01 December 2017 : Current Affairs UPSC : IAS DAILY


NITI Aayog and EU delegation to India release the Strategy on Resource Efficiency (RE)

NITI Aayog in collaboration with the European Union delegation to India have released the Strategy on Resource Efficiency.

MEANING :

  • Resource efficiency very simply put is making more with fewer materials.

  • In practice, through a life-cycle approach, it leads to minimizing impact on environment & the associated societal burdens, transforming ‘waste’ into ‘resources’ fostering circular economy, and strengthening resource security.

IMPORTANCE : With expanding indian population and exploitation of available limited natural resources with concerns regarding resource depletion and future availability, RE assumes importance.

Enhancing resource efficiency (RE) and promoting the use of secondary raw materials (SRM) is a pertinent strategy to address these challenges and reduce dependence on primary resource.

IMPLEMENTATION IN SUPPORT WITH EU : EU will support the GoI, especially MoEFCC and NITI Aayog in implementing the RE strategy.

HISTORY : The document is developed with the recommendations from the Indian Resource Efficiency Programme (IREP), launched by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Indian Resource Panel (InRP) in April 2017.

  • The work on Resource Efficiency Strategy and proposed plan of action (core and medium term) will be supported for its implementation by the European Union (EU) funded Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI) led by GIZ in the consortium with TERI, CII and Adelphi.

  • NITI Aayog has provided key support in positioning this document for public consultation, and charting the way forward.

MoU between India and Italy for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Italy for cooperation in Agriculture and Phytosanitary issues.

It provides for

  • Cooperation in these issues.

  • Exchange of information

  • setting up of a Joint Working Group

ICFT between India and Brazil

​The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratification of the Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Treaty (ICFT) between India and Brazil.

IMPORTANCE :

  • The Treaty will result in increase of investment flows between the two countries.

  • The ICFT between India and Brazil will provide appropriate facilitation to Brazilian investors in India and Indian investors in the Brazil.

  • It is likely to increase the comfort level and boost the confidence of investors by assuring a level playing field and non-discrimination in all investment facilitation matters, thus providing conducive investment climate to investors.

  • It would help project India as a preferred Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination to all Brazilian investors.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY : Hot Jupiter’ with deadly stratosphere stuns scientists

NEWS : NASA Found that WASP-18b has a smothering stratosphere that is loaded with carbon monoxide, or CO, but has no signs of water. This was observed through Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes.

ABOUT :

  • WASP-18b is an extrasolar planet that is notable for having an orbital period of less than one day.

  • It has the mass of 10 Jupiters.

  • It is believed that WASP-18b has an unusual composition, and the formation of this world might have been quite different from that of Jupiter as well as gas giants in other planetary systems.

WHERE IS IT? WASP-18b, a “hot Jupiter”, located 325 light-years from Earth.

HOW DID STRATOSPHERE FORMED> The formation of a stratosphere layer in a planet’s atmosphere is attributed to “sunscreen”-like molecules, which absorb ultra violet (UV) and visible radiation coming from the star and then release that energy as heat.

Australian scientist tracks whale sharks using NASA algorithm

NEWS : An algorithm developed by NASA to study star charts has been used by an Australian marine scientist to track and identify whale sharks.

IMPORTANCE OF ALGORITHM : By using this algorithm, one can examine photographs from around the globe and identify where each individual whale shark came from.

AIM OF THIS PROJECT: To uncover the mysteries of whale sharks and better understand their abundance, geographic range, behaviours, migration patterns and their favourite places on the planet.

The main hotspots of the whale shark are located at the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia, the Atlantic coast of Mexico, Mozambique and the Philippines.

ECONOMY :

GDP shrugs off GST as Q2 growth rebounds to 6.3%

NEWS : GDP increased from 5.7. to 6.3% in Q2 of FY’18.

  • GVA increased from 5.6 to 6.1% in Q2 of FY’18.

This trend is considered to very encouraging. [1] This indicates that perhaps the impact of demonetisation and GST is now behind us and hopefully in the coming quarters we can look for an upward trajectory.[2]

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN>

  • Robust expansion in Manufacturing sector from 1.2% à 7%

  • Other sectors that witnessed growth of more than 6% were electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, and trade, hotels, transport and communication services related to broadcasting.

  • Agriculture, however, remained a cause for concern, which grew at 1.7%.

“The performance in the agriculture sector has been held up by the non-crop sector. This year’s crop production, while higher than the five-year average, is lower than last year, which saw a strong growth.”

[1] TCA Anant, Chief Statistician of India and Secretary to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation,

[2] Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Many cybercrime cases not investigated

CYBER CRIMES INCIDENTS : 2015 - 11,592 2016 - 12,317

Only in 30% cases reported in 2016, the police or the investigating agency filed a chargesheet

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