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Important Current Affairs for CLAT-10th June 2023

El Niño’s Potential Impact on Global Weather Patterns in 2023-2024

As the world enters an El Niño phase—a natural climate phenomenon characterized by warmer waters in the Pacific—countries are bracing themselves for extreme weather events. The El Niño pattern fuels tropical cyclones in the Pacific, increases rainfall and flood risks in parts of the Americas and other regions, and can have far-reaching implications. This year’s El Niño is of particular concern due to its potential interaction with climate change, which could result in record-high temperatures and intensified extreme weather events.

  1. The Arrival and Characteristics of El Niño: El Niño occurs when the trade winds in the equatorial Pacific slow down or reverse, causing unusually warm waters in the eastern Pacific. The weakening of trade winds leads to the movement of warm water from the western Pacific towards the central and eastern Pacific basins. This buildup of warm water contributes to the transfer of heat into the atmosphere, triggering thunderstorms and altering weather patterns worldwide.

  2. Global Weather Impact: El Niño significantly influences the movement of the subtropical jet stream—a high-altitude current of fast-flowing air that helps drive weather systems. During El Niño, the subtropical jet stream shifts southward and becomes flatter, affecting weather patterns along similar latitudes. Consequently, the United States experiences cooler and wetter conditions in the southern regions, while parts of the U.S. West and Canada tend to be warmer and drier.

El Niño’s Potential Impact on Global Weather Patterns in 2023-2024

2.1 Impact on Atlantic Hurricanes and Pacific Cyclones: El Niño inhibits the formation of Atlantic hurricanes due to changes in wind patterns, providing some respite for the United States. However, the Pacific region experiences a boost in tropical cyclones, with storms often heading towards vulnerable islands. This poses a significant threat to those regions.

2.2 Effects on Central and South America: During El Niño, Central and South America can face heavy rainfall in some areas, while the Amazon rainforest may experience drier conditions. These changes in precipitation patterns can have implications for agriculture, water resources, and ecosystems in the region.

2.3 Australia’s Climate Extremes: Australia typically endures extreme heat, drought, and bushfires during El Niño events. The combination of warmer waters and altered atmospheric conditions exacerbates these conditions, increasing the risk of wildfires and straining water supplies.

2.4 Impact on the Horn of Africa: El Niño could bring relief to the Horn of Africa, which has experienced consecutive failed rainy seasons. Unlike the drier conditions associated with La Niña, El Niño can bring increased rainfall to the region, potentially alleviating water scarcity and supporting agricultural activities.

  1. El Niño and Climate Change: The relationship between El Niño and climate change is an area of ongoing research. While climate change can amplify the impacts of El Niño, it is uncertain whether it directly influences the occurrence and frequency of El Niño events. As global temperatures rise due to climate change, the interaction between El Niño and climate change could intensify extreme weather events, compounding the challenges faced by vulnerable regions.

Key Facts about El Niño

  1. Definition: El Niño is a climate pattern characterized by unusually warm waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator.

  2. Cause: El Niño occurs when the trade winds along the equatorial Pacific weaken or reverse, leading to the movement of warm surface waters from the western Pacific towards the central and eastern Pacific.

  3. Effects on Weather: El Niño influences global weather patterns by altering the movement of the subtropical jet stream, which impacts the distribution of storms and rainfall.

  4. Weather Impacts: The effects of El Niño vary across different regions of the world. Southern parts of the United States generally experience cooler and wetter conditions, while regions in the U.S. West and Canada may become warmer and drier. Central and South America can experience heavy rainfall in some areas, while the Amazon rainforest may face drier conditions. Australia often encounters extreme heat, drought, and bushfires during El Niño events.

  5. Impact on Atlantic Hurricanes and Pacific Cyclones: El Niño typically suppresses the formation of Atlantic hurricanes but enhances tropical cyclones in the Pacific, increasing the risk for vulnerable islands.

  6. Horn of Africa: El Niño can bring relief to the Horn of Africa by increasing rainfall, potentially alleviating water scarcity and supporting agricultural activities.

  7. Duration: El Niño events typically last 9 to 12 months, but their occurrence is not regular and can vary in frequency from every two to seven years.

  8. Relationship with La Niña: El Niño is part of a natural climate cycle that alternates with La Niña, which is characterized by cooler waters in the eastern Pacific. Both El Niño and La Niña can have significant impacts on global weather patterns.

US and UK Forge ‘Atlantic Declaration’ to Boost Economic Ties

The United States and the United Kingdom have recently unveiled a groundbreaking strategic pact known as the “Atlantic Declaration.” This agreement reaffirms their longstanding “special relationship” and outlines a joint effort to tackle challenges posed by Russia, China, and economic instability. Rather than pursuing a post-Brexit free-trade agreement, the two nations have opted to develop a new green economy through extensive industrial subsidies.

The Atlantic Declaration focuses on fostering industry collaboration in defense and renewable energy sectors to effectively respond to China’s growing competition. In addition, it acknowledges the need to address the threats of authoritarian states, disruptive technologies, non-state actors, and transnational issues like climate change. This article explores the key terms and implications of the Atlantic Declaration.

Supply Chain Strengthening

Under the Atlantic Declaration, the United States and the United Kingdom have committed to strengthening their supply chains, making investments in each other’s industries, and jointly developing future technologies. This cooperation aims to enhance resilience, boost economic growth, and ensure strategic autonomy in critical sectors.

Clean Energy Partnership

The Atlantic Declaration includes the launch of a civil nuclear partnership between the US and UK. The primary objective is to promote clean energy cooperation and reduce reliance on Russian fuel sources. By collaborating on nuclear energy, both countries can work towards achieving their renewable energy goals while enhancing national security and energy independence.

Technology and Critical Minerals

Recognizing the importance of emerging technologies, the US and UK have agreed to collaborate on the safe development of AI technology. Additionally, negotiations for a critical minerals agreement are underway, enabling certain UK firms to access tax credits available under the US Inflation Reduction Act. The cooperation also extends to telecoms technology and quantum technologies, fostering innovation and advancement in these critical fields.

UK-US “Data Bridge”:

In a commitment to facilitate seamless data transfer between British and US businesses, the Atlantic Declaration introduces the concept of a UK-US “data bridge.” This agreement aims to eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles and streamline data sharing, enabling greater collaboration and innovation between companies in both countries.

First edition of India, France and UAE Maritime Partnership Exercise takes off

The first edition of India, France, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Maritime Partnership Exercise commenced on 7th June 2023 in the Gulf of Oman, featuring the participation of INS Tarkash, French Ship Surcouf, French Rafale aircraft and UAE Navy Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

Overview of the exercise

The exercise witnessed a wide spectrum of naval operations such as Surface Warfare, involving tactical firing and Drills for Missile engagements on surface targets, Helicopter Cross Deck Landing Operations, Advanced Air Defence Exercises and Boarding operations.

AIM

  • To enhance trilateral cooperation between India, France, and the UAE.

  • The exercise will enhance collaboration in ensuring the safety of mercantile trade and freedom of navigation on high seas in the region.

  • It seeks to adopt measures to address traditional and non-traditional threats in the maritime environment.

India’s Ties with France & UAE

  • India and France have regularly conducted joint exercises such as Exercise Shakti, Exercise Varuna, and Exercise Garuda involving their respective army, navy, and air force.

  • Additionally, India has collaborated with France in the construction of six Scorpene submarines through a technology-transfer arrangement in 2005, and France has provided India with 36 Rafale fighter jets under an inter-government agreement.

  • India and the UAE conduct joint air combat exercises, such as ‘Desert Eagle II’, to enhance security cooperation and counter terrorist threats.

  • Naseem-Al-Bahr is a bilateral naval exercise between the Indian Navy and the UAE Navy. which aims to enhance maritime security, promote cooperation in anti-piracy operations, and strengthen naval ties between the two nations.

  • Gulf Star is a bilateral naval exercise conducted between the Indian Navy and the UAE Navy. It focuses on maritime security, anti-piracy operations, and enhancing naval interoperability between the two countries.

Karnataka announces free bus travel ‘Shakti’ scheme for women

The Karnataka government has advised the women to apply for Shakti smart cards to avail the free travel in state run buses, starting from June 11. The government has already issued a set of guidelines on the ‘Shakti’ scheme, which is one of the major poll promises by the Congress party in Karnataka. According to the transport department of Karnataka, women can apply for Shakti smart cards through sevasindhu.karnataka.gov.in from June 11.

What all buses are excluded?

The Shakti scheme applies only on the ordinary state run bus services of Karnataka. Airavat, Airavat Club Class, Airavat Gold Class, Ambari, Ambari Dream Class, Ambari Utsav, Fly Bus, Vayu Vajra, Vajra, Non-AC Sleeper, Rajahamsa and EV Power Plus AC buses are excluded in this scheme. The scheme doesn’t also apply to those buses which travel outside the state. 50 per cent seats on KSRTC, NWKRTC and KKRTC’s ordinary and express buses will be reserved for men.

PESB picks Sanjay Swarup to be the next CMD of CONCOR

Sanjay Swarup is set to be next Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), a PSU under the Ministry of Railways. Swarup has been recommended for the post by the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) panel. Presently, he is serving as Director (International Marketing & Operations) in the same organisation.

Swarup has been recommended for the post of CMD of CONCOR from a list of eight candidates, who were interviewed by the PESB panel in its selection meeting held on June 7. Out of eight candidates, six candidates were from CONCOR and one each from Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and Indian Railways Service of Electrical Engineering (IRSEE).

As Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of CONCOR, Swarup will be Chief Executive of the company. He will be accountable to the Board of Directors and Government. He will also be responsible for the efficient functioning of the corporation, and for achieving its corporate objectives and performance parameters.

About the Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR)

Container Corporation of India Limited (CONCOR) is a state-owned enterprise that provides container transportation and logistics services in India. It was incorporated in March 1988 under the Companies Act, and commenced operation from November 1989 taking over the existing network of 7 ICDs from the Indian Railways.

CONCOR is the largest container transportation company in India, with a network of 61 ICDs/CFSs (Container Freight Stations) across the country. It also operates a fleet of 1,200 locomotives and 10,000 wagons. CONCOR provides a range of container transportation services, including:

Go Digit Life Insurance gets Irdai nod for life insurance business in India

Go Digit Life Insurance Limited, a company backed by Canada-based Fairfax Group and already operating in the general insurance sector, has received regulatory approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to commence its life insurance business in India. The recent approval brings the total number of insurers in the Indian life insurance segment to 26. Additionally, Go Digit General Insurance is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) and has already submitted the necessary documents to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Go Digit Life Insurance Granted Certificate of Registration by IRDAI

In its 122nd meeting held on June 2, 2023, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) officially granted a Certificate of Registration to Go Digit Life Insurance Limited. This regulatory approval allows the company to enter the Indian life insurance market and offer a range of life insurance products and services to customers across the country.

Expansion of Go Digit’s Presence in the Insurance Industry

Go Digit, backed by the esteemed Fairfax Group from Canada, is already established in the general insurance sector in India. The company’s foray into the life insurance segment demonstrates its commitment to further expanding its presence and diversifying its offerings within the Indian insurance industry.

Strengthening the Indian Life Insurance Landscape

With the addition of Go Digit Life Insurance, the Indian life insurance market is set to become even more competitive. The entrance of a new player with the financial backing of the Fairfax Group is expected to introduce innovative products and solutions, fostering greater choice for consumers and encouraging existing players to enhance their offerings and customer experience.

Go Digit General Insurance’s IPO Plans

Alongside its expansion into the life insurance business, Go Digit General Insurance is preparing to launch an initial public offering (IPO). The company has already filed the necessary documents with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to seek regulatory approval for the IPO. This move highlights Go Digit’s growth ambitions and its intention to raise capital for further expansion and investment opportunities.

FSIB Announces New Leadership for GIC Re and NIC

The Financial Services Institution Bureau (FSIB) has selected N Ramaswamy, General Manager, General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re), as the next Chairman and MD (CMD) of the company while M Rajeswari Singh, General Manager & Director (GMD), United India Insurance, has been chosen as the CMD of National Insurance Company (NIC).

After due approval of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), Ramaswamy will get a two-year term. The post of CMD at GIC Re will fall vacant after Devesh Srivastav completes his four-year tenure in September-end after reaching 60 while NIC CMD post will be filled up after Suchita Gupta leaves in August end. FSIB has chosen Sat Pal Bhanoo and R. Doraiswamy as new managing directors of Life Insurance Corporation.

FSIB: An Overview

The Financial Services Institution Bureau (FSIB) is an autonomous body of the Government of India. It was established in 2017 with the objective of improving the governance and performance of financial institutions in India. The FSIB has the following powers and functions:

  • To recommend persons for appointment as whole-time directors and non-executive chairpersons on the boards of financial institutions.

  • To advise on certain other matters relating to personnel management in financial institutions.

  • To monitor the performance of financial institutions and to take appropriate action, if necessary.

  • To promote good governance practices in financial institutions.

The FSIB is headed by a chairman who is appointed by the government. The chairman is assisted by a vice-chairman and a number of other members. The FSIB has its headquarters in Mumbai and regional offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru.

The Role of FSIB in Improving Governance and Performance of Financial Institutions in India

The FSIB has been playing an important role in improving the governance and performance of financial institutions in India. It has helped to improve the selection process for board members, to strengthen the internal control systems of financial institutions, and to promote good corporate governance practices. The FSIB has also played a role in resolving the crisis in the non-banking financial sector.


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