IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-October 2021

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IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-September 2021


IAS Abhiyan Prelims inFocus-October 2021

  1. Bio-enzymes are organic solutions produced through fermentation of organic waste including various fruits, vegetable peels and flowers, by mixing in sugar, jaggery/molasses and water. It takes 60-100 days to ferment organic waste. To fasten the fermentation, yeast can be used as culture to prepare it in 45-50 days. BE’s also have a lot of usage in our daily lives.
  2. The IMF unveiled its 2nd World Economic Outlook (WEO). The IMO comes out with the report twice every year — April and October — and also provides regular “updates” to it on other occasions. The WEO reports are significant because they are based on a wide set of assumptions about a host of parameters — such as the international price of crude oil — and set the benchmark for all economies to compare one another with.
  3. The British Museum in London will display an ancient object called the Nebra Sky Disc, which is thought to be the world’s oldest concrete depiction of stars. About 3,600 years ago, the disc was ritually buried along with two swords, axes, two spiral arm-rings and one bronze chisel near Nebra in Germany. The burial of these objects is thought to be made as a dedication to gods.
  4. The Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight. It is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles, and will have multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost. The HSTDV program is being run by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Defense Research and Development Laboratory’s Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) is intended to attain autonomous scramjet flight for 20 seconds, using a solid rocket launch booster. The research will also inform India’s interest in reusable launch vehicles.
  5. Circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible. It aims to tackle global challenges such as waste, pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss.
  6. Guwahati was among the three cities chosen by WasteAid, a United Kingdom-based non-profit, to launch a Zero Waste Cities Challenge. The aim was to find entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas that can help reduce or recycle waste and create green employment opportunities. The non-profit has now chosen two winners — entrepreneurs from Shree Guru Plastic and Inside Out — for their work on promoting circular economy and reducing the usage of plastics.
  7. Dubbed as the “Eco Oscars”, The Earthshot Prize is an award set up by Prince William and the Royal Foundation. The foundation honours five finalists between 2021 and 2030 for developing solutions to fight the climate crisis. It aims to mobilise collective action around our unique ability to innovate, problem solve and repair our planet. The Earthshot Prize was launched in 2020 by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and David Attenborough, with the support of a broad range of individuals and organizations dedicated to climate action.  The year 2021 was the first year when awards were handed out to finalists for their contributions towards the five UN Sustainable Development Goals. Each of the five Winners received £1million prize money and a global network of professional and technical support to scale their remarkable environmental solutions to repair our planet and accelerate their impact. The five Winners include cutting-edge technologists, innovators, an entire country, and a pioneering city.  The award is distributed in five separate categories supported by the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate.
  8. The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) has released the Ecological threat report 2021 understanding ecological threats, resilience and peace. The report looked at food risk, water risk, rapid population growth, temperature anomalies and natural disasters. It combined the data from above mentioned aspects with national measures of socioeconomic resilience such as well-functioning governments, strong business environments and acceptance of other people’s rights among others.  The 11 countries with the worst ETR score are Afghanistan, Niger, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Guatemala, Mozambique, Pakistan, Angola and Yemen.
  9. The wildlife wing of Odisha’s forest department decided to relocate around 420 families from four zero-connectivity villages in Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary, Bargarh district. The 353-square kilometre sanctuary is situated adjacent to the huge Hirakud reservoir.  The sanctuary is an important biogeographic zone from both the ecological and environmental point of view.
  10. Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on Spain’s Canary Island of La Palma. La Palma is one of the eight volcanic islands in Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago off Africa’s western coast. La Palma is a basaltic shield volcano in the Canary Islands. Like Hawaiian volcanoes, La Palma typically erupts lava flows. It has rugged and forested terrain and is dotted with volcanoes like Teneguía and Cumbre Vieja. Its highest mountain is the Roque de los Muchachos. 
  11. The Canary Islands or archipelago (group of islands) is located in the Atlantic Ocean in a region known as Macaronesia. It is about 1300 km South of mainland Spain and 115 km West of the African coast (Morocco). It includes 7 islands belonging to Spain, among which La Palma (in the North-West of the archipelago), Tenerife and Gran Canaria (central). They are the southernmost of the autonomous communities of Spain, and are located in the African Tectonic Plate. The archipelago is economically and politically European, and is part of the European Union. Largest and most populated archipelago of the Macaronesia region.
  12. NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has launched a Digi-Book – “Innovations for You” an attempt to showcase the success stories of Atal Innovation Mission’s Startups in different domains.
  13. The 2021 Production Gap Report was released by the leading research institutes and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  The Production Gap Report, first launched in 2019, tracks the discrepancy between governments’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C.
  14. The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, commonly known as the Sakharov Prize, is an honorary award for individuals or groups who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought.
  15. The Abraham Accords are a joint statement between State of Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America, reached on August 13, 2020. Subsequently, the term was used to refer collectively to agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (the Israel–United Arab Emirates normalization agreement) and Bahrain, respectively (the Bahrain–Israel normalization agreement). The statement marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Jordan in 1994.
  16. Weather4UN, a pilot project led by MeteoSwiss and supported by the Swiss Federal Council, aims to improve the coordination of meteorological data production and transmission within the United Nations system and for humanitarian organisations around the world. As a result of this initiative, early action can be taken and people will be better protected from extreme weather events.
  17. The Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) – approved by the World Meteorological Congress in 2018 – represents a new approach in which the basic surface-based observing network is designed, defined and monitored at the global level. Once implemented, GBON will improve the availability of the most essential surface-based data. This will have a direct positive impact on the quality of weather forecasts and information that will help to improve the safety and well-being of citizens throughout the world. Although GBON can be implemented relatively quickly over the territory of most WMO Members in the developed world, in many developing countries additional investment and capacity development will be needed. WMO is working closely with the international development and climate finance communities to facilitate this.  In 2019, the World Meteorological Congress and its 193 member countries and territories agreed to establish the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON).
  18. The Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF) will support countries to generate and exchange basic observational data critical for improved weather forecasts and climate services. It will provide technical and financial assistance in new ways – applying internationally agreed metrics – the requirements of the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) – to guide investments, using data exchange as a measure of success, and creating local benefits while delivering on a global public good. The SOFF will contribute to strengthen climate adaptation and resilience across the globe, benefitting in particular the most vulnerable. The creation of the SOFF is spearheaded by the World Meteorological Organization in collaboration with a wide range of international organizations, including the members of the Alliance for Hydromet Development. The Alliance unites efforts of major development and climate finance partners to close the capacity gap on high-quality weather forecasts, early warning systems and climate information.
  19. Environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has carried a first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment, or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI), in which it has analysed 640 districts in India to assess their vulnerability to extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods, heatwaves, droughts, etc. The study does not take into consideration other natural disasters such as earthquakes.
  20. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, museum scientists have discovered 28 new species of beetles. One of them has been named Trigonopterus corona. And it is not the only insect species to be named after the pandemic. In April, a new species of caddisfly (a moth-like insect) was collected near a stream in Kosovo by a team of scientists, and named Potamophylax coronavirus. Out of six new species of Brazilian wasps described in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research, one was named Allorhagas quarentenus, a reference to the quarantine. And earlier this month, out of five new wasp species discovered in Mexico, scientists named one Stethantyx covida.
  21. Khasi community speak the Mon-Khmer language of the Austroasiatic stock. They are  people of the Khasi and Jaintia hills of the state of Meghalaya in India.
  22. The sedition law, enshrined in Section 124A of IPC, was introduced by the British government in 1870 to tackle dissent against colonial rule.
  23. Pegasus was developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group that was set up in 2010. Pegasus infect phones through what is called spear-phishing.  Spear phishing is a fraudulent practise of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender. In order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information. Pegasus attack capabilities have become more advanced and can be achieved through so-called “Zero-click” attacks,  Which do not require any interaction from the phone’s owner in order to succeed. These will often exploit “Zero-day” vulnerabilities, Which are flaws or bugs in an operating system that the mobile phone’s manufacturer does not know and so has not been fixed.
  24. Nordic countries include Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.
  25. Autosomal DNA is a term used in genetic genealogy to describe DNA that is inherited from the autosomal chromosomes. A person inherits half of autosomal DNA from the father and a half from the mother which  means genetic matches can be checked irrespective of whether an ancestor is on the father or mother’s side of the family. The autosomal DNA technique can be used even when very limited genetic data are available. Autosomal DNA tests can be used to confirm relationships with a high level of accuracy for parent/child relationships and all relationships up to the second cousin level. 
  26. India and the European Union (EU) are set to resume negotiations for a Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) by December 2021.
  27. Assessed contributions (AC) are a percentage of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (the percentage is agreed by the United Nations General Assembly). Assessed contributions (AC) are the amounts each of the 196 Members and Associate Members must pay to WHO on an annual basis. The assessment scale is calculated by the United Nations based mainly on the country’s GDP and is adjusted for WHO’s membership. It is approved every two years by the World Health Assembly (refer to the latest approved assessment scale resolution attached here).  
  28. The G20 (or Group of Twenty) is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the European Union (EU). Spain is a permanent guest invitee. It operates without a permanent secretariat or staff.
  29. Mastercard along with Lawrence Dale Agro Processing India (LEAF) launched LEAF Farmer Network (LFN).  LFN is a digital platform to improve financial assess and inclusion among the farmers in the country. LFN will empower farmers across Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. It will focus on digitization of harvest data, enhance access to markets, provide expertise on better crops, and bring in transparency by connecting directly with buyers. It will bring access to good quality produce at scale, enable price negotiation with complete transparency and manage end-to-end logistics with quality control.
  30. The All-India Debt and Investment Surveys (AIDIS), carried out by the National Statistical Office are among the most important nationally representative data sources on the rural credit market in India.
  31. Dr Ambedkar  had defined ‘Adivasi’ in Articles 366 (25) and 342. Apart from this, 34 Articles in the Constitution deal with Adivasi interests. The Fifth and Sixth Schedule are a declaration of Adivasi development.
  32. The UK, host of COP-26, released a “climate finance delivery plan” earlier this week, charting a course for delivery in 2023, three years behind schedule.