19 May 2023 – Current Affairs

Daily Current Capsules

19 May 2023

Bilateral Relations/Prelims Factoids

Operation Karuna

India launches 'Operation Karuna' to provide assistance to Mocha-hit Myanmar

What’s the NEWS

  • India launched ‘Operation Karuna’ to assist Myanmar which has been devastated by Cyclone Mocha.
  • Three Indian Navy ships carrying relief material reached Yangon

Know! about Cyclone Mocha

  • Super cyclone Mocha hit Bangladesh and Myanmar over the weekend causing widespread devastation and killing hundreds.
  • In Myanmar, Rakhine state is the worst-hit while in Bangladesh the cyclone destroyed shelters in the world’s largest refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar which houses a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar.

How was Cyclone Mocha named?

  • Yemen suggested the name ‘Mocha’, which is supposed to be pronounced as Mokha.
  • The cyclone has been named after a Red Sea port city known for its coffee production.
  • The city also gave its name to the popular beverage, café Mocha.
  • Tropical cyclones are named by six regional specialized meteorological centers (RSMICs) and five regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs).
  • The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is one of the six RSMCs.

Why are cyclones named?

  • Naming a cyclone helps the scientific community, media, disaster managers, and common people to identify the cyclone, create awareness about its development, remove confusion if another tropical cyclone is developed in the region, and rapidly and effectively disseminate warnings to a wider audience.

Who decides the name?

  • In 2000, the twenty-seventh session of the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) decided to name tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
  • The panel has 13 members countries including India, Bangladesh, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Yemen, Sri Lanka, Maldives, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar.
  • The naming of the cyclones started in September 2004 when the member countries proposed different names.
  • In 2022, the IMD issued a new list of names for cyclones after it was finalized and adopted by the WMO/ESCAP PTC.
  • The list contained 169 names where 13 names each were suggested by the 13 member countries of the panel.
  • Mocha was one of the names suggested by Yemen.

Environment Conservation

India’s first commercial passenger flight using indigenously produced Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) flown successfully

19 May 2023 – Current Affairs word image 11393 2

What’s the NEWS

  • In a significant development towards decarbonizing the aviation sector, India’s first commercial passenger flight using an indigenously produced Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend was successfully flown
  • Air Asia flight (I5 767) flew from Pune to Delhi powered by SAF blended aviation turbine fuel (ATF) produced by Praj Industries Ltd by using indigenous feedstock, supplied by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and used by Air Asia.
  • It is a significant milestone in the country’s efforts towards Net Zero emissions by 2070
  • This would be the first domestic commercial passenger flight with SAF blending up to 1% as a demonstration mode

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

  • SAF stands for sustainable aviation fuel. It’s produced from sustainable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel.
  • SAF is produced from sustainable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel.
  • SAF made from renewable biomass and waste resources has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, giving airlines solid footing for decoupling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from flight.
  • Some typical feedstocks used are cooking oil and other non-palm waste oils from animals or plants; solid waste from homes and businesses, such as packaging, paper, textiles, and food scraps that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration.
  • Other potential sources include forestry waste, such as waste wood, and energy crops, including fast-growing plants and algae.

India’s commitment towards achieving Net Zero by 2070

  • Production of SAF using sugarcane molasses as indigenous feedstock and technology in India is a major step towards self-reliance and de-carbonization of the aviation sector in line with our commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2070.
  • To achieve Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs, i.e., commitment to reducing Emissions Intensity of its GDP by 45 percent by 2030, from 2005 level) today, India is one of the strongest voices in the world for energy transition, and alternative energy, such as Biofuels

Infrastructure Development

Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways on Twitter: "MoPSW under its  Sagarmala Programme is set to develop Riverine Based Tourism Circuit at  Guwahati on the Brahmaputra river. This project will connect seven

What’s the NEWS

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Guwahati, Assam for the development of a ‘Riverine Based Religious Tourism Circuit’ among Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Sagarmala Development Corporation Limited (SDCL), Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) and Department of Inland Waterways Transport (DIWT), Government of Assam.

MoU Highlights

  • The MoU will facilitate modern ferry service on a ‘Hop On Hop Off’ among seven (07) historic religious sites around Guwahati.
  • The seven religious sites are Kamakhya, Pandunath, Ashwalknata, Doul Govinda, Umananda, Chakreshwar, and Auniati Satra to be covered with the help of this agreement.
  • The project, executed via a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), is likely to be completed with an investment of ₹45 crores and will be completed within 12 months.
  • The circuit will sail from Hanuman Ghat, Uzan Bazar, and the ferry service is expected to reduce the overall travel time to less than 2 hours for completing one complete circuit.
  • SDCL and IWAI will jointly contribute 55% of the project cost while the remaining will be provided by ATDC.
  • DIWT has consented to provide the usage of Ghats near the temples free of cost for the project.

Associated Organisations

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)

  • It is the statutory authority in charge of the waterways in India.
  • It was constituted under IWAI Act-1985 by the Parliament of India.
  • Its headquarters is located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It does the function of building the necessary infrastructure in waterways, surveying the economic feasibility of new projects, and also administration.

India’s Waterways

  • India has an extensive network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters, and creeks.
  • The total navigable length is 14,500 km, out of which about 5200 km of the river and 4000 km of canals can be used by mechanized crafts.
  • Freight transportation by waterways is highly under-utilized in India compared to other large countries and geographic areas like the United States, China, and the European Union.
  • The total cargo moved (in tonne kilometers) by the inland waterway was just 0.1% of the total inland traffic in India, compared to the 21% figure for the United States.
  • Cargo transportation in an organized manner is confined to a few waterways in Goa, West Bengal, Assam, and Kerala.

Sagarmala Development Company Ltd. (SDCL)

SagarMala - Vision Ministry of Shipping, GOI, Government of India

  • The Government of India has formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Sagarmala Development Company Ltd. (SDCL), as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 2013 to achieve the objectives of the Sagarmala Programme and fast-track the implementation of the port-led development initiatives.
  • Under the ambit of the Sagarmala Programme, the Sagarmala Development Company Ltd. strives to reduce logistics costs for both domestic and EXIM cargo.
  • It intends to create, among others, ports and a transshipment hub of international standards to generate economic activity all along the Indian coastline, with the participation of coastal communities.
  • SDCL was incorporated with an initial authorized capital of Rs. 1,000 Cr, and which may be increased subsequently, if required, and a subscribed share capital of Rs. 90 Cr.
  • The entire cost towards authorized capital for the Company with initial subscribed share capital is borne by the Government of India.

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Prelims Factoids

Wings India 2024

What’s the NEWS

  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) organized a curtain raiser ahead of Wings India 2024 in New Delhi on 18th May 2023.
  • Scheduled to take place from 18th to 21st January 2024 in Hyderabad, Wings India 2024, is expected to be Asia’s largest event on Civil Aviation on Commercial, General, and Business Aviation.
  • Wings India 2024 will bring together various stakeholders and participants from all over the world from the aviation industry to promote collaboration, showcase innovations and explore business opportunities.

Associated Organisations

Know! about FICCI

  • Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organization in India.
  • A non-government, not-for-profit organization, FICCI is the voice of India’s business and industry.
  • FICCI articulates the views and concerns of the industry.
  • It serves its members from the Indian private and public corporate sectors and multinational companies, drawing its strength from diverse regional chambers of commerce and industry across states, reaching out to over 2,50,000 companies.
  • FICCI provides a platform for networking and consensus building within and across sectors and is the first port of call for the Indian industry, policymakers, and the international business community.

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