20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020

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Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020-21 is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS 2021.

It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.– Jillian Michaels

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Chinese pink dolphins

      HEADLINES:

Dolphins in Pearl River Estuary

      WHY IN NEWS:

It is a comeback to PRE after many years !

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Flora and Fauna : CITES : IUCN

      ISSUE: 

Chinese pink dolphins are making a comeback in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE)

CHINESE PINK DOLPHINS

  • Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins are also known as Chinese white dolphins or pink dolphins.
  • It reflects the colour of their skin.

Chinese pink dolphins

PEARL RIVER ESTUARY

  • It includes Hong Kong, Macau as well as the mainland Chinese cities of Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Dongguan.

The Pearl River Delta, the low-lying area surrounding the PRE where the Pearl River flows into the South China Sea. 

  • Around 22 million people live in the area.
  • It is one of the world’s most densely urbanised, heavily industrialised and busiest shipping lanes on Earth.

DISTRIBUTION

  • Its total range is in coastal waters from central China southward throughout Southeast Asia.
  •  It is also westward to the Bay of Bengal, with highest densities in and around estuaries.

Chinese pink dolphins

SOURCES : IUCN

  • The distribution is fragmented such that these dolphins are apparently absent from fairly long stretches of coastline.
  • It is not always clear whether the fragmentation is ‘natural’ or caused by human activities.

The population in the species is believed to be around 2,500, but falling numbers of young could reduce numbers in future.

  • They have seen a decline in their numbers in the past 15 years by 70-80%.

THREATS

  • Agricultural, industrial, and urban pollution
  • Overfishing

Marine construction including bridge-building and land creation for airport expansion and residential/office development.

  • Transport including fast ferries
  • Selling into captivity at marine “entertainment” parks and aquariums worldwide.

PROTECTION STATUS

  • Listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I.

Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

  • Listed in the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Appendix II.
  • Migratory species that have an unfavourable conservation status or would benefit significantly from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II.

IUCN STATUS

Chinese pink dolphins UPSC

Scientific Name: Sousa Chinensis.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Loss of suitable habitat, the mortality of dolphins from entanglements and vessel strikes, and the possible effects of chemical, sewage and noise pollution on their health.

Dolphins use echolocation to find their way in the water and the ships often disturb them in finding their way and even kill them.

  • Echolocation is a technique used by bats, dolphins and other animals to determine the location of objects using reflected sound.
  • The number of pink dolphins in the waters has roughly increased by a third according to scientists.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Farmers oppose farm laws : Survey

      HEADLINES:

More than half of farmers oppose farm laws : Survey

      WHY IN NEWS:

Almost 40% fear new laws will end state-run markets

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Agriculture

      ISSUE: 

Almost 40% expressed fear that the new laws will end state-run markets

WHAT FARMERS SAID

20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

  • More than half of Indian farmers oppose the three farm reform laws passed by Parliament last month.
  • While only 35% support them.
  • Government procurement at minimum support prices, and almost 60% are in favour of a legal guarantee for MSPs.

It found that state-run mandis are the most popular medium of produce sale across the country (36%), followed by private traders (26%).

  • Currently, only 2% sell to corporates.
  • The northwestern States of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh have the highest rates of opposition to the news reform laws (77%).

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The new survey in 16 States conducted by Gaon Connection Insights.
  • Gaon Connection did a face-to-face survey of a sample of more than 5,000 farmers, three-fourths of whom own less than five acres of land, in 53 districts across 16 States between October 3 and 9.
SUGGESTED READING : FARMERS BILL 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

 

Regulatory Framework for  Sandbox

      HEADLINES:

IFSCA introduces Framework for Regulatory Sandbox to tap into innovative FinTech solutions

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Finance
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Science and Technology

      CONTEXT: 

INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SERVICES CENTRES AUTHORITY

  • The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) objective is to develop a world class FinTech hub at the IFSC located at GIFT City in Gandhinagar (Gujarat, India).
  • It endeavours to encourage the promotion of financial technologies (‘FinTech’) initiatives in financial products.

The financial services across the spectrum of banking, insurance, securities and fund management.

  • As a step towards attaining this vision, IFSCA has introduced a framework for “Regulatory Sandbox”.

WHAT IS SANDBOX?

SANDBOX
In computer security, a sandbox is a security mechanism for separating running programs, usually in an effort to mitigate system failures or software vulnerabilities from spreading.

REGULATORY SANDBOX

  • Under this Sandbox framework, entities operating in the capital market, banking, insurance and financial services space shall be granted certain facilities and flexibilities .

They can experiment with innovative FinTech solutions in a live environment with a limited set of real customers for a limited time frame.

  • These features shall be fortified with necessary safeguards for investor protection and risk mitigation.
  • The Regulatory Sandbox shall operate within the IFSC located at GIFT City.

ELIGIBILITY

  • All entities (regulated as well as unregulated) operating in the capital market, banking, insurance and pension sectors are eligible .

Individuals and startups from India and FATF compliant jurisdictions, shall be eligible for participation in the Regulatory Sandbox.

  • Entities desirous of participating in the sandbox to showcase their innovative FinTech solutions, concepts and business models shall apply to IFSCA.
  • IFSCA shall assess the applications and extend suitable regulatory relaxations to commence limited purpose testing in the Sandbox.

The Innovation Sandbox will be managed and facilitated by the MIIs operating within the IFSC.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • As an additional steps towards creating an innovation-centric ecosystem in the IFSC, IFSCA has proposed the creation of an “Innovation Sandbox”.
  • It will be a testing environment where FinTech firms can test their solutions in isolation from the live market.
  • Testing will be based on market related data made available by the Market Infrastructure Institutions (MIIs) operating in the IFSC.
     SOURCES: PIB | 20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Heavy metals and Urban beaches

      HEADLINES:

Heavy metals emerging as potential threat to public health on urban beaches: Study

      WHY IN NEWS:

The research authors emphasised the necessity of regular pollutant monitoring in the marine environment

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Pollution

      ISSUE: 

Heavy metal pollution from both natural and anthropogenic sources is emerging as one of the potential threats to urban beaches.

STUDIED BY

National Center for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) @ Marina Beach, Edward Elliott Beach and, Silver Beach.

KEY POINTS

  • They analysed sediment samples for concentrations of heavy metals like iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni) and, lead (Pb).

Though the concentration level of these heavy metals was found to be under the safe limit defined by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

  • The researchers expressed their concern that long term exposure to these heavy metals would have an adverse effect on the marine biota.
  • The term ‘heavy metals’ usually refers to naturally occurring elements with a density greater than 5.0 g cm-3.
  • Toxic heavy metals such as nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn) have the potential to cause serious marine ecosystem problems.

Due to their persistent nature in the environment they can increase toxicity and have ability to enter the food chain. 

  • When the heavy metals in water enter aquatic organisms, they are not easily decomposed and not eliminated from the bodies of the aquatic animals.
  • They accumulate in the different organs of the aquatic animals like the liver, spleen, kidney, and viscera, etc.
  • This can lead to the damage of the multiple organs causing diseases or even death.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Sediments in an aquatic environment provide foodstuff to the living organisms.

The use of leaded petrol and chromic anti-biofilling paints in beach environments is believed to be mildly influencing the increase in lead (Pb).

  • Iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and cobalt (Co) found in the beach sediments are however believed to be from natural weathering processes with mild anthropogenic influence.
     SOURCES:DownToEarth | 20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Cleanest coal fired plant of India

      HEADLINES:

NTPC Dadri strives to become the cleanest coal fired plant of India

      WHY IN NEWS:

All emission parameters are being monitored online and are transmitted to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on real time basis

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Power
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Energy

      ISSUE: 

Dry Sorbent Injection(DSI) system, SOFA (Separated Overfire Air) system have been installed for SOx and NOx reduction respectively

NTPC DADRI

  • NTPC Dadri also pioneered co-firing of Biomass pellets along with coal in the boilers
  • NTPC Dadri is striving to become the cleanest coal fired plant in the country and is complying with all the CPCB guidelines on emissions.
  • All the emission parameters are being monitored online and transmitted to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on real time basis.
  • The Flue gas emissions and Particulate matter are well within the CPCB norms with high efficiency ESP ( Electrostatic Precipitators) in service.

NTPC DADRI

  • NTPC Dadri has also pioneered co-firing of Biomass pellets along with coal in the boilers.
  • The pellets are made of husk or agro-residue which would have been burnt otherwise in the fields increasing the pollution in NCR region.
  • More than 8000 Tons of pellets have been fired in the boilers of NTPC Dadri, which is equivalent to almost 4000 acres of farm fire avoided.
  • NTPC Dadri has set new benchmarks in Water consumption, going beyond compliances, by implementing Zero liquid discharge system, and Rain water harvesting system.

NTPC’S EFFORTS TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT

  • NTPC’s efforts in leading the energy transition to a decentralised, decarbonised and digitalised energy.
  • As part of its commitment towards the environment, NTPC has undertaken a many ‘firsts’ for the sector.

NTPC is working towards utilising agro residue for power generation to discourage in-field crop residue burning.

  • NTPC is also striving hard to install sulphur dioxide-reducing technology flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) at all its plants across the country.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • NTPC is also working towards various waste to energy projects for a sustainable environment.
  • NTPC is also taking every possible step to make its energy portfolio greener by adding significant capacities of Renewable Energy (RE) Sources.
  • By 2032, the company plans to have a minimum of 32000 MW capacity through RE sources constituting nearly 25% of its overall power generation capacity.
     SOURCES: PIB | 20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Southern Command – Online competition

      HEADLINES:

Southern Command open online competition

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hot from PIB !

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Defence
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Miscellaneous

      ISSUE: 

SOUTHERN COMMAND OPEN ONLINE COMPETITION

  • Southern Command, Pune is organising an open online competition.
  • The competition will involve four competition i.e.
  • Slogan Writing, Video Making, Photography and Painting under various age categories.

THEME

The theme “Indian Army : A Symbol of unity in Diversity”.

PRIZE

  • The contest is open to all under various age categories with a total prize award money of Rs 1,22,000/- (Rupees one lac twenty two thousand only).
  • Award of merit certificate from Indian Army also will be given.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The entries are open from 19 October 2020 and will close on 10 December 2020.
  • The results of the competition would be announced on 16 December 2020 on the occasion of Vijay Diwas.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 20th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

DISCOVER MORE : Important Daily Current Affairs for UPSC PRELIMS 2021

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