Current Affairs - Civil Services Chronicle Online, June, 2021

Islam Qala

  • Recently Islam Qala had fallen to the Taliban.
  • It is a border town in the western Herat province of Afghanistan, near the Afghanistan–Iran border. It is the official entry by land from neighboring Taybad, Iran.
  • It plays an important role when it comes to the economy of Afghanistan because a substantial volume of trade between Afghanistan and other countries passes through this town.

DRDO successfully flight tests New Generation ‘Agni P’

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested a New Generation Nuclear Capable Ballistic Missile Agni P from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam island off the coast of Odisha, Balasore on June 28, 2021.
  • Agni P is a new generation advanced variant of Agni class of missiles. It is a canisterised missile with range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 kms.
  • Agni P is the first of the new class of Agni missile to be launched by DRDO. The ballistic missile weighs 50% less than Agni 3 and has new guidance and a new generation of propulsion.
  • Since the missile is canisterised, it can be launched from rail and road and stored for a longer period and transported all across the country as per operational requirements.

ISSF World Cup: Rahi Sarnobat wins Gold

  • In ISSF World Cup shooting, India’s Rahi Sarnobat won gold in women’s 25 metres pistol event in Osijek, Croatia.
  • Manu Bhaker, the other Indian in fray, finished seventh in the eight-competitor final.
  • Mathilde Lamolle of France won silver while Russia’s Vitalina Batsarashkina took home bronze.

Action Plan to make India Aatmanirbhar in Rock Phosphate

  • The Department of Fertilisers is expediating an action plan to make India Aatmanirbhar in Rock Phosphate.
  • Rock Phosphate is the key raw material for DAP and NPK fertilisers and India is 90 per cent dependent on imports. Volatility in international prices affects domestic prices of fertilisers and hinders the progress and development of agriculture sector in the country.
  • In view of this, the Department of Fertilisers has asked stakeholders to expedite the exploration and mining of available rock phosphate reserves in India.
  • Phosphorite deposits are available in Rajasthan, central part of peninsular India, Hirapur, Lalitpur, Mussoorie syncline and Cuddapah basin.
  • Further, discussion and planning with Department of Mining and Geological Survey of India is going on to expedite the exploration in the potential potassic ore resources in different parts of the country.

'Nesher Ramla Homo' : New Kind of Early Humans

  • Israeli scientists have discovered a new kind of early human after studying pieces of fossilized bone dug up at a site used by a cement plant in central Israel.
  • The fragments of a skull and a lower jaw with teeth were about 130,000 years old and could force a rethink of parts of the human family tree.
  • Nesher Ramla Homo — named after the place southeast of Tel Aviv where it was found — may have lived alongside our species, Homo sapiens, for more than 100,000 years, and may have even interbred, according to the findings.
  • The early humans, who had very large teeth and no chin, may have also been ancestors of the Neanderthals, the study added, challenging the current thinking that our evolutionary cousins originated in Europe.

China’s Dragon Man

  • Researchers from China have after studying an ancient human skull (Harbin cranium), described its linkages to be a new human species called the “Dragaon Man” or Homo longi.
  • The name “Dragon Man” has been derived from the Long Jiang or Dragon River in China’ Heilongjiang province where Harbin is located.
  • The cranium could be over 146,000 years old. Because of the distinctive shape of the skull, some team members have suggested that it be declared a part of a new species of the genus Homo.
  • The size of the skull, which has a considerable brain capacity, is comparable to that of modern humans and Neanderthals.
  • If the “Dragon Man” is a new species, it might bridge the gaps between our ancient ancestors called Homo erectus and us.

Sajan Prakash: First Indian Swimmer to Qualify for Tokyo Olympics

  • Sajan Prakash has become the first Indian swimmer to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
  • Sajan achieved the feat as he clocked 1 minute 56.38 seconds in the men's 200m butterfly at the Sette Colli Trophy in Rome. The qualification cut-off was 1 minute 56.48 seconds.

Srihari Nataraj clears Tokyo Games Qualification Time in Men’s 100 Metres Backstroke

  • Indian swimmer from Bengaluru, Srihari Nataraj has cleared the Tokyo games qualification time in the men’s 100 metres backstroke during the time trial at Sette Colli Trophy in Rome, but his feat is yet to be approved by the International Swimming Federation, FINA.
  • Nataraj clocked 53.77 seconds, which was faster than the Olympic qualification time of 53.85 secs.
  • If FINA approves his timing, the 20-year-old Bengaluru swimmer will become the second Indian after Sajan Prakash to make the qualification cut that guarantees an automatic berth for the Olympics.
  • No Indian had ever achieved the automatic qualification — the ‘A’ cut — for swimming in Olympics.

Deepika Kumari bags 3 Gold medals at Archery World Cup stage III in Paris

  • In Archery, India’s Deepika Kumari (world number 3) defeated Russia's Elena Osipova 6-0 in the final of the women's individual recurve event to complete a hat-trick of Gold medals in one day at the World Cup Stage III in Paris.
  • She was also a part of the mixed recurve event and women's recurve team winning gold.
  • In the mixed recurve team event, husband-wife duo Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari bagged Gold with 5-3 win over the Netherlands.
  • India also won a gold medal in the recurve women’s team event.
  • Kumari will represent India as the lone female archer in Japan, joining a full men’s team as they strive to win the country’s first archery medal at the world’s biggest sporting event.

Nominations by ‘Hockey India’ for National Sports Awards

  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Hockey India has announced the nomination of Indian men’s hockey team goalkeeper P. R. Sreejesh and former India women’s hockey team player Deepika for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
  • Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement: For the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement, Hockey India has recommended former India stalwarts R.P. Singh and Chingshubam Sanggai Ibemhal.
  • Dronacharya Award: Coaches B.J. Kariappa and C.R. Kumar have been nominated for the Dronacharya Award.
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