Tuesday, 7th February 2023

Table of contents

1   Editorial of the day

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ChatGPT and Related Issues - Edukemy Current Affairs

2   Daily Current Affairs

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GREEN GROWTH - Edukemy Current Affairs

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CIRCULAR ECONOMY OF STEEL - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Trilateral agreement between India, UAE & France

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Committee Report: Protecting GIB from Power Lines

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IEA Report: "Life Lessons from India"

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Surveillance Balloon - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

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International Maritime Organisation (IMO)

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Climate Tipping Points - CTPs - Edukemy Current Affairs

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Large Exposure Framework (LEF) guidelines of RBI

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Global Climate Resilience Fund GCRF

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Amorphous ice - Edukemy Current Affairs

.... Show less Show more
Keywords: General Studies – 3, Science and Technology, Artificial Intelligence tools
Daily Current Affairs

GREEN GROWTH - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News

Budget 2023-24 announced the Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) Scheme for mangrove plantation along the coastline and on salt pan lands, Amrit Dharohar scheme for conservation of wetlands and PM-PRANAM Scheme for sustainable agriculture.

About the News:

The budget 2023-23 announced important schemes:

  • MISHTI Scheme: This will be implemented through the convergence of the job guarantee scheme MGNREGS, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund, and other funding sources.
  • Amrit Dharohar: To promote unique conservation values in the coming three years as the total number of Ramsar sites in our country has increased to 75.
  • PM-PRANAM: Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana to promote chemical-free agriculture.
  • Apart from this, the government announced development works in Lakshadweep and other islands.
    • This has sparked a debate about “development at the cost of the environment”.

Why is the MISHTI scheme important?

Promoting mangrove plantations will –

  • Provide ecological stabilization in coastal regions:
    • Their dense roots bind and build soils, and the above-ground roots slow down water flow and result in sediment deposits, reducing coastal erosion
  • Provide protection against cyclones:
    • Mangroves prevent erosion and help stabilize coastline ecosystems as they are natural infrastructure that protects nearby populated areas by absorbing the impacts of storm surges during extreme weather events.
  • Support biodiversity:
    • Estuarine habitats with coastal mangrove shorelines and tree roots are often important spawning and nursery territory for juvenile marine species including prawns, crabs, and many sport and commercial fish species.
  • Create blue carbon sinks:
    • They capture massive amounts of Carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and then trap and store them in their carbon-rich flooded soils for millennia.
    • This buried carbon is known as “blue carbon”.
  • Help improve the water quality:
    • The complex mangrove root systems filter nitrates, phosphates and other pollutants from the water.
  • Provide eco-tourism opportunities:
    • Kayaking, snorkelling, paddle boarding etc.
  • Provide income generating opportunities with eco-tourism.

Why is the Amrit Dharohar Scheme important? 

  • It imbibes the Ramsar Convention’s wise use of wetlands:
    • Wise use of wetland implies “the maintenance of their ecological character, achieved through the implementation of ecosystem approaches, within the context of sustainable development”.
    • The scheme calls for optimal use of wetlands.
  • It will stop encroachment upon wetlands and sustain biological diversity:
    • Uttar Pradesh irrigation department drained out the Haiderpur wetland, a protected Ramsar site, forcing tens of thousands of migratory birds to leave.
  • It will help follow Supreme Court’s orders of October, 2017:
    • It directed that 201,503 wetlands mapped by the Union government should be protected under Rule 4 of the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010.
  • It will enable the local community to learn to respect the line between wise use and overexploitation:
    • At Haiderpur wetland, some local fishing communities are over-exploiting the wetland with excessive fishing even in the protected area.
  • It will help in groundwater recharge and water filtration.

What is the debate regarding the development of island territories?

  • Certain mega projects have been proposed in the Budget 2023-24:
  • Lakshadweep:
    • High-end tourist resort facilities in the Kavaratti, Agatti, and Bangaram group of Islands.
    • Positioning Lakshadweep as a prime location for scuba diving on the world map.
    • Sustainable eco-tourism projects at Kadmat, Minicoy, and Suheli Islands.
  • Great Nicobar:
    • A township project
    • International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT)
  • These projects have struck a debate due to ethical dilemmas:
  • Development vs Environment degradation
    • Income and job opportunities vs destruction of natural habitats with tourism.
  • Commodification of resources vs rights of indigenous tribes
    • Such projects transfer ownership of resources away from the community while bringing economic returns only to the developer.
  • Development vs Socio-economic destruction of the indigenous tribes
    • Projects could dispossess them from their lands and livelihoods.

 

Source:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/fmannounces-misthi-scheme-in-union-budget-for-mangrove-plantations-101675265659103.html

 

Keywords: GS Paper-3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Daily Current Affairs

CIRCULAR ECONOMY OF STEEL - Edukemy Current Affairs


In News:

At the 10th edition of the International Indian Material Recycling Conference, the Ministry of Steel declared that it will push primary steel producers to use scrapped or recycled steel as 50% of their input by 2047.

About the News:

In line with the Panchamrit commitment to Net Zero by 2070, the Ministry of Steel wants to create a circular economy by pushing primary steel producers to use scrap steel and increase per capita consumption of Steel. This will help overcome:

  • The level of recycled steel usage in primary steel production is only around 10%.
  • Recycled steel contributes to 22.5% of the domestic total steel production of 140 million tonnes.
  • India imports 5 million tonnes of scrap steel with zero import duty despite producing 25 million tonnes of scrap steel in the last 8 years.
  • Recycling industry is highly unorganized. There is a need to include the informal sector.

How will the push to primary steel producers to use scrapped steel help India?

  • Recycling becomes important as economies move into a circular model of development:
    • Countries are discouraging exports of scraps as they move into the circular economy. Domestic recyclers used to import 25% of their shipments from the EU markets. The European Union imposed a ban on scrap exports
  • Shift of focus to 6 Rs:
    • Steel industry is the sub-segment of the recycling sector.
    • It must be at the forefront of adaptation and mitigation by joining hands with the principle of 6 Rs which include Reduce (exploitation of natural resources), Recycle, Reuse, Recover, Re-design, and Reinforce.
  • Recycling will help with the Panchamrit commitment to reducing emissions:
    • Carbon dioxide emissions in the steel sector can be reduced by 5% by 2030.
  • Reduced use of non-renewable resources:
    • With the Vision of 2047, today's 15% of scrap usage will increase to almost 25% in the next 5 years, which means the percentage of scrap for the production of steel should go up to 50%, with only 50% being dependent on iron ore
  • Formalisation and regeneration of unorganised scrap industry:
    • The recycling industry is highly unorganised and is worth about USD 50 billion now. There are over 25,000 recycling units in the country.
  • Contribution to economy:
    • The recycling industry contributes almost 10,000 crores to India’s GST and in the years to come it is expected to go up by 35,000 crore.

 

Source:

https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/govt-to-push-producers-to-use-recycled-steel-as-50-input-by-2047-scindia-123020400711_1.html

 

Keywords: GS Paper-3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation, environmental impact assessment.
Daily Current Affairs

Trilateral agreement between India, UAE & France


In News:

  • India joins the UAE and France for a trilateral on clean energy and pandemic prevention measures.

About the news:

  • The trilateral was first discussed on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2022
  • A range of trilateral events will be held during India's presidency of the G20 and COP28 to be held in UAE in November-December 2023

Major highlights:

  • Foreign ministers of the three countries have agreed to work together in the fields of:
    • Nuclear and solar power
    • Climate change and biodiversity
    • Cooperation in defense preparation and counter-pandemic measures
  • Trilateral will serve as a forum to promote the design and execution of cooperation projects in the fields of energy with a focus on renewable sources for climate friendly energy.
  • It will develop as a consolidated group in the fight against climate change and protection of biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region(IOR)
  • Countries will cooperate in multilateral organizations such as WHO, Gavi, the Global Fund.
  • The three countries will also attempt to identify tangible cooperation on implementing the "One Health" approacH.
  • Trilateral will also support the development of local capacities in biomedical innovation and production within developing countries.

Importance of France to India

Importance of UAE to India

  • Strategic Partnership: India and France have a strong strategic partnership, marked by mutual trust and cooperation on key global and regional issues.
  • Defense Cooperation: France is one of India's leading defense partners, with a strong focus on joint research and development, production, and procurement of defense equipment. E.g., RAFALE fighter jets
  • Economic Ties: France is an important economic partner for India, with significant investments in the country and growing trade and commercial links.
  • Cultural Exchange: Both countries have a rich cultural history and continue to foster cultural exchange through artistic, literary, and educational programs.
  • Climate Action: France and India are both major players in global efforts to tackle climate change and work together on initiatives to transition to clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Nuclear Cooperation: Both countries have a strong partnership in the field of nuclear energy, including the construction of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant in India.
  • Regional Cooperation: France and India are both important actors in their respective regions and collaborate on regional security and stability, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Energy Security: The UAE is a key supplier of oil and gas to India, helping to meet India's energy needs and strengthen its energy security.
  • Trade and Investment: The UAE is one of India's largest trading partners, with growing trade and investment ties.
  • Remittances: Remittances from the UAE now account for 17-18 per cent of India’s total inward remittances making it 2nd largest  after USA for source of remittance for India
  • Cultural Ties: India and the UAE have a rich cultural heritage, with a long history of trade, commerce, and cultural exchange.
  • Strategic Partnership: India and the UAE have a strong strategic partnership, marked by close cooperation on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, maritime security, and regional stability.
  • Defense Cooperation: India and the UAE have a growing defense partnership, with a focus on joint military exercises, training, and defense equipment procurement.
  • Joint Ventures: The two countries are working together on several joint ventures, including in the fields of renewable energy, technology, and space exploration.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-joins-uae-france-for-trilateral-on-clean-energy-and-counter-pandemic-measures/article66471623.ece 

 

Keywords: General Studies - 3 Indian Economy, trade agreement
Daily Current Affairs

Committee Report: Protecting GIB from Power Lines


In news

  • The Supreme Court constituted a 3-member committee in order to determine the technical feasibility of unground power lines for protecting Great Indian Bustard.

About

  • SC in the year 2021 directed the power companies to keep low-voltage power lines underground in potential habitats of Great Indian Bustard, specifically in the Thar and Kutch deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Recommendations

  • Priority zones should be demarcated as the areas where birds are known to live and conservation activities can be performed.
  • Bird diverters were recommended where flaps on lower power lines would work like reflectors. These flaps are visible to flying birds, reducing casualty.

However, state governments have not taken steps to comply with the SC order because:

  • It is expensive and impractical to shift power lines underground
  • It will increase the cost of solar power

Great Indian Bustard

  • Habitat:

Arid and semi-arid grasslands, thorn scrubs, and tall grasses

Endemic to Indian sub-continent

  • Protection status: IUCN: Critically endangered

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I

CITES: Appendix I

  • Threats: Hunting, habitat erosion, 'greening' projects that transform arid grasslands to wooded areas, etc.

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/sc-committee-directs-10-of-power-lines-in-rajasthan-gujarat-be-altered-to-protect-the-great-indian-bustard/article66470168.ece/amp/

 

Keywords: General Studies 2 and 3, Environment Protection
Daily Current Affairs

IEA Report: "Life Lessons from India"


In news

As per IEA Report India has integrated several policies in its energy transition strategy that are aligned with LiFE initiative.

Key highlights

  • Adoption of LiFE measures will result in significant reduction in annual global CO2 emissions (by 2 billion tonnes in 2030).
  • LiFE measures would save consumers globally around $440 billion in 2030. India’s economy is already 10 percent more energy efficient than both global and G20 average.
  • India took less time to go from half to full electricity access than other major economies.
  • Around 60% of emissions saving by LiFE measures could be directly influenced or mandated by governments.

IEA

  • It was created in 1974 to help co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in supply of oil.
  • Headquarters: Paris, France.
  • India is an associate member.

LiFE Mission

●        Launched in 2021 at COP 26

●        Piloted by NITI Aayog

●        Nodal Ministry: MOEFCC

●        Tenure: 2022-27

Aim:

●        To bring individual behaviours at forefront of global climate action narrative.

●        To promote circular economy by replacing use and dispose economy

●        To promote environment friendly lifestyle

 

https://www.livemint.com/industry/energy/indias-life-initiative-can-save-440-bn-globally-in-2030-iea-report-11675662079012.html

 

Keywords: General Studies – 3
Daily Current Affairs

Surveillance Balloon - Edukemy Current Affairs


In news

  • Recently a Chinese surveillance balloon was spotted by the US in Montana.

About

  • Cheap, quiet and hard to reach — balloons have long been used for reconnaissance purposes, including in conflicts like the American Civil War.
  • The practice became widespread during World War I and was used extensively during the Cold War, when the US launched hundreds of balloons to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union and China.
  • While their use has declined with the rise of unmanned drones and satellites, many countries still employ spy balloons.
  • The Pentagon is expanding investment in high-altitude inflatables.
  • Modern balloons are generally unmanned, but they still generally lack propulsion and are subject to wind currents.

Uses of Surveillance Balloons

  • Close range monitoring
  • Improved image quality
  • Gathering signals

Other types of Surveillance

  • Electronic Surveillance
  • Human intelligence through various officials
  • Cyber espionage through cyber attacks on intellectual property
  • Satellite imagery
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/as-us-detects-chinese-surveillance-balloon-blinken-calls-off-beijing-visit-101675446402416.html

 

 

Keywords: GS III, cyber security
Daily Current Affairs

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)


Why in news? In FY23, the government revised expenditure estimates from USOF to 3,010 crore which is 200% less than the budgetary estimate of 9,000 crores.  

About:

  • USOF is an attached office of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications.
  • It aims to provide quality and affordable mobile and digital services across rural and remote areas of the country.
  • It is a non-lapsable fund, i.e., the unspent amount under a targeted financial year does not lapse and is accrued for next year’s spending.
  • It was set up by an Act of Parliament in 2003 by amending Indian Telegraph Act, of 1885.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/slow-govt-spending-to-hit-connectivity-in-rural-areas-8424431/

 

Keywords: General Studies – 2 Government Policies & Interventions, GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT, infrastructure
Daily Current Affairs

International Maritime Organisation (IMO)


Why in news? Recently, IMO has adopted a new mandatory International Code of Safety for Ships Carrying Industrial Personnel.

About:

  • Code will enter into force on 1 July 2024 and enables cargo ships and high-speed cargo craft to transport and accommodate industrial personnel working offshore.

IMO:

  • IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping.
  • Currently, it has 175 Member States (including India).
  • The IMO was established following an agreement at a UN conference held in Geneva in 1948 and the IMO came into existence ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959.

 

https://www.ship-technology.com/news/wartsila-tech-to-power-ferry/

 

Keywords: General Studies –2 International Relation, India and its Neighbourhood, Important International institutions
Daily Current Affairs

Climate Tipping Points - CTPs - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? ‘Teleconnections among tipping elements in the Earth system’ report highlighted that Climate tipping elements are remotely correlated, implying that there are no borders in the fight against climate change.

About:

  • CTPs occur when changes in large parts of the climate system, known as tipping elements, become self-perpetuating beyond a warming threshold.
  • These changes may lead to abrupt, irreversible, and dangerous impacts with serious implications for humanity.
  • Few global tipping points identified are Greenland, the Amazon rainforest, Ocean circulation and temperature

 

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/scientists-worried-as-study-shows-15-c-rise-can-trigger-climate-tipping-points/article65874826.ece#:~:text=Climate%20tipping%20points%20or%20CTPs,perpetuate%20warming%20on%20its%20own

 

Keywords: General Studies –3, Environmental Pollution & Degradation
Daily Current Affairs

Large Exposure Framework (LEF) guidelines of RBI


Why in news? Recently, the Reserve Bank of India has dismissed concerns about the “exposure” of Indian banks to the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate.

About:

  • LEF is guidelines aimed to monitor and limit losses of a bank from a client or corporation.
  • It is based on the 2014 Basel guidelines.
  • An exception to LEF: Banks need not report exposure if the loans are taken from RBI, is guaranteed by the Government of India or have Intra-day interbank exposures or deposits are maintained by NABARD (due to shortfall in target for Priority sector Lending)

 

https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/adani-group-hidenburg-report-crisis-banks-stable-rbi-amid-concerns-of-exposure-to-adani-rout-101675428677450-amp.html

 

Keywords: General Studies – 3, economy
Daily Current Affairs

Global Climate Resilience Fund GCRF


Why in news? Recently, Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton announced GCRF in partnership with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).

About:

  • GCRF will work to tackle challenges faced due to rising temperatures due to climate change.
  • SEWA is the single largest women worker’s Central trade union in India founded in 1972, in Ahmedabad by Elaben Bhatt.
  • It has been working to improve the livelihoods of poor self-employed women workers from the informal economy through various initiatives using technology, technical training,

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/hillary-clinton-announces-50-million-dollar-global-climate-resilience-fund/articleshow/97642067

 

Keywords: General Studies –3, Environmental Pollution & Degradation
Daily Current Affairs

Amorphous ice - Edukemy Current Affairs


Why in news? Recently, Scientists have created a new type of ice, called medium-density amorphous ice, that matches the density and structure of water.

About:

  • The ice was created by shaking regular ice in a small container with centimeter-wide stainless-steel balls at temperatures of -200°C to produce the novel variant.
  • Normally, when water freezes, it crystallizes, and its molecules are arranged into the familiar hexagonal, solid structure - ice.
  • Significance: Helps in studying water’s mysterious properties like Ice is less dense than its liquid form — an unusual property for a crystal.
  • Amorphous ice consists of water molecules arranged in a disordered state, with no large-scale regularity to their orientations or positions.
  • This kind of ice is most often found in space, comets, interstellar clouds,
  • Almost all of the ice in natural environment of Earth (e.g., in snow, in polar caps) is crystalline ice.

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/a-new-kind-of-ice-amorphous-solid-water-frozen-in-time-8426036/

 

Keywords: General Studies –3, Science & Technology
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