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15th September Current Affairs

About G20

In News:

A virtual meeting of G20 Education Ministers was held recently to discuss and share experiences of member countries in the three identified areas of Education – Continuity in Times of Crises, Early Childhood Education and Internationalization in Education.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is hosting G-20 Leaders’ Summit in 2020.

What is the G20?

The G20 is an annual meeting of leaders from the countries with the largest and fastest-growing economies. Its members account for 85% of the world’s GDP, and two-thirds of its population.

The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.

Genesis of G20:

After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed on discussions on the international financial system, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.

Presidency:

The group has no permanent staff of its own, so every year in December, a G20 country from a rotating region takes on the presidency.

That country is then responsible for organising the next summit, as well as smaller meetings for the coming year.

They can also choose to invite non-member countries along as guests.

The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in 1999, after a financial crisis in East Asia affected many countries around the world.

Full membership of the G20:

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

What is G20+?

The G20 developing nations, also called G21/G23/G20+ is a bloc of developing nations which was established on August 20, 2003. It is distinct from the G20 major economies.

The G20+ originated in September 2003 at the 5th ministerial conference of the WTO held at Cancun, Mexico.

Its origins can be traced to the Brasilia Declaration signed by the foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa on 6th June 2003.

The G20+ is responsible for 60% of the world population, 26% of the world’s agricultural exports and 70% of its farmers.

Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP)

In News:

SVEP has made an impressive progress and has extended business support services and capital infusion to 153 blocks of 23 states as of August 2020.

Details:

Around, 2,000 trained cadre of Community Resource Person-Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP) are providing services to rural entrepreneurs and as on August 2020, around 100,000 enterprises are supported by them.

What is Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP)?

Implemented by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana –National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development, as a sub-scheme since 2016.

Focus of the scheme: Providing self-employment opportunities with financial assistance and training in business management and soft skills while creating local community cadres for promotion of enterprises.

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad is the technical support partner of SVEP.

SVEP promotes both individual and group enterprises, set-up and promote enterprises majorly on manufacturing, trading and service sectors.

Who are community resource persons – enterprise promotion?

The programme seeks to develop pool of community resource persons – enterprise promotion (CRP-EP) who are local and support entrepreneurs setting-up rural enterprises.

The CRP-EPs are certified and provides business support services to the entrepreneurs.

National Biopharma Mission (NBM)

In News:

The National Immunogenicity & Biologics Evaluation Center (NIBEC) for assessing clinical immunogenicity of viral vaccines was inaugurated virtually recently.

Details:

It has been established jointly by Bharati Vidyapeeth University through its constituent unit Interactive Research School for Health Affairs (IRSHA) and BIRAC-DBT, Government of India through National Biopharma Mission.

What is Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)?

It is a not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise, set up by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower the emerging Biotech enterprise to undertake strategic research and innovation, addressing nationally relevant product development needs.

About National Biopharma Mission (NBM):

It is an industry-academia collaborative mission for accelerating biopharmaceutical development in the country.

It was launched in 2017 at a total cost of Rs 1500 crore and is 50% co-funded by World Bank loan.

It is being implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

Under this Mission, the Government has launched Innovate in India (i3) programme to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the biopharma sector.

Low ozone over Brahmaputra River Valley

In News:

Researchers have found that the concentration of near surface ozone in this region is low compared to the other urban locations in India.

What is Tropospheric or ground-level ozone?

It is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). It usually increases when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunlight, impacting human health.

Why low ozone in Brahmaputra Valley?

This site is well influenced by local sources such as adjacent major national highway. During the daylight hours, the site is in or nearly in a photo-stationary state, indicating a low impact of organic species on the ozone concentrations.

Why we should be concerned about ground-level ozone?

Ozone at ground level is a harmful air pollutant, because of its effects on people and the environment, and it is the main ingredient in “smog.”

Elevated ground-level ozone exposures affect agricultural crops and trees, especially slow growing crops and long-lived trees.

The main health concern of exposure to ambient ground-level ozone is its effect on the respiratory system, especially on lung function.

InstaFact:

Ozone is produced naturally in the stratosphere when highly energetic solar radiation strikes molecules of oxygen, and cause the two oxygen atoms to split apart in a process called photolysis. If a freed atom collides with another O2, it joins up, forming ozone.

Moon may be rusting, shows ISRO’s Chandrayaan 1 images

In News:

We know rusting exists on Earth and Mars, but now scientists have found that there is on the moon as well. The images sent by ISRO’s Chandrayaan 1 orbiter – India’s first mission to the moon, show that the moon may be rusting along the poles.

Why is this so surprising?

Rust, also known as iron oxide, is a reddish compound. It forms when the iron is exposed to water and oxygen. However, moon’s surface is not known for the presence of water and oxygen. Hence, this is surprising.

Possible reason behind this? What is the role of earth’s atmosphere in this phenomenon?

For iron to turn rusty red, it needs what’s called an oxidizer — a molecule such as oxygen that removes electrons from a material such as iron.

But, the moon doesn’t have an atmosphere of its own to provide sufficient amounts of oxygen, but it has trace amounts donated by Earth’s atmosphere. This terrestrial oxygen travels to the moon along an elongated extension of the planet’s magnetic field called a “magnetotail.”

At every full moon, the magnetotail blocks 99% of solar wind from blasting the moon, drawing a temporary curtain over the lunar surface, allowing periods of time for rust to form.

But, from where does the moon get water to form rust?

The moon is mostly devoid of water, save for frozen water found in lunar craters on the moon’s far side — far from where most of the hematite was found. But the researchers propose that fast-moving dust particles that bombard the moon might free water molecules locked into the moon’s surface layer, allowing the water to mix with the iron. These dust particles might even be carrying water molecules themselves, and their impact might create heat that could increase the oxidation rate.

Background:

  • Launched in 2008, Chandrayaan-1 is India’s first lunar probe.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost communication with Chandrayaan-1 in August 2009.
  • Later, NASA scientists found Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, which was considered lost, by using a new ground-based radar technique.

Key Findings of Chandrayaan-1:

  • Confirmed presence of lunar water.
  • Evidence of lunar caves formed by an ancient lunar lava flow.
  • Past tectonic activity were found on the lunar surface.