Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Jul 15, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Precision Farming


Precision farming is an approach where inputs are utilized in precise amounts to get increased average yields, compared to traditional cultivation techniques. In India, one major problem is the small field size. More than 58 per cent of operational holdings in the country have size less than one hectare (ha).

Sustainable PA is this century’s most valuable innovation in farm management that is based on using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This is the most recent innovation technology based on sustainable agriculture and healthy food production and it consists of profitability and increasing production, economic efficiency and the reduction of side effects on the environment.

Why precision farming?

  • To increase agriculture productivity
  • Prevents soil degradation
  • Reduction of chemical application in crop production
  • Efficient use of water resources
  • Dissemination of modern farm practices to improve quality, quantity and reduced cost of production
  • Developing favourable attitudes
  • Precision farming changing the socio-economic status of farmers

Technology needed

Technologies include a vast array of tools of hardware, software and equipment

  • Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers
  • Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS)
  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Remote sensing
  • Variable Rate Applicator
  • Combine harvesters with yield monitor

The policy approach to promote precision farming at farm level :

  • Identify the niche areas for the promotion of crop specific precision farming
  • Creation of multidisciplinary teams involving agricultural scientists in various fields, engineers, manufacturers and economists to study the overall scope of precision agriculture
  • Provide complete technical backup support to the farmers to develop pilots or models, which can be replicated on a large scale
  • Pilot study should be conducted on farmers’ fields to show the results of precision agriculture implementation
  • Creating awareness among farmers about consequences of applying imbalanced doses of farm inputs like irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides

Current Affair 2:
Diamond Production globally and India


Note: All information is taken from Indian Bureau of Mines 2019 released by Government of India.

Diamond occurs in two types of deposits, primarily in igneous rocks of basic or ultrabasic composition and in alluvial deposits derived from the primary sources.

Diamond has a high refractive index and strong dispersion which gives it exciting brilliance when cut as a faceted stone. Gem diamonds are transparent and colourless or show faint shades of different colours.

Current scenario:

India is known for its diamond cutting & polishing business especially for small sized diamonds. Most of the world's diamond cutting and polishing business comes to India, particularly to Surat in Gujarat. India depends largely on imports of rough gem diamonds for its Cutting and Polishing Industry as there is no notable production except for two producers in Madhya Pradesh whose limited production is too sparse to meet the Cutting and Polishing Industry's requirements.

Madhya Pradesh is the only state with a diamond mine in the country as well as in Asia. The Majhgawan mine at Panna in the Madhya Pradesh is the only source of diamonds in Asia producing 30,000 carats every year.

The principal producers were Russia (29%), Botswana (18%), Canada (16%), Congo, Dem. Rep (10%), Australia (9%), South Africa (7%) and Angola (6%).

Current Affair 3:
The concept of planetary boundary

Source Link

The planetary boundary is a novel concept developed and published by the international team of 18 researchers in the year 2009. According to the paper, there are nine planetary boundaries, and they are as follows,

  1. Climate change
  2. Change in biosphere integrity (biodiversity loss and species extinction)
  3. Stratospheric ozone depletion
  4. Ocean acidification
  5. Biogeochemical flows (phosphorus and nitrogen cycles)
  6. Land-system change (for example deforestation)
  7. Freshwater use
  8. Atmospheric aerosol loading (microscopic particles in the atmosphere that affect climate and living organisms)
  9. Introduction of novel entities (eg, organic pollutants, radioactive materials, nanomaterials, and micro-plastics).

The stability of our planet earth is mainly due to these nine processes. These elements are the reason, our planet is intact. Any change in this would greatly affect our planet, and in turn, us.

Four of nine planetary boundaries: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change, altered biogeochemical cycles (phosphorus and nitrogen), have crossed the tipping point due to unfavorable human activities. Two of these, climate change and biosphere integrity, are core boundaries. Any change in these two would drive the Earth System into a new state.

Planetary Boundaries do not dictate how human societies should develop but they can aid decision-makers by defining a safe operating space for humanity.

Current Affair 4:
Constitutional Provisions on dismissal of Government Employees


Constitutional provision:

Article 311 of the Constitution deals with ‘Dismissal, removal or reduction in rank of persons employed in civil capacities under the Union or a State’.

Article 311(2): no civil servant can be “dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which he has been informed of the charges and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges’’.

Article 311(2)(a): The safeguard of an inquiry also does not apply in cases of conviction on a criminal charge.

Article 311(2)(b): The safeguard of an inquiry also does not apply “where the authority is satisfied that for some reason, to be recorded by that authority in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry”.

Article 311(2)(c): It also shall not apply “where the President or the Governor, as the case may be, is satisfied that in the interest of the security of the State it is not expedient to hold such inquiry”.

The only available remedy to terminated employees is to challenge the government’s decision in the High Court.

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