geography

Arctic Region and Arctic Council

The Arctic is a polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth.

8 Jul, 2020

BRAHMAPUTRA AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

About Brahmaputra River: The Brahmaputra called Yarlung

3 Jul, 2020
Blog Archive
  • 2020 (115)
  • Categories

    Current Affairs – 20th October 2020

    1.   STUBBLE BURNING

    • News: From Image Photos
    • What is Stubble?
      • There are two types of agricultural crop residues.
      • Field residuesare materials left in an agricultural field or orchard after the crop has been harvested.
        • These residues include stalks and stubble (stems), leaves, and seed pods.
        • The residue can be ploughed directly into the ground, or burned first. In contrast, no-till, strip-till or reduced till agriculture practices are carried out to maximize crop residue cover.
        • Good management of field residues can increase efficiency of irrigation and control of erosion. Simple line transect measurements can be used to estimate residue coverage.
      • Process residuesare materials left after the crop is processed into a usable resource. These residues include husks, seeds, bagasse, molasses and roots.
        • They can be used as animal fodder and soil amendment, fertilizers and in manufacturing.
      • About Stubble burning:
        • Stubble burning is intentionally setting fire to the straw stubble that remains after grains, like paddy, wheat, etc., have been harvested.
        • The burning of stubble, contrasted with alternatives such as ploughing the stubble back into the ground or collecting it for industrial uses, has a number of consequences and effects on the environment.
        • Generally helpful effects
          • Kills slugs and other pests
          • Can reduce nitrogen tie-up
        • Generally harmful effects
          • Loss of nutrients
          • Pollution from smoke
          • Damage to electrical and electronic equipment from floating threads of conducting waste
          • Risk of fires spreading out of control
        • The main adverse effects of crop residue burning include the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contributes to the global warming, increased levels of particulate matter (PM) and smog that cause health hazards, loss of biodiversity of agricultural lands, and the deterioration of soil fertility.
      • About Great Green Wall of India:
        • The Centre is mulling an ambitious plan to create a 1,400km long and 5km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Haryana border.
        • The plan is inspired by Africa’s ‘Great Green Wall’ project, running from Senegal (West) to Djibouti (East), which came into effect in 2007.
        • The overarching objective of India’s Green Wall will be to address the rising rates of land degradation and the eastward expansion of the Thar desert.
        • The green belt being planned from Porbandar to Panipat will help in restoring degraded land through afforestation along the Aravali hill range. It will also act as a barrier for dust coming from the deserts in western India and Pakistan.

    2.   WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO)

    • News: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday cautioned against any relaxation of response actions following the recent slight decline in COVID-19 cases in the Southeast Asia Region, saying the pandemic continues unabated and “our response only needs to be strengthened further to curtail virus transmission”.
    • About World Health Organisation (WHO):
      • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
      • The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency’s governing structure and principles, states its main objective as “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”
      • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with six semi-autonomous regional offices and 150 field offices worldwide.
      • The WHO was established by constitution on 7 April 1948, which is commemorated as World Health Day.
      • The first meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA), the agency’s governing body, took place on 24 July 1948.
      • The WHO incorporated the assets, personnel, and duties of the League of Nations’ Health Organisation and the Office International d’Hygiène Publique, including the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
      • Its work began in earnest in 1951 following a significant infusion of financial and technical resources.
      • The WHA, composed of representatives from all 194 member states, serves as the agency’s supreme decision-making body.
      • It also elects and advises an Executive Board made up of 34 health specialists.
      • The WHA convenes annually and is responsible for selecting the Director-General, setting goals and priorities, and approving the WHO’s budget and activities.
      • The WHO relies on contributions from member states (both assessed and voluntary) and private donors for funding.

    3.   MALABAR NAVAL EXERCISE

    • News: Amid the ongoing stand-off with China, the Ministry of Defence on Monday announced that Australia will join the Malabar 2020 naval exercise, consisting of India, Japan and the U.S., to be held next month. Australia had first requested to join more than three years ago.
    • About Malabar Naval Exercise:
      • Exercise Malabar is a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan and India as permanent partners.
      • Originally begun in 1992 as a bilateral exercise between India and the United States, Japan became a permanent partner in 2015.
      • Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore.
      • The annual Malabar series began in 1992 and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.
      • 2020 marks the 24th edition of the exercise.
    • About Quadrilateral Security Dialogue:
      • The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD, also known as the Quad) is an informal strategic forum between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by semi-regular summits, information exchanges and military drills between member countries.
      • The forum was initiated as a dialogue in 2007 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, Prime Minister John Howard of Australia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

    4.   STARLINK

    • News: SpaceX plans to launch two Starlink missions within a span of three days, the first one on October 18, and the next on October 21.
    • About Starlink:
      • Starlink is a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX providing satellite Internet access.
      • The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers.
      • SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military, scientific, or exploratory purposes.
      • The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing, and on-orbit control operations.
      • As of September 2020, SpaceX is launching up to 60 satellites at a time, aiming to deploy 1,440 of the 260 kg (570 lb) spacecraft to provide near-global service by late 2021 or 2022.
      • The orbit of most satellites will be 550 km or below.

    5.   MAP WORK: BOLIVIA

    • News: Bolivia’s socialist candidate Luis Arce looks set to win the country’s presidential election without the need for a run-off, an unofficial count indicated on Monday, putting the leftwing party of Evo Morales on the brink of a return to power.