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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 5 June 2021

 

InstaLinks help you think beyond the issue but relevant to the issue from UPSC prelims and Mains exam point of view. These linkages provided in this ‘hint’ format help you frame possible questions in your mind that might arise(or an examiner might imagine) from each current event. InstaLinks also connect every issue to their static or theoretical background. This helps you study a topic holistically and add new dimensions to every current event to help you think analytically. 

current affairs, current events, current gk, insights ias current affairs, upsc ias current affairs

 

Table of Contents:

GS Paper 2:

1. What is the SDG India Index?

2. Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM) – Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI).

 

GS Paper 3:

1. Internet through LEO satellites.

2. Why is NASA sending water bears, baby squid to the International Space Station?

3. Anti-hail gun test by Himachal Pradesh.

4. Strong policies on black carbon can sharply cut glacier melt: World Bank study.

 

Facts for Prelims:

1. Teachers Eligibility Test.

2. SAGE Portal.

3. Operation Sagar Aaraksha II.

4. INS Sandhayak.


GS Paper  :  2


 

Topics Covered: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

What is the SDG India Index?


About the Index for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • First launched in December 2018, the index has become the primary tool for monitoring progress on the SDGs in India.
  • It has also fostered competition among the states and UTs by ranking them on the global goals.
  • The index is developed in collaboration with the United Nations in India.
  • It tracks the progress of all states and UTs on 115 indicators aligned with the National Indicator Framework (NIF) of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

How are states and UTs ranked?

The SDG India Index scores range between 0–100, higher the score of a State/UT, the greater the distance to target achieved.

States and UTs are classified in four categories based on Index score:

  1. Aspirant: 0–49.
  2. Performer: 50–64.
  3. Front-runner: 65–99.
  4. Achiever: 100.

Currently, there are no states in the aspirant and achiever category.

What are its latest findings?

  • Country’s overall SDG score improved by 6 points — from 60 in 2019 to 66 in 2020-21.
  • This improvement is on accounts of improvement in performance in providing facilities including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy among others.
  • Kerala retained its rank as the top with a score of 75, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu both took the second spot with a score of 74.
  • Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam were the worst performing states in this year’s India index.
  • Chandigarh maintained its top spot among the UTs with a score of 79, followed by Delhi (68).

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know- the Millennium Development Goals were aimed at poorer countries (more or less) and SDG goals are designed to be universal. : Read here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. SDGs vs MDGs- similarities, differences and time period.
  2. Adoption and administration of these goals.
  3. United Nations Conference on the Human Environment vs Earth Summit.
  4. Addis Ababa Action.
  5. Goals related to poverty and environment.
  6. Intended nationally determined contributions (INDC).
  7. What is SDG India Index?

Mains Link:

Enumerate the principal goals and targets of Sustainable Development Goals.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Important international organisations.

Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM) – Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI):


Context:

India along with Govt. of United Kingdom launched new workstream to promote industrial energy efficiency under the Clean Energy Ministerial’s (CEM)Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI) at the 12th Chief Energy Ministerial (CEM).

What is Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI)?

  • It is a global coalition of public and private organisations who are working to stimulate demand for low carbon industrial materials.
  • In collaboration with national governments, IDDI works to standardise carbon assessments, establish ambitious public and private sector procurement targets, incentivise investment into low-carbon product development and design industry guidelines.
  • Coordinated by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
  • Members: The IDDI is co-led by the UK and India and current members include Germany and Canada.

About Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM):

Establishment:

  • It was established in December 2009 at the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change conference of parties in Copenhagen.
  • CEM is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs that advance clean energy technology, to share lessons learned and best practices, and to encourage the transition to a global clean energy economy.
  • 29 countries are part of CEM including India.

 

Insta Curious:

  1. Do you know What Sacrifice Zones are? Read Here  

Related concept to Standardisation:

  1. Do you know ISO is concerned with standardization in all technical and nontechnical fields except electrical and electronic engineering. Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CEM.
  2. About IDDI.
  3. UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  4. What is UNIDO?

Mains Link:

What is the Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI)? Discuss.

Sources: PIB.


GS Paper  :  3


 

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

Internet through LEO satellites:


Context:

OneWeb, which is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications operator, has launched its next batch of 36 satellites from Russia.

With the latest launch, OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation stands at 218 satellites. These would be a part of OneWeb’s 648 LEO satellite fleet.

About OneWeb’s LEO internet programme:

  • Using LEO satellites OneWeb seeks to offer connectivity across the UK, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, the Arctic Seas and Canada. The company expects the service to be switched on before the end of the year.
  • It calls this programme the ‘Five to 50’ service of offering internet connectivity to all regions north of 50 degrees latitude.

What are the benefits of LEO satellites based internet?

  1. LEO satellites are positioned around 500km-2000km from earth, compared to stationary orbit satellites which are approximately 36,000km away.
  2. As LEO satellites orbit closer to the earth, they are able to provide stronger signals and faster speeds than traditional fixed-satellite systems.
  3. Because signals travel faster through space than through fibre-optic cables, they also have the potential to rival if not exceed existing ground-based networks.

Challenges:

LEO satellites travel at a speed of 27,000 kph and complete a full circuit of the planet in 90-120 minutes. As a result, individual satellites can only make direct contact with a land transmitter for a short period of time thus requiring massive LEO satellite fleets and consequently, a significant capital investment.

Criticisms of LEO satellites:

  1. The balance of power has shifted from countries to companies since most of these are private companies run projects. As a result, there are questions related to who regulates these companies, especially given the myriad of nations that contribute to individual projects.
  2. Complicated regulatory framework:
  3. Stakeholders in these companies are from various countries. Thus it becomes challenging to receive requisite licences to operate in each country.
  4. Satellites can sometimes be seen in the night skies which creates difficulties for astronomers as the satellites reflect sunlight to earth, leaving streaks across images.
  5. Satellites travelling at a lower orbit can also interrupt the frequency of those orbiting above them.
  6. Those objects, colloquially referred to as ‘space junk,’ have the potential to damage spacecraft or collide with other satellites.

Potential:

LEO satellite broadband is preferable in areas that cannot be reached by fibre and spectrum services. The target market will therefore be rural populations and military units operating away from urban areas.

Are there any other similar projects?

OneWeb’s chief competitor is Starlink, a venture led by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Starlink currently has 1,385 satellites in orbit and has already started beta testing in North America and initiating pre-orders in countries like India.

 

Insta Curious:

  1. How many types of orbit do you know? Check out here
  2. Concept of Space exploration Technology: Do you know What Distributed Spacecraft Autonomy (DSA) is? Read Here
  3. Have you heard of SWARM – A space exploration concept? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About LEO.
  2. Starlink project.
  3. Benefits of LEO satellite based internet.

Mains Link:

Discuss the Concerns associated with satellite based internet services.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Why is NASA sending water bears, baby squid to the International Space Station?


Context:

Nasa has sent glow-in-the-dark baby squids and about 5,000 tardigrades, also called water bears, to the International Space Station.

  • They were part of the 22nd SpaceX cargo resupply mission.

Objectives of these new experiments:

  1. To help scientists design improved protective measures for astronauts going on long-duration space travel.
  2. To understand how beneficial microbes interact with animals, potentially leading to breakthroughs in improving human health on Earth.

Why send microbes?

Microbes play a crucial role in the normal development of animal tissues and in maintaining human health, and the research will allow scientists to have a better understanding of how beneficial microbes interact with animals when there is a lack of gravity.

  • In the human body, microorganisms contribute to a variety of functions, including digestion, developing the immune system and detoxifying harmful chemicals. A disruption in our relationship with these microbes can lead to disease.

What is the International Space Station?

  • A space station is essentially a large spacecraft that remains in low-earth orbit for extended periods of time.
  • The ISS has been in space since 1998.
  • It is a result of cooperation between the five participating space agencies that run it: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).
  • The ISS circles the Earth in roughly 93 minutes, completing 15.5 orbits per day.

 

 

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US. Read here

Did you know , India will have its own space station soon? Read Here (Relevant considering the schedule of Gaganyan mission)

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the ISS.
  2. Countries involved.
  3. Objectives.
  4. Previous space stations.
  5. Other space stations.

Mains Link:

Write a note on the International Space Station.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation related issues.

Anti-hail gun test by Himachal Pradesh:


Context:

To help out horticulturists who face crop damage due to hailstorms, the Himachal Pradesh government will be testing the use of indigenously developed ‘anti-hail guns’.

Firstly, what is hail?

Hail is produced by cumulonimbus clouds, which are generally large and dark and may cause thunder and lightning.

  • In such clouds, winds can blow up the water droplets to heights where they freeze into ice. The frozen droplets begin to fall but are soon pushed back up by the winds and more droplets freeze onto them, resulting in multiple layers of ice on the hailstones.
  • This fall and rise is repeated several times, till the hailstones become too heavy and fall down.

What are ‘anti-hail guns’?

  • An anti-hail gun is a machine which generates shock waves to disrupt the growth of hailstones in clouds.
  • It comprises a tall, fixed structure somewhat resembling an inverted tower, several metres high, with a long and narrow cone opening towards the sky.
  • The gun is “fired” by feeding an explosive mixture of acetylene gas and air into its lower chamber, which releases a shock wave (waves which travel faster than the speed of sound, such as those produced by supersonic aircraft).
  • These shock waves supposedly stop water droplets in clouds from turning into hailstones, so that they fall simply as raindrops.

But, what is the need? Why is hail a big issue in HP?

Every summer from March to May, frequent hailstorms in the fruit-growing areas of Himachal destroy apples, pears and other crops, causing massive losses to farmers. In some hail-prone areas such as Narkanda and Theog, the entire apple crop in an orchard may sometimes get destroyed during such storms.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about Cloudbuster and Orgone energy? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Operating mechanism of anti-hail guns.
  2. Conditions favorable for the formation of hailstorm.
  3. What are cumulonimbus clouds?
  4. Apple growing regions in the country.

Sources: Indian Express.

 

Topics Covered: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Strong policies on black carbon can sharply cut glacier melt: World Bank study:


Context:

The world Bank had recently conducted a research study on impact of Black Carbon over the Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush (HKHK) mountain ranges, where glaciers are melting faster than the global average ice mass.

  • The report is titled “Glaciers of the Himalayas, Climate Change, Black Carbon and Regional Resilience”.

Key findings:

  • Black carbon (BC) deposits produced by human activity accelerate the pace of glacier and snow melt in the Himalayan region.
  • The rate of retreat of HKHK glaciers is estimated to be 0.3 metres per year in the west to 1.0 metre per year in the east. BC adds to the impact of climate change.
  • Deposits of BC act in two ways hastening the pace of glacier melt: by decreasing surface reflectance of sunlight and by raising air temperature.

Suggestions:

  1. Full implementation of current policies to mitigate BC can achieve a 23% reduction but enacting new policies and incorporating them through regional cooperation among countries can achieve enhanced benefits.
  2. The rate of retreat can be sharply reduced through new, currently feasible policies by an additional 50% from current levels.
  3. Specifically, in the Himalayas, reducing black carbon emissions from cookstoves, diesel engines, and open burning would have the greatest impact and could significantly reduce radiative forcing.

About Black Carbon:

  • BC is a short-lived pollutant that is the second-largest contributor to warming the planet behind carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • Unlike other greenhouse gas emissions, BC is quickly washed out and can be eliminated from the atmosphere if emissions stop.
  • Unlike historical carbon emissions, it is also a localised source with greater local impact.
  • It is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass, and is emitted in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot.

Sources of black carbon in HKHK regions:

Industry [primarily brick kilns] and residential burning of solid fuel together account for 45–66% of regional anthropogenic [man-made] BC deposition, followed by on-road diesel fuels (7–18%) and open burning (less than 3% in all seasons)” in the region.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know What Hoarfrost is? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What are Tarballs?
  2. Differences between black carbon and brown carbon.
  3. Sources.
  4. Impacts.

Mains Link:

Examine the impact of Increased percentage of Tarballs on Himalayas.

Sources: the Hindu.

 


Facts for Prelims:


Teachers Eligibility Test:

  • Teachers Eligibility Test is the minimum qualification required in India for a person to be eligible for appointment as a teacher for Classes I to VIII.
  • The test is mandatory for teaching jobs in Indian government schools.
  • The TET is conducted by both the central and state governments of India.
  • The test is conducted to meet the objectives of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Why in News?

The Ministry of Education has extended the validity of the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) qualifying certificate from seven years to life with retrospective effect from 2011.

SAGE Portal:

The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, launched the SAGE (Seniorcare Aging Growth Engine) initiative and SAGE portal to support India’s elderly persons.

  • The portal will be a “one-stop access” of elderly care products and services by credible start-ups.
  • The start-ups selected under SAGE will be those which will provide new innovative products and services to elderly persons in various areas like health, travel, finance, legal ,housing, food among others.
  • The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment will act as a facilitator for this scheme.
  • A fund of uptoRs.1 crore as one-time equity will be granted to each selected start-up.

Operation Sagar Aaraksha II:

Indian Coast Guard (ICG), in coordination with Sri Lankan authorities, has been tirelessly engaged in fighting a major fire onboard the Chemical laden container vessel MV X-Press Pearl anchored off Colombo since 25 May 2021.

  • This coordinated joint operation undertaken to respond to potential environmental danger has been christened as Sagar Aaraksha-II.

INS Sandhayak:

  • It is Hydrographic survey ship, the first of its class indigenously designed and built.
  • It was decommissioned recently after 40 years of service.
  • The ship had undertaken approximately 200 major hydrographic surveys and numerous minor surveys.

The ship has also been an active participant in many significant operations such as:

  1. Op Pawan – assisting the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka in 1987.
  2. Op Rainbow – rendering humanitarian assistance post 2004 Tsunami.
  3. Participation in the maiden joint Indo-US HADR Exercise ‘Tiger-Triumph’.

 

Articles to be covered tomorrow:

  1. OPCW.
  2. Tiananmen Square Massacre.
  3. CBSE cannot deny students name change on certificates.

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