Factly articles for 26th August 2020

14 min read

1.Virus breaches another wall, four Bondas test positive

News: Four people from the Bonda tribal community have been tested positive for the Covid-19.

Facts:

  • Bondas: They are classified as the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) who live in the hill regions of the Malkangiri district of Odisha.
  • Origin: They are members of a group of Austroasiatic tribes and are believed to be part of the first wave of migration out of Africa about 60,000 years ago.
  • Language: The Bondas speak in their language, Remo which comes under the Austroasiatic language belonging to the Mundari group.
  • Primary Occupation: They are primarily forest dwellers who hunt and forage for food in the wild.
  • Dressing Style: They have a unique dressing style—women are semi clad and wear various types of rings and necklaces around their bodies, while the men carry lethal bows and arrows.
  • Matriarchal Society: The women prefer to marry men who are younger by at least 5-10 years so that the men can earn for them when they grow old.

2.RBI Annual Report 2019-20

News: Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has released its Annual Report 2019-20.

Facts:

  • Balance sheet of RBI: The balance sheet of RBI has increased by 30%, due to increase in domestic and foreign investments, loans, advances and in gold.
  • Economic Growth: The economy is expected to contract and is expected to take some time to regain the pre-Covid momentum as the shock to consumption is severe and the poorest have been hit the hardest.
  • Inequity: The pandemic has exposed new inequities — white collar employees can work from home while essential workers have to work on site exposed to the risk of getting infected.
  • Investment: RBI has suggested targeted public investment funded by asset monetisation and privatisation of major ports as a viable way to revive the economy.
  • Frauds: The frauds reported by banks of ₹1 lakh and above have increased by 28% by volume and 159% by value during 2019-20.Public sector banks accounted for 80% of the frauds followed by private sector banks at 18%.
  • Currency in Circulation: Since March 2020, currency in circulation has risen to 26.9 lakh crore—a hike of 10% since the lockdown began as pandemic has triggered a ‘dash to cash’ with many households hoarding bank notes.However,the number of Rs 2000 notes in circulation has dipped sharply in last two years.
  • Fake Notes: The number of fake notes in Rs 500 denomination has increased in 2019-20.However,there has been a decline in the overall number of counterfeit notes detected compared to the previous year.

3.Ministry of Tourism organises the 50th webinar titled “Cultural heritage of Hyderabad”

News: Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh Webinar Series organized the 50th webinar titled “Cultural heritage of Hyderabad”.

Facts:

  • Hyderabad: It is known as the “City of Pearls” and the “City of Nizams” and has been the centre of a vibrant historical legacy ever since its inception by the Qutub Shahi dynasty.
  • Established by: Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah established Hyderabad in 1591 to extend the capital beyond the fortified Golconda.In 1687, the city was annexed by the Mughals.In 1724, Mughal governor Nizam Asaf Jah I declared his sovereignty and founded the Asaf Jahi dynasty also known as the Nizams.
  • Important Cultural Sites:
    • Golconda Fort: It is a fortified citadel and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty.It was first built by the Kakatiya dynasty in the 13th century.
    • Chowmahalla Palace: It has bagged the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Merit Award for Culture Heritage Conservation.
    • Charminar: The monument was erected when Quli Qutub Shah shifted his capital from Golconda to Hyderabad.
    • Mecca Masjid: Completed by Aurangazeb in 1693.The bricks used here are believed to be from Mecca and hence the name.
    • Warangal Fort: This fort appears to have existed since at least the 12th century when it was the capital of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Additional Facts:

  • DekhoApnaDesh webinar series: It was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in April 2020 to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India.
  • Incredible India: It is the name of an international tourism campaign maintained by the Government of India since 2002 to promote tourism in India.

4.Take Steps to prevent Glanders Disease in animals: Delhi HC

News: The Delhi High Court has asked municipal bodies to take steps to prevent spread of glanders disease in animals.

Facts:

  • Glanders: It is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei.It is primarily a disease affecting horses, but it also affects donkeys, mules, goats, dogs and cats.
  • Symptoms: Fever with chills and sweating, Muscle aches, Chest pain , Muscle tightness, Headache, Nasal discharge among others.
  • Transmission:
    • The bacteria that cause glanders are transmitted to humans through contact with tissues or body fluids of infected animals.
    • It may also be inhaled via infected aerosols or dust contaminated by infected animals. Sporadic cases have been documented in veterinarians, horse caretakers, and laboratorians.
  • Prevention: Presently, there is no vaccine available for glanders.In countries where glanders is endemic in animals, prevention of the disease in humans involves identification and elimination of the infection in the animal population.

5.Tropical storms Marco, Laura head for the Gulf of Mexico, spark Fujiwhara effect scare

News: Two tropical storms named Marco and Laura forming in the western Atlantic Ocean at nearly the same time are likely to impact the Gulf of Mexico sparking concerns of the rare Fujiwhara effect.

Facts:

  • Fujiwhara Effect: It occurs when two hurricanes spinning in the same direction pass close enough to each other and begin an intense dance around their common center.
  • Origin: It is named after Sakuhei Fujiwhara, a Japanese meteorologist who first described the effect in 1921.
  • What happens in the Fujiwhara Effect? According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA), one of three things happen when the storms come near each other.
    • If one hurricane is a lot stronger than the other, the smaller one will orbit it and eventually come crashing into its vortex to be absorbed.
    • If the two storms are close to the same size, they can gravitate toward each other until they reach a common point where they either merge or they spin each other around for a while before they spin off in different directions.
    • The third possibility is that the two systems come together to form a large storm instead of two smaller ones.

6.Explained: What are super apps?

News: Tata Group is planning to launch an all-in-one super app by the end of this year or early next year.

Facts:

  • Super apps: It is a platform developed by a company offering various services under one umbrella.
  • Examples:
    • China’s WeChat which started out as a messaging app expanded into payments, cabs, shopping, food ordering, cab services to become a super app.
    • A physical world comparison of a super app would be a mall, which allows retail space to various brands and shops across businesses and verticals.

7.NGT slams MoEF over National Clean Air Programme

News: National Green Tribunal has slammed the Ministry of Environment over its report on the National Clean Air Programme(NCAP) which proposes 20-30% reduction of air pollution by 2024.It said that the stand of MoEF that pollution cannot be controlled except to the extent of certain percent is against Constitutional and statutory mandate.

Facts:

  • National Clean Air Programme(NCAP): It was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC).It is a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.
  • Aim: To meet the prescribed annual average ambient air quality standards at all locations in the country in a stipulated time frame.
  • Target: 20%–30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2024, taking 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration.
  • Coverage: 102 non-attainment cities identified by Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB) on the basis of their ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.

Additional Facts:

  • National Green Tribunal: It was established in 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.The responsibility of the tribunal is to work on the disposal of cases related to environmental protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources.
  • The Tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure,1908 but is guided by principles of natural justice.