Q.1) With respect to Eutrophication, consider the following statements:
1. It is defined as the population explosion of algae and blue-green bacteria that covers almost entire surface layer of a lake or river.
2. It is primarily caused by the leaching of phosphate and or nitrate containing fertilisers from agricultural lands into lakes or rivers.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
An excessive algal and plant growth in the Muttukadu Estuary is posing a serious problem to the environment and fish species.
Microcystis aeruginosa, a species of cyanobacteria that can form harmful algal blooms, has affected the water quality of the Muttukadu backwaters.
These algae produce hepatotoxin, called ‘microcystin’, which in high concentrations could be fatal to fishes, humans, birds and other aquatic organisms.
Muttukadu Estuary is located near Chennai, Tamil Nadu and runs parallel to the east coast, the Bay of Bengal.
Eutrophia is a greek word which means adequate & healthy nutrition.
Eutrophication is a syndrome of ecosystem, response to the addition of artificial or natural nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates through fertilizer, sewage, etc that fertilize the aquatic ecosystem.
It is primarily caused by the leaching of phosphate and or nitrate containing fertilisers from agricultural lands into lakes or rivers.
Some algae and blue-green bacteria thrive on the excess ions and a population explosion covers almost entire surface layer is known as algal bloom.
As Algal Bloom covers the surface layer, it restricts the penetration of sunlight and reduces the oxygen level.
Due to reduced oxygen level, fishes and other aquatic organism suffocate and they die.
Q.2) With reference to Kigali Amendment, consider the following statements:
1. It is an amendment to the Cartagena Protocol.
2. It aims to phase out ozone-destroying chemicals like the chlorofluorocarbons.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer : D
The Kigali Amendment is an amendment to the 1989 ozone-saving Montreal Protocol.
The 1989 Montreal Protocol is not a climate agreement.
It is instead aimed at protecting the earth from ozone-destroying chemicals like the chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, that were earlier used in the air-conditioning and refrigerant industry.
The widespread use of CFCs had caused a hole in the Ozone layer of the atmosphere, which allowed some harmful radiations to reach the earth.
These radiations were considered potential health hazards.
The Montreal Protocol led to the replacement of CFCs with HFCs which do not destroy the Ozone layer.
But they were later found to be extremely potent in causing global warming.
So, the HFCs solved one problem, but were contributing in a major way in another.
But theses could not be eliminated under the original provisions of Montreal Protocol which was meant to phase-out ozone-destroying chemicals only.
The Kigali Amendment enabled the Montreal Protocol to mandate the elimination of HFCs as well.
It is estimated that a complete phase-out of HFCs by 2050 would prevent about 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures by the end of this century.
By a recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average temperatures of the planet have already risen by about 1.1 degree Celsius.
India recently decided to ratify Kigali Amendment.
India has to reduce its HFC use by 80 per cent by the year 2047, while China and the United States have to achieve the same target by the year 2045 and 2034 respectively.
Q.3) Recently, which of the following country led a UN resolution to set up a separate convention on cybercrime?
The Russian proposal entitled “Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes” was recently put forth in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
India voted in favour of a cybercrime resolution led by Russia in a committee of the United Nations General Assembly.
The resolution seeks to set up new cyber norms considered as counter alternative to the US backed Budapest Accord.
Q.4) Consider the following statements regarding the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU):
1. The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration.
2. All Central Asian countries except Turkmenistan and Russia are member countries of Eurasian Economic Union.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration. It has international legal personality and is established by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.
The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, pursues coordinated, harmonized and single policy in the sectors determined by the Treaty and international agreements within the Union.
The Member-States of the Eurasian Economic Union are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation.
The Union is being created to comprehensively upgrade, raise the competitiveness of and cooperation between the national economies, and to promote stable development in order to raise the living standards of the nations of the Member-States.
Q.5) The term “Protecting Power” is recently in news is related to which of the following?
a) Diplomatic relations
b) Foreign exchange reserves
c) Defense treaties
d) Bilateral defense exercises
Following the killing of Iranian military and intelligence commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in a drone attack carried out by the United States, the Iranian government registered its protest with the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.
Switzerland represents the interests of the US in Iran. This is because the US itself does not have an embassy there. Iran’s interests in the United States, on the other hand, are represented by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.
In an arrangement such as this, Switzerland is the “Protecting Power” of the United States’ interests in Iran. The instrument of Protecting Powers is provided for under the 1961 and 1963 Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations.
“If diplomatic relations are broken off between two States, or if a mission is permanently or temporarily recalled… the sending State may entrust the protection of its interests and those of its nationals to a third State acceptable to the receiving State,” the 1961 Vienna Convention states.
And the 1963 Convention reiterates: “A sending State may with the prior consent of a receiving State, and at the request of a third State not represented in the receiving State, undertake the temporary protection of the interests of the third State and of its nationals.”