Current Affairs of 11th January

1. According to a UN report, the ozone layer on Earth is slowly recovering.

Report Findings: 


A panel of experts supported by the United Nations announced on Monday that the Earth’s protective ozone layer is on track to recover within the next four decades, closing the ozone hole that was first noticed in the 1980s. Following the landmark Montreal Protocol in 1987, which prohibited the production and consumption of chemicals that eat away at the planet’s ozone layer, the findings of the scientific assessment, which are published every four years, come more than 35 years after every nation in the world agreed to stop producing chemicals that eat away at the layer of ozone in Earth’s atmosphere that shields the planet from harmful radiation.


The recovery, according to scientists, is gradual and will take many years. According to the report, the ozone layer will return to levels before the ozone hole in 1980 by 2040 if current policies are maintained, and it will return to normal in the Arctic by 2045. In addition, normal levels may be reached in Antarctica by 2066.


The worldwide prohibition of ozone-depleting chemicals has long been hailed as one of the most significant environmental accomplishments to date, and it may serve as a model for more extensive regulation of emissions that contribute to climate change.


According to scientists, worldwide emissions of the banned chemical chlorofluorocarbon-11, or CFC-11, which was utilized as a refrigerant and in insulating foams, have decreased since 2018, following an unexpected increase for several years. According to the report, eastern China accounted for a significant portion of the unexpected CFC-11 emissions.


The report also found that bromine and the ozone-depleting chemical chlorine have both decreased in the stratosphere by 14.5 percent and 14.5 percent, respectively, since their peak in 1999.


The ozone layer could be thinned if aerosols injected into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight are used to artificially cool the Earth, according to scientists. They also said that more research into new technologies like geoengineering is needed.


The assessment was made by researchers from the European Commission, the World Meteorological Organization, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United Nations Environment Program.


About Ozone: 


A portion of Earth’s stratosphere known as the ozone layer or ozone shield is responsible for absorbing the majority of the Sun’s ultraviolet light. In comparison to other regions of the atmosphere, it has a high concentration of ozone (O3), despite being relatively insignificant in comparison to other gases in the stratosphere. While the average concentration of ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 0.3 parts per million, the ozone found in the ozone layer is less than 10 parts per million. Although its thickness varies seasonally and geographically, the ozone layer is mostly found in the lower stratosphere, between 15 and 35 kilometres (9 to 22 miles) above the surface of the Earth. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which has been linked to skin cancer, eye cataracts, weakened immune systems, and damage to agricultural land, is shielded from Earth by the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere.


The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is a significant multilateral environmental agreement that regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 man-made chemicals known as ozone-depleting substances (ODS). These chemicals harm the stratospheric ozone layer, which shields humans and the environment from harmful sun-generated ultraviolet radiation when released into the atmosphere. The Protocol, which was signed on September 16, 1987, is one of the few treaties that has been ratified by everyone.


2. For banks’ capital adequacy purposes, the RBI lists six rating agencies.


The list of six credit rating agencies that banks can use to weight their claims for capital adequacy purposes has been published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Acuite Ratings & Research Limited, Credit Analysis and Research Limited (CARE), CRISIL Ratings Limited, ICRA Limited, India Ratings and Research Private Limited (India Ratings), and INFOMERICS Valuation and Rating Pvt Ltd are the six credit rating agencies. In order for banks to abide by Basel-III capital regulations, they are required to obtain ratings from these agencies.


A Rating Agency Was Discredited by the RBI:


Brickwork Ratings India Private Limited will not be eligible for any new ratings, according to the RBI. The Securities and Exchange Board of India revoked Brickwork Ratings India Private Limited’s Certificate of Registration (CoR) as a Credit Rating Agency (CRA) in October of last year and ordered the company to cease operations within six months.


In order to determine whether Brickwork had violated the regulations imposed by credit rating agencies, the Sebi and RBI conducted a joint inspection of the company’s records and documents from October 2018 to November 2019 in January 2020.


What is a credit score?


A credit rating is a general or specific assessment of a borrower’s creditworthiness in relation to a debt or financial obligation. Any person, company, state or provincial authority, or sovereign government that wants to borrow money can get a credit rating.


What are rating agencies for credit?


A company that gives credit ratings, or CRAs, is called a credit rating agency (CRA). These ratings assess a debtor’s likelihood of default as well as their capacity to make timely principal and interest payments. CRISIL, ICRA, CARE, SMERA, and Fitch India are the five credit rating agencies that are registered with SEBI.


Capital Adequacy Ratio:


The ratio of a bank’s capital to its risk-weighted assets and current liabilities is known as the Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR). The purpose of the capital adequacy ratio, which is also referred to as the capital-to-risk-weighted-assets ratio (CRAR), is to safeguard depositors and boost global financial system stability and efficiency.


What are Basel standards?


The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issues international banking regulations known as Basel norms or Basel accords. The Basel norms are an effort to strengthen the international banking system by coordinating global banking regulations. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s set of agreements focuses on risks to banks and the financial system.


3. The first Jnanpith recipient from Rehman Rahi Kashmir has passed away.


About Rehman Rahi: 


  • Rahi was born on May 6, 1925. He wrote several poetry collections and translated some of the most well-known poets’ works from other languages into Kashmiri.


  • In 1948, he began working as a clerk in a government department. In the 1950s and 1960s, he continued his education and earned an MA in Persian and English. He spent the majority of his life working as a professor at Kashmir University.


  • For his poetry collection Nawroz-i-Saba, Rahi received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961 and the Padma Shri in 2000.


  • For his collection “Siyah Rood Jaeren Manz” (In Black Drizzle), he received the Jnanpith award, the nation’s highest literary honor, in 2007.


About the Sahitya Akademi Award: 


The Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, bestows the Sahitya Akademi Award annually on authors of the best books of literary merit published in English, Rajasthani, or any of the 22 languages listed in the 8th Schedule to the Indian Constitution.


The award, which was established in 1954, consists of a plaque and a one million yen cash prize. The award’s purpose is to acknowledge new trends and recognize excellence in Indian writing. The selection process for award recipients lasts for the previous year. Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray created the plaque that was presented by the Sahitya Akademi. Prior to this, the plaque was occasionally made of marble; however, due to its excessive weight, this practice was discontinued. National savings bonds took the place of the plaque during the Indo-Pakistan War in 1965.


About the Padma Shri: 


The Padma Shri, also spelled Padma Shree, is the Republic of India’s fourth-highest civilian award, behind the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Bharat Ratna. The award, which was established on January 2, 1954, is given to individuals who have made “distinguished contributions in various spheres of activity including the arts, education, industry, literature, science, acting, medicine, social service, and public affairs.” On India’s Republic Day each year, the Government of India bestows it.


About the Jnanpith Award: 


The Bharatiya Jnanpith gives the Jnanpith Award, which is the oldest and highest literary award in India, to an author each year for their “outstanding contribution toward literature.” The award, which was first given out in 1961, is only given to Indian writers who write in English and Indian languages that are listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India. It is not given out after the fact.


The award, which was presented to the authors in recognition of their “most outstanding work” between the years 1965 and 1981, consisted of a citation plaque, a cash prize, and a bronze representation of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of wisdom and knowledge. Malayalam author G. Sankara Kurup was the first person to receive the award. He won it in 1965 for his collection of poems, Odakkuzhal (The Bamboo Flute), which was published in 1950. From 1981 on, the cash prize was increased to 1.5 lakh, which is equivalent to 26 lakh or US$33,000 in 2020. In subsequent years, the rules were revised to only consider works published within the preceding twenty years, excluding the year for which the award was to be given.


The cash prize was increased to 11 lakh yen in 2015, which is equivalent to 14 lakh yen or US$18,000 in 2020. Out of the twenty-three languages eligible, sixteen languages have received the award: Hindi (11), Kannada (8), Bengali (6 each), Malayalam (6 each), Odia (4 each), Gujarati, Marathi, Odia, and Urdu (4 each), Assamese (3 each), Telugu (3 each), Punjabi (2 each), Tamil (2 each), Konkani (2 each), English, Kashmiri (1 each), and Sanskrit (1 each) Five hundred and eight authors, including seven women, have received the honor. For her 1965 novel Prothom Protishruti (The First Promise), the first in a trilogy, Bengali novelist Ashapoorna Devi became the first woman to win the award in 1976. Assamese poet Nilmani Phookan and Konkani author Damodar Mauzo were the most recent recipients of the award in 2021 and 2022, respectively.


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