Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Aug 21, 2020

Current Affair 1:
Swachh Survekshan 2020

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Few questions only need to be answered from this: More than this not required.

  1. When this Survey started?
  2. What is the objective of survey?
  3. Which Ministry?
  4. Weightage? In weightage they will ask whether citizens feedback is included or not, similar types.
  5. Who topped the ranking?
  6. Who conducts survey?

We need to read once introduction, get clarity of survey and move ahead.


Swachh Survekshan is an annual ranking exercise taken up by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Who conducts the survey?

The Quality Council of India (QCI) is in charge of evaluating the performance of the participating cities. This is an autonomous accreditation body which was set up by the Government of India in 1997 for quality assurance in all fields, including governance.

Remember here: QCI is governed by a Council comprising of 38 members including the Chairman and Secretary General. The Council has an equal representation of Government, Industry and other Stakeholders.

Current Affair 2:
Slowly widening in Earth’s magnetic field

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NASA has announced that its researchers are actively tracking the South Atlantic Anomaly, a large but slowly widening weak spot in the Earth’s magnetic field over the Atlantic Ocean. The region extends from South America to Southwest Africa, over the Atlantic Ocean. The Earth’s magnetic field acts like a protective bubble around the planet, shielding its inhabitants from harmful radiation from the Sun. But it is not completely uniform or stable due to changes over time with Earth’s outer core rotation. The dent in the magnetic field does not affect life on the surface but does put satellites passing through the region at a higher risk of instrument damage or data loss from radiation. Watch a small video also:

Earth’s magnetic field

  1. Earth’s magnetic field originates more than 2000 km inside its interior and extends several thousand kilometres into the space, where it interacts with charged particles emanating from the Sun in the form of solar wind.
  2. The field is sustained by electric currents that are in turn caused by the rotating outer core of Earth — the mixture of molten iron, nickel, and rock in our core spins, generating a dynamo-like effect and producing the magnetic field.
  3. The magnetic field covers all of Earth and is shaped like a teardrop, with a tail that points away from the Sun. It helps keep in the atmosphere liquid water, warmth, and supports the survival of life on this planet.
  4. Approximately 640 km above the ground begin the Van Allen radiation belts, which are concentric belts of magnetic lines that capture, and hold charged particles from the Sun and cosmic rays.
  5. These belts extend up to 58,000 km and are mainly divided into the inner and outer belts. Other transient belts are also formed from time to time, but do not persist.
  6. In the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region, the innermost Van Allen belt has been observed to drop down to 200 km from the surface, bringing with it charged particles that penetrate the atmosphere.

Earth’s magnetic dipole

  1. The magnetic dipole axis of Earth, which determines the geomagnetic north and south poles, is tilted about 11 degrees relative to our rotational axis, which is tilted at 23.5 degrees.
  2. The dipole axis is considered to be a hypothetical bar magnet on Earth, acting like any other magnet. But since its north aligns to the North Pole of Earth, the magnetic north pole is actually considered to be the south pole of the Earth’s magnetic field because all magnets on Earth turn their north towards it.
  3. Owing to the changing nature of the core spin over time, the magnetic dipole of the Earth moves slowly but constantly. These changes also cause ripple effects in the Earth’s magnetic field, and the Earth’s geomagnetic poles move over time.
  4. As of 2015, the Earth’s magnetic North Pole was located at approximately 80°22′12″N 72°37′12″W, over Ellesmere Island, Canada, but it is now drifting away from North America and toward Siberia.
  5. These changes lead to uneven strength in magnetic fields, and caused the South Atlantic Anomaly, SAA, which the American space agency describes as a “pothole in space”.
  6. The region sees the passage of several low-Earth orbit satellites, whose non-essential instruments are shut down when passing through SAA for safety.
  7. The International Space Station (ISS) also passes through the region. Though the ISS crew is safe within, components mounted externally on the station are thought to be at risk for damage or data loss.
  8. Close monitoring of the SAA is being performed by multiple agencies and authorities in an effort to understand Earth’s evolution as well as for keeping future satellites safe.

Current Affair 3:
‘Snapback’ sanctions on Iran

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Two questions can be a part of it?

  1. Snapback sanctions or mechanism was in news related to what?
  2. Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA

The United States has notified UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres of its decision to trigger a ‘snapback’ that will initiate restoration of all UN sanctions on Iran, saying Washington will never allow “the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism” to freely buy and sell any kind of conventional weapons.

Earlier sanctions were suspended. Suspension of sanctions was part of U.N. Resolution 2231, which endorses the multination agreement — known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — that restricts Iran's nuclear program.

  1. Under this, the sanctions will come back into effect in 30 days from August 20.
  2. Iran will be again prohibited from ballistic missile testing. Iran will be back under sanctions for ongoing nuclear activities such as the enrichment of nuclear material that could be applied to a nuclear weapons programme.
  3. Last week, the US had suffered a diplomatic defeat when the UN Security Council rejected a proposal by Washington to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran. The Trump Administration had threatened that it would initiate a “snapback” to reimpose all UN sanctions on Iran.
  4. US President Donald Trump had in May 2018 pulled the US out of the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with Iran, an Obama-era accord which he has repeatedly criticized as “disastrous”, and re-imposed sanctions.
  5. The so-called “snapback” mechanism, which was envisioned in the 2015 nuclear deal, would restore all UN sanctions on Iran if it was found that Tehran was in violation of the accord.
  6. In a statement, the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK said the US has requested to initiate the “snapback” mechanism, which allows a participant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to seek the reimposition against Iran of the multilateral sanctions lifted in 2015 in accordance with resolution 2231, adopted by the UN Security Council.

Current Affair 4:
INSPIRE Programme

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Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research Programme

Innovation of Science Pursuit for Inspire Research (INSPIRE) is one such innovative scheme proposed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to science. The basic objective of INSPIRE would be to communicate to the youth population of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science and attract talent to the study of science at an early stage and build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base.

INSPIRE Scheme has included three programs and five components. They are:

  1. Scheme for Early Attraction of Talents for Science (SEATS)
  2. Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) and
  3. Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC). The schematic diagram of the programme is shown below:

Current Affair 5:
Places in news:

NO1. Chora Museum: Turkey

Recently, the Turkish President reconverted the Chora museum into a mosque. This is the second museum after Hagia Sophia to be converted into a mosque. Turkey has also found a new gas field in Black Sea.

NO. 2 Gas Field in Black Sea

Recently, Turkey has found its biggest ever (a 320 billion cubic metre) natural gas field discovery in Black Sea. The gas field will become functional in 2023. Turkey is determined to become a net energy exporter. The discovery has a potential to transform Turkey’s dependence on Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan for energy imports.

NO3. Mousuni island

Mousuni Island in West Bengal’s Sundarbans region was severely impacted August 20-21, 2020 by extreme weather. The combined impact of a low pressure, easterly winds and a high tide caused several breaches in surrounding river bunds. The ingress of saline water affected thousands. The latest disaster is the third for the island in the last 10 months.


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