Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jun 17, 2020

Current Affair 1:
92 lions already dead in Gir this year, according to report

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Ninety-two Asiatic lions have died in Gujarat’s Asiatic Lion Landscape (ALL) since January 2020, according to a Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) committee report. This is in the contrast with:

As per the report, some lions have died of in-fighting and many have died of the canine distemper virus (CDV).

Main problem is: Why is the Supreme Court order of 2013 not being implemented? Why are we endangering the world’s only population of wild Asiatic lions?”

What was SC judgement of 2013??

A quick look at: Just to have clear idea.


Asiatic Lion Conservation Project: what is required we have pasted below. Nothing more than this for this project.

This project has “Species Conservation over a large landscape” approach.  Besides this approach, the Greater Gir Region (GGR) is being divided into various zones and management approach of “Zone Plans and Theme Plans” for the conservation of the Asiatic Lion.

Current Affair 2:

Microplastics, as the name implies, are tiny plastic particles. Officially, they are defined as plastics less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in diameter—smaller in diameter than the standard pearl used in jewelry. There are two categories of microplastics: primary and secondary.

Primary microplastics are tiny particles designed for commercial use, such as cosmetics, as well as microfibers shed from clothing and other textiles, such as fishing nets. Secondary microplastics are particles that result from the breakdown of larger plastic items, such as water bottles. This breakdown is caused by exposure to environmental factors, mainly the sun’s radiation and ocean waves.

Problems with Microplastics:

The problem with microplastics is that—like plastic items of any size—they do not readily break down into harmless molecules. Plastics can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose—and in the meantime, wreak havoc on the environment. On beaches, microplastics are visible as tiny multicolored plastic bits in sand. In the oceans, microplastic pollution is often consumed by marine animals.

Microplastics have been detected in marine organisms from plankton to whales, in commercial seafood, and even in drinking water. Alarmingly, standard water treatment facilities cannot remove all traces of microplastics. To further complicate matters, microplastics in the ocean can bind with other harmful chemicals before being ingested by marine organisms.

But why do cosmetic manufacturers include micro plastics as one of the ingredients?

Most of them act as bulking agent for the products, helping in increasing volume of the product. Other such chemicals help in formation of film (thick layer), controlling viscosity (thickness or fluidity of product), hair fixation, adding aesthetics (glitters in bubble bath) and lending adhesive quality, among other such effects.

Something about India regarding Microplastics:

  1. Bureau of Indian Standards in 2017 classified a list of raw materials generally not recognised safe for use in cosmetics and proposed a ban on them from 2020 onwards. The status of the ban is currently known.


  1. In February 2020, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Norwegian Minister of Climate issued a joint statement about their decision to work on minimizing discharge of marine plastic litter and microplastics. The strategy adopted by the government needs to be seen.
  2. The 2019 Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) document on Gap Analysis of the Compliance Report Submitted by States and Union Territories remarked that states/UTs were not furnishing information regarding Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 in their jurisdiction and were not taking concrete steps to take preventive and regulatory measures envisaged under the rules.

We will learn here Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

What's new in Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016? There are many points, but we will cover all relevant points here.

  1. Rural areas have been brought in ambit of these Rules since plastic has reached to rural areas also. Responsibility for implementation of the rules is given to Gram Panchayat.

  1. First time, responsibility of waste generators is being introduced. Individual and bulk generators like offices, commercial establishments, industries are to segregate the plastic waste at source, handover segregated waste, pay user fee as per bye-laws of the local bodies.

  1. Extended Producer Responsibility: Earlier, EPR was left to the discretion of the local bodies. First time, the producers (i.e. persons engaged in manufacture, or import of carry bags, multi-layered packaging and sheets or like and the persons using these for packaging or wrapping their products) and brand owners have been made responsible for collecting waste generated from their products.

  1. State Pollution Control Board (SPCBs) will not grant/renew registration of plastic bags, or multi-layered packaging unless the producer proposes the action plan endorsed by the concerned State Development Department.

  1. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been mandated to formulate the guidelines for thermoset plastic (plastic difficult to recycle). In the earlier Rules, there was no specific provision for such type of plastic.

  1. Plastic carry bag will be available only with shopkeepers/street vendors pre-registered with local bodies on payment of certain registration fee. The amount collected as registration fee by local bodies is to be used for waste management.

  1. The State government or the union Territory shall, for the purpose of effective monitoring of implementation of these rules.


The Plastic Waste Management Rules, which were notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in March 2016, was amended and shall be called Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018.

Three basic amendments introduced:

  • Rule 15 (Explicit pricing of carrying bags) has been omitted in the amendment. It earlier required every vendor, who sold commodities in a carry bag, to register with their respective urban local body and pay a minimum fee of Rs 48,000 annum (4000/month).
  • Under section 9 (3), the term 'non-recyclable multilayered plastic if any' has been substituted by 'multi-layered plastic which is non-recyclable or non-energy recoverable or with no alternate use'. This gives plastic producers a scope to argue that their products can be put to some other use, if not recycled.
  • The section13(2) now requires all brand owners and producers to register or renew registration with the concerned State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee if operational only in one or two states or union territories. Earlier, only the producers had to register to CPCB or SPCB regardless of their extent of the area of operation.

It’s a big lengthy but after that no need for learning any such rules from any other source. We will give you all required for exam. No time wastage here.

Current Affair 3:
Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI)

Underlying Principle:

Realizing the full potential of artificial intelligence (AI) that benefits all citizens requires international collaboration, Canada and France are launching with Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union the Global Partnership on Artificial (GPAI) to support and guide the responsible development of artificial intelligence that is grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.

SO, why we used Canada and France with…….? Because of its origin. See below.


GPAI will be supported by a Secretariat, to be hosted by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, as well as by two Centers of Expertise- one each in Montreal and Paris.

How this helps for India?

By joining GPAI as a founding member, India will actively participate in the global development of Artificial Intelligence, leveraging upon its experience around use of digital technologies for inclusive growth.

Few important initiatives started by India related to AI: we have only mentioned initiatives from 2019.

Under Ministry of Defence:

Current Affair 4:
National Centre of Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) report on Arctic and Antarctica.

Source Link


  1. The National Centre of Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) found the largest decline in the Arctic Sea ice in the last 41 years due to global warming, leading to localized increase in evaporation, air humidity, cloud cover and rainfall.
  2. The NCPOR noted that this decline in Arctic Sea ice happened in July 2019. In the last 40 years (1979-2018), the sea ice has been declining at -4.7 per cent per decade, while its rate was found to be -13 per cent in July 2019.
  3.  If this trend continues, there would be no ice left in the Arctic Sea by 2050, it noted.
  4. Being a sensitive indicator of climate change, the loss of ice cover in the Arctic Sea has had strong feedback effects on other components of the climate system such as prevention or reduction of heat and momentum, water vapour, and other material exchange between the atmosphere and the sea.
  5. The worrying element to note is that the volume of ice formation during winters is unable to keep pace with the volume of ice loss during summers.


  1. There would be a 24 per cent increase in the expansion of the Ameri Ice Shelf (AIS) boundaries in Antarctica by 2021 and another 24 per cent by 2026 from its 2016 positions, the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) in Goa has predicted. The prediction made by NCPOR is based on a 16-year-long satellite-based observation that covered an area of 60,000 sq. km across the AIS. This study would help understand the ongoing changes in the ocean and atmospheric forcing better



Current Affair 5:
Leak of diesel in Ambarnaya river in Russia’s Norilsk

Source Link

Melting permafrost may have resulted in the leak of approximately 20,000 tonne diesel over 350 square metres of the 60-kilometre-long Ambarnaya river in Russia’s Norilsk — known as the country’s nickel capital — on May 29, 2020. The leak has put the local ecology at risk, forcing the Russian government to impose an emergency in the area.

The exact reason for the spill has not been ascertained yet, but the Norilsk Nickel Group — the company that owns the factory — claimed the leak occurred because of collapsing permafrost.

Norilsk is constructed on permafrost and there is a threat to its existence because of melting ice due to climate change, said local media reports.

Current Affair 6:
Species in news.

The spotted-thighed frog (Litoria cyclorhyncha):

A new study has highlighted the possible impact on the environment of South Australia state in the wake of an alien carnivorous species of frog making its way to the area. The spotted-thighed frog (Litoria cyclorhyncha) has been found to have established a 1,000-plus population in Streaky Bay in South Australia. The authors of the study warned that the frog can kill and eat almost any creature belonging to local species and cause enormous damage to local food webs in the process.


The muskrat is a species of semiaquatic rodent native to North America and has also been introduced to other continents. Many factors may have caused the decline of muskrats across North America, a new study by Pennsylvania State University has said. They found that the rodents had died due to a number of factors including pathogens, parasites, environmental contaminants as well as disease.

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