Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Current Affairs of 30th November 2020

 

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy brings to you the daily current affairs keeping in mind the changing pattern of the UPSC civil services exam. UPSC Prelims and Mains exams mix the current affairs with static core concepts. So, we give the background explanation for every current topic.

 

TOPICS OF THE DAY:

  1. Agreements between India-Bahrain
  2. “India Climate Change Knowledge Portal”
  3. Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR)
  4. MQ9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones
  5. Sea sparkle’ has affected marine food chain

 

1) Agreements Between India-Bahrain:

Relevant to: GS Prelims and GS-II – International Relations

Context: Recently, India and Bahrain have agreed to further strengthen their ties, including in areas of defence and maritime security.

Key points:

  • The bilateral issues, and regional and global matters of mutual interest, included areas of defence and maritime security, space technology, trade and investment, infrastructure, IT, FinTech, health, hydrocarbon and renewable energy. Both countries affirmed to further strengthen their Covid-19 related cooperation.
  • Bahrain appreciated the assistance provided by India during the pandemic through the supply of medicines, medical equipment and medical professionals.
  • They expressed satisfaction on the operationalisation of the Air Bubble arrangement between the two countries.
  • India renewed invitation to Bahrain for visiting India for the 3rd India-Bahrain High Joint Commission meeting to be held in the upcoming months.

Do you know?

  • Air bubbles (travel corridors or travel bubbles) are systems established between two countries that perceive each other to be safe and allow carriers of both the countries to fly passengers either way without any restrictions

 

2) “India Climate Change Knowledge Portal” 

Context: Single point information source on Climate Actionl

Key points: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, launched the “India Climate Change Knowledge Portal”

  • The portal will be a “single point Information resource” which provides information on the different climate initiatives taken by various Line Ministries enabling users to access updated statuson these
  • The portal captures sector-wise adaptation and mitigation actions that are being taken by the various line Ministries in one place including updated information on their implementation.
  • The knowledge portal will help in disseminating knowledge among citizens about all the major steps Government is taking at both national and international levels to address climate change issues. The eight major components included in the knowledge portal are:
  1. India’s Climate Profile
  2. National Policy Framework
  3. India’s NDC goals
  4. Adaptation Actions
  5. Mitigation Actions
  6. Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation
  7. International Climate Negotiations
  8. Reports & Publication

Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region:

  • It is India’s first-ever national forecast on the impact of global warming on the subcontinent in the coming century.
  • These projections, based on a climate forecasting model developed at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, will be part of the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), expected to be ready in 2022.
  • This is a significant step for climate science and policy in India because existing projections are put in the context of historical trends in land and ocean temperatures, monsoon rainfall, floods, droughts and Himalayan warming and glacier loss.

 

3) Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR):

Relevant to : Prelims GS
Context: Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Uttar Pradesh has bagged the first international award, TX2, among the 13 tiger ranging countries for having doubled the number of tigers in less than the stipulated time.

In 2014, All India Tiger Estimation had estimated 25 tigers in Pilibhit and 2018 estimation showed an increase by projecting 65 tigers.
Conservation Excellence Award for 2020:

Transboundary Manas Conservation Area straddling the India-Bhutan border has received the TX2 Conservation Excellence Award for 2020.

Transboundary Manas Conservation Area or TraMCA comprising the 500 sq. km. Manas National Park in Assam and the 1,057-sq. km. Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.

What is TX2?

It is the global award which was set up in 2010 in St. Petersburg, Russia by international organizations working for tiger conservation like WWF, UNDP, IUCN, Global Tiger Fund (GTF), CATS and The Lion’s Share.

Conservation efforts in India:

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has launched the M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status), a mobile monitoring system for forest guards.
  • At the Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010, leaders of 13 tiger range countries resolved to do more for the tiger and embarked on efforts to double its number in the wild, with a popular slogan ‘T X 2’.
  • The Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) program of the World Bank, using its presence and convening ability, brought global partners together to strengthen the tiger agenda.
  • Over the years, the initiative has institutionalised itself as a separate entity in the form of the Global Tiger Initiative Council (GTIC), with its two arms –the Global Tiger Forum and the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Protection Program.
  • The Project Tiger, launched way back in 1973, has grown to more than 50 reserves amounting to almost 2.2% of the country’s geographical area.

 

4) MQ9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones:

Relevant to: Prelims GS
Context: Recently, two American MQ9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones have been inducted by the Indian Navy. The drones would be on lease with India for one year.
Key points:

MQ9B Sea Guardian

  • It is the maritime variant of the Predator MQ9 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
  • It has a maximum endurance of 40 hours and a maximum flying altitude of 40,000 feet.
  • It has a 3600 maritime surveillance radar and an optional multimode maritime surface search radar.
  • It can be used in operations such as Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief, Search and
  • Rescue, Law Enforcement (Drug Trafficking, Illegal Immigration and Piracy), etc.
  • The drones are meant for carrying out surveillance in the Indian Ocean Region and can be deployed on the China border if asked for and if needed.

 

5) Sea sparkle’ has affected marine food chain:

Relevant to: Prelims GS #Mains: GS2

Context: The Karnataka coast has been witnessing the bloom of Noctiluca scintillans that has displaced microscopic algae called diatoms.

  • Diatoms form the basis of the marine food chain.
  • The bloom of Noctiluca scintillans displacing diatoms has deprived food for the planktivorous fish.
  • The toxic blooms of N. scintillans are linked to massive fish and marine invertebrate kills.
  • Though the species does not produce a toxin, it is found to accumulate toxic levels of ammonia, which is then excreted into the surrounding waters, possibly acting as the killing agent in blooms.
  • The ammonia makes N. scintillans unpleasant for most creatures. Only jellyfish and salps are known to prey on it.
  • N. scintillans graze on other micro-organisms such as larvae, fish eggs, and diatoms.
  • But the unicellular phytoplankton that lives inside N. scintillans can photosynthesise, turning sunlight into energy.
  • They help their host cell survive even when food is scarce. Thus, N. scintillans acts as botha plant and an animal.

Points to remember:

  • Noctiluca scintillans are commonly known as “sea sparkle”.
  • The bioluminescent Noctiluca scintillans also brightens the seawater at night. Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism and occurs due to a chemical reaction, involving a light-emitting

 

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