Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 12, 2018

First Founding Conference of International Solar Alliance (ISA) New Delhi, (March 11, 2018)

  • The summit was attended by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid among other dignitaries from over 50 countries.
  • One of the key takeaways at the 2015 Paris Climate summit 2015 (2015 UN Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11),

(to be headquartered at Gurugram, India. Its major objectives entered into force in December 2017)

  • ISA is aimed at tapping solar energy in the countries that lie partially or fully between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
  • The summit aims to mobilise $1 trillion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy, according to the ‘ISA Mission’
  • Efforts were under way to put together 121 projects, which can be signed in two phases — about 50 on March 11 and another 71 on April 20.

Enlighten about ISA -

  • The ISA is the first treaty-based intergovernmental organisation to be based in India that aims to help sunshine-rich developing countries to tap solar energy at more affordable prices through aggregating both demand and risks in order to bring down costs and secure investments of solar developers.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and African Development Bank (AfDb), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Green climate fund (GCF), and New Development Bank (NDB)

  • signed Joint financial partnership Declarations.

The International Energy Agency (IEA)

  • signed Joint partnership Declaration with ISA.

No restrictions on membership in ISA

  • The membership of the body will be thrown open to all countries that want to join the grouping
  • There will be no restrictions on duration of sunlight or geographical location
  • Earlier when the International Solar Alliance was announced in 2015, 121 nations situated between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn and receiving 300 days of sunlight were deemed eligible for membership

State Specific

The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 Passed by the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly

What it is

  • death penalty for convicts involved in rape of girls below 12 years of age.

Enlighten about it -

  • The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 adds sections 376- AA and 376-DD to the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • The amendment states that a person who is convicted of raping/gangraping a girl up to twelve years of age, shall be given a death sentence or rigorous imprisonment, which shall not be less than fourteen years and 20 years, respectively.
  • Rajasthan has become second state after Madhya Pradesh to award death penalty and lifetime imprisonment to child rapists.

International agreements

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or CP TPP or TPP11 11 Pacific Rim countries formally entered into it without USA in Santiago, Chile

  • It is revised version of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) proposed by US, that was Finalized after US withdrew from it.
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacic Partnership TPP11 includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • It will be world’s third largest trade bloc after European Union (EU) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • It will come into effect 60 days after six of the 11 member countries ratify the agreement domestically.
  • It eliminates some requirements of original TPP demanded by US, including rules to ramp up intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals.
  • After the US withdrawal, remaining 11 countries had decided to forge ahead regardless and finalized the agreement in January

Border Security

First ever Crime free Zone Along India – Bangladesh Border

  • Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have declared an 8.3 km stretch of the Indo-Bangladesh border as a ‘crime-free zone’.

Enlighten about The Crime-free zone

  • The stretch covers the Gunarmath and Kalyani Border Out Posts (BOPs) in India and the Puthkhali and Daulatpur BOPs across the border.
  • Both border guarding forces with the help of the civil administrations of the two countries, NGOs and the local populance will help in ensuring that no crime takes place along the stretch.
  • This is a pilot project that will be reviewed after 5-6 months. The stretch will be extended to other trouble-prone areas.

Renewable Energy

Diu - The first and only Union Territory to be 100 % solar energy efficient

  • Diu has become the first and only Union Territory to be fully solar energy efficient.
  • Diu’s geographical area is limited only to 42 square kilometers,
  • despite the shortage of land, solar power plants have been installed at over 50 acres of land.
  • A total of 13 megawatts of electricity from the solar power-generating systems is generated, with 3MW generated by rooftop solar plants and 10MW by other solar power plants.

Agreement between IREDA and EIB Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and European Investment Bank (EIB)

What -

  • EIB to finance Euro 150 million for renewable energy projects

Enlighten about European Investment Bank (EIB)

  • EIB is long-term lending institution of European Union owned by its member states.
  • Engaged in multilateral financing and works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy.
  • More than 90% of its activity is in Europe but it is also big investor globally.

Enlighten about Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA)

  • Under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for financing renewable and energy efficiency projects.

Sources – PIB,The Hindu, Toi,IE