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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 21-May-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. Greening of Antarctica due to Climate Change

  2. Scheme for formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (FME)

  3. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana

  4. Methodology for auction of coal and lignite mines/blocks

  5. Agappe Chitra Magna

  6. India hits out at Nepal, says artificial enlargement of territorial claims not acceptable

  7. Rip Current


Why in news?

  • Parts of the Antarctic Peninsula will change colour as "green snow" caused by blooming algae is expected to spread with increases in global temperatures, research showed Wednesday. 


  • Although often considered devoid of plant life, Antarctica is home to several types of algae, which grow on slushy snow and suck carbon dioxide from the air. 

  • Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey combined satellite imagery with on-the-ground observations to detect the current extent of green algae in the world's most barren continent. 

  • They identified more than 1,600 separate green algae blooms on snow across the peninsula, with a combined surface area of 1.9 square kilometres. 

  • They also found that the majority of algae blooms were within five kilometres (three miles) of a penguin colony, as the birds' excrement is an excellent fertiliser. 

  • The polar regions are warming far faster than other parts of the planet and the team predicted that low-lying coastal areas of Antarctica would soon be free from algae as they experience snow-free summers. 

  • But that loss will probably be offset by a preponderance of large algae blooms as temperatures rise and snow at higher altitudes softens. 

  • While more algae means more CO2 is absorbed, the plants could have a small but adverse impact on local albedo - how much of the Sun's heat is reflected back from Earth's surface. 

Source : TOI ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/climate-change-is-turning-antarctica-green-study-finds/articleshow/75846225.cms )


Why in news?

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme - "Scheme for Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (FME)" for the Unorganized Sector on All India basis with an outlay of Rs.10,000 crore.  


Objectives of the schemes :

  1. Increase in access to finance by micro food processing units.

  2. Increase in revenues of target enterprises.

  3. Enhanced compliance with food quality and safety standards.

  4. Strengthening capacities of support systems.

  5. Transition from the unorganized sector to the formal sector.

  6. Special focus on women entrepreneurs and Aspirational districts.

  7. Encourage Waste to Wealth activities.

  8. Focus on minor forest produce in Tribal Districts.

Salient Features :

  1. Centrally Sponsored Scheme. Expenditure to be shared by Government of India and States at 60:40.

  2. 2,00,000 micro-enterprises are to be assisted with credit linked subsidy.

  3. Scheme will be implemented over a 5 year period from 2020-21 to 2024-25.

  4. Cluster approach.