December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (11-12-19)

GEOGRAPHY

WHAKAARI / WHITE ISLAND VOLCANO

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:   

Geography [Paper-I]: Geophysical phenomena like Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcanoes, Cyclone, Flood, Landslides.

News

  • On 9 December 2019, the volcano on White Island in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty erupted explosively.
  • White Island, also called Whakaari, is the most active volcano of New Zealand.
  • The privately owned island is a tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.

Where is the volcano and how active is it?

  • The volcano is located in the Bay of Plenty, about 48km (29 miles) from the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
  • White Island has been classified as New Zealand’s most active volcano since 1976, when it began 24 years of almost continuous eruption.
  • A second “eruptive episode started in 2011 and continues today.
  • The recent eruption was classified as “moderate” on the volcanic alert system. This was because it only affected the crater area.
  • About 70% of the volcano is underwater, with the crater and surrounding peak standing some 321m (1,053ft) above sea level.
  • Including its underwater base, White Island is the largest volcanic structure in New Zealand.

Private owned Island

  • The Island was bought by Auckland stockbroker George Raymond Buttle in 1936.
  • He later refused to sell it to the government but agreed in 1952 to have it declared a private scenic reserve. The island is today still owned by the Buttle Family Trust.
  • According to the New Zealand Tourism Guide, the owners of White Island Tours were appointed as the official guardians of the island and access is only granted through designated tour operators.

[Source: BBC]

 

POLITY & GOVERNANCE

INNER LINE PERMIT (ILP)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:    

Governance [Paper-I]: Issues and challenges pertaining to Federal Structure, Public Policy and Governance

News

  • The inner line permit (ILP) regime was extended to Manipur with President Ram Nath Kovind signing the order in this effect.
  • Union Home Minister assured political and civil society representatives from the Northeastern states that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) would provide protection to such regions and states where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is applicable, and autonomous administration has been granted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

What is Inner Line Permit?

  • Inner Line Permit is a document that allows an Indian citizen to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system.
  • Manipur is the fourth State after Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram where the ILP regime is applicable.
  • An ILP is issued by the state government It can be obtained after applying either online or physically.
  • It states the dates of travel and also specifies the particular areas in the state which the ILP holder can travel to.

Colonial Legacy

  • Under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, the British framed regulations restricting the entry and regulating the stay of outsiders in designated areas.
  • This was to protect the Crown’s own commercial interests by preventing “British subjects” (Indians) from trading within these regions.
  • In 1950, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizen of India”. This was to address local concerns about protecting the interests of the indigenous people from outsiders belonging to other Indian states.

How it is connected with Constitution Amendment Bill?

  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill aims to make it easier for refugees belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship.
  • Those states where ILP is applicable will not be affected by Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB).
  • It means that beneficiaries under CAB will become Indian citizens but will not be able to settle in these four states.
  • Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are not among those drastically affected by migration from Bangladesh. Mizoram shares a border with Bangladesh.
  • The three states that have seen the highest migration, however, are Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, none of which has an ILP system.
[Source: The Hindu, Indian Express]

 

ENVIRONMENT

CLIMATE CHANGE PERFORMANCE INDEX (CCPI) 2020

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:    

Environment [Paper-II]: Policies and treaties for the protection of environment at the National and the International level, National action plans on climate change

News

India, for the first time, ranked among the top 10 in Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) released at the COP25 climate summit in Madrid, Spain.

What is CCPI?

  • CCPI is an independent monitoring tool for tracking the climate protection performance of 57 countries and the European Union.
  • The index is jointly presented by Germanwatch, NewClimate Institute and Climate Action Network. It is published annually since 2005
  • It aims to enhance transparency in international climate politics and enables comparison of climate protection efforts and progress made by individual countries.
  • It assesses each country’s performance in four categories: GHG Emissions (40% of the overall ranking), Renewable Energy (20%), Energy Use (20%) and Climate Policy (20%).

Key Highlights of CCPI 2020

  • 31 of the 57 high emitting countries are responsible for 90% of emissions.
  • As none of the countries assessed is already on a path compatible with the Paris climate targets, the first three places of the ranking remain unoccupied.
  • In this year’s index, Sweden leads the ranking on rank 4, followed by Denmark (5) and Morocco (6).
  • The bottom five in this year’s CCPI are Islamic Republic of Iran (57), Republic of Korea (58), Chinese Taipei (59), Saudi Arabia (60) and the United States (61), rated low or very low across almost all categories.
  • U.S. and Saudi Arabia are among major polluters showing “hardly any signs” of reducing their greenhouse gas production.
  • Only two G20 countries, the UK (7th) and India (9th), are ranked in the “high” category.
  • On GHG emissions, 31 out of 57 high-emitting countries recorded decreasing emissions.
  • Additions of renewable power generation have outpaced net installations of fossil fuel and nuclear power for the fourth year in a row.
  • No country received a very high rating for the all renewable energy indicators.
  • It means that there is significant room for improvement in mitigating emissions by accelerating deployment of renewable energy.

Performance of India

  • India improved its ranking from 11th in 2019 Index to 9th in the 2020 Index.
  • The ranking was to the “high category”, where the countries have ambitious 2030 targets.
  • The report rates the country’s 2030 mitigation targets as high on ambition, and praises its 2030 energy targets as one of the very few compatible with limiting global mean temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C).
  • The report notes that the government was yet to develop a roadmap for the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies to reduce the country’s high dependence on coal.
  • India doesn’t have a law addressing climate change holistically which perhaps reflects its low ranking on Climate Policy amongst G20 countries.
  • Though India’s low per capita emissions may mean it is under less “moral pressure” to upgrade its climate targets, it has experienced the largest emission increase in the past half-decade.
[Source: Down To Earth, climate-change-performance-index.org]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

SECTION 79 OF THE IT ACT OF 2000
  • Supreme Court held that internet intermediaries cannot be protected from criminal defamation cases registered against them prior to October 27, 2009.
  • On October 2009, that Parliament amended the Information Technology Act of 2000 to protect online intermediaries from liability for criminally defamatory content published in them by third parties.
  • The amendment gave almost blanket protection to intermediaries from legal action under Section 499/500 (criminal defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.
  • But according to the recent SC verdict, Google is liable for defamation cases filed before the 2009 IT Act amendments.
INDIAN CULTURE PORTAL
  • Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC) launched the Indian Culture web portal in New Delhi.
  • http://www.indian culture.gov.in is the new portal which brings together all the cultural resources of the country on one platform.
  • It was envisioned by the Ministry of Culture and was developed by a team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay while the curation of the data has been done by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
  • It is the first government authorized portal where knowledge and cultural resources of various organizations of Ministry of Culture are available in public domain on a single platform.
  • The larger aim of the Indian Culture portal is to create awareness among the citizens about the diverse heritage of our country.
  • The portal hosts documents, images, audio-video files and other data from archives, museums, academies and libraries across the nation.
  • The content available on the portal comprises mainly of rare books, e-books, manuscripts, artefacts from museum, virtual galleries, archives, photo archives, gazetteers, Indian National Bibliography, videos, images, cuisine, UNESCO, Musical Instruments of India among others.
  • This project is a part of PM’s Digital India initiative.
NAVARMS-19
  • The fourth edition of International Seminar cum Exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems ‘NAVARMS-19’ is scheduled at Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, Development Enclave, New Delhi on 12-13 December, 2019.
  • It will be conducted with the theme Make in India – Fight Category: Opportunities and Imperatives”.
  • The event will provide opportunity for exchange of ideas, create awareness and identify emerging prospects for Indian/International defence industry in domain of Naval Weapon Systems.
  • NAVARMS is the only international seminar and exhibition on Naval Weapon Systems conducted in the country to invite all the stakeholders in life cycle management of Naval Weapons and provide a common platform to share their views and concerns.
  • The past three editions of NAVARMS were organised in 2007, 2010 and 2013.
INTEREST RATE OPTIONS
  • Stock exchange major NSE has launched interest rate options on 10-year government bonds to provide institutional investors ability to manage risk through a non-linear product.
  • Interest rate options are financial derivative contracts whose values are based on an underlying interest rate.
  • Market participants can use options to trade and hedge interest rate risk on a transparent platform.
  • These interest rate options are based on 10-year government bonds maturing in 2029 with coupon rate of 7.26 percent and 6.45 percent.
  • The unit of trading is set at Rs 2 lakh face value of government securities, corresponding to 2,000 units.
  • Currently, interest rate futures are available on seven government bonds as the underlying, for residual maturity ranging from 4 years to 15 years.
  • Interest rate options will provide institutional investors the ability to manage risk through a non-linear product, which is otherwise not available to them.

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