28 June 2021 Daily current Affairs

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Project Sea Bird, often seen in the news recently, is associated with?

a.   Indian Navy

b.   Oil & Natural Gas Corporation

c.   National Disaster Response Force

d.   None of the above

2)Which of the following statement(s) is/ are correct with respect to Antarctic Treaty

1. It is joint statement outlined the aims of the United States and the United Kingdom over Antarctic continent.

2. The treaty put a freeze on any disputes between claimants over their territories on the continent.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a.   1 only

b.   2 only

c.   Both 1 and 2

d.   Neither 1 nor 2

3)Data Lake is an AI powered Big Data Analytics platform of which of the following organizations?

a.   India Meteorological Department

b.   National Highways Authority of India

c.   Food Corporation of India

d.   NITI Aayog

A data lake is a storage repository that holds a vast amount of raw data in its native format until it is needed. While a hierarchical data warehouse stores data in files or folders, a data lake uses a flat architecture to store data.

Prelims Specific News Items :-

Homo who? A new mystery human species has been discovered in Israel :- An international group of archaeologists have discovered a missing piece in the story of human evolution.

Excavations at the Israeli site of Nesher Ramla have recovered a skull that may represent a late-surviving example of a distinct Homo population, which lived in and around modern-day Israel from about 420,000 to 120,000 years ago.

Nor were they Neanderthal, however, which was the only other type of human thought to have been living in the region at the time.

In addition, the bone is considerably thicker than those found in both Neanderthals and most early H. sapiens.

The authors suggest fossils found at other Israeli sites, including the famous Lady of Tabun, might also be part of this new human population, in contrast to their previous Neanderthal or H. sapiens identification.

The “Lady of Tabun” (known to archaeologists as Tabun C1) was discovered in 1932 by pioneering archaeologist Yusra and her field director, Dorothy Garrod.

2)The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an international financial institution that aims to promote global monetary and financial stability through the coordination of global central banks and their monetary policy efforts.

The Bank for International Settlements is often called the “central bank for central banks” because it provides banking services to institutions such as the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve. These services include conducting gold and currency transactions, as well as making short-term collateralized loans.

The BIS also encourages cooperation among central banks. The Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS), while technically separate from the BIS, is a closely associated international forum for financial regulation that is housed in the BIS’ offices in Basel, Switzerland. The BCBS is responsible for the Basel Accords, which recommend capital requirements and other banking regulations that are widely implemented by national governments.

The BIS was founded in 1930 as a clearinghouse for German war reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. The original members were Germany, Belgium, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, the U.S., and Switzerland. Reparations were discontinued shortly after the bank’s founding, and the BIS became a forum for cooperation and a counterparty for transactions among central banks.

As per the latest data from Bank for International Settlements (BIS), incremental credit growth has decreased to 59-year low at 5.56% in Financial Year 2021.

3)Who is a Registered Valuer?

A registered valuer is an individual or entity which is registered with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBIBI) as a valuer in accordance with the Companies (Registered Valuers and Valuation) Rules, 2017.

Under Section 458 of the Companies Act, IBBI has been specified as the authority by the central government.

The concept of registered valuer was introduced in the Companies Act in 2017 in order to regulate the valuation of assets and liabilities linked to a company and to standardize the valuation procedure in line with global valuation standards.

Before the concept of registered valuer became part of the Companies Act, valuation was done in an arbitrary manner, often leading to question marks over the authenticity of the valuation.

4)

Editorials of the Day

Fighting hunger needs fighting climate change :-

Food and SDG

  • Food is a common thread linking all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and critical to achieving overall goals within the timeframe.
  • NITI Aayog recently released the SDG India Index 2020-21, highlighting the national and states’ progress on SDGs.
  • The report states that 34.7% children aged under five in India are stunted.
  • 40.5% of children between 6-59 months are anaemic.
  • 50.3% of pregnant women between 15-49 years are anaemic.
  • India shares a quarter of the global hunger burden.
  • Four out of 10 children in India are not meeting their full human potential because of chronic undernutrition or stunting.
  • NFHS-5 shows many states have not fared well on nutrition indicators.
  • In addition to the malnutrition challenges, India’s food system faces negative consequences of the Green Revolution technologies.

Pathways to follow in meeting the targets under SDG-2 (Zero Hunger)

  • Crop diversification especially in those areas where the existing practices are ecologically unsustainable should be promoted.
  • While Indian agriculture is a significant contributor to GHG emissions.
  • As per third Biennial Update Report submitted by Government of India to UNFCCC, agriculture sector contributes 14% of the total emissions.
  • Some of the climate-smart interventions like conservation agriculture, organic farming and agro-ecological approaches can effectively address the environmental concerns while ensuring food security and nutrition.
  • Crop-residue burning has become a huge problem in parts of the country.
  • This is mainly propelled by monoculture and a package of subsidies.
  • Conservation agriculture offers solutions to such problems with good agronomy and soil management such as zero-tillage or no-till farming, crop rotation, in-situ crop harvest residue management/mulching, etc, and industrial uses like baling and bio-fuel production.
  • Use of botanical pesticides, green-manuring, biological pest control, etc. are nature-friendly and such practices lead to eco-conservation.
  • The organic movement, fortunately, is catching up in Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and a few other states.
  • Modifying consumer behaviour forms an essential ingredient to transform Indian food systems and correlate positively with crop and diet diversity.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan, India’s national nutrition mission, can play an effective role in addressing the issues of persistent malnutrition.
  • According to FAO estimates, 40% of the food produced in India is either lost or wasted in every stage of supply chain.
  • Winning the fight against food loss and waste can save India $61 billion in 2050 through increased industry profitability and reduced food insecurity, as well as reduced GHG emissions, water usage, and environmental degradation.
  • Shifting towards a circular economy can enable India progress towards the SDGs including halving food waste by 2030 and improving resource efficiency.

Conclusion

India’s success is essential to achieve the planetary goal of Zero Hunger. There is a need for transformation towards sustainable, nutritious and resilient food systems to achieve the goal of zero hunger.

Editorial 02 :- Full equality still out of reach for India’s sexual minorities

Role played by the judiciary

  • The Delhi High Court’s verdict in Naz Foundation vs Government of NCT of Delhi (2009) was a landmark in the law of sexuality and equality jurisprudence in India.
  • The court held that Section 377 offended the guarantee of equality enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution, because it creates an unreasonable classification and targets homosexuals as a class.
  • In a retrograde step, the Supreme Court, in Suresh Kumar Koushal vs Naz Foundation (2013), reinstated Section 377 to the IPC.
  • However, the Supreme Court in Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. vs Union of India (2018) declared that the application of Section 377 IPC to consensual homosexual behaviour was “unconstitutional”.
  • This Supreme Court judgment has been a great victory to the Indian individual in his quest for identity and dignity.
  • It also underscored the doctrine of progressive realisation of rights.

No legal sanction to same-sex marriage

  • Despite the judgments of the Supreme Court, there is still a lot of discrimination against sexual minorities in matters of employment, health and personal relationship.
  • The Union of India has recently opposed any move to accord legal sanction to same-sex marriages in India.
  • The Union of India stated that the decriminalisation of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code does not automatically translate into a fundamental right for same sex couples to marry. 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court, in Obergefell vs Hodges (2015) underscored the emotional and social value of the institution of marriage and asserted that the universal human right of marriage should not be denied to a same-sex couple.
  • Indian society and the state should synchronise themselves with changing trends.

Need to amend Article 15 to prohibit discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation

  • Article 15 secures the citizens from every sort of discrimination by the state, on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth or any of them.
  • The grounds of non-discrimination should be expanded by including gender and sexual orientation.
  • In May 1996, South Africa became the first country to constitutionally prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
  • The United Kingdom passed the “Alan Turing law” in 2017 which ‘granted amnesty and pardon to the men who were cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts’.

Way forward

  • Justice Rohinton F. Nariman had directed in Navtej Singh Johar & Ors., the Government to sensitise the general public and officials, to reduce and finally eliminate the stigma associated with LGBTQ+ community through the mass media and the official channels.
  • School and university students too should be sensitised about the diversity of sexuality to deconstruct the myth of heteronormativity.
  • Heteronormativity is the root cause of hetero-sexism and homophobia.

Conclusion

It is time for change, but the burden should not be left to the powers that be. The onus remains with the civil society, the citizenry concerned and the LGBTQ+ community itself.

Species in News :-

A new species of skittering frog has been identified from the surroundings of the Thattekkad bird sanctuary.

Euphlyctis Kerala

  • The new species is named Euphlyctis Kerala in honor of the remarkable biodiversity of the State, which is also known for many endemic species of frogs.
  • The new species is known to be found in the freshwater bodies of the foothills of the Western Ghats, south of the Palakkad Gap.
  • Although multiple skittering frogs have been described from India for almost two centuries (since 1799), the taxonomic mess within this group created a lot of confusion due to “morphological character crypticity”.
  • Members of the genus Euphlyctis (skittering frogs) have their distribution range from Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand.
  • As of now, Kerala is known to have 180 species of frogs and there could be many more new species awaiting formal descriptions.

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