Daily Current Affairs – 09-09-2023

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    India-US Ties

    Syllabus: GS2/International Relation

    In News

    • The US President arrived in New Delhi to attend the G-20 Summit and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a bilateral meeting. 

    Key Highlights of the Meeting

    • India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat: US reaffirmed support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and, in this context, welcomed once again India’s candidature for the UNSC non-permanent seat in 2028-29.
    • INDUS -X: The leaders commended the India-U.S. Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) team for establishing a robust collaboration agenda to harness the innovative work of the U.S. and Indian defence sectors to address shared security challenges.
      • Both sides also welcomed the announcement by the Indian Ministry of Defence’s Innovations for Defence Excellence and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit to launch two joint challenges, which will invite start-ups to develop solutions to shared defence technology challenges. 
    • Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET): The United States and India intend to undertake a midterm review of iCET in September 2023 to continue to drive momentum toward the next annual iCET review, co-led by the National Security Advisors of both countries, in early 2024.
    • Space collaboration: Determined to deepen partnership in outer space exploration, ISRO and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have commenced discussions on modalities, capacity building, and training for mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station in 2024, and are continuing efforts to finalise a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation by the end of 2023. 
    • India-U.S. Global Challenges Institute: The leaders welcomed the signing of an MoU between Indian universities, represented by the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT Council), and the Association of American Universities (AAU) to establish the India-U.S. Global Challenges Institute.
      • The Global Challenges Institute will bring together leading research and higher-education institutions from across the two nations.
    • Technology Transfer: The leaders welcomed completion of the Congressional Notification process in August 2023 and the commencement of negotiations for a commercial agreement between GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) to manufacture GE F-414 jet engines in India, and recommitted to work collaboratively and expeditiously to support the co-production and technology transfer proposal. 
    • Second Master Ship Repair Agreement: The leaders applauded the conclusion of a second Master Ship Repair Agreement, with the most recent agreement signed by the U.S. Navy and Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders, Ltd., in August 2023. 
      • Both sides recommitted to advancing India’s emergence as a hub for the maintenance and repair of forward-deployed U.S. Navy assets and other aircraft and vessels.
    • The leaders lauded the settlement of the seventh and last outstanding World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute between India and the United States. 
      • This follows the unprecedented settlement of six outstanding bilateral trade disputes in the WTO in June 2023. 
    • India-U.S. Cancer Dialogue: The leaders looked forward to the launch of the India-U.S. Cancer Dialogue in November 2023. 
      • This dialogue will focus on advancing knowledge in cancer genomics, developing new diagnostics and therapeutics to enhance and strengthen cancer care including for underserved urban and rural communities. 

    Source: TH

    Incremental Cash Reserve Ratio (I-CRR) 

    Syllabus: GS 3/Economy 

    In News 

    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)  announced that it would discontinue the incremental cash reserve ratio (I-CRR) in a phased manner. 

    About (I-CRR)

    • In  August 2023, the RBI mandated banks to maintain an incremental cash reserve ratio (I-CRR) of 10 per cent on the increase in their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) between May 19, 2023 and July 28, 2023.

    Need and Purpose 

    • The RBI announced I-CRR as a temporary measure to absorb excess liquidity from the banking system. 
    • The level of surplus liquidity in the system surged because of the return of Rs 2,000 banknotes to the banking system, RBI’s surplus transfer to the government, pick up in government spending and capital inflows. 
      • The daily absorption of liquidity by the RBI in July was Rs 1.8 lakh crore.
    • Excessive liquidity can pose risks to price stability and also to financial stability.
      • Hence, efficient liquidity management requires continuous assessment of the level of surplus liquidity so that additional measures are taken as and when necessary to impound the element of excess liquidity.

    Impact of I-CRR on liquidity conditions

    • The banking system’s liquidity turned deficit for the first time in the current fiscal after the RBI’s I-CRR mandate. 
    • The tight liquidity condition was also contributed by outflows on account of goods and services tax (GST) and the selling of dollars by the central bank to stem the rupee’s fall. 
    • The liquidity, as reflected by the amount of money injected by the RBI into the system, stood at Rs 23,644.43 crore on August 21.
    • However, the banking system liquidity again turned to surplus from August 24. On September 8, the RBI absorbed Rs 76,047 crore of surplus liquidity from the system.

    RBI’s recent decision

    • I-CRR was a temporary measure, which was to  be reviewed on September 8, 2023 or before
    • After a review, RBI has decided to discontinue the I-CRR in a phased manner.
    • Based on an assessment of current and evolving liquidity conditions, it has been decided that the amounts impounded under the I-CRR would be released in stages so that system liquidity is not subjected to sudden shocks and money markets function in an orderly manner
      • This will mean that banks will have sufficient funds to meet higher credit demand during the upcoming festival season.

    What is CRR?

    • The average daily balance that a bank is required to maintain with the Reserve Bank as a percent of its net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) as on the last Friday of the second preceding fortnight that the Reserve Bank may notify from time to time in the Official Gazette.

    Source :IE

    Nuclear power and space : Opening up for private participation

    Syllabus: GS2/ Government Policies & Interventions, GS3/ Space, Defence

    In Context

    • India is opening up two strategic sectors, Nuclear power and space to private participation.

    About

    • Government’s recent push: In the civil nuclear sector, the Indian government is pushing Small Modular Reactors or SMR as a technology of promise.
      • The Center is also exploring the options of collaborating with other countries and taking up indigenous development of SMRs.
    • Significance: SMRs can help in industrial decarbonisation, including a determined hard sell of the country’s ability to take a leadership role in the dissemination of this technology.
    • Future course of action: The future course of action will be finalised on the basis of the decision of the Government within the overall remit of the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the possibility of allowing participation of private sector and start-ups is also being looked at.

    Challenges

    • India’s push for small-sized reactors: It is the small reactors where India is pushing for a global leadership slot, both as a way of fulfilling its commitment to clean energy transition, and bundling SMRs as a technology-led foreign policy pitch at the upcoming G20 meet. 
      • So, even though India’s civil nuclear programme has progressively upscaled its reactor size, from the modest 220MWe reactors to 700MWe PHWRs (pressurised heavy water reactors), India does maintain an edge in producing and operating small-sized reactors that are being seen as a viable alternative for countries with mid-sized grids or for decentralised grid operations.
    • Alternative competitors in the global market: India’s push comes at a time when two countries that have taken a lead in SMRs – Russia and China – are finding it difficult to do business.
      • India is attempting to pitch itself as an alternative to Russia and China in this niche field.

    What is Nuclear Energy?

    • Nuclear energy is the energy source found in an atom’s nucleus, or core. Once extracted, this energy can be used to produce electricity by creating nuclear fission in a reactor through two kinds of atomic reaction: 
      • Nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

    Nuclear Power generation

    • India currently has 22 nuclear reactors with over a dozen more projects planned
    • All the existing reactors are operated by the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
    • Nuclear power currently comprises 3% of India’s total electricity generation & the current policy targets a three-fold rise in nuclear-installed capacity by 2032.

    Small Modular Reactors or SMR

    • SMRs are essentially advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of 30MWe to 300 MWe (megawatt electrical) per unit, which is about a third of the generating capacity of most traditional nuclear power reactors and that can produce a large amount of low-carbon electricity. 
    • These impact grid flexibility along with baseload power, especially given the imperative of inducting renewables into the grid.

    Space sector

    • SSLVs to private sector: The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) resolve to transfer its Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to the private sector, after having conducted two development flights of the rocket, aims clearly at enabling private players to offer on-demand services to put satellites weighing up to 500 kg into a low-earth orbit as the government seeks more investment in the booming space market. 
      • India is aiming to increase its share of the global satellite launch market fivefold over the next decade and the SSLV is seen as the government-led launchpad for fostering private innovation.
    • Future course of action: In space technology, the success of Chandrayaan-3 is widely expected to give a boost to India’s efforts to spur private investment in space ventures. 
      • The newly created space regulatory body, the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), opened the bidding process on the SSLV program recently by enabling qualified companies to evince interest.
      • In the due course, the SSLV will be the first domestic rocket to be fully privatised, enabling the winning bidder or consortium to take over the entire program, as against a far more circumscribed outlook for the manufacturing of ISRO’s workhorse PSLV rockets.

    Challenges

    • Monopolisation: Space technology is expensive and needs heavy investment. 
      • This kind of lucrative power is available only with selected rich corporates, thus can lead to monopolisation of the sector. 
    • Favouring the private sector: In the past, similar moves has resulted in the governments favouring the private sector over the public sector or leaning towards specific private brands. 
    • Backseat for social development: ISRO, since its inception, has always aimed to work on projects that can help India become self-reliant. 
      • The space program always worked on applications like remote sensing, tracking of land use, resource mapping, among others. 
      • However, private companies will have more profitable interests than developing solutions that cater to the immediate socio-economic needs of the country. 

    Space Economy

    • The global space industry includes the industry’s core activities in-space manufacturing and satellite operations.
    • The main segments of the space economy include manufacturing, services from satellite operators and consumer services

    India’s share in Space Industry

    • Global position: According to SpaceTech Analytics, India is the sixth largest player in the industry internationally, with 3.6% of the world’s space-tech companies. 
      • The US is the housing leader of 56.4% of all companies in the space-tech ecosystem. Other major players include the UK (6.5%), Canada (5.3%), China (4.7%) and Germany (4.1%).
      • Most of the companies in this sector, globally, are involved in manufacturing spacecraft equipment and satellite communications.
    • Cost-effectiveness: The country’s standout feature is its cost-effectiveness. 
      • India holds the distinction of being the first country to have reached Mars’ orbit in its first attempt and at $75 million — way cheaper than Western standards.
    • Start-ups in Space sector: The 60-odd start-ups that had registered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a majority of them were dealing in projects related to space debris management. 
      • As space becomes more congested with satellites, the technology would thus help in managing ‘space junk’ (debris of old spacecraft and satellites).

    Source: TH

    Indian Pearl Millet: Total Population Environments (TPE)

    Syllabus:GS1/Geography, GS3/Environment

    News

    • According to a new study, climate change has transformed pearl millet cultivation zones in India.

    Background

    • The study was conducted by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research – All India Coordinated Research Project on Pearl Millet (ICAR-AICRP).
    • The study examined data from crop models and digital technology and suggested a revision of the Indian pearl millet Total Population Environments (TPE).
    • India’s core pearl millet or bajra production zone has shifted to 18 districts spread across eastern Rajasthan and Haryana between 1998 and 2017. Increase in rainfall triggered by human-induced climate change has led to this development.

    Classification of pearl millet cultivation zones

    • India classifies pearl millet cultivation zones based on rainfall patterns and soil types.
    • Zone ‘A1’:The arid regions of Rajasthan, which receive less than 400 millimeters (mm) of rainfall, are categorized as Zone ‘A1’.
    • Zone ‘A’:Semi-arid regions in north and central India, including southern Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, which receive more than 400 mm of rainfall per year, form Zone ‘A’.
    • Zone B:Semi-arid regions with heavy soils in southern India and central western India with over 400 mm of rainfall form Zone B.

    Revision in cultivation zones

    • The study revised zone ‘A’ into three subzones — ‘G’, ‘AE1’ and ‘AE2’
    • Zone ‘G’: It covers seven districts in Gujarat. The study noted that climate change is contributing to more rainfall in the zone. This has led to farmers changing their cultivation patterns and switching from pearl millet to cash crops such as cotton or castor bean.
    • Zone ‘AE1′: It covers eastern Rajasthan and Haryana, which is now India’s core pearl millet production area with 39 percent production, and saw an increase in production of 46 kilograms per hectare.
      • The researchers noted that technological investments in irrigation, fertilization and new varieties that favored intensified cultivation practices also led to an increase in the zone’s pearl millet production.
    • Zone ‘AE2’: It covers 12 districts spread across Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The zone saw an average increase of 1,860 kg per hectare in bajra production between 1998 and 2017 due to  moderate increase in rainfall.

    Pearl Millet

    • Pearl millet is the most widely grown type of millet. It has been grown in Africa and the Indian subcontinent since prehistoric times.
    • Growing conditions:Pearl millet is well adapted to growing areas characterized by drought, low soil fertility, low moisture, and high temperature. It performs well in soils with high salinity or low pH.
    • Production in India:The major pearl millet growing states are Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana which produce 90% of total production of the country.Rajasthan is the highest-producing state in India
    • Season: Most pearl millet in India is grown in the kharif season. It is also cultivated during summer (February–May) in parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh; and in rabi season (November–February) at a small scale in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
    • VItamin and minerals:It is a rich source of vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin and niacin and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese.

    Source:DTE

    Permanent Central Empowered Committee (CEC) 

    Syllabus:GS 2 / Polity and Governance 

    In News 

    • The central government notified the formation of a “permanent” Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in response to the Supreme Court order.

    Background 

    • It has been formed on a permanent basis following the SC directions in 2002, which was directed to be constituted at national level for monitoring the apex court orders pertaining to forests and wildlife cases. 
      • The panel was constituted in the famous TN Godavarman vs Union of States case by the SC in 2002 and was also responsible for pointing out non-compliances with the same. 

    About the committee 

    • The committee on environment issues, which has been ad hoc so far, will now be recognised as a permanent statutory body
    • Composition: As per the new structure, the committee will include a chairman, a member secretary, and the remaining three expert members, who are civil servants appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). 
      • Earlier, the expert members constituted non-governmental appointments.

    Criticism 

    • The new structure announced by the Union government, which omits the non-government members or two members of non-governmental organisations as existed in previous CEC, has irked the experts who alleged the move removes accountability and autonomy of the committee. 
    • the Centre has retained the ultimate decision making authority
      • With the ultimate decision remaining with the government, there is no independence and can be used as a tool to override decision making power of the states.
    • There is no reason why this committee should exist since the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come into existence.

    Supreme Court’s Observation 

    • In May 2023, the Supreme Court had suggested that instead of the CEC being an ad-hoc body, it would be in “larger interest” that CEC should be established as a permanent statutory body
    • It functioning as a permanent body would be in the interest of all the stakeholders.

    Do you Know?

    •  the CEC has a rich history of playing a crucial role in protecting the Kaziranga Tiger Reserve and Mollem Goa Project, among others
    • It had issued recommendations against the three linear projects that fractured the Mollem National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary. 
    • It also called for the cancellation of the South Western Railway doubling project, the shifting of the power lines and widening of national highways. 

    Source :DTE

    Heatwaves leading to ozone pollution

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment

    News

    • A report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has stated that the heatwaves can increase the risk of Ozone pollution.

    How are Heat Waves causing ozone pollution?

    • Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves, which, in turn, increase the risk and severity of wildfires. 
    • Smoke from wildfires contains many dangerous chemicals that affects not only air quality and health, but also damages plants, ecosystems and crops — and leads to more carbon emissions and so more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
    • Short-lived reactive gases such as nitrogen oxides and biogenic volatile organic compounds lead to the production of ozone and particulate matter (PM).

    Findings of the report

    • The European summer of 2022, was the hottest on record for the continent and  the long-running heatwave led to increased concentrations of both PM and ground-level ozone.
    • Hundreds of air quality monitoring sites in Europe exceeded the World Health Organization’s ozone air quality guideline level of 100 μg m–3 for an 8-hour exposure. 
    • During the second half of August 2022, there was an unusually high intrusion of desert dust over the Mediterranean and Europe. “The coincidence of high temperature and high aerosol amounts, and therefore PM content, affected human health and well-being.

    Impact of Ozone

    • Impact on human health: Breathing ground-level ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the lining of the lungs.
    • Impact on environment:Ozone damages vegetation and ecosystems by inhibiting the ability of plants to open the microscopic pores on their leaves to breathe. It interferes with the photosynthesis process by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide the plants can process and release as oxygen.
    • Impact on crops:The increase in ozone levels impacted agriculture globally, with ozone-induced crop losses averaging 4.4 percent–12.4 percent for staples. Losses for wheat and soybean were as high as 15 percent-30 percent in key agricultural areas of India and China.

    Concluding remarks

    • Heatwaves worsen air quality, with knock-on effects on human health, ecosystems, agriculture and indeed our daily lives.
    • Climate change and air quality cannot be treated separately. They go hand-in-hand and must be tackled together to break this vicious cycle.

    Source: DTE

    Africa Climate Summit 2023

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment

    In News

    • The inaugural Africa Climate Summit (ACS23) in Nairobi culminated in the ‘Nairobi Declaration’.

    About

    • The three-day event was hosted by the government of Kenya and the African Union.
    • Theme: Driving green growth and climate finance solutions for Africa and the World.
    • The memorandum from the three-day summit, attended by high-level global leaders and over 20 heads of state and 30,000 delegates, calls on the global community to act to reduce emissions.

    Multi-billion dollar pledges at summit 

    • The Nairobi summit largely focused on calls to unlock investment in clean energy.
    • Various stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, multilateral banks, and philanthropists have made substantial commitments totalling a remarkable $23 billion for green growth, mitigation, and adaptation efforts across Africa.
    • The pledges, some directly to Kenya like the €12 million in grants from the European Union (EU) for investment in the green hydrogen industry, are expected to accelerate the continent’s green agenda.
    • One of the big pledges at the summit was a $4.5 billion finance initiative announced by COP28 president-designate Sultan Al Jaber towards unlocking Africa’s clean energy. 

    Several other pledges at the meeting included:

    • Britain’s £49 million for UK-backed projects to help Africa achieve its growth agenda in renewable sectors. 
    • The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Global Center on Adaptation’s $1 billion initiative launched to finance youth-led businesses and startups across Africa. And an additional $25 million from AfDB towards climate finance by 2025. 
    • The United Arab Emirates investors pledge to buy $450 million of carbon credits generated in Africa by 2030. 
    • Germany’s €60 million debt swaps with Kenya to free up money for green projects nationwide.

    Nairobi Declaration

    • The declaration has a raft of recommendations, pledges and demands believed to have boosted Africa’s bargaining power on international platforms.
    • It highlights green investment opportunities in Africa’s emerging blue and green economies. 
    • It also urges world leaders to back a proposed “carbon tax on fossil fuel trade, maritime transport and aviation”.
    • While calling the international community to order, the declaration wants them to honour the annual climate finance pledge of $100bn they made, as a matter of urgency.
    • With many African countries having defaulted on loans from developed countries, the declaration proposes debt relief interventions. 
      • It recommends extending the debt repayment period and instituting a 10-year grace period to allow the borrowed funds to serve intended development goals.

    Source: DTE

    Facts In News 

    Banglar mati, Banglar jol

    Syllabus: GS1/History and Culture

    News

    • The West Bengal Assembly passed a resolution making Poila Baishakh (April 15), the statehood day and declaring Banglar mati, Banglar jol as the state anthem.

    About

    • Banglar mati, Banglar jol was written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1905 during partition of Bengal.
    • The song calls for unity for all Bengalis by invoking the beauty of Bengal — its natural environs, its language, its people, and its soul.

    Partition of  Bengal

    • In 1905, Curzon partitioned Bengal on communal lines.The reorganization separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas.
    • Reason: At the time, Bengal was the nerve center of India’s rising nationalist movement, and Curzon, through this move, sought to sow seeds of division and hate in the diverse Bengali speaking population

    Swadeshi Movement: the nationalist response

    • The partition drew unanimous criticism from nationalist politicians and eventually sparked the Swadeshi Movement — “the first mass movement” in India’s struggle for independence.
    • The anti-colonial response to the partition was marked by protests and demonstrations on the streets, a boycott of British goods, and poignant symbolic gestures, foreshadowing the course the national movement would take in the coming years.

    Tagore and his legacy

    • Tagore endorsed the Swadeshi movement through his songs and poems.He wrote Banglar Mati, Banglar jol which became the anthem of the moment.It was  sung during rapturous processions and demonstrations that sought to emphasize Bengali unity. 
    • Alao Amar sonar Bangla (My golden Bengal) written by Tagore was later adopted as the national anthem of Bangladesh.
    • Tagore’s songs from this period reflect his vision of universal brotherhood and religious unity. They continue to resonate with Bengalis on both sides of the border even today.

    Source:IE

    Varuna-23

    Syllabus :GS 3 /Defence 

    In News 

    • Phase Il of the 21st edition of Varuna (Varuna-23) bilateral exercise between Indian and French Navy was conducted in the Arabian Sea.

    About the exercise 

    • Indian & French Navy bilateral naval exercise was initiated in 1993. 
    • The exercise was later christened as ‘Varuna’ in 2001 and has since become a hallmark of robust India-France strategic bilateral relationship. 

    Significance 

    • It provides an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices and procedures. 
    • It also facilitates operational level interaction between the two Navies to foster mutual cooperation for good order at sea, underscoring the shared commitment to ensuring security, safety and freedom of the global maritime commons.

    Achievements of recent exercise 

    • The exercise witnessed participation of guided missile frigates, tankers, Maritime Patrol Aircraft and integral helicopters from the two sides. 
    • Units of both navies endeavoured to enhance and hone their war fighting skills, improve interoperability and demonstrate their ability to promote peace, security and stability in the region. 

    Source: PIB

    Mandatory Hallmarking

    Syllabus: GS3/Economy

    In News

    • The third phase of the mandatory hallmarking vide Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artifacts (Third Amendment) Order, 2023 comes into force from September 8, 2023.

    What is Hallmarking?

    • Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles. 
      • Hallmarks are thus official marks used in many countries as a guarantee of purity or fineness of precious metal articles. 
      • This certificate is issued to all registered jewellers based on purity tests at certificated centres.
    • The principle objectives of the Hallmarking Scheme are to protect the public against adulteration and to obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness. 
    • In India, at present two precious metals namely gold and silver have been brought under the purview of Hallmarking.

    Third Phase of Mandatory Hallmarking

    • The third phase of the mandatory hallmarking will cover an additional 55 new districts under the mandatory hallmarking system.
    • Implementation: Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has been successful in implementation of Mandatory Hallmarking in districts of the country.
      • It is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016.
    • BIS Care App: To verify a hallmarked gold jewellery item, consumers can use the BIS CARE app, which allows them to check the authenticity of the item by entering its HUID (Hallmark Unique Identification) number. 
      • The app provides information about the jeweller who got the article hallmarked, their registration number, purity of the article, type of article as well as details of the hallmarking centre that tests and hallmarks the article.
    • Significance: Hallmark is a certification that ensures the quality and purity of gold jewellery. If a hallmarked jewellery item is found to be of lower purity than what is marked on it, the buyer is entitled to compensation under BIS Rules 2018. 
      • Hallmarking helps protect consumers and enhance their confidence in buying gold jewellery with traceability and quality assurance.

    Source: PIB

    Fair share in Carbon Budget  

    Syllabus: GS-3/Environment

    Context

    • A recent study showed 11 high-income countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom,  to reduce their respective 2022  carbon emissions by 95%.

    Major Points:

    • As per the study ‘The Lancet Planetary Health’, these countries would emit 27 times their fair share of the 1.5 degrees Celsius carbon budget.
    • The green growth for these countries is not occurring and their pursuit of economic growth is in contradiction with the climate and equity commitments of the Paris Agreement.
    • To achieve reduction in emission as per the Paris Agreement, the nations should adopt ‘Post Growth Approach’ which focuses on equitably reducing carbon or energy-intensive forms of production and consumption. 
    • This approach will also secure and improve livelihoods and well-being by policies such as a public job guarantee, worktime reduction, living wages, a minimum income guarantee, and universal access to affordable housing and quality public services.

    About Paris Agreement

    • It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
    • It replaced the Kyoto Protocol, an earlier agreement to deal with climate change.
    • It is a landmark agreement as it brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, for the first time.
    • It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, in December 2015 and entered into force in November 2016.
    • It is the supreme decision-making body of the UNFCCC.
    • The agreement seeks to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industry levels. 
    • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): 
      • To achieve the targets under the agreement, the member countries have to submit the targets themselves, which they believe would lead to substantial progress towards reaching the Paris temperature goal. 
      • Initially, these targets are called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). 
      • They are converted to NDCs when the country ratifies the agreement.

    Significance of Green growth

    • Green growth is crucial as it offers a pathway for sustainable economic development while preserving the environment. 
    • Green growth can address challenges such as air pollution, water scarcity, and climate change. Adopting green growth strategies can increase the use of renewable energy, promote resource efficiency, and support sustainable agriculture, resulting in a more inclusive and sustainable development. 
    • The shift towards green growth can also create new job opportunities in the fields of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture. Overall, green growth is essential for economic and environmental well-being.

    Source: DTE

    Hindustan Turbo Trainer HTT-40

    Syllabus: GS3/Defence

    In News

    • Deputy Chief of the Air Staff flew the Hindustan Turbo Trainer Aircraft – 40 (HTT-40) Basic Trainer Aircraft.

    About

    • It is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the aircraft has been indigenously designed and developed by the Aircraft Research & Design Centre of HAL and is based on the training requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
    • The IAF signed a contract with HAL for the supply of 70 aircraft, the induction of which will commence in 2025 and continue till 2030. 
    • Features: The HTT-40 is a fully aerobatic aircraft, powered by a four bladed turbo-prop engine. 
      • It is fitted with a state-of-the-art glass cockpit, modern avionics and latest safety features, including a zero-zero ejection seat. 
      • The trainer has a maximum speed of 450 kilometers per hour and a maximum service ceiling of six kilometers.
    • The HTT-40 will enhance the quality of training of ab-initio pilots of the Indian Armed Forces. 
    • The procurement will also include a Full Mission Simulator for the aircraft which will supplement the aerial training, allowing pilots to practice different profiles on ground, prior to the sorties.

    Source: PIB

    Idukki Dam

    Syllabus: GS1/ Places in News

    In News

    • Major security breach reported from Idukki dam.

    About

    • It is a double curvature Arch dam constructed across the Periyar River in a narrow gorge between two granite hills locally known as Kuravan and Kurathi in Mariyapuram village in Idukki District in Kerala, India.
    • It is one of the highest arch dams in Asia and third tallest arch dam. 
    • The dam stands between the two mountains – Kuravanmala and Kurathimala.

    Periyar River 

    • The Periyar River is the longest river in the state of Kerala. It is also known as ‘Lifeline of Kerala’ as it is one of the few perennial rivers in the state.
    • It originates from Sivagiri Hills of Western Ghats and flows through Periyar National Park and reaches the Periyar Lake and then the water flows into Vembanad Lake and finally into Arabian Sea.
    • Major Tributaries: Muthirapuzha, Mullayar, Cheruthoni, Perinjankutti and Edamala rivers.

    Source: TH