Current Affairs 27th March, 2019

PRELIMS SCORE BOOSTER


1. India’s carbon dioxide emissions up 5%

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India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018, a 4.8% rise from last year, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

About the report

  • India’s emissions growth this year was higher than that of the United States and China - the two biggest emitters in the world and this was primarily due to a rise in coal consumption.

  • China, the United States, and India together accounted for nearly 70% of the rise in energy demand.

  • India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden.

  • The United States, the largest emitter, was responsible for 14%.


Carbon dioxide

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  • Carbon dioxide is meteorologically a very important gas as it is transparent to the incoming solar radiation but opaque to the outgoing terrestrial radiation.

  • It absorbs a part of terrestrial radiation and reflects back some part of it towards the earth’s surface. It is largely responsible for the greenhouse effect.

  • Its concentration is greater close to the earth’s surface as it is denser than air.

Role in Global warming

  • Carbon dioxide is largely responsible for the greenhouse effect.

  • When the volume of other gases remains constant in the atmosphere, the volume of the carbon dioxide has been rising in the past few decades mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels.

  • This rising volume of carbon dioxide is the main reason for global warming.

International Energy Agency

  • The International Energy Agency is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization established in the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1974

  • It was established in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis.

  • The IEA was initially dedicated to responding to physical disruptions in the supply of oil, as well as serving as an information source on statistics about the international oil market and other energy sectors.

  • The IEA acts as a policy adviser to its member states, but also works with non-member countries, especially China, India, and Russia.

  • India is an associate member of IEA.


2. Sharp rise in H1N1 cases

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In a matter of three weeks, the number of influenza A (H1N1) cases and deaths in India has risen sharply by about 6,200 and over 225, respectively.

H1N1 (Swine Flu)

  • A respiratory disease caused by a strain of the influenza type A virus known as H1N1.

  • The illness is originally known to affect pigs. It is known to have spread to humans who came in direct contact with pigs.

  • However, the new virus or the mutated type of virus that has emerged over the years has the ability to affect humans without direct contact with pigs.

  • The virus is transmitted from person to person through the same medium as other flu viruses.

  • A healthy person may acquire the infection by inhaling droplets expelled by the infected person while coughing or sneezing or by contacting surfaces infected with the virus.

  • The virus is not transmitted directly by eating cooked pork.

Risk Factors:

  • Since swine flu can directly be transmitted from one person to another through air droplets, people who fail to follow proper hygiene, especially in crowded places are at a high risk of contracting the virus.

  • But, according to observations, there are specific groups of individuals that have been the most affected by the illness.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme

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  • Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) was launched in 2004 for a period upto 2010.

  • The project was restructured and extended 2012. The project continues in the 12th Plan with domestic budget as Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme under National Health Mission for all States.

Objectives Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP):

  • To strengthen/maintain decentralized laboratory based IT enabled disease surveillance system for epidemic prone diseases to monitor disease trends and

  • To detect and respond to outbreaks in early rising phase through trained Rapid Response Team (RRTs)




3. ‘Use of NSA in cow slaughter cases wrong’

Use of the National Security Act (NSA) by the Madhya Pradesh police in the cases of suspected cow slaughter was wrong and would not be repeated, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh has said.

National Security Act (NSA)

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  • The National Security Act of 1980 is an act of the Indian Parliament whose purpose is “to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected therewith”.

  • The act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It was passed during the Charan Singh Government.

  • This act empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.

  • The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country.

The other enactments relating to national security:

  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

  • The Criminal Law Amendment Act

  • The Official Secrets Act, 1923

  • Chapters 6 and 7 of the Indian Penal Code

4. Many sharks closer to extinction: IUCN

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Seventeen out of the 58 species assessed have been included in the Red List of threatened animals and plants.

Details of the report

  • In May, nations will vote on a proposal by Mexico to list the shortfin mako on Appendix II of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

  • An Appendix II status would not ban fishing or trade, but would regulate it.

  • Six of the species reviewed were listed as “critically endangered,” three for the first time: the whitefin swellshark, the Argentine angel shark, and the smooth back angel shark.

  • Eleven others were classified as either “endangered” or “vulnerable” to extinction.

CITES

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  • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments.

  • The CITES Secretariat is administered by UNEP and is located at Geneva, Switzerland.

  • Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

  • It is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered plants and animals.

Appendixes

  • Appendix I, about 1200 species, are species that are threatened with extinction and are or may be affected by trade.

  • Appendix II, about 21,000 species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade of such species is subject to strict regulation.

  • Appendix III, about 170 species, are species that are listed after one member country has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling trade in a species. The species are not necessarily threatened with extinction globally.

Appendix II of CITES

  • Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled.

  • It also includes so-called "look-alike species", i.e. species whose specimens in trade look like those of species listed for conservation.

  • International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate.

  • No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES (although a permit is needed in some countries that have taken stricter measures than CITES requires).