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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Jul 26, 2021

Current Affair 1:
World’s first space sustainability rating launched

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The world’s first Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) has been developed to reduce space debris and ensure that rapidly increasing space missions launched worldwide are managed safely and sustainably.

The SSR concept was developed by the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies.

By voluntarily taking part in the new SSR system, spacecraft operators, launch service providers and satellite manufacturers will be able to secure one of four levels of certification which they can share externally to show their mission’s level of sustainability. This will increase transparency and approach to debris mitigation, without disclosing mission-sensitive or proprietary information.

Why?

With more satellites being launched each year, the risk of accidents and the creation of more debris continues to rise. This has created the need for a global system to foster the long-term sustainability of the space environment.

 

Current Affair 2:
Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.

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India has scored 90.32% in United Nation’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific's (UNESCAP) latest Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation. The Survey hails this as a remarkable jump from 78.49% in 2019.

After evaluation of 143 economies, the 2021 Survey has highlighted India's significant improvement in the scores on all 5 key indicators, as follows:

  • Transparency:100% in 2021 (from 93.33% in 2019)
  • Formalities: 95.83% in 2021 (from 87.5% in 2019)
  • Institutional Arrangement and Cooperation: 88.89% in 2021 (from 66.67% in 2019)
  • Paperless Trade: 96.3% in 2021 (from 81.48% in 2019)
  • Cross-Border Paperless Trade: 66.67% in 2021 (from 55.56% in 2019)

The Survey notes that India is the best performing country when compared to South and South West Asia region (63.12%) and Asia Pacific region (65.85%).

The overall score of India has also been found to be greater than many OECD countries including France, UK, Canada, Norway, Finland etc. and the overall score is greater than the average score of EU. India has achieved a 100% score for the Transparency index and 66% in the “Women in trade” component.

About the Survey:

The Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation is conducted every two years by UNESCAP. The 2021 Survey includes an assessment of 58 trade facilitation measures covered by the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. The Survey is keenly awaited globally as it evidences whether or not the trade facilitation measures being taken have the desired impact and helps draw comparison amongst countries. A higher score for a country also helps businesses in their investment decisions.

Current Affair 3:
What is the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework?

 

The 2011-2020 Aichi Plan failed to achieve a single biodiversity target. Over the past two years, scientists, experts and government officials have been working on a framework to be adopted in Kunming China at the UN CBD COP15 that will set targets on how we manage nature through to 2030. While the targets, like Paris Agreement, are not binding for businesses – they signal the government ambition and prioritization of activities to fight the crisis of biodiversity loss.

The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released the first draft of a new global biodiversity framework, to guide actions worldwide through 2030, to preserve and protect nature and its essential services to people.
 

 

 

 

The Framework comprises 21 targets and 10 ‘milestones’ proposed for 2030, en route to ‘living in harmony with nature’ by 2050. Few targets are:

The framework’s theory of change acknowledges that its implementation will require the engagement of actors beyond governments to include, among others:
 

 

Current Affair 4:
Government launches six tech innovation platforms to enable globally competent manufacturing

 

On July 02, 2021, the Government of India announced the launch of six technology innovation platforms to boost the domestic manufacturing sector and develop innovative, indigenous technologies to put India at par with the global counterparts.

The six platforms launched are as follows:

  1. ASPIRE (Automotive Solutions Portal for Industry Research & Education): Developed by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT)
  2. SanRachna: Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)
  3. TechNovuus: Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)
  4. HMT TechPort: Hindustan Machine Tools Limited (HMT)
  5. KITE (Knowledge Integration for Technology Enrichment): IIT-Madras
  6. DRISHTI (Design, Research and Innovation by Harvesting Science and Technology for Industries):  Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI)

Objective

These platforms are likely to aid in converging India's technical resources on one platform and serving as a common point for varied industries to kickstart and expedite discovery and crowdsourcing of technological challenges faced by them.

Platforms

Following are the six technology innovation platforms developed under the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI), Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises:

ASPIRE – ICAT (Automotive Solutions Portal for Industry Research & Education)

The programme is for enhancing technological capabilities of the Indian automotive sector by sharing knowledge and experience and making the industry self-reliant.

SanRachna – BHEL

BHEL, a Government of India undertaking and an engineering & manufacturing company, has rolled out a technology innovation platform—SanRachna. It is an open technology platform developed to identify inadequacies in the current technologies used in India.

TechNovuus – ARAI

ARAI, a renowned automotive R&D organisation under the Government of India, built a platform—TechNovuus—for cross-domain collaboration. The platform will provide a medium to intellectuals to contribute their knowledge on development of new technologies and innovations and shape the future of mobility.

HMT TechPort

HMT, a Government of India undertaking and a machine tools manufacturing company, introduced a technology innovation platform—HMT TechPort. The platform has been created to boost the machine tools industry by aggregating technology and innovation ideas through collaborative approaches.

KITE - IIT-Madras (Knowledge Integration for Technology Enrichment)

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Development Centre (AMTDC) at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, launched a manufacturing technology eco-platform—KITE. The platform will focus on enhancement and implementation of smart manufacturing, digital manufacturing, Indigenous manufacturing and process and discrete manufacturing in the manufacturing sector. 

DRISHTI – CMTI (Design, Research and Innovation by Harvesting Science and Technology for Industries)

The Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI), Bengaluru, developed an online platform—DRISHTI, which brings together innovators and manufacturing companies to address complicated problems.

 

Current Affair 5:
Rajya Sabha Elections

 

Each state has a fixed number of RS seats and 1/3rd of them come up for election every 2 years.

Article 80 of the constitution stipulates the maximum size of the house. The number of elected RS members from the States & UTs cannot be more than 238. Apart from the elected members, 12 members can be nominated by the President of India. Currently there are 233 elected members and 12 nominated members.

The system of election of members to the Rajya Sabha is by proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote (STV). The STV system is similar to the one followed in the election to the President of India and members of the legislative council in states. The vote is transferred from one candidate to another in any of the two situations mentioned below.

  • When a candidate obtains more than what is required for his success and therefore has an unnecessary surplus
  • When a candidate polls so few votes that he has absolutely no chance and therefore the votes nominating him are liable to be wasted

The Quota

The minimum number of valid votes required for a candidate to be declared elected is called the quota. The quota calculation depends on the number of seats to be filled.

Scenario 1:

At an election where only one seat is to be filled, every ballot paper is deemed to be of the value of one and the quota is calculated by adding the values credited to all the candidates and dividing the total by two and adding one to the quotient, ignoring the remainder, if any, and the resulting number is the quota. It has to be:

Scenario 2:

At an election where more than one seat is to be filled, every ballot paper is deemed to be of the value of 100 and the quota is determined by adding the values credited to all the candidates and dividing the total by a number which exceeds by one the number of vacancies to be filled and adding one to the quotient ignoring the remainder, if any, and the resulting number is the quota.

For instance, if 3 candidates are to be elected and the total number of voters who participated in the poll is 176, the quota is

If none of the candidates get the required quota of first preference votes, then a process of vote transfer takes place, successively eliminating those who get the least number of first preferential votes.

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