•Recently, the USA has suggested the postponement of the 46th G7 (Group of 7) Summit which was scheduled to be held in June (2020) at Camp David (USA).
•Additionally, the USA President has also proposed the expansion of the G7 to be called ‘G10 or G11
•The G7 or ‘Group of Seven’ consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
•It is an intergovernmental organisation that was formed in 1975 as an informal forum to discuss pressing world issues
•The proposed expansion has suggested inclusion of India, Australia, South Korea and Russia in the grouping of the largest advanced economies.
•The G7 was known as the ‘G8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997.
•The Group returned to being called G7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following the latter’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
[The proposal to re-admit Russia is expected to receive strong reactions from other G7 member countries]
•India had attended the G7 summit of 2019 at Biarritz in France [India has attended the G8 five times as special guests by various hosts of the G8 Summit in the past.]
China’s Opposition to THAAD
•Recently, China has issued a statement reiterating its long-standing objections to the presence of the USA’s THAAD missile defence system in South Korea
[This comes after the reports of an overnight operation to bring in new, replacement interceptor missiles to the USA base in South Korea.]
•It is an acronym for Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, a transportable, ground-based anti-ballistic missile defence system.
•First proposed in 1987 and then finally deployed in 2008, the THAAD cannot be used as a form of attack against an enemy
•THAAD was deployed in South Korea as a countermeasure against potential attacks by North Korea, particularly after the country had engaged in testing ballistic missiles.
•In 2017, when North Korea test-fired a few missiles in the direction of USA bases in Japan, the USA moved the missile systems to its army base in Osan, South Korea
•Recently, the United Nations Command (UNC) has found both North and South Korea guilty of violating the Korean Armistice Agreement 1953 due to gunfire along the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between the two countries
•The armistice agreement halted the Korean War of 1950-53 and established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the current border between the two nations
[The DMZ runs close to the 38th parallel line]
United Nations Command:
•The USA led UNC is a unified command for the multinational military forces.
•It oversees affairs in the heavily fortified DMZ and ensures the terms of the armistice are being agreed upon by both North Korea and South Korea.
[It was established on 24th July 1950 in Tokyo, Japan.]
SpaceX Crew Dragon
•Recently, a spacecraft, Crew Dragon, built by SpaceX has successfully carried astronauts of NASA at the International Space Station.
•SpaceX became the first private company to launch people (human spaceflight) into orbit, a feat achieved by the US, Russia & China
•Crew Dragon is a part of the Dragon 2, a class of reusable spacecraft developed and manufactured by American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX
•The rocket, named Falcon 9, which carried the spaceship into the orbit, was also built by SpaceX.
•It is done under the Demo-2 Mission of NASA and SpaceX
[The United States now plans to return to the Moon in 2024 under the Artemis mission, establishing a launching pad to Mars by 2030.]
Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Youth Programme
•Recently, the government has launched a National Program for the youth namely, ‘Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Youth’.
•The Program is designed to reach out to students from Government schools pan India and provide them with an opportunity to become part of the skilled workforce in an inclusive manner.
•It aims to help reduce the skill gap, while enabling youth to create meaningful social impact solutions.
•The Program has been created and launched by the Ministry of Electronics & IT in collaboration with Intel India, with support from the Ministry of Human Resource Development(MoHRD)
[The government has also launched India’s National Artificial Intelligence Portal called www.ai.gov.in]
National Artificial Intelligence Portal
•The portal has been jointly developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY)and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).
•The portal will work as a one stop digital platform for sharing of resources such as articles, startups, investment funds in AI, resources, companies and educational institutions related to AI in India. It will also share documents, case studies, research reports etc.
World No Tobacco Day: 31 May
•Every year, on 31st May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD)
•Its focus is on protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.
•This is especially important right now as studies show that smokers have a higher risk for a severe case of coronavirus.
•Theme 2020 : #TobaccoExposed
•According to a WHO report, there is a decline in the overall global tobacco use and the number of people consuming it.
•The report predicts that by 2020, there will be 10 million fewer tobacco users compared to 2018 and another 27 million less by 2025, amounting to 1.299 billion
•In India, the prevalence of tobacco use (male and female combined) in 2000 was 44% and it is expected to reduce almost by half to 22.3% by 2025.
•Recently, researchers at the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI),Kochi, Kerala have found a rare Scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis neglecta) from Sethukarai coast in the Gulf of Mannar
•This for the first time the particular species is discovered alive in Indian waters
•Unlike other fish, this band-tail Scorpion fish uses its lateral sensory system instead of eyes to hunt its prey.
•The fish has the ability to change colour and camouflage to escape from predators and while catching a prey
[The fish is called ‘scorpionfish’ because its spines contain neurotoxin.]
Inclusion of 23 additional MFP items included in MSP list
•Ministry of Tribal Affairs has announced inclusion of 23 additional Minor Forest Produce (MFP) items in Minimum Support Price (MSP) list.
[They include Van Tulsi seeds, Van Jeera, Mushroom, Black Rice and Johar Rice among others.]
•This enhances the coverage from 50 to 73 items. This comes in view of the COVID-19 pandemic so that much needed support could be provided to the tribal MFP gatherers
•The Union Cabinet, in 2013, approved a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for marketing of non-nationalized / non monopolized Minor Forest Produce (MFP) and development of a value chain for MFP through Minimum Support Price (MSP).
•It aims to ensure that the tribal population gets a remunerative price for the produce they collect from the forest and provide alternative employment avenues to them
•The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will be the nodal Ministry for implementation and monitoring of the scheme.
The Minimum Support Price would be determined by the Ministry with technical help of TRIFED