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6th November 2019 Current Affairs

1. BIMSTEC Ports’ Conclave’ in Visakhapatnam, AP

  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an International Organization involving a group of countries in South Asia and SouthEast Asia namely, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal. 
  • These BIMSTEC Countries will be a part of this conclave and will present their country’s perspective on BIMSTEC and regional ports.
  • The Ports’ First Conclave of BIMSTEC nations is expected to explore the possibility of increasing economic cooperation by furthering EXIM trade and coastal shipping. 
  •  The Conclave will also discuss on various investment opportunities, best practices adopted for productivity and safety at Ports. Senior officials from the Ports Sector from all seven nations as well as from the Trade and various Shipping Associations will be participating in the two day conclave.
  • In the Summit, Memorandum of Understanding are also expected to be signed for furthering Trade cooperation between the Ports of Visakhapatnam, Kolkata and Chennai with Port Authority of Thailand (Ranong Port).
  • The Ports of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising of seven Member states lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.  The objective of BIMSTEC alliance was to harness trade and accelerated growth with mutual cooperation in different areas of common interest by utilising the regional resources and geographical advantage. 

2. UTTAM RAKE

UTTAM RAKE” in its inaugural run as Ladies Special local train from Churchgate to Virar.Uttam rake has improved interiors and advanced features to bring more comfort for Mumbaikars.

Salient Features of Uttam rake:

  • Provision of CCTV Surveillance System in all coaches.
  • Anti-dent partitions in coaches to prevent thefts.
  • Modular Luggage rack.
  • High backrest seats in First Class coaches.
  • Provision of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) seats in Second Class coaches with wooden finishing for better aesthetics.
  • Improved Dual Lock Stopper with dual slot handles windows in all coaches.
  • Wider and improved grab handles for better grip.
  • Latest Brushless DC (BLDC) fans in all coaches which consumes 30% less energy than conventional fans.
  • Provision of modular type diffused LED lights,Electrically operated Passenger Alarm System in place of traditional emergency chains.
  • Red Emergency Buttons

3. Economic slowdown may lighten India’s carbon burden

  • A study has pointed out that Carbon dioxide emissions are poised to grow at their slowest since 2001 due to a lower demand for coal in the power and manufacturing sectors.
  • The analysis published in Carbon Brief (a site that tracks emission and carbon dioxide trends) states that the Carbon dioxide emissions are poised to grow at their slowest — a 2% rise from 2018 — since 2001.
  • The rise in C02 emissions from India saw wild swings — from 7% in 2014 to 3.5% in 2015 and then back to 7.8% in 2018. This is the first time that emissions are expected to grow below 3% from the previous year.
  • It is opined that coal generation trends are unlikely to change given the lack of demand and the contribution of renewables.
  • Slower growth in coal-based power generation will also benefit the country’s air quality efforts, as essentially all coal-fired power plants lack pollution controls commonly required in the EU and China.

4. Ban proposed on sale, ads of junk food in schools

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has released draft regulations titled Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and healthy diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019.
  • One of the important regulations proposed is that foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) cannot be sold to children in school canteens/mess premises/hostel kitchens or within 50 m of the school campus.
  • FSSAI has also proposed that children have to be encouraged to consume balanced diet in the school as per the guidelines issued by the National Institute of Nutrition.
  • The FSSAI has invited suggestions and objections from stakeholders.

5. Ready to address India’s concerns on RCEP: China

  • A statement posted by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that during the RCEP summit in Bangkok, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed India’s decision not to join the RCEP agreement based on the current global economic situation as well as on grounds of fairness and balance.
  • China has said that the door on India’s participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade deal has not been closed, and that Beijing was ready to address New Delhi’s concerns through further negotiations.

6. New species of tree frog

A new species of tree frog, discovered in West Bengal, has been named Brown Blotched Bengal Tree Frog (Polypedates bengalensis) due to a series of six to nine dark brown blotches present on its body.

  • It is a mid-sized tree frog and is the 26th species under the genus Polypedates.
  • Polypedates is a genus of tree frog found throughout South and Southeast Asia.

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