Home Daily Current Affairs Apr 24, 2021

Apr 24, 2021 : Current affairs for UPSC/State PSC

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

G C Murmu, who is India's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), has been appointed as external auditor of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at The Hague.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an intergovernmental organisation to oversee the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons.

Read More: OPCW

International Relations

What is "Swamitva Yojana" ?

PM Modi on 24 April, 20201 - launched the distribution of e-property cards under the Swamitva scheme, with 4.09 lakh property owners across 5,000 villages given their e-property cards.

The Swamitva yojana was launched on 24th April, 2020, in pilot mode to be implemented in six states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttarakhand etc. In due time the scheme will expand to other states with changes and improvements.

On 24th April, 2021, the Scheme has been extended to cover around 6 lakh 62 thousand villages of the entire country.

Read More: Swamitva Yojana

Gov. Schemes

Crew-2 mission

Four astronauts were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) from Florida as part of a collaboration between NASA and SpaceX under the Commercial Crew Program.

Two are from NASA and two are from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

In May 2020, NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight lifted off for the ISS carrying two astronauts. The aim of this test flight was to see if SpaceX capsules could be used on a regular basis to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS.

Demo-2 was followed by the Crew-1 mission in November, which was the first of six crewed missions between NASA and SpaceX.

The main objective of Commercial Crew Program is to make access to space easier in terms of its cost, so that cargo and crew can be easily transported to and from the ISS, enabling greater scientific research.

Boeing and SpaceX were selected by NASA in September 2014 to develop transportation systems meant to transfer crew from the US to the ISS.

Science & Tech

Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage (CCUS)

Department of Science and Technology (DST) has invited proposals from Indian researchers in the area of carbon capture, utilization & storage under Accelerating CCUS Technologies (ACT) program in collaboration with other ACT member countries.

CCUS is one of the identified innovation challenges in the Mission Innovation (MI) Programme, a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Union to accelerate the global clean energy innovation in which the DST is an active partner.

CCUS is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide from large point sources, such as a factory, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide storage in geologic formations includes oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal seams and deep saline reservoirs -- structures that have stored crude oil, natural gas, brine and carbon dioxide over millions of years.

Accelerating CCUS Technologies (ACT) program

Sixteen countries (including India), regions, and provinces are working together in ACT with the ambition to fund world-class RD&D innovation that can lead to safe and cost-effective CCUS technology.

The first ACT Call for project proposals was published in 2016 and resulted in eight projects that were started autumn 2017.

Environment

Carbon price and Green tax

A carbon price is a cost applied to carbon pollution to encourage polluters to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere.

Green tax is also called as pollution tax or environmental tax and is the tax levied on all the goods that cause environmental pollution.

Carbon trading is the process of buying and selling permits and credits that allow the permit holder to emit carbon dioxide. It has been a central pillar of the EU?s efforts to slow climate change.

The world's biggest carbon trading system is the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Carbon trading began under the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 (which came into force in 2005).

It allows nations which are unable to meet their reduction targets to purchase carbon credits.

Paris Agreement also allows voluntary trading between countries to meet their NDC goals.

Environment

The Stockholm Convention, 2001

Cabinet ratifies ban on seven Persistent Organic Pollutants(POP's) that are hazardous to health & environment listed under Stockholm Convention.

The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty, signed in 2001 and effective from May 2004, to protect human health and environment from Persistent Organic Pollutants(POP's), which are identified chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate in living organisms, adversely affect human health/environment and have the property of long-range environmental transport (LRET).

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had notified the 'Regulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants Rules' in 2018 under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The regulation prohibited the manufacture, trade, use, import and export seven chemicals namely:

1) Chlordecone,
2) Hexabromobiphenyl,
3) Hexabromodiphenyl ether and Heptabromodiphenylether (Commercial octa-BDE),
4) Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and Pentabromodiphenyl ether (Commercial penta-BDE),
5) Pentachlorobenzene,
6) Hexabromocyclododecane, and
7) Hexachlorobutadiene,

Environment