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02-July-Facts For Prelims

JULY


  1. WITH AN eye on the massive restructuring of the Chinese military, the Indian army is moving to raise a second infantry division (72 Infantry Division) for its mountain strike corps (17thCorps) on the northern border… The other infantry division for the mountain strike corps — 59 Infantry Division — has been raised and will be fully operational this year.”
  2. “A report to a UN ocean conference in New York points out that more than 60% of the ocean has no rules because it’s outside national jurisdiction. It says the open ocean is at risk from climate change, over-fishing, deep sea mining, farm pollution and plastics.” … The UN is focusing discussion on three areas:
  • Setting up a legal framework for marine conservation areas on the high seas – or other spatial measures like banning destructive fishing gear in vulnerable places;
  • A more rigorous environmental impact before industrial activities are undertaken;
  • Developing rules around marine genetic resources so all nations get a share of the wealth of the seas.

Together they are categorised under a new UN acronym – BBNJ. That’s Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction.

  1. Remove the last amount of oxygen, and the Bay of Bengal could become a major global player in nitrogen removal from the oceans.
  • Nitrogen performs a positive role in fertilising algae at the bottom of the food chain, but can also have negative effects if there’s too much of it in the water.
  • One area – the Bay of Bengal – is at a tipping point which could impact on global fish stocks. At the moment, nitrogen fertilisers in the Bay of Bengal are running off farmland and over-fertilising algae. This in turn encourages bacteria, which capture oxygen. Slowly marine life in the area disappears.
  • But the Bay of Bengal is now on the verge of going one destructive stage more. The report says if oxygen levels decrease further as a result of run-off or increasing water temperatures, then the entire ocean basin may flip to a no-oxygen status.
  • In one of Nature’s paradoxes, this would then lead to different bacteria actually removing nitrogen from the water. The de-nitrified water would then be carried away by ocean currents, and greatly reduce ocean productivity elsewhere.
  1. “Indian Railways achieves a major landmark in the field of Eco friendly fuel technologies at Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuel (IROAF) which has been awarded the coveted National level “Golden Peacock Award for the Year 2017 for Eco-Innovation” for substitution of fossil fuels (Diesel) by environment friendly CNG…”

 

  1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for upgradation and widening of 65 kms of Imphal-Moreh Section of NH-39 in Manipur.
  • The SASEC Road Connectivity Investment Programwill improve road connectivity and efficiency of the international trade corridor, by expanding about 500km of roads in the North Bengal and Northeastern Region (NB-NER) of India.
  • The project area under SRCIP is a key strategic thoroughfare integrating South and South East Asia, bordering Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal.
  • It will enable efficient and safe transport within India and regionally with other South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) member countries.
  1. ‘NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’ is the first IT application to be launched on the RailCloud. It is the platform for resolution of service related grievances of serving and former railway employees.
  2. Bihu songs (bihu geet) are the most distinctive type of folk songs of Assam, both for their literary content and for their musical mode. Bihu songs are blessings for a happy new year and the dance is associated with an ancient fertility cult. It is Bihu time when an opportunity is there for marriageable young men and women to exchange their feelings and even to choose their partners.

 

  1. An area of 100 metres from the edge of the Ganga between Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and Unnao (UP)has been declared a ‘No Development Zone,’ with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday prohibiting dumping of waste within 500 metres of the river.”
  2. The Indian and Japanese governments recently (May, 2017) unveiled a vision document for the Asia Africa Growth Corridor, proposed by the two countries’ Prime Ministers last November.
  • Unlike China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project, about which India has raised several concerns, the Asia Africa Growth Corridor is conceived as a more open and inclusive programme that will be based on more consultations and keep people as the centre piece rather than just trade and economic ties.
  • The vision document proposes four key elements that leverage the strengths of India and Japan – enhancing capacity and skills; building quality infrastructure and connecting institutions; development and cooperation projects in health, farming, manufacturing and disaster management; and people-to-people partnerships

 

  1. European Union (EU) and India on Friday announced the establishment of an Investment Facilitation Mechanism (IFM) for EU investments in India.
  • “The mechanism will allow for a close coordination between the European Union and the Government of India with an aim to promote and facilitate EU investment in India,” an official statement said.
  • The IFM will cover new investors as well as those already established in India.
  1. The ‘Ganga Avahan’ was a pioneering and historic exploratory open-water swim expedition on the Ganga River
  2. Throughout the swim, the team campaigned extensively for Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, reaching out to the villagers, townsfolk, civic authorities and NGOs, managing to interact with tens of lakhs of people all along the route as they undertook their extraordinary and highly challenging odyssey.
  3. ‘Rail SAARTHI’ is, a mobile application of the Indian Railways (IR), is
  4.  ‘North Natuna Sea- Indonesia
  5. ‘Euratom’, Euratom regulates the nuclear industry across Europe, safeguarding the transport of nuclear materials, disposing of waste, and carrying out research. It was set up in 1957 alongside the European Economic Community (EEC), which eventually morphed into the EU. The 1957 treaty established a “nuclear common market” to enable the free movement of nuclear workers and materials between member states.
  • It is a separate legal entity from the EU, but is tied up with its laws and institutions, and subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). No country is a full member of Euratom without being a member of the EU.
  • When EU countries transport nuclear materials or trade them with other countries, Euratom sets the rules
  1. As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven”. These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC.
  • The High-level Political Forum (HLPF – Click HERE) comprising the political representatives (heads of states or ministers) of the members meets every July at the UN in New York to review progress on Agenda 2030.
  • Voluntary National Reviews (VNR – Click HERE), which are voluntary and country driven, form the basis of this review.
  1. Global Innovation Index- World Bank
  • India was described as a top destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in R&D, with our R&D market valued at US$ 22.3 billion in 2016. The domestic investment in R&D by Indian private sector, in contrast, remains minuscule as the government still accounts for 77% of all research spending in the country.
  1. Strategic Partnership Model released recently by the Ministry of Defence,
  • The Government will select only one strategic partner for manufacture of each category of defence equipment
  • To be eligible for a strategic partnership, the organisation must be an Indian company, owned and controlled by resident Indian citizens
  1. Microbeads is the term given to the little bits of plastic that are sometimes added to products for their abrasive properties.
  • Manufacturers use them because the beads can be made with uniform size and hardness.
  • As they’re so small, collectively microbeads have a huge surface area. This allows them to absorb large quantities of toxins and other pollutants. Once they’re out in the wild, microbeads can also be easily ingested by marine animals.
  • The pieces are small enough to pass through water filtration plants and therefore end up in lakes and rivers. They can even be found in Arctic sea-ice and on the ocean floor.
  • Countries such as the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands have already put in place regulations to stop the use of microbeads in personal-care products. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has recently classified the non-biodegradable microbeads as unsafe for use in consumer products
  1. The Institution of Permanent Way Engineers (India) is a technical body set up under the auspices of Railway Ministry for sharing knowledge and experience of various Railway Engineers connected with Permanent Way (Railway track), bridges and other structures.

 

March 17, 2018

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