Daily Current Affairs 19-03-2024

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    Chemicals in Plastic Material 

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment, Conservation

    Context: 

    • A recently released report from European scientists says there are 16,000 chemicals in plastic materials around the world.
      • A quarter of which are thought to be hazardous to human health and the environment. 

    Key Points

    • Health impacts: Plastic chemicals can leach into water and food and have been linked to adverse health outcomes. 
    • Full life cycle of plastics: To robustly solve plastic pollution, there is a need to look at the full life cycle of plastics and you have to address the chemicals issue.
    • Recycling and reuse: While the plastics industry has said any global treaty should promote recycling and re-use of plastic, only addressing plastic waste doesn’t go far enough to protect people, the report’s authors said.
    • Greater transparency: Scientists flagged the need for greater transparency on what chemicals — including additives, processing aids, and impurities — are going into plastics – including recycled products.
      • A quarter of the identified chemicals lack basic information on their basic chemical identity, the report said.
    • Chemical complexity: At the core of the problem is the chemical complexity of plastics. Often producers don’t really know which kind of chemicals they have in their products and that comes from very complex value chains.
    • Lack of regulation: Only 6% of the chemicals found in plastics are regulated internationally. Without regulatory pressure, there is no motivation to disclose what’s in the plastics, the report said.

    Plastic pollution in India: Status

    • Huge waste generation: Increased substantially from 15.9 lakh tonnes per annum (TPA) in 2015-16 to 41.2 lakh TPA in 2020-21.
    • Inadequate waste management infrastructure: Data from 2019-20 shows that 50% of the total plastic waste in the country (34.7 lakh TPA) remained unutilised, leading it to pollute air, water and soil, and ultimately affect human health. 
    • Data gap: The Public Account Committee noted a big data gap, observing from CAG’s 2022 audit findings that many state pollution control boards (SPCBs) did not provide data on plastic waste generation for the period 2016-18 to the CPCB and there were inconsistencies in data shared by urban local bodies (ULBs) with SPCBs. 
    • Recycling inefficiencies: The existing recycling system is largely informal and unregulated, leading to low-quality recycled plastic and limited environmental benefits.

    Measures required

    • Reliable assessment method: Underlining gaps in data, the panel expressed the need to have a “reliable assessment” of the amount of plastic waste being generated and said it should be the first step towards managing the problem efficiently. 
    • Mandatory” reporting: It recommended “mandatory” reporting of data online on the national dashboard. 
    • Comprehensive policy: A comprehensive policy is required for containing pollution caused by plastics. 
    • Alternatives: It observed that “finding a cost effective and dependable alternative to plastic” by providing funds for R&D was a prerequisite for its elimination.
    • Awareness:Spreading awareness about eco-friendly alternatives and ill-effects of SUP is crucial.
    • Other measures: Making implementing agencies accountable, promoting use of recycled plastic content and increasing recycling facilities may be taken to efficiently enforce the ban on SUP on ground.

    Indian Government initiatives

    • Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016: This regulation prohibits manufacture, sale, and use of certain single-use plastic items like carry bags, straws, and cups.
      • Ban on SUP: The ministry of environment had banned hard-to-collect/recycle, single use plastic (SUP) items with effect from July 1, 2022.
      • Prohibition: Prohibited manufacture, import, sale and use of plastic carry bags thinner than 120 microns from December 31 2022. 
    • National Policy on Solid Waste Management, 2016: This policy emphasizes waste minimization, source segregation, and scientific processing, including plastic waste.
    • EPR rules: It also notified extended producer responsibility (EPR) rules to streamline collection and recycling of plastic waste. 
    • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: This mission includes promoting waste segregation at source, composting biodegradable waste, and setting up waste processing facilities, contributing to plastic waste management indirectly.
    • Indian Swachhata League:It is an unique youth-led, inter-city initiative to promote engagement of young people in the Swachata related activities.

    Way Ahead

    • Addressing plastic waste pollution requires a multi-pronged approach involving government, industry, civil society, and individual citizens. 
    • Effective implementation of existing regulations, technological advancements, and a shift towards a circular economy are crucial for a cleaner and healthier environment.

    Source: TH

    Why do Global Sea Surface Temperatures Matter?

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment, GS1/ Geography

    Context: 

    • Almost 90 per cent of the extra heat trapped by greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the oceans, making them steadily warmer over the decades, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

    About:

    • The average global sea surface temperature (SST) for February 2024 stood at 21.06 degree Celsius, the highest ever in a dataset that goes back to 1979, as per the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).
      • The previous record of 20.98 degree Celsius was set in August 2023.

    Why are the oceans getting warmer?

    • Human factors: Since the Industrial Revolution kicked off in the 19th Century, human activities such as burning fossil fuels have released high levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.
      • Carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and nitrous oxide are some of the notable GHGs, which essentially trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
        • As a result, the average global temperature has risen at least 1.2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial times.
    • Warming Rate: The top part of the ocean is warming up about 24% faster than it did a few decades ago, and that rate is likely to increase in the future.
    • Absorption by oceans: Almost 90 per cent of the extra heat trapped by GHGs has been absorbed by the oceans, making them steadily warmer over the decades. 
    • El Niño: A weather pattern that refers to an abnormal warming of surface waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean has contributed to both ocean warming and rising global surface temperatures. 

    Why are rising sea surface temperatures a cause of worry?

    • Impact on Marine Life: Higher ocean temperatures can have irreversible consequences for marine ecosystems.
      • For instance, warmer oceans lead to an increase in ocean stratification — the natural separation of an ocean’s water into horizontal layers by density, with warmer, lighter, less salty, and nutrient-poor water layering on top of heavier, colder, saltier, nutrient-rich water. 
    • The rise in temperatures made it harder for water layers to mix with each other: Due to this, oceans are able to absorb less carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the oxygen absorbed isn’t able to mix properly with cooler ocean waters below, threatening the survival of marine life.
    • Effect on nutrient circulation: Nutrients are also not able to travel up to the surface of the oceans from below. This could threaten the population of phytoplankton — single-celled plants that thrive on the ocean surface and are the base of several marine food webs.
      • Phytoplankton are eaten by zooplankton, which are consumed by other marine animals such as crabs, fish, and sea stars. Therefore, if the phytoplankton population plummets, there could be a collapse of marine ecosystems.
    • Marine heat waves (MHWs): Warmer oceans cause marine heat waves (MHWs), which occur when the surface temperature of a particular region of the sea rises to 3 or 4 degree Celsius above the average temperature for at least five days.
      • Between 1982 and 2016, such heat waves have doubled in frequency and have become longer and more intense, according to IPCC.
      • MHWs are devastating for marine ecosystems as they contribute to coral bleaching, which reduces the reproductivity of corals and makes them more vulnerable to life-threatening diseases and also impact the migration pattern of aquatic animals.
    • Extreme weather events: According to several studies, higher ocean temperatures may also result in more frequent and more intense storms like hurricanes and cyclones.
      • Warmer temperatures lead to a higher rate of evaporation as well as the transfer of heat from the oceans to the air. That’s why, when storms travel across hot oceans, they gather more water vapor and heat. This results in more powerful winds, heavier rainfall, and more flooding.
    • Deoxygenation and Sea-Level Rise: Ocean warming leads to deoxygenation, a reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the ocean and sea-level rise resulting from the thermal expansion of seawater and continental ice melting.

    Suggestions/Recommendations

    • Adhere to Paris agreement goals: Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would reduce the increase in exposure of agricultural land to drought by between 21% , 80% of the increased human exposure to heat stress can be avoided and also economic damages due to fluvial flooding can be reduced. 
    • Enhanced efforts: The researchers warned that more effort is needed to reduce global warming, as currently the policies in place globally are likely to result in 3 degrees Celsius of global warming.
    • Expansion of protected area: The findings also showed that an expansion of protected area networks is necessary in order to deliver climate resilient biodiversity conservation.
    • Mitigation as well as adaptation: Greater emphasis needs to be placed on both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation to avoid large increases in risk to both human and natural systems.
    • Restore ecosystems: A good way to combat the effects of climate change on natural systems and soak up carbon from the atmosphere is to restore ecosystems to their natural state. This has the additional benefit of restoring the natural capital bank in these areas.

    Way Ahead

    • These disastrous consequences of global warming are set to become worse as the world continues to get warmer
    • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in its 2023 State of Global Climate report said there was a 66 percent chance that at least one of the years between 2023 and 2027 would cross the threshold of 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-in- dustrial levels.
    • The way to avoid or blunt the aforementioned consequences is to reduce GHG emissions.

    Source: IE

    Investments into Startups through Startup Registry

    Syllabus :GS 3/Economy

    In News

    • The government is planning to facilitate investments into startups through a registry called the Bharat Startup Ecosystem Registry.
    About Bharat Startup Ecosystem Registry

    – It is part of the StartUp India programme and aims to unite and support the diverse stakeholders of India’s startup ecosystem
    – It aims to help startups attract investments from domestic as well as global players and create a transparent system for these ventures.
    – It serves as a comprehensive database encompassing various categories such as investors, incubators, academia, government bodies, mentors, and industry bodies.

    Startup Ecosystem in india 

    • India has emerged as the 3rd largest ecosystem for startups globally with over 1,12,718 DPIIT-recognized startups across 763 districts of the country as of 03rd October 2023.
    •  India ranks 2nd in innovation quality with top positions in the quality of scientific publications and the quality of its universities among middle-income economies. 
    • In India, 114,902 entities were recognized as startups under the flagship Startup India initiative
      •  Of the total, 54,569 DPIIT-recognized startups have at least one woman director.
    • The innovation in India is not just limited to certain sectors.
      • Various new sectors such as DeepTech, SpaceTech, Artificial Intelligence, and EVs have broadened the Indian startup landscape.

    Significance 

    • The Indian Unicorns are flourishing in the fast-paced and dynamic economy of today.
      • These startups are not only developing innovative solutions and technologies but are generating large-scale employment
    • Many startups in India are operating in remote areas with the aim to support the overall local community including the economy.
    • Startups are helping the EV space to create a sustainable ecosystem in collaboration with the government to further boost the transition
    • There are numerous innovative ideas focused on better patient management, patient data analysis, and insurance claim management that startups are addressing to boost the healthcare sector in India.
    • Over the past decade, women played a significant role in driving India’s entrepreneurial advancements.
    • Former Niti Aayog CEO and India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant called India’s start-ups a “national asset” that have grown to be collectively worth $350 billion in the last eight years.

    Initiatives 

    • Startup India initiative: Launched in January 2016, the Startup India initiative aims to build a strong homegrown startup ecosystem while nurturing innovation and encouraging investments.
    • The DPIIT-recognised startups get access to a variety of incentives under schemes including Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS), Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS).
    • The Startup India Seed Fund Scheme : It has been approved for four years, from FY22, with an outlay of ₹945 crore.
      • It aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization.
    • Startup Mahakumbh:  The government is also organizing a two-day Startup Mahakumbh to showcase India’s startup prowess, and foster collaboration and growth within the ecosystem.
    • The government’s push toward green mobility unlocks enormous opportunities for businesses to explore and create charging infrastructure, battery recycling, and energy storage solutions
    • Startup20: With the introduction of the first-ever engagement group, Startup20, under India’s G20 presidency, the Indian startup ecosystem is making strides toward global recognition and impact.
      •  This initiative emphasises the importance of startups in driving economic growth and innovation and the country’s commitment to promoting the ecosystem globally.
    • The private sector is also playing an increasingly important role in supporting entrepreneurs. 
    • A policy for start-ups in the deep tech space is in the final stages of inter-ministerial consultations and it could be released soon.
    • During her Interim Budget speech, the Finance Minister had announced a Rs 1 lakh crore fund to provide long-term, low-cost or zero-interest loans for research and development. 
    • Other Steps:  Atal Innovation Mission, and Production-Linked Initiative schemes (PLI) create an environment conducive to their success and growth.

    Challenges

    • Despite initiatives launched by the government, many enterprises still face difficulties navigating the regulatory environment and obtaining the necessary approvals and licences for operation. 
    • Another challenge is the lack of infrastructure
    • A major challenge that businesses face is the need for more skilled talent
    •  Startups hitherto exist mostly on the urban landscape 
    • Social enterprises often face difficulty in securing investment, as many investors are still cautious about investing in untested business models and technologies. 
    • 2023 was a challenging year for Indian start-ups.
      • They raised a total of $8.3 billion – the lowest they have raised since 2016 when there were much fewer of these firms.

    Conclusion and Way Forward 

    • Indian startups are diverse, encompassing domains ranging from health and climate tech to clean energy and deep tech. 
    • They are well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the sunrise sectors, industries poised for rapid growth and likely to play a significant role in driving the country’s economic progress. 
    •  The scope of impact and scalability of sunrise and sustainable startups in the future is enormous. 
    • While significant steps have been taken in recent years to boost the startup ecosystem, a lot more still needs to be done for India to emerge as a global entrepreneurial hub.
    •  Incentivisation schemes to fast-track adoption such as Drone and Kisan Shakti should be expanded to include emerging technologies in other sectors as well.

    Source:IE

    SAKHI App for Gaganyaan Mission

    Syllabus: GS3/science and Technology

    Context

    • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) facility, has developed the multi-purpose app SAKHI to help astronauts on the Gaganyaan mission.

    About

    • SAKHI will monitor the health of the astronauts, help them stay connected with Earth and alert them about their dietary schedules.
    • It will keep the crew connected with the onboard computer and ground-based stations, guaranteeing a seamless communication link. 

    Long-Term Challenges to Human Space Exploration

    • Outside of Earth’s protective magnetosphere, astronauts are exposed to higher levels of cosmic radiation, which can damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer and other health issues.
    • Access to medical care is limited during space missions, and emergencies such as injuries or acute illnesses require prompt and effective intervention. 
    • Sleep disturbances are the major challenge in space due to factors such as environmental noise, changes in light-dark cycles, and discomfort from sleeping in microgravity. 

    Gaganyaan mission

    • The mission aims to demonstrate the capability to launch human beings (three crew members) to low earth orbit and bring them back safely to earth by landing.
    • The Launch Vehicle Mark-3 (LVM3) is the launch vehicle for the Gaganyaan mission. 
    • Crew Escape System (CES): HLVM3 consists of  CES powered by a set of quick acting, high burn rate solid motors which ensures that Crew Module along with the crew is taken to a safe distance in case of any emergency either at launch pad or during ascent phase.
    • Orbital Module: The Orbiter Module will orbit the Earth, and it consists of Crew Module (CM) and Service Module (SM). It is designed to keep the crew safe during ascent, orbital phase, and re-entry.
      • The Crew Module (CM) is the habitable space with the Earth-like environment in space for the crew.
      • Service Module (SM): It will be used to provide the necessary support to CM while in orbit. It is an unpressurized structure containing thermal system, propulsion system, power systems, avionics systems and deployment mechanisms.
    • This manned mission will be the first of ISRO’s human spaceflight missions. The US, Russia and China are the only three countries to have conducted human spaceflights yet.

    Source: TH

    India and Brazil 2+2 Dialogue

    Syllabus: GS2/IR

    Context

    • India and Brazil concluded the first ‘2+2’ defence and foreign ministerial dialogue.

    About

    • Discussions spanned defence, space, energy, critical minerals, tech, counter-terrorism and regional, multilateral & other issues of mutual interest.
    • It was co-chaired by an additional secretary in the external affairs ministry and joint secretary in the defence ministry.

    What are 2+2 meetings?

    • The 2+2 meetings signify the participation of two high-level representatives, Ministers holding Foreign and Defence portfolios, from each of the two countries who aim to enhance the scope of dialogue between them.
    • Having such a mechanism enables the partners to better understand and appreciate each other’s strategic concerns and sensitivities taking into account political factors on both sides, in order to build a stronger, more integrated strategic relationship.
    • India has held 2+2 meetings with ministers from the USA, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Russia.

    Brief on India- Brazil Relations

    • Diplomatic Relations: Relations were established in 1948, and the two countries have been Strategic Partners since 2006.
      • Both sides also have several Joint Working Groups to take forward sectoral cooperation. 
    • Trade Relations: In 2022, the bilateral trade expanded by 32% to US$15.2 billion (India’s exports US$8.8 billion & Imports – US$6.4 billion).
      • India and Brazil have established Trade Monitoring Mechanism as an institutional mechanism to monitor and identify bottlenecks in bilateral trade and take appropriate measures to address them. 
    • Defence & Security Cooperation: India and Brazil signed an agreement in 2003 for cooperation in defence. Meetings of Joint Defence Committee (JDC) are held as an institutionalized mechanism for defence cooperation. 
    • Security Cooperation: India and Brazil established a Strategic Dialogue mechanism in 2006 to cover regional and global issues of mutual concern.
      • The two countries have an Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters and an Agreement of Transfer of Sentenced Persons in place.
    • Space Cooperation: India and Brazil signed a framework agreement for peaceful use of outer space in 2004 as well an Agreement for inter-institutional cooperation between the space agencies.
      • Both countries have been collaborating in Data sharing and satellite tracking of Indian satellites. 
    • Multifora Relations: India and Brazil share a very close and multifaceted relationship both at bilateral level as well as in plurilateral fora such as BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, International Solar Alliance, as well as in the larger multilateral bodies such as the UN, WTO, UNESCO, and WIPO. 

    Challenges in the Relations

    • Geopolitical Competition: Both India and Brazil are emerging powers with aspirations for greater global influence. This can sometimes lead to competition, particularly in international forums like the UN, where both countries seek greater representation and influence.
    • Trade Barriers: Trade between India and Brazil has not reached its full potential, partly due to various trade barriers and protectionist measures in both countries. These barriers hinder the growth of bilateral trade and investment.
    • Infrastructure and Connectivity: Improving infrastructure and connectivity between the two countries remains a challenge.
      • Better air and sea connectivity, as well as improved transportation links, are essential for boosting trade and people-to-people contacts.

    Way Ahead

    • Overcoming the challenges requires sustained diplomatic efforts, enhanced economic cooperation, and a commitment to finding common ground on global issues. 
    • Despite the obstacles, the potential benefits of a stronger India-Brazil partnership make overcoming these challenges a worthwhile endeavor.

    Source: IE

    Forest Fires in Tamil Nadu

    Syllabus: GS3/Disaster Management

    Context

    • For almost a week, forest fires have been raging in the Coonoor forest range in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. 

    About

    • Over the past one week, the highest number of forest fires have been reported from Mizoram (3,738), Manipur (1,702), Assam (1,652), Meghalaya (1,252), and Maharashtra (1,215).
    • In South India, most forest covered areas of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have seen fire incidents over the past week.

    Forest fires

    • A forest fire, or wildfire, is an uncontrolled fire that rapidly spreads across vegetation and forest areas fueled by dry conditions, strong winds, and an excess of combustible material.
    • Causes of forest fires:
      • Natural causes: Many forest fires start from natural causes such as lightning which set trees on fire. However, rain extinguishes such fires without causing much damage.
        • High atmospheric temperatures and dryness (low humidity) offer favourable circumstances for a fire to start.
      • Man made causes: Fire is caused when a source of fire like flame, cigarette,electric spark or any source of ignition comes into contact with inflammable material.

    Impacts 

    • loss of valuable timber resources
    • degradation of catchment areas
    • loss of biodiversity and extinction of plants and animals
    • loss of wildlife habitat and depletion of wildlife
    • loss of natural regeneration and reduction in forest cover
    • global warming
    • loss of carbon sink resource and increase in percentage of CO2 in atmosphere
    • change in the microclimate of the area with unhealthy living conditions
    • soil erosion affecting productivity of soils and production
    • ozone layer depletion
    • health problems leading to diseases
    • loss of livelihood for tribal people and the rural population.

    Forest Fires in India

    • November to June is considered to be forest fire season in India, especially from February onward as summer approaches. April-May are usually the worst fire months across the country.
    • The biennial India State of Forest Report (ISFR) published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) reported that more than 36% of India’s forest cover was prone to frequent fires.
      • About 4% of the forest cover was ‘extremely prone’ to fire, and another 6% was ‘very highly’ fire prone.
    • Areas Prone to Forest Fires in India: Severe fires break out in dry deciduous forests, while evergreen, semi-evergreen, and montane temperate forests are comparatively less prone to fires. 
    • The forests of Northeast India, Odisha, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, and Uttarakhand are the most vulnerable to fires during the November to June period.

    Forest Fires in Southern India

    • Some forest areas in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are fire-prone. 
    • However, according to the FSI, forests in southern India are comparatively less vulnerable to fires, as the vegetation type is mainly evergreen or semi-evergreen, but Tamil Nadu has been reporting wildfires in its forests in recent years.
    • Reasons: High aridity, above-normal day temperatures, clear sky conditions, and calm winds during the early phase of the summer season are some of the contributory factors for the spike in forest fire incidents in southern India.

    Preventive Measures

    • Public Awareness Campaigns: Promote responsible behavior when it comes to fire use, such as proper disposal of cigarette butts and campfires.
    • Early Detection Systems: Implement surveillance systems like watchtowers, patrols, drones, and satellite monitoring to detect fires as early as possible, allowing for rapid response.
    • Community Involvement: Engage local communities in forest fire prevention and management. Train villagers and local volunteers in firefighting techniques and equip them with necessary tools.
    • Forest Management Practices: Implement sustainable forest management practices to maintain healthy ecosystems, including thinning out dense underbrush and removing dead vegetation.
    • Investment in Firefighting Infrastructure: Equip fire departments with necessary tools and resources for combating forest fires, including fire trucks, water pumps, hoses, and personal protective equipment.

    Source: IE

    News in Short

    Pandavula Gutta

    Syllabus: GS1/History and Culture

    Context

    • Pandavula Gutta, has been recognised as the sole Geo-heritage site in Telangana. 

    About

    • Pandavula Guttalu is a rock art site which is older than the Himalayan hills, and has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times. 
    • There are natural paintings on these rocks, depicting the lifestyle and hunting methods of earlier people. 
    • The paintings on the hills are of peacocks, lizards, tigers, frogs, fishes, deer etc. There are also geometrical designs and impressions in green, red, yellow and white pigment colors. 
    • Rock paintings, inscriptions of Rastrakutan times and fresco paintings of the late medieval period were also discovered in these hillocks. 

    What is rock art?

    • Rock art is a form of landscape art that includes designs that have been placed on boulder and cliff faces, cave walls and ceilings, and on the ground surface.
    • Rock art includes pictographs (drawings or paintings), petroglyphs (carvings or inscriptions), engravings (incised motifs), petroforms (rocks laid out in patterns), and geoglyphs (ground drawings).

    Source: TH 

    Digital Criminal Case Management System (CCMS) Platform

    Syllabus: GS2/e-governance; GS3/Security

    Context

    • Recently, the Union Home Minister virtually launched the unique CCMS Platform of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), and a mobile app ‘Sankalan’ – A compendium of New Criminal Laws by NCRB.

    About the Digital CCMS Platform

    • It is a user-friendly, easy-to-deploy, customizable and browser-based software,   designed to improve coordination and justice delivery in NIA’s operations.

    • It aims to enable NIA personnel to better coordinate in terrorism and organised crime cases, thereby improving justice delivery.

    Significance

    • It is designed to help the State Police forces in their investigations and prosecution.
    • This system aims to help the State forces organise, integrate, and digitalize the data generated during investigations, such as case documents, extracted data, collected evidence, and the charge sheets presented to the court.

    Source: PIB

    Exercise Tiger Triumph

    Syllabus: GS3/Defence

    Context:

    • Recently, India and the US jointly commenced the Exercise Tiger Triumph-24 in Eastern Seaboard in the USA.

    About the Exercise Tiger Triumph-24:

    • It is a bilateral tri-service exercise aimed at developing interoperability for conducting Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations and refining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to enable rapid and smooth coordination between the forces of both countries.

    • The first Tiger Triumph exercise took place in 2019.
    • Navy, Army and Air Force of both countries are participants in the exercise

    Phases of the Exercise:

    • Harbour Phase: It involves Training Visits, Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, Sports Events, and Social Interactions among personnel from both navies.
    • Sea Phase: Participating ships, with embarked troops, will undertake Maritime, Amphibious, and HADR operations based on simulated scenarios.

    Significances:

    • It aims to enhance the readiness and cooperation of the forces of both nations by strengthening their ability to respond effectively to humanitarian crises and natural disasters.

    • It underscores the shared commitment of both nations to peace and stability in the region and their willingness to work together towards these common goals.

    Source: TH

    Reserve Bank of India (RBI) integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS)

    Syllabus: GS 3/Economy

    In News

    • The number of complaints filed under the Reserve Bank’s ombudsman schemes increased by over 68 per cent to 7.03 lakh in the fiscal 2022-23.

    About RB-IOS

    • The RB-IOS was introduced on November 12, 2021.
    • It integrates the erstwhile three Ombudsman schemes of RBI namely, (i) the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006; (ii) the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018; and (iii) the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019
    • The Scheme simplifies the grievance redress process at RBI by enabling the customers of Regulated Entities (REs) to register their complaints at one centralised reference point. 
    • RB-IOS, 2021 covers all commercial banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), Payment System Participants, most Primary (Urban) Cooperative Banks, and Credit Information Companies.
    • The objective of the Scheme is to resolve the customer grievances involving ‘deficiency in service’ on part of REs in a speedy, cost-effective and satisfactory manner. 

    Source:Print 

    Haemodialysis 

    Syllabus: GS2/Health

    Context

    • Findings from a nationwide private haemodialysis network show that there is a variation in the survival of patients receiving haemodialysis in India and suggested to standardise dialysis care across centres.

    Haemodialysis 

    • Hemodialysis is a medical procedure used to filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood when the kidneys are no longer able to perform this function adequately. 
    • It is commonly used to treat advanced kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
    • During hemodialysis, the patient’s blood is circulated through a machine called a dialyzer, which acts as an artificial kidney. 
    • Hemodialysis is typically performed several times a week, with each session lasting a few hours. 
    • It is a life-saving treatment for individuals with kidney failure, helping to maintain their overall health and well-being.

    Source: TH

    Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024.

    Syllabus: GS3/Environment and Conservation

    Context

    • The Centre has notified a set of rules called the Captive Elephant (Transfer or Transport) Rules, 2024.

    About

    • The rules liberalise the conditions under which captive elephants may be transferred within or between states.
    • Conditions for Transfer: When an owner is no longer in a position to maintain the elephant,
      • the elephant will likely have a better upkeep than in the present circumstances; 
      • or when a state’s Chief Wildlife Warden “deems it fit and proper” in the circumstances of the case for better upkeep of the elephant.
    • Transfer within State: Before a transfer within the state, an elephant’s health has to be ratified by a veterinarian and the Deputy Conservator of Forests must establish that the animal’s current habitat and prospective habitat are suitable.
      • The Chief Wildlife Warden on receipt of such documents may choose to reject or approve the transfer.
    • Transfer Between States: If the transfer involves moving the elephant outside of a state, similar conditions apply.
      • Before a transfer is effected, the “genetic profile” of the elephant has to be registered with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

    Source: TH

    Somalia 

    Syllabus :GS 1/Places in news 

    In News

    • Somali police and international navies were preparing to attack a commercial ship that was hijacked by pirates .

    About Somalia 

    • It is  located in the Horn of Africa.
    •  It is bordered by Ethiopia to the West, Djibouti to the Northwest, the Gulf of Aden to the North, the Indian Ocean to the East, and Kenya to the Southwest.

    • The official languages : Somali and Arabic.
    • It is a founding member state of (AU) African Union which was originally the Organization of African Union and in June 1974, Somalia hosted the 11th OAU summit in Mogadishu.

    Source:Reutors 

    Volcano Eruption In Reykjanes Peninsula 

    Syllabus: GS1/Geography

    Context

    • A state of emergency has been declared in Southern Iceland after a volcano erupted in Reykjanes Peninsula In Iceland.

    Reykjanes peninsula 

    • Iceland is located on Mid-Atlantic Ridge, between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates.It is a seismic and volcanic hot spot as the two plates move in opposite directions.
    • The Reykjanes peninsula is in South West Iceland, characterized by immense lava fields, volcanoes, and heightened geothermal activity.
    • The main geothermal areas of Reykjanes are Gunnuhver, Krysuvik, and Svartsengi.

    Source: AIR