Today’s Current Affairs: 1st Jun 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
22nd Summit Of The SCO Council Of Heads:
The Ministry of External Affairs announced that India will host the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the virtual format on July 4, 2023.
- SCO Summit, 2023 will be held in the virtual format.
- All the SCO Member States, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been invited to attend the Summit.
- Iran, Belarus and Mongolia have been invited as Observer States.
- The theme of the Summit is ‘Towards a SECURE SCO’. The SECURE acronym stands for Security, Economy and Trade, Connectivity, Unity, Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity and Environment.
- India has set up new pillars of cooperation under its Chairmanship – Startups and Innovation, Traditional Medicine, Digital Inclusion, Youth Empowerment and Shared Buddhist Heritage.
Tele-Law Programme : 40 Lakh Beneficiaries
The Ministry of Law informed that the Tele-Law programme achieved a new milestone with 40 lakh beneficiaries across the country empowered with pre-litigation advice.
- The Tele-Law programme comes under the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice and was launched in 2017.
- It is an e-interface mechanism to seek legal advice and consultation at a pre-litigation stage with the aim of ‘Reaching the Unreached’.
- The programme connects needy and marginalised people in need of legal aid with the Panel Lawyers via video conferencing/telephonic facilities available at Common Service Centres (CSCs) situated at the panchayat level.
- In addition, the service can also be accessed through the Tele-Law Mobile App.
- A Panel Lawyer is a practicing advocate selected by the Department of Justice and CSC-eGovernance Services or registered on the Panel of State /District Legal Services Authority.
- Legal advice is made available to everyone under Tele-Law service.
- Advice is free of Cost to those who are eligible for free legal aid under Section 12 of LSA Act, 1987.
Volcano At The Bottom Of The Barents Sea:
Geologists have recently discovered a never-before-seen volcano at the bottom of the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway, which is erupting with mud, fluids, and gas from the planet’s interior.
- Barents Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean.
- It is located along the northern coasts of Norway and Russia and divided between Norwegian and Russian territorial waters.
- The sea was known to Vikings and medieval Russians as the Murmean Sea.
- The current name of the sea is after the historical Dutch navigator Willem Barentsz.
- It is bounded by the Svalbard archipelago in the northwest, Franz Josef Land islands in the northeast, the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the east, the Norwegian Seaand the Greenland Sea in the west, and by the Kola Peninsula in the south.
- It is separated from the Kara Sea by the Kara Strait and the Novaya Zemlya archipelago.
- The White Sea and the Pechora Sea are two parts of the Barents Sea.
- It is a shallow sea, with an average depth of 230 metres.
- The sea’s deepest point is 600 m at the Bear Island Trench.
- The Barents Sea faces a subarctic climate.
- The waters of the Barents Sea have a high salinity of 34 parts per 1,000.
- Due to the North Atlantic drift, the Barents Sea has a high biological production compared to other oceans of similar latitude.
Quasi-Moon : 2023 FW13
Astronomers have recently discovered a ‘quasi-moon’ called ‘2023 FW13’ that orbits the Earth but is actually gravitationally bound by the Sun.
- 2023 FW13 is an asteroid which has been designated as a quasi-satellite or a quasi-moon.
- It is among the few known quasi-moons or satellites that we know of in our solar system.
- It was identified by experts utilizing the Pan-STARRS telescope situated atop Hawaii’s Haleakala volcano.
- It has been in Earth’s vicinity since 100 BC and will keep circling our planet for at least another 1,500 years, until AD 3700.
- The newfound asteroid 2023 FW13 circles the sun in sync with Earth.
- According to preliminary estimates, its diameter is from 10 to 20 meters.
- While not gravitationally bound to Earth in any discernible way (like our Moon), the asteroid’s bizarre orbit makes it circle our planet occasionally, earning it the name of a quasi-satellite or quasi-moon.
- At the closest point in its slightly elliptical orbit around Earth, the moon comes within about 223,693 miles (360,000 km) of our planet.
- Quasi-moons are also known as ‘quasi-satellites’ because they appear to orbit our planet in the same way that our natural satellite, the Moon.
Environmental Guidelines For Stone Crushing Units:
Stone crushing units have long been recognized as major contributors to fugitive dust emissions and severe air pollution.
- In response to the growing concern, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recently published the Environmental Guidelines for Stone Crushing Units.
- The guidelines are in alignment with the recommendations made by New Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
Key Guidelines Released By CPCB:
- The CPCB guidelines cover various aspects of stone crushing, such as source emissions, product storage, transportation, water consumption and legal compliance.
- The stone crushers should obtain consent to establish and consent to operate (CTO) from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) before starting their operations.
- Stone crushing unit shall comply with emission norms prescribed under the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 and conditions laid down in CTO by concerned SPCB/PCC.
- They should install adequate pollution control devices, such as dust suppression systems, covers, screens and sprinklers, to reduce the dust emissions from crushing, loading and unloading activities.
- They should also store their products in covered areas or silos to prevent wind-blown dust.
- The stone crushers should use water judiciously and ensure its availability and quality and procure their raw material from legal sources and maintain proper records of their transactions.
- A District Level Committee to be constituted under chairmanship of District Magistrate/Deputy Commissioner so that surprise inspections for surveillance of stone crushing units located under their jurisdiction can be carried out on regular basis.
- Health survey of workers should be carried out by the stone crusher on half-yearly basis.
Global Slavery Index 2023:
According to the Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index 2023, 50 million people are living in conditions of modern slavery – a 25% rise over the last five years.
- Modern slavery refers to situations of exploitation in that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, or deception.
- It manifests as forced labour, child labour, forced marriage, debt bondage, commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, etc.
- Global Slavery Index is an assessment of modern slavery conditions in 160 countries.
- It uses data released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), etc.
- The Index provides rankings across 3 dimensions: Size of the problem (prevalence), Government response and Vulnerability (political instability, inequality).
- The 2023 index is significant as India holds the G20 presidency this year, with a focus on sustainable development and climate change mitigation.
Highlights of the Global Slavery Index 2023:
- 50 million people were living in conditions of modern slavery on any given day in 2021.
- The practice has become more prevalent over the last five years (a 25%/10 million rise), due to climate change, armed conflict, weak governance and COVID-19.
- G20 nations account for more than half of all people living in modern slavery because their trade operations and global supply chains allow for human rights abuses.
- The situation within G20 nations: India tops the list with 11 million people working as forced labourers, followed by China, Russia, Indonesia, Turkey and the U.S.
Shenzhou-16 Spacecraft : Launched With Three Astronauts
China’s Shenzhou-16 spacecraft has been launched with three astronauts, including the first Chinese civilian, to the Tiangong space station.
- Aim of the mission is to replace the crew of Shenzhou-15 and conduct tests and experiments over the next five months.
- Tiangong Space Station is a Chinese space station being built in low Earth orbit as a part of the China Manned Space Program.
- Altitude Between 340 and 450 kilometres above the Earth
- Long-term operation for at least ten years
- China is the third country to send astronauts and build a space station, after US and Russia.
e-Appeals Scheme 2023:
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has recently launched the “e appeal” scheme, aimed at addressing the issue of pending appeals related to Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) default and tax collection at source (TCS).
- This new initiative is expected to streamline the appeal process and expedite the resolution of such cases.
- Under the “e appeal” scheme, the Joint Commissioner (Appeals) is entrusted with the responsibility of disposing of appeals filed before them or allocated/transferred to them.
- They hold the power to send show cause notices and initiate penalties in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Act.
- In order to ensure a seamless appeal process, personal hearings for appeals will be conducted through video conferences.
- This approach not only saves time and resources but also enables effective communication between the parties involved. It promotes convenience and efficiency in the appeal proceedings.
Emirates Mission To The Asteroid Belt:
This latest project, known as the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt, follows the UAE’s successful entry into Mars’ orbit with the Hope probe in February 2021.
- The spacecraft that the UAE intends to send to the asteroid belt is aptly named the Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt.
- This project aims to develop a spacecraft in the coming years and launch it in 2028, with the primary objective of studying seven different asteroids within the asteroid belt.
- The Emirates Mission to the Asteroid Belt will soar at an impressive speed of 33,000 kilometers per hour.
- It is projected to cover a total distance of approximately 5 billion kilometers, a testament to the UAE’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of space exploration.
- The spacecraft is set to reach the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter in the year 2030. .