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14-Oct-2023-Daily-Current-Affairs

October 14, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm

BALANCING POLICY

GS 2 (INTERNATINAL RELATIONS): SOURCE – THE HINDU

The recent violent conflict between Israel and Hamas has garnered global attention and sparked responses from various nations. India, with its history of facing terrorism, is placed in a sensitive position.

Balancing Act: India’s Response to Israel-Hamas Conflict

Solidarity with Israel:

  • Prime Minister Modi expressed solidarity with Israel promptly after the Hamas attack, acknowledging the pain of terror attacks.
  • The safety of Indian citizens in Israel, as well as Israelis of Indian origin, has been a primary concern.

Nuanced Diplomacy:

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued a formal statement condemning Hamas attacks while reminding Israel of the importance of observing international humanitarian law.
  • India has historically supported the Palestinian cause while nurturing closer ties with Israel.

Policy Lines and Shifts:

  • India’s diplomatic relationship with Israel dates back to 1992, with a growing focus on trade, technology, military procurement, and counter-terrorism collaboration.
  • Prime Minister Modi’s visits to Israel in 2017 and Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to India in 2018 demonstrate the strengthening of bilateral relations.
  • India’s stance on the Israel-Palestine issue has been consistent, emphasizing the need to abhor terrorism while avoiding indiscriminate reprisals.
  • India’s past voting against unilateral claims related to Jerusalem and its ongoing support for Palestine reflect its balanced approach.

Challenges of Responsibility:

While Hamas’s attacks are condemned, the demand for a massive evacuation of Gaza residents by Israel presents a complex challenge for India in maintaining its policy balance.

Conclusion:

India’s response to the Israel-Hamas conflict reflects its commitment to condemning terrorism while advocating for the observance of international humanitarian law. Navigating its policy on the Israel-Palestine issue continues to be a delicate balance, as it prioritizes responsible state behaviour in the face of ongoing challenges.

‘WEST ASIA CONFLICT WILL NOT AFFECT IMEC’

GS 2 (INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS): SOURCE – THE HINDU

The ongoing conflict in West Asia, particularly the Israel-Palestine crisis, has raised concerns over its potential impact on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). India addressed this issue during the G20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Marrakech, Morocco.

West Asia Conflict and IMEC: Assessing the Impact

IMEC Unaffected:

  • India emphasized that the West Asia conflict is unlikely to disrupt IMEC plans.
  • India remains committed to strengthening economic ties with the Middle East and Europe, despite the regional turmoil.

Concerns Arising from Crisis:

  • While IMEC remains on track, the West Asia conflict has renewed concerns about key aspects, including fuel prices, food security, and supply chain disruptions.
  • The conflict has the potential to affect global markets and the economic stability of involved nations.

Global Economic Dynamics:

  • Higher interest rates, termed “higher for longer,” could impact investment flows, particularly in emerging markets.
  • Finance Minister Sitharaman underscored that despite interest rate fluctuations, emerging economies continue to drive global growth, and investment flows should consider this factor.

FARMERS LOST $3.8 TRILLION TO DISASTERS OVER 30 YEARS: FAO’S FIRST-EVER GLOBAL ESTIMATION

GS 3 (ECONOMY): SOURCE – DOWN TO EARTH

A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlights the substantial economic losses suffered by farmers due to natural disasters over the past 30 years. The report emphasizes the importance of proactive measures to build resilience in the agricultural sector, as losses from disasters significantly impact global food production and security.

Economic Impact of Natural Disasters: Assessing Losses

Global Economic Losses:

  • Farmers worldwide have incurred losses amounting to an estimated $3.8 trillion in crops and livestock production due to natural disasters over the last three decades.
  • This translates to an annual average loss of $123 billion, equivalent to 5% of the global agricultural gross domestic product (GDP).

Impact on Major Agricultural Products:

  • Major agricultural products such as cereals, fruits and vegetables, and sugar crops have witnessed increasing losses, with cereals accounting for an average of 69 million tonnes per year.
  • Losses in these categories surpass the entire production of significant agricultural nations like France, Japan, and Vietnam.

Meats, Dairy, and Eggs:

Meats, dairy products, and eggs have also experienced substantial losses, estimated at 16 million tonnes per year, equivalent to the entire production of these items in countries like Mexico and India in 2021.

Regional Disparities:

  • The losses vary significantly across regions and country groups. Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas have all faced substantial losses.
  • While Asia accounted for 4% of the agricultural added value, Africa experienced losses equivalent to nearly 8%.

Disasters Impact on Vulnerable Economies:

  • Lower and lower-middle-income countries have borne the highest relative losses, up to 15% of their total agricultural GDP.
  • Small Island Developing States also faced significant losses, resulting in nearly 7% of their agricultural GDP.

Building Agricultural Resilience: The Way Forward

Increasing Disaster Events:

  • The report highlights a substantial increase in disaster events, from 100 per year in the 1970s to around 400 events per year worldwide over the past two decades.
  • Smallholder farmers, particularly those relying on rain-fed agriculture, are the most vulnerable in agrifood systems.

Proactive Measures for Resilience:

  • The importance of proactive and timely interventions in response to forecasted hazards is underscored. Such measures can help prevent and reduce risks in agriculture.
  • For every $1 invested in anticipatory action, rural families can gain up to $7 in benefits and avoid agricultural losses.

Key Priorities for Action:

  • The report outlines three crucial priorities for action, including improving data and information on disaster impacts in various agricultural subsectors.
  • Developing and implementing multi-sectoral and multi-hazard disaster risk reduction approaches is crucial at all policy and programming levels.
  • Enhancing investments in resilience that reduce disaster risk in agriculture while improving agricultural production and livelihoods.

INS SAGARDHWANI EMBARKS ON SAGAR MAITRI MISSION-4

GS 2 (INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS): SOURCE – INDIAN EXPRESS

Mission Overview:

  • The oceanographic research vessel ‘INS Sagardhwani’ has commenced its two-month-long Sagar Maitri Mission-4 from the Southern Naval Command in Kochi.
  • The mission is an initiative by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

Objective and Vision:

  • The Sagar Maitri Mission aligns with the vision to support the Prime Minister’s policy declaration ‘Safety and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).’
  • Its primary aim is to foster closer cooperation among countries in the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) in socio-economic and scientific research, particularly in ocean research.

Collaborative Partnerships:

  • The mission is dedicated to establishing long-term scientific partnerships with eight IOR countries: Oman, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Myanmar.
  • DRDO has launched a scientific component named ‘MAITRI’ (Marine and Allied Interdisciplinary Training and Research Initiative) to promote cooperation in ocean research and development.

Previous Missions:

  • Previous Sagar Maitri missions have visited countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore.
  • About INS Sagardhwani:
  • INS Sagardhwani is an oceanographic research vessel developed by the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) in Kochi, a leading systems laboratory of the DRDO.

RECORD SPIKE IN AEROSOLS IN HINDU KUSH REGION: STUDY

GS 3 (ENVIRONMENT): SOURCE – HINDUSTAN TIMES

Study Findings:

  • A study by ISRO’s Physical Research Laboratory reveals a significant increase in aerosols in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau region.
  • The rise in aerosol levels in this region is linked to higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, accelerated glacier retreat, and modifications in the hydrological cycle.
  • The study used ground-based observations, satellite data, and simulations to assess aerosol characteristics and radiative forcing.
  • Aerosols in the region contribute to over 50% of total warming, including both aerosols and greenhouse gases, affecting the lower atmosphere and surface.
  • Current climate models significantly underestimate aerosol-induced heating, highlighting the need for more realistic representations of aerosol properties.

Impact on the region:

  • The aerosol-induced warming in the region contributes to temperature increase, glacier retreat, and changes in the hydrological cycle and precipitation patterns.
  • The Hindu Kush-Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau region contains the largest ice mass outside polar regions and has seen a significant glacier retreat.
  • Warming in this region poses severe consequences for the entire Asian river system, affecting billions of people’s lives and livelihoods.

Significance:

  • This study emphasizes the need for measures to address the impact of aerosols in the Hindu Kush region, where glaciers play a vital role in sustaining Asia’s major rivers.
  • The findings underscore the urgency of addressing climate change and its repercussions on the region’s environment and population.

ASSESSMENT ON CUTTING METHANE FROM FOSSIL FUELS: CLIMATE AND HEALTH IMPERATIVES

GS 3 (ENVIRONMENT): SOURCE- PIB

A joint publication by the United Nations Environment Programme, Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), and International Energy Agency (IEA) emphasizes the significance of reducing methane emissions from fossil fuels.

Significance:

  • Methane is a potent climate pollutant contributing to 30% of global temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution.
  • Fossil fuel activities are the second-largest source of human-caused methane emissions, with most reducible through existing technologies and at low costs.
  • The report emphasizes that a significant increase in clean energy alone will not sufficiently reduce methane emissions to combat climate change effectively.

Action Needed:

  • The report highlights the need for targeted actions to curtail methane emissions from fossil fuel production and use.
  • These actions are crucial to avoid irreversible climate tipping points and to promote public health benefits.

DATA ANALYTICS DASHBOARD AND POORVOTTAR SAMPARK SETU PORTAL

GS 2 (POLITY AND GOVERNANCE): SOURCE – PIB

Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Launches Two Portals

DoNER Data Analytics Dashboard:

  • Contains data for 112 schemes across 55 Departments and Ministries.
  • Aids in data-driven decision-making, streamlining operations, and centralized monitoring.
  • Enhances efficiency in managing projects and initiatives.

Poorvottar Sampark Setu Portal:

  • Generates a curated list of Union Ministers who can be nominated for a fortnightly visit to the North East region.
  • Facilitates better communication and engagement between Union Ministers and the North East.
  • These portals are essential for effective governance and improved collaboration between different regions and government departments.

 

 

 

 

 

Details

Date:
October 14, 2023
Time:
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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