Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2023

Sep 06, 2023

Current Affair 1:
What is the legal basis of Outer Space?


The United Nation’s Outer Space Treaty of 1967, also known as the ‘Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space’, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a crucial international agreement that establishes the foundational principles for activities in outer space.

Article I of the Treaty describes outer space as the province of all mankind.

Article II of the Treaty explicitly states that outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, cannot be claimed by any nation as sovereign territory. It prohibits the establishment of territorial sovereignty in space.

A total of 114 nations, including India, the US, Russia, and the UK are parties to the Treaty and have ratified the same, which does not allow exclusive claim to celestial bodies.

The Moon Treaty or the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies was entered into force in 1984. Unlike the Outer Space Treaty, which primarily addresses the broader principles of space activities, the Moon Agreement specifically deals with the use and exploitation of the Moon and other celestial bodies beyond Earth’s orbit. The agreement also explicitly mentions that the Moon and its natural resources cannot become a property of any State, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization, national organization, or non-governmental entity or of any natural person.

Only India and 17 other countries are Parties to this agreement. However, other countries like the US, Russia, and China which have previously landed on the Moon are not part of this agreement.

Note: While property ownership is not permitted by these agreements, utilization of the resources does not have any regulations. That is, the agreements have not prohibited or restricted the extraction of such resources. So, for resources, we have anything?

The Artemis Accords of NASA is a non-binding set of principles designed to guide civil space exploration and use in the present when more countries are exploring Outer space. It was launched in 2020 and has 27 signatories, including India, as of June 2023. The Accords establish that the extraction of space resources does not inherently constitute national appropriation as per the Outer Space Treaty. It should be noted that the Accords are not international law.

India does not have a Space Law yet: Many countries including the US, China, Brazil, Japan, Russia, and Australia have their own National Space Laws.

While India still does not have such space legislation, a draft Space Activities Bill was published in 2017 recognising the need for it not only because of the interest shown by the private sector but also because space activities need participation from private sector agencies as well.

Irrespective of the Bill, the Government of India is encouraging non-government entities to participate in space-related activities and has created the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) under the Department of Space (DOS), to promote, handhold, and authorize activities of NGEs in the space sector.


Current Affair 2:
Light Pollution in marine habitat


Very interesting Article, I found. Just read.

Light is a key structuring factor in marine ecosystems. Light intensity attenuates vertically, with the brightest light available in shallow waters (the photic zone, <200 m) and only bursts of scant light found in deeper waters (the aphotic zone, >200 m).

Due to light structuring, many marine organisms have visual systems adapted to how light bends and travels in their habitat.

Marine organism’s dependent on the solar and lunar cycles to regulate key life history events. For example, the vertical migration of many marine organisms provides the basis of midwater ecosystems and varies with both solar and lunar cycles. Given the reliance on vision and associated behavioural, physiological, and ecological adaptations to light, it is likely that perturbations to the marine visual environment will have massive consequences for many organisms.

Sunlight, moonlight, starlight, and bioluminescent light are all major natural light sources that influence natural systems.


Sunlight is the main natural source of light for most organisms on Earth. The sun's cycles dominate many natural systems and direct the periodicity of biology and ecology across the land and ocean.

Sunlight can be brighter than 10,000 lx (The lux (symbolized lx) is the unit of illuminance) on a clear day above the water. While in air, this white light can travel further without losing intensity, but below the water, sunlight levels are much lower.

Light intensity declines by about 1.5 orders of magnitude with every 100 m depth; and sunlight reaches starlight intensity levels by 600–700 m deep; only bioluminescent light is found below depths of 1,000 m.

Moonlight and starlight are significantly dimmer than sunlight, but still serve as important cues for marine organisms. The lunar cycle, which drives tidal cycles, also gives a temporal cue for many marine organisms, which may vary their distribution or key behaviours such as reproduction with its availability. Starlight despite its low intensity, starlight is still critical for many organisms, used for navigation in fish, reptiles and birds. Moonlight and starlight can easily be washed out by artificial sources of light, causing shifts in marine biological systems.

In addition to these three celestial sources of light, bioluminescence is a critical signal for many organisms living in dim environments, often used for communication. Bioluminescence is the result of endogenous biochemical reactions in organisms that produce various wavelengths of light, most commonly blue or green. Bioluminescent light is found across the depths of marine environments from near the surface to the ocean depths but is the most common source of light in marine trenches and the aphotic zone.

Current Affair 3:
Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS).


First read, why we need EES in respect to India:

For energy transition, shifting from fossil fuel-based capacity to Renewable Energy capacity- it is necessary that the Renewable Energy becomes dispatchable, and available 24x7. This is possible only with Energy Storage.

Therefore, to achieve twin objectives of ensuring energy transition and energy security, it is crucial to create an ecosystem for development of ESS. Accordingly, a National Framework on ESS is necessary to encourage the adoption of Energy Storage for ensuring an environmentally sustainable and financially viable power sector.

Act: Electricity Act, 2003.

Current Affair 4:
Coal Gasification


Just read first basic introduction:

What is coal gasification?

It is the process of producing syngas, a mixture consisting carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), natural gas (CH4), and water vapour (H2O).


<< Previous Next >>

Send To My Bookmarks