Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jul 17, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Methane emissions rose 576 mn tonnes every year between 2008 and 2017


The amount of methane in the Earth’s atmosphere has continued to rise, with 576 million tonnes of the gas added every year between 2008 and 2017, showed two recent studies from the Global Carbon Project

We will see:

  1. Global Carbon Project
  2. Introduction to Methane and few important diagrams from report. Very important for Prelims.

About Global Carbon Project (GCP): in brief.

The Global Carbon Project (GCP) integrates knowledge of greenhouse gases for human activities and the Earth system. Our projects include global budgets for three dominant greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide — and complementary efforts in urban, regional, cumulative, and negative emissions.

Introduction to Methane:


Rise in Methane:


Emission changes between 2000-2006 and 2017:

Methane Sink:

Hydroxyl radical, OH is the main oxidant of CH4, responsible of about 90% of methane removal in the atmosphere. The atmosphere, and more precisely the troposphere, is the largest sink for methane. Methane in the troposphere reacts with hydroxyl (OH) radicals, forming mainly water and carbon dioxide.

Current Affair 2:
Nano technology enables scientists to study migrations of Pied Cuckoo

Source Link

  1. A new project by a number of agencies is using advancements in nano technology to study migratory patterns of the Pied Cuckoo, a bird closely linked with the arrival of the south west monsoon in India.
  2. The project is a joint effort by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), which comes under the Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO.
  3. There are basically three subspecies of the Pied Cuckoo of which one is resident in Africa while another is resident in South India. The third is a migrant moving between India and Africa. It moves to India during the summer.
  4. Being a small, terrestrial bird, a sea crossing holds a lot of risk for this cuckoo. Before it migrates back to its home in the southern African region, by flying over the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, it must be stopping somewhere. It is these stopovers that scientists want to find out about.
  5. The Pied Cuckoo is famous in North Indian folklore as ‘chatak’, a bird that quenches its thirst only with raindrops.
  6. This collaborative effort is a first of its kind and through this an online web-based geospatial dashboard will be developed for near-real-time monitoring of trends and patterns in movement of Pied Cuckoo i.e., development of a location analytical tool with an API for interoperability and to perform geospatial modeling.
  7. The Pied Cuckoo migration study is part of a larger project — Indian Bioresource Information portal (IBIN) funded by the Department of Biotechnology, under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology, that aims to deliver relevant bioresources (plant, animal and other biological organisms) information of India through a web portal.

Indian Bioresource Information portal (IBIN)

IBIN was launched at Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11) in Hyderabad, India.

What is this IBIN? Just have basic idea of Portal.

In view of promoting the development of a national level database on vegetation cover, biological resources, and biological diversity of the country, India have compiled three sets of databases:

  1. Biodiversity Characterization at Landscape Level in India Database – a database covering entire India has been prepared during past 12 years. It comprises spatial database on vegetation/land use types, landscape fragmentation, disturbance regimes, species richness, biodiversity value, and biological (plant) richness.
  2. Jeeva Sampada – a database on plants, animals, marine and microbial resources of the country. This data was compiled by over 400 scientists from about 200 organizations.
  3. Jeeva Manachitra – a spatial database on the vegetation, forest cover, and other landscape elements of the entire country, based on satellite images and ground inventory done over the last two decades. This data also highlights the conservation value of the species.

The three data sets are the largest data sets ever created on the country’s biological resources and the biodiversity.

Current Affair 3:
Coir Products Touches Rs 2758 crore; India Sets Record

Source Link


During 2019-20, coconut fibre and coir products were exported from India to the tune of Rs.2757.90 crore. This is higher than ever before which is more than 30 crores previous year 2018-19.

Exports of coconut fibre particles, knotted mats, earthenware, rope rugs, carpets, other materials, coconut fibre and loom mats are highly valued. Exports of handloom mats, rope yarn, rubber rope and power loom mats have increased in value despite the declining volume.

Maximum export is to which country: Its China.

Something important related to coir:

India is the largest producer of coir in the world with a production of 5,42,000 MT which comes to around 55% of world production of coir. India is followed by Sri Lanka and Vietnam in terms of production of coir.

What government is doing to promote coir?

Government of India is implementing various Schemes for promotion of coir in the country and to enhance the production and export of coir and coir products.

The Schemes are:  

  1. Coir Udyam Yojana, Science & Technology and Coir Vikas Yojana comprising of components like Skill Upgradation, Quality Improvement Scheme and Mahila Coir Yojana, Export Market Promotion & Domestic Market Promotion.
  2. Government is also implementing the Scheme of Funds for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) for development of Coir Clusters.
  3. Under the ASPIRE Scheme of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Coir Board is in the process of establishing Livelihood Incubation Centres in various parts of the country, which will provide training and handholding support to new entrepreneurs of coir sector.


History of coir: we are taking points from the website of coir board of India.

The first recorded history of coconut in the country dates back to Ramayana period. In the Valmiki Ramayana there are references of coconut in the Kishkindha Kanda and Aranya Kanda. It is reported that Ramayana was written by Valmiki sometimes in 3rd Century BC. Generally, it is believed that coconut was introduced in India during the post-Vedic period.

Alleppey (Alappuzha in Malayalam) is the nerve centre of Kerala’s famous Coir industry. In fact, even the name Kerala (Kerlam in Malayalam) is derived from this tree (“Kera” in Malayalam language means Coconut and “Alam” means Land, thus Keralam = Land of Coconut).

Coir Board of India comes under: Ministry of MSME and chairman is not a Union Minister.


Current Affair 4:
NISHTHA Programme

Source Link

Recently, the National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) programme has been launched for the first time in online mode in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

About Program: UPSC will simply ask its main aim. So, no need to go in much detail. Just few diagrams and you will understand well.

National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) is a capacity building programme for improving the quality of school education through integrated teacher training.

It aims to build competencies among all the teachers and school principals at the elementary stage (very important).


Current Affair 5:
National Biopharma Mission (NBM)

Source Link


BIRAC has announced that ZyCoV-D, the plasmid DNA vaccine designed and developed by Zydus and partially funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has initiated Phase I/Phase II clinical trials in healthy subjects, making it the first indigenously developed vaccine for COVID-19 to be administered in humans in India.

DBT has partnered with Zydus to address rapid development of an indigenous vaccine for COVID-19 under the National Biopharma Mission.

About National Biopharma Mission (NBM):


  1. It is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country.
  2. It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of Rs 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan.
  3. It is being implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
  4. Under this Mission, the Government has launched Innovate in India (i3) programme to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharma sector.

It has a focus on following four verticals:

  1. Development of product leads for Vaccines, Biosimilars and Medical Devices that are relevant to the public health need by focusing on managed partnerships.
  2. Upgradation of shared infrastructure facilities and establishing them as centres of product discovery/discovery validations and manufacturing.
  3. Developing human capital by providing specific training.
  4. Developing technology transfer offices to help enhance industry academia inter-linkages.

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