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UPSC Daily Current Affairs | Prelim Bits 04-03-2021

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March 04, 2021

Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph

  • Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph & Camera (ADFOSC) is an optical spectrograph, which is indigenously designed and developed by Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES).
  • This low-cost spectroscope, India’s largest astronomical spectrograph, has been commissioned on the Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT).
  • It can locate extremely faint light sources from distant quasars and galaxies in a very young universe, regions around supermassive black-holes around the galaxies, and cosmic explosions.
  • It uses a complex arrangement of lenses made of glasses, polished to better than 5-nm smoothness to produce sharp images of the sky.
  • Photons coming from distant celestial sources, collected by the telescope, are sorted into different colours by the spectrograph.
  • Then, this will be converted into electronic recordable signals using an in-house Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera cooled to -120oC.

India faces U.S. Anti-Dumping Tax

  • Anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value.
  • The US Department of Commerce would impose anti-dumping or countervailing tax on aluminium sheet exporters from 18 countries as they had benefited from subsidies and dumping.
  • According to the U.S. investigation, imports from India have benefited from subsidies for 35% to 89%.
  • So, India and 17 other countries would face the U.S. anti-dumping tax.

Arktika-M Satellite

  • Russia launched its space satellite Arktika-M from Kazakhstan by a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket with the Fregat booster.
  • This is a remote-sensing and emergency communications satellite.
  • It was launched to monitor the climate and environment in the Arctic.
  • It will have a highly elliptical orbit that passes over northern latitudes allowing it to monitor northern regions for long periods before it loops back down under Earth.
  • It will retransmit distress signals from ships, aircraft or people in remote areas as part of its Cospas-Sarsat satellite-based search and rescue programme.
  • Russia plans to send a second satellite in 2023. These two will offer round-the-clock, all-weather monitoring of the Arctic Ocean and Earth’s surface.

Platypus

  • To promote breeding and rehabilitation of platypus that faces extinction due to climate change, the world’s first platypus refuge would be built in Australia.
  • Platypus is one of the five species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to young ones.
  • This duck-billed mammal is the only animal in the world to have a beak, fur and webbed feet.
  • It is endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania, where it is classified as an endangered species.
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list Status - Near Threatened.

NDC Synthesis Report

  • The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has released the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report.
  • In this report, the UNFCCC has updated the NDC till December 31, 2020 for 75 of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC.
  • These Parties account for 30% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • The UK and the European Union are the only regions among 18 of the world’s biggest emitters that have substantially increased their GHG reduction targets.
  • Sixteen of the world's biggest emitters have not increased their emission reduction targets substantially or at all.
  • UNFCCC called for more ambitious climate action plans by the countries to achieve the Paris Agreement target of containing global temperature rise to 2oC (ideally 1.5°C) by the end of the century.

Bangladesh - LDC to a Developing Country

  • The UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has recommended graduation of Bangladesh from the category of Least Developed Country (LDC) to the category of Developing Country.
  • The CDP decides on the LDC status of a country based on three criteria,  
    1. Per capita income,
    2. Human Assets Index,
    3. Economic Vulnerability Index.
  • A country must achieve two of the three criteria at two consecutive triennial reviews to be considered for graduation.
  • Bangladesh has met for the second time all the three eligibility criteria for graduating from the LDC category to the developing nations category.
  • This proposal will be sent to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for endorsement, late to the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
  • Usually countries are given 3 years for transition but this year due to the pandemic, Bangladesh has been given 5 years i.e. upto 2026.

 

Source: PIB, DD News, The Hindu, Down To Earth

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