Daily Current Affairs : 14-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. CRIMINAL HISTORY OF LOK SABHA, ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES

  2. FOSSIL FUEL AIR POLLUTION COST

  3. THE FUTURE OF EARTH, 2020

  4. JOINT 'AJEYA WARRIOR' EXERCISES IN THE SALISBURY PLAIN

  5. KONARK TEMPLE

  6. VIRUPAPURA GADDI

  7. APIARY ON WHEELS- KVIC

  8. USTR- REMOVED INDIA FROM ITS LIST OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

  9. R.K. PACHAURI- TERI CHIEF


CRIMINAL HISTORY OF LOK SABHA, ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES

Part of GS- 2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court on 13th February, 2020 ordered political parties to publish the entire criminal history of their candidates for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections along with the reasons that goaded them to field suspected criminals over decent people.

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Highlights:

  • The information should be published in a local as well as a national newspaper as well as the parties’ social media handles.

  • It should mandatorily be published either within 48 hours of the selection of candidates or less than two weeks before the first date for filing of nominations, whichever is earlier.

  • The judgment, ordered political parties to submit compliance reports with the Election Commission of India within 72 hours or risk contempt of court action.

  • The judgment is applicable to parties both at Central and State levels.

  • Information should be detailed:

  • The published information on the criminal antecedents of a candidate should be detailed and include the nature of their offences, charges framed against him, the court concerned, case number, etc.

  • A political party should explain to the public through their published material how the “qualifications or achievements or merit” of a candidate, charged with a crime, impressed it enough to cast aside the smear of his criminal background.


Source: The Hindu


FOSSIL FUEL AIR POLLUTION COST

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?

  • A new Greenpeace report has estimated the global cost of air pollution from fossil fuels at around $2.9 trillion per year, or $8 billion per day — 3.3% of the world’s GDP.


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Highlights:

  • India is estimated to bear a cost of $150 billion, or 5.4% of the country’s GDP, which is the third-highest absolute cost from fossil fuel air pollution worldwide.

  • China and the US are estimated to bear the highest absolute costs from fossil fuel air pollution, respectively at $900 billion and $600 billion.

  • Globally, air pollution is estimated to cause 4.5 million premature deaths each year. This includes 3 million deaths attributable globally to PM2.5, which is one of the principal pollutants in northern Indian cities including Delhi.

  • Globally, PM2.5 is also estimated to cause the loss of 62.7 million years of life, 2.7 million emergency room visits due to asthma, 2 million preterm births and 1.75 billion work absences. The 2 million preterm births include 981,000 in India and over 350,000 in China.

  • Additionally, the report links approximately 350,000 new cases of child asthma in India to nitrogen dioxide, which is a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion. As a result of this, over 1.28 million more children in India live with asthma, which is linked to fossil fuel pollution.

  • Greenpeace mentions that many of the solutions to curb air pollution are also solutions to limit global temperatures from increasing beyond 1.5°C.


About Greenpeace:

  • Greenpeace was founded in 1971 by Irving Stowe and Dorothy Stowe, Canadian and US ex-pat environmental activists.

  • Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over 55 countries and an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

  • A Greenpeace state its goal is to "ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity" and focuses its campaigning on worldwide issues such as climate change, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering, and anti-nuclear issues. It uses direct action, lobbying, research, and ecotag to achieve its goals.

  • The global organization does not accept funding from governments, corporations, or political parties, relying on three million individual supporters and foundation grants.


Source: Indian Express


THE FUTURE OF EARTH, 2020

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?

  • Five global risks that have the potential to impact and amplify one another in ways that may cascade to create global systemic crisis, have been listed by “The Future of Earth, 2020.”


Highlights:

  • The Future of Earth, 2020”, which was released here on Thursday by the South Asia Future Earth Regional Office, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science.

  • The report was prepared with the aim of reducing carbon footprint and halting global warming below 2 degree Celsius by 2050.

  • The report, released by K. Kasturirangan, former Chairman, ISRO, lists failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; extreme weather events; major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; food crises; and water crises, as the five global risks.

  • As many as 222 leading scientists from 52 countries conducted the survey by Future Earth, an international sustainability research network.

  • The Bengaluru launch was among similar parallel ones across other parts of the world scheduled between February 13 and 21.


Source: The Hindu


JOINT 'AJEYA WARRIOR' EXERCISES IN THE SALISBURY PLAIN

Part of GS- 3 Defence and Security


Why in news?

  • Indian and British armed forces on 13th February, 2020 began their joint 'Ajeya Warrior' exercises in the Salisbury Plain of central southern England to train troops in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations.


Highlights:

  • Exercise Ajeya Warrior 2020 can be termed as the shining example of long-standing strategic ties between India and United Kingdom.

  • The aim of exercises, now in its fifth edition, is to conduct training of troops in counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations in both urban and semi-urban areas.

  • During the opening ceremony, Brigadier Tom Bewick, Commander of UK 7 Infantry Brigade, welcomed the Indian contingent.

  • The exercise will be culminating with a 72 hours joint exercise, which will focus on the joint operation by soldiers during conduct of counter-terrorist operations.

  • The exercise is a great step for the armies of the two democratic countries to train together and gain together from each other's rich operational experiences.

  • As part of the exercise, important lectures, demonstrations and drills related to counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations will be conducted over the next few days.

  • According to the ministry, both the armies will also share their valuable experiences in countering such situations as also refine drills and procedures for joint operations wherever the need arises.


Source: PIB


KONARK TEMPLE

Part of GS- 1 A&C


Why in news?

  • A plan to restore and preserve the nearly 800-year-old Konark Sun Temple in Odisha would be drawn up soon, after a two-day conference of experts at the end of the month, Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said.


Highlights:

  • The 13th Century temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, had been filled with sand and sealed by the British authorities in 1903 in order to stabilise the structure, an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official said.

  • A scientific study was carried out by the Roorkee-based Central Building Research Institute from 2013 till 2018 to ascertain the temple’s structural stability as well as the status of the filled-in sand, the official said.

  • The official said the study found that the sand filled in over 100 years ago had settled, leading to a gap of about 17 feet.

  • The official, however, added that the structure was found to be stable.

  • The ASI was in the process of removing the scaffolding erected for the study, the official said, adding that all the scaffolding would be taken down by the end of the month.


About Konark Temple:

  • Konark Sun Temple, located in the East Odisha near the sacred city of Puri.

  • Built in 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1238-1264). Its scale, refinement and conception represent the strength and stability of the Ganga Empire as well as the value systems of the historic milieu.

  • The temple is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot.

  • It is dedicated to the sun God. In this sense, it is directly and materially linked to Brahmanism and tantric belief systems.

  • It marks the highest point of achievement of Kalinga architecture depicting the grace, the joy and the rhythm of life all its wondrous variety.

  • It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.

  • Konârak is the invaluable link in the history of the diffusion of the cult of Surya, which originating in Kashmir during the 8th century, finally reached the shores of Eastern India.


Source: PIB


VIRUPAPURA GADDI

Part of GS-1 Geography


Why in news?

  • The Supreme Court confirmed the Karnataka government authorities’ decision to demolish restaurants and hotels constructed in Virupapura Gaddi, an oval islet formed by Tungabhadra river and located west of the Hampi World Heritage site.


Highlights:

  • The Supreme Court directed the state government to carry out within one-month demolition of illegal restaurants, hotels and guest houses constructed at Virupapura Gaddi, an oval islet formed by the Tungabhadra river on the west of the Hampi World Heritage site.

  • The top court said that the threat to historical monuments of the Vijayanagara empire has continued and a UNESCO meeting in 2009 had cited rampant illegal constructions there.

  • The Supreme Court concluded that the constructions were in violation of the Mysore Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1961.

  • The court upheld the validity of a 1988 State notification that “clearly indicates the entire village of Virupapura Gaddi as a protected zone”.

  • It said a place need not necessarily boast a monument to be protected.

  • The 1988 notification issued under Section 19(3) of the 1961 Act declaring Virupapura Gaddi as a protected area can’t be said to be without basis.


Source: The Hindu


APIARY ON WHEELS- KVIC

Part of GS- 3Economy


Why in news?

  • ‘Apiary on Wheels’, a unique concept designed by KVIC (The Khadi and Village Industries Commission) for the easy upkeep and migration of Bee Boxes having live Bee colonies, was flagged off today by the Union Minister of MSME Shri Nitin Gadkari in Delhi, in the presence of Shri V.K. Saxena, Chairman KVIC.


Highlights:

  • Apiary on Wheels will make the migration easy, the maintenance easy, easy feeding of bees and it will also help the bees to sustain even in extreme summers.

  • Bee Keeping looks easy but has many intricate difficulties which only a beekeeper would understand.

  • Aligned with the vision of Prime Minister, KVIC launched Honey Mission in 2017 and has been training beekeepers, distributing Bee Boxes and helping rural, educated but unemployed youth to earn extra income through beekeeping activities, at their doorstep.

  • However, bee keeping involves laborious and mentally challenging tasks such as placing the bee boxes in a strategic position so as to provide enough nectar from flowers to the bees, maintaining the bees during summers and migrating the bee boxes accordingly to fulfil the nourishment needs of the bees etc.

  • KVIC has been continuously evolving new ways so as to make this process easier and less laborious.


Source: PIB


USTR- REMOVED INDIA FROM ITS LIST OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Part of GS- 2 IR


Why in news?

  • The United States Trade Representative (USTR) removed India from its list of developing countries that are exempt from investigations into whether they harm American industry with unfairly subsidised exports.


Highlights:

  • The United States Trade Representative (USTR) eliminated a host of countries including Brazil, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Africa and Argentina from getting special preferences under the methodology for countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, stating that the previous guidance that dated back to 1998 “is now obsolete”.

  • For purposes of US CVD law, the USTR therefore considers countries with a share of 0.5% or more of world trade to be developed countries.

  • India’s share in global exports was 1.67% in 2018. In global imports, it was 2.57%.

  • The US removed India from the list on account of it being a G-20 member and having a share of 0.5% or more of world trade.

  • The move has cast a shadow on India being able to restore preferential benefits under the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) as part of its trade talks with the US, as only developing countries are eligible for it.


Source: Economic Times


R.K. PACHAURI- TERI CHIEF

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?

  • Rajinder K Pachauri, former Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, died on Thursday. He was 79.


Highlights:

  • Dr. Pachauri was the founder and chief executive of The Energy Resources Institute (TERI).

  • In April 2002, he was elected Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established by the World Meteorological Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988.

  • He received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC, with former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, for the year 2007.

  • The Nobel Prize recognised IPCC for its “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”


Source: The Hindu

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