Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 27th October -2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 27-10-2021

                                                                                                  

 

Topics                                                                                                                                                    

  • Greenhouse gas emission- UN
  • Afghan: “acute” food shortages.
  • NIPUN Bharat Mission and National Steering Committee (NSC)
  • Sustainable Transport System Award: Kerala
  • Trigonopterus corona: A beetle species named after coronavirus

 

 

1.Greenhouse gas emission- UN

#GS3- Conservation

 Context

  • In 2020, greenhouse gas concentrations will reach new highs, according to the United Nations.
  • According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), worldwide carbon dioxide concentrations reached a new high of 413.2 parts per million last year.

In depth information

  • According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), worldwide carbon dioxide concentrations reached a new high of 413.2 parts per million last year.
  • Despite a 5.6 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels due to COVID-19 regulations, the 2020 increase was larger than the annual average over the previous decade.
  • The increase in methane from 2019 to 2020 was larger than the increase from 2018 to 2019, as well as the average yearly growth rate over the previous decade.
  • CO2 concentrations, the most important greenhouse gas, reached 413.2 parts per million in 2020, which is 149 percent higher than pre-industrial levels.
  • Methane (CH4) is 262 percent higher than it was in 1,750, while nitrous oxide (N2O) is 123 percent higher than it was before human activities began to disrupt the earth’s natural equilibrium.

WMO Information:

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a United Nations specialised organisation that deals with meteorology (weather), climatology (climate), operational hydrology (water), and other geophysical disciplines like oceanography and atmospheric chemistry.
  • The International Meteorological Organization (IMO) was created in 1873 and was the predecessor organisation.

What does the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) do?

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) organises the activities of 191 National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to ensure that fundamental meteorological, climate, and water services are provided to everybody who needs them, when they need them.
  • WMO ensures the dissemination of observations and statistics and promotes the application of meteorology and hydrology to all sectors of human activity, including aviation, shipping, water management, and agriculture (including the monitoring and prediction of climate change and ozone).
  • WMO also promotes meteorology and hydrological research and training, as well as associated applications, in order to reduce the effect of weather and climate-related disasters. This is accomplished through providing consistent, accurate predictions and early alerts for flooding, drought, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and other extreme occurrences.
  • WMO Members also provide predictions on locust swarms and the transport of pollutants (nuclear and toxic substances, volcanic ash).”

 

2.Afghan: “acute” food shortages.

#GS2: Bilateral, regional and global agreements

Context:

  • Afghanistan, according to the World Food Programme’s Executive Director, is on the verge of one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, with more than half of the country suffering from “acute” food shortages.

In depth information

What exactly is the problem?

  • Afghanistan has been completely taken over by the Taliban. People are unable to work and earn a living. This winter, almost 22 million Afghans will be food insecure as a drought brought on by climate change exacerbates their problems. They will be forced to choose between migration and starvation as a result of this.

What is causing Afghanistan’s food insecurity?

  • The World Food Programme has issued an alert for a variety of reasons.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, drought, and violence have all had a significant impact on people’s capacity to get food in the country.
  • Hunger in Afghanistan has increased significantly since 2014, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), due to large droughts, floods, and economic and security issues.
  • Food costs in Afghanistan are soaring, according to Nikkei Asia, as the local currency’s value falls and imports from Pakistan–the country from which Afghanistan imports the most food products–fall. India, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Iran are among the nations from which Pakistan buys food.

Is Afghanistan’s food insecurity recent?

  • Food insecurity in Afghanistan is not a new phenomenon; the country has been experiencing it for several years.
  • “At the home level, food insecurity in Afghanistan is mostly driven by inadequate access to food resulting from low household incomes,” according to a 2005 National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) cited in a 2007 USAID assessment on the country’s food security status.
  • In fact, according to a UN assessment from 2010, “poverty kills more Afghans than those who die as a direct result of the armed war; it is both a cause and a consequence of a vast human rights deficit.”
  • Agriculture has long dominated Afghanistan’s economy and contributed to a substantial share of its growth, according to a joint report produced by the World Bank and the Afghan government as of 2018.
  • Furthermore, approximately 70% of Afghans live and work in rural regions, largely on farms, and agriculture provides income to approximately 61 percent of all households.
  • One of the report’s primary findings was that the crop agriculture sub-sector was under-diversified and excessively reliant on wheat.
  • Furthermore, despite the fact that agriculture employed a large number of people, their income share was low due to restricted market involvement and a large number of unpaid family employees.

The importance of Afghan stability is as follows:

  • It is possible that spillover will occur to neighbouring central Asian countries such as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and others.
  • The rise of the Taliban will reignite extremism in the region, and the region might become a safe haven for groups like Let, ISIS, and others.
  • Afghanistan’s civil war will result in a refugee crisis in Central Asia and beyond.
  • The stability of Afghanistan will benefit Central Asian countries with the shortest access to Indian Ocean seaports.
  • Afghanistan has served as a vital link in regional trade and culture, serving as a gateway between Central Asia and the rest of the world.

The necessity of the hour:

  • The urgent need to act collectively to protect Afghan civilians by countering Taliban violence Afghanistan should be given enough space in Central Asian architectures such as the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization). The US, Iran, China, and Russia should actively involve India in maintaining stability in Afghanistan.
  • If a refugee crisis occurs, there will be a coordinated response.
  • India’s cooperation with the Taliban is aimed at keeping the peace with its immediate neighbours.

The World Food Programme (WFP)

  • The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) is the UN’s food-aid arm. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation dedicated to preventing hunger and ensuring food security. It is also the largest provider of school meals in the country. Its headquarters are in Rome, and it was founded in 1961. It has also opened offices in 80 different countries. WFP serviced 97 million people in 88 countries as of 2019. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group’s executive committee, which is a group of UN agencies aiming to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Its top objective is to accomplish SDG 2 by 2030, which calls for “zero hunger.”

 

3.NIPUN Bharat Mission and National Steering Committee (NSC)

#GS2-Education, Government Policies & Interventions

 Context

  • For the implementation of the NIPUN Bharat Mission, a National Steering Committee (NSC) was created.
  • As part of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, the NIPUN Bharat Scheme (National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy) was started earlier this year.

In depth information

 NSC’s Roles and Responsibilities:

  • To keep track of the National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy’s progress and offer policy advice.
  • To arrive at a national goal that will be met in 2026-27.
  • In the form of guidelines, offer instruments for yearly progress measurement.
  • Prepare and approve a National Action Plan (based on the Action Plans of the States).
  • Periodically assess programmatic and financial guidelines to verify they are in line with the goals to be met.

Bharat Mission of NIPUN:

Description of the Program:

  • The National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy (NIPUN) is a programme that aims to improve reading comprehension and numeracy skills.
  • The Ministry of Education is the driving force behind the programme.
  • The Department of School Education and Literacy will implement it.
  • Target: It is envisioned that by 2026-27, every kid in the country will have achieved foundational literacy and numeracy by the end of Grade 3.
  • It will cater to the educational requirements of children aged 3 to 9.
  • It will focus on providing access and retention for children in the foundational years of education, teacher capacity building, the provision of high-quality and diverse Student and Teacher Resources/Learning Materials, and tracking each child’s progress toward learning outcomes.
  • NIPUN Bharat will be implemented by the Ministry of Education’s Department of School Education and Literacy.
  • Under the purview of the centrally funded Samagra Shiksha scheme, a five-tier implementation system will be established at the national, state, district, block, and school levels in all States and UTs.
  • The ‘Samagra Shiksha’ programme merged three previous programmes: the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), and Teacher Education (TE).
  • The scheme’s goal is to approach school education as a whole, from pre-school through Class XII.
  • NCERT is working on a specific package for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) as part of NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement).
  • NISHTHA is a capacity-building initiative aimed at “Improving School Education Quality Through Integrated Teacher Training.”
  • From the pre-primary through the balvatika classes, stage-by-stage goals are established.

 

4.Sustainable Transport System Award: Kerala

#GS2-Government Policies & Interventions

 Context

  • Kerala recently received the distinction for ‘City with the Most Sustainable Transportation System.’

In depth information

  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will present it.
  • The award is granted in honour of India’s transportation infrastructure in various states and union territories.
  • The prize was granted in honour of the projects that were executed to improve the city of Kochi’s transportation services, such as Kochi Metro, Water Metro (Water Connectivity with the Same Experience as Metro), and E-mobility.
  • The prize was also aided by the creation of the Kochi Open Mobility Network, which digitised and integrated numerous modes of transportation.

 

5.Trigonopterus corona: A beetle species named after coronavirus

#GS3-Conservation

 Context

  • On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, scientists have found a new species of beetle called Trigonopterus corona.

  • It’s not the first time an insect species has been named after a pandemic. Potamophylax coronavirus is a new species of caddisfly (a moth-like bug) discovered along a stream in Kosovo in April 2021.

In depth information

Clockwise from top: Stethantyx covida, Allorhogas quarentenus, and Trigonopterus corona.

  • Museum scientists identified 28 new species of beetles on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The species, which all have a diameter of 2-3 mm, are described in the Zookeys journal.
  • Trigonopterus corona is the name of one of them. This illustrates the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this endeavour, according to Pensoft Publishers, which publishes the journal.
  • It isn’t the only bug species that bears the name of the pandemic. A team of scientists discovered a new species of caddisfly (a moth-like insect) in a stream in Kosovo in April and dubbed it Potamophylax coronavirus (Biodiversity Data Journal).
  • Trigonopterus (Cryptorhynchinae) is a hyperdiverse genus of flightless hidden-snout weevils (Cryptorhynchinae) that spans the Indo-Australian-Melanesian archipelago.
  • Weevils, a species of beetle with an elongated snout, are commonly referred to as flour bugs because they are commonly found in flour.
  • Trigonopterus is a genus that began in Northern Australia and quickly diversified in New Guinea before invading Sulawesi and spreading west to Sundaland (a bio-geographical area of south-eastern Asia).

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