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1# India, China held high-level military talks amid stand-off in Ladakh

India and China held high-level talks on 6 June. The talk was initiated by India and was held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh. The talks were held amid the border stand-off between the militaries of the two countries near eastern Ladakh. 

♦ The Indian delegation was led by Lt. Gen. Harinder Singh, Commander of 14 Corps, and the Chinese side was headed by the Commander of the Tibet Military District.
♦ Indian and Chinese officials held talks through the established military and diplomatic channels to address the current situation in the India-China border areas.
♦ Indian side reported that the Chinese military is hindering normal patrolling by its troops along the LAC in Ladakh and Sikkim. 
♦ It strongly refutes China’s contention that the escalating tension between both the armies was triggered by the trespassing of Indian forces across the Chinese side.
♦ The trigger is due to China’s stiff opposition to India to lay a key road around the Pangong Tso Lake and the construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.

2# BFI nominates Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishan nominated for Khel Ratna

World silver-medallist and Indian boxer Amit Panghal and Vikas Krishan were nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI).

Other nominations:
♦ BFI has nominated world bronze-winning trio of Lovlina Borgohain under 69kg, Simranjit Kaur under 64kg, and Manish Kaushik under 63kg for the Arjuna awards. 
♦ BFI has finalized and nominated the names of national women’s coach Mohammed Ali Qamar and assistant coach Chhote Lal Yadav, for the Dronacharya awards.
♦ The athletes and coaches nominations are based on performance during the last four years.

3# Gadkari launched Prevention of Human and Animal Mortality on Highways Campaign

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari has launched the UNDP national awareness campaign on ‘Prevention of Human and Animal Mortality on Highways’ on 5 June. The campaign aims to generate awareness and education for the masses at large towards reducing or eliminating mortality on the roads of both human beings and animals. 

Campaign Highlights:
♦ As per the official data, India witnesses nearly 5 lakh road accidents every year, in which about 1.5 lakh lives are lost.
♦ The move aims to bring down these figures by 20-25% by the coming 31st March. So far, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has identified over 5,000 black spots. The Ministry has also taken measures to process for their rectification including temporary and permanent measures is being carried out on an urgent basis. 
♦ SOPs to rectify black spots for taking up short-term and long-term permanent measures have already been issued. 

  • Road safety measures include:
  • rectification of Black Spots
  • traffic calming measures
  • Crash Barriers
  • Repairing
  • rehabilitation
  • reconstruction of dilapidated and narrow bridges
  • Road Safety Audit
  • Reduction of fatalities on vulnerable roads
  • Highway Patrolling
  • Safety during Construction

4# CeNS develops low-cost catalyst for hydrogen generation from water

Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS) scientist has discovered that a low cost and efficient way to generate hydrogen from water using Molybdenum dioxide as a catalyst. They have found that Molybdenum dioxide (MoO2) nanomaterials annealed in hydrogen atmosphere can act as efficient catalysts. Using this, Hydrogen can be generated from water and produces water on energy generation without any carbon footprint.

♦ MoO2 (Molybdenum dioxide) can replace the currently employed catalyst Pt, which is expensive and has limited resources. 
♦ It can act as an efficient catalyst to reduce the energy input to bring about water splitting with great efficiency. 
♦ Hydrogen can be generated by the Electrolytic splitting of water. But it requires energy input that can be brought down in the presence of a catalyst.
♦ The metal oxide nanomaterial is a cheaper alternative to the precious noble metal catalysts such as Platinum, presently employed in industry for water electrolysis. 
♦ The catalyst is highly stable for a longer duration of reaction with sustained hydrogen evolution from water. 
♦ About 80% efficient conversion of electrical energy into hydrogen has been achieved using this catalyst.

5# Power Ministry launched iCommit initiative

Union Minister of Power R. K. Singh launched the #iCommit initiative for building an energy resilient future on 5 June 2020. A campaign was also launched to encourage all stakeholders and individuals to continue moving towards energy efficiency.

#iCommit initiative:
♦ The #iCommit initiative will function under the administration of the Ministry of Power.
♦ It is headed by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). 
♦ The campaign will include officials from governments, corporates, multilateral and bilateral organizations, and individuals.
♦ The initiative aims to bring together a diverse spectrum of government and private players to build a new energy future for India.
♦ #iCommit initiative will promote the flagship scheme of GoI including:

  • National Electric Mobility Mission 2020
  • FAME 1 and 2
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
  • Saubhagya Scheme
  • Ujwala DISCOM Assurance Yojna (UDAY)
  • Atal Distribution system Improvement Yojna (AJAY)
  • Smart Meter National Programme
  • Pradhan mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahaabhiya (KUSUM)
  • Solar Parks
  • Grid Connected Rooftop
  • Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LED for All (UJALA)
  • Atal JyotiYojna (AJAY)
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