Cannes Film Festival Awards
Paper 2 Health, Education, Human Resources
Why in News?
The Cannes Film Festival recently concluded on 28 May 2022, the festival gave awards to several films including the film festival’s top award “Palme d’Or”
• The 75th Film Festival of Cannes concluded on 28 May 2022. Swedish director Reuben Ostlund’s film ‘Triangle of Sadness’ was awarded by the Palme d’Or at the closing ceremony.
• It is worth mentioning that this is the second film of Ostlund to win the top prize of the Cannes Film Festival. He won the Palme d’Or for ‘The Square’ in 2017. Ostlund has now become the ninth director. Who has won the Palme d’Or award twice. He has joined that list. These include Francis Ford Coppola, Shohe Imamura, Bille August, Amir Kusturica, Michael Haneke, Ken Loch and the Darden Brothers.
• The best director award went to Korean director Park Chan-wook for ‘Decision to Leave’.
• The award for the second best film in the competition was jointly given to 75-year-old French director Claire Dennis’s ‘Stars at Noon’ set against the backdrop of the mid-1980s and Belgian young filmmaker Lucas Dhott’s film ‘Close’, based on the friendship of two teenagers.
• The jury award was jointly awarded to Belgian producer duo Charlotte Vandermersch and Felix van Groeningen’s ‘Le Otto Montaigne’ and 80-year-old Polish director Jerzi Scolimowski’s ‘EO’. It is noteworthy that the jury award is considered as the third prize. However, it is not named.
• Darden Brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luke’s ‘Tory and Lokita’ was given a special award to commemorate the festival’s 75thanniversary.
• Japanese director Chi Hayakawa won a camera d’Or – Special Mention for his debut film ‘Plan 75’ .
• Korean actor Song Kang-ho was adjudged the best actor for his performance in the film ‘Broker’ set against the backdrop of Japanese director Hirokaju Kore-Eda Ki Busan.
• Iranian actress Tsar Amir Ibrahami of the female-dominated ‘Holy Spider’, directed by Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi, won the Best Actress award.
• The best screenplay award went to Egyptian-Swedish director Tariq Saleh for ‘Boy from Heaven’.
• The short film was found by Palme D’, and China’s Chen Xianing’s ‘The Water Murmer’. Nepal’s Avinash Bikram Shah’s short film ‘Lori’ won a special award.
• Earlier in the day, Delhi’s Shounak Sen’s ‘All That Breaths’ won the 2022 L’Oil d’Or award for best documentary at the 75th Cannes Film Festival. Sen’s win is India’s second in two years at Cannes. In 2021, Payal Kapadia’s ‘A Night of Knowing Nothing’ nail won the ‘Oil D’ Or award.
• Pakistani film ‘Joyland’, written and directed by Sam Sadiq, won the jury award in the prestigious festival’s ‘Un Surton Rigard section’ on Friday, making it the first film from the subcontinent to receive the award. One of the main characters in the film is the role of transwoman Alina Khan.
Members of the jury
• The jury of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival was chaired by veteran French actor Vincent Lyndon.
• It features India’s Deepika Padukone along with Noomi Rapes, Joachim Trier, Jasmine Trinka, Jade Nichols, Asghar Farhadi, Rebecca Hall and Ladz Lee.
Source – Indian Express
India Post Payments Bank New Digital Initiative
Paper 3 Science Technology
Why in News?
Recently, India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) launched ippb mobile banking app and micro-ATM as part of its new digital initiative.
• A two-day meeting of senior office bearers of the Department of Posts (DoP) and India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) concluded recently.
• The objective of the meeting was to take advantage of the technical skills of India Post Payments Bank and the distribution capacity of the Department of Posts with the banking platform to emphasize on creating force multiplayers with deep impact to provide banking facilities and innovative products to every household.
• On the first day of the meeting, information was given about various new projects and some other initiatives. These projects have already started.
• The Finquation Portal is the platform of startups for partnership with IPPB-DoP to initiate fintech solutions in remote areas.
• FinTech is an abbreviation for ‘Financial Technology’. The use of technology in financial operations can be called fintech.
• In other words, it is the implementation of modern technology in traditional financial services and in the management of financial aspects in various companies and businesses.
• The term fintech is used in the context of new technologies through which financial services are used, improved and sought to bring about autonomy. Digital payments, digital loans, bank tech, insurance tech, regtech cryptocurrency, etc. are some of the major components of fintech.
• Apart from this, some new initiatives have also been launched such as digitization of Branch Post Office (BO) enabling it to make QR based payments through various UPI services . This is a step taken towards turning post offices into digital banking outlets.
• IPPB Case-ending showing possession or relation MD and CEO Mr. J. Venkataramu has ‘One Nation One Service Platform’ Working on the approach of the existing 5 crores and the next 1 Billions of customers based on their life needs DOPE and IPPB Shared his views on providing services with products and services.
• On the second day, the much awaited facility of digital payment of premium through IPPB Mobile Banking App for Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance was launched by Shri Vineet Pandey, Secretary, Department of Posts. This facility is available to Gramin Dak Sevaks/Saamanas. With the help of postman, it will be made available to the doorsteps of the people and at the post office counters.
• It is worth mentioning that IPPB will soon offer new products like loan referral and cash management services. He will also work towards turning on the potential IPPB-POSA linkage to provide seamless services to customers.
• Aarohan 4.0 concluded with a resolve to step into the market under the broad vision of becoming a universal banking platform with financial inclusion to provide services to every household in the country.
About India Post Payments Bank
• India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on September 1, 2018.
• It has been set up with 100% shareholding of the Government under the Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications.
• The bank has been established with a view to make it the most accessible, affordable and reliable bank for the common man in India. The basic objective of the IPPB is to remove bottlenecks for those without banking facility and with low banking facility and to provide banking services to remote areas by leveraging a network of 1,60,000 post offices ( 1,45,000 in rural areas) and 4,00,000 postal employees.
• Ippb’s reach and its operating model has been designed on the basis of the key pillars of the India stack – enabling paperless, cashless and presence-free banking at customers’ doorsteps through CBS integrated smartphones and biometric devices in a simple and secure manner.
• It is worth mentioning that ippb offers simple and affordable banking solutions in 13 languages, leveraging affordable innovations and focusing on ease of banking for the common man .
• Ippb is committed to promoting a less-cash economy and taking forward the vision of Digital India. India will prosper only when every citizen has an equal opportunity to become economically secure and empowered.
• The motto of IPPB is- every customer is important, every transaction is important and each deposit is valuable.
Source – PIB
Informal workers less income- e-sharam portal
Paper 3 Economics
Why in News?
Data recently registered on the e-Shram portal showed that 94 percent of the unorganised sector workers in India have earned less than Rs 10,000.
• The latest data from the e-Shram portal has revealed that out of the 27.69 crore unorganised sector workers registered on the e-Shram portal, 94 percent earn less than Rs 10,000 per month.
• 74 percent of the workers registered on the portal come from scheduled castes (SCs), scheduled tribes (STs) and other backward classes (OBCs).
• The number of workers in the unorganised sector earning less than Rs 10,000 monthly in November 2021 was 92.37 percent. At that time, a little over eight crore workers were registered on the portal. The number of workers from SC, ST and OBC category registered on the portal at that time was 72.58 percent.
• Significantly, with the increase in registration on the e-Shram portal, it is revealed that there is a lot of inequality in the society. This portal aims to register all workers in the unorganised sector. At present, the number of workers in the unorganized sector is about 38 crore.
• It may be mentioned that the e-Shram portal aims to create a comprehensive database of unorganised sector workers (NDUW) in the country. The portal was launched on August 26, 2021. The government intends to extend the benefits of welfare schemes to all workers in the unorganized sector of the country through this portal.
• Experts say registration of all workers in the unorganised sector will be completed in the current calendar year. This will help the political leadership to formulate an evidence-based policy for the disadvantaged sections of the society.
• According to the latest data, a total of 27.69 crore unorganised sector workers are registered on the e-Shram portal . The data shows that the unorganised sector workers are living in considerable poverty and most of them come from the backward community of the society.
• The data shows that 94.11 percent of unorganised sector workers registered on the portal have a monthly earning of less than Rs 10,000. At the same time, the earnings of 4.36 percent are between Rs 10,001 and Rs 15,000.
• 74.44 percent of the workers registered on the portal come from the backward class of the society. Of these, 45.32 percent belong to THE OBC, 20.95 percent to the SC and 8.17 percent to the ST category. The number of workers in the general category is 25.56 percent.
• In terms of age, 61.72 percent of workers are between 18 and 40 years of age and 22.12 percent are between 40 and 50 years. 13.23 percent of the workers registered on the portal are above 50 years of age. At the same time, 2.93% are between the ages of 16 and 18 years. 52.81 percent of the workers registered on the portal are women and 47.19 percent are men.
• The top five states in terms of registration are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
• Farming is the main occupation of 52.11 percent of the registered workers. At the same time, 9.93 percent work in households while 9.13 percent are labourers in the construction sector.
About e-Shram Portal
• The e-Shram portal was launched on August 26, 2021.
• The objective of this portal is to create a comprehensive database of unorganised sector workers (NDUW) in the country. The government intends to provide the benefits of welfare schemes to all the workers of the unorganized sector in the country through this portal.
• Registration of a total of 38 crore unorganised workers such as construction workers, migrant workforce, street vendors and domestic workers across the country.
• Under this, workers will be issued an ‘e-Shram Card’, which will include a unique 12-digit number.
• If an employee is registered on the ‘e-Shram’ portal and is a victim of an accident, he will be eligible for Rs 2 lakh in case of death or permanent disability and Rs 1 lakh in case of partial disability.
Source – Indian Express
Garib Kalyan Sammelan
Paper 2 Governance
Why in News?
The ‘Garib Kalyan Sammelan’ is being organized by the Central Government in Shimla on May 31.
• The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, will visit Shimla, Himachal Pradesh on May 31, 2022. There, the Prime Minister will participate in the ‘Garib Kalyan Sammelan’.
• It may be recalled that to mark the completion of eight years of the government under the leadership of the Prime Minister, this unique public event is being organized in the state capitals, district headquarters and Krishi Vigyan Kendras across the country.
• The conference provides an opportunity for elected representatives across the country to interact directly with the public as part of an effort to get the opinion of the people about the various welfare programmes being run by the government.
• The conference will be the largest single event ever held in the country, under which all the districts will have a nationwide interaction including Prime Minister Shri Modi Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Poshan Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Matr Vandana Yojana, Swachh Bharat Mission (both rural and urban), Jal Jeevan Mission and AMRUT, Pradhan Mantri Svanidhi Yojana, One Nation-One Ration Card, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, Ayushman Bharat PM JanArogya Yojana, Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana with beneficiaries of schemes/schemes. Will have conversations about the impact the programs have on their lives.
• The ‘Garib Kalyan Sammelan’ will begin at around 09:45 am in which the Chief Minister, Union Ministers, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly and other elected representatives will interact directly with the public at their respective places across the country.
• With the Prime Minister attending the programme at around 11:00 am, the conference will be made national by including various state and local level programmes. During the conference, the Prime Minister will interact directly with the beneficiaries of various programmes of nine Ministries/Departments of the Government of India.
• It may be mentioned that the objective of the freewheeling interaction held across the country is to get independent and clear opinions from the public, understand the impact of welfare schemes in the lives of the people and to explore the mergers and saturations of various government programmes.
• In fact, it is an attempt to make the access and delivery of government programmes more effective to make the lives of the citizens of the country easier.
• The national programme will be telecast live on national and regional channels of Doordarshan. The national programme will also be webcast through MyGov, in which people will be able to register.
Source – PIB
National council of teacher education
Paper 3 Science Technology
Why in News?
Recently the National Council for Teacher Education launched a portal to harmonize the process of accreditation of courses.
• The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), under the Ministry of Education, launched the portal.
• This portal is a platform to streamline the entire process of recognition of teacher education courses of HEI/TEI from the time of inviting applications for the course including inspection of institutions to the stage of issuance of accreditation orders.
• The recently launched portal will process the 4-year Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP).
• This portal will bring about a major change in the functioning of NCTE. The aim is to provide an automatic robust framework, thereby enhancing accountability, transparency and ease of doing business.
About the Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP)
• ITEP is a dual-scale composite bachelor’s degree, offering B.A.B.Ed./B.Sc. B.Ed and B.Com. B.Ed courses.
• This is one of the major orders of the National Education Policy 2020 related to teacher education .
• It will be initially made available in pilot mode in central/state government multi-disciplinary universities/institutions across the country.
• Admission will be given through a National Common Entrance Test (NCET) by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
• It may be mentioned that the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) under the Ministry of Education has prepared the curriculum of this programme as per the National Policy on Education (NEP) 2020 in such a way that it enables a student-teacher to obtain a degree in education as well as in a special subject like History, Mathematics, Science, Art, Economics or Commerce.
• ITEP will not only provide state-of-the-art pedagogy but will also lay the foundation for early childhood care and education (ECCE), basic literacy and numeracy (FLN), inclusive education and understanding of India and its values/ethos/arts/traditions etc.
• The 4-year ITEP will be available to all students who prefer teaching as a profession after secondary.
• Students will benefit from this integrated course, as they will save one year by completing it in four years instead of the customary five years required for the current B.Ed scheme. The 4-year ITEP is a significant achievement in fulfilling one of the key mandates of the National Education Policy 2020.
• This course will contribute significantly to the revival of the entire teacher education sector. Future teachers who complete this course through a multidisciplinary environment based on Indian values and traditions will be linked with the needs of the 21st century on global standards, and thus they will be largely helpful in shaping India’s future.
About National Council for Teacher Education
• The National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) was established by the Government of India in 1973. The main objective of this Council was to make changes in the field of teacher education.
• The function of this Council was to advise the Government in the areas related to teacher education. In 1993, this Council was granted constitutional status.
• The head office of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) has been set up in Delhi.
• This Council studies all the problems related to the education of teachers, then it submits its suggestions for solving all those problems.
• The Council has been formed with 55 members including the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary. Whose tenure is 4 years and that of other members is 2-2 years.
Source – PIB
West Nile Virus
Paper 2 Health
Why in News?
Recently The Kerala health department is on alert after the death of a 47-year-old from Thrissur due to the West Nile Virus.
• Earlier in 2019, a six-year-old boy in Malappuram district had died of the same infection. The virus was first reported in the state in Alappuzha in 2006 and then in Ernakulam in 2011.
• The West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne, single-stranded RNA virus. According to the WHO, it is “a member of the flavivirus genus and belongs to the Japanese Encephalitis antigenic complex of the family Flaviviridae”.
• Culex species of mosquitoes act as the principal vectors for transmission. It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes between and among humans and animals, including birds, which are the reservoir host of the virus.
• Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, which circulate the virus in their blood for a few days. The virus eventually gets into the mosquito’s salivary glands. During later blood meals (when mosquitoes bite), the virus may be injected into humans and animals, where it can multiply and possibly cause illness.
• West Nile Virus can also spread through blood transfusion, from an infected mother to her child, or through exposure to the virus in laboratories. It is not known to spread by contact with infected humans or animals.
• According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it does not spread “through eating infected animals, including birds. Always follow instructions for fully cooking meat”.
• To date, no human-to-human transmission of west nile virus through casual contact has been documented, says the WHO.
• The disease is asymptomatic in 80% of the infected people. The rest develop what is called the West Nile fever or severe West Nile disease. In these 20% cases, the symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, body aches, nausea, rash, and swollen glands.
• Severe infection can lead to encephalitis, meningitis, paralysis, and even death.
• It is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile Virus will develop a more severe form of disease. Recovery from severe illness might take several weeks or months. Some effects to the central nervous system might be permanent.
• It usually turns fatal in persons with co-morbidities and immuno-compromised persons (such as transplant patients).
• The virus was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937. It was identified in birds (crows and columbiformes like doves and pigeons) in the Nile delta region in 1953.
• Before 1997, west nile virus was not considered pathogenic for birds, but then, a more virulent strain caused the death in Israel of different bird species, presenting signs of encephalitis and paralysis.
• In 1999, a WMV strain, believed to be one circulating in Israel and Tunisia, reached New York producing a large outbreak that spread across the United States and eventually across the Americas, from Canada to Venezuela.
• According to the WHO, human infections attributable to west nile virus have been reported in many countries in the world for over 50 years.
• West nile virus outbreak sites are found along major bird migratory routes.
• Today, the virus is found commonly in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and West Asia.
• This vector-borne disease can be prevented by protecting one-self from mosquito bites.
• Other steps are wearing clothing that acts as a barrier to exposure to bites, reducing breeding sites, covering water storage containers, eliminating puddles and drainage of places where water accumulates, eliminating unusable containers where water pools, and controlling garbage in yards and gardens.
Source – Indian Express
Paper 3 : Security, Internal Security
Why in News?
Recently, indian navy ship INS Gomati was decommissioned, let’s know about it.
• After serving the country and the Indian Navy with great respect for a significant 34 years at sunset in a grand, formal and poignant ceremony at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on 28 May 2022, INS Gomati was relieved.
• It is worth mentioning that the ship was discharged under the command of captain Sudeep Malik.
• It may be mentioned that the name of INS Gomti is derived from the dynamic river Gomti and was commissioned on 16th April 1988 by the then Defence Minister Shri K.C. Pant at Mazagon Dock Limited, Bombay.
• The third ship of godavari class guided-missile frigates INS gomti was the oldest warrior of the western fleet at the time of its release.
• During his service, he participated in Operation Cactus, Parakram and Indradhanush and several bilateral and multinational naval exercises.
• It was awarded the prestigious Unit Citation twice, first in 2007-08 and again in 2019-20, for her remarkable spirit and exceptional contribution to national maritime security .
• After being decommissioned, the ship’s legacy will be kept alive at an open air museum being set up on the picturesque banks of the Gomti river in Lucknow, where many of its war systems will be displayed as military and war remains.
About Godavari Class Guided-Missile Frigates
• The Godavari-class frigates, formerly known as type 16 or Project 16 frigates, were guided-missile frigates of the Indian Navy.
• Godavari category was developed by amending the Nilgiri class.
• The Godavari class was the first important indigenous warship design and development initiative of the Indian Navy. which focused on 72% indigenous material, a large hull and updated armaments.
• The INS Godavari category and its Frigates was named after the Godavari river which includes 3 ships INS Godavari, INS Ganga and INS Gomti. The latter ships in the range, INS Ganga and INS Gomati, also took their names from the Indian rivers.
• INS Gomti was the first vessel of the Indian Navy to use digital electronics in its combat data system. Indian, Russian and Western weapon systems have been added to these ships.
Source – PIB
Clean Yamuna Campaign
Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution
Why in News?
Recently, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) launched the Clean Yamuna Campaign from 7 ghats of Delhi.
• Recently, under the Swachh Yamuna Abhiyan, a campaign was launched on May 28, 2022 for cleaning seven ghats on the Yamuna.
• Under this, the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and a group of NGOs have launched the Clean Yamuna Campaign from 7 ghats of Delhi.
• Students of schools and colleges also participated in the shramdaan activities held at 7 ghats, which included kalindi kunj, chhath ghat, nigambodh ghat and signature bridge on seven ghats etc.
• Officials of Delhi Jal Board and Municipal Corporation of Delhi also participated in the cleanliness drive which began at 7 am. It may be mentioned that the Clean Yamuna Campaign (Swachh Yamuna Abhiyan) activities will be held on the fourth Saturday of every month.
• The NGOs involved in the cleanliness drive include Bharatam, Rotary Manthan, Wave Foundation, Tree Craze Foundation, Earth Warriors, SYA, FOY, SDNH, HYSS, YPF and Chhath Puja Committee. Students of IMS Noida also participated in the cleanliness drive.
• It is to be noted that cleaning of the tributaries of the river Ganga, especially the Yamuna, is one of the focus areas of the Namami Gange programme. The 318 MLD STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) on coronation pillar has been commissioned recently.
• 3 other major STPs on the Yamuna funded by NMCG are targeted to be completed by December 2022. These include Rithala, Kondli and Okhla, one of asia’s largest STPs.
• This will help in preventing the sewage from drains from falling into the Yamuna. A total of 12 projects to fix 1385 MLD sewage will cost around Rs 2354 crore. The money will be spent on the project under the Namami Gange programme in Delhi to reduce pollution in the River Yamuna.
Initiative of the Delhi government
• Several efforts are being made to clean drains in Delhi. New sewage treatment plants are being set up at many places including Okhla, Rithala. Apart from this, the plants which are already running, they have been running according to their old rules, their technology is being changed. After this process, the water of the sewer will be cleaned out.
• As per the information given by the Delhi government, the government has started the work of cleaning the Najafgarh and Ghazipur drains. Strict action will be taken against industries which are spreading filth.
• The government is working on industrial waste. Any industry that does not send waste will be shut down. The dirt coming out of the slums will be dumped in the sewer.
• 4 dirty drains of Delhi will be cleaned, some will be diverted. There will be connections to the sewer up to the house. Their charges have been reduced. It is worth noting that many people did not take connections due to being expensive earlier.
About Yamuna River
• The River Yamuna is the major river in North India. It is the largest tributary of river Ganga and flows mainly in the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
• The origin of the Yamuna comes from a peak called Bandarpuchha in the Great Himalayas near Yamunotri in western Uttarakhand .
• It flows rapidly in the south direction through the foothills of the Himalayas and flows from Uttarakhand, into the Indo-Gangetic plain, to the west along the border between the state of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
• Etawah, Kalpi, Hamirpur and PrayagRaj are the main ones besides Delhi and Agra. At Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj, river Yamuna merges with river Ganga.
• The approximate length of this river is 1376 km. Its major tributaries are Chambal, Sengar, Chhoti Sindhu, Betwa and Ken.
Source – All India Radio
Massive Coral Bleaching In Coastal Andaman Sea
Paper 3 : Environment, Pollution
Why in News?
Recently, the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in a report said that more than 83 percent of coral reefs in the Andamans have been affected by coral bleaching.
• Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), after conducting a comprehensive study of the Andaman Islands, informed that up to 83.6 percent of the coastal areas of the Andaman Sea are causing massive coral or coral damage, called bleaching or bleaching. Their maximum loss in the South Andaman region has been up to 91.5 percent.
• It is worth mentioning that the underwater ecosystem consists of colonies of coral reefs that are formed together by a building of calcium carbonate .
• These are extremely important for a healthy marine ecology. Are one of the rarest and most exquisite ecosystems on earth. It provides food and shelter for about 25 percent of all marine species.
• In addition, these small, tender-bodied creatures are also a source of new medicine, livelihood for the locals, and they protect the beach from storms and erosions.
Main points of the study
• According to Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, Director, Zoological Survey of India, the impact of the El Nino event in 2016 and the rise in sea surface temperature led to coral bleaching.
• A detailed study conducted by scientists during pre- and post-bleaching surveys shows that a total of 23.58 percent of the organisms were lost due to such large-scale bleaching in andamans in 2016.
• The devastating effects of El Nino have resulted in events of bleaching around the world. For example, in 1998, the Indian Ocean region suffered the largest loss of 70 percent, with 16 percent of the world’s coral reefs. In 2016, the Great Barrier Reef reported 22% of dead corals.
• Moreover, according to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), coral reefs in the western Indian Ocean could end within 50 years.
• Similarly, scientists at the University of Manoa in Hawaii reported that about 70 to 90 percent of the world’s current coral reefs are projected to disappear over the next 20 years.
• El Nino is a climatological condition that reflects the warmth of the sea surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean or temperatures above the sea surface average. It also has an impact on sea temperature, speed and strength of sea streams and the health of coastal fisheries.
What is coral bleaching?
• Coral reefs are rocks located inside the sea, made up of calcium carbonate.
• Coral reefs are made up of coral polyps or the calcium carbonate of corals, which have accumulated on top of these organisms for thousands of years. These creatures live in groups of hundreds and thousands.
• Coral reefs span thousands of miles and are considered a hotspot of marine biodiversity.
• An algae zooxanthellae develops on the shell of corals, due to these algae the corals appear colorfull In return, zooxanthellae also provides nutrients to breeders, thus there is a symbiotic relationship between the corals and zooxanthellae.
• But when any change in temperature, light or nutrition increases the stress on the corals, they expel the symbiotic algae juxantheli that resides in their tissues, due to which the corals turn white. This phenomenon is called coral bleaching or coral bleaching.
• Climate change is a major cause of coral bleaching. The warming oceans change the temperature of the water from which corals can expel the algae. Coral can bleach for other reasons, including too low tide, pollution, or too much sunshine.
• The bleaching of the Sclerctinian coral from the Andaman Islands was recorded from April to May 2016. In addition, a total of 83.6% of Sclerctinian corals were bleached during this period.
• The maximum bleaching (91.5 percent) was recorded in the Andaman Sea region of South Andaman, while in the North Andaman region it reached 83.2 percent as the minimum .
• No bleaching was recorded along the Bay of Bengal coast of north and central Andamans. However, the bleaching of moong in the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal in south Andaman was recorded at 74.2 percent. The phenomenon of bleaching to a depth of 40 m was recorded in this study.
Source – Down to Earth
US becomes India’s largest trading partner
Paper 3 Economics
Why in News?
Data released by the Commerce Ministry recently said that in 2021-22, the US was India’s second largest trading partner.
• The US has become India’s second largest trading partner in the last financial year 2021-22.
• According to commerce ministry data, the bilateral trade between the US and India increased to $119.42 billion in 2021-22. In 2020-21, the figure was $80.51 billion.
• According to the data, India’s exports to the US rose to $76.11 billion in 2021-22 from $51.62 billion in the previous fiscal. During this period, India’s imports from the US increased to $43.31 billion, from $29 billion in the previous fiscal.
• If we talk about China, according to the data, India-China bilateral trade in 2021-22 stood at $115.42 billion, up from $86.4 billion in 2020-21.
• India’s exports to China rose marginally to $21.25 billion during the fiscal from $21.18 billion in 2020-21.
• During this period, India’s imports from China increased to $94.16 billion, from $65.21 billion in 2020-21. India’s trade deficit with China widened to $72.91 billion during the financial year, from $44 billion in 2020-21.
• The data showed that China was India’s top trading partner from 2013-14 to 2017-18 and also in 2020-21. Before China, the UAE was the country’s largest trading partner.
• In 2021-22, the UAE was India’s third largest trading partner with $72.9 billion. It is followed by Saudi Arabia ($42,85 billion), Iraq ($34.33 billion) and Singapore ($30 billion).
Growing Indo-US cooperation
• Trade experts believe that India’s bilateral trade with the US will further increase in the coming years, which will further strengthen the economic ties between the two countries.
• It is worth mentioning that India is emerging as a trusted trading partner and global companies are reducing their dependence on China. Global companies are diversifying their business in India and other countries.
• It is expected that India-US bilateral trade will grow further in the coming years. India has joined the US’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) initiative. This will further strengthen economic relations.
• With a population of 1.39 billion, India is the third largest consumer market in the world. With the rapidly growing economies, companies in the US and India have ample opportunities for technology transfer, manufacturing, trade and investment.
• India mainly exports petroleum products, polish diamonds, pharma products, jewellery, light oil etc. to the US. From the US, India imports petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, gold, coal and almonds.
• The US is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. In 2021-22, India had a trade surplus of $32.8 billion with the U.S.
Source – The Hindu