Daily Current Affairs for 20th May 2021

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New storm in Bay of Bengal

Why in News

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a ”low pressure area” (a precursor to cyclonic storm) was likely to form in the eastern BOB and the Northern Andaman Sea by 22nd May.

Key Points

  • It is very likely to intensify into gradually into a cyclonic storm during subsequent 72 hours and reach Odisha West Bengal coast by 26th May.
  • There are relatively more cyclonic storms in the month of May and November, particularly in the Bay of Bengal—coinciding with the arrival and exit of the monsoon—than in the rest of the year because of elevated ocean temperatures.
  • IMD has also forecast the arrival of the monsoon over Kerala on the 31st of May and that’s premised on the monsoon’s arrival over the South Andaman Sea by the 21st of May.
  • The formation of a low pressure at this time would be favorable for the monsoon onset which strengthens the cross-equatorial flow and would give a push to the monsoon over the Andaman Sea.

Cyclone Tauktae

  • The extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Tauktae is a currently active and strengthening tropical cyclone threatening the state of Gujarat, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
  • It is the second depression and first extremely severe cyclonic storm of the 2021 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.
  • It originated from a tropical disturbance which was first monitored by the Indian Meteorological Department on 13th May.
  • The disturbance drifted eastward and organized into a deep depression by May 14.
  • And now, Tauktae intensified into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm.
  • It brought heavy rainfall and flash floods to areas along the coast of Kerala and on Lakshadweep. There have been reports of heavy rain in the state of Goa as well.

Cyclone in India

  • Cyclone Tauktae that was the first Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm in the Arabian Sea to make landfall in Gujarat in 130 years brought significant rains, as well caused considerable infrastructural damage, in Gujarat and several coastal states.
  • The current cyclone, were it to fully form, will be called Yaas and is a name proposed by Oman.
  • Last May, the cyclone Amphan that formed in the Bay of Bengal ravaged West Bengal as a ‘Super Cyclonic storm’, the most powerful in the IMD’s intensity measuring scale.
  • This year the IMD has forecast a ‘normal monsoon.


Gholvad Sapota (chikoo)

Why in News

In a major boost to exports of Geographical Indication (GI) certified products, a consignment of Dahanu Gholvad Sapota from Palghar district of Maharashtra was recently shipped to the United Kingdom.

About Sapota

  • Sapota is grown in many states like Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Karnataka is known to be the highest grower of the fruit, followed by Maharashtra.
  • It can be used in fruit salads, blended into milk or yogurt, as a smoothie or processed to make a jam out of it.

About Ghovad Sapota

  • Ghovad Sapota fruit is known for its sweet and unique taste.
  • It is believed that the unique taste is derived from calcium rich soil of Gholvad village.
  • Currently in the Palgahr district, around 5000 hectares of land is under sapota or plantation. Out of 5000 farmers who grow Sapota, 147 farmers are authorized GI users.

About GI Tag

  • A geographical indication or GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • It is the part of the intellectual property rights that comes under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
  • In India, GI Tag is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 and issued by the Geographical Indications Registry (Chennai).

Significance of Geographical Indications

  • GI Tag provides legal protection to Indian Geographical Indications thus preventing unauthorized use of the registered GIs by others.
  • It promotes economic prosperity of producers of goods produced in a geographical territory.
  • It also leads to recognition of the product in other countries thus boosting exports.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

  • The APEDA was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in December, 1985.
  • It promotes exports of agricultural & processed food products by providing assistance to the exporters under various components of its scheme such as Infrastructure Development, Quality Development and Market Development.
  • APEDA also conducts international Buyer Seller Meets (BSM), Virtual trade fairs with importing countries to promote agricultural & processed food products.
  • It headquarters situated at New Delhi and its five regional offices are at: Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Guwahati.
  • APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the scheduled products viz. fruits, vegetables and their products; meat and meat products; poultry and poultry products; dairy products; confectionery, biscuits and bakery products; honey, jaggery and sugar products; cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; cereal and cereal products; groundnuts, peanuts and walnuts, pickles, papads and chutneys; guar gum; floriculture and floriculture products; herbal and medicinal plants.
  • APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.

UNESCO world heritage sites

Why in News

Recently, six sites have been added to India’s tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Key Points

  • Six sites included:
  • Varanasi’s ghats along the Ganges,
  • Kanchipuram Temple in Tamil Nadu,
  • Satpura Tiger Reserve,
  • Bhedaghat in Madhya Pradesh,
  • Maratha Military architecture in Maharashtra, and
  • Hire Bankal of Karnataka.
  • The union minister informed that the Government had sent a recommendation of nine sites, out of which six have been selected.

Cultural Heritage sites of India in UNESCO

  • UNESCO has already added 30 of India’s cultural sites, 7 natural, and 1 mixed site.
  • This includes Agra Fort, Ajanta Caves, Elephanta caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, and the Jaipur City of Rajasthan.
  • The list of Natural sites includes Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Nanda Devi, and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Sundarbans National Park, and Western Ghats.
  • Apart from the heritage sites, the tentative list also includes activities, news, and events of India.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) founded in 1945 as the successor to the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
  • It aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, the sciences, and culture.
  • It has 193 member states and 11 associate members as well as partners in the non-governmental, inter-governmental, and private sector.
  • Headquartered at the World Heritage Centre in Paris, France, UNESCO has 53 regional field offices and 199 national commissions that facilitate its global mandate.
  • UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

History of UNESCO

  • In 1942, during the Second World War, the governments of the European countries, which were confronting Nazi Germany and its allies, met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME).
  • Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from 1 to 16 November 1945.
  • Finally, at the end of the conference, the UNESCO was institutionalised on 16 November 1945 and its first session was held at Paris in between November-December of 1946.

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