Current Affairs 7th February

National Affairs

1. Plans for cooperation under a trilateral framework are announced by India, France, and the UAE.

India, France, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced an ambitious roadmap for trilateral cooperation in a variety of fields, including defense, energy, and technology, amid the geopolitical unrest brought on by the conflict in Ukraine.


Proposed Initiatives to Help the Framework i To support India’s efforts during the G20 Presidency and the UAE’s hosting of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2023, respectively, a number of trilateral events will be held.


Projects such as the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership, which is led by India and France, and the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC), which is led by the United Arab Emirates, were also chosen by the three nations as a means of enhancing their cooperation.


The three nations decided to focus on major issues like desertification, food security, and pollution caused by single-use plastic during the International Year of the Millet 2023.

2. The “whole of society” approach to wetlands conservation is the “Save Wetlands Campaign” that Union Minister Bhupender Yadav launches.

During the National Level Celebration of World Wetlands Day at Nanda Lake in Goa on February 4, 2023, Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav launched the “Save Wetlands Campaign,” which is based on a “whole of society” approach to wetlands conservation.


This one-year campaign will raise people’s awareness of the significance of wetlands, expand the number of wetlands mitras, and establish citizen partnerships to conserve wetlands.


The booklets “Managing Climate Risks in Wetlands – A Practitioner’s Guide” and “India’s 75 Amrit Dharohar- India’s Ramsar Sites Factbook” were also presented at the event.

3. Under the “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat” program, Indian Railways will introduce the Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC Tourist Train.

The “Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC Tourist Train” is going to be introduced by the Indian Railways (IR) as a special tour of Garvi Gujarat to highlight the cultural and spiritual heritage of vibrant Gujarat.


The train, operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), will begin its eight-day journey from Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station on February 28, 2023.

Over the course of eight days, the tour will cover a distance of 3500 kilometers.


The Bharat Gaurav Tourist Train’s launch coincides with the Indian government’s “Dekho Apna Desh” campaign to encourage domestic tourism.


About the Deluxe AC Tourist Train Bharat Gaurav:


The train tour is designed in accordance with the government of India’s “Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat” program, which is based on the life of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, the Iron Man of India, and aims to highlight Gujarat’s heritage.


The cutting-edge Bharat Gaurav Deluxe AC Tourist Train will operate for an eight-day tour that includes both the first and second ac classes.


There will be four first-class AC coaches, two second-class AC coaches, a well-equipped pantry car, and two rail restaurants on board the train, which can hold 156 tourists.


At the Gurugram, Rewari, Ringas, Phullera, and Ajmer Railway Stations, boarding and deboarding facilities will be provided for the convenience of tourists.

Tour Details: The eight-day tour will take in numerous religious and heritage sites.


Historic sites: 


Statue of Unity, the tallest statue in the world; Champaner archaeological park, a UNESCO world heritage site; Adhlej Step Well; Akshardham Temple in Ahmedabad; Sabarmati Ashram; Modhera Sun Temple; and the Rani ki Vao, a UNESCO site in Patan.


Sehenswürdig spots: Beyt Dwarka, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga, Somnath Jyotirlinga, and Dwarkadheesh Temple Customers now have access to Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) payment options thanks to IRCTC’s collaboration with payment gateways.

4. In a “No War, No Peace” setting, the IAF revises its doctrine and defines its role.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) released a revised doctrine on February 4, 2023, defining the role of air power in a “no war, no peace” scenario in India.


Air power as part of a joint military strategy involving the two other forces was emphasized in the doctrine.


Additionally, the doctrine emphasized that defensive and offensive counter-operations are “inextricably linked.” Air power is referred to as aerospace power.


The doctrine provided a comprehensive description of the “no war, no peace” (NWNP) environment for the first time, stating that the condition requires the IAF to work toward influencing the behavior of external threats.


A doctrine was first published by the IAF in 1995, and it was updated in 2007. A new, unclassified basic doctrine was released in 2012. The 2012 document is updated by the most recent doctrine.

5. Indian fertilizer companies sign agreements to import 1.7 MT of soil nutrients from Morocco’s OCP Group.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by four fertilizer companies based in India: National Fertilizers Limited, Chambal Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd., Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd., Paradeep Phosphates Ltd., and OCP Group, a Moroccan state-owned fertilizer producer, for the annual importation of 1.75 million metric tonnes (MT) of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertiliz


To meet domestic requirements for the soil nutrient variety for the upcoming year, the MoU stipulates that 1 MT of diammonium phosphate (DAP), 0.7 MT of triple superphosphate (TSP), and 0.05 MT of mutate of potash (MOP) will be imported.


Key Points:


As a result of India’s strategic partnership with the company, OCP Group will provide India with 1.7 million metric tons of phosphate-based fertilizer over the next year (2023).


India is negotiating with Senegal, Jordan, Israel, Oman, Russia, Canada, and Saudi Arabia to acquire supplies of non-urea fertilizers like DAP and nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK).

These nations supply India with approximately half of its DAP requirements.


Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers (MoC&F), claims that within the next two years, India will be a global market price-setter for fertilizers. 


MoUs with respect to fertilizers:


In October 2022, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with K Plus S Middle East FZE DMCC, a subsidiary of K+S Minerals and Agriculture GmBH in Germany, for the supply of approximately 0.1 MT of MOP annually until 2025 at a discounted price that is specific to India.


Coromandel International, Chambal Fertilizers, and Indian Potash Limited entered into an agreement to import potash with Canpotex, Canada, in September 2022.


India and Saudi Arabia agreed in August 2022 to supply 2.5 MT of ammonia and DAP, also known as NPK fertilizers, each year until 2025.

International Affairs

1. IEA’s Report: In 2030, India’s “LiFE” initiative can save USD 440 billion worldwide.

In its country report titled “LiFE lessons from India – The benefits of advancing the Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) initiative through the G20,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) claimed that, if implemented globally, the measures outlined in the LiFE initiative could save consumers approximately USD 440 billion in 2030, or roughly 5% of the global economy’s total spending on fuel that year.


In addition, it stated that putting India’s “LiFE” initiative into action may aid in reducing global CO2 emissions by more than 2 billion metric tons by 2030, or roughly one-fifth of the reduction required to reach global net-zero emissions.


During the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which took place in Glasgow, Scotland (United Kingdom), in November 2021, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the LiFE initiative.


With various policies already integrated into its energy transition strategy, India, the third-largest national market for renewable energy in the world, is currently 10% more energy efficient than the global and G20 averages.


Banking & Finance

1. Stronger Green Bond Framework Announced by SEBI; introduces the idea of bonds in blue and yellow

By introducing “Blue” and “Yellow” bonds as new forms of sustainable finance, India’s capital market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has strengthened the green bond framework.


These bonds are subcategories of Green Debt Securities (GDS), with “Blue Bonds” representing solar energy and “Yellow Bonds” representing water management and the marine sector.


Green Debt Securities (GDS) are debt securities that are issued to raise funds for specific projects or assets, as defined by the regulatory framework.


The process of taking environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into account when making financial investment decisions is known as sustainable finance. This leads to an increase in long-term investments in sustainable economic projects and activities.

Science & Technology

1. The IHTR and IMSBR thorium reactors at BARC can produce hydrogen and clean energy.

The renowned Thorium(Th) technologies of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), a premier multidisciplinary Nuclear Research Centre of India under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Indian high-temperature reactor (IHTR) and the Indian molten salt breeder reactor (IMSBR), can provide hydrogen as clean energy and play a significant role in India’s transition to green energy.


In India, Thorium is the only abundant energy source other than coal.

IHTR and IMSBR are two notable technologies that BARC is currently developing for the use of thorium.


The Indian high-temperature reactor, or IHTR, is as follows:


Through the “sulphur-iodine” method, IHTR is designed to produce heat and hydrogen.

Under these conditions, sulphuric acid breaks down at high temperatures into oxygen, sulphur dioxide, and water.


Hydrogen iodide is produced when iodine is added to water and sulphur dioxide. At high temperatures, hydrogen and iodine are again separated.


The reactor’s fuel is: a mixture of Thorium dioxide and the dioxide of Uranium-233.


Note: Uranium-233(233U) is produced by thorium mutation in reactors and does not occur naturally.


The Indian molten salt breeder reactor, or IMSBR, is as follows:


IMSBR is a pilot project in Visakhapatnam, Andhara Pradesh (AP), with a capacity of 5 MW.

IMSBR is able to operate on its own with a 233U-Th fuel cycle. Additionally, because it is a thermal reactor rather than a fast spectrum one, the 233U requirement is lower, allowing for a greater potential for deployment.


For this purpose, BARC has created a salt called LiF-CaF-ThF-UF, which is pumped through the reactor core.


Pumps, valves, flow meters, and heat exchangers are just a few of the other products that BARC has developed.


Key Points:


With the introduction of the thorium cycle, the establishment of the IMSBR demonstration plant in Visakhapatnam will mark a significant step in India’s journey toward green energy.


India’s net-zero goal will be significantly aided by the hydrogen-producing IHTR and the electricity-generating IMSBR.


The fuel cycle aspects of the IMSBR and IHTR systems are currently undergoing exploratory and initial evaluation.


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