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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 19th November 2022

Today Current Affairs: 19th November 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc


Living Amazon Report 2022 : World Wildlife Fund

According to a new report ‘Living Amazon Report’ 2022 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), some 35% of the rainforest is either totally lost or highly degraded.

  • The report was released at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
  • The report outlined the current status of the Amazon biome and basin, summarised key pressures and drivers of change and outlined a conservation strategy.

Highlights of the Report:

  • Vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest, which serve as carbon sinks and the planet’s lungs, are in crisis.
  • Some 35% of the rainforest is either totally lost or highly degraded, while another 18% have been converted for other purposes.
  • Amazon forests are threatened due to deforestation, fires and degradation.
  • Surface water has been lost and rivers are increasingly disconnected and polluted.
  • This immense pressure will irreversibly damage the Amazon and the planet in general very shortly.
  • Economic activities, most notably extensive cattle ranching and agriculture, illegal activities and poorly planned infrastructure, threaten the region and cause deforestation and degradation throughout the biome, with many areas severely affected.
  • Nearly 600 infrastructure projects are in operation along rivers in the Amazon.
  • Some 20 planned road projects, 400 operating or planned dams and numerous mining projects continue to dump chemicals such as mercury into the rivers.

Red-Crowned Roofed Turtle : CITES

India has proposed to protect the Red-Crowned Roofed turtle at the 19th Conference of the Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in Panama.

  • India has raised a proposal to the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora for the addition of the riverine species to Appendix I from current Appendix II.
  • The species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices as per the degree of protection they need:
  • Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction.
  • Appendix II includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction but (where trade must be controlled).
  • Appendix III contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES parties for assistance in controlling the trade.
  • The 19th Conference of the Parties to CITES is being asked to consider stricter trade regulations for nearly six hundred species of animals and plants believed to be under increased threat of extinction from international trade.

Red Crowned Roofed Turtle:

  • Red Crowned Roofed Turtle is one of the 24 species endemic to India, is characterised by the bright colours such as red, yellow, white and blue on the faces and necks of the males.
  • Scientific Name: Batagur kachuga.
  • Common Names: Bengal roof turtle, Red-crowned roofed turtle.

Young Professionals Exchange In 2023 : United Kingdom And India

United Kingdom (UK) and India decided to launch a Young Professionals Exchange in 2023.

  • UK will offer 3000 degree-holding Indians in the 18-30 year age group places to work for up to two years.
  • The scheme will commence in early 2023 and be on a reciprocal basis.
  • India is a key strategic partner for the UK in the Indo-Pacific both in terms of market share and defence, as was underscored by the signing of the Defence and International Security Partnership between India and the UK in 2015.
  • For Britain, a successful conclusion of an Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India would provide a boost to its ‘Global Britain’ ambitions as the UK has sought to expand its markets beyond Europe since Brexit.
  • Britain has been trying to seize opportunities in the growing economies of the Indo-Pacific to cement its place on the global stage as a serious global actor.
  • The British would be better able to achieve this goal with good bilateral relations with India.
  • For India: The UK is a regional power in the Indo-Pacific as it possesses naval facilities in Oman, Singapore, Bahrain, Kenya, and British Indian Ocean Territory.
  • The UK has also confirmed USD 70 million of British International Investment funding to support the usage of renewable energy in India, which will help in building renewable energy infrastructure and developing solar power in the region.
  • India has sought easy market access for Indian fisheries, pharma, and agricultural products besides duty concession for labour-intensive exports.

8th Norway-India Joint Working Group Maritime Meeting

The 8th Norway-India Joint Working Group Maritime meeting was held in Mumbai, India.

  • Norway has the technical expertise in Maritime sector and India has huge potential for development of Maritime sector and large pool of trained seafarers, which make both countries natural complementary partners.
  • Earlier, India had also prepared Maritime India Vision 2030, which has identified more than 150 initiatives across various maritime sectors like ports, shipping and waterways focusing on capacity augmentation etc.
  • Discussion was held on use of alternative fuels like green ammonia and hydrogen for futuristic shipping.
  • The Norwegian Green Shipping Programme has been successful and the experience and expertise was shared in the meeting.
  • India and Norway are part of the Green Voyage 2050 project.
  • Both parties agreed on willingness, devotion, partnership and capacity building for achieving common goals.
  • India is a signatory to Hongkong Convention for Recycling of Ships.
  • In the meeting, India requested that European Union regulation should not hinder recycling of non-European countries which are compliant as per International Convention.
  • Norway was requested not to prolong Ship recycling to India as a lot of investment has been made by Indian recyclers.
  • The Norwegian delegation will also take part in INMARCO, the Green Shipping Conclave, and the Maritime ShEO conference.
  • The Maritime ShEO conference is supported by Norway and focused on maritime diversity and sustainability, including gender equality in the maritime industry.

Global Offshore Wind Alliance : COP27

Nine new countries sign up for Global Offshore Wind Alliance at COP27.

  • Nine new countries: Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the US.
  • Australia announces to sign up with global offshore wind alliance.

Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA):

  • It was established to ramp up of offshore wind in order to tackle the climate and energy security crises.
  • It was set up by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Denmark and the Global Wind Energy Council.
  • GWEC was established in 2005 to provide a credible and representative forum for the entire wind energy sector at an international level.
  • Several organizations are supporting the alliance and promoting offshore wind in their respective regions.
  • Both IRENA and the International Energy Agency (IEA) expect that offshore wind capacity will need to exceed 2000 GW in 2050, from just over 60 GW today, to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degree Celsius and achieve net zero.
  • To reach this target, GOWA will aim to contribute to accelerating growth to reach a total of at least 380 GW installed capacity by the end of 2030.

242nd Corps Of Engineers Day:

Indian Army celebrated the 242nd Corps of Engineers Day on November 18, 2022.

  • The Corps of Engineers provides combat engineering support, develops infrastructure for armed forces and other defence organisations and maintains connectivity along our vast borders besides providing succour to populace during natural disasters.
  • These tasks are executed through four pillars of the Corps – Combat Engineers, Military Engineer Service, Border Road Organisation and Military Survey.
  • The Corps of Engineers has three groups, i.e. Madras Sappers, Bengal Sappers and Bombay Sappers which were amalgamated into the Corps on 18 Nov 1932.

Fifth Bilateral Cyber Policy Dialogue : India And Australia

India and Australia recently convened their fifth bilateral Cyber Policy Dialogue in New Delhi.

  • The Cyber Policy Dialogue was held under the auspices of the India-Australia Framework Arrangement on Cyber and Cyber-Enabled Critical Technology Cooperation and Plan of Action 2020-2025 for a comprehensive and deeper cyber cooperation.
  • It provides a bilateral platform to discuss a range of high-profile issues of mutual interest.
  • Discussions at this Dialogue included strategic priorities, cyber threat assessment, next generation telecommunications (including 5G technology) capacity building and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, and the latest developments in cyber at the United Nations.
  • Australia and India agreed to explore opportunities for further collaboration with the private sector and academia.
  • Both countries will jointly conduct a Cyber Bootcamp, as well as Cyber and Tech Policy Exchanges, in collaboration with Indo-Pacific partners.
  • The sixth India-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue will be held next year.

4th Edition Of Indian Chemicals Council:

4th edition of Indian Chemicals Council (ICC) Sustainability Conclave recently started in New Delhi.

  • Theme of the two-day event is ‘boardrooms to Community-ESG, Carbon Neutrality, Operational Safety, Greener Solutions’.
  • The Conclave aims to promote sustainability in the management of the entire life cycle of chemicals.
  • It is being organized jointly with United Nations Environment Program and International Council of Chemical Associations with support of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading environmental authority in the United Nations system.
  • It was established in 1972.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been the global authority that sets the environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the UN system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Indian Chemicals Council (ICC):

  • It was established in 1938.
  • It is the apex national body representing all branches of the Chemical Industry in India such as Organic & Inorganic Chemicals, Plastics & Petrochemicals & Petroleum Refineries, Dyestuffs & Dye-intermediates, Fertilizers & Pesticides, Specialty Chemicals, Paints etc.
  • The Indian Chemical Council is dedicated to the growth of the Indian Chemical Industry.
  • The Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, has authorised all ICC offices (Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai) to issue the CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN for the exporters.
  • ICC also has two initiatives – Responsible Care and Nicer Globe.

10th International Tourism Mart:

The 10th International Tourism Mart (ITM) for the northeast region will begin in Mizoram capital Aizawl on November 18, 2022.

  • The 10th International Tourism Mart (ITM) for the northeast region will focus on “priorities of G20 for tourism track”, since India will assume the yearlong Presidency of the influential group for a year from December 1 to November 30 next year.
  • Mizoram is hosting this mart for the first time.
  • The earlier editions of the event have been held in Guwahati, Tawang, Shillong, Gangtok, Agartala, Imphal and Kohima.

International Tourism Mart (ITM):

  • The International Tourism Mart (ITM) is an annual event organised in the North Eastern region with the objective of highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets.
  • It brings together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the 8 North Eastern States.
  • The event has been planned to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, Government agencies and other stakeholders.
  • The ITMs are organised in the 8 North Eastern States on rotation basis.

Expansion Of National Investment And Infrastructure Fund:

The Union Finance Minister has recently urged the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to expand its operations and explore ways to crowd in private capital for projects under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, PM Gati Shakti and National Infrastructure Corridor

  • NIIF is an investor-owned fund manager, anchored by the Government of India (GoI) in collaboration with leading global and domestic institutional investors.
  • The Indian government has 49 % stake in NIIF with the rest held by marquee foreign and domestic investors.
  • NIIF was set up as an alternative investment fund (AIF) in 2015 with a planned corpus of ₹40,000 crore.
  • Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • Objective: To provide long-term capital to the country’s infrastructure sector.
  • NIIF currently manages three funds each with its distinctive investment mandate namely
    • (1) Master fund,
    • (2) Fund Of Funds and
    • (3) Strategic Fund.
  • The funds are registered as Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).