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22nd May, 2024 Current Affairs

22nd May, 2024 Current Affairs   nationlgk for competitive exams

India to facilitate the first-ever focused working group discussions on Antarctic tourism

  • India is set to play a pivotal role in facilitating the first-ever focused discussions on regulating tourism in Antarctica at the 46th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) and 26th Meeting of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP).
  •  The occasion was graced by the presence of Union Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  •  National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa under Ministry of Earth Sciences, and the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat will organize these meetings in Kochi, Kerala, from May 20 to May 30, 2024. The gathering has over 350 participants from nearly 40 nations.
  • The ATCM and CEP are high-level global annual meetings conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Antarctic Treaty, a multilateral agreement of 56 Contracting Parties signed in 1959. During these meetings, member countries of the Antarctic Treaty discuss issues pertaining to the science, policy, governance, management, preservation and protection of Antarctica.
  •  The CEP was established under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the Madrid Protocol) in 1991. The CEP advises the ATCM on environmental protection and conservation in Antarctica.
  • India has been a Consultative Party to the Antarctic Treaty since 1983. With the other 28 Consultative Parties, India has a crucial role in governing Antarctica’s scientific exploration and environmental protection. It has the right to propose and vote on decisions and resolutions made during the ATCM in matters of administration, scientific research, environmental protection, and logistical cooperation​. Further, it can establish research stations, conduct scientific programs and logistic operations, enforce environmental regulations and access scientific data and research findings shared by Antarctic Treaty members. The Contracting and Consultative Parties are responsible for compliance with the Antarctic Treaty, environment stewardship, promoting scientific research, and maintaining Antarctica as a zone of peace, free from military activity and territorial claims. The ATCM is administered through the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat headquartered in Argentina.

India Climbs To 39th Position In World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index

  • India has climbed to the 39th position in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index 2024, while US topped the list. India also ranks the highest in South Asia among the lower-middle-income economies. Earlier, India was ranked 54th in 2021 published index.
  • On an overall index score of 7, where 1 is the worst, and 7 the best, India scored 4.25. India’s significant leap in the rankings underscores its growing competitiveness in the global tourism landscape. The biennial index analyzed the travel and tourism sectors of 119 countries, evaluating them on a range of factors and policies that foster tourism development.

Anti-Terrorism Day Being Observed Across Nation

  • Anti-Terrorism Day is being observed across the nation today. The day marks the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated on May 21, 1991 by a suicide bomber of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Sriperumbudur, a village near Chennai.
  • It is observed to educate people about the negative impact of terrorism and violence on society and the nation.

EU Gives Final Approval To Artificial Intelligence Act

  • European Union ministers have unanimously given their final approval to the Artificial Intelligence Act. It is a major new law that regulates the use of transformative technology in “high-risk” situations, such as law enforcement and employment.
  • According to media reports, the European Union hopes that laying down strict AI rules relatively early in the technology’s development will address the dangers in time and help shape the international agenda for regulating AI.
  • Systems intended for use in “high-risk” situations, listed in the law’s annexes, will have to meet various standards and other things. Some uses, such as Chinese-style social credit scoring, will be banned outright.

Also Read: Test Your Knowledge with Our Daily Current Affairs Quiz - May 14th, 2024

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DAHD & UNDP MoU on Digitalisation of Animal Vaccine Cold Chain Management

  • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) under the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India to digitalize vaccine cold chain management, enhance communication planning, and build capacity.
  • India, the world’s most populous country, is home to 142.86 crore people, 53.57 million farm animals, and 85.18 million poultry. To maintain animal health and prevent zoonotic diseases, such as bird flu and coronavirus, the government has initiated a comprehensive vaccination program.
  • The UNDP will assist in developing India’s first animal vaccine supply chain management system, focusing on digitalization and remote temperature monitoring of cold chains. Vaccines need to be stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius to remain effective, and this partnership will ensure they are maintained within this range.
  • Established in 1965 by merging the United Nations Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance with the United Nations Special Fund, the UNDP serves as the UN’s global development network. It aids member countries in addressing development challenges across three main areas: sustainable development, democratic governance and peacebuilding, and climate and disaster resilience. Headquartered in New York, USA, the UNDP is currently administered by Achim Steiner.

IIT Jodhpur Publish Groundbreaking Research on Air Pollution and Health Effects in Northern India

  • Air pollution remains a critical global challenge, with severe health implications for millions of people worldwide. In a significant step towards addressing this issue, researcher from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur has published ground-breaking research in Nature Communications journal, shedding light on the sources and composition of particulate matter (PM) in Northern India that are harmful to human health.
  • Contrary to the common belief that reducing overall PM mass would alleviate health impacts, this comprehensive study highlights the importance of addressing local inefficient combustion processes - such as biomass and fossil fuel burning, including traffic exhaust in effectively reducing PM-related health exposure and their associated impacts in Northern India.
  • The study addresses three critical scientific questions crucial for consideration of Indian Policymakers in devising data-driven, effective mitigation strategies under the ongoing National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
  • Fine PM (PM2.5) source identification and their absolute contribution, with unprecedented clarity between their local and regional geographical origin.
  • A comprehensive and unequivocal distinction between directly emitted PM and those formed in the atmosphere. This is the first time such a distinction is clearly made over a large spatial and temporal scale.
  • Determination of the harmfulness of PM by correlating its oxidative potential with local and regional sources within the study region.
  • Leveraging the power of advanced aerosol mass spectrometry techniques and data analytics, the study was conducted  at five Indo-Gangetic Plain sites, both within and outside Delhi and found that although uniformly high PM concentrations are present across the region, the chemical composition varies considerably as the local emission sources and formation processes dominate the PM pollution. Within Delhi, ammonium chloride, and organic aerosols originating directly from traffic exhaust, residential heating, and the oxidation products of fossil fuels emissions produced in the atmosphere dominate PM pollution.
  • In contrast, outside Delhi, ammonium sulphate and ammonium nitrate, as well as secondary organic aerosols from biomass burning vapors, are the dominant contributors. However, regardless of location, the study highlighted that organic aerosols from incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels, including traffic emissions, are the key contributors to the PM oxidative potential, which drives PM-associated health effects in this region.
  • Comparing the oxidative potential of Indian PM2.5 with countries across the Asia-Pacific and European regions reveals alarming findings. Indian PM's oxidative potential surpasses that of Chinese and European cities by up to fivefold, marking it as one of the highest observed globally.
Published date : 23 May 2024 12:54PM

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