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13 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

Quote of the Day

"Life is a journey of constant becoming; we are not defined by our destination, but by the transformative experiences along the way."

Prelims Practice Questions

1. Consider the following statements with respect to the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024

  1. It will apply to the all the states that are involved in river interlinking projects.

  2. The Bill decriminalises several violations and instead imposes penalties.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?

  • a.  1 only

  • b.  2 only

  • c.  Both 1 and 2

  • d.  Neither 1 nor 2

2. Consider the following statements with respect to Palaeo Proxies

  1. They are tools that scientists use to reconstruct past climate and environmental conditions.

  2. They are the direct evidence of temperature changes with respect to a baseline temperature can be found using this technique.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are incorrect?

  • a.  1 only

  • b.  2 only

  • c.  Both 1 and 2

  • d.  Neither 1 nor 2

  • It is still only indirect evidence of temperature changes with respect to a baseline temperature.

  • Since palaeo proxies don’t directly measure the temperature, we call them proxies of past temperature deviations (the ‘palaeo’ denotes the past).

3. HAPS technology holds significant potential for India's national security due to its ability to:

  • a.  Provide real-time imagery and data acquisition across vast border regions.

  • b.  Offer improved communication infrastructure in remote areas that are prone to insurgency.

  • c.  Conduct high-altitude reconnaissance missions beyond enemy detection range.

  • d.  All of the above

The National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) has successfully completed the first test of a solar-powered “pseudo satellite”, a new age unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can significantly increase India’s surveillance and monitoring capabilities in the border areas.

  • High-altitude Pseudo Satellite Vehicle (HAPS) is a solar-powered pseudo satellite, a new age unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Prelims Specific News Items

  1. Narcotics Control Bureau busts international drug cartel: - The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has busted an international drug cartel having links in and around Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Dubai. The agency has arrested nine persons, including three alleged Mexican methamphetamine or ‘meth’ chemists. Narcotics Control Bureau

  • It was constituted by the Government of India in 1986 under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

  • It is the apex coordinating agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs.

  • The National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances is based on Article 47 of the Indian Constitution which directs the State to endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drugs injurious to health.

  • Drug abuse control is the responsibility of the central government.

  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985

  • It provides for the penalty of property derived from or used in illegal traffic in narcotic drugs.

  • The Act made an express provision for constituting a Central Authority for the purpose of exercising the powers and functions of the Central Government under the Act.

2. The Centre’s big push for residential rooftop solar plans A key reason India fell short of achieving its ambitious plan to install 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy from solar, wind, biomass and hydro resources by the year 2022 was the sluggish pace of its rooftop solar power installation programme. In a fresh attempt to spur activity in the segment and improve the share of solar power in the grid, the Centre unveiled the Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana (PMSY). The scheme would help one crore families get up to 300 units of free electricity per month with savings of up to Rs 18,000 annually. Vacant spaces on the ground, and rooftops of houses and commercial and industrial (C&I) buildings receive abundant raw solar energy which can be harnessed to produce solar power. When solar photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight into electricity are placed on the top of such buildings, it is known as a rooftop solar system. A RSPV system can be either grid-connected or a standalone unit known as an off-grid solar system. As the name suggests, an off-grid solar system is not connected to any wider electric supply system. Instead, it uses storage devices like batteries that are expensive and bulky. While such a system is self-sustaining, it only stores electricity produced in the unit. A grid-connected rooftop solar system feeds solar energy into the utility grid. Typically, such a system includes solar PV modules, an inverter, a module mounting structure, monitoring and safety equipment and meters. An inverter converts the DC power generated from solar panels to AC power, which is then fed to the grid, while meters keep track of the electricity injected and drawn from the utility grid. In a grid-connected rooftop solar system, if the plant produces more solar energy than the installer uses, the surplus is exported to the grid. On cloudy days when solar energy is unavailable, power is drawn from the grid. India, one of the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has set a target of 500 GW from non-fossil sources by 2030. For this, the country aims to install 485 GW of renewable energy capacity. Solar energy has emerged as a major prong of India’s commitment to achieve these ambitious targets. In 2010, the Centre launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) to focus on the promotion and development of solar power. What is the new Rooftop policy: - As part of the Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana, the Centre will bear the entire cost of setting up rooftop solar systems for households that consume less than 300 units of electricity per month. The subsidy in the segment will increase to 60% from 40% and the remaining will be financed by a private developer affiliated to public sector units of the Power Ministry.

3. India is looking at reworking its merchant shipping laws as it replaces the existing Maritime Act of 1958

The new provisions will look to include up-to-date international maritime conventions to which the country is a party; allow for easier registration of ships under Indian flag by NRIs, overseas citizens of India, corporates including limited liability partnerships; enable electronic registration of vessels and granting recognition to e-documents like log-books, record books.

Merchant shipping refers to activities that are carried out for commerce rather than for defence or warfare.

Proposed under the new provisions is a three-tier dispute resolution mechanism. It will look to resolve disagreements arising between ship-owners and salvors (those engaged in salvaging ships lost at sea), and also between sea-farers and owners or masters or agents of ship.

Previously ambiguous terms like “abandoned vessels” have been defined, while the new rules call for action against “unsafe vessels” too. “The Centre has been empowered to direct port authorities and others to take measures in respect of abandoned vessels.

New provisions include a section in marine incidents and emergent response. The idea is to provide confidence to ship-owners that there are appropriate statutory measures for safety of vessels.

4. Weimar Triangle to Join Hands against the Disinformation

The Weimar Triangle consists of France (Paris), Germany (Berlin) and Poland (Warsaw).

The Weimar Triangle was created in 1991 as Poland was emerging from decades of communism as a platform for political cooperation among the three nations.

5. India's UPI In Sri Lanka, Mauritius

India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) services have been launched in Sri Lanka and Mauritius at a virtual ceremony.

India’s UPI services in Sri Lanka will be facilitated through Sri Lanka’s LankaPay.

India's UPI and RuPAY has been made by NPCI.


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13 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

13 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

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