News:According to the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR),there would be a 24% increase in the expansion of the Amery Ice Shelf (AIS) boundaries in Antarctica by 2021 from its 2016 positions.
- The Amery Ice Shelf(AIS) is one of the largest glacier drainage basins in the world located on the east coast of Antarctica.
- Significance: It’s dynamics and mass balance help in understanding the changes in the global climate scenario.
- Iceberg D28: It was part of the Amery ice shelf which broke away in the year 2019.
News: Fusarium Wilt TR4 dubbed as Banana Covid is setting up new hotspots and threatening the output of Banana Cultivation in India.
- Tropical Race 4(TR4): It is a novel fungus strain that causes Fusarium wilt (aka Panama disease) in banana plants.
- Origin: It was first identified in Taiwan and has jumped from Asia to the Middle East and Africa reaching as far as Latin America.
- Threat: It cripples plantations by first attacking the leaves which turn yellow from their trailing edges before wilting away.
- Treatment: There is no effective remedy yet.Hence, scientists recommend biosecurity measures including plant quarantine to slow its spread.
News:The United States has joined the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence(AI).
- The Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence is a G7 countries Partnership initiated by France and Canada.
- Aim: To study and provide recommendations on the responsible adoption of AI based on shared principles of human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation and economic growth.
- G7: Group of Seven is an informal bloc of seven countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—that meets annually to discuss issues such as global economic governance, international security and energy policy.
- Artificial Intelligence: It refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem-solving and decision making. (NITI Aayog).
News: World Health Organization(WHO), 37 countries and multiple international partners and institutions have launched COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) initiative.
- Aim: To make vaccines, tests, treatments and other health technologies to fight COVID-19 accessible to all.
- Under this, WHO and partner countries have issued a Solidarity Call to Action to the global community to voluntarily share COVID-19 health technology related knowledge, intellectual property and data.
- It will also serve as a sister initiative to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator.
- Access to COVID-19 Tools(ACT) Accelerator: It is a Global Collaboration led by WHO to speed up the development, production of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines and ensure equal access to treatments for rich and poor.
News:According to the data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), foreign direct investment(FDI) in India grew by 13% to a record of USD 49.97 billion in the 2019-20 financial year.
- FDI: It includes automatic route, acquisition route and government route. It has risen 13% to $49.97 billion in FY 2019-20 from $44.36 billion a year earlier.
- Total FDI: It includes automatic route, acquisition route, government route, reinvested earnings and other capital.It has doubled to $73.45 billion in 2019-20 from $36.04 billion in 2013-14.
- Sectors that attracted the most foreign inflows during includes services, computer software and hardware, telecommunications, trading and automobiles.
- Singapore emerged as the largest source of FDI in India followed by Mauritius.
- Maharashtra has garnered the highest share of FDI followed by Karnataka and Delhi.
News: Ministry of Tribal Affairs has announced inclusion of 23 additional Minor Forest Produce (MFP) items in Minimum Support Price (MSP) list.
MSP FOR MFP Scheme:
- Launched in 2013 by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
- Objective: To provide fair and remunerative price to MFP gatherers for the produce collected by them and to ensure sustainable harvesting of MFP.
- Nodal Agency: Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED)
- Minor Forest Produce(MFP): The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act,2006 defines minor forest produce as all non-timber forest produce of plant origin.It includes bamboo, brushwood, stumps, canes, cocoon, honey, waxes, Lac, tendu leaves, medicinal plants, roots among others.
- Minimum Support Price(MSP):It is the minimum price at which the government buys produce from farmers and tribals.
- TRIFED: It was established in 1987 to provide a good price to the products made or collected from the forest by the tribal people.It functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Tribal affairs.