, they are still widely used despite their harmful effects being well-known.

In May 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the REPLACE action package to support governments to eliminate industrially produced TFA from the global food supply by 2023. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 5.4 lakh deaths take place each year globally because of the intake of industrially produced trans fatty acids. The WHO has called for the global elimination of trans fats by 2023.

As part of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, the global community has committed to reducing premature death from non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030. Global elimination of industrially- produced trans fats can help achieve this goal.

About Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.

FSSAI has been created for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Highlights of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006

  1. Various central Acts like Prevention of Food Adulteration Act,1954, Fruit Products Order, 1955, Meat Food Products Order,1973,
  2. Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947, Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation)Order 1988, Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967, Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 etc. will be repealed after commencement of FSS Act, 2006.

Establishment of the Authority

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the Administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI. The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have already been appointed by Government of India. The Chairperson is in the rank of Secretary to Government of India.


Current Affair 5:
International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has become an Associate Member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Sabse phle toh see:

About International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA):

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has been established on April 27, 2020 under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019. It is headquartered at GIFT City, Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

The IFSCA is a unified authority for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in India. At present, the GIFT IFSC is the maiden international financial services centre in India. Prior to the establishment of IFSCA, the domestic financial regulators, namely, RBI, SEBI, PFRDA and IRDAI regulated the business in IFSC.


The main objective of the IFSCA is to develop a strong global connect and focus on the needs of the Indian economy as well as to serve as an international financial platform for the entire region and the global economy as a whole.

About International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is the international body that brings together the world's securities regulators and is recognized as the global standard setter for the securities sector.

IOSCO develops, implements and promotes adherence to internationally recognized standards for securities regulation. It works intensively with the G20 and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on the global regulatory reform agenda.



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