01 November 2021 Daily Current Affairs

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Prelims Specific Question

1) Blue carbon is associated with which of the following?

  1. Mangroves
  2. Oceans
  3. Tidal marshes

Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only
  3. 2 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

2) Barak Valley is located in which of the following Indian State?

  1. Manipur
  2. Nagaland
  3. Bihar
  4. Assam

3) Climate Vulnerability Index, released by which of the following organization?

  1. International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  2. Green Peace
  3. Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)
  4. World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

DEFENCE

1. ‘Tushil’ :-

The 7th Indian Navy Frigate of P1135.6 class was launched at Yantar Shipyard, Russia. The ship is formally named as ‘Tushil’-a Sanskrit word meaning Protector Shield.

The construction of ships is based on an Inter-Governmental Agreement between the India and Russian Federation for construction of two ships of Project 1135.6 ships in Russia and two ships in India at M/s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).

2. Navy takes delivery of warship

The first ship of the four Project-15B state-of-the-art stealth guided missile destroyers, Visakhapatnam, being built at the Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL), was delivered to the Navy last Friday. Delayed by three years, the ships will be commissioned very soon.

“The 163-metre-long warship has a full load displacement of 7,400 tonnes and a maximum speed of 30 knots. The overall indigenous content of the project is approximately 75%,” the Navy said

Science and Technology

1. Direct Seeded Rice 

Scientists at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Manila have come up with new DSR rice varieties.

Why were new varieties developed?

Rice-growing is resource-intensive as it covers 11% of the Earth’s arable land and consumes one-third of irrigation water. Moreover, paddy farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, DSR method of rice cultivation is being incentivized.

But, the Direct Seeded Method (DSR) despite being eco-friendly has not witnessed large scale adoption due to complaints of low yields and increased susceptibility to pests.

Direct Seeded Rice :– Researchers have developed suitable direct seeding alternatives to transplanted paddy. In direct seeded rice (DSR) cultivation, raising of nursery for transplantation is done away with.

Advantage of the Technique:-

  • Farmer can avoid the major problem faced in Punjab i.e., labour shortage for transplanting due to peak demand.
  • In case of delay in monsoon or shortage of water,
  • DSR gives the farmer flexibility to take up direct sowing of paddy with a suitable duration variety to fit into the left over season.
  • Direct sown rice consumes relatively less water compared to transplanted flooded rice.
  • Energy demand for pumping of irrigation water is also less and saving can be much higher during deficit rainfall situations compared to transplanted rice.
  • Early Maturity
  • undisturbed soil structure
  • Better Fertilizer use efficiency.
  • Direct sowing can be practiced for cultivating both coarse rice and basmati rice wherever feasible.

Drawbacks:-

  • Seed requirement is high
  • Early Sowing required.

Bodies / Environment

1. No time-bound pacts on climate change at G-20

No time-bound agreements were reached as leaders of the world’s top economies ended the summit in Rome, recommitting to providing $100 billion a year to counter climate change, and pushing for greater vaccine equality to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. G-20 countries also committed to ending international financing for all new coal plants by the end of 2021, but made no mention of domestic commitments on ending coal power generation.

About G-20

  • The “Group of 20” (G20) is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries and the European Union: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and United states of America.
  • Spain is permanent non-member invitee.
  •  The G20 membership comprises a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85% of global gross domestic product, 80% of global investment and over 75% of global trade.
  • It does not have any permanent secretariat or headquarters.

Ahead of COP26, Indian site highlights emissions gap

A day ahead of the commencement of the 26th UN Conference of Parties in Glasgow, India has officially endorsed a website (https://climateequitymonitor.in), made by Indian climate experts, that lists the historical carbon dioxide emissions of developed countries. The database aims to highlight the disparity between the emissions of developed and developing countries.

The key fact that the database highlights is that it is only fair that developed countries must commit to steeper targets towards curbing emissions than developing countries.

The Climate Equity Monitor, as the site is called, is aimed at monitoring the performance of Annex-I Parties under the UNFCCC (developed countries) based on the “foundational principles” of the Climate Convention.

The performance and policies of the Non Annex-I Parties (developing countries) will be provided for comparison, the statement notes.

2. Punjab does a deep dive for Indus dolphins

The census of one of the world’s most threatened cetaceans, the Indus river dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) — a freshwater dolphin that is found in river Beas, is all set to commence in the winter as part of a project by the Centre. However, Punjab’s wildlife preservation wing has gone a step ahead to not only protect the dolphins but also their natural habitat.

The Indus river dolphin is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and, until recently, it was believed that these dolphins were endemic to Pakistan. But in 2007, a remnant but viable population of Indus dolphins was discovered in Punjab’s Harike wildlife sanctuary and in the lower Beas river. Since its discovery, research is being done by Punjab’s Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation in partnership with WWF-India on the current distribution, habitat use and population abundance of the mammal. The Indus river dolphin was declared the State aquatic animal of Punjab in 2019.

Extension programmes will be held to develop a group of dedicated individuals, called ‘Beas-Dolphin Mitras’ [friends and protectors] of the river Beas.

Economy

1. ‘Informal sector shrank sharply in 2020-21’

Signalling a greater shift towards formalisation of the economy, the share of the large informal sector in overall economic activity dipped sharply in 2020-21 even as informal workers continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic’s adverse effects, the SBI said in a research report.

The SBI projections suggest that the informal agriculture sector has shrunk from 97.1% of the sector’s GVA in 2017-18 to just 70%-75% in 2020-21, driven by the increased penetration of credit through Kisan credit cards. Real estate has also seen a significant dip in informal activity from 52.8% in 2017-18 to 20%-25% last year.

2. Amul model must go beyond dairy

Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah said that the cooperative sector’s contribution in creating a $5-trillion economy will be immense as shown by the success of Amul, the world’s largest milk cooperative.

At an event organised to mark the completion of 75 years of Amul, which was started in 1946 as a cooperative movement in Anand, Gujarat.

“We need to implement this cooperative model to uplift sectors like agriculture and animal husbandry. The cooperative model will prove crucial in making agriculture ‘atmanirbhar’ [selfreliant],” the Union Minister said.

3. China grapples with challenges of slowing economy, outbreaks

China’s government is grappling with twin challenges of weaker-than-expected economic growth and fresh COVID19 outbreaks, just as the country’s leadership prepares for a key Communist Party conclave next week.

After months of a strong recovery, China’s factory activity in October slowed, the second straight monthly contraction, as the economy reels from a power crisis, the fallout from troubles plaguing a highly leveraged real sector, and increasing costs of raw materials. Close to 400 COVID cases have been reported in the last two weeks — a small number compared with the rest of the world, but the spread of the outbreak in multiple provinces has led to stringent lockdowns, further squeezing the economy.

International Relations

UAE urges citizens to leave Lebanon ‘as soon as possible

The UAE on Sunday called on its citizens in Lebanon to immediately return home, a day after recalling its diplomats from Beirut over a Lebanese Minister’s remarks on the Yemen war.

Editorials of the Day

Getting nutrition back on the school high table

Tackling India’s triple burden

India faces multiple problems of Under-nutrition and overweight/ obesity coexisting with deficiencies of micronutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium and several vitamins.

What are the problems–

  • Childhood and adolescence are two conjoined periods of continuous growth and development — a seamless duration. For instance, between two and 10 years of age, children tend to grow at an average of 67 cm in height and 1.5 to 3 kg in weight every year. But specifically, when the growth spurt happens at about 10-12 years in girls and two years later in boys during adolescence, their nutritional needs are vastly increased. In the case of girls, their nutritional status impacts not only their health but that of generations to come. Malnutrition in any form can put children and adolescents at risk of compromised immune function, thus making them vulnerable to infections.
  • No physical activities among urban areas, middle class family and affluent communities.
  • Hidden hanger is not recognized yet as need for body.  To combat hidden hunger, affordable, accessible and diverse food sources must be made available across India. Micronutrients that are primarily available in fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, legumes and whole grains play a crucial role in enhancing the native and adaptive immune function and also aid ‘immune memory’ formation.

What can be done –

Maintaining ideal body weight, regular physical activity, adequate water intake along with adequate sleep and low screen time can go a long way in building and regulating their immunity.

The PM POSHAN (The Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana)  envisages providing 450 Kcal energy and 12g of protein for primary; 700 Kcal and 20g protein for upper primary children through diet diversity.

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