Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

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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.

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ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

Today's Must Read Articles : Today's Must Read Articles :

Riverine plastic pollution

      HEADLINES:

Discarded fishing gear threatens Ganga dolphins, turtles

      WHY IN NEWS:

Researchers said the waste fishing gear could be recycled and used in clothes, carpets.

New research led by the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom .

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Biodiversity : Flora and Fauna

      ISSUE: 

Waste fishing gear in the Ganga posed a threat to the river’s wildlife including otters, turtles and dolphins

KEY OBSERVATIONS

  • Entanglement in fishing gear could harm species including the critically endangered three-striped roofed turtle and the endangered Ganges river dolphin.

The researchers conducted surveys along the length of the Ganga and found that the levels of waste fishing gear were highest near to the sea.

  • Fishing nets ; all made of plastic ,were the most common type of gear found.
Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020
  • Large number of fishing equipment was being discarded in the river, driven by short gear lifespans and lack of appropriate disposal systems.
  • The Ganga supports some of the world’s largest inland fisheries
  • No research has been done to assess plastic pollution from this industry and its impacts on wildlife.

Ingesting plastic can harm wildlife and entanglement, which is known to injure and kill a wide range of marine species.

  • The researchers used a list of 21 river species of ‘conservation concern’ identified by the Wildlife Institute for India.
  • They combined existing information with new data on entanglements of similar species worldwide to estimate which species were most at risk.

RECYCLING

The discarded fishing equipment as there was no system to recycle them.

  • The researchers offered hope for solutions based on ‘circular economy’ — where waste was dramatically reduced by reusing materials.

NYLON 6

  • A high proportion of the fishing gear we found was made of nylon 6.

Nylon 6 is valuable and can be used to make products including carpets and clothing.

  • Collection and recycling of nylon 6 has strong potential to cut plastic pollution and provide an income.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The problem was complex and would require multiple solutions — all of which must work for both local communities and wildlife.
SUGGESTED READING : OIL SPILL 
     SOURCES:  DownToEarth  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

Cyclone Nivar isn’t over : Is Tamil Nadu in for another one?

      HEADLINES:

Cyclone Nivar isn’t over but is Tamil Nadu in for another one?

      WHY IN NEWS:

Severe cyclonic storm Nivar made landfall early on Thursday at Marakkanam in Villupuram district, between Puducherry and Chennai.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 : Geography : Cyclones

      ISSUE: 

Cyclone left three persons dead and caused considerable damage to crops and fields, besides leaving many areas inundated.

CYCLONE NIVAR UPDATES

  • The storm system is likely to move northwestwards and weaken into a low pressure.

Interior areas such as Ambur, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore and Arani experienced rain and strong winds of 50 kmph.

  • Light to moderate rain may continue over a few places in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal for the next 48 hours.

RAIN DEFICIT WIPED OUT

  • Nivar dumped extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal areas.
  • Tambaram, a southwestern suburb of Chennai, recorded the highest rainfall at 31 cm followed by Puducherry at 30 cm.

Chennai’s seasonal rainfall deficit that stood at 11% had now moved to an excess of 36%.

  • Puducherry’s shortfall of nearly 37% has moved to a surplus of 13% in a single day, thanks to the cyclonic storm.
  • The State still has an overall deficit of 18%, Nivar has brought down the shortfall by 8% over the past few days.

A FRESH LOW PRESSURE

  • A fresh low-pressure area is likely to form over central parts of the south Bay of Bengal around November 29.

It is likely to move west and has the potential to become a cyclonic storm and impact south Tamil Nadu.

  • The Bay of Bengal had churned out back-to-back weather systems.
  • The state was last hit by back-to-back cyclones, Nada and Vardah, in December 2016.
  • The threat of another storm is looming over the Tamil Nadu coast even as Cyclone Nivar has not dissipated completely.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

PREVIOUS CYCLONES

  • Cyclone Nada had de-intensified to a depression before landfall.

Cyclone Vardah, a very severe cyclone clocking wind speeds of 130 kilometres per hour (kmph), had caused significant damage, especially in Chennai.

  • The city had received 382 millimetres of absolute rainfall, causing flooding in many areas.
  • Historically, November has always been a month for the formation of cyclones, especially in the Bay of Bengal.
  • In the last 129 years, 123 cyclones have formed in the Bay of Bengal in the month of November out of a total 524 cyclones — a staggering 23.5 percent.
SUGGESTED READING : CYCLONE NIVAR 
     SOURCES:   DownToEarth  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

National Maritime Domain Awareness (NDMA) centre

      HEADLINES:

IMAC to be domain awareness centre

      WHY IN NEWS:

It will soon become a National Maritime Domain Awareness (NDMA) centre, with all stakeholders having their presence there.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Defence

      ISSUE: 

The IMAC will soon transform into a national NDMA centre, wherein it will be a multi-agency centre

INDIAN NAVY’S INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS CENTRE (IMAC)

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

SOURCES : THE WEEK

  • The Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), the nodal agency for maritime data fusion set up after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
  • It will soon become a National Maritime Domain Awareness (NDMA) centre, with all stakeholders having their presence there.

COMMAND AND OPERATION

  • Approved by the Defence Acquisition Council in 2012, the IMAC became operational in 2014 at a cost of ₹450 crore and is located in Gurugram.

It is the nodal centre of the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I).

  • It was established to link the operational centres and lower echelons of the Navy and the Coast Guard spread across the country’s coastline.
  • The jurisdiction of IMAC also includes the island territories.

FUNCTIONS

  • The IMAC tracks vessels on the high seas and gets data from the coastal radars
  • White shipping agreements

Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) transponders fitted on merchant ships

  • Air and traffic management system
  • Global shipping databases.

AIS TRANSPONDERS AND TRACKING

  • After the 26/11 terror attack, all fishing vessels more than 20 m long were mandated to have AIS transponders installed.
  •  while efforts were on to have such system on under-20-m fishing vessels as well.

At any point of time there are 11,000-12,000 vessels present in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

  • It shows the magnitude of the challenge in tracking vessels.

WHITE SHIPPING PACTS

  • Indian Navy is working on improving transparency on maritime traffic on the high seas.

The Navy had been authorised to conclude white shipping agreements with 36 countries and three multilateral constructs.

  • So far they have been concluded with 22 countries and one multilateral construct, of which 17 and the one multilateral agreement had been operationalised.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Under Phase-I, 46 coastal radar stations were set up.

Phase-II of the coastal radar chain network, under which 38 static radar stations and four mobile radar stations were being set up by the Coast Guard.

  • Today we are well-equipped to ensure that a dastardly act like 26/11 doesn’t occur again.
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

Air pollution rising faster in south than in Gangetic India

      HEADLINES:

Air pollution rising faster in south than in Gangetic India, finds study

      WHY IN NEWS:

  • Increase in PM2.5 levels cuts across urban-rural divide.
  • The study, jointly carried out by IIT-Delhi and CPCB
  • The study, conducted on the basis of satellite data, is the first of its kind to look at air pollution spatially.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Pollution

      ISSUE: 

436 cities/towns with a population of more than 1 lakh in 2019 exceeded National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of 40 micrograms per metric cube (μg/m3).

KEY FINDINGS

  • The Indo-Gangetic Plain continues to be the most polluted region in the country – in fact in the whole world – in terms of PM 2.5 levels.
  • The rate of increase in pollution levels in southern and eastern India is far greater than the Gangetic.
  • Air pollution in rural areas has increased at par with urban India.
  • On PM2.5 levels cutting across the urban-rural divide.

PM2.5 exceeds the annual NAAQS of 40 μg/m3 in every state except Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and North-East states.

EXAMPLE
Delhi, where PM2.5 increased by 10.9 per cent between 2001 to 2015.

  • During the same period, it notes, PM2.5 exposure in rural India rose by 11.9 per cent.
  • Rate of increase of PM2.5 over eastern and southern India is more than 1.6 per cent per year during this period.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • As of 2019, 99.5 per cent districts in India did not meet WHO’s air quality guideline of 10 μg/m3.

This implies that poor air quality in India is not an urban-centric problem.

  • As PMUY is rolled out, it lacks a mechanism to track its progress.
SUGGESTED READING : AIR POLLUTION 
     SOURCES:   IE | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

President’s powers to pardon : US, India

      HEADLINES:

President’s powers to pardon — in US, India

      WHY IN NEWS:

With less than two months of his tenure remaining, his former National Security Advisor of U.S. , who had twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : President : Executive

      ISSUE: 

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday exercised his powers under the Constitution to pardon Michael Flynn,

HOW US PRESIDENT PARDONS

  • The President of the US has the constitutional right to pardon or commute sentences related to federal crimes.
  • The US Supreme Court has held that this power is “granted without limit” and cannot be restricted by Congress.

Clemency is a broad executive power, and is discretionary — meaning the President is not answerable for his pardons.

  • It does not have to provide a reason for issuing one.

LIMITATIONS

  • Article II of the US Constitution : Presidents “shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

The power only applies to federal crimes and not state crimes .

  • Those pardoned by the President can still be tried under the laws of individual states.

PARDONS BY TRUMP, OTHERS

  • Trump has granted pardons to 29 people (including Flynn) and 16 commutations.

In contrast, President Barack Obama had, during his eight-year tenure, issued 212 pardons and 1,715 commutations.

  • George H W Bush, who granted 77 clemency requests during his one-term tenure.
  • The highest number of clemency grants by a US President (3,796) came during Franklin D Roosevelt’s 12-year tenure.

HOW INDIAN PRESIDENT PARDONS

  • Unlike the US President, whose powers to grant pardons are almost unfettered, the President of India has to act on the advice of the Cabinet.
  • Under Article 72 of the Constitution, “the President shall have the power to grant pardons, reprieves, respites or remissions of punishment.

Article 72 also gives power to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of any person convicted of any offence where the sentence is a sentence of death.

  • Under Article 161, the Governor too has pardoning powers, but these do not extend to death sentences.
  • The President cannot exercise his power of pardon independent of the government.
  • Rashtrapati Bhawan forwards the mercy plea to the Home Ministry, seeking the Cabinet’s advice.
  • The Ministry in turn forwards this to the concerned state government; based on the reply, it formulates its advice on behalf of the Council of Ministers.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • In several cases, the SC has ruled that the President has to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers while deciding mercy pleas.

These include Maru Ram vs Union of India in 1980, and Dhananjoy Chatterjee vs State of West Bengal in 1994.

  • Although the President is bound by the Cabinet’s advice, Article 74(1) empowers him to return it for reconsideration once.
  • If the Council of Ministers decides against any change, the President has no option but to accept it.
     SOURCES:  IE  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

Blue tide

      HEADLINES:

‘Blue tide’ spotted along Juhu, Devgad, Ratnagiri beaches

      WHY IN NEWS:

The sight was observed at Juhu on Wednesday night, and at Devgad and Velas beaches in Ratnagiri.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Pollution

      ISSUE: 

BLUE TIDE

Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

 The spectacle occurs when phytoplankton , commonly known as dinoflagellates, produce light through chemical reactions in proteins.

  • Waves disturb these unicellular microorganisms and makes them release blue light.

The phenomenon called ‘blue tide’, is when luminescent marine life makes the sea appear a deep shade of blue.

  • Recently, the ‘blue tide’ was witnessed along Dakshina Kannada-Udupi coast.
  • The sight has been observed in many beaches across the world, such as Maldives, Vietnam, Indonesia, USA, and Australia.

BIOLIMINESCENCE

  • Bioluminescence was first reported from Mumbai in November 2016 when it was spotted for two weeks.
  • According to marine experts, light pollution in Mumbai, especially around beaches, could be a major reason for this phenomenon.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Experts point out that high temperature, high quantity of organic material, such as sewage and effluents .

  • Also, increased turbulence/wave action of the water, could be one of the reasons behind the blue tide.
     SOURCES:   IE  | Current Affairs News Analysis for UPSC | 27th Nov 2020

 

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