10.11.21 Daily APSC Current Affairs



Drone centre at IIT-Guwahati to benefit remote northeastern areas


Union minister of state for civil aviation, Gen (retd) VK Singh, on Tuesday launched India’s first centre for excellence in research on drone and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology and artificial intelligence along with a skill development centre for drone operation and maintenance at the IIT Guwahati.

Another nodal centre for the overall administrative drone data management for the northeastern region and AXOMDroneport, a designated place to station drones, which will be used to support cargo drones delivering urgent, medical and emergency supplies and precious supplies to remote areas of the northeast, was also inaugurated by the minister.


Having understood the remarkable potential of drones to transform every sector of the economy, the government introduced the New Drone Rules in August 2021 and followed it up with a Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) Scheme for manufacturers. Our focus is to develop India’s capabilities as an important and integral value multiplier to the global drone ecosystem,” said Singh.


Highlighting FICCI’s initiatives to further augment the development of drone technology in the country, Dipankar Barua, chairman of FICCI Assam State Council said northeast needs drone technology, especially in areas like border security, agriculture, health, tourism, mining and infrastructure.

The IIT Guwahati Centre for Excellence for Drones/UAV and Artificial Intelligence addresses a broad spectrum of technical and social concerns related to the technology.


Meghalaya Cabinet approves creation of Eastern West Khasi Hills district

Mairang civil sub-division will now be called as “Eastern West Khasi Hills district”.

It will be inaugurated on November 10, 2021.


Significance of the move

This move will help in ensuring that administration will remain closer to the people. It will also ensure that implementation of several schemes is more effective.


Khasi Hills

Khasi Hills is a low mountain formation, located in the Shillong Plateau of Meghalaya. These hills are part of the Garo-Khasi-Jaintia range. They connect with the Purvanchal Range as well as larger Patkai Range towards further east. Khasi Hills are located in the Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion. Before 1970, Khasi Hills and entire Meghalaya state was part of Assam, administratively.

Khasi Hills region comes under the Khasi Hills district. This district was divided into West Khasi Hills and East Khasi Hills districts on October 28, 1976. Ri-Bhoi District was carved out of East Khasi Hills District on June 4, 1992.




Russia’s new Forest Plan


Russia has revealed its new Forest Plan, in an effort to deal with climate change. This plan highlights a changed mindset of Russia on climate change.


Sakhalin Island in Russia, located north of Japan has become a testing ground for Russia’s efforts to reconcile its prized fossil fuel industry with the requirement to do something about climate change.

Around two-thirds of Sakhalin Island is forested.

Russian authorities have set an ambitious goal to make the island, carbon neutral by 2025.

New forest plan was unveiled as tree growth will absorb much of the planet-warming carbon dioxide that half-million residents of the Island & its businesses produce.

About Sakhalin Island


Sakhalin is the largest island in Russia. It is the northernmost island of Japanese archipelago. The island is administered as part of the Sakhalin Oblast. It is located in the Pacific Ocean in between Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan. The island is located just off Khabarovsk Krai and north of Hokkaido in Japan. The island is home to around 500,000 residents, majority of which are Russians.



Global Drug Policy Index


The Harm Reduction Consortium released the first Global Drug Policy Index.


Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and Australia are the top five countries in this rating when it comes to compassionate and health-oriented drug regulations.

Brazil, Uganda, Indonesia, Kenya, and Mexico are the five countries with the lowest rankings.

Out of a total of 30 countries, India is positioned 18th, which received 46 out of 100 scores and 63 out of 100 on the “usage of severe sentences and responses” criterion.

It received a 49 out of 100 for health and harm reduction and received a score of 38 out of 100 for proportionality in criminal justice reaction.

India received a 33 out of 100 for the availability and accessibility of internationally prohibited medications for the alleviation of pain and suffering.



Landsat 9 satellite sends 1st photos of Earth


NASA and US Geological Survey led Landsat 9 mission collected and sent its first light images of the Earth.


Images highlight the remote coastal islands and inlets of Kimberley region of Western Australia, Lake Erie, white sands of Pensacola Beach and Glaciers high in the Himalayas.


All the acquired images provide a preview of how this mission will help people in managing vital natural resources and understanding the impacts of climate change.

About Landsat 9


Landsat 9 is an Earth observation satellite. It was launched from Space Launch Complex-3E at Vandenberg Space Force Base on September 27, 2021. The mission was launched through an Atlas V 401 launch vehicle. This is a joint mission of NASA and US Geological Survey (USGS). NASA looks after building, launching, and testing the satellite on the other hand, USGS operates this satellite, and manages & distributes the data archive.





‘HARBINGER 2021 – Innovation for Transformation’ – RBI’s first global hackathon


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to organise its first global hackathon called ‘HARBINGER 2021–Innovation for Transformation’ focusing on digital payments.


The global hackathon will be organised under theme of ‘Smarter Digital Payments’.


It will witness participants to identify and develop solutions which can be used:


  1. To make digital payments accessible to the under-served
  2. To enhance the ease of payments & user experience
  3. To strengthen the security of digital payments and
  4. to promote customer protection.


  • The hackathon is inviting innovative ideas in payment & settlement system.


Through this hackathon, RBI seeks ideas on easy-to-use, innovative, non-mobile digital payment solutions to convert small-ticket cash transactions into digital mode to remove physical act of payment. It also seeks to develop alternate authentication mechanism for digital payments. Under the hackathon, RBI will also seek social media analysis monitoring tool to detect digital payment fraud and disruption.



Srinagar airport declared as ‘Major airport’


Airport was declared as major airport by exercising powers conferred by Sub-Section (i) of Section 2 of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.

Earlier on October 23, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had inaugurated international flight operations at Srinagar airport. First direct international flight was inaugurated between Srinagar, Sharjah and United Arab Emirates (UAE).


AERA has been mandated to determine tariff for aeronautical services provided at major airports, under section 13 of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008.


Amount of the development fees including user development fee and amount of passenger’s service fee are levied under Rule 88 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 which were formulated under Aircraft Act, 1934.


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