Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 16 August 2022
Over 7.9 million enrolled under BalAadhaar initiative from April to July
Over 7.9 million children aged up to five were enrolled under the Unique Identification Authority’s BalAadhaar initiative from April to July, the Union electronics and information technology ministry said in a statement on Monday.
“BalAadhaar registration is progressing very well, with increased speed across the country…,” it said. The statement added 26.4 million children in the zero-five age group had BalAadhaar by the end of March and that the number increased to 34.3 million by the end of July.
The ministry said 70% of the target group was enrolled in states such as Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Mizoram, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh.
The BalAadhaar, a precursor to a standard Aadhaar, is issued in blue colour to children aged up to five. Upon expiration, a regular Aadhaar is issued. “BalAadhaar works as a facilitator in availing several welfare benefits, and also works as a digital photo identity for children...,” said the ministry.
Biometrics to establish uniqueness for the BalAadhar are not collected unlike in case of Aadhaar. Facial image of a child is instead taken for enrolment. Biometric authentication of the parent/guardian and a proof of relationship document, preferably a birth certificate, is collected at the time of enrolment.
Canada’s political leadership extends greetings as India’s Independence Day celebrations held
There were widespread celebrations of India’s Independence Day in Canada on Monday as the iconic Niagara Falls was illuminated in the hues of the tricolour and Indigenous representatives joined festivities in British Columbia.
Messages were also sent by the political leadership of the country. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau joined “to celebrate this milestone anniversary”, 75 years after India gained Independence.
“Today, our two countries work closely together in a range of priority areas, including science and technology, finance, and education. We also share common interests in advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region, fighting climate change, and strengthening global trade. We will continue to strengthen our partnership for the benefit of people in Canada and India,” he added.
Foreign minister Melanie Joly also extended her wishes, pointing to how India and Canada were working “together to progress on science, technology and advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng alluded to the “people-to-people and commercial ties between India and Canada run deep” in her message.
Leader of the opposition Conservative Party Candice Bergen issued a statement in which she noted that since gaining independence in 1947, “India has developed into a global powerhouse and defender of democracy on the world stage, while sharing a special kinship with Canada.”
The Niagara Falls was illuminated late on Monday night to mark the celebrations. The historic Ottawa City Hall was also similarly lit.
Foreign exchange reserves fall $897 mn to $572.98 bn in week ending Aug 5
India's foreign exchange reserves fell $897 million to $572.978 billion in the week ended August 5, according to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) bulletin weekly statistical supplement.
The fall was witnessed after it rose during the week ending July 29 after falling for the four consecutive weeks earlier.
The fall in this week has witnessed due to decline in foreign currency assets by $1.611 billion to $509.646 billion.
Foreign Currency Assets (FCA) that is the most important component of the RBI's foreign exchange reserve are the assets like US Treasury Bills bought by the RBI using foreign currencies.
The FCA is the largest component of the forex reserve.
Meanwhile, however, gold reserves increased $671 million to $40.313 billion in the week ended August 5.
The Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) rose $46 million to $18.031 billion.
The country's reserve position with the IMF declined $3 million to $4.987 billion in the reporting week, the data showed.
::Science and tech::
Space mission shows Earth's water may be from asteroids: Study
Water may have been brought to Earth by asteroids from the outer edges of the solar system, scientists said after analysing rare samples collected on a six-year Japanese space mission.
In a quest to shed light on the origins of life and the formation of the universe, researchers are scrutinising material brought back to earth in 2020 from the asteroid Ryugu.
The 5.4 grams (0.2 ounces) of rocks and dust were gathered by a Japanese space probe, called Hayabusa-2, that landed on the celestial body and fired an "impactor" into its surface.
Studies on the material are beginning to be published, and in June, one group of researchers said they had found organic material which showed that some of the building blocks of life on Earth, amino acids, may have been formed in space.
In a new paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy, scientists said the Ryugu samples could give clues to the mystery of how oceans appeared on Earth billions of years ago.
"Volatile and organic-rich C-type asteroids may have been one of the main sources of Earth's water," said the study by scientists from Japan and other countries, published Monday.
"The delivery of volatiles (that is, organics and water) to the Earth is still a subject of notable debate," it said.
But the organic materials found "in Ryugu particles, identified in this study, probably represent one important source of volatiles".
The scientists hypothesised that such material probably has an "outer Solar System origin", but said it was "unlikely to be the only source of volatiles delivered to the early Earth".
Wolves agree club-record fee for Portugal midfielder MatheusNunes: Reports
Wolverhampton Wanderers have agreed a deal to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder MatheusNunes for a club-record fee of around 38 million pounds ($45.75 million), British media reported on Tuesday. According to the reports, Wolves could pay Sporting a further 4.2 million pounds in add-ons for the 23-year-old.
The transfer fee would surpass the 35 million pounds Wolves paid for forward Fabio Silva in 2020. Nunes made 50 appearances for Sporting in all competitions last season as they finished second in Portugal's PrimeiraLiga. He made his senior debut for Portugal in 2021 and has earned eight caps, scoring one goal.