Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 30th November - 2021

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 30th November – 2021

UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 30th November – 2021

 Topics

  • The Ganga Connect exhibition
  • India-UK Trade Agreement
  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
  • Covexin – Elicits Immune Memory to the Virus
  • SAFAR

1. The Ganga Connect exhibition

#GS1-Water Resources, #GS3- Environmental Pollution

Context

  • On November 25th, 2021, the Ganga Connect exhibition in London came to a close.
  • After the successful conclusion of COP-26 (Conference of Parties) on November 12th, 2021, it was inaugurated in Glasgow, Scotland.

In depth information

What are the major takeaways from the Ganga Connect Exhibition?

  • Impact Project Using the Arth Ganga Framework: The term “Arth Ganga” refers to a long-term development approach that focuses on Ganga-related economic activity. An impact project will be developed as part of this to stimulate considerable economic activity in a specific region along the Ganga’s banks. The City of Glasgow College and Strathclyde University will lead this endeavour.
  • A group of investors and finance companies have founded the Ganga Finance and Investments Forum.
  • To channel investments from around the world into the Namami Gange Programme, the conference will develop cutting-edge financial instruments such as river bonds, blue bonds, impact and outcome bonds, credit enhancement and guarantee instruments.

The following technologies are part of the Environment Technology Verification (ETV) programme:

  • ETV assists technology innovators in gaining credibility for their environmental technologies, allowing them to reach a wider market. Qualified third parties verify technologies by using test findings to assess performance claims and producing a “Statement of Verification.”
  • UK-India Scientific Collaboration:
  • A group of experts and research institutes have decided to join a knowledge pool to share scientific and technology ideas, paving the way for collaborative study.
  • Global Youth for Ganga:
  • It will be a non-profit organisation made up of young people from India and other countries who have come together to share their knowledge and expertise while advocating for a clean Ganga and all rivers in general.

Objective:

  • To show a global community of environmental stakeholders how far the Ganga River watershed has progressed.

Significance:

  • Increasing Public Awareness:
  • It’s significant in terms of preserving and protecting the Ganga and its environment, as well as raising public awareness of the river basin.
  • It demonstrates the Indians’ deep spiritual and intellectual bond with the river.
  • Ecosystem Understanding:
  • The Ganga Connect exhibition provides a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the Ganga riverine ecosystem’s vastness, significance, and complexity.
  • Encourages Participation:
  • It allows for contact with interested parties and the diaspora who want to help with the river system’s regeneration, restoration, and conservation.
  • Environmental Solution Development:
  • It highlights the Ganga as a crucial testing ground for global technology and the scientific community to produce cutting-edge environmental solutions.

 

2. India-UK Trade Agreement

#GS2- Agreements Involving India

Context

  • Negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom could be postponed until January 2022.

In depth information

  • Aside from the increased prevalence of new Corona Virus varieties, the UK’s Cabinet shift and the need for further “pre-negotiation” talks were identified as major factors.
  • During a discussion, the timelines for the FTA negotiations were set, including the announcement of a “Early Harvest Agreement” by March 2022.

Early Harvest Accord

  • Early harvest agreements are used to reduce tariffs on the trade of specific goods between two nations or trading blocs prior to the conclusion of a full Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
  • The signature of the Early Harvest agreement would help both India and the United Kingdom in a variety of ways, including boosting economic recovery in the post-pandemic era and building confidence and momentum ahead of the FTA.
  • Renegotiations with India’s commercial partners should complement the country’s domestic initiatives, such as “Make in India” and “AtmaNirbhar Bharat.”
  • Enhancing the Partnership and Achieving Self-Sufficiency on the Road to a UK-India Free Trade Agreement
  • The British Government had contacted the UK-India Business Council ahead of the negotiations, which highlighted India’s Intellectual Property (IP) enforcement framework, gaps in pharma sector rules, medicine price limits, and data localization and governance norms.
  • The Council also expressed worry over high taxes on Scotch Whiskey made in the United Kingdom, such as 150 percent, and the prohibition on its sale in CSD canteens.

Partnership for Trade Enhancement

  • The two countries announced plans to finalise an interim trade agreement by mid-2022 as a preliminary to a free trade agreement in May 2021, with the goal of facilitating market access in specific industries.
  • Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, it is part of the country’s efforts to strengthen trade connections with countries across the world (EU).
  • Britain will expand its fisheries industry to include more Indian players, expand nursing jobs, recognise Indian seafarers’ qualifications, and engage in a cooperative discussion on a social security deal.
  • In exchange, India eased limitations on British fruit producers’ ability to export their products to the country and facilitated access to medical devices by accepting “UK Certificates of Free Sale.”
  • The two sides will also try to offer up legal services to each other.
  • In India, these initiatives are expected to result in the creation of 25,000 new direct and indirect jobs.

Opportunities

  • Britain is shifting its regional balance to the Indo-Pacific, where India is a natural ally. India, which is dealing with a changed neighbourhood as a result of China’s growth, needs as broad a coalition as possible to restore some semblance of regional equilibrium.
  • Trade, Investment, and Jobs: Trade between India and the United Kingdom was valued £23 billion in 2019, with both countries aiming to increase that amount by 2030. Almost half a million employment are sustained by investments in each other’s economy in India and the United Kingdom.
  • A free trade agreement between the United Kingdom and India, the world’s largest democracy, fifth largest economy, and a nation of 1.4 billion people, will open up a significant market for British goods such as whisky, vehicles, and services.
  • Enterprises will benefit from a trade agreement with India because it will lower barriers and make it simpler for British businesses to secure more investments, higher wages, and lower pricing in the UK.
  • Access to Skilled Labor:
  • India will seek concessions on the use of Indian skilled labour in UK markets.
  • Strengths in Defense:
  • The United Kingdom could help boost India’s local defence industrial base. Through the sharing of logistical facilities, the two sides might also enhance India’s regional reach

Concerns

  • Partition’s harsh consequences, anti-colonial animosity, and Britain’s prejudices and perceived lean toward Pakistan have long hampered the relationship between India and the United Kingdom.
  • Political Negativity: While it is impossible to completely separate South Asian and British domestic politics, the British Labour Party’s growing political hostility to India has exacerbated India’s challenges.
  • Domestic Politics: Britain’s substantial South Asian diaspora transmits the subcontinent’s internal and intra-regional tensions to the country’s domestic politics.
  • Engagement with the EU: The UK must resolve its own internal debates over the future of its relationship with the EU.

Ahead of Schedule

  • Proactive and swift actions are required for both countries to finalise the bilateral agreement in order to revitalise existing bilateral trade between India and the United Kingdom.
  • Regular Meetings: Both countries should meet on a regular basis to address problems such as bilateral trade, defence ties, renewable energy, skill development, and other important topics.

 

3. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

#GS3- Space

Context

  • The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is expected to be launched into orbit on December 22.

JWST in further depth

  • It will be a big infrared telescope with a primary mirror of about 6.5 metres.
  • In 2021, the telescope will be launched from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket.
  • It is expected to be the most important observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of scientists around the world as the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor.
  • It was previously known as the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), but in 2002 it was renamed after James Webb, a former NASA administrator.
  • NASA launched nearly 75 space science missions during his tenure, including probes to Mars and Venus.

The goal is to:

  • It will investigate every stage of the Universe’s history, from the first brilliant glows after the Big Bang to the emergence of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, as well as the Solar System’s growth.
  • Partners:
  • NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency are working together on this project (CSA).
  • The development endeavour is overseen by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
  • Main Characteristics:
  • A primary mirror, made up of 18 different pieces that expand and adjust to shape after launch, is one of them.
  • The mirrors are composed of beryllium, which is extremely light.
  • Webb’s most notable feature is a five-layer sun shield the size of a tennis court that reduces solar heat by more than a million times.
  • It has a cryo cooler for cooling other equipment’ mid-infrared detectors.
  • Visible, near-infrared, and mid-infrared wavelengths (0.6-28.5 micrometres)
  • In terms of space, It will be the largest, most powerful, most sophisticated space telescope ever built and launched into space, orbiting the Sun near the second Lagrange point (L2).

Webb in comparison to other space telescopes

  • The Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope are regarded to be scientific successors to the Webb telescope.
  • Webb has a larger primary mirror than Hubble, with a diameter around 2.5 times that of Hubble’s.
  • Webb will be able to operate at a considerably greater distance from Earth (1.5 million km away).
  • The Kepler space telescope, which was launched in 2009 and deactivated in 2018, assisted in the discovery of planets in or near the habitable zones of other stars.
  • Webb was “intended for “narrow and deep” focused research with near and mid-IR imaging and spectroscopy,” whereas Kepler was “planned to be a “broad and shallow” survey telescope.”

From 2009 to 2013, the European Space Agency built and operated another huge infrared telescope, the Herschel Space Observatory.

  • Webb and Herschel, on the other hand, are complementing.
  • Webb will be sensitive to wavelengths ranging from visible light to the mid-infrared, whereas Herschel was sensitive to wavelengths in the far-infrared.

 

4. Covexin – Elicits Immune Memory to the Virus

#GS-3 – Effects on Everyday Life

Context

  • According to a recent study, the vaccination produces antibodies as well as observable memory B and T cell responses in many patients.

In depth information

  • Most people who have been vaccinated have cellular immunological responses in the form of memory B cells and memory T cells, indicating that their immune systems are capable of responding fast.
  • The research looked at RBD-specific memory B cells, but not spike-specific memory B cells.
  • What exactly are B-cells?
  • Antibodies are produced by B-cells in order to fight germs and viruses. Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that bind to the surface of invading cells and mark them for destruction by other immune cells.

What exactly are T-cells?

  • T-cells also use cytokines as messenger molecules to deliver chemical instructions to the rest of the immune system, causing it to respond more aggressively.
  • Checkpoint inhibitors, a relatively new class of immuno therapy medications recently licenced by the FDA to treat lung cancer, melanoma, and other challenging tumours, work by activating T-cells against cancer cells.
  • Helper T-cells stimulate B-cells to produce antibodies and aid in the development of killer cells.
  • Killer T-cells target cells that have already been infected by a foreign invader and kill them directly.

 

5. SAFAR

#GS3-Environmental Pollution

Context

  • SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecast and Research) recently conducted research into post-Diwali air pollution in four Indian cities (Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune).

In depth information

  • In the three metropolitan cities of Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai, air pollution levels were greater during Diwali in 2021 than in 2020, with Pune being the only city among the four with lower pollution levels.
  • The high PM levels in Delhi around Diwali are due to a combination of increased local emissions and the biomass burning effect.

About:

  • SAFAR is a national programme launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) to assess the air quality of a metropolitan city by determining the overall level of pollution as well as the city’s location-specific air quality.
  • It’s a key component of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System, which is currently operational in Delhi.
  • It keeps track of temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and direction, UV radiation, and solar radiation, among other things.
  • On the basis of the high-quality control and standards maintained in its implementation, the World Meteorological Organization has designated SAFAR as a prototype activity.
  • 5, PM10, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, and Mercury were among the pollutants monitored.
  • The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune developed the system, which is now operationalized by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • IITM has a massive true colour LED (Light Emitting Diode) display that displays a real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) with color-coding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (along with 72 hours advance forecast).

UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 30th November – 2021

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