News: The First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly has adopted two resolutions sponsored by India on nuclear disarmament titled
‘Reducing Nuclear Danger’ and ‘Convention on Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons’.
- Convention on Prohibition of the Use of Nuclear Weapons: The resolution was tabled by India since 1982.It requests the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva to commence negotiations on an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.
- The aim behind it is that the legally and universally binding agreement will generate the necessary political will globally that will lead to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Reducing Nuclear Danger: The resolution was tabled by India since 1998.It draws global attention to the risks of unintentional or accidental use of nuclear weapons and underscores the need for a review of nuclear doctrines.It calls for concrete steps to reduce such risks including through de-alerting and de-targeting of nuclear weapons.
- United Nations General Assembly First Committee (also known as the Disarmament and International Security Committee) is one of six main committees at the General Assembly of the United Nations.It deals with disarmament and international security matters.
- Conference on Disarmament(CD): It is a multilateral disarmament forum established in 1979 by the international community to negotiate arms control and disarmament agreements.It meets annually in three separate sessions in Geneva,Switzerland.
News: Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA) has approved an investment of Rs 1,810 crore for the Luhri Stage-1 Hydro Electric Project.
- Luhri Stage-1 Hydro Electric Project: It is a 210 MW project being developed on the Satluj river in Shimla and Kullu districts of Himachal Pradesh.
- Executed by: The project is being executed by the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd.
- Sutlej River: It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River.It is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroads region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan.
- Dam: The Bhakra dam is built around the river Sutlej to provide irrigation and other facilities to the nearby areas.
- Significance: The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan and are mostly diverted to irrigation canals in India.
News: Six women led startups have won COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge.
- COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge: It was organized by MyGov in collaboration with UN Women.
- Objective: To encourage and involve women led startups to come up with innovative solutions that can help in the fight against COVID19 or solve problems that impact a large number of women.
- MyGov: It is an innovative platform launched in 2014 by Government of India to build a partnership between Citizens and Government with the help of technology for growth and development of India.
- UN Women: It was established in 2010.It is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
News: According to the World Meteorological Organization(WMO), the La Niña weather phenomenon is back in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean after nearly a decade’s absence.
- La Niña: It means the large-scale cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean together with changes in the tropical atmospheric circulation namely winds, pressure and rainfall.
- It has the opposite impacts on weather and climate as El Niño which is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation(ENSO).
Weather Changes in Asia and Africa due to La-Nina:
- In India, La Niña means the country will receive more rainfall than normal leading to floods.
- The Horn of Africa and central Asia will see below average rainfall due to La Niña.
- East Africa is forecast to see drier-than-usual conditions which together with the existing impacts of the desert locust invasion may add to regional food insecurity.
- La Niña could also lead to increased rainfall in southern Africa.
- La Niña could also affect the South West Indian Ocean Tropical Cyclone season reducing the intensity.
- Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands and the northern region of South America are expected to receive above-average rainfall.
News: The Prime Minister will chair the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable (VGIR).
- Organized by: Ministry of Finance and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund(NIIF)
- What is it? It is an exclusive dialogue between leading global institutional investors, Indian business leaders and the highest decision makers from the Government of India and Financial Market Regulators.
- NIIF: It is India’s first infrastructure specific investment fund that was set up by the Government of India in 2015.
- Objective: To maximize economic impact mainly through infrastructure investment in commercially viable projects both Greenfield and Brownfield.
- Funds: NIIF currently manages three funds each with its distinctive investment mandate.The funds are registered as Alternative Investment Fund(AIF) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI).
News: Enhanced PINAKA rocket system has been successfully flight tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
- Pinaka Rocket System: It is a multiple rocket launcher developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army.
- Purpose: It is used for attacking the adversary targets prior to the close quarter battles which involve smaller range artillery, armoured elements and the infantry.
- Range: It is an advanced version of Pinaka Mk-1 and has a strike range of around 45-60km.
News: Wildlife Institute of India along with the Gujarat Forest Department has identified six new relocation sites apart from the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary under Project Lion.
- Project Lion: The programme has been launched by Government of India for conservation of the Asiatic Lion.It aims to focus on habitat development, engaging technologies in lion management, addressing the issues of disease in lions and will also be addressing the Human-Wildlife conflict.
- Why relocation of Lion? The motive behind finding a relocation site for the Asiatic Lion species is because the population in Gir has low genetic diversity making it vulnerable to threats from epidemics.
- What are the six new sites identified for relocation?
- Madhav National Park, Madhya Pradesh.
- Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan.
- Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan.
- Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh.
- Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajasthan.
- Jessore-Balaram Ambaji WLS and adjoining landscape,Gujarat.
- Aisatic Lion: They are confined to Gir National Park and its surrounding environments in Gujarat’s Saurashtra district.
- IUCN Status: Endangered
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule-I
- CITES: Appendix I
News: United States has formally exited the Paris Climate Agreement amid election uncertainty.
- Why has the United States left the Paris Agreement?
- According to the US, the agreement had imposed an unfair economic burden on the country and would lead to loss of jobs.
- The Agreement also gives China and other big polluters an unfair advantage over the US by allowing them to continue to increase emissions.
- Implications of the move: The US is the second leading producer of all carbon dioxide emissions globally, behind China.Hence, if it does not reduce its emissions, it could impact the objective of keeping the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times.
- Could the US rejoin the agreement? Yes, it could.Under the rules, all that is required is a month’s notice and the US can join the agreement.
- Can the US Still Attend Paris negotiations? The United States will be out of the Paris Agreement but by virtue of being a signatory to the UNFCCC can still attend negotiations and give opinions but is relegated to observer status.
- Paris agreement: It was adopted at the UNFCCC COP21 held in Paris in 2015.
- Aim: To strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and specifies long-term goals regarding global average temperatures, adaptation to climate change and finance flows
- Temperature: hold warming below 2°C above pre-industrial levels with effective efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C
- Adaptation: Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development
- Low Emission Finance flows: Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development
- Intended Nationally Determined Targets(INDCs):The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts to address climate change through INDC’s and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.