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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 25-02-2021

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February 25, 2021

Accredited Investor

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed to introduce the concept of ‘accredited investors’ in the securities market.
  • Accredited investors (Qualified investors or Professional investors) are those who have an understanding of various financial products and the risks and returns associated with them.
  • They are able to take informed decisions regarding their investments and are recognised by many securities and financial market regulators globally.
  • SEBI said the accreditation once granted shall be valid for a year.
  • The accreditation may be carried out via 'Accreditation Agencies’ which may be the market infrastructure institutions or their subsidiaries.

International Commission on Large Dams

  • The International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Symposium on Sustainable Development of Dams & River Basins was organised.
  • ICOLD is a non-governmental International Organization that provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in dam engineering.
  • It sets standards and guidelines to ensure that dams are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically, and are environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.
  • It is directed by the General Assembly consisting of representatives from all the Member Countries and of the Officers of the Commission.
  • Any country can become a "Member Country" and constitute a National Committee with persons competent in the matters relating to dams.

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

  • Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KoSO) has estimated how the Sun had rotated over the Century, from digitized data extracted from old films and photographs.
  • [KoSO is a part of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology (DST).]
  • This estimation would help study magnetic field generated in the interior of the Sun, which causes sunspots and results in extreme situations like the mini-ice age on Earth (absence of sunspots).
  • It could help predict solar cycles and their variations in the future.
  • The Sun rotates more quickly at its equator than at its poles.
  • Over time, the Sun's differential rotation rates cause its magnetic field to become twisted and tangled, and this in turn, causes lots of sunspots.
  • The sunspots form at the surface with an 11-year periodicity.
  • They are the only route to probe the solar dynamo or solar magnetism inside the Sun and hence measure the variation in solar rotation.

Indian Energy Exchange

  • Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company sold power to Arunachal Pradesh through Indian Energy Exchange Limited (IEX).
  • IEX is the first and largest nationwide energy exchange platform in India, which has been operating since 2008.
  • It is an automated trading platform for physical delivery of electricity, Renewable Energy Certificates and Energy Saving Certificates.
  • It enables efficient price discovery and increases the accessibility and transparency of the power market in India.
  • It also enhances the speed and efficiency of trade execution.
  • The benefiting open access consumers belong to various industries such as metal, food processing, textile, chemicals, automobiles, IT industries, institutional, housing and commercial entities.
  • It is a publicly listed company with NSE and BSE, and is regulated by Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

United Nations Human Rights Council

  • The 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was held recently. In this session,
    1. India took on Pakistan for releasing an Al-Qaeda terrorist.
    2. The U.S. Secretary of State said that the U.S. will seek re-election to the UNHRC for the 2022 to 2024 term.
  • The UNHRC replaced the former UN Commission on Human Rights.
  • The 47-member UNHRC is an inter-governmental body that promotes and protects human rights around the globe.
  • It discusses all thematic human rights violation issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year.
  • It is made up of UN Member States which are elected by the UN General Assembly. It meets at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
  • The UNHRC was created by the UNGA in 2006 by resolution 60/251.
  • One year later, the Council adopted its "Institution-building package" to guide its work and set up its procedures and mechanisms.

Carbon Watch

  • It is India’s first app to assess the carbon footprint of an individual.
  • [Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases-especially carbon dioxide-released into the atmosphere by a particular human activity.]
  • Chandigarh became the first state or Union Territory in India to launch the mobile application Carbon Watch.
  • The app can be downloaded through a QR code in Android phones.
  • As a person downloads the app, they will need to fill details in four parts,
    1. Water category - Information on water consumption on their part.
    2. Energy category - Information on electricity units consumed every month in house, etc and usage of solar energy
    3. Waste category - Information on the waste generation on their part and their family
    4. Transport (Vehicular movement) category - Information such as the national and world average of the emission, and the individual’s level of emission generation.


Source: PIB, The Indian Express, The Hindu

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