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December 10, 2019
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December 12, 2019
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11 December Current Affairs

Carbon Market

In News:

‘Carbon Markets’ has become a contentious issue at the Conference of Parties 25 (CoP 25), being held in Madrid (Spain) from 2nd-13th December, 2019.

Details:

Carbon markets allow for buying and selling of carbon emissions with the objective of reducing global emissions.

Carbon markets existed under the Kyoto Protocol, which is being replaced by the Paris Agreement in 2020.

About Carbon Markets:

Carbon Markets can potentially deliver emissions reductions over and above what countries are doing on their own.

For example, technology upgradation and emission reduction of a brick kiln in India can be achieved in two ways:

1) A developed country which is unable to meet its reduction target can provide money or technology to the brick kiln in India, and thus claim the reduction of emission as its own.

2) Alternatively, the kiln can make the investment, and then offer on sale the emission reduction, called carbon credits.

3) Another party, struggling to meet its own targets, can buy these credits and show these as their own.

About Carbon Markets under Paris Agreement:

The provisions relating to setting up a new carbon market are described in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Article 6.2 enables bilateral arrangements for transfer of emissions reductions.

Article 6.4 talks about a wider carbon market in which reductions can be bought and sold by anyone.

Article 6.8 provides for making ‘non-market approaches’ available to countries to achieve targets.

Sattriya Dance

In News:

Dance historian Dr. Sunil Kothari has recently been bestowed with the Madhabdev Award by the Government of Assam for popularising Sattriya dance.

About Sattriya:

Sattriya originated in Sattra, monastery, as a part of neo-Vaishnavite movement started by Srimanta Sankardev in Assam, in the 15th Century.

He propagated the “ek sharan naama dharma” (chanting the name of one God devotedly).

Sattriya was given the status of a classical dance in the year 2000 by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Other classical dances of India are:

1) Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu), 2) Kathakali (Kerala),

3) Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh), 4) Kathak (North India), 5) Mohiniyattam (Kerala),

6) Manipuri (Manipur) and 7) Odissi (Odisha).

Sattriya dances differ from other dance forms in its basic stance.

For male it is known as Purush Pak while for female, Prakriti Pak.

The dance is based on mythological themes.

They have special mnemonic bols, typical Assamese music known as Borgeet, musical instruments like large cymbals, drums, colourful costumes, besides complicated choreographic patterns using various talas for each stanza sung by the vocalist.

Corpus of Sattriya dances consists of ankiya bhaona and also Ojapali dances in which the main singer sings and enacts abhinaya, telling stories and a group of dancers dance as back up dancers playing small cymbals.

White Dwarfs System

In News:

For the first time ever, astronomers have found an indirect evidence of a giant planet orbiting a white dwarf star (WDJ0914+1914).

The system was found in the Cancer constellation.

Background:

The planet was not seen directly but evidence of its presence was in the form of a disc of gas (hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur) formed due to its evaporating atmosphere.

Spikes of gas were detected by the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

Significance:

This is the first evidence of an actual planet revolving around a white dwarf star.

Prior to this discovery, only smaller objects such as asteroids had been detected.

WDJ0914+1914 is providing us with a glimpse into the very distant future of our own solar system.

In about 4.5 billion years from now, the Sun will become a white dwarf evaporating all the planets.

About White Dwarfs:

Stars like our sun fuse hydrogen in their cores into helium through nuclear fusion reactions.

White dwarfs are stars that have burned up all of the hydrogen they once used as nuclear fuel. Such stars have very high density.

Fusion in a star’s core produces heat and outward pressure (they bloat up as enormous red giants), but this pressure is kept in balance by the inward push of gravity generated by a star’s mass.

When the hydrogen, used as fuel, vanishes and fusion slows, gravity causes the star to collapse in on itself into white dwarfs.

Black Dwarf:

Eventually—over tens or even hundreds of billions of years—a white dwarf cools until it becomes a black dwarf, which emits no energy. Because the universe’s oldest stars are only 10 billion to 20 billion years old there are no known black dwarfs.

It must be noted that not all white dwarfs cool and transform into black dwarfs. Those white dwarfs which have enough mass reach a level called the Chandrasekhar Limit. At this point the pressure at its center becomes so great that the star will detonate in a thermonuclear supernova.

About Chandrasekhar Limit:

Chandrasekhar Limit is the maximum mass theoretically possible for a stable white dwarf star.

A limit which mandates that no white dwarf (a collapsed, degenerate star) can be more massive than about 1.4 times the mass of the Sun.

Any degenerate object more massive must inevitably collapse into a neutron star or black hole.

The limit is named after the Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, who first proposed the idea in 1931.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1983 for his work on the physical processes involved in the structure and evolution of stars.

Pashu Kisan Credit Cards

In News:

The First Pashu Kisan credit cards in India were distributed to 101 animal farmers in Bhiwani in Haryana.

About:

Haryana Government has set a target to issue 10 lakh Pashu Kisan Credit cards by March 2021.

Under the Scheme, banks give Rs 40783 for a cow and Rs 60249 for a buffalo. The credit amount for goat and sheep each is Rs 4063. In the case of a pig, it is Rs 16337 per pig. For Hens, it is Rs 720 per layer and Rs 161 per broiler hen.

Haryana is the first state to implement this scheme. As many as 101 livestock owners have been handed over cards and can use these to pay for animal feed, etc. They can repay within a stipulated period

The card is along lines of the Kisan credit card scheme and will allot credit according to the animal you own.

Human Rights Day

In News:

Human Rights Day is being celebrated on the 10th December.

About:

Human Rights Day is celebrated on the 10th December every year to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948.

The Declaration recognizes that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of mankind are the foundation of justice, freedom and peace in the world.

The United Nations’ theme for this year’s Human Rights Day is: “Youth Standing up for Human Rights.”

National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC):

Since its inception on the 12th October, 1993, the National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) has endeavoured to promote a culture of human rights.

The NHRC, like most of the human rights institutions in the world, is a recommendatory body as per the Protection of Human Rights Act passed by Parliament.

Kannadigas to get priority in the private sector

In News:

The Karnataka government has amended rules directing industrial establishments that have taken any support from the government to give priority to Kannadigas in jobs on the shop floor in ‘C’ and ‘D’ category of employees.

Key facts:

The industries getting incentives from the government must provide 100 percent reservation in their blue-collared jobs and those not availing any benefits are required to accord priority to Kannadigas.

The revised rules also empower the state to intervene if private companies fail to implement the rules in letter and spirit.

What’s the basis for this move?

Competition from outsiders: In the last few years, Bangalore has witnessed a huge population influx from all corners of India naturally upsetting the local and migrant balance and causing social friction primarily owing to economic reasons.

With not enough jobs being created and the poor spread of those that are getting created, the pressure on, and in, relatively better-performing states is growing.

Issues associated with this policy:

By arm-twisting the private sector into forcibly hiring Kannadigas irrespective of merit or qualification, the indirect assumption seems to be that Kannadigas are incapable of finding jobs on their own merit or hard work.

Even as the move will benefit the Kannadiga population, the private sector could suffer a setback as it would hinder choosing the best candidates, irrespective of the linguistic background or domicile of the person, to comply with the rule.

Also, once it is enforced, there is no stopping other states from coming up with similar populist policies, even for white-collar jobs where merit is paramount for productivity. This could mean greater informalisation of labour, which in turn means greater insecurity for the same workers whose interests the Karnataka government is purportedly protecting with the move.

The end result of industry loss of confidence and business moving elsewhere would, of course, be a decline in the economic well-being of the Kannadiga blue-collar workers the policy is supposed to protect.

FrogPhone

In News:

It is the world’s first solar-powered remote survey device that can be installed at any frog pond and which receives a 3G or 4G cellular network.

Details:

Developed by a team from various Australian institutions.

The FrogPhone will allow researchers to dial these devices remotely, and analyse the data later.

It will reduce costs and risks, including the negative impact of human presence on the field site.

These devices also allow for monitoring of local frog populations more frequently than before, which is important because these populations are recognised as indicators of environmental health.