9 PM Current Affairs Brief – February 21st, 2020

Food Planet Prize

News:Sweden has created two $1 million prizes named “Food Planet Prize” for solutions to feed billions of people.


About the Prize:

  • The Prize will be presented annually by the Curt Bergfors Foundation in Sweden.
  • Aim:To recognize ground-breaking initiatives from around the world that addresses the climate change threats towards food supply.
  • The prize will be given for two categories namely the a) existing scalable solution for sustainable foods and b) innovative initiatives that could transform the global food sector.

Nature Ranking Index-2020

News:Nature Ranking Index 2020 has been released by the Nature Index.


About the Index:

  • The rankings are based on the total research output which the institutions have carried out from December,2018 to November,2019.
  • The research output means the total citations in numbers and sharing percentage per article.

Key takeaways from the index:

  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR) has topped the index.
  • The Indian Institute of Science (IISc),Bangalore has been ranked second.
  • The third place has been secured by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research(TIFR-Mumbai).

Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) mechanisms

News:Recently,the Supreme Court has appointed interlocutors for mediation with the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters to end their blockade of a public road.Mediation is a part of Alternative Disputes Resolution(ADR) mechanisms


About Alternative Disputes Resolution(ADR):

  • Alternative dispute resolution includes dispute resolution process and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an agreement short of litigation.
  • ADR is mentioned under Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code.The several ADR mechanisms are: (a) Arbitration (b) Conciliation (c)Mediation and (d) Lok Adalats.

ADR mechanisms:

  • Arbitration:It is a method of resolution in which dispute is submitted to an arbitral tribunal which makes a decision on the dispute that is mostly binding on the parties.
  • Mediation:It is a non-binding procedure in which an impartial third party known as a mediator tries to facilitate the resolution process but he cannot impose the resolution and the parties are free to decide according to their convenience and terms.
  • Conciliation:It is also a non-binding procedure in which the conciliator assists the parties to a dispute to arrive at a mutually satisfactory and agreed settlement of the dispute.
  • Lok Adalats:It is a forum where disputes/cases pending in the court of law or at pre-litigation stage are settled/ compromised amicably.Lok Adalats have been given statutory status under the Legal Services Authorities Act,1987.

Northern European Enclosure Dam(NEED)

News:Recently,Scientists have proposed the construction of the Northern European Enclosure Dam(NEED) enclosing all of the North Sea to protect Northern European countries from Sea-level Rise(SLR).


About NEED:

  • The Northern European Enclosure Dam(NEED) project involves the construction of dams of a combined length of 637 km enclosing all of the North Sea.
  • The first dam will be between a) France and England and the second dam between b) Scotland and Norway.
  • The dams will hence separate the North and Baltic Seas from the Atlantic Ocean to protect Northern European countries against Sea level Rise(SLR).

Additional information:

About North Sea:

  • The North Sea is a sea that is part of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Europe.
  • It is surrounded by Norway and Denmark in the east, Scotland and England in the west, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France in the south.

CHILDLINE India Foundation(CIF)

News:According to the data from Childline India Foundation,one in every 10 calls made to the child emergency helpline 1098 was of child abuse.


Key takeaways from the data:

  • The largest number of phone calls were made to seek intervention for Child abuse cases followed by those pertaining to child labour , education , runaways and missing children.
  • The nature of abuse children suffered shows that 37% of the complaints were about child marriage, 27% about physical abuse , 13% regarding sexual abuse among others.
  • The data also shows that 35% of the total cases of sexual abuse were committed by neighbours, 25% by strangers and 11% by family members.

About CHILDLINE India Foundation(CIF):

  • CHILDLINE India Foundation(CIF) is the nodal agency of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • It acts as the parent organisation for setting up, managing and monitoring the childline 1098 service all over the country.
  • It is also the sole agency responsible for monitoring childline service delivery and finance, training, research and documentation, creating awareness, advocacy as well as resource generation for the service.

Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission(SPMRM)

News:The 4th Anniversary of the launch of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) will be observed on 21st February,2020.


About the SPMRM:

  • Launched in 2016 by the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Aim:To stimulate local economic development, enhance basic services, and create well planned Rurban clusters.
  • Under the mission,300 Rurban clusters are envisaged to be developed in a time bound manner.

How will the Rurban Clusters be selected?

  • The State Governments would identify the clusters in accordance with the Framework for Implementation prepared by the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with a population of about 25000 to 50000 in plain and coastal areas and a population of 5000 to 15000 in desert, hilly or tribal areas.
  • As far as possible, clusters of villages would follow administrative convergence units of Gram Panchayats.

Funding:The mission is a Core Centrally Sponsored Scheme with two fund streams namely:

  • Convergence through various Central sector schemes, centrally sponsored schemes, State sector/ sponsored schemes/ programmes, CSR funds and
  • Critical Gap Funds(CGF) of upto Rs. 30 crore per cluster for Non-tribal clusters and upto Rs. 15 crore per cluster for Tribal and Hilly State clusters.

Mission Outcomes:

  • To bridge the rural-urban divide-economically, technologically and those related to facilities and services.
  • Spreading development in the region.
  • Attracting investments in the rural areas.
  • Stimulating local economic development with emphasis on reduction of poverty and unemployment in the rural areas.

Project Tej

News:The Government of Telangana in association with the MedTechConnect has launched Project Tej.


About Project Tej:

  • It is a platform to help entrepreneurs test their innovative ideas in the field of medical technologies.
  • Under this,medical technology innovators and device manufacturers can validate the usability of their devices in public health settings and gain access to public health channels.

Additional information:

About MedTechConnect:

  • MedTechConnect was set up by engineering services company Cyient and Xynteo’s India2022 Coalition.

HRMS Mobile App

News:The Railway Board Chairman has launched the HRMS Mobile App.


About the app:

  • The mobile application has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information System(CRIS).
  • The app allows railway employees to see the data related to their service and communicate with administration for any changes required.

Additional information:

About CRIS:

  • The Ministry of Railways had set up Centre for Railway Information System(CRIS) as a society in July 1986.It is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • Its area of work includes information systems from all disciplines and functions of the Indian Railways.

Credit, debit card details of 4 lakh Indians up for sale on darknet

News:According to Singapore-based cybersecurity company,around 98% of sensitive credit card details that are there on the darknet are of Indian customers.These details could have been stolen through phishing, malware or JS-sniffers.



  • It is the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.


  • Malware (malicious software) refers to any kind of software that is designed to cause damage to a single computer, server or computer network.
  • It is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive malicious software including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware and ransomware among others.

JavaScript or JS-Sniffers:

  • JavaScript or JS-Sniffers are programmes used for stealing credit and debit card information from e-commerce websites.
  • Under this,instead of physically attaching a device to an ATM, a JS sniffer uses a few lines of code injected onto an e-commerce site to skim data that consumers use to buy goods.
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