Current Affairs

10 November, 2021


IMO: Shipping Emission Must Fall by a 3rd by 2030 & Reach Zero Before 2050

The new study of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has discovered that international shipping must cut down emissions by a 3rd in this decade (by 2030) and make efforts towards zero-emission before 2050. The new study is based on the concept of carbon budgets, which sets limits on cumulative carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions necessary for holding global warming within a given temperature target.

Previously, IMO had targeted to cut down the shipping emission by to fall at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, and for at least a 40% by 2030, which falls short compared to the Paris Accords commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5/2 degree Celsius by 2100.
Initiative at U.N. COP26 climate summit, Glasgow:
14 countries, including the United States(US) and United Kingdom(UK), signed a declaration pledging to work with the IMO to deliver zero-emission international shipping by 2050.
The initiative was led by Denmark and announced on the sidelines of the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
IMO’s a new climate strategy
i.In November 2021, the IMO will discuss the plans to revise the IMO’s climate strategy in 2023.
ii.The new strategy will offer urgent course corrections to get shipping emissions to zero by 2050.
International Shipping:
i.International shipping is an important part of the global economy since around 90% of World Trade is transported by sea.
ii.The majority of the ships use fossil fuels which makes the shipping sector the major emitter of greenhouse gas pollution.

India’s New Green Deal can create over 50 million jobs: WEF White Paper

i.In accordance with the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest research report i.e. white paper namely ‘Mission 2070: A Green New Deal for a Net Zero India’ , a Green New Deal for India can add $1 trillion to GDP by 2030, and $15 trillion by 2070 along with a potential of creating more than 50 million new jobs.
ii.The report has been prepared in collaboration with Kearney India, and Observer Research Foundation.
iii.As per some projections, India’s GDP may grow above the world average between 2013 and 2040, at about 6.5% per annum. If this growth is powered by an increased manufacturing base then again there will be more emissions.
About World Economic Forum(WEF):
Founder and Executive Chairman– Professor Klaus Schwab
Headquarter– Geneva, Switzerland


Ministry of Mines Notified Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Mineral) Concession Rules, 2021

The Ministry of Mines has notified the Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Mineral) Concession (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2021 to amend The Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Mineral) Concession Rules, 2016 (MCR, 2016).

Earlier in March 2021, amendments were made in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Amendment) Act, 1957 (‘MMDR Act’) by the MMDR Amendment Act, 2021 to increase employment and investment in the mining sector and now in order to implement those amendments the MCR, 2016 has been amended. The interest rate for delayed payments of royalty and penalty was halved to 12 percent from 24 percent. New rules were inserted to enable Captive non-coal, non-fuel mines to sell 50 percent of their annual production from the captive leases in the open market. The minimum area for the grant of mining lease changed from 5 ha. (Hectare) to 4 ha. For specific deposits, minimum 2 ha. is provided. Rules for the period of mining lease granted to Government companies and their payments incorporated in the MCR, 2016 was also changed.
About Ministry of Mines:
Union Minister – Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad, Karnataka)
Minister of State – Raosaheb Dadarao Danve (Jalna, Maharashtra)

GoI Amended Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011 to Enhance Consumer Rights Protection

he Government of India (GoI) through the Department of Consumer Affairs, under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, amended the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities), Rules 2011 called the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Amendment Rules, 2021 to enhance the protection of Consumer Rights.

Note – The amendments will come into effect from 1st April 2022.
About Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal (Constituency – Maharashtra)
Minister of State – Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (Constituency – Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Constituency – Buxar, Bihar)

DBT-Star College: Dr. Jitendra Singh launched 1st Mentorship Programme for Young Innovators

i.As a part of 75th Year of India’s independence, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) launched the first-ever Mentorship Programme for Young Innovators on November 8, 2021, namely ‘DBT-Star College Mentorship Programme’
ii.It is a pan India Scheme envisaging Star College in every district supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
iii.Star college scheme is a pan India scheme initiated by DBT in 2008 to support colleges and universities offering undergraduate education to strengthen science teaching across the country.
About Department of Biotechnology (DBT):
Establishment– 1986 under the Ministry of Science & Technology
Secretary– Rajesh S Gokhale
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
‘Srinagar’ joins UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network for 2021
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) selected India’s Srinagar city,a capital of Jammu & Kashmir as one among the 49 cities selected under UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) for 2021.Srinagar becomes the sixth Indian City to receive this recognition. Srinagar is selected under the craft and folk arts category. Other Cities included in 2021 UCCN – Abu Dhabi (UAE), Doha (Qatar) and Bursa (Turkey)
Other Indian Cities under UCCN List:
Jaipur – Crafts and Folk Arts(2015)
Varanasi-Creative city of Music (2015)
Chennai-Creative city of Music(2017)
Mumbai – Film (2019)
Hyderabad – Gastronomy (2019)
Director General – Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters – Paris, France


RBI Extended Restrictions on Millath Co-operative Bank

RBI has extended the restrictions imposed on Millath Co-operative Bank Limited, Davangere, Karnataka, for another 3 months till February 7, 2022.
At first the restrictions were imposed on April 26, 2019, and have been modified from time to time. Last time, the restrictions were extended till November 7, 2021.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
i.Key Appointments in RBI – Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister appoints the governor and deputy governors of RBI.
ii.Section 7 in The RBI Act, 1934, empowers the government to issue directions to the RBI governor.
iii.Shaktikanta Das – The 25th governor of RBI from 11 December 2018

FPIs can invest in debt securities issued by InvITs, REITS

As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) are permitted to invest in debt securities issued by Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). In this regard, FPIs can acquire debt securities issued by InvITs and REITs under the Medium-Term Framework (MTF) or the Voluntary Retention Route (VRR). The directions contained in this circular are issued under Sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999). It should be noted that these investments are subject to the terms and conditions for investments by FPIs in debt securities under the respective regulations.

In the Union Budget 2021-22 it was announced that debt financing of InvITs and REITs by FPI will be enabled by making suitable amendments in the relevant legislations. Following in October 2021, necessary amendments to Foreign Exchange Management (Debt Instruments) Regulations, 2019, had been notified. Accordingly, it has been decided to permit FPIs to invest in debt securities issued by InvITs and REITs.

Points to be noted:
i. REIT comprises a portfolio of commercial real assets, a major portion of which is already leased out.
ii.InvITs comprise a portfolio of infrastructure assets such as highways and power transmission assets.

Assam Signed MoU with World Bank for Rs 770 crore Loan to Promote River Transportation

Assam Chief Minister (CM) Himanta Biswa Sarma has stated about the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Assam’s Inland Water Transport (IWT) department and World Bank for a Rs 770 crore loan to promote river transportation of the state. The central government would return 80 percent of the loan amount and the state government would refund the remaining 20 percent. The CM has launched 4 steel Catamaran vessels at Pandu Port of the state as part of a World Bank-funded effort to integrate high-quality passenger and vehicle ferry services into the state’s larger transportation network system. Out of the 4 vessels, 2 will ply over the river Brahmaputra at Majuli (island), Assam, and one each in between Guwahati – North Guwahati and Uzanbazar – Umananda ferry ghats. The newly released vessels can accommodate 100 passengers and 50 two-wheelers and are powered by 180 HP twin engines that can move at a forward speed of 10 knots. The CM also launched an e-ticketing system for the Umananda ferry service to allow tourists to pre-book tickets and assist in boat operations management.
About Assam:
Governor – Jagadish Mukhi
Dance – Bisuyo Jama Dance, Muchaglangnai Dance, Langkhon Fuja Mishawa
Rivers – Kopili river, Piyain river


Chess: IM Mitrabha Guha of Kolkata Named as India’s 72nd Grandmaster

International Master(IM) Mitrabha Guha (20 years old), from Kolkata, West Bengal has become the 72nd Grandmaster of India after securing his 3rd and final Grandmaster(GM) norm at GM Third Saturday Mix 220, Novi Sad, Serbia. He won this 3rd GM norm against GM Nikola Sedlak of Serbia. Mitrabha Guha scored his 2nd GM norm at the Sheikh Russel International GM Tournament 2021, Bangladesh. Mitrabha Guha(world rank 770) secured the IM title in 2019 and FIDE Master (FM) title in 2009.

FIDE Titles:
i.FIDE titles are awarded by the International Chess Federation (FIDE – Fédération Internationale des Échecs) for outstanding performance.Titles for over-the-board standard chess are Grandmaster (GM), International Master (IM), FIDE Master (FM), Candidate Master (CM), Woman Grandmaster (WGM), Woman International Master (WIM), Woman FIDE Master (WFM), Woman Candidate Master (WCM).

GM Norm:
According to the FIDE, to Achieve FIDE’s GM Title, a player has to secure 3 GM norms and cross the live rating of 2500 Elo points.
Note: The Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in zero-sum games such as chess.
Additional info:
Former world chess champion Viswanathan Anand from Tamil Nadu became the first grandmaster from India in 1988.


Japan Launches Epsilon Small Rocket Carrying 9 Satellites

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched a small, low cost Epsilon rocket with 9 satellites from Japan’s Uchinoura Space Center at Kagoshima to promote educational institutions and companies in space development. The 9 Satellites were developed by Private Companies & enterprises, While one of them was jointly developed by 10 national institutes of technology. JAXA already launched Epsilon in 2019 with 7 satellites sent into space.

Main Payload – Rapid Innovative Payload Demonstration Satellite 2, or RAISE 2 which is a technology demonstrator that weighs 240 pound (120 kilogram). RAISE 2 spacecraft was built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp

Other Payload – 8 satellites, that were manufactured by various organisations. Among the satellites DRUMS (Debris Removal Unprecedented Micro-satellite) built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries is designed to clean space junk.

Note – In January 2019, the launch lifted RAPID 1 (“Rapid Innovative Payload Demonstration Satellite 1 and in october 2021 RAISE 2 is the second mission to focus on space development.
About JAXA
Founded – 1 October 2003
Headquarters – Tokyo, Japan
Administrator – Hiroshi Yamakawa

Amitabh Bachchan appointed as Brand Ambassador of Amway India

Amway India appoints Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan as their brand ambassador. As a part of the momentous association, he will endorse the brand Amway and all the Nutrilite products by Amway. Through guided mentorship he will encourage women and youth empowerment.

About Amway India:
CEO- Anshu Budhraja
Headquarters- Gurugram, Haryana
SDMC appointed ‘Jasbir Jassi’ as Brand Ambassador
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) appointed Punjabi singer Jasbir Jassi as its brand ambassador, as part of its plan to improve the ranking in the 2022 Swachh Bharat survey. SDMC has identified five brand ambassadors for the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), including Jasbir Jassi and Ruby Makhija, to organize events at important locations. A decision was also passed to implement Revised Plastic Management Rules, 2021 and it was decided that there should be a complete ban on plastic thinner than 120 microns.

Bandhan Bank Names Zubeen Grag as Brand Ambassador for Assam

Bandhan bank has announced a renowned singer, actor and composer Zubeen Garg as the brand ambassador for the bank in Assam. It is the first time Bandhan Bank has associated with a brand ambassador since its inception (2015). Zubeen has released a song and music video titled ‘Axom amaar mone prane, milicho akei shuror bandhane (Assam is in my mind and soul, and bound together by the bond of music)’.

Launched by – Bandhan Bank.
Composed by – Shekhar Jyoti Goswami
Written by – Sasanka Samir, an Asamese lyricist. The song is a blend of Bihu folk music, folk songs from the tea gardens, Goalparia Gaan or Hostir Gaan of Assam.

About Bandhan Bank:
It became the 1st microfinance company in India to get a universal banking licence in 2015.
Headquarters – Kolkata, West Bengal
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Chandra Shekar Gosh
About Assam
Capital – Dispur
Chief Minister – Himanta Biswa Sarma
Dance – Folk Dance- Farkanti Dance, Kushan; Classical Dance – Satriya Nritya,Bhor Tal Nritya

Govt Awarded Swarnajayanti Fellowships 2020-2021 to 17 Scientists

he Government of India has awarded the Swarnajayanti Fellowships Scheme 2020-2021 for innovative research ideas to 17 scientists from scientific institutions across India. The fellowship recognises the potential of the scientists in creating an impact on the Research and Development(R&D) in different disciplines. The awardees under the scheme are facilitated by the Department of Science & Technology(DST), under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

About the Swarnajayanti Fellowships:
i.The Swarnajayanti Fellowship scheme was instituted in 1997 by the government of India to commemorate the 50th year of Independence.
ii.Under this scheme, the young scientists who have a proven track record will be provided with special assistance and support to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.
Duration: The duration of the fellowship will not exceed 5 years.
About Ministry of Science and Technology:
Minister of State (Independent Charge)– Dr Jitendra Singh (Constituency- Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir)

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