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INSIGHTS DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS + PIB SUMMARY- 10 August 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

 


 

Rise in frequency and intensity of cyclones in Arabian Sea

GS Paper 1

Topics Covered: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc.

 

Context:

The frequency and intensity of cyclones developing over the Arabian Sea has increased in the last two decades, while fewer such storms have been seen over the Bay of Bengal.

 

Key changes:

  • A 52% increase was noticed in the frequency of cyclones over the Arabian Sea between 2001 and 2019 , and an 8% decrease over the Bay of Bengal.
  • The number of very severe cyclones in the Arabian Sea has gone up by 150% during the last two decades.

 

Factors responsible for this:

  1. Surface temperatures in the Arabian Sea have increased rapidly during the past century due to global warming. Temp. Now is 1.2–1.4 °C higher than the temperature witnessed four decades ago. These warmer temperatures support active convection, heavy rainfall, and intense cyclones.
  2. The rising temperature is also enabling the Arabian Sea to supply ample energy for the intensification of cyclones.
  3. The Arabian Sea is also providing conducive wind shear for cyclones. For instance, a higher level easterly wind drove the depression of Cyclone Ockhi from the Bay of Bengal to the Arabian Sea.

 

Concerns:

This underlines the increasing risk of disasters hitting the west coast of India if the trend continues to hold over the years.

 

How are cyclones formed?

Cyclones are formed over the oceanic water in the tropical region. In this region, the sunlight is highest which results in warming of land and water surface. Due to warming of the surface, the warm moist air over the ocean rises upwards following which cool air rushes in to fill the void, they too get warm and rise — the cycle continues.

 

But what creates the spin?

Wind always blows from high pressure to low pressure areas. High pressure areas are created in the cold region while low is created in the warm regions. Polar regions are high pressure areas as the amount of sunlight here is less than the tropical region. So, wind blows from polar regions to tropical regions.

  • Then comes the Earth’s movement, which is west to east. The Earth’s rotation on its axis causes deflection of the wind (in the tropical region as the speed of spinning of Earth is higher compared to polar sides due to its spherical shape — blowing from both the polar regions. Wind coming from the Arctic is deflected to the right while Antarctic wind deflects to the left side.
  • So, the wind is already blowing in one direction. But when it reaches the warmer place, cool air starts getting attracted to the centre to fill the gap. So while moving to the centre, cool air keeps getting deflected resulting in circulation of wind movement — this process continues until the cyclone hits the land.

 

What happens when a cyclone hits the land?

Cyclone dissipates when it hits the land as the warm water that rises and creates space for cool water is no longer available on land. Also, the moist air that rises up forms clouds leading to rains that accompany gusting winds during cyclones.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know the differences between Supercell and Mesocylone? Reference

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Factors responsible for the genesis of cyclones.
  2. Naming of cyclones in various regions of the world.
  3. Why are there more cyclones in Eastern coast of India?
  4. What is coriolis force?
  5. What is the latent heat of condensation?

Mains Link:

Discuss the factors responsible for the formation of tropical cyclones.

Sources: Indian Express.

India’s 5-point agenda to enhance maritime cooperation

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

 

Context:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently presided over a UN Security Council (UNSC) Open Debate on the topic- Enhancing Maritime Security.

  • The UN Security Council then adopted India’s presidential statement on maritime security.

 

Current challenges in maritime domain:

Sea routes are the lifeline of international trade. But:

  1. Sea routes are being misused for piracy and terrorism.
  2. There are maritime disputes between many nations and climate change, too, is linked to the maritime domain.

 

Five-point agenda laid down by PM to increase maritime cooperation:

  1. Removal of barriers to legitimate maritime trade.
  2. Resolution of maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with international law.
  3. Fight threats from natural disasters, non-state actors.
  4. Conservation of marine resources.
  5. Promoting responsible maritime connectivity.

 

Efforts by India to enhance maritime cooperation:

  1. ‘SAGAR’ Security and Growth for All in the Region.
  2. Indian Navy has been patrolling to counter piracy in the Indian Ocean since 2008.
  3. White Shipping Information Fusion Centre.
  4. Support for hydrographic surveying and training of maritime security personnel to several countries.
  5. India’s ‘Deep Ocean Mission‘.

 

Insta Curious: 

Do you know about Blue finance & Blue Bonds? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About SAGAR.
  2. About Information Fusion Centre.
  3. What is Deep Ocean Mission?
  4. What are Polymetallic nodules?
  5. About UNSC.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of five-point agenda laid down by PM to increase maritime cooperation.

Sources: the Hindu.

UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea)

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

Context:

Overcoming resistance from China, an unprecedented India-led UN Security Council session recently highlighted the primacy of the UNCLOS. A concept note incorporating the framework was also circulated in this regard.

 

Implications and significance of the move:

  1. As per the UNSC Presidential statement, “UNCLOS is the legal framework applicable to activities in the oceans, including countering illicit activities at sea.”
  2. The framework highlights the importance of enhancing international and regional cooperation to counter threats to maritime safety and security. It also calls for efforts by regional and sub-regional organizations and individual countries in this regard.
  3. Also, this was the first ever standalone discussion on “Maritime Security” in the UN Security Council (UNSC).

 

China’s response:

China submitted diplomatically to asserting the primacy of UNCLOS under severe international pressure.

  • China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea and East China Sea, islandbuilding and bullying of countries by its fishing militia have been a source of international concern.
  • Even though the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) under UNCLOS ruled in 2016 that China’s activities in the South China Sea are illegal, Beijing has continued undeterred, leading to growing tensions.

 

About UNCLOS:

Adopted and signed in 1982. It became effective in the year 1994.

It replaced the four Geneva Conventions of April, 1958, which respectively concerned the territorial sea and the contiguous zone, the continental shelf, the high seas, fishing and conservation of living resources on the high seas.

  • The Convention has become the legal framework for marine and maritime activities.
  • Also known as Law of the Sea, it divides marine areas into five main zones namely- Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Seas.
  • UNCLOS is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces. It provides a different legal status to different maritime zones.

 

The Convention has created three new institutions on the international scene:

  1. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
  2. The International Seabed Authority.
  3. The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know about the Convention on the High Seas? Reference: 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Continental Shelf.
  2. About International Seabed Authority.
  3. About UNCLOS.
  4. About EEZ.
  5. What is PCA?
  6. About South China Sea dispute.

Sources: the Hindu.

National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Food processing and related industries in India- scope and significance, location, upstream and downstream requirements, supply chain management.

 

Context:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced this new national initiative on palm oil production to help increase farm incomes.

  • The scheme involves investment of over Rs 11,000 crore.

 

Aims and Objectives of the scheme:

  1. Achieve self-reliance in edible oil.
  2. Harness domestic edible oil prices that are dictated by expensive palm oil imports.
  3. To raise the domestic production of palm oil by three times to 11 lakh MT by 2025-26.

 

Key features of the scheme:

  • The special emphasis of the scheme will be in India’s north-eastern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands due to the conducive weather conditions in the regions.
  • Under the scheme, oil palm farmers will be provided financial assistance and will get remuneration under a price and viability formula.

 

Benefits and significance of the scheme:

It is expected to incentivise production of palm oil to reduce dependence on imports and help farmers cash in on the huge market.

 

Need for such schemes:

  • India is the largest consumer of vegetable oil in the world. Of this, palm oil imports are almost 60% of its total vegetable oil imports.
  • In 2016- 2017, the total domestic consumption of palm oil by India was 9.3 million MT, with 98.97 percent of it imported from Malaysia and Indonesia. This means India was producing only 1.027 per cent of its requirement.
  • Also, in India, 94.1 per cent of its palm oil is used in food products, especially for cooking purposes. This makes palm oil extremely critical to India’s edible oils economy.

 

Palm oil:

  • Palm oil is currently the world’s most consumed vegetable oil.
  • It is used extensively in the production of detergents, plastics, cosmetics, and biofuels.
  • Top consumers of the commodity are India, China, and the European Union (EU).

 

Insta Curious:

Did you know that the NMEO-OP’s predecessor was the National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palm, which was launched at the fag end of the UPA government’s tenure and later merged with the National Food Security Mission?

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Key features of the scheme.
  2. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the scheme.

Sources: the Hindu.

NASA’s Perseverance rover

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

 

Context:

NASA’s Perseverance rover is exploring the Jezero Crater on Mars and attempting to collect its first rock samples.

  • However, no rock samples were collected during the first attempt.

 

About Perseverance Rover:

It was launched in 2020 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V.

 

Why is this mission significant?

  1. It carried a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: which for the first time manufactured molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere (ISRU means In Situ Resource Utilization: or the use of local resources to meet human needs or requirements of the spacecraft).
  2. It carried Ingenuity, the first ever helicopter to fly on Mars.
  3. It is the planned first step to bring back rock samples from Mars for analysis in sophisticated laboratories on Earth: with the goal of looking for biosignatures: or signatures of present or past life.

 

These are some of the key mission objectives:

  1. Look for signs of ancient microbial life.
  2. Collect Martian rock and dust samples for later return to Earth.
  3. Deliver an experimental helicopter.
  4. Study the climate and geology of Mars.
  5. Demonstrate technology for future Mars missions.

 

What is the reason for the near-term interest in Mars?

  1. Mars is located in the very near backyard (about 200 million km away).
  2. It is a planet that humans can aspire to visit or to stay for a longer duration.
  3. Mars had flowing water and an atmosphere in the distant past: and perhaps conditions to support life.
  4. It also has implications for commercial travel.

 

Insta Curious: 

Know about Mars in brief – the history, atmosphere, gravity and explorations Click here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Missions to Mars.
  2. Perseverance- objectives.
  3. Instruments onboard.
  4. About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
  5. Pathfinder mission.
  6. About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
  7. Pathfinder mission.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the mission.

Sources: Indian Express.

Who is a fugitive economic offender?

GS Paper 2

Topics Covered: Money laundering related issues.

 

Fugitive economic offender

Context:

UK High Court has granted fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi permission to appeal against a magistrates’ court order, in favour of extradition to India to face charges of fraud and money laundering before the Indian courts, on mental health and human rights grounds.

 

Background:

The U.K.’s Home Department, in April 2020, approved the extradition of diamond merchant Nirav Modi to India in connection with the ₹13,758 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud.

  • This came two months after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London ruled that a prima facie case was made out against him.

 

Fugitive economic offender:

A special court, in December 2019, declared diamond businessman Nirav Modi a fugitive economic offender, on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate.

 

Definition- Fugitive Economic Offender:

A person can be named an offender under the law if there is an arrest warrant against him or her for involvement in economic offences involving at least Rs. 100 crore or more and has fled from India to escape legal action.

 

The procedure:

  1. The investigating agencies have to file an application in a Special Court under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act containing details of the properties to be confiscated, and any information about the person’s whereabouts.
  2. The Special Court will issue a notice for the person to appear at a specified place and date at least six weeks from the issue of notice.
  3. Proceedings will be terminated if the person appears. If not the person would be declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender based on the evidence filed by the investigating agencies.
  4. The person who is declared as a Fugitive Economic Offender can challenge the proclamation in the High Court within 30 days of such declaration according to the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018.

 

InstaCurious: 

Do you know about FATF-style regional bodies? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who is a fugitive economic offender?
  2. Composition and powers of ED.
  3. Establishment and powers of CBI.
  4. What is PMLA?
  5. Overview of Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance and key provisions of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Sources: the Hindu.

 

Facts for Prelims:

 

International Army Games:

  • Indian Army to take part in International Army Games 2021 to be held in Russia.
  • The International Army Games is an annual Russian military sports event organized by the Ministry of Defense of Russia (MoD).
  • The event, which was first staged in August 2015, involves close to 30 countries taking part in dozens of competitions over two weeks to prove which is the most skilled.
  • The games have been referred to as the War Olympics.

 

National School of Drama:

  • Set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959.
  • In 1975, it became an independent entity and was registered as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, fully financed by the Ministry of Culture.
  • Bharat Rang Mahotsav, or the ‘National Theatre Festival’, established in 1999, is the annual theatre festival of National School of Drama (NSD), held in New Delhi, today it is acknowledged as the largest theatre festival of Asia, dedicated solely to theatre.

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