Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2024

Feb 02, 2024

Current Affair 1:
What is bottom trawling and why it is haemful?



Since the start of this year, the Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 69 Indian fishermen for trespassing in the waters of Palk Bay and for bottom trawling, a commonly used method of fishing in the Bay of Bengal and India in general.

What is bottom trawling and why is it harmful?

Sabse pehele photo dekh lo, sab samjh aa jyga phir:

Bottom trawling entails a fishing net being dragged across the bottom of the seabed, thus capturing marine animals inhabiting the bottom of the ocean like shrimp, octopus, and halibut. These animals are called demersal species, as they live and feed at the ocean’s bed.

Most mechanical trawlers have conical nets attached to them, dragging at the speed of 1-7 kilometres per hour.


  1. While in other forms of fishing, you can see the fish and target which ones you want to catch, bottom trawlers are intensive and do not differentiate between the target species and others.
  2. The extra species that get caught in the nets are known as bycatch and are either thrown back into the ocean or used to make fertilizer or fish meal. According to researchers, bycatch makes up 40% of the total marine catch in the world annually.
  3. Trawling also results in the uprooting of marine flora from the ocean bed. A 2017 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal shows that mechanical trawlers, depending on their size, can deplete between 6-41 percent of the biota in the ocean every time they pass.
  4. Another major consequence of the nature of bottom trawlers is that because they ‘desuspend’ the bottom layer of sediments and flora on the ocean floor, they deprive certain fish of their food.
  5. The rampant overfishing and excessive bycatch also ensure the lack of availability of prey for carnivorous fish.
  6. Studies have shown how continuous trawling in an area result in poor food quality for fish, rendering them weak.
  7. Aside from the disruptions to the ocean bed, another ecological problem caused by bottom trawling is the release of carbon dioxide from the ocean floor. A seminal study published in Nature in 2021 found that bottom trawling is responsible for 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions annually.


Current Affair 2:
RBI-Digital Payments Index



The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been publishing a composite Reserve Bank of India – Digital Payments Index (RBI-DPI) since January 1, 2021 with March 2018 as base to capture the extent of digitization of payments across the country. The index for September 2023 stands at 418.77 as against 395.57 for March 2023, which was announced on July 27, 2023.

The RBI-DPI index has increased across all parameters and was driven particularly by growth in payment enablers, payment performance and consumer centricity across the country over the period.

The RBI-DPI comprises of 5 broad parameters that enable measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods. These parameters are – (i) Payment Enablers (weight 25%), (ii) Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors (10%), (iii) Payment Infrastructure – Supply-side factors (15%), (iv) Payment Performance (45%) and (v) Consumer Centricity (5%).

Current Affair 3:
How is the United Nations Funded?



As of 7 February 2024, 51 Member States have paid their regular budget assessments in full.

How is the United Nations funded?

All 193 members of the United Nations are required to make payments to certain parts of the organization as a condition of membership.

The amount each member must pay, known as its assessed contribution, varies widely and is determined by a complex formula that factors in gross national income and population.

These mandatory contributions help fund the United Nations’ regular budget, which covers administrative costs and a few programs, as well as peacekeeping operations.

In 2023, the United Nations assessed the United States’ share of the regular budget at 22 percent.

Members may also make voluntary contributions. Many UN organizations, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Food Program (WFP), rely mainly on discretionary funding.

Current Affair 4:
Guidelines for utilizing Green Hydrogen in Steel Sector



The guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) on 2nd February, 2024.

Under the National Green Hydrogen Mission, along with other initiatives, MNRE will implement pilot projects in the Steel Sector, for replacing fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstock with Green Hydrogen and its derivatives. These pilot projects will be implemented through the Ministry of Steel and the Implementing Agencies nominated under this Scheme.

Three areas have been identified as thrust areas for the pilot projects in the steel sector.

These are use of Hydrogen in Direct Reduced Ironmaking process; use of Hydrogen in Blast Furnace; and substitution of fossil fuels with Green Hydrogen in a gradual manner. The scheme will also support pilot projects involving any other innovative use of hydrogen for reducing carbon emissions in iron and steel production.

The scheme envisages that considering the higher costs of green hydrogen at present, steel plants could begin by blending a small percentage of green hydrogen in their processes, and increasing the blending proportion progressively, with improvement in cost-economics and advancement of technology.

The scheme will also consider greenfield projects aiming at 100% green steel.

The Scheme will be implemented with a total budgetary outlay of Rs. 455 crores till FY 2029-30.

The use of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives in the steel sector, through the proposed pilot projects, will lead to the development of necessary infrastructure for use of Green Hydrogen in the Iron & Steel industry, resulting in establishment of a Green Hydrogen ecosystem in the steel sector.

The utilization of green hydrogen in the steel industry is expected to increase over the years, with the expected reduction in its production cost.

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