Current Affairs June 8 , 2019

Current Affairs June 8 , 2019

1) Ministry of Corporate Affairs & SEBI enter into pact to tighten regulatory oversight

  • A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for data exchange between the two regulatory organizations on June 7.

  • The MoU comes in the wake of increasing need for surveillance in the context of Corporate Frauds affecting important sectors of the economy. The MoU will ensure that both MCA and SEBI have seamless linkage for regulatory purposes.

  • The MoU will facilitate the sharing of data and information between SEBI and MCA on an automatic and regular basis. It will enable sharing of specific information such as details of suspended companies, delisted companies, shareholding pattern from SEBI and financial statements filed with the Registrar by corporates, returns of allotment of shares, audit reports relating to corporates.

  • In addition to regular exchange of data, SEBI and MCA will also exchange with each other, on request, any information available in their respective databases, for the purpose of carrying out scrutiny, inspection, investigation and prosecution.

2) IndSpaceEx’: India to hold first simulated Space Warfare Exercise in July

  • After successfully testing an anti-satellite (A-Sat) missile in March and initiating the raising of a new tri-service Defence Space Agency soon after, India is now planning to conduct its first-ever simulated space warfare exercise next month in June.

  • Named ‘IndSpaceEx’, the exercise will basically be a ‘table-top war-game’, with all stakeholders from the military and scientific community taking part in it.

  • It is to be held in the last week of July under the aegis of the Integrated Defence Staff of the defence ministry.

  • The main aim of the exercise is to assess the requisite space and counter-space capabilities that are needed by India to ensure we can protect our national security interests in this final frontier of warfare.

  • The main aim of ‘IndSpaceEx’ exercise is to assess the requisite space and counter-space capabilities that are needed by India. The exercise will help India better grasp the strategic challenges in space that need to be handled.

4) Climate change affecting global food production: Study

  • Climate change is adversely affecting the production of key crops such as wheat and rice, with some countries faring far worse than others. This is as per research, published in the journal PLOS ONE.

  • Scientists from the University of Oxford in the UK and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark used weather and reported crop data to evaluate the potential impact of observed climate change.

Key findings

  • The world’s top 10 crops (barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane and wheat) supply a combined 83% of all calories produced on cropland. Yields have long been projected to decrease in future climate conditions.
  • They found that observed climate change causes a significant yield variation in the world’s top 10 crops, ranging from a decrease of 13.4% for oil palm to an increase of 3.5% for soybean, and resulting in an average reduction of about 1% of consumable food calories from these top 10 crops.
  • The impacts of climate change on global food production are mostly negative in Europe, Southern Africa, and Australia, generally positive in Latin America, and mixed in Asia and Northern and Central America.
  • About half of all food-insecure countries are experiencing decreases in crop production and so are some affluent industrialised countries in Western Europe.
  • In contrast, recent climate change has increased the yields of certain crops in some areas of the upper Midwest US.

5) Indian writer Annie Zaidi: 2019 winner of Nine Dots Prize

  • Indian writer Annie Zaidi was announced as the 2019 winner of Nine Dots Prize.

  • Mumbai-based Zaidi, a freelance writer won for her entry ‘Bread, Cement, Cactus’ – combining memoir and reportage to explore concepts of home and belonging rooted in her experience of contemporary life in India.

About prize

  • The Nine Dots Prize seeks to reward original thinking in response to contemporary societal issues. Each Prize cycle lasts two years, with a new question being announced every other October. The Prize is sponsored by the Kadas Prize Foundation (London).

  • The 100,000 US dollars award is a prestigious book prize created to award innovative thinking that addresses contemporary issues around the world.

6) World Oceans Day: 8 June

  • World Oceans Day takes place every 8 June. World Oceans Day is an annual observation to honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans.
  • This year, the theme for World Oceans Day is “Gender and the Ocean”, an opportunity to explore the gender dimension of humankind’s relationship with the ocean.

  • The 2019 edition of World Oceans Day will strive to build greater ocean and gender literacy and discover possible ways to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine scientific research, fisheries, labour at sea, migration by sea and human trafficking, policy-making and management.

Recent findings about World’s oceans

  • Carbon dioxide gets dissolved in the ocean’s surface water.
  • World’s oceans absorb carbon dioxide that would otherwise stay afloat in the atmosphere. Between the years 1994 and 2007, oceans absorbed a whopping 34 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide. The figures comes down to 31% of what gets into the atmosphere by the people.
  • An increase in carbon dioxide in the ocean leads to ocean acidification, which can dissolve the calcium carbonate that makes up mussel shells and coral skeletons, interrupting vital processes like fish breathing.

History

  • The first World Oceans Day was observed in 1992. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution officially recognizing 8 June to be “World Oceans Day”. As such, the United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs promotes the celebration of this International Day for the United Nations.

7) Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) launched by CII

  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has launched a Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) to assess state and central budgets.

  • The Index incorporates qualitative assessments of revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, revenues, fiscal prudence and the level of public debt.

Key findings:

  • The CII has used this index to analyse state and central budgets from 2004-05 to 2016-17.

  • The study found that despite improvement a reduction in the fiscal deficit between FY13 and FY18, the overall performance of the budget has been remained steady with improvements only in FY16 and FY17.

  • This is largely due to moderation in the revenue, capital expenditure and and net tax revenues indices.

  • The analysis also shows that the combine performance of all state budgets has improved despite worsening of fiscal deficit numbers because of improvements in revenue and capital expenditure indices.

8) Re-constitution of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

  • Government has reconstituted NITI Aayog. The newly elected second Narendra Modi government has decided to reconstitute the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.

Prime Minister has approved the re-constitution of as follows:

Chairperson

Prime Minister
Vice-Chairperson Dr. Rajiv Kumar
Full-Time Members V.K. Saraswat, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Dr. V.K. Paul
Ex-officio Members Raj Nath Singh, Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar
Special Invitees Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Piyush Goyal, Rao Inderjit Singh
  • Bibek Debroy has been dropped as full-time members. The name of Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant’s name is also missing from the notification issued by the government.

NITI Aayog

  • The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog is a policy think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.

  • The NITI Aayog was formed by the first Modi-lead government replacing the Planning Commission in 2015. It headquartered in New Delhi, India.