Today’s Current Affairs: 29th Sep 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023:
The Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023 is an annual collaboration between the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions.
- Its focus is on strengthening international cooperation to accelerate the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- The report evaluates progress made since 2022 in priority areas for global collaboration.
- It offers recommendations for countries to work together in these sectors to reduce emissions over the next decade and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
- The report acknowledges the accelerating transition to clean energy and sustainable solutions in various sectors, particularly in technologies like electric vehicles and solar PV.
- It notes that electric passenger cars are expected to represent 18% of total car sales in 2023, and clean energy technology investments are surpassing spending on fossil fuels.
- However, some high-emission and challenging-to-decarbonize sectors, including steel, hydrogen, and agriculture, are not transitioning rapidly enough, despite progress in certain aspects.
Gems And Jewellery Export Promotion Council : Stop Importing Rough Diamonds
The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) recently appealed to diamond industries to stop importing rough diamonds.
- Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is an apex body of the Gem and Jewellery industry in India, sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
- It is primarily involved in introducing Indian gem and jewellery products to the international market and promotes their exports.
- To achieve this, the Council provides market information to its members regarding foreign trade inquiries, trade and tariff regulations, rates of import duties, and information about Jewellery fairs and exhibitions.
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- It has regional offices across the country and with a strength of over 7,500 members.
- Rough Diamonds refer to diamonds which are still in their natural state after being removed from the belly of the earth.
- This is the stage before they are actually cut or polished in order to create the marvellousdiamonds found in all of our unique jewellery.
Kimberly Process (KP):
- KP is a multilateral trade regime established in 2003 with the goal of preventing the flow of conflict diamonds.
- The core of this regime is the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), under which States implement safeguards on shipments of rough diamonds and certify them as “conflict-free”.
First Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus:
The Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas flagged off the country’s first Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus in New Delhi, marking a revolutionary step in the transition to clean energy.
- Green Hydrogen Fuel Cells are a clean, reliable, quiet, and efficient source of high-quality electric power.
- They use Green Hydrogen as a fuel to drive an electrochemical process that produces electricity, with water and heat as the only by-products.
- Green hydrogen is a type of hydrogen produced through a process called electrolysis, using renewable energy sources like wind or solar power.
- It involves splitting water (H2O) into its constituent elements, hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2), with zero greenhouse gas emissions.
- A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts chemical energy (in this case, hydrogen) into electrical energy.
- It consists of two electrodes (anode and cathode) separated by an electrolyte.
Leander Paes : Nominated For The International Tennis Hall Of Fame
Leander Paes, a multiple Grand Slam winner, is the first Asian man nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF) in the player category for the Class of 2024.
- Li Na, a Chinese player, was the first Asian player nominated to the ITHF in 2019.
- Vijay Amritraj, a former Indian player, was also nominated in the contributor category.
- Leander Paes has won 18 Grand Slam titles in doubles and mixed doubles and was a former doubles world No. 1.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF) is a prestigious institution and museum dedicated to the sport of tennis.
- Located in Newport, Rhode Island, United States, it serves as the official hall of fame for tennis and celebrates the history, achievements, and contributions of outstanding individuals and organizations to the sport of tennis.
2023 India Ageing Report:
The United Nations Population Fund, India, has released the “2023 India Ageing Report,” which projects a significant increase in the elderly population in India
Major Findings of the Report:
- The population of people aged 80+ years is projected to grow by around 279% between 2022 and 2050.
- By 2046 it is likely that the elderly population will have surpassed the population of children (aged 0 to 15 years) in the country
- By 2050, the elderly population in India is expected to make up over 20% of the total population (The present share of elderly is about 10% in 2021 )
- Among the Elderly More than 40% of the elderly in India are in the poorest wealth quintile, with over 18% having no income.
- Life Expectancy Women, on average, have a longer life expectancy compared to men, with variations across states.
- Among the Elderly The sex ratio among the elderly is increasing, indicating longer survival of women compared to men.
- Old Age Poverty is gendered in old age, with older women more likely to be widowed, living alone, and dependent on family support.
- The report suggests policies to address the feminization and ruralization of the elderly population, increase awareness of schemes for older persons, and promote in-situ ageing.
Manis Mysteria : Species Of Pangolins
Adding to the eight known species of pangolins, scientists recently discovered a ninth variety, tentatively named “Manis mysteria”.
- Manis Mysteria is a newly discovered Pangolin species.
- The newly identified pangolin species emerged from a detailed study of scales seized in China’s Yunnan province in 2015 and 2019.
- This new species is believed to have diverged from its Philippine and Malayan relatives approximately five million years ago.
- Pangolins are mammals known for their distinctive appearance and protective scales.
- They are often referred to as “scaly anteaters” due to their characteristic scales and their diet, which primarily consists of ants and termites.
- Pangolins are found in parts of Africa and Asia and are known for their elusive nature and status as the most trafficked mammals in the world.
- All pangolin species are listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
- The Indian pangolin, also called thick-tailed pangolin, is classified as Endangered under the IUCN Red List.
What Are Social Bonds?
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) recently issued its inaugural social bonds with a total size of Rs 1,040.50 crore
- Social bonds, also known as social impact bonds and abbreviated as SIB, are the type of bond where the bond issuer is gathering funds for a project that has some socially beneficial implications.
- These bonds are designed to finance projects that address various social issues, such as healthcare, education, affordable housing, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability.
- The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in Maharashtra’s Pune and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2020 co- created India’s inaugural SIB.
- This is the first externally certified AAA-rated Indian Rupee-denominated SIB in the country. The bonds have been rated ‘AAA’ by CRISIL and ICRA.
- The base issue size of the social bonds was ₹1,000 crore, with an option to retain oversubscription up to ₹2,000 crore, thereby aggregating up to Rs 3,000 crore.
- The face value of each bond is ₹1 lakh.
- Maturity: 5 years
- Coupon Rate: 7.63 per cent.
- It is a financial institution that was set up by the Indian government to promote sustainable agriculture and rural development in the country.
- It is the main regulatory body in the country’s rural banking system.
- It was established in 1982as a central regulating body for agriculture financing and the rural section.
- The government of India established NABARD under the outlines of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act 1981.
- Objective is promoting agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.
US Scientists recently came across a rare “Dumbo” octopus in the midst of their exploration of the North Pacific Ocean.
- Dumbo Octopus are known as the deepest living of all octopus species.
- Genus: Grimpoteuthis spp.
- They get their name from their distinctive flapping fins that bear a striking resemblance to the oversized ears of the iconic Disney elephant character.
- There are about 17 species of Dumbo octopus that belong to a group called “umbrella octopus,” because they are able to float with an umbrella-like look to their mantle.
- Distribution: Worldwide in tropical to temperate latitudes
- They live on the seafloor or hover just slightly above it at depths of depths of 3000 to 4000 m (9800 to 13000 ft).
- They are small animals, around 8 inches tall, and have a pair of fins located on their mantle and webbing between their arms.
- The octopuses also have a single line of about 65-68 suckers along each arm.
- Unlike most octopuses, this sea creature doesn’t have ink sacs, which are normally used as a defensive mechanism.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis : Parasitic Worm
A parasitic worm scientifically known as Angiostrongylus cantonensis, typically found in rats, has been spreading in southeastern America recently.
- Angiostrongylus cantonensis, commonly known as the rat lungworm, is a parasitic nematode (roundworm) that infects rodents, particularly rats.
- It is typically found in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii.
- While rats serve as the primary hosts for this parasite, humans and other animals, including snails and slugs, can become infected as incidental hosts.
- It is spread through rat faeces and can infect humans and other animals through produce or other food items.
- Once inside a human, the worm could cause a rare brain infection known as eosinophilic meningitis.
- Symptoms can include headaches, still neck, tingling, fevers, vomiting, or painful feelings in the skin.
- Most infections resolve spontaneously over time without specific treatment because the parasite cannot survive for long in the human body.
- The worm can, in severe cases, cause coma or even death in humans, and can also infect pets.
- There is currently no specific treatment for the parasite.
Conocarpus Tree : Banned Plantation
The Gujarat state government banned Conocarpus tree plantation in forest or non-forest areas, underlining its “adverse impacts on environment and human health”
- Conocarpus tree is a flowering plant belonging to the family of Combretaceae.
- It is an invasive mangrove species.
- Trees of this species flower in winter and spread pollen in nearby areas.
- It has been used by various public authorities in India as landscaping for road medians, along roads, and in public gardens.
- Countries in the Arabian Peninsula have used the plant to block sand from desert storms and to control pollution.
- This tree is famous for its dark green leaves color throughout the year and withstands harsh environmental conditions such as high and low temperatures.
- It is very adaptive and could grow even in areas with extreme salinity.
- It absorbs more water from soil than other species and is a threat to groundwater