Goaltide Daily Current Affairs

Oct 27, 2019

Current Affair 1:
International Energy Agency released Offshore Wind Outlook Report 2019

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No use of knowing about the report if you don’t know the difference between onshore and offshore winds. Don’t worry, we will explain you the difference.

Onshore wind is the one that blows from the sea towards the land. On the other hand, offshore wind is the type of wind that blows from the land towards the sea.

Around the globe, onshore wind turbines have been dominant in wind power harvesting. We know you won’t believe until you see the image:

Why offshore wind technology is not so popular?

Onshore wind refers to turbines located on land, while offshore turbines are located out at sea or in freshwater.

Onshore wind has the advantage of being one of the most affordable renewable energy sources. Generating electricity from onshore wind turbines typically costs around 7–9p per kWh, which is around half the cost of offshore wind and a quarter of the costs of solar photovoltaic panels. It is also slightly cheaper, on average, than nuclear power. The shorter distance between the windmill and the consumer allows for less voltage drop off on the cabling. Moreover, Onshore wind refers to turbines located on land, while offshore turbines are located out at sea or in freshwater.

But now, offshore technology installations have gathered pace around the globe.

In 2018, a total of 4.3 GW addition (see below image) of new offshore wind capacity was completed. From 3 GW of offshore wind in operation in 2010, installed capacity expanded to 23 GW in 2018.

The report mentions the advantages and three challenges of shifting to offshore installations. It’s important. Do read.

  1. Global energy-related CO2 emissions reached a historic high in 2018, driven by an

increase in coal use in the power sector. A shift towards offshore technology can solve problem.

  1. With technology improvements, global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018.
  2. Over the next five years, about 150 new offshore wind projects are scheduled to be completed around the world, pointing to an increasing role for offshore wind in power supplies.
  3. The untapped potential of offshore wind is vast. Global electricity demand is currently 23 000 TWh. As per report, offshore wind alone could meet several times electricity demand in a number of countries, including in Europe, the United States and Japan.
  4. The cost of offshore wind is declining and is set to fall further. Offshore wind is set to be competitive with fossil fuels within the next decade, as well as with other renewables including solar PV.
  5. The synergies between offshore wind and offshore oil and gas activities provide new market opportunities.
  6. Offshore wind can help drive energy transitions by decarbonising electricity and by

producing low-carbon fuels.

The report mentions three important challenges with the offshore wind installations:

  1. Developing efficient supply chains is crucial for the offshore wind industry to deliver low-cost projects. It requires multibillion-dollar investments.
  2. The success of offshore wind depends on developing onshore grid infrastructure. Without appropriate grid reinforcements and expansion, there is a risk of large amounts of offshore wind power going unused, and opportunities for further expansion could be stifled.
  3. The future of offshore wind looks bright but hinges on the right policies by the governments and intention to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Report has so many things to read, but we will see what is important for our exam.

Offshore wind helps avoid 2.5 Gt CO2 emissions from 2019 to 2040. These CO2 emissions reductions occur mainly in China, United States and India as a result of an accelerated deployment of offshore wind. See below:

Offshore wind installations today are moving further from shore and into deeper waters where better quality wind resources are available. See below image:

Additional demand for hydrogen offers significant upside potential for offshore wind, as 10 GW of offshore wind capacity can produce about 1 Mt of renewable hydrogen


Nothing more is important from report. But we can’t leave India like this. We have talk about India too.

India’s share of wind energy in total energy installations: As of 31 June 2019 the total installed wind power capacity was 36GW, the fourth largest installed wind power capacity in the world.


Status of offshore wind Installations in India:

  1. Offshore wind energy comes with expensive challenges like resource characterisation, sub-sea installation, turbine foundation and development of long transmission infrastructure. India is ill-prepared to meet these challenges due to the lack of technological knowhow and studies to assess resources.
  2. Currently, there is no offshore wind energy market in India.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) plans to hold the first ever offshore wind energy auction in the country for a 1 gigawatt project in the western state of Gujarat.

SECI recently signed an agreement with the Gujarat government to set up India’s first offshore wind energy project. The agreement was signed during the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019.

  1. In October 2015, the country released its first National Offshore Wind Energy Policy, detailing the government’s roadmap.
  2. And, as is the trend in India, the government set ambitious targets — a capacity of 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030 for offshore installations.
  3. In April 2018, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) released an expression of interest (EOI) to get the lay of the land for offshore. Despite considerable interest (35 global and domestic wind energy companies responded) no tender was issued.
  1. The MNRE in 2019 released Draft Lease Rules for Offshore Wind. The regulations apply to leasing of offshore blocks anywhere between 100 and 500 square metres within the exclusive economic zone off the Indian coast.

Wait for updates.

Current Affair 2:
SARM—Silencing of Antibiotic Resistance by Mutation

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Try to understand in simle language what is in article.

Bacteria may act like sleeper agents, appearing relatively NOT HARMFUL during clinical tests but getting activated after the test.

Now complete news:

A pathogenic bacteria shelter an antibiotic resistance determinant but remain susceptible (harm) to the corresponding antibiotic as a consequence of a genetic mutation. However, such mutations easily become lost, rapidly transforming the bacteria into drug-resistant strains—dramatically increasing the risk that the drug therapy will fail.

Scientists reported a systematic investigation into the prevalence and nature of this phenomenon, which they termed as silencing of antibiotic resistance by mutation (SARM). SARM is therefore a potentially important reason why antibiotic treatments fail unexpectedly in infected patients.

Scientists have identified SARM as a challenge.

According to scientists,  findings highlight the fact that antibiotic resistance can sometimes effectively be hidden: in other words, it looks like you're dealing with an infection that should be treatable with a given antibiotic, but that may not be the case.

Silent antibiotic resistance is therefore prevalent, transient, and evades routine detection, rendering it a significant potential threat to antibacterial chemotherapy.

Current Affair 3:
Global Impunity Index 2019

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Committee to Protect Journalists’(CPJ) 2019 Global Impunity Index spotlights countries where journalists are slain and their killers go free.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, headquaterd in New York City.


India is one of the 13 worst countries when it comes to impunity for killings of journalists, according to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ. In its latest Impunity Index published, CPJ stated that between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2019 there were 17 cases of unsolved murders of journalists in the country.

According to the index, India did not see a single journalist being killed in 2019 till August 31. However, five journalists were killed in the country in 2018, of which four were murders with confirmed motives, and one was killed in crossfire. India had seen the same number of journalists being killed in 2016 and 2017, while four journalists were killed in 2015. Nothing more is required.

Current Affair 4:
The Economist Intelligence Unit's financial inclusion Report

The 2019 Global Microscope analyses the practices used by governments and regulators around the world to increase financial inclusion among their populations.

We will talk here about India only here.

India is placed among the top nations with the most conducive environment for financial inclusion.


Within the overall framework for promoting digital financial inclusion, the report has identified four basic enablers: allowing non-banks to issue e-money, the presence of financial service agents, proportionate customer due diligence and effective financial consumer protection. Only four countries scored perfectly across all four enablers: Colombia, India, Jamaica and Uruguay.

This report covers five domains. See below how India has performed in all domains.

If you are finding difficulty in understanding terms for India’s strength and areas for improvement, see below:

  1. Supervisory category indiacates : influence of Politics in financial regulation
  2. Broad strategies for financial inclusion indicates: Intra-governmental cooperation, strategy and implementation
  3. Connectivity indicates: internet access
  4. Customer due diligence indicates: Harmonised framework with FATF guidelines
  5. Emerging services indicates:  Legal certainty for Fintech and other emerging services

     Nothing more is required to know here.

Current Affair 5:
UNESCO's Network of Creative Cities

On the occasion of World Cities Day 2019, celebrated on 31 October, UNESCO announced that the cities of Mumbai and Hyderabad are joining the UNESCO network of Creative Cities. Mumbai has been designated a Creative city of film and Hyderabad a Creative city of gastronomy.

In India, they join Chennai and Varanasi, UNESCO Cities of music, and Jaipur, UNESCO City of crafts and folk arts.

What it means when they join the network?

Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) aims to strengthen cooperation with and among cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor of sustainable development as regards economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects.

World Cities Day 2019

The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 31st of October as World Cities Day. The theme for World Cities Day,2019 is, “Changing the world: innovations and a better life for future generations”.

Current Affair 6:
Miyawaki method for tree planting

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West Bengal government's panchayat & rural development department has decided to create forests across the state using the Miyawaki method, a Japanese method of tree planting that helps in building dense, native forests.

UPSC won’t ask you procedure of Miyawaki Planting. Maximum they will ask is, what this method is related to. So remember this.

What is this Miyanki Method?

The Miyawaki method involves planting dozens of native species in the same area, which becomes maintenance-free after the first three years. This method ensures plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual.

Current Affair 7:
National Symposium on Lymphatic Filariasis

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We will study here all details about Lymphatic Filariasis.

Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a painful and profoundly disfiguring disease. Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes.

Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea. There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms:

  1. Wuchereria bancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases
  2. Brugia malayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases
  3. Brugia timori, which also causes the disease

Steps taken by India so far:

The Government launched the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (APELF) in 2018, as part of intensifying efforts towards its elimination.

It has adopted a twin pillar strategy - prevention through Mass Drug Administration (MDA) using a combination of 2 anti-filarial drugs (DEC and Albendazole) and providing Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) services to those affected by the disease. The government is ready to scale-up the use of Triple Drug Therapy (IDA) in a phased manner starting from December 2019.

The national health policy had aimed at eliminating filarias by 2015. The deadline was extended to 2017 and now has been extended to 2020.

We will learn about Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) also.

The World Health Organization (WHO) “encourages Member States to eliminate lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem” and enacted a Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis in 2000,

 a two-pronged approach consisting as follows: “stopping the spread of infection through large-scale annual treatment of all eligible people in an area or region where infection is present; and alleviating the suffering caused by lymphatic filariasis through provision of the recommended basic package of care.”

Current Affair 8:
Elephant Bonds- to check the black money menace

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A high-level advisory group constituted by the government in September 2018 for suggestions to improve India’s trade performance, has come up with a significant recommendation to tackle the menace of black money in the country.

Chaired by the renowned economist, Dr Surjit S Bhalla, the group has asked the government to allow people to declare their ‘undisclosed income’ with a mandatory condition to invest 50% in a government bond, termed as Elephant Bond, which should be utilised only for infrastructure projects.

Steps taken by the government to fight Black money.

  1. First, in 2015, it introduced Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income And Assets) And Imposition of Tax Rules, 2015, under which a window was provided to declare income and assets parked in foreign countries between July 1, 2015, to September 30, 2015.
  2. The second major initiative was Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) in which people with undisclosed income were given time between June 1, 2016, to September 30, 2016, to declare their income with a tax including penalty of 45% of the total undisclosed income.
  3. In November 2016, the government demonetised high currency notes to fight black money. However, its effectiveness has been questioned by critics.
  4. The next scheme was Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana under which the government asked people with black money to pay 50% fine of the undisclosed income and deposit an additional 25% in government schemes which would be refunded without interest after four years. This scheme also expired on March 31, 2017.

All these schemes were aimed at encouraging people to avoid prosecution and declare black money by paying penalty. 

Current Affair 9:
Justice Bobde Appointed next CJI

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 Here, we will see all important Constitutional provisions regarding appointments, Qualifications, Tenure and Removal.

In 2019, UPSC asked about impeachment of SC judge:

So, we will look into all the provisions of it. We will start with Article 124.

The above article talks about a law by Parliament to increase the number of Judges. Does that law exists now? Yes. See below.

The act is Supreme Court (number of Judges) Act, 1956. It is amended from time to time to increase number of judges. Recent, it has been amended to increase the strength to 34. See below the Amendment Bill.

Understood this. Now move to next provision, i.e. Qualifications. Read the article given below.

Now we will learn disqualifications.

Now here, it is important to read provision 124 (5). See above image. It says that Parliament can enact a law for investigation and proof of misbehaviour or incapacity of a judge. So had Parliament enacted a law? Yes, The Judges (Inquiry) Act, 1968. See below.

What does the Act say:

      So, if the motion is accepted by the Speaker/Chaiman, then what will happen?

        The power of this committee is defines below:

Now after investigation, If the report of the Committee contains a finding that the Judge is not guilty of any misbehaviour or does not suffer from any incapacity, then no further steps shall be taken in either House of Parliament.

If the report of the Committee contains a finding that the Judge is guilty of any misbehaviour or suffers from any incapacity, then, the motion shall be taken up for consideration by the Houses.

If the motion is adopted by each House of Parliament in accordance with the provisions of clause (4) of article 124 (read from image given above)or, as the case may be, in accordance with that clause read with article 218 (see the image below) of the Constitution, then, the misbehaviour or incapacity of the Judge shall be deemed to have been proved and an address for the removal of the Judge shall be presented to the President by each House of Parliament in the same session in which the motion has been adopted.

One more thing as many students don’t understand the criteri for the removal mentioned in Article 124 (4). The criteria necessary to pass the motion in house is: [50%+1] and [2/3rd of the members present and voting].

Now try to solve the question we mentioned in the beginning of 2019 Prelims.

Link: http://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1968-51_0.pdf

Current Affair 10:
What is Pagasus?

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The spyware, developed by Israel-based security company, NSO Group Technologies, was used to hack and snoop on journalists, lawyers and activists in India, presumably by the government.

What does Pegasus do?

 According to the spyware’s product details, uploaded to document cloud at Amnesty International, Pegasus is meant to infiltrate smartphones silently and work on three things- collect historic data on device, continuously monitor activity and transmit this data to a third party.

How does it work?

  1. To monitor a target, a Pegasus operator must convince a target to click on a specially crafted ‘exploit link’ which allows the operator to penetrate security features on the phone and installs Pegasus without the user’s knowledge or permission.
  2. Once the phone is exploited and Pegasus installed, it begins contacting the operator’s command and control servers to receive and execute operator commands, and send back the target’s private data, including passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps.
  3. The operator can even turn on the phone’s camera and microphone to capture activity in the phone’s vicinity.
  4. In the latest vulnerability, the subject of the lawsuit, clicking the ‘exploit link’ may also not be required and a missed video call on WhatsApp will have enabled opening up the phone, without a response from the target at all.

Recent developments have raised dounts on governemnt policies:

Former home secretary GK Pillai told that he is aware that Israeli tech firm NSO had been operating in India – and that it had sold spying software to private firms and individuals in the country. He also confirmed that Indian government agencies have bought spyware in the past from private foreign tech firms like NSO. In fact, he said, “it is quite common.”

So did the Indian government purchase Pegasus from NSO to snoop on Indian citizens? Can this be used for legal surveillance, and how would that work?

If the Indian government knew that a spyware firm like NSO was operating in India, it was important to know what steps it took to supervise their activities or ensure that there wasn’t any breach of privacy. Wait for answers from the governement side. Now as it is a trend, a committee will be formed to look into the issue.

Current Affair 11:
The new notification on Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh

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What is the news?

The Union Cabinet Secretariat has notified rules reiterating that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be the authority on deciding the imposition of AFSPA in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.

What is the Change in situation in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh?

Before the state of J&K was bifurcated, it was the MHA or the Governor that issued authority on Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990.

Now as per the new notifications, after the formation of Union Territories, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be the authority on deciding the imposition of AFSPA in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.

The notification issued also renamed Department of Jammu and Kashmir in MHA as “Department of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs”.

The notification said the MHA department will be responsible for all matters relating to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir or UT of Ladakh, including counter terrorism within J&K and coordination with the ministry of defence in regards to manning and managing the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.

So remember, Central Governemnt is sole authority now. No role of Governors.

Now, we will see here new maps released by Indian Governement of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Important points to remember.

  1. The goverment released the maps of newly created Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh and the map of India depicting these UTs.
  2. In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the UT of Ladakh consists of two districts of Kargil and Leh while the rest of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir is in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
  3. Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, while Gilgit-Baltistan is in the UT of Ladakh in the fresh maps released by the government.
  4. It also depicts the two UTs with PoK 'capital' Muzaffarabad within the geographical boundary of the country.
  5. The new map shows three districts — Muzaffarabad, Punch and Mirpur — which are under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) — as part of India's geographic.
  6. Now, the number of districts in 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir is increased to 28 from 14 in 1947.

Current Affair 12:
Semi-Dirac Metals: New class of Quantum Materials

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Researchers from IIT Bombay have researched a specific category of two-dimensional nanomaterials, called semi-Dirac materials. Through calculations, the researchers have shown that it is possible to engineer semi-Dirac materials to make optical filters and efficient thermoelectric nano devices.

Examples of semi-Dirac metals are systems such as TiO2/V2O3 nanostructures.

What are Dirac metals?

  1. Dirac materials are a particular type of 2D materials that could be used to make electronics, and could also be useful in desalination and DNA sequencing.
  2. In Dirac materials, the charge carriers move within the material at a velocity close to that of light. Dirac metals differ from normal metals in that the energy depends linearly on the momentum. This difference is responsible for their unique properties.

Semi-Dirac Metals

  1. Semi-Dirac metals behave like Dirac metals in one direction and like normal metals in the perpendicular directions (since their microscopic structure is different along the two directions).
  2. In semi-Dirac materials, the charge carrier movement is not the same in all directions within the 2D plane.
  3. The charge carrier velocity is close to that of light in just one direction but much smaller in a direction perpendicular to the former.
  4. This unique nature of semi-Dirac materials leads to some peculiarity in their electronic properties such as optical conductivity and thermoelectricity.


  1. Thermoelectricity is a clean energy technology that uses waste heat to produce electricity typically in low power applications.
  2. This technology is used in efficient cars, where it is used to keep lights on and to warm seats.
  3. Spacecrafts like Voyager, which are too far from the sun to use solar energy can make use of thermoelectricity.
  4. The researchers have shown theoretically that semi-Dirac materials can display thermoelectric properties. This new work paves the way for experimental studies on realising this.
  5. The study also describes how to engineer atomic positions and defects to achieve exactly this effect.

Current Affair 13:
First ever Indian Brain Atlas developed

A study by IIIT Hyderabad created the first brain atlas for Indians and found that Indians have some of the smallest brains in the world -- much smaller compared to Caucasians and Chinese.

According to the study, a brain atlas helps researchers compare findings from different brain imaging methods like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI), or between healthy and diseased brain states, or across individuals. The immediate implication of this finding can be seen in treatment outcomes of neurological problems or brain related ailments - like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease etc.

Standard Brain Atlases: Here remember that this is the not the first time brain atlas has been developed.

The earliest known brain atlas, the Talairach and Tournoux atlas, was created by manually drawing post-mortem brain sections of a 60-year-old French woman.

It was in 1993 that the MNI and the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) created the first digital human brain atlas. More recently, MNI and ICBM have released other brain atlases that are widely used as a standard in neuroscience studies. However, these ‘standard’ brain templates created using Caucasian brains are not ideal to analyze brain differences from other ethnicities, such as the Indian population

Current Affair 14:
India -Germany Ties

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India from 31st October - 1st November 2019 for the fifth round of Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC).

Germany is India's most important trading partner within the European Union. Bilateral trade totaled $21.9 billion (€19.6 billion) in the 2017-18 financial year, an increase of 17% from the previous year.

We will directly see into various pacts signed by the both the governments.

Key Highlights

  1. Cooperation in Defence:

India has invited Germany to take advantage of opportunities in defence sector in the upcoming defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The countries agreed to work on bilateral and multilateral platforms to counter terrorism and extremism.

  1. Stand on International Issues

To continue cooperation to expedite reforms in the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

Stressed on restoring full functioning of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement system and reforming the organisation without undermining its fundamental principles such as Special & Differential Treatment etc.

  1. Climate Change

Agreed to provide financial support to climate initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Germany expressed its readiness to provide 1.1 billion dollar to India for green urban mobility.

  1. Economic Sector

To deepen efforts to restart negotiations between the European Union (EU) and India on the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).

  1. Science and Technology

To conduct joint research on the development and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

To identify best possible approaches on cyber security.

  1. Merkel also plans to simplify the recruitment process of Indian skilled workers who wish to come to work in Germany.

One of the most important statement stated by German counterpart is regarding China.

“We in Germany, as well as in Europe, have so far focused more on China, while underestimating the significance of India. Although Europeans benefit from business dealings with China, Beijing's stated aim to become the world's dominant technological and economic player by 2049 means that China poses a growing economic challenge for Europe”. This is the right time for India to develop good bilateral relation with Germany to curb the influence of China in Asia-Pacific region.

Nothing more on recent visit. Few more things if you want to add then:

India and Germany are members of G-4 along with Brazil and Japan. The G4 nations support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

Both countries are also members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Current Affair 15:
Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas

Citing data from its Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas, the European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that compared to August 2018, there were almost five times as many wildfires across the world in August 2019.

But a detailed analysis reveals precisely where these fires have been occurring—most of which were in Asia.

The Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission recorded 79,000 fires in August this year, compared to just over 16,000 fires detected during the same period last year. These figures were achieved by using data from the Sentinel-3 World Fire Atlas Prototype, which is also able to provide a breakdown of these fires per continent.

The data reveals 49 percent of fires were detected in Asia, around 28 percent were detected in South America, 16 percent in Africa, and the remaining were recorded in North America, Europe and Oceania.

How it is measuring?

Working like thermometers in the sky, the sensors on satellites measure thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth's land surfaces. This information is used to detect and monitor the heat emitted by the fires.

Current Affair 16:

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Ministry of Commerce & Industry through Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) has introduced a new Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) called NIRVIK to enhance loan availability and ease the lending process.

The scheme was announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to boost exports on 14 September 2019 in New Delhi.

Key features of the scheme:

  1. Insurance cover guaranteed will cover up to 90% of the principal and interest.
  2. The increased cover will ensure that foreign and rupee export credit interest rates are below 4 percent and 8 percent respectively for the exporters.
  3. The insurance cover will include both pre and post-shipment credit.
  4. It mandates inspection of bank documents and records by ECGC officials for losses exceeding Rs.10 crore as against the present Rs 1crore.
  5. The banks shall pay a premium to ECGC monthly on the principal and interest as the cover is offered for both outstanding.

We will also learn about Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India

ECGC Ltd. (Formerly known as Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd.) wholly owned by by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, set up in 1957 with the objective of promoting exports from he country by providing credit risk insurance and related services for exports.

ECGC provides:

  1. a range of insurance covers to Indian exporters against the risk of non – realization of export proceeds due to commercial or political risks.
  2. different types of credit insurance covers to banks and other financial institutions to enable them to extend credit facilities to exporters and
  3.  Export Factoring facility for MSME sector which is a package of financial products consisting of working capital financing, credit risk protection, maintenance of sales ledger and collection of export receivables from the buyer located in overseas country.

Current Affair 17:
Edge Computing

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Edge computing is defined as the deployment of data-handling activities or other network operations away from centralized and always-connected network segments (like Dropbox, Gmail, etc.) and toward individual sources of data capture, such as endpoints like laptops, tablets.

It is an extension of cloud computing, and differs in terms of time taken in processing the information. The data is analysed locally, closer to where it is stored, in real-time without latency.

It is predicted that edge computing would be the next big trend after cloud. The global edge computing market is forecasted to reach more than $ 8 Billion by 2025 valued growing at more than 32% between 2019-2025.

Advantages of Edge Computing

Quick: Edge computing allows for quicker data processing and content delivery while streaming a video on platforms like Netflix or accessing a library of video games in the cloud.

Future Technology Enabled: Technologies such as 5G wireless technology and artificial intelligence enable faster response times, lower latency (delay), and simplified maintenance in computing.

Localised solution: It is preferred over cloud computing in remote locations, where there is limited or no connectivity to a centralized location. These locations require local storage, similar to a mini data centre, with edge computing providing the perfect solution for it.

Data-Efficient: That data doesn’t need to be sent over a network as soon as it processed; only important data is sent. Therefore, an edge computing network reduces the amount of data that travels over the network.

How is edge computing different from cloud computing?

The basic difference between edge computing and cloud computing lies in where the data processing takes place.

At the moment, the existing Internet of Things (IoT) systems perform all of their computations in the cloud using data centres. Edge computing, on the other hand, essentially manages the massive amounts of data generated by IoT devices by storing and processing data locally. That data doesn’t need to be sent over a network as soon as it processed; only important data is sent — therefore, an edge computing network reduces the amount of data that travels over the network.

Current Affair 18:
India-Saudi Arabia Ties: Scaling New Heights

The Prime Minister of India visited Saudi Arabia from 28th- 29th October 2019. The visit was the second visit of the Prime Minister to the country in three years.

We will quickly see here different agreement signed.

  1. India-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council was formed to coordinate on strategically important issues. The council will be headed by the Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammed and will meet every two years.

India is the fourth country with which Saudi Arabia has formed such a strategic partnership, after the UK, France and China.

  1. 12 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) on issues related to defence industries, security, air services, renewable energy, medicine products regulation, prevention of narcotics trafficking, and the use of RuPay cards in Saudi Arabia.
  2. India also cleared an MoU that will help Hajj pilgrims to travel comfortably in Saudi Arabia during the pilgrimage seasons.
  3. Stand on terrorism and other issues:

Both sides condemned terrorism in all forms and stated that no particular religion, race or culture should be linked with international terrorism.

  1. Future Investment Initiative: It is Saudi Arabia’s annual investment forum, also known as ‘Davos in the Desert’. The informal name derives from the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting that is held in Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders discuss and shape agendas for pressing international issues.
  2. The Prime Minister of India also invited Saudi companies to invest in India's energy sector as India has set a target of $100 billion investment in the sector by 2024.
  3. Cooperation in the Energy Sector:

Saudi Arabia is keen to play a role in the creation of strategic petroleum reserves at Padur in Karnataka.

A study is being conducted for the setting up of the world’s largest greenfield refinery at Raigarh in Maharashtra by Saudi Aramco, Adnoc of the United Arab Emirates and Indian public sector oil companies.

 We will also see picture of India-Saudi ties:

Today’s Indo-Saudi cooperation is no longer restricted to the traditional sphere of oil-energy trade. Instead, the relationship has become multifaceted thanks to the impetus given by the leaderships of both countries to other areas, including defense, maritime security, counterterrorism, science and technology, strategic oil reserves, investments, tourism, and so on.

  1. Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner of India since the signing of the Riyadh Declaration in 2010.
  2. It is currently India’s second-largest supplier of crude oil – providing about 18 % of its energy needs. It also has a major role in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs). The largest supplier of crude oil is Iraq.
  3. It is India’s 4th largest trade partner. In 2018-19, the India-Saudi bilateral trade was the US $ 34.03 billion.
  4. Saudi recently supported the India’s move on abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
  5. Both countries will hold their first joint naval exercises either toward the end of 2019 or at the beginning of next year.


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