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14 July 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

14 July 2023

Op Southern Readiness 2023

A group of people posing for a photo

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  • INS Sunayna was at Seychelles from 10-12 Jul 23 to participate in Op Southern Readiness 2023 conducted by Combined Maritime Forces(CMF).
  • The visit was aimed at strengthening multilateral ties and enhancing cooperation through CMF exercise which is a multinational initiative aimed at enhancing maritime security, countering piracy to ensure safety and freedom of navigation in the region.
  • During the visit, personnel of participating Navies from USA, Italy, UK, Seychelles Defence Forces & Marine Police, member nations of EUNAVFOR were engaged in wide range of professional interactions, subject matter expert exchanges and visits.

Combined Maritime Forces (CMF)

  • CMF is a multinational maritime partnership, which exists to uphold the Rules-Based International Order (RBIO) by countering illicit non-state actors on the high seas and promoting security, stability, and prosperity
  • CMF’s main focus areas are counter-narcotics, counter-smuggling, suppressing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and engaging with regional and other partners to strengthen relevant capabilities in order to improve overall security and stability, and promoting a safe maritime environment free from illicit non-state actors.

CMF has four Combined Task Forces

  • CTF 150 (Maritime Security Operations outside the Arabian Gulf)
  • CTF 151 (Counter-Piracy)
  • CTF 152 (Maritime Security Operations inside the Arabian Gulf)
  • CTF 153 (Red Sea Maritime Security)
  • CTF 154 (Maritime Security Training)

CMF has 38 member nations

  • Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Türkiye, UAE, United Kingdom, United States, and Yemen.
  • CMF is Commanded by a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, who also serves as Commander US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and US Navy Fifth Fleet.
  • India is not a member of CMF. At the India-US 2+2 dialogue held in April (2022), India had announced that it would join the CMF as an Associate Partner.

Operation Atalanta, formally European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR)

  • Operation Atalanta, formally European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia, is an ongoing counter-piracy military operation at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean, that is the first naval operation conducted by the European Union (EU).
  • The operational headquarters is currently located at the Spanish Operation Headquarters (ESOHQ) at Naval Station Rota (NAVSTA Rota) in Spain, having moved from London as a result of the British withdrawal from the EU.
  • It is part of a larger global action by the EU to prevent and combat acts of piracy in the Indian Ocean, and it is the first EU naval operation to be launched.
  • It cooperates with the multinational Combined Task Force 151 of the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) and NATO’s anti-piracy Operation Ocean Shield.

Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour

Grand Cross Of The Legion Of Honour: All About France's Highest Civilian  Award Conferred To PM

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, the highest of France’s civilian and military honours.
  • The award was presented to PM Modi by President Emmanuel Macron
  • The Legion of Honour, which was established by Napoleon Bonaparte, consists of five degrees.
  • PM Modi was awarded with the highest, the Grand Cross.
  • The ribbon is red, and the badge features a five-armed Maltese asterisk on an oak and laurel wreath.

India to host ASEAN Countries Conference on Traditional Medicines on 20th July 2023

The Ministry of Ayush with support from the Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Mission to ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat is gearing up to host the Conference on Traditional Medicines for ASEAN Countries on 20th July 2023.

  • The Conference on Traditional Medicines aims to strengthen the platform between India and ASEAN Countries to share their best practices and draw a roadmap for future cooperation in the field of Traditional Medicines.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an inter-governmental international organization, comprised of Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia.

Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) scheme

FM announces MISTHI scheme in Union Budget for mangrove plantations -  Hindustan Times

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India today organised a mangrove plantation program at Kovalam Panchayat in Chengalpattu District in Tamil Nadu.

Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) scheme

  • MISHTI program was recently launched by Government of India with an objective to take up mangrove reforestation and afforestation along the coastal districts of India by adopting best practices that already exist in India as well as from other countries including Indonesia.
  • This program is also envisaged to develop mangrove associated ecotourism initiatives and livelihood generation in coastal states.
  • “MISHTI” will contribute to the efforts of ‘Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC)’ – an intergovernmental alliance for promotion of Mangrove, of which India became its active member during the (COP27)
  • Currently, there is approximately 5000 sq kms of area under mangroves and through the MISHTI program an additional area of 540 sq km is proposed to be covered across 9 States and 4 Union Territories.
  • The scheme is planned to be implemented for a period of five years from 2023-2024 to 2027-2028.
  • MISHTI is to be implemented by converging CAMPA Fund, MGNREGS, and other sources.

Know! also about

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)

  • CAMPA are meant to promote afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest uses.
  • The CAMPA funds are utilised for compensating the loss of forest land and ecosystem services by raising of compensatory afforestation, improving quality of forests through assisted natural regeneration, enrichment of biodiversity, improvement of wildlife habitat, control of forest fire, forest protection and soil and water conservation measures.
  • As per the rules, 90% of the CAF money is to be given to the states while 10% is to be retained by the Centre.
  • The Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF Act), 2016 and Rules, 2018 provide elaborate guidelines and activities for utilization of CAMPA Fund.

Compensatory afforestation

  • It means that every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes such as mining or industry, the user agency pays for planting forests over an equal area of non-forest land, or when such land is not available, twice the area of degraded forest land.

Know! about Mangroves

  • A mangrove is a shrub or tree that grows mainly in coastal saline or brackish water.
  • Mangroves grow in an equatorial climate, typically along coastlines and tidal rivers.
  • They have special adaptations to take in extra oxygen and to remove salt, which allow them to tolerate conditions that would kill most plants.
  • There are about 80 different species of mangrove trees.
  • All of these trees grow in areas with low-oxygen soil, where slow-moving waters allow fine sediments to accumulate.

Kaas Plateau

  • A new study of the sediments from a seasonal lake in the Kaas Plateau in the Satara district of Maharashtra helped us to understand and decipher the past climate of the Kaas Plateau.
  • Sediment profile dating back to 8000 years which was analysed (by available carbon dates-AMS) to decode the climatic signatures, indicated that the seasonal lake favoured freshwater accumulation almost for 8000 years before the present (BP) and probably dried sometimes after 2000 years BP.

Study Highlights

  • Kaas Plateau, nestled in the Western Ghats is about 140 km from Pune, was included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2012.
  • Known as Kaas Pathar in Marathi, its name is derived from the Kaasa tree, botanically known as Elaeocarpus glandulosus (rudraksha family).
  • Designated as a biodiversity hotspot, the Kaas Plateau comes to life with various seasonal flowers forming a floral carpet over the entire lateritic crust during August and September.
  • During the early to mid-Holocene, at around 8664 years ago, pollen, as well as diatom data, indicated a change in the climate from freshwater to drier conditions with low rainfall.
  • Surprisingly, there was a significant rise in the number of diatoms in between. This suggests a major shift in the Indian summer Monsoon activity during that time, possibly resulting in intermittent humid periods amidst the dry spells.

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