Goaltide Daily Current Afffairs 2023
Current Affair 1:
lithium reserve of India
After recent news about the commercial exploration of lithium in Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka is looking forward to similar possibilities regarding the lithium reserves in its Mandya district.
The chemical element lithium has the chemical symbol Li and atomic number 3 and is derived from the Greek word lithos, meaning stone.
It is a delicate, white-silver alkali metal. It is the least dense metal and the least dense solid element under typical conditions. As with all alkali metals, Li must be stored under a vacuum, in an inert atmosphere, or an inert liquid such as mineral oil or pure kerosene.
It has a shiny sheen when cut, but damp air quickly corrodes it to a dull silvery grey, then a black patina.
It never occurs freely in nature, but only in (usually ionic) compounds, such as pegmatitic minerals, which were once the main source of Li. Due to its solubility as an ion, it is present in ocean water and is commonly obtained from brines. Li metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride.
What is the status of Lithium in India?
Currently India is fully import-dependent when it comes to lithium. In 2021-22, Hong Kong, China and the US were the top three sources of India's lithium imports.
According to the Ministry of Mines, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has carried out 19 projects in the last five years on lithium and associated elements.
The GSI has currently inferred that the deposits in Kashmir could hold around 5.9 million tonnes of lithium in the Salal-Haimana area of Reasi District in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is the G3 level of surveying.
As per the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC),
G4 - Basic, reconnaissance survey
G3 - Preliminary exploration
G2 - General exploration
G1 - When quantities associated with a known deposit can be estimated with a high level of confidence
Jammu & Kashmir Lithium Reserve
One of the largest Lithium Resources in the world, the recently discovered lithium deposit is believed to be 5.9 million tonnes and is located in the Salal-Haimana area in the Reasi District of Jammu & Kashmir (UT) according to the Geological Survey of India (GSI). Lithium reserves in a tiny area of land studied in Southern Karnataka’s Mandya district were previously assessed to be 14,100 tonnes by scientists at the Atomic Minerals Directorate (under India’s Atomic Energy Commission).
Gujarat will host India’s first lithium factory in 2021, with Manikaran Power Limited investing Rs 1000 crore to build the refinery. The ore of lithium will be used in the refinery to make the basic components of batteries. TATA is developing Li-ion batteries that are entirely built in India. These batteries are produced by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), however, their availability and application are currently constrained.
A Memorandum of Agreement for Li-battery operation and technology transfer to India was inked in 2018 between RAASI Solar Power Private Limited and the Central Electro Chemical Research Institute in Tamil Nadu.
About Lithium and Its Uses
Lithium is a soft, shiny grey metal found in the earth’s crust. It is a highly reactive and alkaline metal.
Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries. The well-known uses of Lithium are in Lithium ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additive to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as convertor to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions (fusion).
It is also used to make alloys with aluminium and magnesium, improving their strength and making them lighter e.g., Magnesium-lithium alloy – for armour plating, Aluminium-lithium alloys – in aircraft, bicycle frames and high-speed trains.
Due to its utility in diverse applications, it also referred as ‘White Gold’.
Current Affair 2:
Alux and Mayan civilisation
Recently, the Mexican President claimed a photo of a tree as a figure from Mayan mythology, as depicted in a historic sculpture from the Mayan civilization.
According to Mayan mythology, aluxes are small, mischievous creatures that inhabit forests and fields and like to play tricks on people, like hiding things. It is believed to live somewhere around the Yucatan peninsula.
They are typically invisible to humans, although legend has it they are capable of becoming visible when they want to be mischievous or are feeling playful. They are also quick in their movements, and some have even been said to have the body parts of other animals including iguanas, deer, macaws, or coati. Other physical descriptions are similar to those of sprites, spiritual fairy-like creatures.
In some regions, Yucatan locals say Aluxes can appear in more frightening forms, including dark shadows or shapes with glowing red eyes. If Aluxes are disrespected or disregarded, they may take on menacing forms to frighten the locals.
The Maya are an indigenous people of Mexico and Central America who have continuously inhabited the lands comprising modern-day Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico and southward through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras.
The Maya civilization originated in the Yucatan Peninsula. Known for its monumental architecture and an advanced understanding of mathematics and astronomy.
The rise of the Maya began about 250 CE, and what is known to archaeologists as the Classic Period of Mayan culture lasted until about 900 CE. At its height, Mayan civilization consisted of more than 40 cities, each with a population between 5,000 and 50,000.
But then, suddenly, between 800 and 950 CE, many of the southern cities were abandoned. This period is called the collapse of the Classic Maya civilisations, puzzling modern-day scientists.
As early as 1500 BCE the Maya had settled in villages and had developed an agriculture based on the cultivation of corn (maize), beans, and squash; by 600 CE cassava (sweet manioc) was also grown.
They began to build ceremonial centres, and by 200 CE these had developed into cities containing temples, pyramids, palaces, courts for playing ball, and plazas.
The ancient Maya quarried immense quantities of building stone (usually limestone), which they cut by using harder stones such as chert. They practiced mainly slash-and-burn agriculture, but they used advanced techniques of irrigation and terracing. They also developed a system of hieroglyphic writing and highly sophisticated calendrical and astronomical systems.
The Maya made paper from the inner bark of wild fig trees and wrote their hieroglyphs on books made from this paper. Those books are called codices.
The Maya also developed an elaborate and beautiful tradition of sculpture and relief carving.
Architectural works and stone inscriptions and reliefs are the chief sources of knowledge about the early Maya.
Reasons for collapse:
Past evidence: The Maya people faced starvation because of their dependence on drought-sensitive crops such as corn, beans and squash
Recent study: It examined the drought tolerance of the 497 indigenous food plants of the Maya lowlands under three different scenarios: Short-duration, medium-duration and extreme drought.
These plants have also been identified through paleoethnobotany, a branch of science dealing with behavioural and ecological interactions between past humans and plants.
Researchers found that Under extreme drought conditions, stems such as hearts of palm and cactus pads would remain available for multiple year’s.
The Maya people could have turned to chaya and cassava to meet their carbohydrates and protein needs
Chaya, a shrub whose leaves are high in protein, iron, potassium and calcium, could have also been available.
They believe that social and economic upheaval likely played a role.
Climate change is already hampering food security.
For instance, studies suggest it has negatively affected the yield of maize and wheat in low-latitude areas.
Current Affair 3:
Recently, the Union Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairy Minister inaugurated and launched three national flagship programs .
About National Surveillance Programme on Fish Diseases:
It was launched as part of Phase II of the National Surveillance Programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases (NSPAAD) under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) programme. Fishing Sector in India, with about 7.7% of the global fish production, is the third largest fish producing country and the second largest aquaculture fish producer in the world.
The country is also home to more than 10% of the global fish biodiversity and is one of the 17-mega biodiversity rich countries. Fisheries and aquaculture witnessed manifold rise in its production during past decades, from 5 lakh tons in 1950-51 to 142 lakh tons in FY 2019-20.
The sector provides livelihood to about 16 million fishers and fish farmers at the primary level and almost twice the number along the value chain, and has enough potential to generate income, employment, growth in subsidiary industries, and earn foreign exchange for the nation.
The share of fisheries sector in the total GDP (at current prices) increased from 0.40% in 1950-51 to 1.07% of the total GDP in The sector has contributed about 1.24% to the country’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and over 7.28% to the agricultural GVA.
Export earnings from the Fisheries sector has been Rs.46,662.85 crores during 2019-20.
Fisheries sector has been recognized as a ‘Sunrise Sector’ and has demonstrated an outstanding double-digit average annual growth of 10.87% since 2014-15.
Challenges for Fisheries sector:
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) points out that nearly 90% of the global marine fish stocks have either been fully exploited or overfished or depleted to the extent that recovery may not be biologically possible.
Discharge of harmful substances like plastics and other waste into water bodies that cause devastating consequences for aquatic life.
Indian Government's Effort to Improve Fisheries:
Establishment of Fisheries and Aquaculture Infrastructure Development Fund (FIDF) during 2018-19.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana: The programme aims to achieve 22 million tonnes of fish production by 2024-25. Also, it is expected to create employment opportunities for 55 lakh people.
Focus on Blue Revolution: Focuses on creating an enabling environment for integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio-economic development of the fishers and fish farmers.
Extension of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) facilities to fishers and fish farmers to help them in meeting their working capital needs.
GEMINI: Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation & Information
For dissemination of information on disaster warnings, Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen, GOI launched GEMINI device and mobile application.
GOI has issued an advisory to all coastal States & UTs to make mandatory the use of Automatic Identification System (AIS) & Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) in fishing vessels for safe navigation.
The need for GEMINI
PFZ forecasts, developed by INCOIS, will provide advisories on PFZ to fishermen 3 days in advance.
Ocean State Forecasts include the forecasts on winds, waves, ocean currents, water temperature, etc.
However, PFZ & OSF advisories do not reach fishermen when they move 10-12 km away from the coast.
The communication gap puts the life & property of those involved in deep sea fishing in Indian Ocean at risk.
To overcome this difficulty, GEMINI portable device was developed.
How GEMINI works?
GEMINI device utilizes the GAGAN system to transmit the PFZ, OSF and disaster warnings to user’s cell phone.
The GEMINI app on the cell phone decodes the signals from GEMINI device and alerts the user on imminent threats like cyclones, high waves, strong winds along with PFZ and search and rescue mission.
Current Affair 4:
Italian PM Giorgia Meloni to be chief guest at 8th Raisina Dialogue to be held soon.
It is a multilateral conference committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. Every year, global leaders in policy, business, media and civil society are hosted in New Delhi to discuss cooperation on a wide range of pertinent international policy matters.
The Dialogue is structured as a multi-stakeholder, cross-sectoral discussion, involving heads of state, cabinet ministers and local government officials, as well as major private sector executives, members of the media and academics.
The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
About Observer Research Foundation (ORF):
Established in 1990, the ORF is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that conducts policy research on good governance, foreign policy, and sustainable economic development for India.
ORF’s work spans a wide range of topics, including climate, energy, cyber issues and media, economic development, and national security.
It provides non-partisan, independent, well-researched analyses and inputs to diverse decision-makers in governments, business communities, academia, and to civil society around the world.
Mandate: It seeks to lead and aid policy thinking towards building a strong and prosperous India in a fair and equitable world.
The theme of Raisina Dialogue 2023
Provocation, Uncertainty, Turbulence: Lighthouse in the Tempest
Pillars of Raisina Dialogue
Neo Insurgence: This means the dialogue will discuss about the new revolts and uprisings. It will focus on geographies and ambitions
Amoral Mosaic: mosaic means a pattern. The dialogue will discuss on things that are not moral and what shall be done to change or reduce this. The discussion will be on things that will help in boosting cooperation
Pernicious Passports: That is, the passports used for harmful effects and will focus on citizens and climate-related issues
Grey Rhinos: This will focus on debt traps and democracies
Chaotic codes: Under this pillar, the dialogue will discuss security, sovereignty, and society
Current Affair 5:
Supreme Court has recently directed government to file report on steps taken to end manual scavenging.
What is Manual Scavenging?
Manual scavenging is defined as “the removal of human excrement from public streets and dry latrines, cleaning septic tanks, gutters and sewers”.
India banned the practice under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSR).
The Act bans the use of any individual manually cleaning, carrying, disposing of or otherwise handling in any manner human excreta till its disposal.
The Act recognizes manual scavenging as a “dehumanizing practice”.
What are the Reasons for the Prevalence of Manual Scavenging?
A number of independent surveys have talked about the continued reluctance on the part of state governments to admit that the practice prevails under their watch.
Issues due to Outsourcing:
Many times, local bodies outsource sewer cleaning tasks to private contractors. However, many of them fly-by-night operators, do not maintain proper rolls of sanitation workers.
In case after case of workers being asphyxiated to death, these contractors have denied any association with the deceased.
The practice is driven by caste, class and income divides.
It is linked to India’s caste system where so-called lower castes are expected to perform this job.
In 1993, India banned the employment of people as manual scavengers (The Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993), however, the stigma and discrimination associated with it still linger on.
This makes it difficult for liberated manual scavengers to secure alternative livelihoods.
Scavenging is mostly carried out by a subgroup of the Dalits, an outcast community also known as “untouchables” within India’s ancient system of caste hierarchies.
“Untouchables” are often impoverished, shunned by society and forbidden from touching Indians of other castes, or even their food.
Scavenging continues in parts of India largely due to governmental indifference and social prejudice.
There is a complete absence of planning for the maintenance of sewerage, septic tanks, and waste disposal systems in the urban policies made for the city by the state and private companies.
The number of people killed while cleaning sewers and septic tanks has increased over the last few years.
2019 saw the highest number of manual scavenging deaths in the past five years.
Article 14: Equality before law. (Right to Equality)
Article 16 (2): Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
Article 19 (1)(g) : Right to Freedom (Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech), to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.
Article 21 : Protection of life and personal liberty
Article 23 : Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labor<< Previous Next >>