Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Aug 10, 2021

Current Affair 1:
India to host the first Internet Governance Forum in the country


The India Internet Governance Forum (IIGF) was launched as a policy discussion platform to bring representatives together from various groups to discuss public policy issues related to the Internet. This mode of engagement is referred to as the multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance, which has been the key feature for the Internet’s success.

It is the Indian chapter of the Internet Governance Forum under the United Nations.

India is the second-largest broadband subscription country in the world and also has the highest data consumption per user per month. Therefore, the aspirations of the Indians should be reflected in international policy formation and stakeholder discussion. India Internet Governance Forum is the correct initiative for the country to ensure that the growth of broadband adheres to the lifestyle and requirements of the Indian community.


About Forum:

The Internet Governance Forum is a UN forum for multistakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance issues. The establishment of the IGF was formally announced by the United Nations Secretary-General in July 2006.

The 16th annual IGF meeting will be held in Katowice, Poland from December 6 to 10, 2021 with the theme ‘Internet United’.

The mandate of the Forum is to:

Discuss public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance in order to foster the sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.

Current Affair 2:
West Africa records 1st death from ‘highly infectious’ Marburg virus

Source Link

West Africa’s first case of the extremely contagious and deadly Marburg virus was confirmed in Guinea August 9, 2021, according to the World Health Organization. The virus causes haemorrhagic fever and belongs to the same family as the Ebola virus.

The common symptoms of a Marburg infection are fever, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain and gingival hemorrhage.

Current Affair 3:
Why are some states against Electricity Bill?

Source Link

Govt. is planning to amend the "Electricity Act 2003" through "Electricity Amendment Bill 2021". Electricity is "concurrent" subject but in India, the "Power Distribution" sector is mostly in the control of State Govts through their "DISCOMS" which are basically State PSUs.

Only Delhi, Mumbai and 2/3 cities have privatized their Discoms. Most of the DISCOMS (State PSUs) are in huge loss and time to time Central Govt. has brought in Schemes and supported these DISCOMs out of their financial mess but it has not resulted in any viable long-term solution. And after every few years these DISCOMs seek support from the Govt. That is why Central Govt. is planning to bring the following amendments in the Electricity Act 2003 to introduce the changes at the all-India level:

  1. Delicense the power distribution sector and allow private DISCOMs: It will result in competition and more efficiency and reduction in tariffs - But few States are continuing their same old cry and are against privatization. States are saying that Private distribution companies will "cherry-pick" only good areas with more industrial and commercial consumers and not residential and rural consumers. — This can be resolved by structuring the project in proper way.
  2. Right now, Industrial and Commercial user "Cross-subsidize" the residential and agricultural consumers which means tariff for commercial and industrial consumers is high and that money is used to provide cheaper electricity to residential and agricultural consumers. States fear that if private sector is allowed then cross-subsidy may be removed.
  3. Bill increases penalty for DISCOMs that fail to meet renewable Power Purchase Obligations (RPO). Let me explain. Presently every DISCOM is given a target to purchase renewable energy out of its total purchase of electricity and State DISCOMs have failed in that. So, States fear that this penalty will hurt them.

Need to know basics about RPOs.

To provide a fillip to the ambitious renewable energy targets of 1,75,000 MW by 2022, obligations have been imposed on entities like power distribution companies, captive power plants (who establish power plants for their own consumption) and other large electricity consumers to purchase energy from renewable sources. These obligations called Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs) provide for either purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Indian Energy Exchange (IEX)/ Power Exchange of India (PXIL) OR purchase of renewable power from the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC) by obligated entities . These RPOs are the backbone of India’s renewable energy programme. Ministry of Power in consultation with ministry of New and Renewable Energy has set the target of RPOs of 19% (8.75% solar and 10.25% non-solar) in 2020-21 and 21% (10.5% Solar and 10.5% non-solar) in 2021-22, uniformly for all States/UTs.

However, enforcing compliance of RPO targets is a challenge. And hence an RPO Compliance Cell has been created under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Current Affair 4:
Earth’s inner core is growing more on one side than the other


In a new study, they reveal how Earth’s inner core is growing faster on one side than the other, which could help explain how old the inner core is, and the intriguing history of Earth’s magnetic field.

Early Earth

Earth’s core was formed very early in our planet’s 4.5-billion-year history, within the first 200 million years.

  1. Gravity pulled the heavier iron to the centre of the young planet, leaving the rocky, silicate minerals to make up the mantle and crust.
  2. Earth’s formation captured a lot of heat within the planet.
  3. The loss of this heat, and heating by ongoing radioactive decay, have since driven our planet’s evolution.
  4. Heat loss in Earth’s interior drives the vigorous flow in the liquid iron outer core, which creates Earth’s magnetic field.
  5. Meanwhile, cooling within Earth’s deep interior helps power plate tectonics, which shape the surface of our planet.
  6. As Earth cooled over time, the temperature at the centre of the planet eventually dropped below the melting point of iron at extreme pressures, and the inner core started to crystallise.
  7. Today, the inner core continues to grow at roughly 1mm in radius each year, which equates to the solidification of 8,000 tonnes of molten iron every second. In billions of years, this cooling will eventually lead to the whole core becoming solid, leaving Earth without its protective magnetic field.

Core issue

One might assume that this solidification creates a homogeneous solid sphere, but this isn’t the case.

  1. In the 1990s, scientists realised that the speed of seismic waves travelling through the inner core varied unexpectedly. This suggested that something asymmetrical was happening in the inner core.
  2. Specifically, the eastern and western halves of the inner core showed different seismic wave speed variations.
  3. The eastern part of the inner core is beneath Asia, the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean, and the west lies under the Americas, the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern Pacific.
  4. The new study probed this mystery, using new seismic observations combined with geodynamic modelling and estimates of how iron alloys behave at high pressure.
  5. They found that the eastern inner core located beneath Indonesia’s Banda Sea is growing faster than the western side beneath Brazil.

And does our uneven inner core make the Earth unusual? It turns out that many planetary bodies have two halves which are somehow different to each other. On Mars, the surface of the northern half is lower-lying while the southern half is more mountainous. The Moon’s near-side crust is chemically different to the far-side one. On Mercury and Jupiter, it’s not the surface which is uneven but the magnetic field, which doesn’t form a mirror image between north and south.

So, while the causes for all of these asymmetries vary, Earth isn’t tipping.

Current Affair 5:
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)


Adopted and signed in 1982. It became effective in the year 1994.

It replaced the four Geneva Conventions of April, 1958, which respectively concerned the territorial sea and the contiguous zone, the continental shelf, the high seas, fishing and conservation of living resources on the high seas.

The Convention has become the legal framework for marine and maritime activities.

Also known as Law of the Sea, it divides marine areas into five main zones namely- Internal Waters, Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the High Seas.

UNCLOS is the only international convention which stipulates a framework for state jurisdiction in maritime spaces. It provides a different legal status to different maritime zones.

 The Convention has created three new institutions on the international scene:

  • The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
  • The International Seabed Authority.
  • The Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

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