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News in Short

News in Short - 24-June-2021

UN committee recommends danger listing for Great Barrier Reef

Date: 24 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A United Nations committee’s proposal to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef's World Heritage status has irked Australia, which said the recommendation was politically motivated.
  • The coral reef ecosystem has suffered three major bleaching events since 2015 due to severe marine heatwaves.
  • The report recommended that the world's biggest coral reef ecosystem should be added to Unesco’s list of World Heritage in Danger.
  • As many as 53 sites are currently on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Great Barrier Reef losing its World Heritage Site status list could potentially reduce its attraction to tourists.

World’s first GM rubber sapling planted in Assam

Date: 24 June 2021 Tags: Biodiversity
  • The world’s first genetically modified (GM) rubber plant was planted on the outskirts of Guwahati, Assam.
  • The variety was developed at the Kerala-based Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII). It is the first of its kind developed exclusively for the northeast and is expected to thrive in the climatic conditions of the region.
  • The plant has additional copies of gene MnSOD (manganese containing superoxide dismutase) in it and can revolutionise natural rubber production in India.
  • The plant is expected to tide over severe cold conditions during winters, a major factor affecting the growth of young plants.
  • Natural rubber is a native of warm humid Amazon forests and is not naturally suited for cold conditions in the northeast.

Four theatre commands likely to be set up this year

Date: 24 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • While deliberations continue for a consensus on the creation of the military’s integrated theatre commands, the four proposed commands are likely be raised by year-end.
  • The four commands planned are air defence command, maritime theatre command, integrated eastern theatre command and integrated western theatre command.
  • Theatre commands will have units of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and all of them will work as a single entity looking after security challenges in a specified geographical territory under an operational commander.

Tamil Nadu refuses ONGC permission to drill oil wells

Date: 24 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Tamil Nadu government's Environment Impact Assessment Authority (TNSEIAA) has rejected ONGC’s application to drill and explore 10 oil wells in Ariyalur and five wells in Cuddalore districts.
  • the government will not allow new ONGC projects in districts covered under the Tamil Nadu Protected Agricultural Zone Development Act, 2020.
  • A committee will be constituted to analyse the damage caused by hydrocarbon projects in other districts of the state.
  • The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had earlier invited bids for the development of oil and gas fields at Vadatheru, near Pudukkotai.

Canada passes bill to regulate social media and streaming

Date: 24 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Canadian lawmakers have passed a controversial bill that aims to regulate programming distributed by media streaming services and social platforms.
  • The legislation is known as Bill C-10 and is meant to subject tech giants to the same requirements as traditional broadcasters.
  • It’s among the most far-reaching plans by governments anywhere to regulate the algorithms tech companies use to amplify or recommend content.
  • It’s unclear whether the bill will become law. The legislation needs to win passage through the Senate, that would effectively kill the bill.