Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Jul 20, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Why India’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are About to Rise Faster?

Take Climate Action Tracker, a website tracking countries’ actions on climate change. Citing India’s ambitious renewable energy targets – 450 GW by 2030, it says that India’s climate commitment in 2030 is within the range of what is considered to be a fair share of global effort. It also adds that, if the country abandons plans for new coal-fired power plants, the website adds, it could become a global climate leader.

What is the biggest problem we are observing in achieving Paris Climate Targets (INDCs)?

Since 2017, a rising number of fossil fuel producers, mostly from Russia, America and the Middle East, have begun entering India, seeing the country as one of the last big markets for fossil fuels.

Why global oil and gas majors are entering India?

Foreign energy majors have eyed India for long.

  1. The country is the world’s second largest importer of coal; the third-largest importer of oil; and the fourth-largest importer of liquefied natural gas.
  2. It’s also a regional refining hub, with an installed capacity above 249 million tonnes per annum (4.6 million barrels a day). Now, two new developments have further added to India’s allure.
  3. First, competition is intensifying amongst oil, gas and coal majors. Not only are renewables depressing growth, the shale revolution has turned America, once an oil importer, into an oil and gas exporter.
  4. At the same time, as renewable energy prices fall and pressures to decarbonize rise, fossil fuel producers have no more than thirty years to monetize their fossil fuels and re-establish themselves on alternative economic fundamentals.
  5. The outcome is one where fossil fuel majors are looking east (at fast-growing fossil fuel markets like India and China) and downstream (focusing more on sales than exploration in new markets).
  6. Aramco, for instance, is boosting its daily production (12 million barrels a day) by another 1.45 million barrels, and its refining capacity from 5 million barrels a day to 8-10 million barrels.

Even as India invites global oil and gas majors, the country is also investing in fossil fuel fields overseas, amping up coal production and pushing renewables.

Can COVID-19 change this?

For folks in the renewable sector, COVID-19 seems like good news. The global pandemic triggered an unprecedented collapse in demand, and prices, of crude oil. Studying the impact of oil selling at $35 a barrel on companies’ investment plans for 2020, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie found three out of four projects couldn’t even cover their cost of capital. At $20 a barrel, the industry would be decimated.

If you forgot India’s INDCs, read once again:

Click here for total installed capacity. And check which sector contributes highest, lowest (Thermal, Renewable, etc.).

Current Affair 2:
Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020

Recently, Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020 was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

In the global MPI, people are counted as multidimensionally poor if they are deprived in one-third or more of 10 indicators, where each indicator is equally weighted within its dimension, so the health and education indicators are weighted 1/6 each and the standard of living indicators are weighted 1/18 each.

We see report in two aspect, Global and India.

What report talks about Global?

  1. 1.3 billion people are still living in multidimensional poverty. More than 80% are deprived in at least five of the ten indicators used to measure health, education and living standards in the global MPI.
  2. The burden of multidimensional poverty disproportionately falls on children - half of multidimensionally poor people are children under age 18.
  3. 65 out of 75 countries studied significantly reduced their multidimensional poverty levels between 2000 and 2019.
  4. About 84.3% of multidimensionally poor people live in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  5. 67% of multidimensionally poor people are in middle-income countries.

What report mentions about India?

  1. Four countries halved their MPI value. India (2005/2006–2015/2016) did so nationally and among children and had the biggest reduction in the number of multidimensionally poor people (273 million).
  2. Of the 65 countries that reduced their MPIT value, 50 also reduced the number of people living in poverty. The largest reduction was in India, where approximately 273 million people moved out of multidimensional poverty over 10 years.
  3. Ten countries account for 60 percent of unvaccinated children, and 40 percent of children unvaccinated for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) live in just four countries: Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Indonesia.
  4. More than 450 million people have gained access to clean cooking fuels since 2010 in China and India as a result of liquefied petroleum gas programmes and clean air policies.


Where does the water go during a drought? Germany researchers try to find out

Where does the water go in a drought? How does it get distributed during low-precipitation periods and what are the ways to improve water retention in such a situation?

Current Affair 3:
Bathynomus raksasa: Isopod Species

Source Link

Recently, scientists have reported the discovery of the first super giant isopod species in the eastern Indian Ocean named ‘Bathynomus raksasa. It has been described as the ‘cockroach of the sea’. A team of researchers from Singapore discovered it while exploring waters of the Indian Ocean in Bantan, off the southern coast of West Java in Indonesia in 2018.



Current Affair 4:
UAE Launches Interplanetary Mission to Mars

Source Link

A rocket carrying the Hope probe, developed by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, UAE, lifts off after blasting off from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. The first Arab mission to Mars was initially due to launch on July 14 but has been delayed twice due to bad weather.

The main aim of Mission Hope is to understand the weather on the Red Planet through all seasons and study how atmospheric oxygen and hydrogen escape into space.

Hope has three instruments — two spectrometres and one exploration imager (high-resolution camera). While one spectrometre will determine the temperature of the planet through the next year, the other will measure the oxygen and hydrogen levels at least 40,000 kilometres from the surface of Mars. The imager will provide information on the ozone levels on the Red Planet.


There are currently eight active missions exploring Mars; some orbit the planet and some have landed on its surface. The only other country to land a spacecraft on Mars was the Soviet Union in 1971 and 1973.  In 2014, India's Mars Orbiter Mission successfully enters Mars' orbit, becoming the first nation to arrive on its first attempt, and the first Asian country to reach the Red Planet. India’s MARS mission has taken place in 2014, so we won’t need to go in detail about it now.

Be careful, if UPSC is asking landed on MARS or orbiting.

Current Affair 5:
Zonal Councils in India

The idea of creation of Zonal Councils was mooted by the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1956. This can be again a part of your Prelims Question. If you remember, something similar was asked in Prelims 2019:

Zonal Councils were set up under States Re-organisation Act, 1956. There are total five Zonal Councils- North, South, West, East and Central.

Don’t include North-Eastern Zonal Councils in it. North Eastern Council is a statutory advisory body constituted under the NEC Act 1971.

One more important thing to understand here is Standing Committee to Zonal Councils.

Nothing more than this is required for your Exam.



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