Daily Current Affairs

Prelims Prominence - March 27, 2018

Renewable Energy

ISA and India sign the Host Country Agreement ISA a juridical personality now

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), signed the Host Country Agreement

Enlighten about the agreement

  • The Agreement will give ISA a juridical personality and gives it power to contract, to acquire and dispose off movable and immovable properties, to institute and defend legal proceedings.
  • Under this agreement, ISA shall enjoy such privileges, applicable tax concessions and immunities as are necessary for ISA’s Headquarter to independently discharge its function and programmes.
  • ISA shall be deriving its status, privileges and immunities as per Article 10 of Framework Agreement.

Enlighten about ISA -

  • The International Solar Alliance is an initiative jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and President of France on 30th November 2015 at Paris, in the presence of the Secretary General of the UN, on the side lines of COP21 UN Climate Change Conference.
  • The main objective of ISA is to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize more than US $ 1000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs of 121 countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics.
  • ISA has presently four ongoing programmes: Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use, Affordable Finance at Scale, Scaling Solar Mini Grids and Scaling Solar Rooftop catering to the needs of solar energy in specific areas.
  • The Framework Agreement coming into force on 6th December 2017, the ISA became the first international intergovernmental treaty based organization to be headquartered in India.
  • ISA celebrated its founding day on 11th March, 2018.

Facts

Discovery of world’s longest sandstone cave Meghalaya – Krem Puri

  • The cave system has fossils of dinosaurs, especially the Mosasaurus, a giant reptile that lived 66-76 million years ago.
  • The cave is Meghalaya is 6,000m longer than the current listed sandstone cave in the world, Cueva El Samán, (18,200m) in Venezuela.

Prize/Awards

Abel Prize 2018 Canadian mathematician Robert P. Langlands

Awarded annually by

  • Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
  • To one or more outstanding mathematicians
  • The award was established by Government of Norway in 2001 and awarded annually since 2003.
  • It is named after 19th century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
  • It is one of world’s top prizes in mathematics and is considered to be maths equivalent of Nobel Prize

Defence

INS Ganga decommissioned

  • Indian Navy’s indigenously built warship INS Ganga (F22) decommissioned after over three decades of service.
  • The warship was commissioned in December 1985 and had represented big step forward in India’s indigenous warship building capability.

INS Ganga

  • INS Ganga (F22) was a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy.
  • It was built by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai and was commissioned into Indian Navy on 30 December 1985.
  • The Godavari class was first indigenous warship design and development initiative of Indian Navy.

Environment

Okhla Bird Sanctuary Redevelopment And Upgradation initiated

  • Okhla Bird Sanctuary is located close to New Delhi and is one of the 467 Important Bird Areas (IBA) of the country and is home to a large number of resident, as well as migratory birds like grey-headed fish eagle, Baikal teal, Baer’s pochard and Sarus crane.
  • It is home to 32 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and 186 plant species.
  • Okhla Bird Sanctuary, belonging to the State of Uttar Pradesh, has an area of 400 ha, out of which 120 ha falls within the National Capital Region of Delhi.

Social

First Indian Sign Language Dictionary of 3000 Words Launched

Developed by

  • Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLR&TC) under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), M/o Social Justice & Empowerment.

What’s the purpose

  • Its aim is to give Deaf people the constitutional right to speech and opportunity of freedom of expression and also bringing them into the main stream of the society.

Science & Tech

Fluorimeter Developed by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

  • Fluorimeter - instrument to measure traces of uranium in water
  • The instrument, “Fluorimeter”, has been developed by the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), an Indore-based unit of the DAE.
  • The device, costing Rs 1 lakh, would help in detecting traces of uranium in water.

Enlighten about Uranium

  • Uranium is a radioactive element.
  • If it’s quantity is more than the permissible limit, then use of such water may cause thyroid cancer, blood cancer, depression and other serious ailments.
  • The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has fixed the permissible radiological limit to 60 PPB of uranium concentration for drinking water.

Environment

Global carbon emissions report International Energy Agency (IEA) report

What’s the NEWS

  • The global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose to historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes in 2017.

Reason cited

  • It was due to higher energy demand and slowing of energy efficiency improvements.

Enlighten about the report

  • India and China accounted for 70% of global increase in energy demand
  • US, UK, Mexico and Japan - drop in emissions levels
  • The renewables-based electricity generation rose by 6.3% due to expansion of wind, solar and hydropower.

Enlighten about International Energy Agency (IEA)

  • IEA is an inter-governmental organization established in 1974 as per framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • Presently it has 30 member countries including India. It is headquartered in Paris, France.

State Specific

One app, 1,000 services: mKeralam

  • It is the one-stop shop for accessing all government services
  • Kerala, which last year became the first Indian State to declare Internet a basic human right, has notched up another first to its credit by launching mKeralam

Sources – PIB,The Hindu,LiveMint,BS