Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Dec 10, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Climate Change Performance Index

Source Link

India ranked high along with the European Union and the United Kingdom in the latest edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) released by non-profit Germanwatch December 7, 2020.

We will see this index in Brief:

The Climate Change Performance Index compares 57 countries and the EU (which are together responsible for more than 90% of GHG emissions) in the areas of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Renewable Energies, Energy Use and Climate Policy, thus providing a comprehensive overview of the current efforts and progress of the countries analyzed.

On the basis of standardized criteria, the CCPI currently evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 57 countries and of the European Union (EU), which are together responsible for more than 90% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The last country to be added was Chile for the CCPI 2020.

Besides, it measures how well countries are on track to meet the global goals of the Paris Agreement by evaluating the current status and future targets of each category with reference to a well-below 2°C pathway.

In the report it is mentioned that:

  1. No country was doing enough to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, according to the index.
  2. Six G20 countries were ranked among very low performers. The United States, with a rank of 61, was the worst performer.
  3. India, for the second time in a row, continued to remain in the top 10. The country scored 63.98 points out of 100.
  4. It received high ratings on all CCPI indicators (above four in image) except ‘renewable energy’, where it was categorized as having a ‘medium’ performance.
  5. Last year, India had been ranked at the ninth position, with an overall score of 66.02.
  6. Although India has one of the largest growth trends, per capita emissions stay at a comparatively low level, rated very high for their well-below 2°C compatibility.

Current Affair 2:
Blockchain Technology

A small definition on Blockchain technology

Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system.

A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. Each block in the chain contains a number of transactions, and every time a new transaction occurs on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to every participant’s ledger. The decentralized database managed by multiple participants is known as Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Blockchain is a type of DLT in which transactions are recorded with an immutable cryptographic signature called a hash.

Now, we will see BT with respect to India and its advantages and disadvantages.

A defining moment for BT in India was the judgment of the Supreme Court in Internet and Mobile Association of India v. RBI of 2018, which set aside the ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India ("RBI") on bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. A perusal of this judgment would show that the Court was mindful of various aspects including the fundamental rights of persons involved in dealing with bitcoins. The Court clearly held that while regulation of this trade would be within the domain of the RBI, banning of the same would be violative of fundamental rights.

The budget speech of the then Finance Minister finds reference in the judgment. He had said –

"The Government will take all measures to eliminate the use of crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities and will also explore the use of blockchain technology for ushering in digital economy."


Problems with Blockchain Technology.

  1. Firstly, blockchain transactions have no borders and hence, jurisdiction is a vexed issue. Where and how a dispute can be raised remains an unanswered question.
  2. Another important aspect of BT is the prescribing of standards. There are no globally acceptable standards, either governmental or non-governmental, for the purpose of creating BT applications. In the absence of standards, BT is also being used in the dark web for indulging in criminal activities, such as the sale of arms, drugs, terrorist activities, funding of terrorism etc.
  3. Blockchain technology depends upon public and private keys allotted to users and their interface with the hash function. What happens if a private key is misused or tampered with? Are there any legal remedies? One doesn't know.
  4. There is no central authority which monitors BT; however, recent adaptations of BT are being used by governmental authorities for verifying and authenticating ownership of moveable/immovable assets.

Importance of Blockchain:

There are various positive uses to which Blockchain Technology can be put. Each of us is aware of the number of times we have to submit our identification cards, education certificates and such related documents for even the smallest of functions such as opening of a bank account.

  1. The sheer manpower and time which is spent in submission, verification and authentication of such documents separately in each and every organisation can be completely eliminated by using BT.
  2. The submission of one identification should mean automatic authentication and verification of all data relating to the said individual. This can be achieved through BT without compromising privacy.
  3. Similarly, verification of banking transactions of an individual across multiple bank accounts could also be made easier with BT.
  4. E-commerce transactions, insurance, could all be meshed together. The power of mathematical applications in the collection, authentication, verification and use of large amounts of data can be realized with Blockchain Technology.
  5. BT can also have various applications in the legal field, especially in the streamlining and simplification of transactional work.
  6. Smart contracts, for instance, could be used to automate payment in transactions involving delivery of goods, upon satisfaction of certain conditions.
  7. Lawyers could also use BT to store confidential data instead of emailing sensitive personal data back and forth.
  8. Transactions conducted using BT may result in contractual disputes, consumer disputes or even disputes under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. There is no mechanism to deal with them at this point.

Related legislations regarding BT to come:

  1. The draft Banning of Cryptocurrency Bill, 2019 would be a legislation to watch out for. Use of blockchain technology for various purposes such as research, education etc., is legal as per the Bill. A digital rupee is also contemplated.
  2. There are other dimensions of blockchain technology which may be covered under the recent data protection legislation - Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, which is in the pipeline. The IT Act, 2000 defines 'data' and related terminologies. The susceptibility of hacking, tampering or misuse would fall in the domain of the IT Act, 2000.

Various countries around the world such as Japan and Australia have legalized bitcoins and other digital currencies. The path that India is to take is a question of policy. However, the positive implementations and applications of blockchain technology cannot be ignored and ought to be recognised and used.

Current Affair 3:
Kerala’s ‘pink phenomenon’ in water bodies.

Source Link


Avalapandi — a sleepy, remote agrarian village in Kerala’s Kozhikode district — is winning hearts and curiosity of tourists for a peculiar reason. The widespread growth of an aquatic plant has painted the water bodies pink, and hundreds have descended to the village in the middle of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to witness it.

The plant behind the ‘pink phenomenon’ is forked fanwort, which comes from the family of Red Cabomba. Cabomba is a submerged perennial aquatic plant that grows in stagnant to slow-flowing freshwater. It dominantly belongs to Central and South America.

But it is dangerous.

The plant will spread in the water bodies across the state, choking them as well as the drainage canals. It requires a huge amount of oxygen to grow and that could badly affect freshwater biodiversity. The water quality would also be affected. The researchers have declared it as invasive.

“Any biological species that are introduced outside their natural range and negatively impact the native biodiversity, ecosystem function, health and human welfare are called invasive alien species. They are the second-biggest cause for biodiversity loss, next to habitat destruction. Invasive alien species could reproduce rapidly and out-compete the native species for food, water and space.”


The team is now preparing a detailed action plan that would be submitted to the Kozhikode district administration to remove the invasive plant.

Not the first time

The first known information on Cabomba in Kerala became available in 1952. Later, in 1965 and 1966, embryological studies were carried out at the University of Madras, Chennai. A decade later, in 1977, Cabomba was first authentically reported from the environs of Cochin.

Current Affair 4:
Partners in Population and Development Initiative (PPD)

Source Link

Recently, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has digitally addressed the Inter-Ministerial Conference by Partners in Population and Development (PPD).

Partners in Population and Development Initiative

Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is an Inter-governmental Alliance of 27 developing countries with a mission to expand and improve South-South collaboration in the fields of family planning and reproductive health, population and development through the governments, NGOs and private sector organizations. I

t was created at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994.


PPD Members are developing countries committed to the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action, willing to provide political, technical and financial support to South-South Cooperation. We are bother whether India is a member or not.

The Secretariat of PPD is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Inter-Ministerial Conference by PPD

It was jointly organised by PPD, National Health Commission of China (NHC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).


Advocate and ensure political support and investment to address the effects of Covid-19 pandemic in the achievement of the Three Zeros by 2030, finalized under the Nairobi Summit 2019.

Three Zeros by 2030: Pledges were announced to achieve zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

India appreciated the efforts of PPD in promoting cooperation in key areas of reproductive health, population and development.

Current Affair 5:
Cattle, buffalo meat residue found in Indus Valley vessels

Source Link


A new study has found the presence of animal products, including cattle and buffalo meat, in ceramic vessels dating back about 4,600 years at seven Indus Valley Civilisation sites in present-day Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (Rakhigarhi, Farmana and Masudpur.)

Key findings:

  1. About 50-60% of domestic animal bones found at Indus Valley sites come from cattle/ buffalo.
  2. The high proportions of cattle bones may suggest a cultural preference for beef consumption across Indus populations, supplemented by the consumption of mutton/ lamb.
  3. Lipid residues in Indus pottery show a dominance of animal products in vessels, such as the meat of non-ruminant animals like pigs, ruminant animals like cattle or buffalo and sheep or goat, as well as dairy products.

<< Previous Next >>

Send To My Bookmarks