Goaltide Daily Current Afffairs 2023

Feb 27, 2023

Current Affair 1:



Biodiversity, which encompasses the total quantity and variety of life on our planet, is crucial for the future of Earth. The United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada (2022) emphasized the significance of this biological wealth.

In the same conference, 188 country representatives adopted an agreement to halt and reverse” biodiversity loss by conserving 30% of the worlds land and 30% of the worlds oceans by 2030, known as the 30×30 pledge.

India currently hosts 17% of the planets human population and 17% of the global area in biodiversity hotspots, placing it at the helm to guide the planet in becoming biodiversity champions. To achieve the 30% goal, India needs to have Biodiversity Friendly Management.




Biodiversity Hotspot

There are currently 36 biodiversity hotspots identified. These are the most biologically diverse—yet endangered—terrestrial places on the planet. A region must meet two strict criteria to be designated as a biodiversity hotspot:

There are at least 1,500 vascular plant species found nowhere else on Earth (known as endemic” species).

At least 70% of its core native vegetation has been lost.

Many biodiversity hotspots meet both of these criteria. Sundaland Hotspot in Southeast Asia and the Tropical Andes Hotspot in South America, for example, both feature around 15,000 unique plant species. In certain locations, the loss of vegetation has reached a stunning 95 percent.

Biodiversity is the multitude of genes, species, communities and ecosystems. recognized at the three levels; i.e., genetic diversity, species diversity & ecosystem diversity.

Genetic Diversity: A single species has a large variety of genes in its gene pool. The sum total of all the genes of a species is called the Gene pool of the species. The variability of genes within the gene pool of a species is called genetic diversity.

Species Diversity: It is the variety of species in different habitats on the Earth. For instance, a large variety of species of plants, animals & microorganisms are found in tropical rainforests.

Ecosystem Diversity: It is the variety of ecosystems in the biosphere. e.g. variety of ecosystems like wetlands, corals, estuaries, deserts, mangroves, temperate forests & so on.

Number of species on earth

It is difficult to believe that there are 20,000 species of orchids,20,000 species of ants, 28,000 species of fishes and about3,00,000 species of beetles on earth. According to IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature and Naturalresources) estimates, the total number of animal and plantspecies, described so far, is more than 1.5 million. Due toproject 'Species 2000' and Global Biodiversity Information,the new species are being discovered faster than ever before.However, the discovery and description of species is morecomplete in temperate than in tropical countries. A largenumber of species are waiting to be discovered from tropics.According to estimates of Robert May

The global species diversity is about 7 million (1.5 million, i.e. 22% reported till now and 78% are yet to be discovered).


More than 70% of all the species recorded are animals.Plants are not more than 22% of the total.

Among animals also, about 70% are insects.

The Fungi have more species than all the vertebrates species combined.

In case of vertebrates, the species of fishes are more than that of birds, and of latter, more than reptiles.

In case of plant species, the species of fungi > species of angiosperms > species of algae.

The all above estimates do not give any idea for the number of species of prokaryotes, whose species diversity may run in millions.


Number of species in India




India is one of the 12 mega divesity country of the world. It has 2.4%, i.e., 1/40 of world land area, but global species diversity is 8.1 %, i.e. 1/12. In India the number of animal and plant species recorded so far is 90,000 and 45,000 respectively.

According to May's global estimates, about 3,00,000 animal species and 1,00,000 plant species are yet to be discovered from India.

(A large number of species are facing the threat of extinction even before they are discovered, i.e. 'Nature's biological library is burning even before we catalogue the titles of all the books stocked there').



Current Affair 2:


Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India , has been selected as External Auditor of the International Labour Organization in Geneva for a four-year term from 2024 to 2027.

Who is the CAG?

CAG is an independent authority under the Constitution of India. He is the head of the Indian audit & account department and chief Guardian of Public purse. It is the institution through which the accountability of the government and other public authorities (all those who spend public funds) to Parliament and State Legislatures and through them to the people is ensured.




Shri Girish Chandra Murmu is the incumbent CAG of India.

Powers of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India

Article 148 of the Constitution of India establishes the authority of this office. It states the following points in relation to the establishment and powers of CAG:

The Comptroller and Auditor General is appointed by the President of India and can be removed from office only in the manner and on the grounds that a Judge of the Supreme Court is removed.

The person appointed to this office should take an oath of office before the President or any other person appointed by the office of the President.

The salary, service conditions, leaves of absence, pension, and age of retirement are determined by the Parliament of India and specified in the Second Schedule such that the service conditions and salary will not be modified to the disadvantage of the incumbent during their tenure.

The CAG is not eligible for any further office after the end of their tenure either in the Government of India or any State Government.

The powers and functions of the CAG are subject to the provisions of the Indian Constitution and any Acts of Parliament, along with the service conditions for the Indian Audits and Accounts Department. The rules governing these would be prescribed by the President in consultation with the incumbent.


The expenses on the administration of this office including all allowances, salaries and pensions would be charged to the Consolidated Fund of India.

The incumbent is appointed for a period of 6 years or until attaining the age of 65 years whichever is earlier.


Duties and functions: 


He audits the accounts related to all expenditure from Consolidated Fund of India, consolidated Fund of each state and union territory having a legislative assembly. He audits all expenditures from the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India as well as the Contingency Fund and Public Account of each state.


He audits all trading, manufacturing, profit and loss accounts, balance sheets and other subsidiary accounts kept by any department of the Central Government and State Governments. He audits the receipts and expenditures of each State and Centre to satisfy himself that the rules and procedures on that behalf are designed to secure an effective check on the assessment, collection and proper allocation of revenue.

He audits the accounts of any other authority when requested by the President or Governor.



He shall only be removed from office in like manner and on like grounds as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Current Affair 3:
Open Market Sale Scheme


The third e-auction to offload wheat under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic) took place recently.




What is an Open Market Sale Scheme (OMSS)?

FCI sells surplus stocks of wheat and rice at predetermined prices through e-auction in the open market from time to time to enhance the supply of food grains. The purpose of OMSS is to dispose of surplus stocks of wheat and rice held by FCI, and to regulate the prices of wheat in the open market.

FCI conducts weekly auctions for the OMSS for wheat on the platform of the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX). NCDEX is a commodity exchange platform in India that provides a platform for trading in various agricultural and other commodities.

What is the Food Corporation of India?

The FCI is a government-owned corporation that manages the food security system in India. It was established in 1965 under the Food Corporation's Act 1964 with the objective of ensuring adequate availability of food grains throughout the country, and to maintain price stability in the market.

The FCI also maintains buffer stocks of food grains to ensure food security during times of scarcity or crisis. The FCI is also responsible for distributing foodgrains throughout the country for public distribution system. FCI also conducts e-auction as one of the methods to dispose of its surplus food grains.




The present form of OMSS comprises 3 schemes as under:

Sale of wheat to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction.

Sale of wheat to bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction by dedicated movement.

Sale of Raw Rice Grade Ato bulk consumers/private traders through e-auction.

Selling through a transparent process

For transparency in operations, the Corporation has switched over to e-auction for sale under Open Market Sale Scheme (Domestic). The FCI conducts a weekly auction to conduct this scheme in the open market using the platform of commodity exchange NCDEX (National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Limited).


The State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations are also allowed to participate in the e-auction if they require wheat and rice outside TPDS & OWS. OMSS has the potential to reduce wastage, generate revenue, and stabilize prices, but it also has potential drawbacks such as impacts on farmers, quality control issues, and administrative challenges. It is important for the government to carefully manage the implementation of the scheme to ensure that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.



Current Affair 4:
shipping industry


Recently, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways  stressed upon reducing pollution intensity and evolve strategies to introduce renewable energy and green hydrogen in the shipping sector.

India’s shipping status

India has 13 major ports and 200 notified non major ports-major ports administered by Union under Major Ports Trust Act 1963 except Ennore port (Companies Act).

Cargo traffic increased at CAGR 7.4% during 2007-2017

Major traffic chunk shifting to non-major ports- now 45% of total as 28 % in 2007

100% FDI in shipping sector under automatic route

PM has conceptualized Arth Ganga for waterways


Importance of shipping

Vast coastline of 7500km-95% of countrys trade by volume on sea-important for economic growth

Important for integration into global economic system as ports are primary component of general transportation sector - Cargo traffic in the country is expected to rise to 2,500 MT by 2024-25

Enhancement of blue economy through fishing, tourism and passenger support

Ports as a key component of the logistics chain: Their operation has direct impact on economic variables: such as export competitiveness and final import prices,

Ease of doing business as ports with high capacities to handle import and export with low turnaround time and fast clearance time are essential.




The major economies of the world have always realised the potential of shipping as a contributor to economic growth. Today, for instance, control of the seas is a key component of Chinas Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China is trying to take control of the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean Region.

However, geographically, China is not as blessed as India. It has a great variety of climates and it has a coast only in the east; yet, seven of the top 10 container ports in the world are in China, according to the World Shipping Council. What aided Chinas growth are strong merchant marine and infrastructure to carry and handle merchandise all over the world.





Prior to the 16th century, both India and China were equal competitors on GDP. Historical records prove that India had maritime supremacy in the world. But over the past 70 years, India has lost its global eminence in shipping due to poor legislation and politics.

Problems faced by the Indian shipping industry

The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the shipping industry, which nearly halted operations. The financial performance of all international shipping companies has been impacted by restrictions on the movement of goods and people, with a significant drop in demand for goods and their transportation throughout the supply chain. On both the supply and demand sides, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted logistics chains, resulting in significant losses.

Impact of fuel prices

The shipping industry is severely impacted by the continuous volatility in crude oil prices. To begin with, it has an impact on the costs of freight transportation. As a result, shipping companies prefer bulk shipments over frequent smaller shipments. Although this saves money for shippers and receivers, it has a negative impact on the logistics industry. The number of empty miles sailed by a carrier rises when shipment frequency is low. The more stops a carrier makes on a given route, the higher the profit.

Need for greater technological up-gradation and integration

Integration between port authorities, shipping lines, road transport authorities, railway authorities, and inland waterways systems is critical. Too many authorities, each with their own rules, hinder smooth operations. The demand for single document cargo clearance is growing, and this global trend must be adopted in India, which will necessitate technological advancements and the integration of relevant regulations.

Labour shortages

Supply chains are experiencing a labour shortage and a shortage of many materials. There is a growing demand for truck drivers and a shrinking supply in the transportation industry. Because products cannot be shipped between plants or to their final destination without drivers, this shortage exacerbates shipping issues.




Other factors

Other factors that affect operating costs and profits include geopolitics, trade wars, sanctions, and macroeconomic factors (exchange rate volatility, an unexpected increase in oil prices). From a security standpoint, hackersability to control port operations remotely is a concerning threat. The ability of remote container management to monitor temperature, humidity, O2 and CO2 levels within containers also constitutes a significant challenge.

Maritime India Vision 2030

It is a ten-year blueprint for the maritime sector which will be released by the Prime Minister of India at the Maritime India Summit in November 2020.

It will supersede the Sagarmala initiative and aims to boost waterways, give a fillip to the shipbuilding industry and encourage cruise tourism in India


Current Affair 5:
Khajuraho temple


While Khajuraho is internationally recognized for its rich architectural grandeur of the Western Group of temples that UNESCO recognizes as world heritage, the districts of Chhatarpur and Panna have lesser-known destinations that can serve as model local tourist destinations.

While Khajuraho is internationally recognized for its rich architectural grandeur of the Western Group of temples that UNESCO recognizes as world heritage, the districts of Chhatarpur and Panna have lesser-known destinations that can serve as model local tourist destinations.

The architecture of the Khajuraho Temples is extremely intricate. The following are the key features of these temples:

•    With antarala, a tiny ante-chamber, the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum)

•    A huge hall known as the Maha Mandapa

•    The Ardha Mandapa and a mandapa are tiny additions to the main hall.

•    A circumambulation trail known as the Pradakshina Path.


At Khajuraho, a few temples are of the Panchayatana type, with four shrines dedicated to the divinities and often another shrine in front of the portico dedicated to the major deity's vahana (vehicle).





The Khajuraho Temples are thought to have been constructed of light-colored sandstone imported from the Panna quarries on the Kane River's east bank. The construction of the temples also makes extensive use of iron clamps. A few smaller temples are constructed partially of sandstone and partially of granite.


The Khajuraho temples are made of sandstone, with a granite foundation that is almost concealed from view.[52] The builders didn't use mortar: the stones were put together with mortise and tenon joints and they were held in place by gravity. This form of construction requires very precise joints. The columns and architraves were built with megaliths that weighed up to 20 tons.[53] Some repair work in the 19th Century was done with brick and mortar; however, these have aged faster than original materials and darkened with time, thereby seeming out of place.

The Khajuraho and Kalinjar region is home to superior quality of sandstone, which can be carved precisely. The surviving sculpture reflect fine details such as strands of hair, manicured nails, and intricate jewelry.




Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the 10th century CE and patronized by Chandela Kings. Sandstone was used to construct all of the temples.

The evolution of the Nagara architectural style may be seen here, starting with the temple at Deogarh (constructed roughly 400 years before the Khajuraho temples).

The Khajuraho temples are also noted for their enormous erotic sculptures; erotic expression is considered as a part of the wider cosmic whole, and it is given similar value in human experience as a spiritual quest.

As a result, many Hindu temples have Mithuns (couples-erotic sculptures) sculptures, which are considered auspicious.


The sculptures at Khajuraho are highly stylized and have distinctive traits.

There are also temples devoted to Yoginis, who are part of Tantric worship, demonstrating that the tantric cult grew and flourished after the 7th century. For example, the Chausanth Yogini temple.

There are a few Jain temples as well as a Chausanth Yogini temple in the area.

The Khajuraho Dance Festival is a one-week (first week of February) festival of classical dances held annually against the spectacular backdrop of Khajuraho.

Kandariya Mahadeva (dedicated to Lord Shiva) and Lakshmana temple are two important temples in Khajuraho.


Lakshmana Temple, Khajuraho

One of the most magnificent of the Khajuraho temples, it is dedicated to Vishnu.

Built in 954 CE by Chandela King Dhanga, the structure is built on a high platform with stair access.

In each of the four corners, there are little temples.

There are a lot of shikharas, amalak, and kalash. There are also balconies and verandas that protrude outward

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