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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 26 July 2023

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC 2023

Q) Which one of the following countries has recently re-joined the UNESCO as a member country?

  1. Israel
  2. Armenia
  3. Ecuador
  4. The United States of America

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC – 25 July April 2023

Explanation:

  • Option (4) is correct: The U.S. first lady Jill Biden attended a flag-raising ceremony at UNESCO in Paris, marking the United States of America’s official re-entry into the U.N. agency after a controversial five-year hiatus. The United States had announced its intention to rejoin the UNESCO in June 2023. The UNESCO’s member states have voted to approve the U.S. re-entry. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). The UNESCO was founded in 1945 as the successor to the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. India has been a member of the UNESCO since its inception. UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, science, culture, communication, information. The UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. It also addresses emerging social and ethical challenges. The UNESCO is known for its World Heritage Mission which encourages world countries to protect Natural and Cultural Heritage sites. The UNESCO also leads the Man and Biosphere Programme for protecting Biosphere reserves across the world. The UNESCO has 195 Members and 8 Associate Members. It is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board. The Secretariat, headed by the Director-General, implements the decisions of these two bodies.

Q) Consider the following statements about Full Reserve Banking System:

  1. In this system, banks are prohibited from making loans without actual cash to support them.
  2. The deposits of customers cannot be used by the banks in this system to fund loans.
  3. This system increases the risk for financial instability due to economic bubbles.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 and 2 are correct: Under ‘Full Reserve Banking System’, the banks are prohibited from creating loans without actual cash in their vaults to back these loans. Full-reserve banking, also known as 100% reserve banking, is banking systems where the banks are prohibited from creating loans without actual cash in their vaults to back these loans. Under this system, banks are not allowed to lend out money that they receive from customers in the form of demand deposits. Instead, they act solely as custodians, holding the deposits securely in their vaults and charging a fee for this service.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: With 100% reserve backing, there is no risk of a bank run since the bank will always have enough physical cash to meet all withdrawal demands. This enhances the stability of the banking system and reduces the fear of a financial crisis due to sudden deposit withdrawals. Full-reserve banking eliminates the risks associated with fractional reserve banking, where banks create money through lending without holding adequate reserves. This prevents the possibility of banks’ lending out more money than they actually possess, reducing the potential for economic bubbles and financial instability.

Q) With reference to International Seabed Authority (ISA), consider the following statements:

  1. ISA is an associate agency under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  2. ISA regulates the exploration of poly-metallic nodules.
  3. It assesses environmental impact assessments for the exploration of deep-sea resources.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The International Seabed Authority’s member nations agreed on a two-year road map for the adoption of deep-sea mining regulations. The ISA was trying to make rules for the exploitation of nickel, cobalt and copper in deep seabed areas outside national jurisdictions. The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an autonomous international organization (not an associate agency) established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). ISA became operational as an autonomous international institution in June 1996.
  • Statement 2 and 3 are correct: ISA is the institution through which Parties to UNCLOS design and control all the mineral-related resources activities in the area. The main activity of ISA is to regulate the exploration of poly-metallic nodules. The ISA considers applications for exploration and exploitation of deep sea resources from contractors, assesses environmental impact assessments and supervises mining activities in the ‘Area’. ISA has 169 members, including the European Union. India is a member of ISA.

Q) Consider the following statements about Ethanol Blending:

  1. Ethanol can be produced from foods that have high starch content.
  2. Since ethanol contains oxygen, it helps the engine burn the fuel more efficiently.
  3. It helps in reducing emissions of nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide.

How many of the statements given above are not correct?

  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. All three
  4. None

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 is correct: Ethyl alcohol or Ethanol (C2H5OH) is a biofuel that is naturally made by fermenting sugar. Ethanol, an anhydrous ethyl alcohol having chemical formula of C2H5OH, can be produced from sugarcane, maize, wheat, etc. which are having high starch content. In India, ethanol is mainly produced from sugarcane molasses by fermentation process. Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline to form different blends.
  • Statement 2 is correct: As the ethanol molecule contains oxygen, it allows the engine to combust the fuel more efficiently, resulting in fewer emissions and thereby reducing the occurrence of environmental pollution.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: Because ethanol burns more efficiently than petrol, it avoids emissions such as carbon monoxide. However, there is no reduction in nitrous oxides, one of the major environmental pollutants.

Q) With reference to ‘Farmer Field School (FFS)’, consider the following statements:

  1. FFS is a participatory learning method to train farmers in integrated pest management.
  2. The FFS especially supports women farmers in increasing their income.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation:

  • Statement 1 and 2 are correct: The Farmer Field School (FFS) approach is a participatory learning and action methodology that has been used to train farmers in integrated pest management (IPM) for over 30 years. FFS are typically conducted over a period of 12-18 months, and involve farmers meeting regularly to learn about pest identification, monitoring, and management. The FFS was designed to help women farmers learn about IPM for tomato, a crop that is important for their livelihoods. FFS are a valuable tool for helping women farmers improves their livelihoods. They provide women with the knowledge and skills they need to manage pests and diseases in their crops, and to increase their crop yields. FFS can also help to empower women farmers, and to give them a voice in decision-making about agricultural practices.

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