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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Jul 19, 2022

Current Affair 1:
How do we know if the water is polluted?

 

 

Important points. Read everything mentioned below.

Water pollution or water quality can be measured across an extensive range of parameters. The five basic water quality parameters are dissolved oxygen, temperature, electrical conductivity or salinity, pH and turbidity.

Dissolved oxygen is the amount of oxygen dissolved in water – essential for the survival and growth of most aquatic organisms. This is a key indicator of water quality and the potential of the water body to support aquatic life and ecosystems.

The temperature of the water affects water chemistry and functions of aquatic organisms, such as metabolic rates of organisms, timing of reproduction, migration etc.

Conductivity is the ability of the water to conduct electricity – an outcome of dissolved salts in the water that break into positively and negatively charged ions.

Salinity is a measure of the amount of salts in water; dissolved salts increase both salinity and conductivity, hence, the two are related. Salts and other dissolved substances have a critical influence on aquatic biota. Every kind of organism has a typical salinity range that it can tolerate.

The pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the water is. Several chemical reactions that are necessary for aquatic organisms to survive and grow, require a very narrow pH range. At extreme ends of the pH scale (highly acidic or highly alkaline), physical damage to the organisms’ gills, exoskeletons and fins can occur. Changes in the pH also affect a water body’s toxicity.

Turbidity is a measure of the amount of suspended particles in the water. Algae, suspended sediment, and organic matter particles all contribute to turbidity. Suspended particles diffuse sunlight and absorb heat. The effects of this include increased temperature of the water body, reduced light available for algal photosynthesis and the clogging of fish gills. Moreover, once the sediment settles, it can foul gravel beds and smother fish eggs and benthic insects.

Other parameters of concern are nitrogen and total coliform.

Nitrogen is a nutrient that occurs naturally in both fresh and salt water. It is essential for plant growth in an aquatic ecosystem. However, when large amounts of nitrogen are introduced into an aquatic ecosystem (e.g.: due to fertiliser runoff), it can cause excessive algal growth. In a process known as ‘eutrophication’, the algae use up the oxygen for photosynthesis, depleting the oxygen available to aquatic organisms. This reduces the dissolved oxygen in the water body and can suffocate and kill the organisms within.

The presence of total coliform bacteria, faecal coliform bacteria and E. coli suggests that a water body has been contaminated by faecal matter (e.g.: through untreated sewage discharge). They are also called ‘indicator bacteria’ because they are easier to test for compared to other pathogens and can therefore reveal the extent of contamination of a water body.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India measures the quality of lakes and ponds across the aforementioned parameters and some others: temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, biological oxygen demand, nitrates and nitrites, faecal coliform and total coliform.

For example:

The parameter recorded the most extensively with minimal gaps in the 2019 CPCB data on ponds and lakes was that of ‘dissolved oxygen’.

Current Affair 2:
Vidya Samiksha Kendra

Source Link

 

News:

The ability to effectively collect, monitor, correlate, and analyse data will lead to timely actions to implement schemes.

In view of the above, States/UTs were advised to establish a Central system (Vidya Samiksha Kendra) at state level for tracking student enrolment, progress in their learning levels, Out of School Children mainstreamed, textbook delivery, support required by teachers and schools, etc.

Vidya Samiksha Kendra (VSK) is aimed at leveraging data and technology to bring a bid leap in learning outcomes. This will cover data of more than 15 Lakh schools, 96 Lakh teachers and 26 Crore students and analyse them meaningfully using big data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to enhance the overall monitoring of the education system and thereby improving learning outcomes.

Objectives

  1. To monitor the real-time status of various projects/ activities under the ambit of Samagra Shiksha.
  2. To keep track of enrolled students including learning outcomes, Dropouts, support required by teachers and schools, etc.
  3. To monitor and track field level academic and non-academic activities at state level
  4. To identify and analyse improvement areas for decision making and implementation that needs urgent attention.
  5. To improve the academic performance of students and to enhance the accountability of teachers in schools and effective utilisation of the available resources.
  6. To setup centralized helpdesk for grievance redressal mechanism for stakeholders of School ecosystem.
  7. To develop Centralized dashboard providing the real-time performance indicators of Schools.
  8. Increase accountability among all the field level staffs / administrators & monitor the real-time status towards various projects components / activities under the ambit of School Education.

Current Affair 3:
Extended Fund Facility (EFF ): IMF

 

When a country faces serious medium-term balance of payments problems because of structural weaknesses that require time to address, the IMF can assist through an Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

1) Provides assistance to countries experiencing serious payment imbalances because of structural impediments or slow growth and an inherently weak balance-of-payments position.

2) It provides support for comprehensive programs including the policies needed to correct structural imbalances over an extended period

3) As structural reforms to correct deep-rooted weaknesses often take time to implement and bear fruit, EFF engagement and repayment cover longer periods than most Fund arrangements.

4) The funds are provided for up to 3 to 4 years. And amounts drawn under an EFF are to be repaid over 4½–10 years

5) The size of borrowing under EFF is guided by a country’s financing needs, capacity to repay, and track record with past use of IMF resources

6) When a country borrows from the IMF, it commits to undertake policies to overcome economic and structural problems. Under an EFF, these commitments, including specific conditions (like elimination of price controls, ceiling on govt. borrowing minimum level of forex etc), are expected to have a strong focus on structural reforms to address institutional or economic weaknesses, in addition to policies to maintain macroeconomic stability.

The various financing facilities of IMF are given below:

(a) Extended Fund Facility

(b) Stand-by Arrangements

(c) Precautionary and Liquidity Line

(d) Flexible Credit Line

(e) Stand-by Credit Facility

(f) Extended Credit Facility

The above financing facilities are provided/disbursed over a period of 1 to 4 years.

The other two credit facilities of IMF like "Rapid Credit Facility" & "Rapid Financing Instrument" (asked in UPSC 2022) are provided/disbursed outrightly/immediately.

No need to go into details of all these.

Current Affair 4:
India-Namibia signs an MoU on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization

Source Link

 

Government of India and Government of the Republic of Namibia have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization, today, for establishing the cheetah into the historical range in India.

The main thrust areas of MoU are:

  1. Biodiversity conservation with specific focus on conservation and restoration of cheetah in their former range areas from which they went extinct,
  2. Sharing and exchange of expertise and capacities aimed at promoting cheetah conservation in two countries,
  3. Wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization by sharing good practices in

Cheetah Reintroduction project:

Among large carnivores, conflict with human interests is lowest for cheetahs, as they are not a threat to humans and usually do not attack large livestock. Bringing back a top predator restores historic evolutionary balance resulting in cascading effects on various levels of the ecosystem leading to better management and restoration of wildlife habitat (grasslands, scrublands and open forest ecosystems), conservation of cheetah’s prey and sympatric endangered species and a top-down effect of a large predator that enhances and maintains the diversity in lower trophic levels of the ecosystems.

The main goal of Cheetah reintroduction project in India is to establish viable cheetah metapopulation in India that allows the cheetah to perform its functional role as a top predator and provides space for the expansion of the cheetah within its historical range thereby contributing to its global conservation efforts.

Surveys for 10 sites were conducted between 2010 and 2012.  From the potential sites evaluated for the feasibility of establishing cheetah populations in India based on IUCN guidelines for reintroductions that consider species viability according to demography, genetics and socio-economics of conflict and livelihoods, Kuno National Park in the state of Madhya Pradesh was considered ready for receiving cheetah with the least management interventions since a lot of investments had been done in this Protected Area for reintroducing Asiatic lions.

The action plan for cheetah translocations in Kuno National Park has been developed in compliance with IUCN guidelines and considering site assessment and prey density, current cheetah carrying capacity of Kuno National Park, among other criteria.

Financial and administrative support to the cheetah reintroduction programme in India would be provided by MoEFCC through NTCA.

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