Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Sep 20, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)


Apo Island became the first of the over 7,000 islands in the Philippines to go ‘Zero Waste’, according to the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).

About the Alliance. Read below paragraph to understand what this ALLIANCE do:

Ok, now check history to see if it led by any UN organization:

GAIA’s founding meeting was held in South Africa in December 2000, with the participation of more than 80 people from 23 countries. Founding members identified incineration as an immediate and significant health threat in their communities and a major obstacle to resource conservation, sustainable economic development, and environmental justice. Through GAIA, members committed to increased community solidarity and collaboration to achieve their common goal of a just and toxic-free world without incineration


India is a part of this alliance:


Current Affair 2:
Compliance of E-Waste (Management) Rules


For the sake of easy reference, important provisions of said “E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016” in relation to import and export are reproduced below:




Current Affair 3:
Forced Formalization behind the surge in tax collections

Source Link

Informal sector produces around 30% of the GDP with 85%-90% of the labour force.

  1. The nominal GDP grew by 2.4% in Q1 of 2021-22 measured from the pre pandemic level i.e., Q1 of 2019-20. And the real GDP grew by – 9.2% in Q1 of 2021-22 measured from pre pandemic level i.e., Q1 of 2019-20.
  2. Tax revenue growth follows nominal GDP growth trend (rather than real GDP) because our tax system is ‘Ad valorem’ i.e., value-based system in which tax is imposed on the value (Quantity multiplied by price) rather than just on quantity. So, when we are comparing growth in tax collection, then we should compare it with growth in nominal GDP.
  3. Gross tax revenue in the first quarter (April – June 2021-22) of this fiscal increased by an impressive 33% as compared from the pre pandemic level even if the nominal growth is just 2.4%.
  4. This has lent credence to the notion that the expansion of the formal sector of the economy, which got a leg-up from demonetization and the GST rollout has gathered steam with the Covid-19 outbreak.
  5. But experts feel that this formalization may have been a “forced” process, driven mostly by the Covid-19 induced extinction/closure of several unorganized sector entities, rather than an organic (natural process) one. This has led to greater consumer reliance on the formal sector, even though overall consumption demand remains sticky due to large scale income losses.
  6. This seemingly accelerated shift towards formalization, coupled with cost-cutting by the corporates have boosted the profitability of large companies, leading to strong growth in the corporation tax collection and in GST tax collection also. Let me explain, when an economic activity is done by the informal sector, it does not contribute to tax collection, but it gets added in our GDP calculation. But when the same activity moves into formal sector it is included in GDP as well as it also gives tax revenues to the government.
  7. The spurt in tax collection has been driven by both “forced” formalization and a change in the composition of consumption in the aftermath of the pandemic. When income inequality grows and wealth gets redistributed in favour of the more privileged, the broader private consumption gets a jolt. And the consumption pattern gravitates/moves more towards discretionary items, including luxury goods (which attract higher GST rates) than the essentials.
  8. Similarly, a shift in wealth distribution away from the poor and the lower-middle class to the upper-middle class or the rich boosts income tax collection because the tax regime is usually progressive. (For example, when a (poor) person earns money, he does not need to pay tax, but when the same income moves to the rich people then they need to pay tax on that).
  9. So, this phenomenon tends to drive up both the GST and income tax collections, but ultimately, it weighs down economic growth, given the informal sector’s overwhelmingly large share in employment.
  10. The formal/tax-paying portion of the non-agriculture economy has gained market share at the cost of the informal sector, benefiting from the structural shifts generated by demonetization, GST as well as the Covid shock. Data shows that lakhs of informal units have closed-down in the last few years post demonetization, GST rollout and Covid-19 pandemic.
  11. This may not augur well for the country until Government spends the increased tax collection into health and education of the poor and provision of public services and improving governance.

Current Affair 4:
Super-hydrophobic cotton for oil-spill clean-up

Source Link

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have developed a new class of super-hydrophobic cotton composite with Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) that promise marine oil-spill clean-up in near future.

Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of compounds consisting of metal ions or clusters coordinated to organic ligands to form one-, two-, or three-dimensional structures. They are a subclass of coordination polymers, with the special feature that they are often porous. The organic ligands included are sometimes referred to as "struts" or "linkers", one example being 1,4-benzenedicarboxylic acid (BDC).


  1. This is a novel, highly porous and water-repellent super-hydrophobic cotton composite material containing MOF, which can absorb oil selectively from an oil-water mixture, researchers said, in a statement released by IIT, Guwahati, September 20, 2021.
  2. The MOF composite has great capability for selective separation of the oils from oil / water mixtures and the separation efficiency lies between 95 per cent and 98 per cent, irrespective of the chemical composition and density of the oils.
  3. Besides, the MOF composite is also able to absorb large volumes of oils and can be reused for a minimum of 10 times so that the sorbents can provide more recovery of the spilled oil.
  4. The practical applications of this research include cleaning the spilled oil from environmental water (river, sea or ocean water) during oil transportation with high efficiency and large absorption capacity, thus reducing environmental water pollution.
  5. Both heavy and light oils can be effectively absorbed by the material, which is easy to prepare, cost-effective and recyclable, IIT, Guwahati said.

Current Affair 5:
India's copper import rises 26% in Q1


The June quarter of 2021-22 saw a 26% increase to 60,766 tonne from the India's copper import, and the rest of the financial year is projected to see a significant recovery from COVID-related limitations, according to the International Copper Association.

Prior to the closure of the Sterlite Copper facility in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu in May 2018, India had been a net exporter of copper for over two decades.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, India earned US$ 1.1 billion in net foreign exchange from copper exports in 2017-18. However, with the closure of Sterlite Copper's smelting facility, India now faces an annual net foreign exchange outflow of US$ 1.2 billion due to copper imports.

Furthermore, India's refined copper imports have benefited China significantly. In 2017, India exported copper worth US$ 2.1 billion to China prior to the closure of the Tuticorin plant. By 2020, the same had plummeted to only US$ 532 million. Copper shipments from Pakistan and Malaysia to China rose by more than US$ 2 billion between 2017 and 2020.

In other words, the halting of operations at the Tuticorin smelter has helped China decrease its US$ 1.5 billion reliance on India for imports.

Current Affair 6:
Critical near Isothermal Forging Technology


DRDO has developed Critical near Isothermal Forging Technology for aeroengines.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has established the near isothermal forging technology to produce all the five stages of high-pressure compressors (HPC) discs out of difficult-to-deform titanium alloy using its unique 2000 MT isothermal forge press.

This is a crucial technology for establishing self-reliance in aeroengine technology.  With this development, India has joined the league of limited global engine developers to have the manufacturing capabilities of such critical aero engine components.


What is isothermal forging?

  1. Isothermal forging is a closed-die process in which the dies and the workpieces are heated to the same temperature, so that forming can take place without loss of temperature in the workpiece.
  2. It’s a preferred process for forming engineered parts, including jet-engine and other aerospace components in high-density lightweight alloys.
  3. In this process, the workpiece is formed to shape at a slow rate and at a temperature almost equal to that of the heated die.
  4. The long forging time, alongside forces exerted by the die, help to form an almost ‘ready to use’ component needing minimal supplementary machining.

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