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6-March-2024-Daily-Current-Affairs

March 6 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

METHANESAT, A SATELLITE WHICH WILL ‘NAME AND SHAME’ METHANE EMITTERS

TOPIC: (GS3) ENVIRONMENT – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS

MethaneSAT, a cutting-edge satellite designed for global methane emission tracking, successfully soared into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California. This launch signifies a crucial stride in combatting climate change, focusing particularly on the potent greenhouse gas, methane.

Significance of Tracking Methane Emissions:

  • Methane ranks as the second most prevalent greenhouse gas, following carbon dioxide, significantly impacting climate change.
  • Over the last two centuries, its atmospheric concentration has doubled, contributing to about 30% of climate warming since the Industrial Revolution.
  • Given its heat-trapping potency, addressing methane emissions is pivotal in tackling climate change and its detrimental effects on the environment and public health.

Objectives and Purpose of MethaneSAT:

  • Developed by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in collaboration with Harvard University and partners, MethaneSAT focuses on tracking methane emissions, especially from fossil fuel operations, a major contributor to human-caused methane emissions.
  • By offering real-time data, MethaneSAT aims to pinpoint emission sources, monitor changes, and empower stakeholders to take targeted actions to effectively reduce emissions.

Technical Features and Capabilities:

  • Equipped with advanced technology, including a high-resolution infrared sensor and spectrometer, MethaneSAT can detect methane concentrations as low as three parts per billion.
  • Its sensitivity allows it to identify and track smaller emissions sources, previously unnoticed, while also identifying “super emitters” and monitoring emission changes over time.

Addressing Challenges in Methane Emission Monitoring:

  • Traditional satellite limitations in technology have historically hindered accurate methane emission tracking.
  • MethaneSAT overcomes these challenges by providing high-resolution data and advanced monitoring capabilities, offering a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of global methane emissions.

Data Analysis and Accessibility:

    • Data collected by MethaneSAT will be analyzed using Google’s cloud computing and AI technology.
    • The information will be made publicly accessible through Google’s Earth Engine platform, facilitating informed decision-making by researchers, policymakers, and the public.

Sources of Methane Emissions:

  • Human Activity: Approximately 60% of methane emissions are linked to human activities.
  • Wetlands: Natural sources, primarily wetlands, contribute about 40%.
  • Agriculture: Responsible for a quarter of emissions, with livestock and rice cultivation being major contributors.
  • Energy Sector: The second largest source, involving methane leaks from coal, oil, and gas infrastructure.
  • Household Waste: Decomposing household waste, especially in landfills, releases substantial methane quantities.

NOAA WARNS WORLD’S CORAL ON VERGE OF ‘WORST BLEACHING EVENT IN HISTORY OF THE PLANET’

TOPIC: (GS3) ENVIRONMENT – SOURCE: COMMONDREAMS

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a warning about an imminent fourth mass coral bleaching event, putting marine biologists on high alert. This comes after months of extraordinary ocean heat due to climate change and the El Niño climate pattern.

Global Coral Bleaching Risk:

  • NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch experts suggest the entire Southern Hemisphere is likely to experience coral bleaching this year, indicating a severe global event, possibly unprecedented in history.

Causes and Impact of Coral Bleaching:

  • Coral bleaching occurs when corals expel symbiotic algae due to heat stress, leaving them pale and vulnerable to starvation and disease.
  • The consequences extend beyond coral health, affecting ocean ecosystems, fisheries, and tourism-driven economies relying on vibrant coral reefs.

Historical Context:

  • Previous global mass coral bleaching events occurred in 2010 and 1998, causing devastating effects on coral reefs worldwide.
  • The Great Barrier Reef, from 2014 to 2017, suffered significant coral loss, losing nearly a third of its corals.

Assessment Methods:

  • Scientists use sea surface temperature data and satellite imagery to assess coral bleaching risk.
  • Monitoring reef pixels helps identify regions experiencing widespread bleaching by surpassing critical heat stress thresholds.

Implications and Concerns:

    • The looming fourth mass coral bleaching event raises concerns about the long-term viability of coral reef ecosystems and associated socio-economic impacts.
    • Urgent action is needed to mitigate climate change and reduce stressors on coral reefs to safeguard these vital marine habitats.

What are Coral Reefs

  • Corals are marine invertebrates forming colonies, with each individual called a polyp.
  • They share a symbiotic relationship with algae (zooxanthellae), providing food through photosynthesis.
  • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest, hosting diverse marine life.

What Causes Coral Bleaching?

  • Change in Ocean Temperature: Increased Ocean temperature due to climate change is the leading cause.
  • Runoff and Pollution: Storm-generated precipitation and runoff carry pollutants, bleaching nearshore corals.
  • Overexposure to Sunlight: High solar irradiance during high temperatures contributes to shallow water coral bleaching.
  • Extremely Low Tides: Exposure to air during extremely low tides can cause bleaching in shallow corals.

100 TALUKS IN KARNATAKA HIT BY DRINKING WATER CRISIS, SAYS CHIEF MINISTER

TOPIC: (GS2) POLITY AND GOVERNANCE– SOURCE: THE HINDU

Approximately 100 talukas in Karnataka are currently facing a severe drinking water crisis, leading to the deployment of water tankers for supply. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in response to the situation, conducted a videoconference, revealing that 98 out of 236 talukas are grappling with drinking water shortages due to drought.

Current Situation in Karnataka:

  • The State declared 223 talukas as drought-hit, impacting 7,408 villages and 1,115 urban local body wards with impending drinking water scarcity.
  • Private borewell owners have entered agreements to provide water to drought-affected villages and towns.
  • Chief Minister disclosed the allocation of ₹631 crore to aid 33.25 lakh affected farmers, recognizing extensive crop losses.

India’s Water Crisis:

Severity:

  • Limited Resources: India holds only 4% of the world’s freshwater despite a population exceeding 1.4 billion, causing immense stress.
  • Millions Affected: Over 160 million lack access to safe drinking water, and 200 million lack improved sanitation facilities.
  • Health Impact: 21% of communicable diseases are linked to unsafe water, with around 500 children under five dying from diarrhoea daily.
  • Polluted Rivers: More than half of India’s rivers are highly polluted, further reducing usable water sources.

Reasons:

  • Water Scarcity: Uneven rainfall patterns and reliance on monsoons worsen water shortages, especially in drier regions.
  • Overexploitation: Excessive groundwater extraction for agriculture and industry depletes aquifers faster than they can be replenished.
  • Pollution: Industrial waste, agricultural runoff, and untreated sewage contaminate surface water sources.
  • Infrastructure Gaps: Leaking pipes and inefficient water distribution systems result in significant water loss before reaching homes.

Way Forward:

  • Water Conservation: Public awareness campaigns promoting water-saving practices in homes and agriculture.
  • Infrastructure Upgrade: Investment in modern water treatment plants, leak detection, and efficient distribution systems.
  • Sustainable Management: Promotion of rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and wastewater treatment for reuse.
  • Policy & Regulation: Enactment of stricter regulations on pollution control and water usage across different sectors.
  • Public-Private Partnerships: Collaboration between the government and private entities to develop innovative water management solutions.

By addressing these challenges, India can progress towards a more secure water future, ensuring the well-being of its citizens and the environment.

INDIA TARGETS FIVE-FOLD INCREASE IN ITS SHARE OF THE GLOBAL SPACE ECONOMY

TOPIC: (GS3) INDIAN ECONOMY – SOURCE: PIB

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has announced India’s ambitious goal of achieving a five-fold increase in its share of the global space economy, praising the government’s initiatives in unlocking the sector and encouraging private participation.

India’s Space Ambition:

  • India’s current space economy is $8 billion, and the target is to reach $100 billion by 2040, according to the ADL Report.
  • The significant progress in India’s space sector is attributed to the government’s decision to involve the private sector, breaking the tradition of secrecy.

Government’s Role and Achievements:

  • The government’s initiative led to the emergence of nearly 200 private space startups, with over Rs. 1,000 crore invested in the current financial year.
  • The space budget witnessed a remarkable 142% increase in the last nine years, demonstrating a significant boost in India’s space exploration efforts.

Space Missions and Applications:

  • Dr Jitendra Singh highlighted the achievements in space missions, emphasizing their cost-effectiveness and widespread applications in disaster management, infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, and more.
  • The Indian Space Policy 2023 encourages non-governmental entities’ participation, and the IN-SPACe supports private sector involvement through various schemes.

Anusandhan National Research Foundation (NRF):

  • Dr Jitendra Singh introduced the NRF with a budget of Rs. 50,000 crore over five years, aiming to enhance public-private partnerships in scientific research.
  • The NRF aligns with the National Education Policy 2020, emphasizing integration between the public and private sectors for strategic scientific research direction.

Need for Private Sector in Indian Space:

Needs:

  • Resource Boost: Private capital and expertise can overcome public funding limitations, accelerating space exploration and development.
  • Innovation Powerhouse: Competition fosters technological advancements, propelling India’s space industry.
  • Talent Unleashed: Utilizing India’s skilled professionals for a broader range of space endeavors maximizes human capital.
  • Global Competitiveness: Private sector participation is essential to compete in the rapidly growing global space economy.

Challenges:

  • Regulatory Hurdles: Streamlining regulations and establishing a supportive policy environment is crucial for private sector investment.
  • Level Playing Field: Ensuring fair competition between private companies and ISRO requires careful consideration.
  • Security Concerns: Balancing national security with private sector involvement necessitates strategic planning and robust safeguards.
  • Technological Gap: Bridging the technological gap might require targeted support and knowledge transfer initiatives.

Way Forward:

  • Policy Implementation: Full implementation of the 2023 Space Policy to enable private participation across all space sectors.
  • IN-SPACe as Catalyst: IN-SPACe can act as a facilitator, providing guidance and promoting public-private partnerships to leverage combined strengths.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Encouraging knowledge sharing and technology transfer between ISRO and private entities can enhance the overall capabilities of the Indian space sector.
  • Skilling & Education: Investing in skilling and space education initiatives can create a robust talent pipeline for emerging private space companies.

A CLOTH CALLED RISA: PART OF TRIPURA CULTURE, SET TO BE A NATIONAL BRAND

TOPIC: (GS1) ART AND CULTURE – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS

Tripura’s traditional tribal attire ‘risa’ has recently been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.

About Risa Textile:

  • Risa is a handwoven cloth used as a female upper garment, headgear, stole, or as a respectful gift.
  • Woven in colorful designs, it holds significant social and religious importance.

Cultural and Religious Significance:

  • Given to adolescent Tripuri girls during Risa Sormani event (age 12-14).
  • Used in religious festivals like Garia Puja, worn as a turban by men in weddings, festivals, and in various forms by different age groups.

Versatility of Risa:

  • Functions as a makeshift hanger to hold infants on mothers’ backs.
  • Presented as an honor to distinguished recipients.

Common in Tripuri Communities:

  • Prevalent in all 19 indigenous tribal communities of Tripura.

Components of Traditional Tripuri Female Attire:

  • Risa (female upper garment), Rignai (lower garment), and Rikutu (wrap, headscarf, or pallu).
  • The complete attire dates back to before the time of the Manikya kings, ruling Tripura for over 500 years from the 15th century.

HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS

TOPIC: (GS3) SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS

March 4 is observed annually as International HPV Awareness Day.

What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

  • A group of over 200 related viruses, with 40 transmitted through direct sexual contact.
  • Two types cause genital warts, and around a dozen can lead to certain cancers, with over 95% of cervical cancers linked to HPV.

Transmission:

  • Most common sexually transmitted infection globally.
  • Spreads through skin-to-skin contact.
  • Often asymptomatic, making individuals unaware of infection.
  • Persistent HPV infections can lead to cancer.

HPV Vaccination:

  • Series of shots to prevent HPV infections progressing to cancer or genital warts.
  • More effective when administered between ages 9-26.
  • Less effective once a person is already infected with HPV.
  • Not administered during pregnancy.

Prevention and Awareness:

  • Getting vaccinated is a crucial step in preventing HPV-related cancers in both men and women.
  • Regular screenings and early detection play a vital role in managing HPV infections and preventing complications.

PROJECT SEABIRD

TOPIC: (GS3) SECURITY – SOURCE: PIB

Defence Minister to inaugurate two piers and seven towers, comprising 320 homes for Navy officers and Defence civilians at Naval Base Karwar in Karnataka.

About Project Seabird:

Largest naval infrastructure project in India, creating a naval base at Karwar, Karnataka, on the west coast.

History:

  • Conceived after the Indo-Pak War of 1971 due to Mumbai Harbour congestion, impacting security for the Western Fleet.
  • Originally planned by Admiral OS Dawson in the early 1980s.
  • Sanctioned in 1985, foundation stone laid by Rajiv Gandhi on October 24, 1986.

Project Scope:

  • Encompasses around 11,000 acres, featuring the first sealift facility in the country and a transfer system for docking ships and submarines.
  • Phase 1 commissioned in 2005, including deep-sea harbor, breakwaters, township, naval hospital, dockyard uplift center, and ship lift.
  • Phase 2 development started in 2011, divided into 2A and 2B, expanding facilities to accommodate more warships, submarines, and a new Naval Air Station.
  • Upon completion, it will be the largest naval base in the Eastern Hemisphere, able to host 32 warships, 23 submarines, and various aircraft in hangars.

Details

Date:
March 6
Time:
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: