Daily Current Affairs and GK | 16 September 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 16 Sep 2022 17:13 PM IST

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Topic: Important Days

1. International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer/ World Ozone Day: 16 September

  • International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer or World Ozone Day is celebrated every year on 16 September.
  • The theme of International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2022 is 'Montreal Protocol@35: global cooperation protecting life on earth’.
  • The United Nations General Assembly had declared 16 September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer in 1994.
  • It is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987.
  • In the history of the United Nations, the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol were the first treaties to achieve universal ratification on 16th September 2009.
  • At the 28th Meeting of the Parties of the Montreal Protocol, signatories of the protocol agreed to end the use of hydrofluorocarbons phase-wise.
  • The ozone layer is the shield of gas that protects the Earth from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • The depletion of the ozone layer can cause skin cancer in humans and the destruction of the ecosystem.

World Ozone Day

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

2. Roger Federer announced retirement from professional tennis.

  • He has decided to retire from professional tennis after the conclusion of the Laver Cup 2022 next week (from 23 September to 25 September 2022).
  • He would play tennis in the future but not in Grand slams or on the tour.
  • He played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. He has won 20 Grand slam titles. He became the oldest ATP world No. 1 at age 36.
  • He has won 103 ATP singles titles, the second most of all time. He finished 5 seasons ranked No.1.
  • He has won the most Grand slam men’s singles main matches (369) in the Open Era. He is ahead of Djokovic (334) and Nadal (313).
  • He is the only player to reach the finals of all 4 Slams in a season thrice (2006, 2007, 2009) and win five or more titles at three Slams (Wimbledon, Australia and US Open).
  • He is a Swiss professional tennis player. He was ranked world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks.

Topic: Agriculture

3. Chief Ministers of Haryana and Gujarat attended a two day long programme to promote natural farming.

  • The programme was organised in Gurukul Kurukshetra, Haryana from September 15.
  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, along with top officers of the Agriculture Department of both states attended the programme at Gurukul Kurukshetra on September 16.
  • On these two days, the participants also observed natural farming being done in 200 acres near village Kainthala of Gurukul Kurukshetra, Haryana.
  • Natural Farming:
    • It was developed in Japan by Masanobu Fukuoka and Mokichi Okada. It is described as do-nothing farming.
    • In this type of farming, fertilizers (neither chemical nor organic) are not added to the soil. Microbes and earthworms are encouraged to decompose organic matter on the soil surface itself.
    • Natural farming is different from organic farming in which organic fertilizers are added from external sources.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

4. Second edition of Global AI Summit held from 13 to 15 September 2022 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  • It was hosted under the patronage of Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • More than 200 speakers representing 90 countries have come together for this global summit.
  • The summit touched on topics like the impact of AI on the public and private sectors, healthcare, environment, transportation, smart cities and culture.
  • As per Saudi Minister of Communications & Information Technology Abdullah Alswaha, Saudi Arabia has become the largest tech force of coders and data scientists.
  • He said we have leveraged data and AI to deliver the first cognitive city THE LINE. 
  • THE LINE aims to make everything accessible within a five-minute walk. The automated services will be powered by artificial intelligence.
  • The summit was organised by the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence. It was entitled “Artificial Intelligence for the Good of Humanity”.
  • The major themes of this summit were – AI NOW, AI NEXT, and AI NEVER.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

5. IFSB’s 4th Innovation Forum hosted by Qatar.

  • On September 14, the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) organised the forum in the capital city, Doha.
  • ‘Innovation for Sustainability and Regulation of Financial Services’ was the theme of the Innovation Forum 2022.
  • Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and Qatar Financial Centre sponsored the Forum.
  • The Innovation Forum discussed ways to promote and develop innovative and sustainable financial systems.
  • The IFSB Innovation Forum targets regulators, policymakers, Islamic financial services institutions, academic and research institutions, financial service providers, legal practitioners, Shariah advisors, etc.
  • Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB):
    • It is an international standard-setting organization that promotes the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry.
    • It issues global prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry, which is defined broadly to include the banking, capital markets and insurance sectors.
  • Qatar Financial Center:
    • It is a business and financial centre located in Doha.
    • It provides an excellent platform for firms to do business in Qatar region.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

6. INSIGHT 2022- International Conference on Sustainable and Innovative Finance for Green and Healthy Transportation organized in New Delhi.

  • A two-day international conference was held on September 15 and 16, 2022 to discuss various aspects.
  • CESL organized the conference in partnership with WRI India, supported by the Shakti Foundation.
  • Between 2020 and 2030, India's EV transition is anticipated to require a total of INR 19.7 lakh crore (USD 249 billion) for vehicles, EV supply equipment, batteries, and their replacements.
  • In 2030, the annual EV finance market is anticipated to reach INR 3.7 lakh crore (USD 46.82 billion).
  • CESL recently completed a tender for 5450 e-buses in 5 states under a Grand Challenge program.
  • During the conference, Nitin Gadkari emphasized that the introduction of electric buses will reduce pollution and at the same time we will be able to reduce the import of diesel and crude oil.
  • Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL):
    • It is a 100% owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
    • It provides clean, affordable, and reliable energy.

INSIGHT 2022- International Conference

(Source: WRI India)

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Topic: Space and IT

7. Hughes Communications India (HCI) has launched India’s first high throughput satellite (HTS) broadband service.

  • This HTS broadband service is powered by ISRO satellites.It will provide broadband connectivity to the most remote locations.
  • It will support applications like Wi-Fi hotspots for community internet access, managed Software-defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solutions and satellite internet for small businesses.
  • It combines Ku-band capacity from ISRO GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 satellites with Hughes JUPITER Platform ground technology.
  • HTS is a communication satellite. Compared to Fixed Satellite Service or traditional communication satellites, it offers higher throughput.
  • Higher throughput means higher data processing and transfer capacity than traditional satellites when using the same amount of orbital spectrum.
  • The Cupertino Company can collaborate with satellite internet service providers like Hughes to deliver satellite connectivity in India.
  • The satellite connectivity feature will only be available in the United States and Canada, Apple revealed at the launch of the iPhone 14 series.
  • Hughes Communications India (HCI) is a satellite internet service provider.

Topic: Reports and Indices

8. State failure to conduct a social audit of MGNREGS will result in action, including the withholding of funds, said the MoRD.

  • Union Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) released the report titled ‘Social audit calendar vs audits completed’ on September 13.
  • As per the report, only 14.29% of the planned audits have been completed in this financial year.
  • Centre bears the administrative cost of these Social Audits.
  • The Social Audit Units of Kerala, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh had not received the administrative funds that the Centre have to give them.
  • The funds have been delayed in these four states and auditors’ wages have been delayed by three months to one year.
  • Nine State’s Social Audit Units in 2021–22 have received less than half of the fund to which they are entitled, according to the findings of a periodic report on social audits by the nonprofit People's Action For Employment Guarantee, which was published last month.
  • Bihar Social Audit Unit has not received any funds since 27th April 2020.
  • Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh received no funds in 2021-22 to carry out social audits.
  • About Social Audit:
    • The original Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) had provisions for social audit.
    • Each Social Audit Unit is eligible to receive funds equal to 0.5% of the MGNREGA expenses the State incurred in the previous year. The fund is released by the Centre in four tranches.
    • Quality checks of infrastructure created under the MGNREGA, financial misappropriation in wages, and checking for any procedural deviations are part of the audit.
    • Social audit is a process of reviewing official records and determining whether state reported expenditures reflect the actual monies spent on the ground.

Topic: International News

9. FIF Governing Board officially established Financial Intermediary Fund at its meeting on 8-9 September.

  • Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) has been officially established for Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR).
  • Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) aim is to help low and middle-income countries to strengthen Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPR).
  • It will fulfil the gaps in the International Health Regulations (2005) at the country level as well as regional and global levels.
  • FIF aims to bring additional, long-term, and dedicated resources for PPR. It will incentivize countries to increase investments in PPR.
  • The FIF’s Governing Board has equal representation of sovereign donors, country governments, representatives from foundation and civil society organizations.
  • Earlier, directors of the World Bank approved the establishment of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) in June 2022.

Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors

10. Price of natural rubber falls to a 16-month low of ₹150 per kg in the Indian market.

  • The fall in the price of natural rubber is primarily due to weak Chinese demand and the European energy crisis. High inflation and an import glut are the other reasons for the price fall.
  • The domestic tyre industry has ample inventory in the form of block rubber from the Ivory Coast and compounded rubber from the Far East.
  • Currently, India is the fifth-largest producer of natural rubber and it is also the second-biggest consumer of natural rubber.
  • According to the latest report by the Rubber Board, during 2022-23 natural rubber production and consumption in India will be 8,50,000 tonnes and 12,90,000 tonnes respectively.
  • The production of rubber has increased from 7,15,000 tonnes in 2020-21 to 7,75,000 tonnes in 2021-22, an increase of 8.4%.
  • Domestic consumption has also increased by 12.9% from 10,96,410 tonnes in 2020-21 to  12,38,000 tonnes in 2021-22.
  • The fall in the price of natural rubber has impacted the people of rural areas dependent on rubber cultivation.
  • The main demand of rubber farmers is to raise the import duties on latex products and compound rubber by either 25% or ₹30 per kg, whichever is lower.
  • The farmers of Kerala are demanding that the state government should raise the replanting subsidy and the support price under the price stabilisation scheme.
  • Kerala is the largest producer of natural rubber in India. Natural rubber is cultivated in 16 states in India over an area of 600,000 hectares.

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

11. Union Minister Piyush Goyal chaired the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Board of Trade.

  • The new Board of Trade (BOT) has been formed by merging the Council for Trade Development and Promotion with the Board of Trade.
  • 29 new non-official members were invited for the first time to the Board of Trade meeting.
  • New Foreign Trade Policy and ways to take domestic manufacturing and exports forward were the main agenda of the meeting.
  • Ministers from states gave their state-specific suggestions and expressed support to the central government’s initiatives for boosting international trade.
  • Union Minister Piyush Goyal announced that PM Modi will release the Logistics Policy on 17th September.
  • The Board of Trade gives advice to the government on policies related to foreign trade policy.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

12. A report titled “Climate science is clear: We are headed in the wrong direction” has been released on 13 September.

  • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has warned about the physical and socio-economic impacts of climate change in this report.
  • The report has been prepared with input from the WMO and its Global Atmosphere Watch and World Weather Research Programmes, the UN Environment Programme, etc.
  • Impacts, mitigation, and adaptation to climate change have all been covered in the report.
  • The report states that Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement need to be seven times higher to keep Earth’s warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • During January-September 2022, the carbon dioxide level is 1.2% higher than the last year.
  • The past seven years have been the warmest, so there is a 48% chance that in one of the next five years, the earth’s annual temperature may cross the 1.5 °C mark.
  • The World Meteorological Organization estimates that between 2022 and 2026, the global near-surface temperature could rise by 1.1°C to 1.7°C above the pre-industrial average each year.
  • As per the report, there is a 10% chance that the average temperature from 2022 to 2026 could cross 1.5 °C.
  • The report highlighted the number of extreme events and linked them to climate change.
  • It also warned about the possibility of crossing climate tipping points. It highlighted the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), Amazon rainforest and the ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica as the main climate tipping elements.
  • AMOC is a large system of ocean currents in Atlantic Ocean. It carries warm surface waters from the tropics towards the Northern Hemisphere where it cools and sinks. It is a result of both atmospheric and thermohaline drivers.
  • As per the report, ocean heat content was the highest between 2018 and 2022 due to the more absorption of heat by oceans.
  • According to the report, socioeconomic impacts will be massive in cities vulnerable to climate change. Cities can play an important role in mitigation by bringing down emissions.

Topic: Sports

13. India wins the SAFF U-17 Championship title by defeating Nepal by 4-0 in the finals.

  • India won the title by defeating Nepal at the Racecourse International Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • Boby Singh, Korou Singh, Vanlalpeka Guite, and Aman scored a goal each for India.
  • India captain Vanlalpeka Guite was named the Most Valuable Player of the Tournament. Sahil won the Best Goalkeeper Award.
  • Earlier, Nepal had defeated India by 3-1 in the group league match of the tournament.
  • The SAFF U-17 Championship is an international football competition for men's under-17 national teams. It is organized by the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF).

Topic: Environment and Ecology

14. Supreme Court dismissed the PIL against Gadgil and Kasturirangan reports.

  • Krashak Shabdam, a Kerala farmers’ non-profit, had filed public interest litigation to not implement the recommendations of the Gadgil Committee and Kasturirangan Committee reports.
  • Krashak Shabdam had challenged the recommendation of the Gadgil Committee and Kasturirangan Committee for demarcating an area of 56,825 square kilometres as the Western Ghats Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).
  • Additionally, Krashak Shabdam asked the SC to declare the 2018 notification to be ultra vires (beyond its legal authority or power).
  • The PIL was filled in 2020 after the 4th draft notification by the Ministry of Environment in 2018.
  • The Ministry of Environment issued the fifth draft notification in July 2022. It prohibits activities like mining, thermal power plants, and all ‘Red’ category industries in the ESA.
  • The Madhav Gadgil Report has declared the whole Western Ghats spread across six states, covering 44 districts and 142 talukas, as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).
  • The Kasturirangan Committee recommended that 60,000 sq km (37 percent area of the total area) should be demarcated as ESA.
  • The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), also known as the Gadgil Commission, submitted its report on 31 August 2011.
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