UPSC Daily Current Affairs - 20th February 2023

UPSC Daily Current Affairs – Prelims [20th February 2023]

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2023

Source: Economic Times

In News

Recently, the observance of Shiv Jayanti, also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti, took place. This day is widely celebrated with enthusiasm and fervor, particularly in the state of Maharashtra.

About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti celebrates the birth anniversary of the Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  • The day aims to honor Shivaji’s role in restoring the Maratha Empire and to celebrate his vast legacy.
  • The celebration of Shiv Jayanti was established by Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, also known as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, in 1870.

GST appellate tribunal (GSTAT)


In News

The constitution of the GST appellate tribunal has been approved by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, following its acceptance of the Group of Ministers (GoM) recommendations.


  • The tribunal will provide an efficient and independent dispute resolution mechanism for taxpayers to appeal against decisions made by the tax authorities.
  • This move is expected to help reduce litigation and provide a faster resolution to taxpayers’ disputes, which will contribute to improving the ease of doing business in the country.

What are the Legal Provisions?

  • The legal provisions regarding the constitution of the GST Appellate Tribunal can be found in Section 109 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017.
  • The section empowers the central government to constitute the Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority or the Revisional Authority under the GST Act.
  • The section specifies that the Appellate Tribunal shall consist of a national bench and various state benches, and it shall be headed by a chairperson who is a person qualified to be a judge of a High Court.
  • The other members of the Tribunal shall be judicial as well as technical members, as per the requirement. The section also lays down the qualification, terms of service, and other conditions of the members of the Tribunal.

Corporate Debt Market

Source: ET

In News

  • A $4 billion fund is being established by India to offer liquidity to its corporate debt market in times of stress, with the aim of preventing panic selling.
  • The government will contribute 90% of the fund, while the asset manager, SBI Mutual Fund, will provide the remaining 10%.

What is Debt Market?

  • A debt market refers to a platform where governments, corporations, and individuals can obtain funds by selling debt instruments, such as bonds, to investors.
  • The issuer, or the borrower, pledges to pay a predetermined interest rate and return the borrowed principal amount at a later date.
  • In the case of the corporate debt market, companies offer debt securities like bonds to raise capital.


  • The Corporate debt market plays a crucial role in providing long-term capital investment and enabling asset creation, thus complementing the banking system.
  • However, there are some challenges that need to be addressed, including the fact that the size of India’s corporate bond market is comparatively smaller at around $470 billion when compared to other major Asian emerging economies.
  • Moreover, the issuance of government securities (G-Secs) often crowds out the corporate debt market.
  • Additionally, retail participation in the market remains limited, with domestic institutions like insurance companies dominating the scene.

Trading of carbon credits

Source: BS

In News

  • The Union government has prepared a list of activities eligible for carbon credit trading under the Article 6.2 mechanism of the Paris Agreement, which aims to promote the transfer of emerging technologies and facilitate international finance mobilization in the country.
  • Additionally, India previously established the Nationally Designated Authority for the implementation of the Paris Agreement (NDAIAPA) under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in May 2022.

What is Carbon Trading?

  • Carbon trading, also known as emissions trading, is a market-based approach that seeks to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) that contribute to climate change.
  • In a carbon trading system, a cap is set on the amount of emissions that a company or an industry can produce.
  • Companies that emit less carbon than their allocated limit can sell their excess permits or credits to other companies that are exceeding their limit.
  • This creates a financial incentive for companies to reduce their carbon emissions and helps to encourage the adoption of cleaner technologies and practices.
  • Carbon trading is a tool that is often used by governments as part of their efforts to mitigate climate change.

What is Article 6 of the Paris Agreement?

  • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is focused on cooperative approaches to achieve the goals of the agreement, specifically in relation to the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The article is divided into three sections: 6.1, 6.2, and 6.4.
    • Article 6.1 establishes the framework for voluntary cooperation between countries to achieve their respective climate targets. This can include cooperative approaches such as emissions trading and the transfer of mitigation outcomes.
    • Article 6.2 creates a mechanism to promote mitigation and sustainable development, where countries can cooperate in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to reduce emissions. This can include the use of market and non-market approaches, such as carbon pricing and the trading of carbon credits.
    • Article 6.4 establishes a mechanism to contribute to the reduction of emissions and support sustainable development, specifically in developing countries. The mechanism provides for the public funding of emission reduction activities and aims to enhance transparency and accountability in the implementation of such activities.

List of finalized activities eligible for Carbon Credits?

  • GHG Mitigation Activities:
    • Renewable energy with storage (only stored component)
    • Solar thermal power
    • Off-shore wind
    • Green Hydrogen
    • Compressed biogas
    • Emerging mobility solutions like fuel cells
    • High-end technology for energy efficiency
    • Sustainable Aviation Fuel
    • Best available technologies for process improvement in hard-to-abate sectors
    • Tidal energy, Ocean Thermal Energy, Ocean Salt Gradient Energy, Ocean Wave Energy, and Ocean Current Energy
    • High Voltage Direct Current Transmission in conjunction with the renewable energy projects
  • Alternate Materials:
    • Green Ammonia
  • Removal Activities:
    • Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage



In News

According to a recent publication by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), more than one-third of all types of rhododendrons found in India are native to the Himalayan regions of Darjeeling and Sikkim.

About Rhododendron

  • Rhododendron is a genus of plants that means “rose tree” in Greek.
  • It is an indicator species for climate change.
  • Rhododendrons can range from evergreen to deciduous and can grow in the form of dwarf shrubs to large trees.
    • The plants typically grow in the cold, moist deep valleys of the eastern Himalayas.
  • Rampant construction has become a threat to their survival.
  • The plant is the state tree of Uttarakhand and the state flower of Nagaland.
  • In the Garhwal Himalayas, the blooming of rhododendrons is celebrated as “Phool Sankranti,” a festival of flowers.
  • Rhododendrons are native to many regions of the world, including Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia.

Underwater noise emissions (UNE)


In News

According to a recent study, the increasing man-made underwater noise emissions (UNE) from ships in Indian waters pose a danger to the survival of marine mammals.

Why do marine animals need sound?

  • Marine mammals, including species such as Bottlenose Dolphins, Manatees, Pilot Whales, Seals, and Sperm Whales, rely on sound for a variety of important activities, such as mating, communal interaction, feeding, cluster cohesion, and foraging.
  • Unfortunately, there are many threats to these animals.
  • The sound emitted from ships on a long-term basis can negatively affect their behavior, and lead to internal injuries, loss of hearing ability, masking, and stress.
  • Additionally, this noise can alter the migration routes of marine species, potentially causing them to move to shallower regions, which could lead to stranding.

UNE in Indian Waters

The man-made underwater noise emissions (UNE) in Indian waters have been measured to be between 102-115 decibels, with the sound level on the East Coast being slightly higher than on the West Coast.

Sources of Underwater Noise Emissions (UNE)

Natural Sources:

  • Earthquakes
  • Weather
  • The sound released by marine animals

Anthropogenic Sources:

  • Continuous shipping movement (a significant contributor to the increase in global ocean noise level)
    • Engines
    • Propellers
    • Other Machinery
  • Oil and gas exploration
  • Military sonar
  • Construction
  • Recreational boating

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