9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – November 12th, 2021

Dear Friends
We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:

  1. Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
  2. We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
    1. The Hindu  
    2. Indian Express  
    3. Livemint  
    4. Business Standard  
    5. Times of India 
    6. Down To Earth
    7. PIB
  3. We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
  4. Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
  5. It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
  • For previous editions of 9 PM BriefClick Here
  • For individual articles of 9 PM BriefClick Here

Mains Oriented Articles 

GS Paper 2

GS Paper 3

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Mains Oriented Articles

GS Paper 2

Hunger isn’t about biology. It’s about politics

Source: This article is based on the post “Hunger isn’t about biology. It’s about politics” published in the Indian Express on 12th November 2021.

Syllabus: GS 2 Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

News: In the absence of an organized food security net and political commitment, India is being crippled by the challenge of pervasive hunger and malnourishment

James Vernon in his book Hunger: A modern history wrote that hunger is a timeless and inescapable biological condition. While he was right, the real problem was captured by Karl Marx. Karl Marx had stated that hunger is actually a problem of politics, capitalism, and the state.

What is the hunger status of India?

In Global Hunger Index 2021 India has slipped to 101st of 116 countries, from its 2020 position of 94th This is when India’s foodgrain output was at a record 297.5 million tonnes in 2019-20 (July-June).

Read more: Global Hunger Index and India’s stand – Explained, pointwise

What are the lacunas in the Indian system to control hunger?

1) India’s expenditure on health over the last five years has either remained static or declined. 2) Lack of  Political will and commitment. For example, an absence of an organized food security net, especially in urban India will worsen the hunger situation of India.

What should India do to control the rising hunger?

To achieve the SDG target of achieving ‘Zero Hunger, India should adopt the inclusive approach.

Read more: Several trade-offs impede Zero Hunger goal. A UN report explains why, and how

It should learn the practices adopted by various countries like Bangladesh, which has shown significant progress on many socio-economic parameters over the last decade.

How to play the Kabul game?

Source: This post is based on the following articles:

“How to play the Kabul game” published in the Times of India on 11th November 2021.

“Undefined role: On India-Afghanistan bilateral relations” published in The Hindu on 12th November 2021.

“Helping Afghanistan” published in Business Standard on 11th November 2021.

Syllabus: GS 2 Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Relevance: Understanding Delhi regional security dialogue.

Synopsis: After the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, India needs to evolve a strategy to secure its interest in the region.

India recently held Delhi regional security dialogue on Afghanistan. It was attended by security chiefs of Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Though Pakistan and China were also invited, they declined to attend the event.

Read more: Afghan tangle: No easy options for New Delhi, especially given broader threats posed by Beijing, Islamabad

What was the message sent by the summit?
The summit sends three strong messages:
-Delhi is an important Player and will remain engaged with Afghanistan.
-Solution for the Afghanistan crisis requires a consensus of regional players.
-Afghanistan humanitarian crisis requires urgent attention.

What was the outcome of the Delhi declaration?

Read more: Allow unimpeded aid into Afghanistan, say NSAs in Delhi Declaration

Though countries showed consensus, The chances of success seem difficult because each country has its own objective.

What are the challenges for India in achieving its Afghanistan objectives?

The main challenge for India is to bring all other stakeholder countries on the same road. At present, every country’s aims and objectives differ vis-à-vis India.

India: To ensure that Afghanistan is not used by Pakistan for terrorist activities against India. India also seeks to focus on Central Asia and South Asia connectivity through Afghanistan.

Russia: Russian version of the Delhi declaration omitted the objective: “to ensure Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism”. It also did not commit to the Declaration’s 2022 timeframe for another meeting. Thus, it is an indication of a difference in approach towards Afghanistan.

Pakistan wants to control the government and government formation in Afghanistan. Pakistan will host the Troika-plus summit which will include the US, China, Russia.

Iran, which is a largely Shia country, wants to keep radicalization in check, in Afghanistan. It also wants Afghanistan to buy oil and natural gas from Iran.

Central Asian countries want peace and stability in the region, they also want to supply oil and natural gas to Afghanistan. For example, Turkmenistan approach Afghanistan for a gas pipeline.

What is India’s approach towards Afghanistan?

Following are India’s aims regarding Afghanistan:

-Provide Afghan people humanitarian assistance;
-Ensure that Afghan territory is not used to spread radicalism or terrorism;
-Preserve the social and economic gains made over the past two decades;
-Establish inclusive governance, with the representation of women and minorities;
-Allow the United Nations to play an important role; implement the United Nations Security Council resolution 2593;
-A unified international response to the current situation.

Read more: India’s future Afghan policy – Explained, pointwise

What should be the way forward for India?

Though India does not support the Taliban or the Taliban regime, it has to secure its regional interest. India has begun engaging with the Taliban government on international platforms. This combined with regional and multilateral engagements will help India to become an important stakeholder in the Future of Afghanistan.

Read more: What can India do?

UAPA acts enacts as punishment

Source: This post is based on the article ” UAPA acts enacts as punishment” published in the Indian Express on 12th November 2021.

Syllabus: GS 2 Fundamental Rights.

Relevance: Understanding UAPA.

News: Tripura violence has led to cases against journalists under UAPA. It is time for political parties to forgo their conventional approach and make a concerted effort to repeal this unlawful law.

In the backdrop of the Tripura violence, the police used the provisions under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967) to charge journalists and 100-odd social media users for posts on communal violence. There are also many incidences when police use UAPA in an irrational manner.

Note: The majority of the content from this article has been covered in our previous articles. You can read our previous articles using the given links.

Read more: UAPA and the recent judgments – Explained, pointwise

What is UAPA? 

Read here: UAPA or Unlawful Activities Prevention Act – Explained, Pointwise

Why UAPA is controversial?

The provisions of UAPA make it prone to misuse. For e.g. Section 13 states that whoever in any way assists any unlawful activity will be punished. The term anyway is very vague and broad and can be easily misused by police.

Read more:

A new jurisprudence for political prisoners

UAPA being misused to silence voices against injustice’

GS Paper 3

Managing Cryptocurrencies

Source: This post is based on the article “Managing Cryptocurrencies” published in Business Standard on 11th Nov 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.

Relevance: Identifying a plausible approach towards managing cryptocurrencies by the government.

News: Since March 2020, when the Supreme Court ruled it was legal to trade Cryptocurrencies, over Rs 50 crore in Crypto-assets is traded every day by resident Indians. On the other hand, RBI has often expressed its serious concerns regarding the dangers these instruments pose to the macroeconomic and financial stability of the country.

Hence, governments need to create a regulatory framework for these virtual assets on a priority basis

It is to be noted that the central bank’s panel, which is tasked with studying Crypto-assets, is expected to submit its report in December 2021.

Must Read: Cryptocurrencies and Indian regulations – Explained, pointwise
Why Cryptocurrencies are so popular in India?

There are various reasons behind their popularity:

– Efficient transfer of remittances: The ease of remittance is one big reason why cryptocurrencies have become popular. Cryptocurrencies are extensively used to manage the efficient transfer of remittances. They are quicker and their transfer charges are less too. 

For example: El Salvador’s stated reason for adopting bitcoin as an official currency is precisely its dependence on remittances.  Facebook is also trying to bring together a cryptocurrency alliance to enter the remittance market.

Due to the possibility of higher returns, many investors see these as a hedge against inflation, and against shocks like demonetization.

Must Read: The Crypto conundrum
What are the risks/concerns associated with Cryptocurrencies?

These are volatile, high-risk instruments.

These are also used by fraudsters, to cheat people of their money.

And these assets can be used to enable cybercrimes, including ransomware.

Must Read: What are Cryptocurrencies and what are the associated risks?
What is the way forward?

Ban is not recommended: Despite all the associated risks and the fact that cryptocurrencies have survived various global financial crises over the years, Crypto growth signifies that they are here to stay, hence banning them won’t be an optimum solution.

Moreover, it would be impossible to enforce a ban without imposing draconian currency controls. Attempting to impose currency controls would be deeply regressive, hurting importers, exporters, and students overseas.

Comprehensive regulatory framework: Policymakers should bring out a comprehensive plan for such instruments. This will not only enable the central bank to manage financial stability risks and protect investor interests but also give clarity in terms of taxation.

Mass awareness campaign: The government should run mass awareness campaigns to inform investors about the risks associated with such instruments.

In our efforts to be green, we must not greenwash: On India’s net zero pledge at COP26

Source: This post is based on the article “In our efforts to be green, we must not greenwash: On India’s net zero pledge at COP26” published in The Indian Express on 12th Nov 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Relevance: Understanding various dimensions of India’s net-zero target

News: India’s net-zero pledge at Glasgow, though commendable, raises several questions.

Apart from serious doubts about their techno-financial feasibility, there are at least three reasons to question the commitments made by India at COP26.

Must Read: India announces new climate targets at COP26 – Explained, pointwise
What are the issues with India’s net-zero target?

i). Sustainability issues: Commitments made by India at COP26 regarding non-fossil fuel and renewable energy generation entail ecological and social costs.

Nuclear and large hydro projects will cause deforestation, people’s displacement, climate change emissions, and hazardous radiation, etc.

Solar and wind energy promotion in India is largely focused on mega-energy parks, requiring enormous amounts of land. For example About 60,000 hectares of Kachchh’s ecologically fragile grassland-desert ecosystem have been allotted to energy mega-parks.

ii). Continued use of coal and thermal power: The government has continued promoting coal mining and thermal power, and has no intentions of even plateauing fossil fuel use or reducing it. At this rate, it may overtake the US and China as the highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. This also means continual devastation of India’s most valuable forests for mining and the displacement of communities. Thousands of Adivasis have been protesting against proposed mining in the biologically rich Hasdeo forests in Chhattisgarh, but the government is busy clearing it.

iii). Net zero target is merely a greenwash: Net zero simply means that emissions at one place can be offset elsewhere by activities like planting trees, or by capturing carbon, etc. It is to be noted that net zero doesn’t necessarily talk about reducing the emissions rather just canceling them out.  In India, the pursuit of net zero targets might result in govt grabbing land from communities for massive new plantations, like in the case of compensatory afforestation.

Greenwashing means to make people believe that more is being done to protect the environment than it really is.

iv). 2070 is too late a target: Additionally, scientific opinion is that we need to drastically cut emissions within a decade or so; waiting till 2050 or 2070 is simply too late for the earth.

Must Read: Does India has a right to burn fossil fuel?
What is the way forward?

India can achieve its net zero targets only if it commits to fundamental changes in its economy, focused on meeting the basic needs of all. This can be achieved via

– community-based strategies based on sensitive use of land and nature including decentralized energy generation, without costly and massive infrastructure.

leveraging India’s traditional knowledge and skills with the best in modern systems.

– Prioritising small and medium manufacturing, promoting worker-led cooperatives and producer companies.

– addressing energy-guzzling production processes and lifestyles that are being pushed in the name of development.

– Accelerated deployment of electric or fuel-cell vehicles must go alongside a rapid reduction in personal vehicle use and a major push for mass transportation.

– Minimising Carbon lock-ins and energy use through mandatory green construction codes for the huge housing and other buildings stock, highways and infrastructure yet to be built.

– Encouraging employment-intensive recycling of waste goods and materials, including in solid and liquid waste management linked to methane recovery, would deliver substantial benefits across sectors.

– Embracing a multidimensional approach, embodied in the idea of LIFE (Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE), that India gave to this world at COP26.

Cleaning Yamuna will require improving sewerage networks, cooperation between Delhi and neighbouring states

Source: This post is based on the article “Cleaning Yamuna will require improving sewerage networks, cooperation between Delhi and neighbouring states” published in the Livemint on 12th November 2021.

Syllabus: GS 3- Conservation, Environmental Pollution, and Degradation.

News: A layer of froth was seen floating over parts of the Yamuna River in New Delhi.

For the past three days, social media has been flooded with visuals of devotees taking a dip in the Yamuna River enveloped by the toxic foam. The formation of froth is a sign of an ecologically-dead river.

What are the reasons for froth formation in the Yamuna River?

Direct release of untreated wastewater into the Yamuna Barrage: for example, Sugar and paper mills in places like Meerut and Shamli.

Inadequate river flow: The Haryana government has been criticized for limiting the river’s flow to the capital. When the river’s flow is lean, it is not able to wash off this detritus.

What is the way forward?

Institutionalize mechanisms of cooperation: cleaning up the Yamuna requires cooperation between the Delhi government and its counterparts in the neighboring states.

Maintain minimum river flow: Need to devise adequate measures to maintain the minimum flow of the river.

Strict enforcement of laws: Government needs to prohibit rituals along the Yamuna’s banks to maintain the sanity of the river.

Season of floods: On TN’s long-term solutions to avoid monsoon woes

Source: This post is based on the article “Season of floods: On TN’s long-term solutions to avoid monsoon woes” published in The Hindu on 12th November 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Disaster and Disaster Management

News: The ongoing spell of heavy rain in Chennai has again exposed its vulnerabilities. It has also raised questions about the Government’s preparedness to deal with the problem of inundation (flooding).

Why the problem of flooding is persistent in cities?

The crux of the problem is the issue of drainage. The reasons that are responsible for the mess are:

Shrinking open spaces

The gap between the coverage of the drains and that of sewer lines

Ageing drains and sewer networks in core areas of the city

Encroachments or obstructions hampering the free flow of water

Inconsistent efforts towards finding a long-term solution on the issue of waterlogging.

What is the way forward?

Ensure proper maintenance of water bodies: The city is blessed with a few rivers such as the Cooum and the Adyar, apart from a number of canals including the Buckingham Canal. All these water bodies, if properly maintained, can be very effective flood carriers.

Integrated storm-water drains projects should be executed in a short span of time.

Responsible citizens: People too should be responsible enough in ensuring that the water bodies and drains are not turned into dumps.

The high cost of India’s illusive quest for formalization

Source: This post is based on the article “The high cost of India’s illusive quest for formalization” published in the Livemint on 12th November 2021.

Syllabus: GS 3- Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development, and Employment.

News: Formalisation of India’s economy has not benefited the informal workforce in India

A recently released report by the State Bank of India (SBI) research team has claimed that the informal sector’s share in the overall economy has shrunk from 52% in 2017-18 to 15- 20.

While the decline of the informal sector looks like a sign of an economy being formalized and therefore worth celebrating, the reality is much more complex.

Why the recently released report by the State Bank of India (SBI) research team is said to be inaccurate?

The report is inaccurate and also reveals an inadequate understanding of the informal economy on several accounts.

Firstly, increasing digitalization and registration in official records is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for any enterprise/worker to be classified as formal.

Secondly, the registration of workers on the e-Shram portal is no indicator of formalization of jobs like the registration of National Rural Employment Guarantee workers in official records does not make them formal workers.

For example: 92% of the workers registered on E-shram have monthly incomes of under ₹10,000, which is lower than the minimum wages of unskilled manual workers in most states.

Thirdly, the findings of the report are in contradiction to the findings of the PLFS survey. According to the PLFS reports of 2019-20, the proportion of workers in informal enterprises in the non-agricultural sector rose from 68.2% in 2017-18 to 69.5% that year. This trend is also confirmed by more than the government’s own reports.

Fourthly, the SBI research team has defined formalization as a measure of improvement in the economy. However, the real scenario is different. For example, the Indian economy is characterized by declining national output, job and income losses, and a worsening of human-development outcomes.

The real issue is whether the material condition of workers has actually improved, in terms of job availability or income earned.

In reality, the economy has performed poorly, with a worsening of India’s employment situation, a decline in incomes, and setbacks on human-development indicators such as nutrition.

What is the way forward?

It is important to recognize the role of the informal sector and create an institutional regulatory framework to improve the working conditions and well-being of those engaged in it.

Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)

Poll commission plans to map migrant population for remote voting

Source: This post is based on the article Poll commission plans to map migrant population for remote voting” published in Indian Express on 12th November 2021.

What is the News?

The Election Commission has planned to start mapping the population of migrant workers across the country to prepare a roadmap for the introduction of remote voting.

What is Remote Voting?

Remote voting refers to a mechanism that allows electors to vote from locations other than polling stations assigned to their registered constituencies.

Need: There are lakhs of voters who are unable to exercise their voting rights on account of geographical barriers due to different reasons, remote voting aims to bridge that gap. This will make the electoral process more inclusive.

Election Commission(EC) has been working with IIT-Madras on using Blockchain technology for remote voting.

How will remote voting work?

There will be a voting machine that has no linkage with the Internet. It will mostly be an EVM.

EC would then find areas with around 1000-1500 remote voters and will make arrangements and set up a booth.

At the Booth, EC is trying to develop and deploy a machine that has an electronic display that will show the ballot paper of the voter’s constituency once they press a number on the screen.

After voting, the machines can be sealed, and depending on the states, EC can fly them for counting to one location.

What is the key challenge to remote voting?

The key challenge would be to a) make political parties agree to it and b) public acceptability in a country where an EVM machine is questioned till today despite the availability of the VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail.

PM to launch two innovative customer centric initiatives of RBI

Source: This post is based on the article PM to launch two innovative customer-centric initiatives of RBI published in PIB on 12th November 2021.

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has launched two innovative customer-centric initiatives of the Reserve Bank of India.

Which two customer centric initiatives of the RBI have been launched?

RBI Retail Direct Scheme 

Aim: To enhance access to the government securities market for retail investors.

Under the scheme, retail investors will be able to easily open and maintain their government securities account online with the RBI, free of cost.

RBI had announced the scheme in its February 2021 monetary policy

Through this account, they can directly invest in securities issued by the Government of India and the State Governments.

Must Read: RBI announces launch of retail direct scheme

Reserve Bank – Integrated Ombudsman Scheme

Aim: To further improve the grievance redress mechanism for resolving customer complaints against entities regulated by RBI.

The scheme is based on ‘One Nation-One Ombudsman’. This means that there will be one portal, one email, and one address for customers to file their complaints.

There will also be a multilingual toll-free number that will provide all relevant information on grievance redress.

The complaints not covered under the ombudsman scheme will continue to be attended to by the Customer Education and Protection Cells (CEPCs) located in the regional offices of RBI.

What is the significance of these initiatives?

With the launch, India has opened up the Government bond market for retails investors.

Moreover, it will increase investment avenues, make accessing the capital market easier, safer.

75 Nutrition smart villages will strengthen India’s campaign against malnutrition

Source: This post is based on the article 75 Nutrition smart villages will strengthen India’s campaign against malnutritionpublished in PIB on 11th November 2021.

What is the news?

As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Government of India has said that a programme on “Nutrition Smart Village” will be initiated to strengthen the Poshan Abhiyan. 

Note: According to Welthungerhilfe, Nutrition Smart Village is an informed village that understands ‘nutrition’ in its practical terms and takes appropriate steps to address them.
About Nutrition Smart Village Programme

As part of the programme, a total of 75 villages will be adopted by All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) centres and Indian Council of Agricultural Research – Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (ICAR-CIWA).

The Programme is in line with the Prime Minister’s call to adopt and transform 75 villages.

Objectives of the Programme

– To promote nutritional awareness.

– To promote Education and behavioral change in rural areas involving farm women and school children

– To harness traditional knowledge through the local recipe to overcome malnutrition and 

– To implement nutrition-sensitive agriculture through homestead agriculture and Nutri-garden.

Note: Homestead farming system is a well-established land-use system where different crops, including trees, are grown in combination with livestock

Goa Maritime Conclave – 2021

Source: This post is based on the articleGOA MARITIME CONCLAVE – 2021published in PIB on 11th November 2021.

What is the News?

The 3rd edition of the Goa Maritime Conclave was successfully conducted at Goa. The Indian Navy showed the visiting countries the first-hand demonstration of Deep Submergence and Rescue Vessel (DSRV) capabilities

About Goa Maritime Conclave

Organized by: Indian Navy under the aegis of Naval War College, Goa

Aim: To bring together the regional stakeholders and deliberate on the collaborative implementation strategies in dealing with the contemporary maritime security challenge

Theme: Maritime Security and Emerging Non-Traditional Threats: A Case for Proactive Role for IOR Navies”.

Participating countries: The Chiefs of Navies/ Heads of Maritime Forces from 12 Indian Ocean Region countries comprising Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have participated in the conclave.

What are the key outcomes of the conclave?

Countries adopted the Declaration of ‘Common Maritime Priorities’. The declaration aims to prioritize key maritime interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with an emphasis on capacity building to tackle emerging common maritime threats.

Mission 2070: A Green New Deal for a Net Zero India

Source: This post is based on the articleMission 2070: A Green New Deal for a Net Zero Indiapublished by WEF on 10th November 2021.

What is the News?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with Kearney and Observer Research Foundation has released a report titled “Mission 2070: A Green New Deal for a Net-Zero India”.

What is the key finding of the report?

India is the 3rd largest Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitter in the world, behind the United States and China. Five sectors – energy, agriculture, industry, transportation, and infrastructure/buildings – contribute to more than 96% of India’s GHG emissions today.

What are the recommendations of the report?

As per the report, the Decarbonization of India’s economy will require actions in five sectors that contribute to almost all its GHG emissions. The actions required are:

Energy: The energy sector accounts for ~40% of India’s GHG emissions. Decarbonizing the energy sector will require a three-pronged approach: replace fossil fuels with renewables; reduce fossil CO2 emissions from legacy infrastructure through enhanced efficiencies and remove unavoidable carbon emissions through carbon sequestration. 

Mobility: A green transformation of mobility will need a shift in modal mix from road to rail, as well as a broad-based fuel diversification approach to encourage sustainable fuels (biofuels, CNG, LNG) in the immediate term, electrification in the medium term, and hydrogen-based heavy mobility in the long term. 

Industry: The decarbonization of this sector will need demand-management measures such as circular economy acceleration; continued energy-efficiency improvements; carbon capture, low- carbon fuels such as biomass and hydrogen among others.

Green Buildings, Infrastructure, and Cities: India’s top 25 cities contribute more than 15% of its estimated GHG emissions. India’s transition to greener cities will need a rethink of its approach to urban planning with a focus on transit-oriented urban development and an emphasis on low-carbon buildings and infrastructure construction. 

Agriculture: The agriculture sector is the largest contributor to nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane emissions. To reduce agriculture emissions, India will need a national campaign to empower, educate and enable farmers in adopting precision agriculture, sustainable animal husbandry, and green energy. 

India calls for hike in climate finance to $1trillion

Source: This post is based on the article India calls for hike in climate finance to $1trillionpublished in The Hindu on 11th November 2021.

What is the news?

At the ministerial meeting of the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC), India has said that climate finance cannot continue at the levels decided in 2009 and emphasized that it should be at least $1 trillion to meet the goals of addressing climate change.

The ministerial meeting of LMDC was hosted by Bolivia.

What are Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) groups?

LMDC is a group of developing countries that have organized themselves as block negotiators in international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. They represent more than 50% of the world’s population.

Member countries: LMDC comprises around 25 developing countries from Asia and other regions.It includes countries like India, China, Bolivia among others.

What are the key sticking points between Developed and Developing countries?

– Climate finance, loss & damage and adaptation finance: Developed nations failed to deliver on the promise to mobilize $100 Bn per year by 2030.

– Common timeframes for operationalization of national commitments under the Paris Agreement has not been finalized.

– Carbon market (Article 6 of Paris Agreement)

– Transparency Frameworks for implementation of Paris Agreement

Explained: What is Leonids Meteor Shower?

Source: This post is based on the article Explained: What is Leonids Meteor Shower?published in Indian Express on 11th November 2021.

What is the news?

The annual Leonids Meteor Shower has begun and will be active between 6th and 30th November, with peak activity expected on 17th November.

What is the Leonids Meteor Shower?

Leonids Meteor Shower was originally discovered in 1833. It contains debris that originated from a small comet called 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in the constellation Leo, which takes 33 years to orbit the sun. 

Every 33 years, a Leonid shower turns into a meteor storm, which is when hundreds to thousands of meteors can be seen every hour.

The Leonids are also called fireballs and earth grazer meteors. Fireballs, because of their bright colors and earthgazer because they streak close to the horizon. 

Moreover, Leonids meteors showers are also some of the fastest that are seen on Earth traveling at speeds of 71 km per second.

What is a Meteor Shower?

When Earth encounters many meteoroids at once, we call it a meteor shower.

Can meteor showers inflict damage? The vast majority of meteors burn up long before they hit the ground, posing no threat to property or people. Occasionally, a small amount of material survives entry into Earth’s atmosphere and explodes above the planet’s surface.

Read More: What are Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites?

Earth’s first landmass emerged in Singhbhum: study

What is the news?

According to a study, India’s Singhbhum region may have been Earth’s earliest continental land to rise above the ocean 3.2 billion years ago.

The researchers studied the granites that form the continental crust of Singhbhum region. Scientists found sandstones in Singhbhum region with geological signatures of ancient river channels, tidal plains, and beaches over 3.2 billion years old.

What are the key findings of the study?

Earth’s first landmass emerged 3.2 billion years ago: Currently, a widely accepted view is that the continents rose from the oceans about 2.5 billion years ago. However, the study has suggested that this has happened 700 million years earlier which is about 3.2 billion years ago.

Moreover, the earliest continental landmass to emerge may have been Jharkhand’s Singhbhum region.

Earth’s earliest continents emerged from massive outbursts of magma: The study has also challenged another well-accepted notion that continents rose above the ocean due to plate tectonics.

According to the study, Earth’s earliest continents emerged not through plate tectonic processes but from massive outbursts of magma that hardened into continental crust.

Note: It is to be noted that patches of the earliest continental land, are not exclusive to Singhbhum region and exist in Australia and South Africa, too.

Source: This post is based on the article Earth’s first landmass emerged in Singhbhum: studypublished in Indian Express on 11th November 2021.

EU, UNEP launch International Methane Emissions Observatory

What is the news?

At the recent G20 Summit, the International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) was launched.

About International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO)

Launched by: UN Environment Programme (UNEP) with support from the European Union

Objective of the IMEO

The observatory aims to provide credible data to track the country’s progress on meeting methane reduction pledges and to promote best practices.

It will initially focus on methane emissions from the fossil fuel sector and then expand to other major emitting sectors like agriculture and waste.  

It will also monitor commitments made by countries in the Global Methane Pledge, a US- and EU-led effort to slash methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

Source: This post is based on the article EU, UNEP launch International Methane Emissions Observatorypublished in Reuters on 5th November 2021.


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