Daily Current Affairs 2023 600px

Current Affairs December Month 2022 [ Prelims Cracking Affairs ]

GURU SHISHYA 2023 : DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS(DCA)

Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022 

    • The Bill empowers the Centre to specify a carbon credits trading scheme. 
    • Under the Bill, the central government or an authorised agency will issue carbon credit certificates to companies or even individuals registered and compliant with the scheme. 
    • These carbon credit certificates will be tradeable in nature. Other persons would be able to buy carbon credit certificates on a voluntary basis.

Carbon Markets

    • It is a mitigation strategy which is becoming popular with several countries to meet their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
    • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement provides for the use of international carbon markets by countries to fulfill their NDCs.
    • Under the proposed market, countries would be able to offset their emissions by buying credits generated by greenhouse gas-reducing projects in other countries. 
    • The World Bank estimates that trading in carbon credits could reduce the cost of implementing NDCs by more than half — by as much as $250 billion by 2030.
  • Carbon Credit: 
    • A carbon credit is a kind of tradable permit that, per United Nations standards, equals one tonne of carbon dioxide removed, reduced, or sequestered from the atmosphere. 
  • Carbon allowances or caps:
    • Caps are determined by countries or governments according to their emission reduction targets.

Global Minimum Tax

  • It is a proposal to impose a minimum rate of taxation on corporate income in most countries of the world by international agreement.
    • The agreement established a two-pillar solution revising tax rules to address profit shifting and tax base erosion caused by tax avoidance practices. 
  • OECD’s Plan: EU members have agreed to implement a minimum tax rate of 15% on big businesses in accordance with Pillar 2 of the global tax agreement framed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 
    • Pillar 1 of the OECD’s tax plan, on the other hand, tries to address the question of taxing rights.
  • Governments will be equipped to impose additional taxes in case companies are found to be paying taxes that are considered too low. 
  • NB: Recently, the Members of the European Union agreed in principle to implement a minimum tax of 15% on big businesses.
    • The global corporate minimum tax was approved at the G20 Leaders Summit in Rome in 2021.

Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

  • The framework has 23 targets that the world needs to achieve by 2030.
  • The targets are ambitious, considering that biodiversity is in a poor state.
    •  In 2020, the world failed to meet the last set of targets, the Aichi Targets. 
      • Countries would need to ensure success this time around. 
  • Delegates were able to build consensus around the deal’s most ambitious target of protecting 30% of the world’s land and seas by the decade’s end, a goal known as 30-by-30.
  • The deal also directs countries to allocate $200 billion per year for biodiversity initiatives from both the public and private sectors.
  • The Global Environment Facility has been requested to establish a Special Trust Fund to support the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework (“GBF Fund”). 
    • This is to ensure successful implementation.

RBI Gold Bonds

What are Gold Bonds?

  • Gold bonds are government securities denominated in grams of gold. 
  • They are substitutes for holding physical gold. Investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity. 
  • The bond is issued by the RBI on behalf of the government.
    • While the tenor of bonds is eight years, it can be redeemed after five years

Panda Task Force

  • It was constituted in February 2014 under the leadership of erstwhile Tribal Affairs Secretary Hrusikesh Panda.
  • It had compiled a comprehensive list of over 40 communities from across the country that it felt should be included in ST lists on a priority basis.
    • Of those communities, nine are in Odisha26 are part of the tea tribes in Assameight are in Chhattisgarh, and a few are in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Rupee Trade Settlement Mechanism

With the action of Srilankan central bank approving Indian Rupee for international trade settlement, more countries like Russia and even Arab nations are joining the league.

Indian government is supporting the countries which are short of dollars with the ambitious ‘Indian Rupee Trade Settlement Mechanism’

CAMPA Funds

  • Establishment
    • In 2004, the Ministry of Environment and Forests constituted the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) to oversee and manage the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) as directed by the SC.
  • Meaning:
    • CAMPA Act or Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act is an Indian legislation that seeks to provide an appropriate institutional mechanism, both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory, to ensure expeditious utilisation in efficient and transparent manner of amounts released in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose which would mitigate impact of diversion of such forest land. 
  • Objectives of CAMPA: 
    • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.

INS Vagir and Project 75

  • Project 75 for the indigenous construction of 6 scorpene class submarines is progressing with the 5th submarine INS Vagir being delivered for incorporation into the navy
  • The project 75 is being done with the technology transfer from Naval group of France

Rule 267 of the Rajya Sabha

    • The Rule gives special power to a Rajya Sabha member to suspend the pre-decided agenda of the House, with the approval of the Chairman.

Maharashtra-Karnataka Border Dispute

The states of Maharashtra and Karnataka is continuing their dispute for the custody of Belgaum.

The dispute has its origin since the reorganization of states on linguistic lines in 1956.

Maharastra demands for the area because majority of its population are Marathi speaking

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

  • The convention is also sometimes referred to as the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty. 
  • UNCLOS came into operation and became effective from 16th November 1982.
  • India became a signatory to the UNCLOS in 1982.
  • 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.
  • As per UNCLOS, the sea is divided into 4 parts:
    • Territorial waters
    • Contiguous Zone
    • Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
    • Continental Shelf
  • It defines a distance of 12 nautical miles (approx. 22 km) from the baseline as Territorial Sea limit and a distance of 200 nautical miles distance as Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) limit.
    • EEZ is an area of the sea in which a sovereign state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.

Status of Rajyasabha’s nominated members

Nominated Rajya Sabha member and athlete P.T. Usha is now on the panel of Vice-Chairman of the House.

Article 80(1)(a) read with Article 80(3) of the Constitution of India provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha, 12 persons having special knowledge, or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. 

 Role of nominated members

Nominated members of Rajya Sabha enjoy all the powers and privileges to which the elected MPs are entitled. 

They can take part in the proceedings of the House in the normal manner, even though there has been criticism that several nominated members have poor attendance and do not appear to show much interest in legislative work. 

In this context, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, actor Rekha, and businesswoman Anu Aga have faced criticism in recent years.

Nominated members are not allowed to vote in the election of the President.

They do have the right to vote in the election of the Vice-President.

Millets

  • Prime Minister advocated the importance of Millets through a joint millet meal with fellow parliamentarians.
    • The term millet is used to describe small-grained cereals like sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), foxtail millet (kangni/ Italian millet etc.
    • Several varieties that are now grown around the world were first cultivated in India
    • West Africa, China, and Japan are also home to indigenous varieties of the crop.
  • Global Scenario:
    • Globally, sorghum (jowar) is the biggest millet crop. 
    • The major producers of jowar are the United States, China, Australia, India, Argentina, Nigeria, and Sudan. 
    • Bajra is another major millet crop; India and some African countries are major producers.
  • Production in India:
    • In India, millets are mainly a kharif crop
    • During 2018-19, three millet crops — bajra (3.67%), jowar (2.13%), and ragi (0.48%) — accounted for about 7 percent of the gross cropped area in the country.

Social Progress Index 2022

  • EAC – PM(Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister) released the Social progress Index for the States and Districts, which is prepared by the Institute for Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative.
  • Social Progress Index is a comprehensive tool that holistically measures the countries social progress at national and sub national level.
  • The index measures the states progress across 3 dimesions including Basic Human needs(Medical care, water and sanitation etc), Foundations of well being(Acccess to knowledge and information, quality environment etc) and Oppurtunity(Access to advance education, Choice, Personal freedom etc)

LAC & the India, China Corps Commander Talks

India & China successfully completed the 17th round of Corps Commander-level talks.

Line Of Actual Control (LAC)

  • The LAC is the demarcation that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.
  • For India  the LAC is 3,488 km long, while China considers it to be only around 2,000 km.
  • It is divided into three sectors: 
    • the eastern sector which includes Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, 
    • the middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and 
    • the western sector in Ladakh.
  • LAC in the eastern sector consisting of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim is called the McMahon Line which is 1,140 km long.

Drone market in India

  • India’s potential: Drones and allied component industries can boost India’s manufacturing potential by approximately $23 billion by 2030.
  • Market size: India’s drone manufacturing industry crossed annual sales of Rs 60 crore in FY 2021 and is expected to grow to Rs 900 crore by FY 2024. 

Drone Categories

  • Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
  • Micro: Greater than 250 grams and less than or equal to 2 kg. 
  • Small: Greater than 2 kg and less than or equal to 25 kg.
  • Medium: Greater than 25 kg and less than or equal to 150 kg.
  • Large: Greater than 150 kg.

Ambitious Samudrayaan Mission(Deep Ocean Mission)

India’s ambitious Samudrayaan Mission(2021) for exploration of deep sea resources/minerals is expected to get realized by 2024.

India will be sending 3 personnel on an underwater vehicle called Matsya 6000 to a depth of 6kms.

The vehicle has an endurance of 12 hours in normal conditions

Its an initiative of Ministry of Earth Sciences, to make use of India’s exclusive rights to explore over 75000sqkms of areas in international waters.

The mission is having budget to the tune of 4000 million USD
Kerala’s Palm-Leaf Manuscript Museum

  • A unique palm leaf manuscript museum is being inaugurated in Kerala with latest audio-visual technology

What is the Palm-leaf manuscript?

  • These are manuscripts made from dried palm leaves.
  • Palm leaves were used as writing materials in the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia reportedly dating back to the 5th century BCE.
  • Their use began in South Asia and spread to other regions, as texts on dried and smoke-treated palm leaves of Palmyra palm or the talipot palm.

Dhokra Art

Dhokra art is a popular metalcraft(which mostly depicts human or animal figurines) in Bengal. The complexity of its manufacturing makes it all unique. By using seven to eight varieties of clay, each figurine takes about a month to make.

Greenwashing

  • What is Environmental, social, and governance (ESG)?
    • These investments are types of socially responsible investing that consider the impact on the environment, its stakeholders, and the planet in addition to the performance of the investment. 
  • What is Greenwashing? 
    • Greenwashing refers to the deceptive marketing ploy meant to deceive the investors who prefer investments with an environmentally sound impact. These companies attempt to capitalize on the growing demand for environmentally sound products.

National Food Security Act (NFSA)

The Union government provides food grains (rice at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg, and coarse grains at Rs 1 per kg) under the NFSA.

The act aims to ensure people’s food and nutritional security by assuring access to enough high-quality food at reasonable prices.

The NFSA covers 50 per cent of the urban population and 75 per cent of the rural population

There are two categories of beneficiary households under the NFSA.

Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY): the AAY households are entitled to 35 kg of foodgrains per month irrespective of the number of family members.

The Priority Households: the priority households get food grains depending on the number of family members (each member 5 kg per month).

THE URBAN LEARNING INTERNSHIP PROGRAMME(TULIP)

Ministry of Urban Affairs, Ministry of Education and AICTE had come together to launch TULIP programme to train the fresh graduates to a market ready condition, so that industries can easily hire and utilize their potentials.TULIP focus on students from Urban Local Bodies, Smart Cities etc

PROJECT LION

It envisages landscape ecology based conservation of Asiatic Lion in Gujrat,

  • Create a natural breeding environment
  • Became a knowledge hub on diseases of these big cats
  • Protect the biodiversity through protection of this iconic species

Different areas of Gujrat like Junagadh, Jamnagar, Porbandar etc included the Asiatic Lion Landsape.

NB: Gujarat’s Barda landscape has been identified as the second home for Asiatic lions

NB: The IUCN status is endangered

NB: The forest department conduts lion census every 5 years

NB: Asiatic Lion Conservation project is conducted by MoEFC

Gallium Nitride Nano Structures

For the very first time infra red emission and absorption in Gallium Nitride semiconductors has been tested and proved. This success can be of much use in developing highly efficient infra red light emitters and absorbers which could be used in defence and energy technologies, 5G mobile phones and devices tec.

NB: Gallium Nitride is an advanced semiconductor which is used for blue light emission

NB:GaN is having low resistence, high thermal conductivity, fast switching speed, compact size etc

Free Trade Agreements and the new challenges

Like before, non-tarriff issues is predominating India’s trade negotiation landscape. But the reasons changed. Before 2014, it was more about trade and the commodities. Now, the disputes are surrounding climate change, gender, labour standards, carbon emissions etc.

These new age issues are reflected in the free trade discussions between India and countries like UK, European Union, India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement.

03/01/2023
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