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Daily Current Affairs : 12-Nov-2019

Major Topics Covered :


  1. CNG PORT TERMINAL AT BHAVNAGAR

  2. JAL JEEVAN MISSION (JJM)

  3. New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Law

  4. INTERNATIONAL TREATY OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE (ITPGRFA)

  5. ‘Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan’

  6. The Battle Over H-1B, H-4 Visas

  7. Anaemia Among Men

  8. Global Credit Ratings



CNG PORT TERMINAL AT BHAVNAGAR

Part of GS- Economy


Why in news:

  • Gujarat Government has given its nod to the world’s first CNG port terminal at Bhavnagar.


Highlights:

  • According to official release, the U.K. based Foresight group and Mumbai based Padmanabh Mafatlal group joint venture will invest Rs.1900 crore to set up a CNG port terminal at Bhavnagar port.

  • Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board- GIDB under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister has also approved this proposal.

  • The proposed CNG port terminal will have annual capacity of 6 million matric tone, which will increased the total handling capacity of the port to 9 million matric tones.

  • Mammorandum of Understanding- MoU for this project between Gujarat government arm Gujarat Maritime Board and London based Foresight Group was signed during the 2019 Vibrant Gujarat summit.

  • The new facility will be developed in the Northen side of present port, underwhich RoRo terminal, liquid terminal and container terminal will be developed in future.

  • The consortium has proposed an investment of Rs.1,900 crore in two phases with Rs 1,300 crore in the first phase and Rs 600 crore in the second phase through the 'Swiss challenge' method.

  • Studies for pre-feasibility report, cite selection, gas supply agreement and CNG vessel development have also been completed.



Source: PIB


JAL JEEVAN MISSION (JJM)

Part of GS- 1 Geography


Why in news:

  • Union Minister of Jal Shakti has emphasized the urgency to start work on Jal Jeevan Mission. He was speaking at the regional review of Jal Jeevan Mission in Southern States at Hyderabad.


Highlights:

  • The JJM- aims at providing Functional Household Tap Connections (FHTCs) in rural areas by 2024.

  • It was announced by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 73rd Independence Day,

  • Government of India and State Governments will work in partnership to further this goal.

  • FHTCs provided to the 14.60 crores rural households of the country.

  • The provisional cost estimate for this mission is Rs 3.60 lakh Crores.

  • Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation is the implementing Department for the mission.



Source : The Hindu


New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Law

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news:

  • New Zealand’s Parliament passed The Zero-Carbon Act. The Act is not a separate legislation but is an amendment to the existing Climate Change Responses Act, 2002.


Highlights:

  • According to the New Zealand government, this is the first legislation in the world to make a legally binding commitment to living within 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming.

  • The Zero-Carbon Act will commit New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner, as part of the country’s attempts to meet its Paris climate accord commitments.

The key aims of the Act include:

  • It reduce all greenhouse gases (except methane) to net zero by 2050,

  • It reduce emissions of biogenic methane (produced from biological sources) up to 24-47 percent below 2017 levels by 2050 and to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2030, establish an independent Climate Change Commission and establish a system of emissions budget.

What is Biogenic Methane?

  • The biogenic methane because methane is a short-lived gas and degrades into the atmosphere over the decades even though it is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

  • Biogenic methane is emitted by livestock, waste treatment and wetlands.



Source : Indian Express


INTERNATIONAL TREATY OF PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE (ITPGRFA)

Part of GS- 3Economy


Why in news:

  • Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar attended the Eighth Session of Governing Body of Seed Treaty at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The Governing Body sessions are biennial and this year it is being held from 11th to 16th November.


Highlights:

  • International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is also known as Seed Treaty.

  • It is a comprehensive international agreement for ensuring food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world's Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA).

  • The fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use.

  • It also recognizes farmers' rights, subject to national laws.

  • Treaty establishes the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing to facilitate plant germplasm exchanges and benefit sharing through Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA).

  • The treaty was negotiated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) and since 2006 has its own Governing Body under the aegis of the FAO.



Source : PIB


‘Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan’

Part of GS- 1 Social issues


Why in news:

  • The Ministry of Environment is undertaking a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in 50 identified beaches under the “Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan”, from 11th -17thNovember, 2019.


Highlights:

  • The main objective is to make beaches clean and create awareness amongst about the importance of coastal ecosystems.

  • The identified beaches are in 10 coastal States/Union Territories (UTs) namely Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha.

  • To collecte waste material will be processed as per extant Waste Management Rules, 2016.

  • Coordination and cooperation- The cleaning drives in all beaches are being undertaken, involving school/college students of Eco-clubs, district administration, institutions, volunteers, local communities and other stakeholders.

  • Environment Education Division of the Ministry and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the aegis of this Ministry will be responsible for the overall coordination for the drive in 50 beaches.



Source : The Hindu


The Battle Over H-1B, H-4 Visas

Part of GS-2 IR


Why in news:

  • The lottery-based H-1B visas allow US companies to employ foreign workers temporarily in specialised occupations for three years, extendable to six years.


Highlights:

  • H-1B and H-4 visas, at the centre of an important lawsuit in the US, have long served as a common passage for Indians into America.

  • Out of the 4,19,637 H-1B applications in 2018, 74 per cent came from India.

  • A United States court ruled that a group of American-born tech workers have faced heightened job competition from work authorisations given to the spouses of H-1B visa holders.

  • The judges gave Indian workers living in the US short-term breathing room by leaving the final decision of the ongoing lawsuit up to a lower court.

What are the H-1B and H-4 visas?

  • The lottery-based H-1B visas allow US companies to employ foreign workers temporarily in specialised occupations for three years, extendable to six years.

  • The issuances are capped at 85,000 a year, but some employers such as universities and research nonprofits are exempt.

H-4 visa:

  • Spouses of H-1B workers are granted an H-4 visa, through which some have been allowed to apply to work in the US since a Barack Obama-era 2015 law.

  • Since the law was instituted, a total of 1,20,514 H-4 visas have been granted, of which 1,10,649 have come from India.



Source : Indian Express


Anaemia Among Men

Part of GS-3 S&T, Health


Why in news:

  • A recent study published in The Lancet Global Health, which looked at anaemia among men in India, found that nearly a quarter of them (23.2% in a sample of 1 lakh men) in the age group 15-54 had some form of anaemia (The Indian Express, November 9). The study also covered 6 lakh women.


Highlights:

  • Among age groups, men in the group 20-34 years had the lowest probability of having anaemia, while actual prevalence was lowest in the age group 50-54, at 7.8%.

  • Among men with anaemia, 21.7% had moderate or severe anaemia; among women with anaemia, 53.2% had moderate or severe anaemia.

  • Cases among men ranged from moderate or severe (5.1%) to severe anaemia (0.5%). Among age groups, men in the group 20-34 years had the lowest probability of having anaemia, while actual prevalence was lowest in the age group 50-54, at 7.8%.

  • The prevalence was higher for younger age groups.

What is Anaemia?

  • Anaemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiological needs.

  • Anaemia in men can cause fatigue, lethargy, creates difficulty in concentrating, thereby reducing the quality of life and decreasing economic productivity.

  • An estimated 1.9 billion people had anaemia in 2013, which is 27% of the world’s population, and 93% of these cases occur in low- and middle-income countries.

  • Factors such as consuming smokeless tobacco, being underweight, level of urbanisation and household wealth are associated with a higher probability of developing the disease.



Source : Indian Express


Global Credit Ratings

Part of GS- 3 Indian Economy


Why in news:

  • This time, Moody’s has lowered India’s credit rating outlook from stable to negative because of what it has assessed as risks to economic growth, prospects of a more entrenched slowdown, weak job creation, and a credit squeeze being faced by Non-Banking Finance Companies.

  • With growth slowing to 5% in the quarter to June this fiscal, and hardly any green shoots visible, most analysts may find it difficult to fault this assessment.


Highlights:

  • More than a decade and a half ago, a senior government official wrote an article in a newspaper headlined ‘Moody’s or Moody’- or words to that effect- on what was in his view the unjustified action of global credit ratings agency Moody’s in pushing down the sovereign credit rating of India.

  • Whether it is Moody’s or its peer Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Indian policymakers have often criticised the credit ratings assigned by these agencies.

What is a Credit ratings?

  • Credit ratings are assigned to debt instruments (not to equity instrument) by a Credit Rating agency (CRA).

  • Rating is denoted by a simple alphanumeric symbol, for e.g. AA+, A-, etc.

  • Rating indicates that whether the issuer company can repay its debt obligation in full and on time.

The main purpose of Credit rating :

  • Borrowing cost: It Influences the borrowing cost of country in international market.

  • Investment: Credit rating Influences foreign investors decision to invest I.E. by seeing this, the investor decides whether to buy, hold, or sell a debt instrument.

Credit rating agencies (CRAs):

  • A credit rating agency is an entity which assesses the ability and willingness of the issuer company for timely payment of interest and principal on a debt instrument.

  • Credit rating agencies are regulated by SEBI under the SEBI (Credit Rating Agencies) Regulations, 1999.

  • Some of the Global CRAs are: Fitch, Moody, S&P.

  • Some of the Indian CRAs are: Credit Analysis & Research Ltd. (CARE), Credit rating information services of India (CRISIL), Investment and credit rating agencies (ICRA) etc.



Source : Indian Express

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