IASCLUB Daily Current Affairs : 10 April 2019

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Navy joins exercises in South China Sea

Topic: GS –II: International relations

Navy ships INS Kolkata and Shakti carried out Group Sail with the naval ships of Japan, the Philippines and the U.S. in the South China Sea (SCS) from May 3-9.

More in news:

  • The ships undertook various exercises en route which included formation maneuvering, under way replenishment runs, cross-deck flying and exchange of sea riders.
  • The group sail exercise showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure safe maritime environment through enhanced interoperability.
  • The coordinated “group sail” included Indian guided missile destroyer INS Kolkata and fleet tanker INS Shakti, American destroyer USS Williams P Lawrence, Japanese helicopter carrier JMSDF Izumo and destroyer JMSDF Murasame and Philippines frigate BRP Andres Bonifaci.
  • Indian Navy ships were on return passage from their deployment to the South and the East China Seas as part of the annual Eastern Fleet overseas deployment during which they visited Vietnam, China and South Korea.
  • In China, the ships took part in the International Fleet Review (IFR) as part of the 70th anniversary celebrations of the People’s Liberation Army (Navy). They later took part in the Phase I of the maritime security field training exercise under the aegis of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) from May 1 to 3 off South Korea.

 ‘India to add 3 million tech jobs by 2023’

Topic: GS -III: Economic Development

Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), the apex body for the ‘flexi’ working industry says that the Indian tech industry will add another three million new jobs in the next five years, said.

More in news:

  • With the additions, the size of the country’s tech army will be 7 million by 2023.
  • All these new jobs would come up in digital technology areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of things (IOT), data science, analytics, big data, blockchain and augmented reality.
  • Jobs would also be created in newer technology areas that are presently unknown but are expected to emerge and evolve in the next few years.
  • The ISF’s tech employment projection comes as a big relief to millions of young techies and software engineering students amid talks of the move towards jobless growth with automation that replaces humans with robots.
  • This job projection is based on our constant interactions with a wide range of companies, including Indian tech firms, MNCs, global capability centres of hundreds of international firms, enterprises across segments including e-com.
  • India now has about 1,300 captive units. Some 400 new captive units are coming up in 2019. “The shift is attributed to a sharp rise in hiring by existing and new global in-house centres (GCCs) due to technology innovation activities in India for their global markets.”

Changing technology

  • Today, a robot, with infinite memory analytical capacity, is connected to the cloud. It’s impact on productivity of businesses would be ‘huge’. Some 63% of CEOs think that AI would have a larger impact than the Internet and some 39% of them had already started AI-related initiatives in their organisations.

How China, followed by India, has led greening efforts across world

Topic: GS-III: Environment

A new satellite-based study shows that China and India are leading the increase in “greening efforts” across the world.

More in report:

  • Published in Nature Sustainability, the study shows that the change driving these efforts emerges from China’s ambitious tree-planting programmes and intensive agriculture practised in both countries.
  • A group of researchers from the US, Europe, China and India had detected the greening phenomenon in satellite data from the 1980s; it was initially unclear whether human activity was the cause. Lead study author Chi Chen, from Boston University’s Department of Earth and Environment, said this was especially unknown in the case of China and India, which saw quick economic development since the 2000s.

The findings:

  • The research team set out to track the total amount of Earth’s land area covered by vegetation and how it changed over time (2000-17).
  • Through NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, the team found that the global green leaf area has increased by 5% since the early 2000s. This is equivalent to the area of the Amazon.
  • China alone accounts for 25% of the global net increase in leaf area. India has contributed a further 6.8%. The greening in China is from forests (42%) and croplands (32%) but in India is mostly from croplands (82%) with minor contribution from forests (4.4%).

Looking for reasons:

  • The study was entirely based on satellite data with access to forest inventory data. There were no physical checks carried out in either China or India to assess what kind of trees or vegetation were preferred.

The India growth:

  • With only 2.7% of the global vegetated area, India accounts for 6.8% of the global net increase in leaf area.
  • It is as expected because most of the land cover type in India is cropland (2.11×106 sq km). Total cereal production in India increased by 26% during the same period. There are only a few forests in India, and that is why their contribution is small.
  • Data show that since Independence, a fifth of India’s land has consistently been under forests. The Forest Survey of India’s State of Forest Report 2017 had recorded that forest cover had increased by 6,600 sq km or 0.21% since 2015.

The China growth

  • China traces its efforts back to 1978, marked by projects including the Three-North Shelterbelt Forest Program for planting of forests.
  • This project affected 30.13 million hectares, according to Jiang Sannai from the Department of Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration at the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, and meant the “forest coverage rate of the project area increased from 5.05% to 13.57%, and the forest stock volume increased by 4.96 times”.
  • Recently, a nationwide voluntary tree planting campaign launched in 1981 meant that for the “first time, the mass tree-planting campaign was fixed in a statutory form by the country”.

Gujarat facing massive water crisis

Topic: GS-III: Environment

With rising mercury levels and severe heat wave, Gujarat is facing a massive water crisis. The scarcity is particularly acute in the Saurashtra region, Kutch, North Gujarat and parts of tribal pockets in central and South Gujarat.

More in news:

  • More than 20 districts are severely affected as towns and villages hardly get water twice a week. In more than 500 villages in 14 districts, drinking water is being supplied through tankers; the number will only rise in days to come.
  • Gujarat Chief Minister admitted that the State is in the midst of a major water shortage but assured that drinking water will be provided to every village. Except the Narmada, all other water bodies and dams have negligible water.
  • According to officials, the number of villages needing water tankers will only rise due to high temperatures that push the demand.

Editorial Section :

A vote for the sake of Parliament – The Hindu

Loud and clear – The Hindu

By established law and procedure – The Hindu

Endless war – The Hindu



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