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16 and 17 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

1. SC rules electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional

Reasons: -

i. violative of Article 19(1)(a) - Right to Know. Voter has a right to know and the anonymity is making it opaque. ii. Quid Pro Quo - Favour for Favour which will further enhance Crony Capitalism. iii. SC not enchanted by the argument of Centre that the scheme will reduce the black money.

A Bird was in News: -

A Northern Pintail, a migratory duck species, that was found in a dazed state in Pulicat lake in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvallur district on Thursday. Several birds have died of suspected pesticide poisoning in the area recently.

Purulia Chhau: - a folk dance from Bengal

Indian martial arts training for Army post Galwan clash: -

For instance, the Punjab regiment has incorporated Gatka in the training regime, the Gorkha Regiment the Khukri dance and the Kalaripayattu by the Madras regiment.

Global Pulses Conference: India need to augment pulses production

Why in the News?

The Global Pulses Conference recently suggested India to augment production of pulses to meet the nutritional requirements.

The two-day conference is jointly organised by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) and the Global Pulse Confederation (GPC).

What is the status of pulse production in India?

1. Current Production– Over the past decade, pulse production has increased by 60%, rising from 171 lakh tonnes in 2014 to 270 lakh tonnes in 2024.

2. India’s contribution– India holds the title of the world’s largest producer, consumer, and importer of pulses. India contributes 25% to global production, consuming 27% of the world’s total, and importing 14%.

3. Area coveredPulses cover about 20% of the foodgrain area and contribute 7-10% to the total foodgrain production in the country.

4. Sowing Season– While pulses are cultivated in both Kharif and Rabi seasons, Rabi pulses contribute over 60% to the total production.

5. Pulse Varieties contributionGram is the leading pulse, comprising about 40% of total production, followed by Tur/Arhar at 15-20%, and Urad/Black Matpe and Moong at approximately 8-10% each.

6. Current status of pulse varieties- India now produces enough chickpeas (chana) and various other pulse crops to meet its own needs, with only a minor shortfall in pigeon peas (tur) and black gram.

Note– The government aims to attain self-sufficiency in pulses by the end of 2027.

What is Global Pulses Confederation (GPC)?

1. About-It is an organization that represents the pulse industry worldwide.

2. Stakeholders– It represents all aspects of the pulse industry, including growers, researchers, traders, government bodies, processors, and consumers.

3. Headquarter– GPC is headquartered in Dubai and licensed by the Dubai Multi Commodity Centre (DMCC).

First-ever State of the World’s Migratory Species report

Recently, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) of Wild Animals launched the first-ever State of the World’s Migratory Species report. It was launched at the opening of a major UN wildlife conservation conference (CMS COP14).

The report was prepared by conservation scientists at the UN Environment Programme.

What are the key findings of the report?

Source- CMS

1. Decline in Population Almost half (44 %) of the migratory species listed under CMS are experiencing a decline in population.

2. Risk of Extinction – Over one-fifth of CMS-listed species are at risk of extinction, and 97% of listed fish are facing this risk.

3. Lack of Protection 51% of Key Biodiversity areas important for migratory animals listed under CMS lack protection. Also, 58% of monitored sites for these species experience unsustainable human pressure.

4. Identified causes:a. The most significant threats to migratory species are overexploitation and habitat loss caused by human activity.b. Climate change, pollution, and invasive species also greatly affect migratory species.

5. Lack of coverage under CMS– Despite being listed by CMS, many migratory species remain at risk, with 399 threatened species not yet included under CMS.

What are the key recommendations of the report?

1. Addressing illegal and unsustainable practices.

2. Safeguarding critical sites for migratory species.

3. Focusing on species most threatened with extinction.

4. Intensifying actions against climate change and pollution.

5. Broadening CMS listings to encompass more endangered species.

About Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

1. About– CMS, also known as the Bonn Convention, is an international treaty aimed at conserving migratory species and their habitats worldwide.

2. Purpose– It provides a framework for countries to collaborate in conserving migratory species and their habitats. This particularly includes species that cross national borders during their annual migrations.

Weimar Triangle: -

Weimar Triange

Endometriosis is a medical condition that affects some people with a uterus. In simple terms:

  • What is it? Endometriosis happens when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (called endometrium) grows outside the uterus. This tissue can be found on organs like ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the lining of the pelvis.

  • Symptoms: Common symptoms include pelvic pain, heavy menstrual periods, and pain during or after sex. However, some people may not have noticeable symptoms.

  • Cause: The exact cause is not clear, but it may involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

  • Diagnosis: A doctor can diagnose endometriosis through medical history, pelvic exams, imaging tests, or a laparoscopy (a minor surgical procedure).

  • Treatment: Treatment options include pain medication, hormone therapy, and in some cases, surgery to remove the abnormal tissue.

  • Impact on Fertility: Endometriosis can sometimes affect fertility, but many people with the condition can still conceive. Fertility treatments may be considered if pregnancy is challenging.

It's important to see a healthcare provider if someone suspects they have endometriosis, as early diagnosis and management can help improve symptoms and quality of life.

The EU’s Digital Services Act goes into effect today: here’s what that means

The European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA) has officially gone into effect. Starting on August 25th, 2023, tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more must comply with sweeping legislation that holds online platforms legally accountable for the content posted to them.

The overarching goal of the DSA is to foster safer online environments. Under the new rules, online platforms must implement ways to prevent and remove posts containing illegal goods, services, or content while simultaneously giving users the means to report this type of content.

Additionally, the DSA bans targeted advertising based on a person’s sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or political beliefs and puts restrictions on targeting ads to children. It also requires online platforms to provide more transparency on how their algorithms work.

The European Parliament passed the DSA in July 2022. While the EU doesn’t require smaller companies to comply with the DSA just yet, it asked very large online platforms to comply four months after their designation as such, which occurred in April.

16 and 17 February 2024 Daily Current Affairs

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