My Notes - 01 -15 July 2023

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India's first domestic regulated carbon market

  • The union government, through a gazette notification, approved the formation of India’s first domestic regulated carbon market (Carbon Credit Trading Scheme, 2023).
  • A carbon credit allows its owner to emit that certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. One credit is equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide or the equivalent in other greenhouse gases.

Data Protection Bill approved

  • The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 approved by the Cabinet Nearly six years after the Supreme Court held privacy to be a fundamental right.
  • It is a crucial pillar of the overarching framework of technology regulations the Centre is building, which also includes the Digital India Bill — the proposed successor to the Information Technology Act, 2000, the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, and a policy for non-personal data governance.

Party symbol in case of spilt

  • Party symbols come under the purview of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order, 1968, that aims "to provide for specification, reservation, choice and allotment of symbols at elections in Parliamentary and Assembly Constituencies, for the recognition of political parties in relation thereto and for matters connected therewith".
  • The ECI holds the authority to recognise and allot party symbols, even during a dispute.

India joins Champions Group of GCRG

  • India has joined the champions group of the Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) following an invitation from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The GCRG was set up by the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) in March last year to address urgent and critical global issues such as food and energy security challenges.


Newest member of the SCO

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed Iran as the newest member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at the virtual summit of the grouping on 4 July 2023.
  • The grouping came into existence in Shanghai in 2001 with six members, minus India and Pakistan (became member in 2017).

India signs the US-led Artemis Accords

  • India signed the three-year-old Artemis Accords, a US-led international partnership on planetary exploration and research.
  • The Accords have been signed by 26 countries till now, including Japan, Australia, the UK, France, and Canada.
  • A set of 13 principles, the Artemis Accords is closely linked to the Artemis Program, which aims to return astronauts to the lunar surface, build a space camp there, and carry out deep space exploration.

US formally rejoin UNESCO

  • The United States on 11 July 2023 formally rejoined the UN’s scientific, educational and cultural organization after a five-year absence.
  • UNESCO is a UN agency tasked with furthering international cooperation and peace through the promotion of educational, scientific and cultural causes. The United States was a founding member of UNESCO in 1945.

US govt open to studying geoengineering

  • Solar radiation management (SRM) — strategies that seek to control how much sunlight reaches the Earth — is part of a controversial concept called ‘geoengineering’ that has caught the fancy of some sections as a potential solution to global warming.
  • Geoengineering is broadly divided into two categoriestechnologies for capturing carbon (carbon dioxide removal) and methods for managing how much of the Sun’s heat reaches the Earth.


Internationalisation of the rupee

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) inter-departmental group (IDG) said the rupee has the potential to become an internationalised currency.
  • Internationalisation is a process that involves increasing the use of the rupee in cross-border transactions.
  • It involves promoting the rupee for import and export trade and then other current account transactions, followed by its use in capital account transactions. These are all transactions between residents in India and non-residents.

India is at forefront of global trade facilitation efforts

  • India is at the forefront of global trade facilitation efforts; with an impressive score of 93.55 per cent in 2023 vis a vis 90.32 per cent in 2021, as per the released United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific's (UNESCAP) Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.
  • The 2023 survey covers more than 140 economies and evaluates 60 trade facilitation measures.

Uniform 28% on online gaming

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, in its 50th meeting, decided to levy a uniform 28 per cent tax on full face value for online gaming, casinos and horse-racing.
  • So far, lottery, betting, and gambling were classified as actionable claims. Now, horse racing and online gaming will be added.

Science And Technology

India’s third unmanned lunar Mission

  • India’s third unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, aimed at exploring the south polar region of the moon, soared into the sky successfully as planned from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) by LVM-3.
  • The precise goal is to make a soft and safe landing on the lunar surface, and if the mission is successful, India will only be the fourth country to have achieved the feat, joining the elite club of the US, Russia, and China.

Universe has a background ‘hum’

  • An international group of scientists has made a groundbreaking discovery that confirms the existence of gravitational waves first envisioned by Albert Einstein.
  • The recent research heavily relied on pulsars, which are the highly dense remnants of exploded stars spinning at extraordinary speeds.
  • Einstein initially proposed the existence of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time, in 1916 as an extension of his revolutionary theory of general relativity.

Internet Apocalypse

  • People on Earth can be left without the internet for several months as a new possibility of internet apocalypse has emerged due to a solar storm.
  • For the first time, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) completed a groundbreaking mission to travel through the solar winds in space.
  • Solar storms are simply the atmospheric impacts felt on earth due to the winds that generate near the sun.

Guidelines for ‘dark patterns’

  • The government has set up a 17-member task force to prepare guidelines on protecting consumers against “dark patterns”.
  • Dark patterns, also known as deceptive patterns, is the term used to describe the ways in which websites or apps make their users do things that the users do not intend to do.

Centre identifies 30 critical minerals

  • In a strategic move, the Centre has identified 30 critical minerals, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, tin and copper, which are essential for the country’s economic development and national security.
  • The identification of these minerals was done on the basis of a report on critical minerals prepared by an expert team constituted by the Ministry of Mines.

Carbon molecules detected in space matters

  • The CH3+ molecule, which is also known as methyl cation, has been detected in space for the first time by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
  • CH3+ is a very simple organic molecule just one carbon atom and 3 hydrogen But it reacts with other molecules to form more complex ones. Its presence in space tells us that basic building blocks for life are out there.


Environmental friendly cremation

  • UK’s largest cremation provider Co-operative Funeralcare has come out with a plan to offer its customers water cremation or resomation.
  • Water cremation is a process of cremation in which the body of the deceased is put in a biodegradable pouch, which is put in a container with pressurized water and potassium hydroxide.
  • The tissues and cells of the body are converted into a watery solution. The bones, dental implants, prosthetics, and other hard things are left in sterile water.

The two ‘mosaic’ viruses hit tomato crop

  • Tomato growers in Maharashtra and Karnataka have blamed two different viruses for the loss of yields earlier this year.
  • Farmers in Maharashtra have said their tomato crop was impacted by attacks of the cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), while growers in Karnataka and other South Indian states have blamed the tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) for crop losses.

India’s first Vedic-themed park unveiled

  • India’s first Vedic-themed park has been opened to the public in Noida’s Sector 78, inaugurated by Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath.
  • Known as the Ved Van Park, the place is home to over 50,000 plants, such as banyan, kalpavriksha, and coconut, which have been mentioned in Vedic literature.


India’s remarkable reduction in poverty: UN

  • According to the United Nations, India has witnessed a remarkable achievement in poverty reduction, with a staggering 415 million individuals transitioning out of poverty within a relatively short span of 15 years, from 2005/2006 to 2019/2021.
  • The global MPI monitors poverty reduction and informs policy, showing how people experience poverty in different aspects of their daily lives - from access to education and health to living standards such as housing, drinking water, sanitation, and electricity.

Caused for recent heavy rainfall

  • The weather department has attributed the heavy rainfall over Chandigarh and its adjoining areas to a Western Disturbance (WD), which hit the northern parts of India.
  • A WD is a storm originating from the Mediterranean region, completely different from the monsoon.

France’s highest decoration for PM

  • French President Emmanuel Macron conferred his country’s highest honour, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The National Order of the Legion of Honour, or simply The Legion of Honour is the highest French decoration, both civil and military, and is one of the most famous national honours in the world.

State of emergency for Guillain-Barré Syndrome

  • The Peruvian government has declared a state of national emergency for up to three months, due to a spike in the number of cases of a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder where the body’s immune system — which normally protects it from infections and other foreign bodies — mistakenly attacks its own peripheral nerve cells.

IMO adopts interim guidance on biofuels' use

  • The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted interim guidance on the use of biofuels and biofuel blends, a resolution vehemently pushed by India at a maritime environment protection conference.
  • The London-based IMO is a specialised agency of the United Nations which is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships.

IN-SPACe issues EoI for SSLV tech transfer

  • The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) issued an expression of interest (EoI) for transfer of technology (ToT) of the small satellite launch vehicle (SSLV) to Indian private players.
  • This first-of-its-kind ToT is a significant milestone for the Indian Space sector.

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