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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Nov 06, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Noise Pollution in India.

We are too busy in air and water pollution; we forget that there also exists Noise Pollution. Severe noise can result in severe health issues among people such as noise induced hearing impairment, high blood pressure, heart disease, stress, and sleep disturbances, to name a few. In addition to this, noise pollution adversely affects the wildlife.

For instance, elephants make use of seismic and infrasound signals using their feet and trunk for communication. Sound disturbances from humans hinder their communication. Hence noise pollution poses a risk to both humans as well as animals.

So, first you tell me do we have any regulations aimed at stipulating noise limits and controlling noise above the set standards? Yes, we have.

Laws

  1. Earlier, noise pollution and its sources were addressed under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  2. They are now, however, regulated separately under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
  3. Additionally, noise standards for motor vehicles, air-conditioners, refrigerators, diesel generators and certain types of construction equipment are prescribed under the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.
  4. Noise emanating from industry is regulated by State Pollution Control Boards / Pollution Control Committees (SPCBs / PCCs) for states / Union territories under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Few points from the above Rules:

  1. The noise levels in any area / zone shall not exceed the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise as specified in the Schedule.
  2. A loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the authority.
  3. The violators will have to pay hefty fines.

In spite of strict rules, it does not get as much attention as say air pollution and water pollution probably because its effects are not often immediately visible, and humans, especially in cities have gotten used to it loud noises.

What is the rule on the use of Loudspeakers? In the same rules, it has mentioned about Loudspeakers. The important among these rules are the following

  1. A loudspeaker cannot be used without written permission from the authority designated by the government and cannot be used at nighttime (between 10pm and 6am)
  2. The government can permit the use of loudspeakers between 10pm and 12am midnight during any religious or festive occasion only for a limited duration of up to 15 days in each calendar year.
  3. It also mandates that the state as a whole would be considered as a unit and the respective state government has to specify the 15 days in advance when this exemption would apply.
  4. Even when loudspeakers are used after obtaining permission, the noise standards as specified in the rules have to be followed.

What is noise level?

  1. Any unwanted sound that causes annoyance, irritation and pain to the human ear is termed noise. It is measured in A-weighted decibels (dB (A)) that indicate the loudness of the sound.
  2. Noise level refers to the decibel levels of noise produced by any appliance or machine. In general, the human ear can tolerate noise levels up to 85 dB. Anything beyond that can affect their productivity and quality of life.
  3. The decibel levels of common sounds above 80 dB are considered ‘loud’, while the decibel levels of common sounds between 100-125 dB are termed ‘uncomfortable’.
  4. All machines operating in an area should produce noise within the acceptable level to maintain the well-being of people around.

Earlier in June 2020, the Central Pollution Control Board proposed hefty fines in a report filed with the National Green Tribunal. Under these new rules, violation in norms over loudspeaker usage or public address systems may attract a fine of Rs. 10,000 and confiscation of the equipment used. Flouting the norms while using diesel generators can attract fine between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 1 Lakh. Despite the existence of all these rules, the on-ground implementation still leaves a lot to be desired.

Current Affair 2:
Tension between India and China has not impacted the Trade

Tensions between India & China have only increased during the current financial year of 2020-21 because of the border standoff and even COVID-19. Amid tensions, there are calls for banning of Chinese products among the general public.

But what are the recent trends in trade with China? Is there any visible shift in the overall trends? Are there any changes in the trade of specific goods? We will try to find out by comparing with the trade data for the first four months of 2020-21 and comparing it with the same period in 2019-20.

  1. China holds the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) with India facilitating smoother trade between the two countries. In a reply in Lo Sabha, the Minister replied there is no such proposal to remove MFN status.

  1. Share of ‘Trade with China’ increased in the first four months of 2020-21. The total trade with China during the first four months of 2020-21 is USD 23.88 billion compared to that of USD 29.03 billion in 2019-20.
  2. The increase in the share of trade with China to an extent can be attributed to the fact that most of India’s trading partners were also going through lockdown phases due to COVID-19 and China was one of the few countries that was opening up during this period.
  3. While the value of India’s overall exports fell to USD 75 billion during the first four months of 2020-21 compared to USD 107.2 billion during the same period in 2019-20, the value of exports to China has increased.
  4. During the first four months of 2020-21, the value of exports to China was USD 7.3 billion compared to USD 5.6 billion during the same period in 2019-20. This means that the share of exports to China out of India’s total exports increased from 5.2% in this period for 2019-20 to 9.7% in 2020-21.
  5. In the case of imports, there is a fall in value of imports from China which is in line with the trend in overall imports.  However, the share of imports from China has increased in the first four months of 2020-21 compared to the same period in 2019-20.
  6. Few of the major import commodities from China include – Electronics Components, Telecom Instruments, Industrial Machinery, Chemicals etc.
  7. Further, the share of export to China for Iron and Steel was around 5% during the first four months of 2019-20 which increased substantially to 36% of the total exports during the first four months of 2020-21, the current financial year. A similar large-scale increase is observed in the export of Plastic materials to China.

This you can use mainly in Mains or essay writing. It is very clear that no matter how intense tension between nations is, stopping trade is dangerous. Here we simply shout, we should ban all Chinese goods, imports from china, but as you seen above, trade is very important between two nations. It brings wealth and prosperity.

We have used all data in this explanation from here.

Current Affair 3:
PSLV successfully launches EOS-01

Source Link

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its fifty first flight (PSLV-C49), successfully launched EOS-01 along with nine international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota on November 07, 2020. PSLV-C49 is the 2nd flight of PSLV in 'DL' configuration (with 2 solid strap-on motors). Which was first one?

Microsat-R, an imaging satellite was successfully injected into intended orbit of 274 km by PSLV-C44 on January 24, 2019.

What is EOS-01?

EOS-01 is an earth observation satellite, intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support.

The nine customer satellites from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and USA (4) were launched under a commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited (NSIL).

Current Affair 4:
500m high coral reef discovered in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

Source Link

Australian scientists have recently discovered a massive detached coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef, and this is the first to have been discovered in the region in 120 years.

Great Barrier Reef: What we know about the new reef

The reef is a blade-like structure, with its base as wide as 1.5 km. It vertically rises 500m, and the top of the reef is a mere 40m below the surface of the sea. The reef has joined seven other tall, detached reefs present in the region. These other reefs have been mapped since the late 19th century, including Raine Island reef, which forms the most important area in the world for green sea turtle nesting.

Watch this small video. Click here to watch.

Current Affair 5:
Chief Information Commissioner

The President of India has appointed Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha as the Chief Information Commissioner. The appointment is with effect from the forenoon

We will learn about Central Information Commission.

The Central Information Commission has been constituted with effect from 12-10-2005 under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.

Is the decision of this Commission binding?

Yes, it is binding under section 19 (7) of the Act.

Are there any public authorities exempt from providing information?

Yes, intelligence and security organizations specified in the Second Schedule to the Act are exempt from furnishing information under the Act.  However, this exemption does not apply if the requested information pertains to the allegations of corruption and human rights violation.

Also, see:

What is “right to information’’?

“Right to information” means the right to information accessible under the Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to---

  1. inspection of work, documents, records
  2. taking notes, extracts, or certified copies of documents or records
  3. taking certified samples of material
  4. Obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.

What type of information may be obtained under the RTI Act?

The type of information which may be obtained is defined under section 2 (f) of the Act as any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, log books,   contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force.

Who can seek information under the Right to Information Act, 2005?

As per section 3 of the RTI Act any Indian citizen can seek information under the Act.

How is an application for seeking information to be made?

As per section 6 (1) of the RTI Act a request may be made in writing to the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of this Commission. It may also be filed online.

Powers of the Commission:

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