Current Affairs Nov 23

G20 Summit

  • India will host the G20 summit in 2023.
  • G20 meetings in Italy in 2021, Indonesia in 2022, India in 2023 and Brazil in 2024.

G20 leaders’ final declaration

  • In the G20 Riyadh Summit Leaders Declaration issued at the conclusion of the conference of the world’s top 20 economies.
  • While the global economy experienced a sharp contraction in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic activity has partially picked up as “economies gradually reopened and the positive impact of significant policy actions started to materialise”.
  • Noted that the recovery is “uneven, highly uncertain and subject to elevated downside risks”, including those arising from renewed virus outbreaks in some countries.
  • The G20 leaders also expressed support for the Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Counter-Terrorist Financing (CFT) policy responses detailed in the FATF’s paper on COVID-19, and reaffirmed their support for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
  • FATF as the global standard-setting body for preventing and combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.
  • Commitment to tackle all sources, techniques and channels of these threats.
  • Commitment to strengthening the FATF’s Global Network of regional bodies, including by supporting their expertise in mutual evaluations, and call for the full, effective and swift implementation of the FATF standards worldwide.
  • The G20 has mobilised resources to address the immediate financing needs in global health to support the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of safe and effective COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.

What is the G20?

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​The Group of Twenty, or the G20, is the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
  • The G20 brings together the leaders of both developed and developing countries from every continent. ​
  • Collectively, G20 members represent around 80% of the world’s economic output, two-thirds of global population and three-quarters of international trade.
  • Throughout the year, representatives from G20 countries gather to discuss financial and socioeconomic issues.​

What is the history of  ​the G20?

  • Originated in 1999 at the level of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, the G20 gathered for high-level discussions on macro-financial issues.
  • In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, the G20 was elevated to include the leaders of member countries.
  • The first G20 Leaders’ Summit took place in Washington D.C. in November 2008.
  • Consequently, the G20 agenda expanded beyond macro-financial issues, to include socio-economic and development issues.
  • Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, United States and Turkey and the European Union.

What happens at a G20 summit meeting?

  • It is focused on several core issues around which its leaders hope to reach a consensus for collective action.
  • The goal is to conclude the two-day gathering by issuing a joint statement committing its members to action, although the declaration is not legally binding.




Why in News

  • Indian Navy (IN) is scheduled to host the 27th edition of India – Singapore Bilateral Maritime Exercise SIMBEX-20 from 23 to 25 November 2020 in Andaman Sea.

History of Exercise

  • The SIMBEX series of exercises between IN and Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), being conducted annually since 1994, are aimed at enhancing mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices from each other.

This Year’s Exercise

  • Will witness participation by Indian Navy ships including destroyer Rana with integral Chetak helicopter and indigenously built corvettes Kamorta and Karmuk.
  • In addition, IN submarine Sindhuraj and P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft will also participate in the exercise.
  • RSN will be represented by the ‘Formidable’ Class frigates ‘Intrepid’ and ‘Steadfast’ with integral S70B helicopter and ‘Endurance’ Class Landing Ship Tank ‘Endeavour’ in the exercise.
  • The two friendly navies participate in advanced surface, anti-air warfare and anti-submarine warfare exercises including weapon firings, over three days of intensive joint operations at sea.




Why in News

  • The Indian Navy is participating in the two-day trilateral maritime exercise SITMEX-20 in the Andaman Sea along with the navies of Singapore and Thailand.
  • Hosted by Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).
  • The first edition of SITMEX, hosted by Indian Navy, was conducted off Port Blair in September 2019.


  • To enhance mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices between IN, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
  • Also aim to strengthen mutual confidence and develop common understanding and procedures towards enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.


  • RSN is being represented by the ‘Formidable’ Class frigate ‘Intrepid’ and ‘Endurance’ Class Landing Ship Tank ‘Endeavour’ and RTN by the ‘Chao Phraya’ Class frigate ‘Kraburi’ in the exercise.


Jal Jeevan Mission

Why in News

  • A multi-disciplinary Technical Committee in the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti has recommended five technologies
  • Specifically three technologies for drinking water and
  • Two technologies for sanitation as innovative technologies.
  • It would help the States/ UTs so that they can use these technologies depending on their requirement and suitability.

Objective of the Jal Jeevan Mission

  • To provide Functional Household Tap Connection to every rural home by 2024.

Challenges faced during Implementation

  • Variations in regional endowment of water resources & levels of service provision, water quality challenges, convergence with sanitation sector and dealing with grey water/ sludge issues, etc.

The Five technologies that have been recommended are:

i.)  Grundfos AQpure, a solar energy based water treatment plant based on ultra filtration

ii.)   Janajal Water on Wheel, an IoT based electric vehicle based on GPS location to enable delivery of safe water to the doorstep of households

iii.)   Presto Online Chlorinator, a non-electricity dependent online chlorinator for disinfection of water for removal of bacterial contamination

iv.)  Johkasou technology – an inbuilt packaged black (sewage) and grey water (Kitchen and bath water) treatment system having advanced anaerobic-aerobic configuration that can be installed underground

v.)    FBTec®, a site assembled decentralised sewage treatment system using fixed filter media.



Air pollution and Child’s health

Why in News

  • Spike in air pollution levels corresponded to an increase in visits by children to hospital emergency rooms (ER) for treatment of acute respiratory infections, finds a two-year-long study in Delhi.

Earlier Studies

  • Previous studies have found that children are more susceptible to adverse health effects of air pollution than adults due to immature growth of lungs, making them vulnerable to inflammatory and oxidative damage.
  • Due to higher respiration rates and outdoor physical activity, children retain more air pollutants per unit body weight than adults.
  • Nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide emissions are associated with vehicular and industrial pollution and previous studies have noted an increase in hospital visits when these levels spike.

Findings of New Study

  • There was a roughly 21%-28% increase in visits by children manifesting symptoms of acute respiratory disease during days of ‘high’ and ‘moderate’ level pollution, compared to days of ‘low pollution’.
  • The researchers compared levels of PM10 and PM 2.5, SO2 (sulphur dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), NO2 (nitrous oxide) and O3 (ozone) with day-wise data on ER admissions of children.
  • The pollutants most strongly linked with more ER respiratory visits were sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide.
  • The pollutants most strongly associated with air pollution — PM 10 and PM 2.5 — showed weak links with an increase in the number of ER visits.
  • The lower association of particulate matter was primarily because its effects on respiratory health are not always immediately visible and because the background levels of such matter is usually very high in Delhi.




Puerto Rico Telescope To Be Dismantled

Why in News

  • The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life.


  • It’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio telescope — one of the world’s largest — given the significant damage it recently sustained.


  • The telescope was built in the 1960s with money from the Defense Department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses.
  • In its 57 years of operation, it endured hurricanes, endless humidity and a recent string of strong earthquakes.



U.S.-European Ocean Monitoring Satellite

Why in News

  • A U.S.-European satellite designed to extend a decades-long measurement of global sea surface heights was launched into Earth orbit from California.


  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base and arced southward over the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Falcon’s first stage flew back to the launch site and landed for reuse.
  • The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was released from the second stage.


  • Space-based sea level measurements have been uninterrupted since the 1992 launch of the U.S.-French satellite TOPEX-Poseidon, which was followed by a series of satellites including the current Jason-3.

Key Points

  • The satellite’s main instrument is an extremely accurate radar altimeter that will bounce energy off the sea surface as it sweeps over Earth’s oceans.
  • An identical twin, Sentinel-6B, will be launched in 2025 to ensure continuity of the record.
  • Sea surface heights are affected by heating and cooling of water, allowing scientist to use the altimeter data to detect such weather-influencing conditions as the warm El Nino and the cool La Nina.



Uproar over Kerala Law To Curb Abusive Content

Why in News

  • Kerala Governor Arif Muhammad Khan recently signed an ordinance amending the law to give the police more power to prosecute persons who exploit various communication platforms to slander fellow citizens.
  • Amendment Kerala Police Act, 2011, to give the local law enforcement more teeth to curb defamation.
  • This has led to an uproar with opposition parties, journalist bodies and civil rights activists seeing a threat to the freedom of the press and free speech in Kerala.

What’s New

  • The ordinance has introduced a new provision, Section 118-A, to the Act.
  • The amendment proposes three years of imprisonment and a fine of upto ₹10,000 for those convicted of producing, publishing or disseminating derogatory content through any means of communication to intimidate, insult or defame any person.


Anticipatory Bail

Why in News?

  • Recently a Supreme Court held that an accused cannot move for anticipatory bail once his regular bail has been cancelled by court.
  • The accused is in the “constructive custody of law” even while out on bail.

Section 174A of the Indian Penal Code

  • Cancellation of regular bail on the ground of non-appearance.

What SC Says

  • A person released on bail is already in the constructive custody of law.
  • If the law requires him to come back to custody for specified reasons, we are afraid that an application for anticipatory bail apprehending arrest will not lie.

What is anticipatory bail?

  • Black’s Law Dictionary (4th edition) describes ‘bail’ as procuring “the release of a person from legal custody, by undertaking that he shall appear at the time and place designated and submit himself to the jurisdiction and judgement of the court.”
  • As opposed to ordinary bail, which is granted to a person who is under arrest, in anticipatory bail, a person is directed to be released on bail even before arrest made.
  • 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, lays down the law on anticipatory bail. Sub-section (1) of the provision reads: “When any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on an accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction under this section; and that Court may, if it thinks fit, direct that in the event of such arrest, he shall be released on bail.”
  • The provision empowers only the Sessions Court and High Court to grant anticipatory bail.


Rodchenkov Act

Why in News?

  • The Rodchenkov Act was passed by the Senate and will become a law once the US president signs it.

What it do?

  • It allows the USA to initiate legal proceedings against those involved in running doping rings, including coaches, officials, managers or suppliers even if they are not residents of the United States or if the act of doping took place outside the United States.

Objective of the Rodchenkov Act

  • To bring to book facilitators who otherwise got away when athletes who tested positive for performance-enhancing substances were banned under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
  • The Act seeks to criminalise ‘major international dope fraud conspiracies’, which is mentioned in Section 4 of the Act.
  • Section 4 makes it clear that the Act is not targeting individual athletes who test positive (they are covered under the World Anti-Doping Agency Code).
  • The law considers athletes who miss out because of those who cheated and finished ahead of them as an aggrieved party.
  • Sponsors and broadcasters who have been affected because of a doping scandal at an event could also receive restitution, like athletes.

What does the Act cover?

  • The Act will cover any ‘major international competition’ where one or more athletes from the United States participates and three or more from other countries are present.
  • The Act also covers events where the competition organiser or sanctioned body has received sponsorship or funding from an organisation doing business in the United States, and the broadcaster has bought the rights to telecast in the United States.

Why does the bill have a Russian-sounding name?

  • The bill is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, a former director of Russia’s anti-doping lab. Rodchenkov had moved to the USA and turned whistleblower after the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.
  • Rodchenkov was part of the system which helped Russia athletes dope without getting caught. One of the ways was to allow swapping of urine samples with stored clean ones.




Why in News?

  • A slew of copper plate inscriptions dated to the 8th and 9th century CE have been discovered in and around Halebelagola in Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district, Karnataka.


  • It adds to the corpus of information pertaining to the age and provides additional material evidence for the understanding of the social and economic conditions of the region.

Belongs to the Period

  • This is reckoned to belong to the period of the Western Ganga king Sripurusha and is written in Sanskrit and Kananda and has Kannada characters of the 8th century CE.
  • It records the gift of a village Sokanevadi as “Brahmamdeya” to a brahmin Sokanebhatta of Koushika gotra by Sripurusha.
  • Another inscription belonged to the Western Ganga king Rajamalla II and is dated to 879 CE.



Why in News

  • A new study supports evidence that delirium can predict coronavirus infection in older patients who show no other typical symptoms of Covid-19.

What is Delirium

  • Delirium is an acute state of confusion, marked by disorientation, lack of attention etc.
  • Even beyond Covid-19, delirium is a common symptom in older adults with severe disease.
  • And in Covid-19, adults aged 65 years and older are at greatest risk of severe disease, and death.



Dispute over Chandigarh

Why in News

  • Recently, Haryana Deputy Chief Minister said it would be better if both Haryana and Punjab agreed on Chandigarh as a Union Territory and make their independent capitals and Benches of High Courts.
  • The statement once again brought into focus the long-simmering dispute between the two states over one of India’s most modern cities.
  • But Punjab has always refuted Haryana’s claims over Chandigarh.

Why was Chandigarh created?

  • Chandigarh was planned to replace Lahore, the capital of erstwhile Punjab, which became part of Pakistan during the Partition.
  • In March 1948, the Government of (India’s) Punjab, in consultation with the Centre, approved the area of the foothills of the Shivaliks as the site for the new capital.
  • From 1952 to 1966 (till Haryana was carved out of Punjab), Chandigarh remained the capital of Punjab.

How did it become a shared capital?

  • At the time of reorganisation of Punjab in 1966, the city assumed the unique distinction of being the capital of both Punjab and Haryana, even as it was declared a union territory and was placed under the direct control of the Centre.
  • The properties in Chandigarh were to be divided in 60:40 ratio in favour of Punjab.
  • The-then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had announced that Haryana, in due course, would have its own capital and Chandigarh would go to Punjab.
  • In 1985, under the Rajiv-Longowal accord, Chandigarh was to be handed over to Punjab on January 26, 1986, but the Rajiv Gandhi government withdrew at the last minute.



Meghalaya’s Glowing Mushrooms

Why in News

  • A mushroom documentation project in the forests of Northeast India has revealed not only 600 varieties of fungi, but also led to a new discovery: a bioluminescent — or light emitting — variety of mushroom.
  • The new species — named Roridomyces phyllostachydis.
  • It is now one among the 97 known species of bioluminescent fungi in the world.

What are bioluminescent fungi and why do they glow?

  • Bioluminescence is the property of a living organism to produce and emit light.
  • Bioluminescent organisms are usually found in the ocean environments, but they are also found on terrestrial environments.
  • The colour of the light emitted by the organism depends on their chemical properties.
  • In the case of fungi, the luminescence comes from the enzyme, luciferase.
  • The [green] light emits when luciferans is catalysed by the enzyme luciferase, in the presence of oxygen.
  • During the chemical reaction, several unstable intermediate products are released as excess energy that makes them visible as light.



Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)

Why in News

  • Recently, India became the fourth country in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS).

What is the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System?

  • The IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India.
  • It is designed to provide accurate position information service to assist in the navigation of ships in the Indian Ocean waters.
  • It could replace the US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS) in the Indian Ocean extending up to approximately 1500 km from the Indian boundary.

What does the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) recognition of the IRNSS mean?

  • The IMO is the United Nations’ specialised agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.
  • The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the IMO recognised the IRNSS as a component of the World-wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS).
  • With the recognition as a component of the of the WWRNS, the Indian navigation system is similarly placed as GPS, most commonly used by marine shipping vessels across the world or the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
  • After the US, Russia and China that have their own navigation systems, India has become the fourth country to have its independent regional navigation system.
  • Unlike GPS, however, IRNSS is a regional and not a global navigation system.


Ancient megaflood in Mars

Why in News?

  • Giant flash floods once washed through Gale Crater on Mars’ equator around four billion years ago, according to a study which hints at the possibility that life may have existed on the Red Planet.

Based on the analysis, scientists said

  • These floods of “unimaginable magnitude” set up gigantic ripples that are tell-tale geologic structures familiar to scientists on the Earth.
  • Iidentified megafloods for the first time using detailed sedimentological data observed by the rover Curiosity.
  • Geological features including the work of water and wind have been frozen in time on Mars for about four billion years.
  • These features convey processes that shaped the surface of both the Earth and the Mars in the past.
  • Includes the occurrence of giant wave-shaped features in sedimentary layers of Gale crater, often called “megaripples” or “antidunes”.
  • The antidunes are indicative of flowing megafloods at the bottom of Mars’ Gale Crater about four billion years ago, which are identical to the features formed by melting ice on Earth about two million years ago.
  • the most likely cause of the Mars flooding was the melting of ice from heat generated by a large impact, which released carbon dioxide and methane from the planet’s frozen reservoirs.
  • The water vapour and release of gases combined to produce a short period of warm and wet conditions on Mars.
  • Condensation may have formed water vapour clouds, which in turn likely created torrential rain, possibly planetwide.
  • This water may have entered Gale Crater, and combined with water coming down from Mount Sharp in Gale Crater to produce gigantic flash floods.


Que-    The only Cherry Blossoms festival in India. is hosted by

a) Agartala

b) Shimla

c) Shillong

d) Manali

Ans-     (c)

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