21st Sep, 2020


Parliamentary Committee

Recently, the Opposition had demanded that agriculture Bills be referred to a Select Committee of Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon session.

Parliament scrutinises Bills in two ways. 

The first is by discussing it on the floor of the two Houses.

The second mechanism is by referring a Bill to a parliamentary committee. 

Referring of Bills to parliamentary committees is not mandatory.

Select Committee on a Bill is formed for examining a particular Bill.

Its membership is limited to MPs from one House.

They are disbanded after their report. 

These types of committees are chaired by MPs from the ruling party.


Global Initiative to Reduce Land Degradation And Coral Reef Program

The Environment Ministerial Meeting (EMM) of the G20 countries took place through video conferencing.

Under the Presidency: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The launch of Global Initiative to reduce Land Degradation and Coral Reef program were applauded. 

Two documents on climate change related to managing emissions and climate change adaptations were also launched.

The Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation 

It aims to strengthen the implementation of existing frameworks to prevent, halt, and reverse land degradation within G20 member states and globally.

The Global Coral Reef R&D Accelerator Platform 

It is an innovative action-oriented initiative.


  • To create a global research and development program;
  • To advance research, innovation and capacity building;
  • To enhance coral reefs conservation.


Solar Cycle 25 predictions announced

Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced their predictions about the new solar cycle, called Solar Cycle 25.

The Scientists believe that the cycle has begun.

Solar cycle

Sun’s surface is a very active space.

Electrically charged gases on its surface generate areas of powerful magnetic forces, which are called magnetic fields.

These gases are constantly moving. 

Thus, these magnetic fields can get stretched, twisted and tangled creating motion on the surface known as solar activity.

Solar activity varied with the stages of the solar cycle, which lasts on average for a period of 11 years. 

Solar cycles have implications for life and technology on Earth as well as astronauts in space.


Scientists track a solar cycle by using sunspots.

These are the dark blotches on the Sun that are associated with solar activity.

Sunspots are associated with the origins for giant explosions such as solar flares that can spew light, energy and solar material into space.

A Sunspot is an area on the Sun that appears dark on the surface and is relatively cooler than the surrounding parts. 

These spots are the visible markers of the Sun’s magnetic field.

Some spots are as large as 50,000 km in diameter.


India’s own eco-label BEAMS launched

India’s own eco-label Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services (BEAMS) was recently launched.

Ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The flag #IAMSAVINGMYBEACH was e-hoisted simultaneously at the eight beaches recently recognized as blue flag beaches.


(1) To reduce pollution in coastal waters;

(2) To promote sustainable development of beach facilities;

(3) To protect & conserve coastal ecosystems & natural resources.

BEAMS (Beach Environment & Aesthetics Management Services) is a highly acclaimed program under MoEFCC’s ICZM (Integrated Coastal Zone Management) project.

The program will ensure sustainable development of coastal regions.

This program promotes beach recreation in absolute harmony with nature.


Indian Beaches for Blue Flag certification recommended

For the first time eight beaches of India are recommended for the coveted International eco-label, the Blue flag certification.

Ministry: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). 

The recommendations are done by an independent National Jury composed of eminent environmentalists & scientists.

The eight beaches are:

(1) Shivrajpur (Gujarat);

(2) Ghoghla (Daman & Diu);

(3) Kasarkod and

(4) Padubidri (Karnataka);

(5) Kappad (Kerala);

(6) Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh);

(7) Golden beach (Odisha);

(8) Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar).


Blue Flag certification

The ‘Blue Flag’ is a certification that can be obtained by a beach, marina, or sustainable boating tourism operator.

It serves as an eco-label. 

The certification is known as an indication of high environmental and quality standards.

Blue Flag beaches are considered the cleanest beaches of the world.

The certification is awarded by the Denmark-based non-profit Foundation for Environmental

Education (FEE) with 33 stringent criteria under four major heads for the beaches:

  1. Environmental Education and Information
  2. Bathing Water Quality
  3. Environment Management and Conservation and
  4. Safety and Services.

The Blue Flag Programme started in France in 1985 and in areas outside Europe since 2001.


Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE – Atal New India Challenge launched

The Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE – Atal New India Challenge (ANIC) Program was recently launched.

It is a national initiative.


(1) To promote research & innovation;

(2) To increase competitiveness of Indian startups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs);

(3) To proactively collaborate with Ministries and the associated industries to facilitate innovative solutions to sectoral problems.

The initiative will be carried under the Atal Innovation Mission.

Carried out by: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and four ministries:

(1) Ministry of Defence;

(2) Ministry of Food Processing Industries;

(3) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and

(4) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.


(1) Promote techno-preneurs because of their immense potential;

(2) 15 sector-specific challenges where three challenges are for each ministry;

(3) A grant-of-aid of up Rs. 50 lakh for a period of 9 to 12 months for startups to develop a minimum usable prototype.


Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)

AIM is Government of India’s flagship initiative.


(1) To promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship;

(2) To develop new programmes and policies for fostering innovation in different sectors of the economy;

(3) To provide platform and collaboration opportunities for different stakeholders;

(4) To create awareness and create an umbrella structure to oversee the innovation ecosystem of the country.