Factly articles for 30th May 2020

8 min read

1.Major Impact on climate due to extension of Amery Ice Shelf, NCPOR study says

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.

Facts:

  • 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.

Additional Facts:

  • Iceberg D28: It was part of the Amery ice shelf which broke away in the year 2019.

2.Now, ‘Banana Covid’ hits plantations

News: Fusarium Wilt TR4 dubbed as Banana Covid is setting up new hotspots and threatening the output of Banana Cultivation  in India.

Facts:

  • 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.

3.U.S. joins G7 artificial intelligence group to counter China

News:The United States has joined the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence(AI).

Facts:

  • 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.

Additional Facts:

  • 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).

4.WHO, 37 nations launch alliance to share tools to tackle Covid-19 pandemic

News: World Health Organization(WHO), 37 countries and multiple international partners and institutions have launched COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) initiative.

Facts:

  • 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.

Additional Facts:

  • 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.

5.India records highest ever FDI equity inflow in FY21

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.

Facts:

  • 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.

6.Tribal Affairs Ministry announces inclusion of 23 additional Minor Forest produce items in Minimum Support Price List

News: Ministry of Tribal Affairs has announced inclusion of 23 additional Minor Forest Produce (MFP) items in Minimum Support Price (MSP) list.

Facts:

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)

Additional Facts:

  • 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.