Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 25 August 2021

In Today’s News:

  1. Arctic Council.
  2. Forum for Decarbonizing Transport.
  3. GM Soycake – relaxation of import rules.

1. Arctic Council

News Summary

There is an article related to Arctic Cooperation and Climate change.

Prelims GS – International Relations

Arctic Council:
  • The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic Indigenous peoples, and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.
  • It was formally established in 1996.
  • The Ottawa declaration is associated with the establishment of the Arctic Council.
  • There are 8 member states.
    • Canada
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • Iceland
    • Norway
    • Russia
    • Sweden
    • The United States

Click here to know more about the Arctic Council on the official website.

2. Forum for Decarbonizing Transport

News Summary

‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India was launched.

Prelims GS – Economic Development/Governance

Forum for Decarbonizing Transport:
  • NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute(WRI), India, jointly launched the ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India as part of the NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project on 23 August.
  • The NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA 2020-2023) is a joint program of seven organizations that will engage China, India, and Vietnam in promoting a comprehensive approach to decarbonizing transport in their respective countries.
  • The project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI).
  • The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) support the initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
  • NITI Aayog is the implementing partner for the India component of the project.

Click here to view the Courtesy: official PIB release.

3. GM Soycake – relaxation of import rules

News Summary

The government of India has relaxed the rules for the import of crushed and de-oiled GM soya cake (Non-living organism only).

Prelims GS – Governance/Science & Technology

GM Soycake – relaxation of rules:
  • The above said relaxation for the import of crushed and de-oiled GM soya cake comes after clarification and prior permission from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change that “Since soya de-oiled and crushed (DOC) cake does not contain any living modified organism, this Ministry has no concerns and no objection for import of soya cakes from an environmental angle”.
  • This decision will positively impact farmers, poultry farmers, and fishermen
Ban on GM crops:
  • Bt. cotton is the only Genetically Modified (GM) crop approved in 2002 by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for commercial cultivation in the Country.
  • Cultivation of other unapproved GM crops is banned in India.
  • Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has issued advisories to States to take appropriate necessary action to curb and control the spread of Bt. Brinjal and HT cotton.
  • There is a well-established regulatory framework for approval of GM Crops as per “Rules for the Manufacture/Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms, Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989” under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 in the Country.

Courtesy: PIB release on the Ban of GM crops

  • The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
  • As per Rules, 1989, it is responsible for the appraisal of activities involving large-scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle. The committee is also responsible for the appraisal of proposals relating to the release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials.
  • GEAC is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

Click here to view the official website of GEAC.





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