Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Aug 17, 2022

Current Affair 1:
A report by RBI: Privatization of Public Sector Banks: An Alternate Perspective


Few images: They are important.


Labour cost efficiency is higher in PSBs in comparison to Private Sector Banks.:

Current Affair 2:
Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are persistent, bio accumulative pollutants found in water resources at concentrations harmful to human health. PFAS have been referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their resistance to most biological and chemical degradation mechanisms.

How do PFAS get from everyday products into water, soil and eventually humans?

There are two main exposure pathways for PFAS to get into humans — drinking water and food consumption.

PFAS can get into soil through land application of biosolids, that is, sludge from wastewater treatment, and can they leach out from landfills. If contaminated biosolids are applied to farm fields as fertilizer, PFAS can get into water and into crops and vegetables.

For example, livestock can consume PFAS through the crops they eat and water they drink. There have been cases reported in Michigan, Maine and New Mexico of elevated levels of PFAS in beef and in dairy cows. How big the potential risk is to humans is still largely unknown.

The problem is that these chemicals are everywhere, and there is no natural process in water or soil that breaks them down. Many consumer products are loaded with PFAS, including makeup, dental floss, guitar strings and ski wax.

How are remediation projects removing PFAS contamination now?

Methods exist for filtering them out of water. The chemicals will stick to activated carbon, for example. But these methods are expensive for large-scale projects, and you still have to get rid of the chemicals.

For example, near a former military base near Sacramento, California, there is a huge activated carbon tank that takes in about 1,500 gallons of contaminated groundwater per minute, filters it and then pumps it underground. That remediation project has cost over $3 million, but it prevents PFAS from moving into drinking water the community uses.

What are the most promising methods scientists have found for breaking down PFAS?

The most common method of destroying PFAS is incineration, but most PFAS are remarkably resistant to being burned. That’s why they’re in firefighting foams.

PFAS have multiple fluorine atoms attached to a carbon atom, and the bond between carbon and fluorine is one of the strongest. Normally to burn something, you have to break the bond, but fluorine resists breaking off from carbon.

Most PFAS will break down completely at incineration temperatures around 1,500 degrees Celsius (2,730 degrees Fahrenheit), but it’s energy intensive and suitable incinerators are scarce.

There are several other experimental techniques that are promising but haven’t been scaled up to treat large amounts of the chemicals.


Current Affair 3:
A Case of Judicial Stereotyping


A Sessions Court of Kerala recently received a lot of flak for its order granting anticipatory bail to author and social activist Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case. The reasoning thus provided for granting bail to the accused was that the offence of sexual harassment was not prima facie attracted when the complainant woman was wearing 'sexually provocative dresses'. The language employed by the Sessions Judge in this order amounts to judicial stereotyping. This article seeks to discuss the limits placed upon the emancipatory potential of law caused by judicial stereotyping.

What is Judicial Stereotyping?

Judicial stereotyping refers to a generalized preconception by a court of law attributed to a group, such as women in the present case.

Whether blatantly hostile (such as "women wearing sexually provocative clothes invite sexual harassment") or seemingly benign (such as "women need protection" or "women are natural nurturers"), judicial stereotyping not just perpetuates inequalities but also violates law.

It is based on irrational predispositions and generalizations, rather than concrete facts. In practice, this results in women being constitutionally excluded and disenfranchised from the legal system. Women's access to justice, which is both a fundamental human right and an essential means to implement other human rights, is inadvertently curbed by a judicial set-up which is entrenched in patriarchy and is oblivious to her needs.


Current Affair 4:
‘Oldest’ ice sample found in Antarctica


Researchers in Antarctica have extracted a 9.44-metre-long ice core, which contains ice that is estimated to be 5 million years old. It is believed to be the oldest ice sample ever retrieved.

Examination and study of the ice sample presents enormous possibilities for understanding ancient climate and today’s changing climate. The methods used by the researchers to measure the age of ice could aid in studying other older ice samples.

The findings were published last month in the journal The Cryosphere.

Unlike traditional ice core extraction, which requires drilling deep under layers of sedimentary ice, this sample was found buried under a rock in Ong Valley in the Transantarctic Mountains.

Ice cores and flowing ice

  • Ice cores are obtained by drilling into metres-thick ice and obtaining long tubes of icy material, or “cores”.
  • The cores contain layers of ice by seasonal snowfall and deposition, stacked by year, with the uppermost part of the ice being the most recent.
  • These cores can be sliced into different time periods and material, which provides information about the climate when the ice was freshly fallen snow.
  • Fresh snow can trap air bubbles and also have atmospheric particles settle on it, which can indicate the nature of ancient climate.

Cosmogenic nuclide dating

Cosmogenic nuclides are rare isotopes of elements that are created when cosmic rays — high-energy protons and nuclei whizzing through space — interact with the nucleus of an atom on Earth, releasing protons and neutrons from the atom. These isotopes or nuclides form inside rocks, meteorites, and also in planetary atmospheres.

The terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides measured in the previous study were those of Beryllium (Be), Aluminium (Al), and Neon (Ne), within the debris that was mixed up with the ice.


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