Current Affairs, 06 December
International Solar Alliance
With 19 countries ratifying its
framework agreement, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) has become the
first treaty-based international government organisation to be based in India.
Significance of this event:
This marks the culmination of
India’s efforts, which had taken a lead role in setting up the ISA—an alliance
of 121 sunshine countries situated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
ISA also signals that New Delhi would employ it as a foreign policy tool to
cement its leadership among developing countries.
Facts for Prelims:
§ The ISA now has become a treaty based inter-governmental
international organisation and it will be recognized by UN legally to become
§ Guinea became the 15th country to ratify this
§ Other prominent intergovernmental organisations in the energy
sector include the Vienna-based Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries (Opec) and Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).
The ISA is an Indian
initiative, jointly launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the
president of France on 30 November 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of COP-21,
the UN climate conference. It aims at addressing obstacles to deployment at
scale of solar energy through better harmonization and aggregation of demand
from solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropics of
Cancer and Capricorn.
§ The ISA, headquartered in India, has its secretariat located in
the campus of the National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurgaon, Haryana.
§ The Paris Declaration, establishing the ISA, states that the
countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted
efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate
deployment solar generation assets.
institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
Asian Harmonization Working Party (AHWP)
Context: The 22nd conference of Asian
Harmonization Working Party (AHWP) was recently inaugurated at New Delhi. The
conference is being conducted by Central Drugs Standard Control Organization
(CDSCO) and National Drug Regulatory Authority (NDRA) of India in collaboration
with Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
The key objective of the event is
to develop and recommend approaches for the convergence and harmonization of
medical device regulations in Asia and beyond and to facilitate the exchange of
knowledge and expertise amongst regulators and the industry.
Asian Harmonization Working
Party (AHWP) was established in 1999 as a voluntary non-profit organization of
the 30 national regulators of member countries and industry members with a goal
to promote regulatory harmonization on medical device regulations in Asia and
other regions in accordance with the guidance issued by International Medical
Device Regulators Forums (IMDRF). The AHWP works in collaboration with related
international organizations such as IMDRF, WHO, International Organization for
Standardization (ISO), etc.
institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
UN Peace keeping
Context: The opening ceremony of the Indian UN Peace Keeping Training
by Mobile Training Team of CUNPK was recently conducted at the Vietnamese
Centre for Peace Keeping located at Thaach Hon, Hanoi. The ceremony was
attended by the Indian Mobile Training Team (MTT). This is in the furtherance
to the ongoing training assistance being extended to the Vietnamese Centre for
Peace Keeping by the Centre for UN Peace Keeping, New Delhi (CUNPK).
The need for prospective peace
keepers to be well trained before deployment in the mission area is a pre
requisite for effective peace keeping. Towards this end, the vast experience
gained by the Indian Defence Forces would be of great assistance to the Vietnam
What you need to know about UN Peacekeeping?
United Nations Peacekeeping was
created in 1948. Its first mission involved the establishment of the UN Truce
Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which served to observe and maintain
ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
§ UN Peacekeeping maintains three basic principles: Consent of the
parties, impartiality and non-use of Force except in self-defence and defence
of the mandate.
§ The UN Peacekeepers are led by the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations (DKPO). There are currently 17 UN peace operations deployed on four
§ UN Peacekeepers are from diverse backgrounds, from areas all
around the world. They include police, military and civilian personnel. They
are often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light
blue berets or helmets.
§ The UN Peacekeeping Force won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.
§ The United Nations Charter gives the United Nations Security
Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain
international peace and security. For this reason, the international community
usually looks to the Security Council to authorize peacekeeping operations.
E-technology in the aid of farmers.
Soil Health Card
Context: On the occasion of World Soil
Day, Soil Health Card mobile App has been launched by the government to help
The app will benefit
field-level workers as it will automatically capture GIS coordinates while
registering sample details at the time of sample collection in the field and
indicate the location from where the sample has been collected.
This app works like other
Geotagging apps developed for the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. The app
contains farmers’ details including name, Aadhaar card number, mobile number,
gender, address, crop details, etc.
About World Soil Day:
World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5
December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating
for the sustainable management of soil resources.
§ UN General Assembly designated 5 December 2014 as the first
official World Soil Day. The date of 5 December for WSD was chosen because it
corresponds with the official birthday of H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the
King of Thailand, who officially sanctioned the event.
§ 2017 Theme: ‘Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground’.
Soil facts- and why is soil important?
§ Soil is one of the most complex biological materials on our
planet. Soil is the network of interacting living organisms within the earth’s
surface layer which support life above ground. The nutritional value of the
food we eat is directly related to the health of the soil in which it grows.
§ Carbon is a master variable within the soil that controls many
processes, such as development of soil structure, water storage and nutrient
cycling. Soil high in organic carbon content enables better rainfall
infiltration & retention – providing greater resilience to drought.
§ Management: Soil erosion within conventional agricultural
practices can occur at rates up to 100 times greater than the rate of natural
soil formation. Natural processes can take more than 500 years to form 2
centimetres of topsoil. Soils are vulnerable to carbon loss through degradation,
but regenerative land management practices can build soil and restore soil
health. Therefore, management of agricultural soils should consider the
structural, biological and mineral health of the soil (not just N, P, K) to
produce nutritionally-dense food.
About the Soil Health Card Scheme:
It is a scheme to provide every
farmer a Soil Health Card in a Mission mode. It is a scheme under which the
Central Government provides assistance to State Governments for setting up Soil
Testing Laboratories for issuing Soil Health Cards to farmers.
§ The scheme will be implemented in all states to promote soil
testing services, issue of soil health cards and development of nutrient
§ State Governments have adopted innovative practices like
involvement of agricultural students, NGOs and private sector in soil testing,
determining average soil health of villages, etc., to issue Soil Health Cards.
§ The state governments will prepare yearly action plan on the issue
and the cost will be shared in the ratio of 75:25 between the Centre and
§ The scheme assumes importance as the imbalanced application of
fertilisers have caused deficiency of primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus,
and potassium), secondary nutrients (such as sulphur), and micro-nutrients
(boron, zinc, copper etc.) in most parts of country.
Soil health cards:
A Soil Health Card displays
soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms. The indicators are
typically based on farmers’ practical experience and knowledge of local natural
The card lists soil health
indicators that can be assessed without the aid of technical or laboratory
equipment. The card, which will carry crop-wise recommendation of fertilisers
required for farm lands, will help farmers identify health of soil and
judiciously use soil nutrients.
Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads,
Airports, Railways etc.
Railways appoints IRSDC as nodal agency for station redevelopment plan
Context: Indian Railways has decided
to appoint its joint venture company Indian Railway Station Development Corp.
as the nodal agency for its ambitious station redevelopment programme, in an
attempt to expedite the revamp of 400 A1 and A category railway stations. Under
the Rs1 trillion station redevelopment plan, Indian Railways plans to revamp
400 railway stations by monetizing 2,700 acres of spare railway land.
The appointment of IRSDC, a
joint-venture between Ircon International Ltd and Rail Land Development
Authority (RLDA), took place following recommendations from a three-member
committee of experts, which had submitted its report in November.
The report recommended IRSDC’s
appointment as a nodal agency to ensure a speedy redevelopment process because
the firm has shown notable performance in handling its model projects in places
such as Gandhinagar and Surat.
Indian Railway Stations
Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) is a Joint Venture company of Ircon
International Limited (IRCON) (A Govt. of India Undertaking, under Ministry of
Railways) and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), a statutory authority
under the Ministry of Railways. The core purpose of IRSDC as envisioned is to
build world class railway stations that apply state of the art sustainable
technologies in delivering delight to the users.
Indigenization of technology and
developing new technology.
Context: Supersonic surface-to-air
missile- Akash with indigenous radio frequency seeker was recently test fired
from a test range in Odisha. With the successful test firing, India has
achieved the capability of making any type of surface to air missile.
What you need to know about the Missile?
§ Akash, the supersonic missile, is the first surface-to-air missile
with indigenous seeker to be test fired and is being inducted into the Army as
short range surface to air missile.
§ It has a strike range of about 25 km and carries a 55- kg
fragmentation warhead that is triggered by proximity fuse.
§ It is an all-weather area air defence weapon system for defending
vulnerable areas against medium range air targets penetrating from low, medium
and high altitudes.
§ Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation
(DRDO), the Akash missile system has the capability to neutralise aerial
targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well
as ballistic missiles.
§ The system is designed to neutralise multiple aerial targets
attacking from several directions simultaneously. The system is autonomous and
its operation is fully automated. There is flexibility in deployment.
§ It uses state-of-the-art integral ram jet rocket propulsion system
and the onboard digital autopilot ensures stability and control.
Electro-pneumatic servo actuation system controls cruciform wings for agile
response and thermal batteries provide onboard power supply.
Awareness in the fields of IT, Space,
Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to
intellectual property rights.
New graphene-based battery
Context: Samsung Electronics has developed core battery technology
using graphene to make lithium-ion batteries last longer and charge more
quickly, a potential industry milestone if mass produced.
Significance of this breakthrough:
Standard lithium batteries
require charging time of at least an hour to fully charge, even with quick
charging technology, so numerous attempts to explore new innovative materials
have been started.
Among the materials looked at,
graphene, a material with high strength and conductivity, has widely become the
primary source of interest. In theory, a battery based on the “graphene ball”
material requires only 12 minutes to fully charge.
Graphene has been touted in the
global electronics industry as a “miracle material” given its strength,
electrical conductivity and elasticity, and has been seen as an alternative to
lithium-ion batteries since its discovery in 2004. It is a form of carbon that
can be used to develop smaller, slimmer batteries but with higher capacity.
§ Graphene is a carbon material that is one atom thick. Its thin
composition and high conductivity means it is used in applications ranging from
miniaturised electronics to biomedical devices. These properties also enable
thinner wire connections; providing extensive benefits for computers, solar
panels, batteries, sensors and other devices.
§ The potential applications of graphene include water filtration
and purification, renewable energy, sensors, personalised healthcare and
medicine, to name a few.
§ Graphene has excellent electronic, mechanical, thermal and optical
properties as well. Its uses range from improving battery performance in energy
devices, to cheaper solar panels.
Current Affairs 6th December 2017 - Important Points
ISA to become a treaty-based
International Intergovernmental organization on - 6th December 2017
Microbes found on ISS resembles
homes on Earth: A Study
India wins first-ever South Asian
Regional Badminton Team Championship on - 5th December 2017
Current Affairs 6th December 2017 – Details
ISA to become a treaty-based International
Intergovernmental organization - 6th December 2017
India’s global scheme, the International Solar Alliance-ISA
will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organization on 6th
December 2017, after formal consent by Guinea, which will be the 15th country
to do so.
The ISA is a scheme that was cooperatively launched by Indian Prime Minister
Narendra Modi and the then President of France Francois Hollande on 30th
November 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of UN Climate Meeting.
Based in India, the Alliance focuses at addressing barriers in the deployment
of solar energy through better harmonization and aggregation of demand from
solar rich nations lying fully or partially in-between the Tropic of Cancer and
Tropic of Capricorn.
India, France, Australia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nauru, Niger, Peru,
Seychelles, Somalia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Cuba, Fiji, Guinea, Ghana, South
Sudan, and Tuvalu
The ISA internal Secretariat has
been operational as a de-facto company since 25th January 2016.
Three programs- Scaling Solar
Applications for Agriculture Usage, reasonable Finance at Scale, and Scaling
Solar Mini-grids - have been initiated.
The programs focus to help in
achieving the complete goal of growing solar energy deployment in the ISA
member nations for achieving universal energy access and accelerating economic
ISA has launched plans to initiate 2
more programs: Scaling Solar Rooftops and Scaling Solar E-mobility and Storage.
The ISA has also been enlarging a
common risk mitigating process for de-risking and decreasing the financial cost
of solar projects in ISA member nations.
The process is expected to support
diversify and pool risks on mutual public resources and opening significant
investments. An international trained group has been working on the outlines of
the mechanism and it will be rolled out by December 2018.
Another major proposal is
establishment of Digital Infopedia, which will work as a platform to enable
policy makers, Ministers and corporate heads from ISA nations to interact,
connect, communicate and cooperate with each another.
India has suggested meeting ISA
Secretariat expenses for initial 5 years.
The Union Ministry of External
Affairs has also set apart US$2 billion for solar assignments in Africa out of
Government of India's US$10 billion concessional Line of Credit for Africa.
Government of France has also set
aside Euro 300 million loan for solar concerned projects in ISA member nations.
Microbes found on ISS resembles homes on Earth: A Study As
per the researchers, The International Space Station has a 'very different’
class of microorganisms that are much similar to that of homes other than of
The result came from Project MERCCURI, a citizen science project that analyzed
bacteria found on 15 places on the International Space Station and evaluated
them with samples from houses on Earth as well as the Human Microbiome Project.
According to this study, Earth is covered by mostly harmless microbes and a
widely same microbial community on the ISS also.
The study explain that, the International Space Station is house to
approximately 12,554 distinct microbial species and the quantity of species
that are closely connected to known human microbes is on par with related form
environments on Earth.
The report also explained that since the ISS is completely coated, the microbes
inside the station come from the individual on the ISS and the supplies passed
MERCCURI is known as Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and
University Researchers on the International Space Station. It is an alliance
between UC Davis and other organizations, including Science Cheerleader, a
group of present and former professional cheerleaders pursuing jobs in science
India wins first-ever South Asian Regional
Badminton Team Championship on - 5th December 2017
India won the 1st-ever South Asian Regional Badminton Team
Championship in a title fight against Nepal in Guwahati, Assam on 5th December
India, who was the favorites, beat Nepal 3-0. The Indian team passed into the
final without losing any match and continued their good performance with
Aryaman Tandon, who beaten Nepal’s Dipesh Dhami 21-9, 21-15 in the boys'
singles match, to give India an early plan.
India's victory was further doubled with Ashmita Chaliha’s straight success of
21-9, 21-6 over Rashila Maharjan in the girls' singles match.
In the boy’s doubles match, the duo of Arintap Dasgupta and Krishna Prasad
defeated the Nepalese pair of Dipesh Dhami and Nabin Shrestha to fix the win
for India. Though Nepal started well by winning the 1st game 21-19, Indians
came back stronger and won the next 2 games 21-14, 21-11.
While the team championship is over, the individual
competition is planned to start from 6th December 2017.
The government needs to re-examine the proposed
financial resolution legislation
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has wisely sought to allay
fears about a “bail-in” clause in the Financial Resolution and Deposit
Insurance Bill, 2017. Introduced in Parliament this August, it has caused great
anxiety about the safety of funds parked by millions of households in bank
deposits — fears that it will enable banks to be ‘bailed in’ by depositors’
funds rather than being ‘bailed out’ by taxpayers (or potential buyers). The
government has promised a ₹2.11-lakh crore recapitalisation plan for public
sector banks that are now taking haircuts on defaulted loans being put through
the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. When banks, in turn, face collapse, the
fear is that depositors could face similar haircuts or write-downs on the value
of their savings in the bank and perhaps be issued securities instead. This
provision in the FRDI Bill is purportedly with an eye on resolving bankruptcy
scenarios among financial entities, some of which could be too big to fail or
systemically important. On Friday, Mr. Jaitley said a ‘lot of corrections’
could still take place; the Bill is currently being reviewed by a parliamentary
committee whose report will be considered by the Cabinet. The Bill proposes the
scrapping of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (set up in
the early 1960s in the aftermath of the collapse of two banks), which
guarantees repayment of bank deposits up to ₹1 lakh in case a bank is
liquidated. A new Resolution Corporation under the Finance Ministry will steer
financial entities out of the woods and offer a similar cover for deposits. The
silence of the Bill on the extent of deposits to be guaranteed is a key source
of concern, and may necessitate the need to revisit the existing ₹1 lakh
deposit guarantee, which hasn’t been revised since 1993.
The need for a specialised regime to cope with large
financial firms on the verge of going bust is well-understood especially since
the global financial crisis of 2008. As a resolution tool for stressed
financial firms, the bail-in clause has been the subject of much debate, but it
remains the least well-established across the world. Even the committee framing
the FRDI law has noted that it should typically be used where continuing a
firm’s services is considered vital but its sale is unviable — not as a lazy
default option. If lenders don’t believe that a bail-in plan would salvage a
firm, triggering the clause could end up causing a run on the bank instead of
preventing one. With its thrust on initiatives such as the Jan Dhan Yojana and
demonetisation, the government has nudged more people towards the formal
banking system. To ensure that those gains are not lost, the government must
communicate more clearly the rationale behind the bail-in provision, and the
circumstances in which it may ultimately be used, if at all. Most importantly,
it must enhance the amount of bank deposits that will remain safe under the new
This country has
won the _rst-ever South Asian Regional Badminton Team Championship - India
• According to
twitter, this world leader is the most tweeted about on the micro blogging site
- Donald Trump
• This world
leader had the most-like tweet of the year 2017 - Barack Obama
• This planet’s
moon may have similar plate tectonics as Earth - Jupiter
• The 6th ‘International Tourism Mart’
(ITM) was inaugurated in this which state –
• India has conducted successful test
launch of this surface to air missile with indigenous radio
frequency seeker - Akash
• This Indian
state has become the _rst one to pass a bill awarding death to those found
guilty of raping girls aged 12 and below -
International conference on climate change was held in this nation – Nepal
• The 61st death
anniversary of this social reformer, who played a huge role in Fighting against
in drafting the Indian constitution, was commemorated on 6 December - B R Ambedkar
KEYWORDS FOR SEARCH
Free notes of GK and Current Affairs for IAS-PCS- CIVIL SERVICES COACHING IN CHANDIGARH
Free notes of GK and Current Affairs for CLAT LAW ENTRANCE COACHING IN CHANDIGARH
Free notes of GK and Current Affairs for JUDICIAL SERVICES COACHING IN CHANDIGARH
Best ias coaching in chandigarh