Flash-Cards-for-IAS-Prelims-2018-CA-Day-26
70 Days WAR Plan

Day#26 Current Affairs Flash Cards [70 Days WAR Plan]

India's First Inland Waterway Container Ship; Green House gas bulletin; Talanoa Dialogue Synthesis Report; NATGRID; Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP); Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) in India; Section 7 of the RBI Act, 1934; Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO); Location of Israel; Composite Water Management Index report;
By IT's Core Team
April 16, 2019

 

 

 

Which organisation prepares the Composite Water Management Index report?

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Solution:

  • Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) is prepared by NITI Aayog.

Enrich Your Learning:

NITI Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index report(CWMI):

CWMI has been developed by NITI Aayog comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects of ground water, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.

  • For the purpose of analysis, the reporting states were divided into two special groups – ‘North Eastern and Himalayan states’ and ‘Other States’, to account for the different hydrological conditions across these groups.
  • The CWMI is an important tool to assess and improve the performance of States/ Union Territories in efficient management of water resources.
  • It is done through a first of its kind water data collection exercise in partnership with Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation and all the States/ Union Territories.
  • The index provides useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
  • A web portal on the subject has also been launched.

Composite Water Management Index 2018:

  • The report released in 2018 ranks Gujarat as number one in composite water management in the country followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • In North Eastern and Himalayan States, Tripura has been adjudged number 1 in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam.
  • In terms of incremental change in index (over 2015-16 level), Rajasthan holds number one position in general States and Tripura ranks at first position amongst North Eastern and Himalayan States.

Key Facts:

  • Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water.
  • It is estimated the crisis is going to get worse by 2030 when India’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply.

 

 

 

Israel is located close to which water body?

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Solution:

  • Israel, officially State of Israel, is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

Enrich Your Learning:

Location of Israel:

  • It is bounded to the north by Lebanon, to the northeast by Syria, to the east and southeast by Jordan.
  • To the southwest by Egypt, and to the west by the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Jerusalem is the seat of government and the proclaimed capital, although the latter status has not received wide international recognition.
  • Israel has lengthy coastal plain, highlands in the north and central regions, and the Negev desert in the south.
  • Running the length of the country from north to south along its eastern border is the northern terminus of the Great Rift Valley.
  • The Great Rift Valley, a long fissure in Earth’s crust, begins beyond the northern frontier of Israel and forms a series of valleys running generally south, the length of the country, to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Drainage:

  • The principal drainage system comprises Lake Tiberias and the Jordan River.
  • Other rivers in Israel are the Yarqon, which empties into the Mediterranean near Tel Aviv; the Qishon, which runs through the western part of the Plain of Esdraelon to drain into the Mediterranean at Haifa; and a small section of the Yarmūk, a tributary of the Jordan that flows west along the Syria-Jordan border.

9026

 

 

 

Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) comes under the administrative control of which ministry?

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Answer:

  • PESO comes under, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India.

Enrich Your Learning:

Petroleum Explosives and Safety Organisation (PESO)

  • The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) formerly Department of Explosives.
  • The Organization is headed by Chief Controller of Explosives with its headquarter located at Nagpur (Maharashtra).
  • PESO is the nodal Organization to look after safety requirements in manufacture, storage, transport and use of explosives and petroleum.
  • As a statutory authority, PESO is entrusted with the responsibilities under the Explosives Act, 1884; Petroleum Act, 1934; Inflammable Substances Act, 1952, Environment (Protection Act), 1986.
  • It has five Circle Offices located in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Faridabad and Agra and 18 Sub-circles Offices in the country.
  • It has a Departmental Testing Station (DTS) at Gondkhairy, Nagpur where tests on explosives, safety fittings of road tanker, cylinders/ containers are carried out.
  • Fireworks Research and Development Centre (FRDC) at Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu for testing and development of ecofriendly fireworks has been set up by PESO to ensure safety and security of public and property from fire and explosion.

 

 

 

The government has never exercised its powers under Section 7 of the RBI Act.True or False?

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Solution:

Enrich Your Learning:

Section 7 of the RBI Act, 1934

  • It is a provision under which the government can give directions to the RBI to take certain actions “in the public interest”.
  • This provision has been built into the law governing not just the RBI but also regulatory bodies in other sectors.
  • Under Section 7, The Central Government may from time to time give such directions to the Bank as it may, after consultation with the Governor of the Bank, consider necessary in the public interest.
  • Section 7(1) of RBI Act was amended at the time of nationalization in 1949, to empower the Centre to issue directions to central bank in public interest.
  • Subject to any such directions, the general superintendence and direction of the affairs and business of the Bank shall be entrusted to a Central Board of Directors which may exercise all powers and do all acts and things which may be exercised or done by the Bank.

Why in news?

  • The government has started the process, or the first step towards invoking those powers under Section 7.
  • Which is to start consultations with the RBI Governor on issues such as easing the PCA framework, providing more credit to small units.
  • The next step would be to issue a directive to the RBI if the government so chooses something which has never been done so far in the history of the RBI.

Background:

  • The issue of invoking Section 7 (1) of RBI Act came up during the hearing of Allahabad high court in a case filed by the Independent Power Producers Association of India challenging RBI’s 12 February circular.
  • The high court said the government could issue directions to RBI under Section 7 of RBI Act.
  • The government issued a letter to the RBI governor seeking his views on exemption for power companies in relation to the 12 February circular.
  • The second instance was when the government sought the governor’s views on using RBI’s capital reserves for providing liquidity.

Key fact:

  • No government has so far invoked Section 7 of the RBI in the Reserve Bank of India’s 83-year history.

 

 

 

India’s first inland waterway container ship delivered its first consignment through natural inland water way. Which vessel was that?

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Solution:

  • MV Rabindranath Tagore vessel became India’s first inland waterway container ship delivered its consignment through natural inland water way.

Enrich Your Learning:

India’s First Inland Waterway Container Ship Delivered Its First Consignment

  • India’s first ever container ship on an inland waterway sailed into the multi-modal terminal at Varanasi.
  • This was the first time since independence, that a consignment of goods was transported using a natural water body.
  • 16 containers have set sail from Kolkata for Varanasi on a vessel along the Ganga river, also called National Waterway-1.
  • The containers on the MV Rabindranath Tagore vessel, being transported by food and beverage giant PepsiCo.
  • The vessel will make its return journey with fertilisers belonging to IFFCO that will be procured from its Phulpur plant near Allahabad.

Advantages of the waterways:

  • It reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferage and damage.
  • It also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.

Background:

  • The Ganga – Bhagirathi – Hooghly river system between Haldia (Sagar) and Allahabad (1620 km) was declared as National Waterway No 1 (NW-1) in 1986.
  • Since then Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is carrying out various developmental works on the waterway for improvement of its navigability and development and maintenance of other infrastructure such as terminals and navigation aids as laid down in the IWAI Act, 1985.

About National Waterway 1:

  • The NW1 would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT.
  • It is being developed under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) from Haldia to Varanasi covering a distance of 1390 km.
  • It is being developed with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369 crore on a 50:50 sharing basis.

 

 

 

Currently, how many Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) are there in India?

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Solution:

  • India have four Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) – in Andhra Pradesh (Vishakhapatnam – Kakinada), Gujarat (Dahej), Odisha (Paradeep) and Tamil Nadu (Cuddalore – Nagapattinam).

Enrich Your Learning:

Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) in India

  • PCPIRs are infrastructure driven projects wherein Government of India provides support for development of external physical infrastructure linkages e.g. rail, road, port, airport, telecom through Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
  • PCPIRs are to promote & attract investment in the sector and make the country an important hub for both domestic and international markets.
  • Government of India has provided transparent and investment friendly policy and facilities regime, under which Petroleum, Chemicals & Petrochemical Investment Regions (PCPIRs) are set up.
  • Each PCPIR is a specifically delineated region having an area of about 250 sq. km. wherein 40% of the area has to be for processing activities.
  • The infrastructure development in these projects includes road development, port development, rail links, desalination plants, setting up of LNG terminal.

Que-5 26

  • The PCPIR projects are already functional and realization of full potential is a gradual process.
  • The Government has set up Steering Committees for monitoring the implementation of PCPIRs in various states.

 

 

 

India decided to join Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP). What are the Benefits of joining AMF TCP?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP)

  • The Union Cabinet announced India’s joining as Member of Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP) under International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • AMF TCP works under the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA) to which India has “Association” status since 30thMarch, 2017.
  • Member Countries of AMF TCP are USA, China, Japan, Canada, Chile, Israel, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Thailand.
  • India has joined AMF TCP as its 16th member on 9th May, 2018.

Purpose:

  • The primary goal of joining AMF TCP by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) is to facilitate the market introduction of Advanced motor fuels/ Alternate fuels.
  • It aims to bring down emissions and achieve higher fuel efficiency in transport sector.
  • AMF TCP also provides an opportunity for fuel analysis, identifying new/ alternate fuels for deployment in transport sector and allied R&D activities for reduction in emissions in fuel intensive sectors.
  • The R&D work in AMF TCP is carried out within individual projects called “Annex”.

Background:

  • Prime Minister in 2015, had directed to reduce the import in energy sector by at least 10% by 2022.
  • Subsequently, MoP&NG has come up with a detailed action plan wherein Biofuels, Advanced/ alternate fuels and fuel efficiency play a major role.

Benefits:

  • Association with AMF TCP will help MoP&NG in furthering its efforts in identification & deployment of suitable fuels for transport sector in respect of higher efficiency and lesser emissions.
  • Association with AMF will help MoP&NG in identifying advanced biofuels suitable for deployment in transport sector in near future.
  • The benefits of participation in AMF TCP are shared costs and pooled technical resource.
  • The duplication of efforts is avoided and national Research and Development capabilities are strengthened.
  • After becoming member, India will initiate R&D in other areas of its interest in advanced biofuels and other motor fuels in view of their crucial role in substituting fossil fuel imports.

About Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP):

  • AMF TCP is an international platform for co-operation among countries to promote cleaner and more energy efficient fuels & vehicle technologies.
  • The activities of AMF TCP relate to R&D, deployment and dissemination of Advanced Motor Fuels and looks upon the transport fuel issues in a systemic way taking into account the production, distribution and end use related aspects.
[Ref: PIB]

 

 

 

What is NATGRID?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

  • Conceived in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) is a centralised agency which stores sensitive personal information on citizens from almost two dozen agencies to be made available for counter-terror investigations.
  • It is a counter terrorism measure that collects and collates a host of information from government databases including tax and bank account details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration records and itineraries of rail and air travel.
  • The grid will provide an intelligence database that would have networked 21 sets of data sources to provide quick and secure access of information to about 10 intelligence and law-enforcement agencies including the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and R&AW.
  • The aim of NATGRID is to use information available on these databases about persons to look for patterns of activity that indicate the possibility of terrorist activity, its planning or support.

Why it is required?

  • The danger from not having a sophisticated tool like the Natgrid is that it forces the police to rely on harsh and coercive means to extract information in a crude and degrading fashion.
  • After every terrorist incident, it goes about rounding up suspects.
  • Individuals amongst them, most of who are innocent are also come under the suspect of harsh treatment.
  • If, instead, a pattern search and recognition system were in place, these violations of human rights would be much fewer.

Criticisms of NATGRID:

  • NATGRID faced opposition on charges of possible violations of privacy and leakage of confidential personal information.
  • Its efficacy in preventing terror has also been questioned given that no state agency or police force has access to its database thus reducing chances of immediate, effective action.
  • NATGRID claims to be protected by several structural and procedural safeguards and oversight mechanisms including that of external audits and technology safeguards.

 

 

 

Talanoa Dialogue Synthesis Report and Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2018 are the reports on climate change. It was released by which organisation?

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Solution:

UNFCCC released two key publications on climate change:

  1. Talanoa Dialogue Synthesis Report and
  2. Yearbook of Global Climate Action 2018

Enrich Your Learning:

Talanoa Dialogue Synthesis Report:

  • The Talanoa Dialogue was convened as part of the UN climate talks. Talanoa is the Fijian traditional way of holding conversations to tackle collective issues.
  • The Synthesis Report was prepared using submissions to the Talanoa Portal launched on 10 January 2018.
  • The objective of the dialogue is two-fold: to take stock of the progress of climate action since Paris Agreement adoption and to inform the next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with a view to raise climate ambition.
  • The Talanoa platform was launched on January 10, 2018, and since then it received 473 inputs, 44 from parties and 429 from non‐party stakeholders.
  • Under the Talanoa process, stakeholders talked about the three agreed guiding questions on the climate crisis:
    • Where we are?
    • Where do we want to go?
    • How do we get there?
  • The reports said that to stay within 1.5°C by the end of century, climate ambitions need to be increased five times.
  • Talanoa fosters stability and inclusiveness in dialogue, by creating a safe space that embraces mutual respect for a platform for decision making for a greater good.

Yearbook for Global Climate Action 2018:

  • The yearbook draws on information from the relaunched Global Climate Action portal, inputs to the Talanoa Dialogue, published reports and others sources to create a useful picture for national climate negotiators and non-Party actors.
  • The 2018 Yearbook provides an overview of these events, initiatives and reports, and reviews progress achieved over the past year.
  • With the aim of promoting the development of global climate action, 2018 edition also showcases a selection from the many initiatives and partnerships which are already demonstrating tangible progress.

 

 

 

 

 

Green House gas bulletin is released annually by which organisation?

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Solution:

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) releases Green House Gas bulletin annually.

Enrich Your Learning:

Greenhouse Gas Bulletin-2018

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) releases annually greenhouse gas bulletin.
  • The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin 2018 provides a scientific base for decision-making at the UN climate change negotiations, held in Katowice, Poland.
  • The key objective of the meeting is to adopt the implementation guidelines of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which aims to hold the global average temperature increase to as close as possible to 1.5°C.

Highlights of the Bulletin:

  • The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.
  • About a quarter of the total emissions is absorbed by the oceans and another quarter by the biosphere.
  • The Bulletin showed that globally averaged concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 405.5 parts per million (ppm) in 2017, up from 403.3 ppm in 2016 and 400.1 ppm in 2015.
  • Concentrations of methane and Nitrous Oxide also rose, whilst there was a resurgence of a potent greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance called CFC-11, which is regulated under an international agreement to protect the ozone layer.
  • Since 1990, there has been a 41% increase in total radiative forcing – the warming effect on the climate – by greenhouse gases.

About the Bulletin:

  • The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin is based on observations from the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch Programme, which tracks the changing levels of greenhouse gases as a result of industrialization, energy use from fossil fuel sources, intensified agricultural practices, increases in land use and deforestation.
  • Globally averages presented in the Bulletin are representative for the global atmosphere.

Comparison to previous year’s concentration of GHG in the atmosphere:

CO2  

  • The increase in CO2 from 2016 to 2017 was about the same as the average growth rate over the last decade.
  • CO2 accounts for about 82% of the increase in radiative forcing over the past decade.

Methane:

  • Atmospheric methane reached a new high of about 1859 parts per billion (ppb) in 2017 and is now 257% of the pre-industrial level. Its rate of increase was about equal that observed over the past decade.

Nitrous oxide (N2O):

  • Its atmospheric concentration in 2017 was 329.9 parts per billion. This is 122% of pre-industrial levels.
  • It accounts for about 6% of radiative forcing by long-lived greenhouse gases.

CFC-11:

  • This is a potent greenhouse gas and a stratospheric ozone depleting substance regulated under the Montreal Protocol.
  • Since 2012 its rate of decline has slowed to roughly two thirds of its rate of decline during the preceding decade.
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