Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 09 January 2021
New IndustrialDevelopment Scheme forJammu & Kashmir
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) said it has approved a scheme for the industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The proposal of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade for the Central Sector scheme has been approved with a total outlay of ₹28,400 crore up to 2037.
- It put emphasis on job creation, skill development and sustainable development by attracting newinvestment and nurturing the existing ones.
- Take industrial development to the block level.
- Various incentives under scheme includes Capital Investment Incentive, Capital Interest subvention, GSTLinked Incentive and Working Capital Interest Incentive.
- Scheme is approved with a total outlay of Rs. 28,400 crore upto the year 2037.
Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of the Ecosystem Services (NCAVES) India Forum-2021
- NCAVES India Forum 2021 is being organised by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).
- The NCAVES Project, funded by EU, has been jointly implemented by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).
- India is one of the five countries taking part in this project - the other countries being Brazil, China, South Africa and Mexico.
- In India, the NCAVES project is being implemented by the MoSPI in close collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).
- MoSPI has coordinated with all the stakeholders through a consultative process by setting in place a mechanism for linking the diverse stakeholders concerned – namely producers and the policymakers using the environmental accounts.
- The participation in the project has helped MOSPI commence the compilation of the Environment Accounts as per the UN-SEEA framework and release environmental accounts in its publication “EnviStats India” on an annual basis since 2018.
- Another feather to the cap under the NCAVES project is the development of the India-EVL Tool which is essentially a look-up tool giving a snapshot of the values of various ecosystem services in the different States of the country, based on about 80 studies conducted across the country.
- An additional benefit of this tool is that it provides a critical view on the literature that is available and the applicability of estimates spatially across India according to bio-geographical areas.
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Seventh Trade Policy Review of India Begins At WTO
- India’s seventh Trade Policy Review (TPR) begins at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
- The TPR is an important mechanism under the WTO’s monitoring function, and involves a comprehensive peer-review of the Member’s national trade policies. India’s last TPR took place in 2015.
- India’s official delegation for the TPR is headed by the Commerce Secretary.
- In his opening statement to the WTO Membership on the occasion, Commerce Secretary emphasized that this TPR is taking place at a time when the world is witnessing an unprecedented health and economic crisis. He highlighted the far-reaching efforts made by India to effectively address the health and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the AatmaNirbhar Bharat initiative.
- India’s commitment to ensuring equitable and affordable access to vaccines and COVID-treatments for all, and underlined the critical role that multilateral trading system can play in this regard.
- India has advocated a short-term package of effective measures at the WTO that includes a temporary waiver of certain TRIPS provisions to increase manufacturing capacity and ensure timely and affordable availability of new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19;
- A permanent solution for Public Stockholding (PSH) for food security purposes to address food security concern; and a multilateral initiative that provides for easier access to medical services under mode-4 to facilitate easier cross-border movement of health care professionals.
India-France annualstrategic dialogue held
- Ministry of External Affairs informed about the strategic dialogue between India and France.
- National Security Adviser (NSA) AjitDoval will lead the Indian delegation while the French side would be led by Emmanuel Bonne, who is the diplomatic advisor to President Emmanuel Macron.
- Key focus areas were COVID-19 vaccines, cooperation within Indo-Pacific area, nuclear, space, maritime safety,environment, digital economy, and defence sectors.
- France has emerged as a key partner of India in Indian Ocean in recent years. France has its overseasterritories of Reunion Island and Mayotte island.
- India-France trade stands at around $13 billion (2019) with India having a positive balance of trade.
- Recently, India and France signed a logistics sharing agreement that enables both to use each other’smilitary facilities.
Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav Programme
- ICAR-Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute observed SwachhtaPakhwada from 16th to 31st December.
- As part of this program, tree planting, removal of old files, removal of obsolete furniture and junk material, cleanliness and sanitation drive within campuses, residential colonies, and common market places were done.
- Under the ICAR’s initiative ‘Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav’, Cleanliness drive was carried out in Ibrampur, Veling and Parra villages. On this occasion, guidance to Village Panchayats were given on biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste disposal. They are also being assisted in producing compost from waste.
- Vermi-compost bags to 25 farmers from these villages were handed over on KisanDiwas.
Science and Technology
Earthquake monitoring and delineation of subsurface structures in Delhi region
- According to the National Centre for Seismology of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, The National Capital Region of Delhi experienced 4 small earthquakes during April – August 2020.
- With the first event of magnitude 3.5 on 12 April 2020 in the north-eastern boundary of NCT Delhi, during the prevailing lockdown time.
- These earthquakes were followed by a dozen of micro-events (M<3.0) including, a few aftershocks.
- All these events were located by the National Seismological Network (NSN), being operated and maintained by National Seismological Centre (NCS), Ministry of Earth Sciences.
- A geophysical survey, namely, Magneto-telluric (MT) is also being conducted over the Delhi region.
- MTis a geophysical method which uses natural time variation of the Earth’s magnetic and electic fields tounderstand geological (underground) structure and processes.
- These measurements will ascertain the presence of fluid, which generally enhances the possibility oftriggering of earthquakes.
- National Seismological Centre is conducting an MT survey over the Delhi region.
Sudden stratospheric warming may be behind recent cold weather
- A dramatic meteorological event unfolding high above the North Pole may be behind very cold weather in large parts of the world currently, according to a new study.
- Sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event, took place on January 5, 2021, above the North Pole may be behind very cold weather in largeparts of the world currently.
- During an SSW, polar stratospheric temperature can increase by up to 50 degrees Celsius over the course ofa few days.
- Such events are often followed by very cold weather, especially heavy snow storms.
- Stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere from around 10-50 kilometres above the earth’s surface.
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