Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jun 08, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Black Carbon

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Glaciers of the Himalayas: Climate Change, Black Carbon and Regional Resilience Report was recently released by World Bank.

The report mentions:

  1. When BC is released into the atmosphere by these activities, it can travel long distances, sometimes towards the mountains and settle on top of glaciers and snow.
  2. Once settled there, the BC reduces the light- and heat-reflection capacity of the snow, making it melt from the increase in temperature because of the absorbed heat energy. This accelerates the melting of snow and glaciers.
  3. The report finds that BC deposition is responsible for as much as 50 per cent of the increase in glacier and snow melt worldwide.
  4. According to recent scientific evidence, the glaciers in the Hindu Kush, Himalayan and Karakoram ranges are retreating at a rate of 0.3 metre per year in the western regions. The retreat is more than thrice at one metre per year in the eastern regions. One research paper found that glaciers in the Mount Everest region might reduce by 39-52 per cent by 2050.

About Black Carbon:

Black carbon, or soot, is part of fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) and contributes to climate change.

Black carbon is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels. Complete combustion would turn all carbon in the fuel into carbon dioxide (CO2), but combustion is never complete and CO2, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and organic carbon and black carbon particles are all formed in the process. The complex mixture of particulate matter resulting from incomplete combustion is often referred to as soot.

Black carbon is a short-lived climate pollutant with a lifetime of only days to weeks after release in the atmosphere.

During this short period of time, black carbon can have significant direct and indirect impacts on the climate, the cryosphere (snow and ice), agriculture and human health.


Short-lived climate pollutants are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than carbon dioxide (CO2), yet their potential to warm the atmosphere can be many times greater. Certain short-lived climate pollutants are also dangerous air pollutants that have harmful effects for people, ecosystems and agricultural productivity.

The short-lived climate pollutants black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons are the most important contributors to the man-made global greenhouse effect after carbon dioxide, responsible for up to 45% of current global warming. If no action to reduce emissions of these pollutants is taken in the coming decades, they are expected to account for as much as half of warming caused by human activity.

Current Affair 2:
Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Performance (RAMP) Program

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“Raising and Accelerating MSME Productivity” (RAMP) is a five-year duration (2021-22 to 2025-26) new Central Sector Scheme, with a total project cost of INR 6062.45 Cr, of which the World Bank contribution is INR 3750 Cr (USD 500 Mn) and the remaining is funded by Govt. of India.

It is the World Bank’s second intervention in this sector, the first being the $750 million MSME Emergency Response Program, approved in July 2020 to address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of millions of viable MSMEs severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Having supported the immediate liquidity and credit needs of viable MSMEs in the first phase, the RAMP Program will support the Government of India’s efforts to increase MSME productivity and financing in the economic recovery phase, crowd in private sector financing in the medium term, and tackle long-standing financial sector issues that are holding back the growth of the MSME sector.

  1. There is a need for “convergence” of policies, programs, and schemes at all levels. To bring about this fundamental shift, the program will help setup a high-level MSME Council to enable better coordination between national and state-level programs.
  2. The RAMP program will provide better access to finance and working capital for MSMEs by strengthening the receivable financing markets; and scale-up online dispute resolution mechanisms to address the problem of delayed payments.
  3. The program will promote technology-based solutions, green investments, and access to services for women-headed businesses. It will also build partnerships with the private sector as service providers to reach greater scale.
  4. In addition to national level activities, the program will initiate targeted activities in five “first mover” states – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu with the potential of additional states joining the Program going forward.

Current Affair 3:
Carbon Nanotubes


MIT engineers have discovered a new way of generating electricity using carbon nanotubes. A new material made up of carbon nanotubes have potential to generate electricity by collecting energy from its environment.

What is a Carbon Nanotube?

Considered one of the strongest materials known to man, carbon nanotubes possess unique structural and electrical properties that make them ideal for a wide variety of applications. Carbon Nanotubes come in two principal forms, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) and multi-walled (MWCNT), as pictured here.

Carbon nanotubes are composed of carbon atoms linked in hexagonal shapes, with each carbon atom covalently bonded to three other carbon atoms. Carbon nanotubes have diameters as small as 1 nm and lengths up to several centimeters. Although, like buckyballs, carbon nanotubes are strong, they are not brittle. They can be bent, and when released, they will spring back to their original shape.

Applications of Carbon Nanotubes

Because of its remarkable electronic and mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes are one of the best candidate materials for uses in various industrial applications. In this section, some applications of carbon nanotubes that could become a reality in the near future are briefly described in details.

Scanning Probe Tips: Carbon nanotubes can be used in scanning probe instruments due to their flexibility. The flexibility of the nanotubes prevents damage to the sample surface and the probe tip if the probe tip happens to crash into the surface. In addition, a better image resolution is achieved compared with that observed using standard nanoprobes.

Field Emission Display: Carbon nanotubes can emit electrons from the end of them like a small cannon when a nanotube is put into an electric field. If those electrons are allowed to bombard a phosphor screen, then an image can be created. The advantages of carbon nanotube screen over liquid crystal displays (LCD) are based upon a low power consumption, intense brightness, wider viewing angle, fast rate response, and a wider operating temperature range.

Composite materials: Carbon nanotubes possess remarkable high tensile strength. This is important one to make them valuable components for mechanically reinforced composite materials. Furthermore, the high aspect ratio (length to radius ratio) and high conductivity of carbon nanotubes makes them excellent for conducting composites.

These composite materials already find use in

  • sporting goods (bicycle frames, tennis rackets, hockey sticks, golf clubs and balls, skis, kayaks; sports arrows)
  • yachting (masts, hulls and other parts of sailboats)
  • textiles (antistatic and electrically conducting textiles ('smart textiles'); bullet-proof vests, water-resistant and flame-retardant textiles)
  • automotive, aeronautics and space (light-weight, high-strength structural composites)
  • industrial engineering (e.g. coating of wind-turbine rotor blades, industrial robot arms)

Field Effect Transistors: It is well-known that a carbon nanotube can be semiconducting or metallic tube depending on the diameter of the cylinder. Despite the rise of graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials, semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes are still regarded as strong candidates for the next generation of high-performance, ultra-scaled and thin-film transistors as well as for opto-electronic devices to replace silicon electronics.

Nano inks: Ink formulations based on CNT dispersions are attractive for printed electronics applications such as transparent electrodes, RFID tags, thin-film transistors, light-emitting devices, and solar cells.

Current Affair 4:
Central Administrative Tribunal

The CAT was created by the Act in 1985 under Article 323A of the Constitution of India. The Tribunal derives its jurisdiction, powers, and authority from this Section. It was established via the 42nd Constitutional Amendment of the Constitution.

  1. Tribunals under Article 323A can be formed only through the Parliament and not the State Legislatures.
  2. However, Article 323B, which deals with other tribunals, enables such tribunals to be formed both by the Parliament and the State Legislatures.

Article 323A is only for tribunals for public service matters.

Only one service at the central level and one for each state or two or more states can be established. Here, there is no hierarchy of tribunals.

Central Administrative Tribunal Mandate

The mandate of the CAT is to adjudicate matters related to the recruitment and conditions of service of personnel engaged in public service in the country.

Central Administrative Tribunal Jurisdiction

The CAT exercises original jurisdiction over all service matters concerned with:

  • Members of the all-India services.
  • Persons appointed to any civil service of the Union or civil post under the Union.
  • Civilians appointed to any defence services or posts related to defence.
  • Employees of PSUs or public sector organizations were notified by the government.

Note: - Members of the defence forces, officers, Supreme Court staff, the Parliament’s secretarial staff are not covered under the CAT.

Composition of Central Administrative Tribunal

Central Administrative Tribunal’s members are drawn from legal and administrative fields to provide the benefit of expertise in both domains.

  1. Chairperson (tenure of 5 years or 65 years of age, whichever is earlier). Should be an SC judge or the Chief Justice of a High Court.
  2. Vice-chairperson (tenure of 5 years or 62 years of age, whichever is earlier)
  3. Other members

All are appointed by the President.

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