Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Nov 05, 2020

Current Affair 1:
UNESCO declares Panna Tiger Reserve a Biosphere Reserve

UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme recently declares Panna Tiger Reserve a Biosphere Reserve. Biosphere Reserves are special regions around the world that have been recognized by  the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as examples of places where people are trying to live in harmony with their environment.

They are places that provide local solutions to global challenges. Biosphere reserves include terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems.

Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located.

What are the benefits of Biosphere Reserve?

  1. Increases national and international recognition of our communities as a good place to live, work and visit.
  2. Our high profile as a tourist destination will increase.
  3. Promotes economic development in a sustainable way.
  4. Gives government and non-government organizations more power (leverage) to request funding and implement pilot projects for rural and economic development and other areas of interest.
  5. Helps to assure the ecological and economic sustainability of our region.
  6. Provides additional support to the many groups already working hard to preserve this unique ecosystem
  7. Helps First Nations to better address cultural, social and development issues for their people.
  8. Encourages increased infrastructure for research, monitoring, educational activities.
  9. Gains access to information, expertise and support through national and international networks.

What is MAB programme?

The MAB programme is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for enhancing the relationship between people and their environments. It combines the natural and social sciences with a view to improving human livelihoods and safeguarding natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable.

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves currently counts 701 sites in 124 countries all over the world, including 21 transboundary sites.

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves of the MAB Programme consists of a dynamic and interactive network of sites of excellence. It fosters the harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development through participatory dialogue; knowledge sharing; poverty reduction and human well-being improvements; respect for cultural values and society’s ability to cope with change - thus contributing to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Now, List of Biosphere in India:

  1. 18 Biosphere Reserves in the Country
  2. 11 Internationally Recognized BRs.

There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in the country.

India has 11 internationally (12 after adding Panna) recognised BRs. They are as follows.

About Panna Biosphere Reserve:

Panna Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh is finally enlisted in UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme. This is the third biosphere in State following Pachmarhi and Amarkantak, the first two. Panna was notified as biosphere reserve by Ministry of Environment and Forest in the Year 2011.

UNESCO describe Panna as:

Current Affair 2:
Translocation of Corals

Source Link

The Union environment ministry has listed six conditions for Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to comply with while giving it the final go-ahead for translocating two coral patches along the coastal road alignment.

The conditions include the translocation must be carried out in presence of the forest department officials, and an expert from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, or any marine expert from a national institute.

The National Institute of Oceanography will carry out the translocation of 18 coral colonies from the coast of Mumbai for the Mumbai Coastal Road Project.

Corals are marine beings and are protected under schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The translocation of these species, therefore, mandates a clearance from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF). The BMC had applied for the shifting of 18 coral colonies across Worli and Haji Ali on September 3 for reclamation of the region for laying roads.

Importance of Corals:

Coral reefs are among the earth’s most biologically diverse ecosystems. Activists believe it is not easy to uproot such ecosystems and expect them to adapt and survive.  According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, coral reefs are among the most threatened ecosystems on Earth, largely because of warming and climate change.

Coral Reefs- India

The major reef formations in India are restricted to the Gulf of Mannar, Palk bay, Gulf of Kutch, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Lakshadweep islands. While the Lakshadweep reefs are atolls, the others are all fringing reefs. Patchy coral is present in the inter-tidal areas of the central west coast of the country.


Current Affair 3:
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Source Link

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960.

OPEC's objective is to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.

Currently, there are 13 memebers:

The OPEC Secretariat is the executive organ of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Located in Vienna, it also functions as the Headquarters of the Organization, in accordance with the provisions of the OPEC Statute.

According to current estimates, 79.4% of the world's proven oil reserves are located in OPEC Member Countries, with the bulk of OPEC oil reserves in the Middle East, amounting to 64.5% of the OPEC total.

The Statute stipulates that “any country with a substantial net export of crude petroleum, which has fundamentally similar interests to those of Member Countries, may become a Full Member of the Organization, if accepted by a majority of three-fourths of Full Members, including the concurring votes of all Founder Members.”

Indian Oil and Gas Industry

Oil and gas sector is among the eight core industries in India and plays a major role in influencing decision making for all the other important sections of the economy.

It has allowed 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in many segments of the sector, including natural gas, petroleum products and refineries among others. India has been the fourth-largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) importer since 2011 after Japan, South Korea, and China.

Market Size: It is fulll of data. Just see once.

  1. India is expected to be one of the largest contributors to non-OECD petroleum consumption growth globally.
  2. Crude Oil import rose sharply to US$ 101.4 billion in 2019–20 from US$ 70.72 billion in 2016–17.
  3. India retained its spot as the third largest consumer of oil in the world in 2019 with consumption of 5.16 million barrels per day (mbpd) of oil in 2019 compared to 4.56 mbpd in 2016.
  4. As of August 01, 2020, India’s oil refining capacity stood at 249.9 million metric tonnes (MMT), making it the second-largest refiner in Asia. Private companies own about 35.29% of the total refining capacity in FY20.
  5. In FY20, crude oil production in India stood at 30.5 MMT. In FY20, crude oil import increased to 4.54 mbpd from 4.53 mbpd in FY19.
  6. Natural Gas consumption is forecast to reach 143.08 million tonnes (MT) by 2040. India’s LNG import stood at 33.68 bcm during FY20.
  7. India’s consumption of petroleum products grew 4.5% to 213.69 MMT during FY20 from 213.22 MMT in FY19. The total value of petroleum products exported from the country increased to US$ 35.8 billion in FY20 from US$ 34.9 billion in FY19.
  8. Export of petroleum products from India increased from 60.54 MMT in FY16 to 65.7 MMT in FY20.
  9. Gas pipeline infrastructure in the country stood at 16,324 kms as of August 01, 2020.

Government Initiatives. Some of the major initiatives taken by the Government of India to promote oil and gas sector are:

  1. As per Union Budget 2019–20, Indian Scheme ‘Kayakave Kailasa’, the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has enabled SC/ST entrepreneurs in providing bulk LPG transportation.
  2. State run energy firms, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and Indian Oil Corporation, plan to spend US$ 20 billion on refinery expansions to add units by 2022.
  3. The Government is planning to set up around 5,000 compressed biogas (CBG) plants by 2023.
  4. The Government is planning to invest US$ 2.86 billion in the upstream oil and gas production to double natural gas production to 60 bcm and drill more than 120 exploration wells by 2022.
  5. Government of India is planning to invest Rs 70,000 crore (US$ 9.97 billion) to expand the gas pipeline network across the country.
  6. A gas exchange is planned in order to bring market-driven pricing in the energy market of India and the proposal for the same is ready to be taken to the Union Cabinet.
  7. The Oil Ministry plans to set up bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) plants and allied infrastructure at a cost of Rs 7,000 crore (US$ 1.10 billion) to promote the use of clean fuel.


Iraq remains a top suppiler od crude oil to india.








Imports (crude Oils) in metric tonnes







Now, it will be enough. All data above has been taken from Government website.

Current Affair 4:
Fast Radio Bursts (FRB)


Astronomers spot first fast radio burst in the Milky Way. Intense pulses of radio waves known as fast radio bursts (FRB) that have been frequently detected in other galaxies, have now been found in the Milky Way.

FRBs are incredibly powerful pulses of energy from halfway across the universe. Their sources, whatever they are, release as much energy in a millisecond as our Sun does in 80 years.

What is unique about FRBs?

FRBs are typically recorded as incidental bursts among many sources of radio-wave emissions. Some FRBs repeat at certain intervals while others ‘appear’ just once, never to be seen again. But in spite of the tremendous outbursts that they are, FRBs are extremely difficult to identify simply because they last for a few milliseconds at a time. So even the most advanced radio telescopes – with their relatively narrow fields of observation – more often than not fail to identify these blink-and-you-miss cosmological phenomena.

But recently, astronomers reported an unprecedented discovery that throws new light on the nature and origins of FRBs. Specifically, they have reported the first ever FRB originating from within the Milky Way.

What is difference beterrn FRBs detected now and then?

All FRBs that we have detected thus far have been extra-galactic (outside Milkiway) in origin, with the radiation coming to us from faraway galaxies. But last April, the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) and the Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE 2) in the US both zeroed in on the source of an FRB originating in our galactic backyard.


The latest studies, published in a recent edition of the journal Nature have now confirmed that FRBs are in fact generated by a rare type of neutron star known as a ‘magnetar’. Magnetars are the most powerful magnets in the cosmos. Their magnetic fields are 5,000 trillion times more powerful than that of the Earth.

A star that eventually becomes a magnetar begins its journey like any others – by fusing hydrogen fuel to produce energy for billions of years. These fusion reactions keep the star from collapsing under the weight of its own gravity. But at some point, it runs out of hydrogen and begins to enter its terminal phase.

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