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23rd Nov, 2020

World Fisheries Day observed

The World Fisheries Day is observed on the 21st November every year.

Aim: To draw attention to overfishing, habitat destruction and other serious threats to the sustainability of marine and inland resources.

For the first time, the Indian Government will award best performing States in the Fisheries Sector.

Best States: 

(1) Odisha (amongst Marine states);

(2) Uttar Pradesh (amongst Inland states);

(3) Assam (amongst Hilly and NE states). 

Indian Government’s Effort to Improve Fisheries Sector

Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) during 2018-19: It will cater to creation of fisheries infrastructure facilities both in marine and inland fisheries sectors to enhance the fish production in the country. 

Extension of Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) facilities to fishers and fish farmers to help them in meeting their working capital needs.

Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana: It aims to achieve 22 million tonnes of fish production by 2024-25. It is also expected to create employment opportunities for 5.5 million people.

Blue Revolution: It focuses on creating an enabling environment for integrated development and management of fisheries for the socio-economic development of the fishers and fish farmers.

India is the second major producer of fish through aquaculture in the world.

It is the 4th largest exporter of fish in the world. 

It contributes 7.7% to the global fish production.

Fish constituted about 10% of total exports from India and almost 20% of agriculture exports in 2017-18.

The fisheries and aquaculture production contribute around 1% to India’s GDP and over 5% to the agricultural GDP.

Around 28 million people are employed in the fisheries sector in India.


Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT)

Under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative, the government is looking at setting up 5,000 CBG plants by 2023-24 with a production target of 15 million tonnes. 

India will see an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore in setting up 5,000 plants. 

These will produce gas from bio and crop wastes by 2023-24. 

 To boost the availability of affordable and clean transport fuel, an agreement was signed for setting up 900 compressed bio-gas or CBG plants by companies such as Adani Gas and Torrent Gas.

SATAT provides for generating gas from municipal waste as well as forest and agri waste. 

Animal husbandry and marine wastes are also included.

The gas produced at CBG plants can be used as fuel to power automobiles. 


Promulgation of ordinance to ban online Games in TN

Tamil Nadu Governor promulgated an ordinance that banned online gaming in the state, with a fine up to Rs 5,000 and imprisonment of up to six months.

 According to the Governor, due to online gaming, innocent people, mainly youngsters, are being cheated, and some people committed suicide.

The decision to ban online gaming was taken to avoid such incidents of suicide and protect the innocent people. 

Any form of wagering or betting in cyberspace by using computers or any other communication device, common gaming houses, and any electronic transfer of funds to distribute winnings or prize money has also been banned.

This effectively means that players in the state will not be able to purchase any add-on for the games they play, go to gaming arcades or participate in online gaming tournaments. 

 In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, some forms of online games and gambling are banned.

Karnataka has also been mulling a law to ban online games and gaming.


Sentinel-6 Satellite launched

The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on November 21.

Objective: Designed to monitor oceans

Developed jointly by: European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (Eumetsat), the USA’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the EU.

 This is a part of the next mission dedicated to measuring changes in the global sea level. 

The mission, called the Jason Continuity of Service (Jason-CS) mission, is designed to measure the height of the ocean. 

Height of the ocean is a key component in understanding how the Earth’s climate is changing.

The spacecraft consists of two satellites, out of which one was launched recently, and the other, called Sentinel-6B, shall be launched in 2025.

Other satellites that have been launched since 1992 to track changes in the oceans on a global scale include the TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1 and OSTN/Jason-2, among others.


Roridomyces Phyllostachydis: Bioluminescent variety of mushroom

A mushroom documentation project in the forests of Northeast India has led to a new discovery: a bioluminescent (light emitting) variety of mushroom.

 The new species — named Roridomyces phyllostachydis — was first sighted in August in Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong in East Khasi Hills district and later at Krang Shuri in West Jaintia Hills district.

It is now one among the 97 known species of bioluminescent fungi in the world.

The new species is important because it is the first mushroom in the Roridomyces genus to be found in India.

It was the only member in its genus to have light emitting from its stipe or stalk.

 Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light.

Animals, plants, fungi and bacteria show bioluminescence. 

Bioluminescent organisms are usually found in the ocean environments, but they are also found on terrestrial environments.

The colour of the light emitted by the organism depends on their chemical properties. 

In the case of fungi, the luminescence comes from the enzyme, luciferase.


Scheme For Creation And Expansion Of Food Processing And Preservation Capacities (CEFPPC) 

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has approved 28 Food Processing Projects worth over 320 crore rupees under the Scheme for Creation and Expansion of Food Processing and Preservation Capacities (CEFPPC).

Objective: 

(1) Creation of processing and preservation capacities;

(2) Modernisation and expansion of existing food processing units with a view to increasing the level of processing, value addition leading to reduction of wastage.

Scheme is implemented through organizations such as Central & State PSUs/ Joint Ventures/ Farmer Producers Organization (FPOs)/ NGOs, etc. 


15th G20 Summit held

In a recently held 15th G-20 summit, Indian Prime Minister termed the COVID-19 pandemic as an important turning point in history of humanity and the biggest challenge the world is facing since the World War II.

Convened by: Saudi Arabia in a virtual format.

 Indian PM called for a new Global Index for the Post-Corona World that comprises four key elements.

  • Creation of a vast Talent Pool
  • Ensuring that Technology reaches all segments of the society
  • Transparency in systems of governance
  • Dealing with Mother Earth with a spirit of Trusteeship.

Noting that ‘Work from Anywhere’ is a new normal in the post-COVID world, he also suggested creation of a G20 Virtual Secretariat as a follow up and documentation repository.

The G20 Leaders’ Summit would culminate in the adoption of the Leaders’ Declaration and with Saudi Arabia passing on the Presidency to Italy.

The G20 (or Group of Twenty) 

It is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (EU). 

Founded in: 1999 

Aim: To discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability. The G20 has expanded its agenda since 2008. 

20 members: India, Australia, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, France, Germany, Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, European Union


APEC virtual meet held

Recently, a virtual meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was held.

The meeting was hosted by Malaysia. 

With growth in the Asia-Pacific region expected to decline by 2.7% this year, APEC’s focus was on accelerating economic recovery and developing an affordable vaccine.

Focus Areas: Trade and investment, Digital Economy and Technology, Structural Reform, Economic and Technical Cooperation and Thematic and institutional matters.

APEC leaders adopted the Putrajaya Vision 2040, a new 20-year growth vision to replace the Bogor Goals where leaders agreed in 1994 to free and open trade and investment.

They also recognised the importance of a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment to drive economic recovery at such a challenging time (Covid-19).

They also discussed the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) agenda and the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap (AIDER).

 

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Established: 1989

Members: 21

India is not a Member.

Members: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States.

Its 21 member economies are home to around 2.8 billion people and represented approximately 59% of world GDP and 49% of world trade in 2015.

India had requested membership in APEC, and received initial support from the United States, Japan, Australia and Papua New Guinea. 

Officials have decided not to allow India to join as India does not border the Pacific Ocean, which all current members do.

India was invited to be an observer for the first time in November 2011.


Booker Prize

Scottish writer Douglas Stuart has won the 2020 Booker Prize for fiction with his debut novel Shuggie Bain, which described a boy growing up in Glasgow in the 1980s with a mother battling addiction.


India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol

Recently, the 30th edition of India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) has been concluded in the Andaman Sea close to the Strait of Malacca.

India and Thailand have been carrying out CORPAT along their International Maritime Boundary Line twice a year since 2005.

Aims: 

(1) To keep part of the Indian Ocean safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade;

(2) To ensure effective implementation of the United Nations Conventions on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).


 






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