June 17th Current Affairs
- June 17, 2021
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Culture Current Affairs Daily News Defense & Security Disaster Management Economy Education Environment & Ecology Ethics Geography Governance Health History International Relation Persons in News Polity Science & Technology Social Issues Sports Uncategorized UPSC Notification Videos
1. Deep Ocean Mission
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) on “Deep Ocean Mission”, with a view to explore deep ocean for resources and develop deep sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
- Deep Ocean Mission with be a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
- Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry implementing this multi-institutional ambitious mission.
- The estimated cost of the Missionwill be Rs. 4077 crore for a period of 5 years to be implemented in a phase-wise manner.
- The estimated cost for the first phase for the 3 years (2021-2024) would be Rs.2823.4 crore.
- Oceans, which cover 70 per cent of the globe, remain a key part of our life.
- About 95 percent of Deep Ocean remains unexplored.
- For India, with its three sides surrounded by the oceans and around 30 per cent of the country’s population living in coastal areas, ocean is a major economic factor supporting fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, livelihoods and blue trade.
- Oceans are also storehouse of food, energy, minerals, medicines, modulator of weather and climate and underpin life on Earth.
- Considering importance of the oceans on sustainability, the United Nations (UN) has declared the decade, 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
- India has a unique maritime position.
- Its 7517 km long coastline is home to nine coastal states and 1382 islands.
- The Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030 enunciated in February 2019 highlighted the Blue Economy as one of the ten core dimensions of growth.
Six major components of Deep Ocean Mission:
Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible:
- A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6000 metres in the ocean with suite of scientific sensors and tools.
- Only a very few countries have acquired this capability.
- This component will help the Blue Economy priority area of exploring and harnessing of deep sea minerals and energy.
Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services:
- A suite of observations and models will be developed to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales under this proof of concept component.
- This component will support the Blue Economy priority area of coastal tourism.
Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity:
- Bio-prospecting of deep sea flora and fauna including microbes and studies on sustainable utilization of deep sea bio-resources will be the main focus.
- This component will support the Blue Economy priority area of Marine Fisheries and allied services.
Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration:
- The primary objective of this component is to explore and identify potential sites of multi-metal Hydrothermal Sulphides mineralization along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
- This component will additionally support the Blue Economy priority area of deep sea exploration of ocean resources.
Energy and freshwater from the Ocean:
- Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plant are envisaged in this proof of concept proposal.
- This component will support the Blue Economy priority area of off-shore energy development.
Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology.
- This component is aimed as development of human capacity and enterprise in ocean biology and engineering.
- This component will translate research into industrial application and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
- This component will support the Blue Economy priority area of Marine Biology, Blue trade and Blue manufacturing.
2. Smart Enforcement App
- Smart Enforcement App for Trucks to reduce compliance Logistics costs;
- IT based solution to make enforcement mechanism technology driven;
- App to have wide ranging economic benefits for the state also.
As a strategy to reduce logistics costs on road transportation, the Government of India, Department of Commerce, Logistics Division has developed a risk-based approach on the implementation of smart enforcement of rules and regulations related to road-based violations by trucks.
key features of the integrated smart solution are:
- An IT application that would fetch data related to goods being carried on the truck from the existing Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) database, and the information related to the vehicle from the VAHAN database
- Make this data available to enforcement officers on the road in advance for approaching trucks
- Based on a risk matrix that uses historical patterns, the app assigns a risk profile to the truck helping the officers decide whether to stop it for further scrutiny
- It requires the officer to issue all fines, penalties, or any other punitive measure through the app, ensuring transparency
- The app includes features that keep records and help reduce ad-hoc implementation of these rules and regulations
- The application would have the ability to integrate with all the sensors, Weigh in Motion, and cameras available with the state government or National Highway Authority to allow remote enforcement.
- This would significantly reduce the need to deploy officers on the ground since the app would be able to alert officers whenever a vehicle is in violation.
- Lead to decrease in number of physical checks of commercial vehicles by the enforcement officers
- Overall reduction in the number of cash challan by issuing e-challan using the system
- Reduction in deployment of work-force on Roads leading to better manpower utilization
- Higher revenue collection due to reduced human intervention
- Improved targeting of offenders
- Reduction in Logistics Cost (currently at 13% of GDP).
3. UNESCO Science Report.
Latest edition of UNESCO Science Report (USR) was published which is entitled as “race against time for smarter development”.
- USR is a flagship publication of UNESCO which is published once every five years.
- It is a report on science, technology and innovation (STI).
- Every edition comprises of a chapter on India.
- Chapter on India in latest edition was authored by Prof Sunil Mani, director at Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram.
- This chapter provides an overview of STI developments in India along with suggestions and recommendations.
- With respect to initiatives promoting innovation on account of COVID-19, USR suggests to find new ways for finance research projects and to amend existing IP rules to do away compulsory licenses on vaccines and drugs.
- According to report, India has not adopted industry 4.0 technologies and job losses due to automation is not a serious threat now.
- Report highlights, despite some efforts only a few Indian states have made progress on meeting renewable energy targets. USR suggests for incentives to promote use of electric and hybrid vehicles. Report is silent about policies on biofuels or on hydrogen as a source of energy.
- On employment report highlights, job opportunities for science, technology, engineering & medicine (STEM) graduates have not increased. However, employability of STEM graduates has increased to 49% in 2019 from 34% in 2014. It is serious issue because every other graduate is unemployable.
4. NATO declares China a Global Security Challenge
NATO leaders have declared China a constant security challenge stating that, Chinese are working to undermine global order.
- As per NATO leaders, China’s goals and assertive behaviour put challenges to rules-based international order and across the areas relevant to alliance security.
- This warning has come, as US President started making effort to bring allies together to speak in unified voice about China’s human rights record, trade practices and assertive behaviour of Chinese military which has disturbed U.S. allies in Pacific.
- NATO leaders asked China to uphold its international commitments and act responsibly with international system.
- Chinese Embassy to United Kingdom said, the G-7 communique “deliberately slandered China and arbitrarily interfered in internal affairs of China”. It also exposed intentions of countries like United States.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
- NATO is an alliance of European and North American countries.
- It was formed after World War II against Russian aggression.
- This intergovernmental military alliance comprises of 30 European and North American countries.
- It works in accordance with North Atlantic Treaty that was signed in April 1949.
- NATO works on the principle of collective defence where its independent member states agree for mutual defence against attack by any external party.
5. ADB Loan for Chennai – Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a USD 484 million loan for the Tamil Nadu Industrial Connectivity Project.
- The loan is in line with Strategy 2030, ADB’s long-term corporate strategy, the project emphasises sustainability, climate change resilience, and road safety elements.
- Under Strategy 2030, ADB will expand its vision to achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.
- CKIC is part of India’s East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC).
Industrial Corridors Scheme:
- An industrial corridor is an economic ecosystem built around a transportation corridor connecting two major economic centres, where the transportation corridor serves as the nerve centre of the economic activity across the corridor.
- In addition to the transportation corridor, a well-designed industrial corridor contains clusters of industrial production serving regional and global demand, and urban centers proliferating equitable development.
- In 2019, the government approved the development of the five industrial corridor projects, being implemented through National Industrial Corridor Development and Implementation Trust (NICDIT).
- NICDIT is an apex body under the administrative control of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Five Industrial Corridor Projects:
Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC).
Chennai Bangalore Industrial Corridor (CBIC).
East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) with Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC).
Bangalore Mumbai Industrial Corridor (BMIC).
Asian Development Bank
- It is a regional development bank established on 19th December 1966. It is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.
- It now has 68 members, 49 from within Asia. India is a member.
- It’s five largest shareholders are Japan and the United States (each with 15.6% of total shares), the People’s Republic of China (6.4%), India (6.3%), and Australia (5.8%).
- It aims to promote social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific.