Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 2nd August 2022

Today Current Affairs: 2nd August 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

 

Hybrid Electric Vehicle:

In recent months, automakers Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Honda have launched hybrid electric vehicles in India, offering car buyers more choices in the nascent electric vehicle market.

  • A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) uses an ICE (a petrol/diesel engine) and one or more electric motors to run.
  • It is powered by the electric motor alone, which uses energy stored in batteries, by the ICE, or both
  • The efficiency of HEVs will be determined by their ability to recover as much energy as possible while braking, with a higher degree of energy recovery lowering fuel consumption.
  • A regenerative braking system (RBS) while enhancing fuel economy also helps in energy optimisation resulting in minimum energy wastage.
  • The HEVs can be categorised into micro, mild and full hybrid vehicles, based on the degree of hybridisation.
  • The hybrid variants of the Maruti Suzuki’s Grand Vitara and the Toyota’s Urban Cruiser Hyryder can be classified as full and mild hybrids.

Electoral Bonds:

The State Bank of India (SBI) shared data reporting that Donations to political parties through electoral bonds (EBs) have crossed the Rs 10,000-crore mark.

  • In the 21st sale of EBs conducted in July 2022, parties received another Rs 389.5 crore from EB purchases.
  • The total amount collected by parties has gone up to Rs 10,246 crore since 2018 when the EB scheme was introduced.

Electoral Bonds:

  • State Bank of India is authorised to issue and encash these bonds.
  • Electoral bonds are purchased anonymously by donors and are valid for 15 days from the date of issue.
  • As debt instruments, these can be bought by donors from a bank, and the political party can then encash them.
  • These can be redeemed only by an eligible party by depositing the same in its designated account maintained with a bank.
  • The bonds are issued by SBI in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore.
  • The bonds are available for purchase by any citizen of India for a period of ten days each in the months of January, April, July and October as may be specified by the Central Government.

Eligibility:

  • Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and have secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly, are eligible to receive electoral bonds.

Report On Natural Resource Accounting (NRA):

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has stated that it would be coming up with report on Natural Resource Accounting (NRA) by November 2022.

  • It is an attempt to develop accounting systems to help monitoring their responsible utilisation, which will in turn lead to sustainability.
  • Natural Resource Accounting is a process of estimating the value of natural resource depletion and environment degradation due to economic activities.
  • The concept of NRA was emerged to capture the intimate interplay between the various components of the natural environment and the economic progress of a country.
  • It is based on the concept – ‘measurement of a resource leads to its better management’.
  • The need for NRA took its first step at the United Nations (UN) conference on Human Environment in 1970 (Stockholm Conference) when the relationship between economic development and environmental degradation was discussed for the first time.
  • The Brundtland Commission, set up by the UN, articulated the idea of close association between the environment and economic activities in 1987, which was followed up by environmental accounting and the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Chabahar Day Conference:

Union Shipping Minister Sarbanand Sonowal inaugurated the Chabahar Day conference in Mumbai.

  • Dignitaries from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan were present on the occasion.
  • In May 2016, India and Iran signed a bilateral agreement in which India would refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti port, and reconstruct a 600 meter long container handling facility at the port.
  • In October 2017, India’s first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan was sent through the Chabahar Port.
  • Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar located in southeastern Iran, on the Gulf of Oman.
  • It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port, and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti, each of which has five berths.
  • The Chabahar port is a key pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific vision to connect with Eurasia with Indian Ocean Region.
  • The port will also be part of the International North South Transport Corridor network connecting India.
  • Iran has given special incentives to increase trade cooperation activities between India and Iran through Chabahar port.

Ex VINBAX 2022:

The 3rd Edition of Vietnam-India Bilateral Army Exercise “Ex VINBAX 2022” began at Chandimandir. It will continue till 20th August.

  • The exercise is a sequel to a previously conducted bilateral exercise in Vietnam in 2019 and a major milestone in strengthening the bilateral relations between India and Vietnam.
  • India and Vietnam share a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and defence cooperation is a key pillar of this partnership.
  • Vietnam is an important partner in India’s Act East policy and the Indo-Pacific vision.
  • The theme of Ex VINBAX – 2022 is the employment and deployment of an Engineer Company and a Medical Team as part of the United Nations Contingent for Peace Keeping Operations.

AL NAJAH-IV Military Exercise:

India and Oman will carry out a 13-day military exercise with a focus on counter-terror cooperation.

  • The fourth edition of India-Oman joint military exercise ‘AL NAJAH-IV’ between contingents of Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman is scheduled to take place at the Foreign Training Node of Mahajan Field Firing Ranges from August 1 to 13.
  • A 60-member team from the Royal Army of Oman has arrived at the site.
  • The Indian Army will be represented by troops from the 18 Mechanised Infantry Battalion.
  • The previous edition of the exercise was organised in Muscat in March 2019.

Monkeypox:

Union Government set up a task force to monitor Monkeypox situation in country. It was created after reporting first death related to monkeypox.

  • The Task force will provide guidance to government with respect to expansion of diagnostic facilities and exploration of vaccination for the disease in India.
  • Task force will be headed by Dr VK Paul, member (Health) of the NITI Aayog.
  • Other members include Secretary of Union Health Ministry and member of Pharma and Biotech.
  • So far, four cases of Monkeypox have been report in India, of which three cases reported in Kerala and one in Delhi.
  • A youth in Kerala with monkeypox-like symptoms lost his life.
  • Following this, a high-level inquiry was initiated by Health Minister Veena George.
  • The youth was found to be positive, during a test conducted outside India.

Monkeypox Cases worldwide:

  • As per World Health Organization (WHO), over 18,000 cases of Monkeypox have been reported across 78 countries.
  • WHO notes that, outbreak of monkeypox can be stopped if countries, communities and individuals keep informing themselves, take the issue seriously and take measures to stop transmission, in a bid to protect vulnerable groups

CoWin:

After the success of CoWin as a platform for the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination, the Union government is looking to repurpose the technology for more healthcare requirements.

  • The Covid-19 vaccination platform Co-WIN is set to be repurposed for Universal Immunisation program as well as blood donation.
  • This announcement was made by CoWin Chief & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Health Authority, Dr RS Sharma.
  • This platform will later be used for organ donation. Besides India, Guyana signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India to use this platform for their vaccination program.
  • CoWIN stands for “Covid Vaccine Intelligence Network”.
  • It is a web portal for COVID-19 vaccination registration in India.
  • Indian Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare own and operate the platform.
  • It showcases booking slots of COVID-19 vaccine, that are available in nearby areas.
  • One can book the vaccination slot on the website.
  • It also provides vaccination certificates to the beneficiaries.
  • The vaccination certificates serve as “Vaccine Passports” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Certificate can be stored in Digilocker.
  • CoWIN has also been integrated with the Aarogya Setu and UMANG Apps.

Clean, Healthy Environment As a Universal Human Right:

India voted for the resolution and pointed out that the resolutions do not create binding obligations.

  • Only through conventions and treaties do state parties undertake obligations for such rights.
  • Every person on the planet has the right to live in a clean, healthy environment.
  • Climate change and environmental degradation are the most critical threats awaiting humanity in the future.
  • It demonstrates that the member states can unite in the collective fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
  • The declaration adopted by over 160 UN member nations, including India, is not legally binding.
  • But, it will encourage countries to incorporate the right to a healthy environment in national constitutions and regional treaties.
  • Russia and Iran abstained from voting.

Benefits:

  • It will help to reduce environmental injustices and protection gaps.
  • It can empower people, especially those in vulnerable situations, including environmental human rights defenders, children, youth, women and indigenous people.
  • This right (Access to Clean, Healthy Environment) was not included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948.
  • This is a historic resolution that will change the nature of international human rights law.

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