Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 September 2021

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 13 September 2021


Methanol Economy programme

  • NITI Aayog recently launched the Methanol Economy programme.


  • The programme is aimed at reducing India’s oil import bill, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissionsconverting coal reserves and municipal solid waste into methanol.
  • Methanol is a low carbon, hydrogen carrier fuel produced from high ash coal, agriculturalresidue, CO2 from thermal power plants and natural gas.

Benefits of methanol economy

  • Methnaol 15 (ml 5) in petrol will reduce pollution by 33% & diesel replacement by methanol will reduce bymore than 80%.
  • It burns efficiently in all internal combustion engines.
  • It is cheaper than Petrol and Diesel and India can reduce fuel bill 30% by 2030. It is also cheaper than Ethanol.
  • Wide range of application including transportation sector, domestic cooking fuel and in fuel cells.

Archaeological Survey of India found 1500 yearold temple remains

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found 1500 year oldan ancient temple.


  • The structural temple was discovered at Bilsarh, Etah-Uttar Pradesh, a known Gupta periodsettlement.
  • This is the 3rd structural temple of the Gupta period to be discovered (other are Dashavatara Temple,Deogarh and Bhitargaon Temple, Kanpur Dehat).It was built for Brahmins, Jains and Buddhists.
  • The staircase bore inscription in the Shankhalipi script and the title of ‘Sri Mahendradity’ which wasaccorded to Kumaragupta I (ruled over north-central India during the 5th century).
  • Guptas were the first to build structural temples, a distinct change from the ancient rock-cuttemples.


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Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2020

  • Recently, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, along with the Australian governmentreleased the Status of Coral Reefs of the World 2020 report.


  • The report contains the condition of coral reef in present-day world.
  • Since 2010, almost all regions had exhibited a decline in average coral cover (mostly due to either rapid increase in sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly or sustained high SSTanomaly.
  • Corals are invertebrate animals belonging to a large group of colourful animals called Cnidaria.

Coral bleaching: 

  • When corals get stressed, from things such as heat or pollution, expel the algaeleaving a transparent skeleton behind.

World’s northernmost island

  • A group of researchershave discovered new world’s northernmost island located off the coast of Greenland.


  • New island is made up of seabed mud andmoraine, i.e., soil, rock and other material left behind by moving glaciers, and has novegetation.
  • Before this, Oodaaq was marked as Earth’snorthernmost terrain.
  • Global warming has had severe effect on icesheet of Greenland but new island is notdirect consequence of climate change.
  • Greenland is vast autonomous Arctic territory that belongs to Denmark.


Transport and Marketing Assistance scheme

  • The government extended some relief to exporters of specified products by reintroducing the Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme, with wider coverage and much larger support, for one year.


  • Under TMA, which was valid up to March 2021, the government reimbursed exporters a certain portion of freight charges and offered assistance for the marketing of select agricultural produce.
  • Rates of assistance have been increased by 50% for exports by sea and 100% for those by air. 
  • Similarly, dairy products, which were not covered under the earlier TMA scheme, will now be eligible for assistance.The government was considering extending the scheme for at least one more year with enhanced support.
  • Under the revised scheme, which will be in force until March 2022, exporters of specified farm products will be granted aid in the range of Rs 8,400 to Rs 35,700 for shipping out a normal container (20-foot long) of goods, depending on the destination.
  • The highest assistance will be for exports to South America and the lowest to Asean region (or Far East for refrigerated container), based on the proximity criterion.


Carbon Capture and Storage technology

  • The world’s largest CCS plant, at Orca in Iceland, has started running. It can suck carbon dioxide outof the air and turn it into rock.


  • It was constructed by Switzerland’s Climeworks and Iceland’s Carbfix.
  • According to the companies, the operating at capacity the plant will draw 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air every year.
  • The Carbon Capture andStorage (CCS) technologycaptures CO2 at large stationary sources, such as fossil fuel–fired power plants,and injects it into the deep subsurface for long-time storage.
  • It is seen as a major tool in the fight against climate change, but still prohibitively expensive andmight take decades to operate at scale.


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