Topic 1: BizAmp and SRI fund
Context: Secretary, the Ministry of MSME presided over BizAmp, an outreach programme organized by the Ministry of MSME.
- It was organized in association with NSIC Venture Capital Fund Limited (NVCFL) under its Self Reliant India (SRI) Fund.
- The programme, aimed at empowering MSMEs from the North Eastern States and amplifying their businesses utilizing benefits under SRI Fund.
- BizAmp is the first outreach programme in the North East Region of the country focused upon maximizing capital benefits.
- It served to provide a platform for the empaneled daughter funds of SRI Fund to reach the MSMEs in the NE Region of India.
- SRI Fund:
- The Government of India, launched SRI Fund with an outlay corpus of Rs 10,006 crore.
- It is concentrated towards financing an infusion of capital to MSMEs through Daughter Funds.
- Daughter funds works with Venture capitalist to create funds.
- It provides risk capital to companies developing new technologies.
- The SRI fund is an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) providing growth capital to MSMEs through equity/quasi-equity/equity-like structured instruments.
Topic 2: Penumbral lunar eclipse
Context: The penumbral lunar eclipse happened recently.
What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
- A penumbral lunar eclipse is a celestial event that occurs when the moon passes through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra.
- Although it is not as visually striking as a total or partial lunar eclipse.
- During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun creates a captivating phenomenon.
- As the moon enters the earth’s penumbra, it undergoes a subtle darkening.
- This occurs because the penumbra is a region of partial shadow, where sunlight is only partially blocked by the Earth.
- The penumbral lunar eclipse is often referred to as a “subtle eclipse” due to its less dramatic appearance compared to other types of lunar eclipses.
- The occurrence of a penumbral lunar eclipse is dependent on several factors.
- It requires a full moon, as lunar eclipses can only occur during this phase.
- The alignment of the sun, earth, and moon must be such that the moon passes through the penumbra.
- Observing a penumbral lunar eclipse is relatively simple, as no special equipment is required.
- As the Earth’s shadow envelops the moon, it takes on a smoky or dusky hue.
- This effect is caused by the scattering of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere, which filters out the blue and green wavelengths and allows predominantly red and orange light to reach the moon’s surface.
- However, since the moon does not pass through the umbra (the darker, central part of the earth’s shadow), it does not acquire the characteristic red colour seen during a total lunar eclipse.
Topic 3: Voluntary insolvency
Context: Go Airlines (India) Ltd (Go First) said that it was filing for voluntary insolvency proceedings with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
What is insolvency?
- Insolvency is a state of financial distress for an individual or company.
- It occurs when that entity is no longer able to meet the financial obligations they have agreed upon with their lenders or creditors.
- When insolvency proceedings are initiated, the creditor who is not being paid properly may take legal action against the entity that has fallen behind on its payments.
- This can lead to liquidation of assets by the entity against whom the proceedings have been initiated, restructuring of debt, and damages to the entity’s credit rating.
What is voluntary insolvency?
- Voluntary insolvency means that the company has accepted its business is insolvent.
- It is a process in which the company says it cannot pay debts and needs help from someone to sort it out.
- When the company goes insolvent, it can proceed to voluntary liquidation.
- This process refers to the dissolution of a company with approval from shareholders and creditors of the company.
- It is a time-bound process which needs to be completed in 270 days from the date of commencement of Voluntary Liquidation.
|National Company Law TribunalNCLT is a quasi-judicial authority incorporated for dealing with corporate disputes that are of civil nature arising under the Companies Act.All proceedings under the Companies Act shall be disposed off by the National Company Law Tribunal.The NCLT bench is chaired by a Judicial member who is supposed to be a retired or a serving High Court Judge and a Technical member who must be from the Indian Corporate Law Service, ICLS Cadre.The National Company Law Tribunal is the adjudicating authority for the insolvency resolution process of companies and limited liability partnerships under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.No criminal court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceeding in respect of any matter which the Tribunal or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered to determine by or under this Act.|
Topic 4: Cyclone Mocha
Context: Odisha is preparing for the first cyclone of 2023, Cyclone Mocha.
- It is expected to form over the Bay of Bengal.
- Odisha is particularly vulnerable to cyclones.
- The 1999 super cyclone that hit Odisha was one of the deadliest natural disasters in Indian history.
- The cyclone made landfall with wind speeds of up to 260 kmph, causing massive destruction and claiming over 10,000 lives.
|What is tropical cyclone?Tropical cyclones are violent storms that originate over oceans in tropical areas.They are known by various names:Cyclones in the Indian Ocean,Hurricanes in the Atlantic,Typhoons in the Western Pacific and South China Sea, andWilly-willies in the Western Australia.Conditions favorable for the formation and intensification of tropical storms are:A warm sea – a temperature in excess of 26 degrees Celsius to a depth of 60 mAbundant and turbulent transfer of water vapour to the overlying atmosphere by evaporationPresence of the Coriolis forceSmall variations in the vertical wind speedA pre-existing weak low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulationUpper divergence above the sea level system|
Topic 5: International Leopard Day 2023
Context: A new portal dedicated to leopards (Panthera pardus) was launched by a predator conservation working group, on International Leopard Day, 2023 to promote and celebrate leopards worldwide.
- The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera.
- It is a member of the cat family, Felidae.
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Western and Central Asia,
- Southern Russia
- Indian subcontinent
- Southeast and East Asia.
- Habitat loss and fragmentation.
- Conservation status:
- IUCN Red List : Vulnerable
- CITES:Appendix I
- Trade is restricted to skins and body parts of 2,560 individuals in 11 sub-Saharan countries.
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
Topic 6: Talaq-e-Hasan
Context: The Supreme Court agreed to take up Muslim women’s petitions challenging the validity of talaq-e-hasan under the Muslim personal law.
What is Talaq-e-Hasan?
- In Islam, Talaq-e-Hasan is an extra-judicial form of divorce that can be practised by men.
- Under Muslim personal laws, this form of divorce is revocable.
- Talaq-e-Hasan is considered to be approved by Prophet Mohammad and is valid as per all schools of Muslim law.
- To practice ‘Talaq-e-Hasan, a man needs to pronounce talaq on his wife three turns at intervals of one month.
- The period of the gap between the three consecutive talaqs is called the period of abstinence or ‘iddat’ and its duration is 90 days.
- The divorce is assumed to be revoked if the couple begins to cohabit or be intimate during the period of abstinence.
How is it different from triple talaq?
- Triple talaq or Talaq-e-Biddat was banned by the government in 2019.
- In this, a man can divorce his wife by pronouncing “talaq” thrice in one go.
- The divorce is instant and irrevocable.
- This is different from ‘Talaq-e-Hasan as it does not have any waiting period and irrevocably terminates the marriage.
Topic 7: King Cobra
Context: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its latest update revealed that among the 1,47,517 listed animal species, 41,459 are threatened with extinction including the King Cobra.
- The reptile is a threatened species in India and was added to the Red List over a decade ago, in 2011.
- The Agumbe Rainforest Research Station (ARRS) has been involved in the King Cobra conservation project in the Western Ghats, which is known as the home of this snake species.
About King Cobra
- King Cobra, also known as Ophiophagus Hannah, is the largest venomous snake in the world.
- The snakes can reach up to a height of 5.5 meters and is known for their distinctive hood and features, which they use to intimidate potential predators.
- They are widely found in the Western Ghats, the Eastern Ghats, and the Himalayas in India.
- King Cobras generally avoid human settlements.
- They also inhabit other parts of Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
- It is threatened by habitat destruction.
- It is regarded as the national reptile of India
- Conservation status:
- IUCN status: Vulnerable.
- CITES status: Appendix II
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule II
- Their significance to the Ecosystem
- The King Cobras are part of the top predation in the ecosystem and are important in maintaining the balance of nature.
- They feed on other snakes and reptiles to ensure the balance of the species.
- They also play a crucial role in regulating populations of other species, such as rodents, which can cause significant damage to crops and other vegetation.
|About IUCNIUCN is a membership Union composed of both government and civil society organisations.IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.Its experts are organised into six Commissions dedicated to:species survival,environmental law,protected areas,social and economic policy,ecosystem management, andeducation and communication.Created in 1948, IUCN has evolved into the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network.Members meet every four years at the IUCN World Conservation Congress to set priorities and agree on the Union’s work programme.IUCN congresses have produced several key international environmental agreements including:the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),the World Heritage Convention,the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.Headquarters: Switzerland.|
Topic 8: Petersberg Climate Dialogue
Context: The Petersberg Dialogue on Climate Change was held in Berlin recently.
- It was hosted by Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
- The focus of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue is on laying the groundwork for the COP28 Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates.
- Ministers from 40 countries attended the conference to discuss the way forward towards COP28.
- The Agenda calls for coal phaseout by 2030 in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, and by 2040 in all others, as well as achieving Net Zero electricity generation and decarbonising major sectors.
- The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP28, will be the 28th conference.
- It will be held at the Expo City, Dubai.
- The conference has been held annually since the first UN climate agreement in 1992.
- It will comprise:
- the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28);
- the fifth meeting of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement;
- the 18th meeting of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol;
- the 59th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation;
- the 59th meeting of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice.
- COP 27 was held in Egypt.