Daily Current Affairs and MCQs for UPSC - September 11, 2020 (The Hindu, Economic Times, PIB)

First World Solar Technology Summit

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Context

  • The first World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS)was organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA), on 8th September 2020.
  • The ISA was jointly launched in November 2015 by India and France, on the side lines of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties 21 (CoP21) at Paris, France.

About ISA

  • The ISA is a treaty-based alliance of around 122 prospective solar-rich Member Nations situated fully or partially between the Tropics, and aims at accelerating development and deployment of solar energy globally.
  • As on 30 July 2020, 87 Countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA and of these 67 have deposited their instruments of ratification.
  • Most of these countries fall within Asia, Africa and South America.
  • The Alliance had already got the required number of ratification (by 15 countries) to become an international legal entity.
  • The 15 countries which have already submitted their instrument of ratification include India, France, Mauritius, Niger, Nauru, Tuvalu, Fiji, Somalia, Ghana, Mali, Seychelles, South Sudan, Bangladesh, Comoros and Guinea.

About the Objectives

  • There are three objectives behind the International Solar Alliance:
    • to force down prices by driving demand; 
    • to bring standardisation in solar technologies; and 
    • to foster research and development.

About the Highlights

  • Its Headquarters is in Indiawith its Interim Secretariat being setup in 
  • It is the India’s first international and treaty based inter-governmental organization to have headquarters in India with United Nations as Strategic Partner.
  • Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the ISA as “Partner Countries” and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights (it needs to be confirmed after this universalisation initiation).
  • United Nations including its organs can join the ISA as “Strategic Partners”. 
  • Partner Countries, Partner Organizations, Strategic Partners, and Observers may participate without having the right to vote.
  • The ISA has set a target of 1 TW (1,000 gigawatts) of solar energy by 2030 through mobilisation of more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments. 
  • Though there are no targets or legal obligations imposed on member-countries.

Source: PIB.

Chushul Sub-sector

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.


Context

  • Chushul sub-sector has come into focus in the Indo-China standoff following the movement that took place on the night of August 29-30, 2020.
  • The Chushul sub-sector lies south of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.
About Chushul sub-sector
  • It comprises high, broken mountains and heights besides passes such as Rezang La and Reqin La, the Spanggur Gap, and the Chushul valley.
  • It is situated at a height of over 13,000 feet close to the LAC.
  • The Chushul Valley has a vital airstrip that played an important role even during the 1962 War with China.
  • Chushul is one among the five Border Personnel Meeting points between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.
  • The recent brigade-level meetings between the two sides were held here.

About the strategic importance

  • Chushul enjoys tremendous strategic importance because of its location and terrain, which make it a centre for logistics deployment.
  • This sector has plains that are a couple of kilometres wide, where mechanised forces can be deployed.
  • Its airstrip and connectivity by road to Leh add to its operational advantages.
  • Indian troops have now secured the ridgeline in this sub-sector.
  • This will allow India to dominate the Chushul bowl on the Indian side, and Moldo sector on the Chinese side.
  • They have a clear sight of the almost 2-km-wide Spanggur gap, which the Chinese used in the past to launch attacks on this sector in the 1962 War.
  • India’s move has neutralised the advantage that China gained when it secured areas between Finger 4 and 8 on the bank of the Pangong Tso.

Source: Indian Express.

Get Started with UPSC Preparation

Current Affairs

Detailed Analysis

IAS Counselling

by Subject Experts

Free Material

for UPSC Preparation

India successfully flight tests indigenously-developed HSTDV

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.


Context

  • India successfully flight tested the indigenously-developed hypersonic technology demonstrator vehicle (HSTDV) that is expected to power futuristic long-range missile systems and aerial platforms.
  • The HSTDV, based on hypersonic propulsion technologies, has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated DRDO for successful flight of the Hypersonic Test Demonstration Vehicle.
  • In a tweet, Mr Modi said, the scramjet engine developed by DRDO scientists helped the flight achieve a speed 6 times the speed of sound.
  • He said, very few countries have such capability.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated the DRDO over the successful test flight of the HSTDV, calling it a "landmark achievement".

About the Vehicle

  • The HSTDV is an unmanned scramjet demonstration aircraft for hypersonic speed flight.
  • It is being developed as a carrier vehicle for hypersonic and long-range cruise missiles, and will have multiple civilian applications including the launching of small satellites at low cost.
  • The HSTDV program is run by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Source: PIB.

RBI selects 5 financial ratios, 26 sectors for loan restructuring

Focus: GS3.

Topic: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization of resources, growth, development and employment.


Context

  • The Reserve Bank on specified five financial ratios and sector-specific thresholds for resolution of COVID-19 related stressed assets in 26 sectors, including auto components, aviation, and tourism.
  • In order to ease the financial stress of cash-strapped businesses and individuals during the lockdown period, the Reserve Bank of India had provided a three-month moratorium for instalments of all term loans. 

Background

  • But with continuing economic stress especially of firms in the high-contact services sectors like aviation and hotel industry, the RBI has now allowed banks the option of restructuring loans of financially stressed firms. 
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had set up an expert committee under K.V. Kamath to suggest financial parameters for resolution of coronavirus-related stressed assets. The RBI has accepted Kamath panel’s recommendations.

About the Highlights

  • The panel recommended the sector-specific benchmark rangesfor each resolution plan for borrowers with an aggregate exposure of Rs 1,500 crore or above at the time of invocation.
  • The 26 sectors specified by the RBI include automobiles, power, tourism, cement, chemicals, gems and jewellery, logistics, mining, manufacturing, real estate, and shipping among others.
  • In case of those sectors where the sector-specific thresholds have not been specified, lending institutions should make their own internal assessments regarding total outside liabilities to adjusted tangible net worth and total debt to EBITDA ratios. 
  • However, the current ratio and debt service coverage ratio in all cases should be 1.0 and above and average debt service coverage ratio should be 1.2 and above.
  • Forensic audit may be required if the account happens to slip beyond the implementation period of 180 days to establish whether there was diversion of funds and identify malfeasance.
  • Signing of Inter Creditor Agreement is a mandatory requirement for all lending institutions in all cases involving multiple lending institutions, where the resolution process is invoked. 
  • Seeing the differential impact of the pandemic on various sectors, the lending institutions may, at their discretion, adopt a graded approach depending on the severity of the impact on the borrowers.

Source: Indian Express.

International Literacy Day 2020: Kerala most literate state in India, check rank-wise list

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Context

  • With 96.2 per cent literacy, Kerala has once again emerged as the most literate state in the country, while Andhra Pradesh featured at the bottom with a rate of 66.4 per cent, showed a report based on National Statistical Office (NSO) survey.
  • The report on ‘Household Social Consumption: Education in India as part of 75th round of National Sample Survey - from July 2017 to June 2018’ provides for state-wise detail of literacy rate among the persons aged seven years and above.
Background
  • According to the study, after Kerala, Delhi has the best literacy rate at 88.7 per cent, followed by Uttarkhand’s 87.6 per cent, Himachal Pradesh’s 86.6 per cent and Assam’s at 85.9 per cent.
  • On the other hand, Rajasthan is the second worst performer with literacy rate at 69.7 per cent, followed by Bihar at 70.9 per cent, Telangana at 72.8 per cent, Uttar Pradesh at 73 per cent and Madhya Pradesh at 73.7 per cent.
About the Highlights
  • The study has pegged the overall literacy rate in the country at about 77.7 per cent.
  • In rural areas, the literacy rate is 73.5 per cent compared to 87.7 per cent in urban areas of the country.
  • At all-India level, the male literacy rate is higher at 84.7 per cent compared to 70.3 per cent among women.
  • The survey showed that the male literacy rate is higher than female literacy rate among all states.
  • In Kerala, the male literacy rate is 97.4 per cent compared to 95.2 per cent among females.
  • Similarly, the male literacy rate in Delhi stood a 93.7 per cent higher than 82.4 per cent among females.
  • Even in the worst performing states, there was a considerable gap in male and female literacy rate.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, male literacy rate is 73.4 per cent, higher than 59.5 per cent among females (of the age of seven year or above).
  • In Rajasthan, the gap was even wider as male literacy rate stood at 80.8 per cent compared to 57.6 per cent of females.
  • In Bihar, the male literacy rate was also higher at 79.7 per cent compared to 60.5 per cent of females.
  • A sample of 64,519 rural households from 8,097 villages and 49,238 urban households from 6,188 blocks was surveyed all-over India.
  • The report also revealed that nearly 4 per cent of rural households and 23 per cent of urban household possessed computer.

Source: Indian Express.

British broadcaster David Attenborough gets Indira Gandhi Peace prize

Focus: GS2.

Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Context

  • Sir David Attenborough was conferred with the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019.
  • He is an English broadcaster and a historian.
  • He is popular for writing and presenting the BBC Natural History Unit. 
  • He worked to make aware to preserve and protect the biodiversity of the planet.

Highlights

  • The Indira Gandhi Peace Prize award is for peace, disarmament and development.
  • It has been named after the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • It is being conferred every year since 1986 by Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. 
  • It consists of a monetary award of Rs 25 lakhs. 
  • The award recognizes efforts of organizations and individuals working to create international economic order, ensure that scientific discoveries are used for lager goof to humanity and also to those who ensure scientific discoveries are used to enlarge the scope of freedom.

Source: PIB.

UNICEF to lead global procurement, supply of COVID vaccines

Focus: GS2.                                 

Topic: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.


Context

  • In what could possibly be the world's largest and fastest ever operation of its kind, the UNICEF will be leading the procurement and supply of coronavirus vaccines to ensure that all countries have safe, fast and equitable access to initial doses when they are available, it has said.
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is the world's largest single vaccine buyer, procuring more than 2 billion doses of various vaccines annually for routine immunisation and outbreak response on behalf of nearly 100 countries.

Background

  • With several vaccine candidates showing promise, the UNICEF, in collaboration with the Revolving Fund of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), will lead efforts to procure and supply doses of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility for 92 low and lower middle-income countries, whose vaccine purchases will be supported by the mechanism.
  • The UNICEF will also serve as procurement coordinator to support purchases by 80 higher-income economies, which have expressed their intent to participate in the COVAX Facility and would finance the vaccines from their own budgets, it said.

About the Highlights

  • The vaccine procurement and distribution effort, involving over 170 economies, has the potential to become the world's largest and fastest ever operation of its kind.
  • The UNICEF will undertake these efforts in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), PAHO, World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and other partners.
  • The COVAX Facility is open to all countries to ensure that no country is left without access to a future COVID-19 vaccine.
  • About 28 manufacturers have shared their annual production plans for COVID-19 vaccines -- through 2023 -- with UNICEF, which said in a market assessment that the drug makers were willing to collectively produce "unprecedented quantities" of vaccines over the coming 1-2 years.

Source: PIB.

***********************************************************

Test your Knowledge

  1. Consider the following statements wrt ‘Y-plus’ security cover:
  1. The highest level of security cover is the Z-plus category, followed by Z, Y, and X categories.
  2. Kangana is the 61st VIP and possibly the first actor to be protected by CRPF under Z-plus category.
  3. Among the 60 existing CRPF protectees, 38 are politicians and 22 from a non-political background.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

      A. 1 and 2 only
      B. 2 and 3 only
      C. 1 and 3 only
      D. AOTA

Solution: C

2. Consider the following:

  • Kangana is the 61st VIP and possibly the first actor to be protected by CRPF under Y-plus category.

    The International Solar Alliance has its headquarters is in:

          A. Delhi
          B. Bengaluru
          C. Gurugram
          D. Jaipur

    Solution: C

      Talk to us for

      UPSC preparation support!














    Options

    Do you want to become an IAS officer like Saumya Sharma?
    Study Online at  Neostencil Logo

    Your Exam segments is being saved. Please wait....

    Select Exam(s) you are interested in

    IAS IES/GATE IIT-JEE NEET STATE PSC CSIR UGC NET OTHERS
    please enter valid OTP