Daily Current Affairs for UPSC Civil Services Exam – 25th and 26th September 2021

1. Govt reduces patent fees

  1. The central government introduced Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021 which reduced the fee for patent
  2. The move has been taken to strengthen innovation and creativity in the knowledge economy.
  3. The high patenting fee was a hindrance for educational institutions in getting newer research and technologies patented
  4. While applying for patents, innovators had to apply for these in the name of institutions that were required to pay exorbitant patenting fees.
  5. However, now the official fees payable by them in reference to the Patents Rules, 2003, have been reduced through the Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2021.
  6. The government amended the patent rules in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020 to remove procedural inconsistencies and unnecessary steps in the processing of patent applications thereby. T
  7. These have helped expedite the grant, registration, and final disposal process, and make these more efficient, user-friendly, and compatible for e-transactions.
  8. The mechanism of lodging feedback and complaints regarding the functioning of IP offices has been set up on the IPO website.
  9. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in collaboration with the office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) is regularly engaged in the dissemination of information to IP stakeholders t

2. UP’s Defense Industrial Corridor

  1. The establishment of a Defense Industrial Corridor in Uttar Pradesh was announced while inaugurating the UP Investors Summit in Lucknow
  2. A total of 6 nodes – Aligarh, Agra, Kanpur, Chitrakoot, Jhansi, and Lucknow – have been planned in the Defense Industrial Corridor
  3. UP government aims at an investment of 10,000 crores in the Defence Industrial Corridor by 2022.
  4. Brahmos Missile unit will be started in the Aligarh node of the Defence Industrial Corridor and another huge missile manufacturing unit will be established in the Jhansi node
  5. The Defense Industrial Corridor of Uttar Pradesh will help in making the country self-reliant in the field of defense production and promoting ‘Make in India’.

3. Medical devices parkscheme

  1. The scheme aims to ensure easy access to testing and infrastructure facilities.
  2. It is expected that this will bring down the cost of production of medical devices, thereby making them more affordable for domestic consumption.
  3. The financial assistance for a selected medical device park would be 90% of the project cost of common infrastructure facilities for the northeastern and hilly States.
  4. For the rest, it would be 70%.
  5. However, the maximum assistance under the scheme for one such park will be  100 crores.
  6. The Centre has granted in-principal approval for the parks in Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh after it received proposals from as many as 16 States and Union Territories.

4. Goa Feni Policy 2021

  1. The Goa government’s Feni Policy 2021 has paved the way to take the state’s ‘heritage drink’ forward
  2. It has the potential to “save Goa”, but its challenge lies in changing perceptions about the drink classified as country liquor.

5. Blue Foods

  1. The report, titled Environmental performance of blue foods, was one of five initial scientific papers published as part of the Blue Food Assessment (BFA).
  2. The BFA is a collaboration between Sweden-based Stockholm Resilience Centre, United States-based Stanford University, and the non-profit EAT.
  3. The paper noted that seaweeds and farmed bivalves, such as mussels and oysters, generated the fewest greenhouse gas and nutrient emissions and used the least land and water.
  4. Capture fisheries also resulted in few nutrient emissions and use limited land and water
  5. Capture fisheries refer to all kinds of harvesting of naturally occurring living resources in both marine and freshwater environments.
  6. Aquatic or blue foods can be made more environmentally sustainable than they are now.

6. Arctic Sea Ice Melt

  1. September marks the end of the summer sea ice melt season and the Arctic sea ice minimum when sea ice over the Northern Hemisphere ocean reaches its lowest extent of the year.
  2. Sea ice cover there has dropped by roughly half since the 1980s as a direct result of increased carbon dioxide from human activities.
  3. Arctic sea ice levels have been at their lowest since at least 1850 for the annual mean and in at least 1,000 years for late summer.
  4. The IPCC concluded that “the Arctic is likely to be practically sea ice-free in September at least once before 2050.”
  5. As the Arctic’s bright ice is replaced by a darker open ocean surface, less of the sun’s radiation is reflected back to space, driving additional heating and ice loss.
  6. This albedo feedback loop is just one of several reasons why the Arctic is warming about three times faster than the planet as a whole.

What happened to the sea ice in 2021?

  1. The stage for this year’s sea ice minimum was set last winter.
  2. The Arctic experienced an anomalous high-pressure system and strong clockwise winds, driving the thickest, oldest sea ice of the Central Arctic into the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska.
  3. Summer melt began in earnest in May, a month that also featured multiple cyclones entering the Arctic. This increased sea ice drift but also kept temperatures relatively low, limiting the amount of melt.
  4. The extent and pace of melting increased significantly in June, which featured a predominant low-pressure system and temperatures that were a few degrees higher than average.
  5. By the beginning of July, conditions were tracking very close to the record low set in 2012, but the rate of decline slowed considerably during the second half of the month.
  6. Cyclones entering the Arctic from Siberia generated counterclockwise winds and ice drifts.
  7. This counterclockwise ice circulation pattern generally reduces the amount of sea ice moving out of the Arctic through the Fram Strait, east of Greenland.
  8. This likely contributed to the record low summer sea ice conditions observed in the Greenland Sea.
  9. This ice circulation pattern also increased ice export out of the Laptev Sea, off Siberia, helping create a new record low for early summer ice area in that region.
  10. The low-pressure system also increased cloudiness over the Arctic.
  11. Clouds generally block incoming solar radiation, reducing sea ice melt, but they can also trap heat lost from the surface, so their impact on sea ice melt can be a mixed bag.
  12. At this stage of the melt season, the sea ice pack is at its weakest and is highly responsive to the weather conditions of a given day or week. Subtle shifts can have big impacts.

7. Solar DC Cooking System

  1. The Solar DC Cooking System developed by the CSIR-CMERI is a small step towards realizing that ideal of a pollution-free India.
  2. The Solar DC Cooking Technology developed by the CSIR-CMERI has been transferred to two companies: Asansol Solar & LED House, and Meeco Solar & Infrastructure Associates, Durgapur.
  3. The indigenously designed Solar DC Cooking System is handed over to the Asansol Braille Academy, which has been doing an outstanding job in servicing Specially-Abled Children.

How will it help to mitigate Pollution?

  1. The Solar DC Cooking System is a solar energy-based cooking system that includes a solar PV panel, charge controller, battery bank, and cooking oven.
  2. The technology offers a clean cooking environment, invertor-free direct operation, fast and uniform heating, and the ability to reduce 1 tonne of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) per year /household.
  3. In comparison to conventional solar-based cooking systems, which lose efficiency due to AC-DC conversion, this System has a 20-25 % higher efficiency and is more cost-effective.
  4. Even if the use of LPG releases carbon dioxide, this system will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
  5. The Micro-Industries could benefit from the basic technical design because it enables ease-of-manufacturing and gives a significant economic opportunity.

Why Solar Cooking?

  1. Household air pollution from cooking fires in the home is a leading cause of respiratory disease, which kills many precious lives each year.
  2. Harnessing free solar energy for cooking will make drinking water safe, improve health, build resilient families, break the cycle of poverty, empower women and children and boost local economies as solar cookers do not produce any smoke.
  3. Solar photovoltaic technology works on DC power.
  4. Solar panels generate direct current when the sun shines on panels, causing electrons to move and create current, thus, the current is direct as all of the electrons flow in the same direction.

8. WMO Report

  1. The World Meteorological Organization has published a new report on Climate Indicators and Sustainable Development: Demonstrating the Interconnections.
  2. Its release coincides with the United Nations General Assembly annual session and the opening on 22 September of the SDG Action Zone, which is dedicated to accelerating action on the SDGs.
  3. The aim of the WMO report is to demonstrate the connections between the global climate and the SDGs, which go far beyond SDG 13 for climate action.
  4. It also champions the need for greater international collaboration, which is essential for achieving the SDGs, and for limiting global warming to less than 2 °C or even 1.5 °C by the end of this century
  5. This report highlights how our climate is already changing and how the changes will impede the achievement of the SDGs.
  6. Because CO2 concentration drives global climate change, it is indirectly responsible for risks related to the other climate indicators and nearly every single SDG.
  7. Therefore, reducing carbon emissions is one of the most effective and necessary climate-related actions for achieving the SDGs, the report stresses.
  8. WMO plans to compile exemplars on the interconnection between climate indicators and SDGs based on real data in 2021.
  9. Gender equality (SDG 5) is a critical component of many of the highlighted risks, particularly relating to health, food security, and water scarcity.
  10. Improved education (SDG 4), global partnerships (SDG 17) and sustainable consumption (SDG 12) can form part of the solution, mitigating the risks posed by anthropogenic climate change or helping to stop it entirely.