Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jun 18, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Draft Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules of 2020

We will try to create a connection first before starting explanations, so that you can enjoy reading with understanding.

The regulatory framework for drones was issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ("DGCA") on August 27, 2018 (1.0) for legalizing and regulating the operation of drones for civil use in India.  To liberalize the regime further and tap the potential uses of drones especially for commercial purposes, the Ministry of Civil Aviation constituted a drone taskforce. Accordingly, on the basis of the recommendations of the task force, The Minister of Civil Aviation, released the draft Drone Policy 2.0 on 15th January 2019. No need for going through al recommendations regarding 2.0 policy. Just read few points from below given image.


Several new initiatives were launched by the authorities focused towards capacity building of the drone ecosystem in 2019 and this trend continues in 2020.

Now we will focus on what happened in 2020.

We want to give few lines introduction, so that it can help you with Mains too. So, read below.

  1. Drones or automation, in general, is the most significant development, which the aviation industry will undergo in the coming decades.
  2. Reports suggest that by the year 2024, the drone industry will reach $ 43.2 billion, in-fact it is predicted that many of our daily life activities will be replaced by drones.
  3. Various food delivery companies are already contemplating food delivery using drones. Earlier this year, three food delivery start-ups were given the nod by the Government to test drones for deliveries.
  4. Similarly, various e-commerce companies are also looking at the possibility of using drones for delivery.
  5. Apart from transportation, drones also have massive potential for emergency services. Last year, the Maharashtra Government announced a partnership with a leading medical drone company for delivering critical care medicines/equipment.
  6. Similarly, the insurance industry is already deploying drones for better risk management and collection of data.
  7. In this regard, it becomes imperative for a country to have rules, which can sustain this boom that will change the very definition of aviation.

Keeping up with this trend, in June 2020, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has published a draft version of the "Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2020" (the "Draft Rules") for public consultation. The Draft Rules are in continuation of the regulations, which were issued in 2018.

Now we will focus on few important points under rules. You will not find such clear and important points of rules anywhere, please read and remember this only.

  1. The first and foremost aspect of the Draft Rules are that they seeks to establish an Indian drone registry similar to the Indian aircraft registry, which the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( the "DGCA") is required to maintain in relation to aircraft under Aircraft Rules, 1937. This is a welcome step, which will help in maintaining a database of drones in the country, which will further the cause of policy development.
  2. Moreover, the Draft Rules seem to incorporate the doctrine of "extraterritorial application of laws", since as per Draft Rule 1(2)(a), the Draft Rules are applicable on "UAS registered in India, wherever they may be" clearly extending the ambit of the Draft Rules to Indian registered drones irrespective of their location.
  3. Thus, an Indian drone being operated overseas would technically continue to be subject to these Draft Rules
  4. Another interesting aspect of the Draft Rules is that they are independent of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. It is important to mention that the 2018 Regulations were subservient to the Aircraft Rules, 1937.
  5. Government has recognised the concept of drone leasing in the Draft Rules.
  6. Rule number 36 and 38 in the Ministry’s draft state that no unmanned aircraft shall carry any payload, unless specified by the Director General of DGCA. Neither shall a person “drop or project or cause or permit to be dropped or projected from a UAS (unmanned aircraft system) in motion anything,” except when specified.
  7. Lastly, the rules have incorporated the doctrine of substantial ownership and effective control ("SOEC"). We know, you didn’t understand SOEC. Don’t worry.

Substantial ownership and effective control ("SOEC")

SOEC is a doctrine very commonly used in aviation, SOEC mandated that substantial ownership and control of an airline must vest with nationals belonging to the same country as the airline. This is a prerequisite for the grant of traffic rights to or starting of an airline in most jurisdictions. For example, the CAR for grant of Non-Scheduled Operator's Permit and also the one for grant of Permit for Scheduled Air Transport Services have compliance provisions for SOEC. The history of SOEC predates to the era when the Convention of International Civil Aviation, 1944 (the "Chicago Convention") was drafted.

Coming back to the Draft Rules, SOEC compliance has been incorporated as a strict requirement for the grant of authorisation for import or manufacture or trade or owning or operation of drones in India. Draft Rule 7 of the Draft Rules states that a company which wants to import/manufacture/trade/own/operate drones in India should have a) its principal place of business in India b) the Chairman and at least 2/3rd of its directors must be citizens of India.

Key-terms related to Rules-

Drone is a layman terminology for Unmanned Aircraft (UA). Drones have been categorised in five different categories based on weight-

  1. Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams.
  2. Micro: From 250 grams to 2kg.
  3. Small: From 2 kg to 25kg.
  4. Medium: From 25kg to 150kg
  5. Large: Greater than 150kg

Barring the smallest (nano category of drones), all other categories of drones — micro, small, medium and large — need to be registered.

About Directorate General of Civil Aviation


Drone Innovative Network-

Drones Innovators Network is an initiative of World Economic Forum to hasten and contribute to healthy drone policies in need of legislation. It aims to help overcome common challenges regulators are facing in enabling drones and unmanned aviation, such as how to enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights at scale, autonomous operations and flights over densely populated areas.


Why this Drones Innovator Network is important:

Drone Innovators Network Summit-2019 was held in New Delhi. Organised by the World Economic Forum under the aegis of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Current Affair 2:
World Crocodile Day: Experts flag dip in gharial count in Odisha


The number of gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is alarmingly decreasing in Odisha. Before proceeding on Gharials, we will all species of gharials in India.

India is home to three crocodilian species:

  1. The mugger or marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)
  2. The estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  3. The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)

The mugger is the most widespread, found in other South Asian countries too. The gharial is found mostly in Himalayan rivers. The estuarine crocodile is found in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, the Sundarbans in West Bengal and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands. It is also found across Southeast Asia and northern Australia.

The estuarine crocodile is infamous globally as a known maneater. The mugger is also known to be dangerous. The gharial is known to be a relatively harmless, fish-eating species.


Now back to news:

Only 14 gharials were spotted at Satkosia gorge (Odisha) in 2019, according to Sudhakar Kar, herpetologist and former wildlife researcher in Odisha forest department.

The Indian Crocodile Conservation Project was started in Odisha's Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary in 1975. The project was provided with the financial aid of the United Nations Development Fund and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Gharial is considered to be one of the most critically threatened crocodiles: Their habitat is threatened because of human encroachment and disruption of population through fishing activities. They are also genetically weak as compared to salt- water crocodiles and muggers.

Current Affair 3:
Supplying washed coal


The government had recently amended the Environment Protection Act to drop the mandatory washing of coal supplied to thermal power plants.

First understand why we need coal wash.

Indian coal is known to contain 30-50% ash, meaning that for every two units of coal burned, one unit of ash could be produced. So, a manufacturing or power producing unit has to burn more coal and in turn generate not only ash but also noxious gases, particulate matter and carbon emissions.

Coal washeries are units that reduce the ash content in coal through a mix of segregation, blending and washing techniques. These technologies are meant to allow the conservation and optimal use of coal reserves by improving the quality and efficiency of low grade, high ash Indian coal. Washery units set up in different locations were also meant to make improved coal available across manufacturing and industrial areas and thus reduce the reliance on long distance transportation of different grades of coal to units that needed them. Most importantly, washed coal would also provide high grade “coking” coal that is essential for the steel sector.

Why coal washing already was a failure?

Despite the known importance of coal washing to our coal dependent economy, this sector made up of medium and small-scale units (MSMEs) has mostly been a governance failure. After the nationalisation of coal in 1972-73, India’s washing capacity fell out of step with the massive increase in coal mining and the consequent exhaustion of our better coal reserves.

In the 1993 amendments to the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973, which first legalised the privatisation of coal blocks in India, private players showing “coal washing” as end use were also given captive coal blocks. Although the legal amendments invited private actors to invest in coal washeries, it generated much less interest than expected. According to the 2017 statistics, India has a total of 60 washeries with a capacity of only 185 MT. Of these, 15 are operated by Coal India Limited, India’s largest coal mining PSU, 19 are private coking coal washeries for use by steel industries and 38 are non-coking coal washeries run by private players like Aryan, Adani and Jindal.

Recent government decision?

As recently as January 2020, the NITI Aayog stated in a report that all new coal plants need to use super critical technology and washed coal. But after all this acknowledgement of the importance of coal washeries, the government surprisingly issued new notification in May 2020 without seeking any public inputs. On May 21, the environment ministry “undid” the January 2014 notification (In 2014, as part of its climate change commitments, the government had made coal washing mandatory for supply to all thermal units beyond 500 kms from the coal mine) that required thermal power plants (TPPs) to use of coal that has less than 34% ash content.

The ministry’s new regulation allows TPPs to now use low-grade Indian coal that produces more fly ash. The regulation, however, states that TPPs will have to comply with emission norms, fly ash utilisation norms and use transportation with safeguards or means that are less polluting. This sudden, unplanned environmental policy on coal threatens all the planned and in-process investments in washeries like Coal India Limited (CIL’s) plans for expansion.

What is Ministry’s justification?

The ministry’s justification for allowing the use of high-ash coal are two-fold.

  1. The economic debacle caused by the COVID lockdown is its first pretext. In its interest to generate new private investments in coal, the government would like to liberate the coal mining and thermal power sectors from the costs of washing and transporting washed coal. But experts state that the cost of washed coal does not add even 10% to the cost of electricity.
  2. The ministry also states that coal washeries cause pollution. However, this problem is not unique to washeries alone and applies to the entire supply chain that supports India’s economy. In the latest notification, the government makes coal washeries the only culprit of the problems that plague coal use and shifts the burden of managing pollution from the use of coal to TPPs.

The new notification states “(i) The extent of ash content in mined coal remains the same. With washeries, the ash content gets divided at two places (washeries and the power plant), whereas if unwashed coal is used in power plant, the ash content is handled at only one place viz. the power plant”.

Understand few trends regarding coal important for Prelims.

Total Installed capacity up to May 2020: Coal still constitutes more than 50 percent. See below.


Top 5 coal reserves: All data has been taken from Ministry of Coal site. No need to cross check.



Current Affair 4:
What is AXONE.

Source Link

In news- The 2019 Hindi cinema titled 'Axone1' directed by Nicholas Kharkongor deals with a day in the life of a group of friends cooking a dish with Axone. Various issues ranging from racial bias in subtle as well as threatening forms that the migrants have to encounter daily, intertwined with food, to the social aspirations of migrants, as well as agency of the migrants to exercise their right, are raised through the movie.

As movies has been linked to racism and has reference to North East food culture, it is bit important.

Now the name and subject of a much-talked about feature film, axoneor fermented soya bean — is cooked, eaten and loved in Nagaland, and many tribal communities in different parts of Northeast India and beyond. An introduction to the ingredient — its popularity, its distinctive smell, and its role in tribal identity and culture.

This Tribal folklore has references to the ingredient.

For example, as per a Sumi folktale, axone was an “accidental discovery.” “Legend says that a young girl, who worked as a domestic help, would be sent to the fields to work only with boiled soya bean and rice to eat,”, “It was inedible, so the girl kept the soya bean aside, wrapped in a banana leaf. A few days later, she found the soya had fermented, with a unique smell. She decided to use it in a dish and that is how axone was discovered.”

Current Affair 5:
China’s quantum satellite enables first totally secure long-range messages

Source Link

In the middle of the night, invisible to anyone but special telescopes in two Chinese observatories, satellite Micius sends particles of light to Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link.

Named after the ancient Chinese philosopher also known as Mozi, Micius is the world’s first quantum communications satellite and has, for several years, been at the forefront of quantum encryption.

Scientists have now reported using this technology to reach a major milestone: Long-range secure communication you could trust even without trusting the satellite it runs through.

The satellite serves as the source of pairs of entangled photons, twinned light particles whose properties remain intertwined no matter how far apart they are. If you manipulate one of the photons, the other will be similarly affected at the very same moment.


It is this property that lies in the heart of the most secure forms of quantum cryptography, the entanglement-based quantum key distribution. If you use one of the entangled particles to create a key for encoding messages, only the person with the other particle can decode them.


Current Affair 6:
Raja Parba festival of Odisha

The Raja Parba of Odisha is one of most popular festivals of the state. Dedicated to Bhuma Devi, the consort of Lord Vishnu, Raja Parba celebrates womanhood.

This is enough but it becomes very short, so we will add here few more festivals of Odisha and Odissi dance.


Odissi Dance form:

Odisha, on the eastern sea- coast, is the home of Odissi, one of the many forms of Indian classical dance. The Natya Shastra mentions many regional varieties, such as the south-eastern style known as the Odhra Magadha which can be identified as the earliest precursor of present day Odissi.

Remember Gotipuas and Maharis who were chief repositories of this dance

As in other parts of India, creative literature inspired the Odissi dancer also and provided the themes for dance. This is especially true of the 12th century Gita Govinda by Jayadeva.


The techniques of movement are built around the two basic postures of the Chowk and the Tribhanga. The chowk is a position imitating a square - a very masculine stance with the weight of the body equally balanced. The Tribhanga is a very feminine stance where the body is deflected at the neck, torso and the knees.



Other important festivals of Odisha:

  1. Jagannath Rath Yatra: Jagannath Rath Yatra is one of the most anticipated annual festivals, that happens during the months of June or July in Puri. Like the name suggests, it is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, that is Lord Krishna, along with his siblings Lord Balaram and Goddess Subhadra.
  2. Chhau Festival:

Chhau Festival is celebrated every year during the month of April. This 3-day-long festival is mostly celebrated by the Bhuiyan tribes in Odisha. The main attraction of the festival is the performance of Chhau dance by the people of Odisha.

  1. Konark Dance Festival:

 Started in the year 1986, the Konark Dance Festival is celebrated to bring together artists of all forms of classical dance forms and perform at a single stage. Thereby, getting international recognition to these classical dance forms.

Painting: Pattachitra is a traditional painting of Odisha, India. These paintings are based on Hindu mythology and specially inspired by Jagannath and Vaishnava sect.

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