News: The 8th East Asia Summit (Economic Ministers Meeting) have stressed the importance of further strengthening regional economic cooperation and accelerating post-COVID economic growth.
- East Asia Summit: It was established in 2005.It is a forum of 18 countries.
- Objective: It is a forum of strategic dialogue and cooperation on the key political, security, and economic challenges facing the Indo-Pacific region.
- Members: It comprises the ten member states of the ASEAN countries along with 8 members Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.India is a founding member of the East Asia Summit.
- Priority Areas: There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS which are a) Environment and Energy b) Education c) Finance d) Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases e) Natural Disaster Management and f) ASEAN Connectivity.
- First Summit: It was held in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia in 2005.
- ASEAN: Itis a regional grouping which was established in 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration.
- Members: Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei, and Laos.
- Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia.
News: The President of India has greeted the citizens of the country on the eve of Onam festival.
- Onam: It is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala.
- When is it celebrated? It is celebrated at the beginning of the month of Chingam,the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham).
- Why is it celebrated?
- According to a popular legend,the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam.
- It is also celebrated as the festival of paddy harvest.
- Significant Features of the festival:
- Onasadya: It is the most important part of the festival and is considered to be the most elaborate and grand meal prepared by any civilisation or cultures in the world.
- Activities: The people take part in a variety of group activities such as the Pookolam (rangoli made with fresh flowers), Vallam Kali (boat race), Pulikali (tiger dance), Kai Kottu Kali (Onam dance), Kummattikali (mask dance) and various other activities.
News: The famous art of ‘Etikoppaka’ dolls of Visakhapatnam district was mentioned in the Prime Minister’s “Mann ki Baat” programme.
- ‘Etikoppaka’ dolls: Etikoppaka is a small village on the banks of Varaha River in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.In 2017, the Etikoppaka toys acquired a Geographical Indications(GI) tag.
- Features: Toys are made of soft wood and lacquer color.Coloured with natural dyes derived from seeds,lacquer,roots and leaves.The way of toy making is also known as turned wood lacquer craft.
News: Karnataka Chief Minister has flagged off the first Roll-On Roll-Off (RORO) service of the South Western Railways from Nelamangla (near Bengaluru) to Bale (near Solapur).
- Roll-On Roll-Off(RORO) Service: It is a concept of carrying road vehicles loaded with various commodities on open flat railway wagons.
- First Introduced in: RO-RO train services were first introduced in Indian Railways on Konkan Railways in 1999.
- Benefits: a) Faster movement of goods and essentials b) Reduces congestion on the roads c) Saves precious fuel d) Reduces carbon footprint e) No hassles of check posts/toll gates f) Seamless Interoperability between roads & railways and g) Ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential commodities.
Facts: MEDBOT is a remote-controlled medical trolley developed by Indian Railways to deliver food, medicines to COVID-19 patients.
- CSIR-CMERI has developed the World’s Largest Solar Tree which is installed at CSIR-CMERI Durgapur, West Bengal.
- The installed capacity of the Solar Tree is above 11.5 kWp.The Solar tree has an annual capacity of generating 12,000 to 14,000 units of Clean and Green power.
- Solar Tree can be aligned with agriculture to substitute price volatile fossil fuels.One solar tree can reduce ten to twelve tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.Also,the surplus power from these trees can be fed to the energy grids.
- It also has capability to incorporate Internet of Things(IoT) based features.This includes wind speed, real-time humidity, rainfall prediction and soil analytics sensors.
- e-Suvidha: These are solar powered kiosks developed by CSIR-CMERI that can be connected to Solar Trees for real-time access to the vast majority of agricultural database as well as to the eNAM i.e. National Agricultural MarketPlace for instant and real-time access to an unified online market.
- Solar Tree: It is a structure incorporating solar energy technology on a single pillar, like a tree trunk.It may be a solar artwork or a functional power generator.
News: Pantanal Wetland is currently suffering its worst fires in more than two decades with nearly 12% of its vegetation reportedly already lost.
- Pantanal Wetland: It is a natural region encompassing the world’s largest tropical wetland area and the world’s largest flooded grasslands.
- Location: It is located mostly within Brazil but it extends into portions of Bolivia and Paraguay.
- In 2000, part of this ecoregion, the ‘Pantanal Conservation Area’ representing 1.3% of the Brazilian Pantanal was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
- In the same year, a part of Pantanal Wetland was named as UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.The Pantanal Biosphere Reserve is home to a diversity of flora and fauna that is particularly valuable containing at least 4,700 described species.
News: The National Statistical Office(NSO) has released the GDP data.It has shown that GDP in the April-June quarter of 2020-21 has shrinked by 23.9% compared with growth of 3.1% in the previous (January-March) quarter.
- Indian economy shrank by 23.9%, its worst slump since the country started releasing quarterly data in 1996.
- Among major economies, India’s contraction was the sharpest.China, after posting a contraction in the January-March quarter has recovered with 3.2% growth in the April-June quarter.
- Agriculture was the only bright spot.The sector rose an annual 3.4% in the June quarter compared with a growth of 3% in the June quarter of 2019-20.
- Manufacturing sector has fallen by 39.3% in the June quarter while construction slumped 50.3% during the three-month period.
- Services sector which accounts for nearly 60% of the economy, slumped by 20.6% in the June quarter, compared to a 4.4% growth in the previous.
- Private consumption witnessed a sharp decline of 24.5% in the first quarter from 8.5% increase in the year ago period.
- However, government consumption saw a 20.2% increase in the June quarter compared with the 9.5% growth in the same quarter of the previous year.
News: A rare inscription dating back to the Renati Chola era has been unearthed in a remote village of Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh.
- The inscription was written in archaic Telugu
- It was assigned to the 8th Century A.D., when the region was under the rule of Chola Maharaja of Renadu.
- The inscription seems to throw light on the record of a gift of six Marttus (a measuring unit) of land to a Brahmin Priest.
- The Telugu Cholas of Renadu (also called as Renati Cholas) ruled over Renadu region, the present day Cuddapah district.
- The earliest of this family was Nandivarman (500 AD).