Daily Current Affairs : 27th June

Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE

  1. UNSC Non Permanent Seat
  2. Jal Shakti Abhiyan
  3. Methane
  4. Facts for Prelims : HFC, IB and Raw Chief appointment

1 . UNSC Non Permanent Seat

Context : By winning the unanimous endorsement of the 55-nation Asia-Pacific Group at the United Nations Security Council, India has cleared an important hurdle in its quest for a non-permanent seat for 2021-22. The decision of the grouping this week was taken as India was the sole candidate for the post

About UNSC Members

  • The UNSC Council is composed of 15 Members:Five permanent members : China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term year)

Election of Non Permanent Members

  • Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of ten in total) for a two-year term. The ten non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis:
    • five for African and Asian countries;
    • one for Eastern European countries;
    • two for Latin American and Caribbean countries;
    • two for Western European and other countries.
  • As stipulated in rule 144 of the rules of procedure, a retiring member is not eligible for immediate re-election.
  • In accordance with rule 92 of the rules of procedure, the election is held by secret ballot and there are no nominations.
  • Under rule 83 of the rules of procedure, the non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected by a two-thirds majority

About India’s Endorsement from the Asia Pacific Group

  • Of the five seats for Africa and Asia, three are for Africa and two for Asia; there is an informal understanding between the two groups to reserve one for an Arab country. The Africa and Asia Pacific group takes turns every two years to put up an Arab candidate.
  • India now has been endorsed by the Asia Pacific Group . The endorsement means that India has a “clean slate” candidature – that is there is no other contestant from the group
  • In the next step, all 193 members of the UN General Assembly will vote for five non-permanent seats in June 2020, when India will need to show the support of at least 129 countries to go through to the UNSC.  
  • India began the process for another seat shortly after it had ended its previous tenure in 2011-2012. By rotation, that seat would have reached India only in the 2030s, and India had to reach out to Afghanistan, which had put in its bid already for the 2021-22 slot, to request it to withdraw. Afghanistan did so because of the special relationship between the two countries.


  • India has a unique role to play at the UNSC, given the near-complete polarisation among the permanent members (P-5 nations), with the U.S., the U.K. and France on one side, and Russia and China on the other. India’s ability to work with both sides is well known.
  • The year 2022 also has a sentimental value attached to it, as it marks the 75th year of India’s Independence, and a place at the UNSC would no doubt add to the planned celebrations that year. Since 2013, when it first announced the bid, the government has run a quiet but consistent campaign towards this goal.
  • It is also significant that despite the poor state of bilateral relations with Pakistan, and the many challenges India has faced from China at the UN, both the countries agreed to the nomination

2 . Jal Shakti Abhiyan

Context : The Centre is set to initiate the Jal Shakti Abhiyan to ramp up rainwater harvesting and conservation efforts in 255 water-stressed districts from July 1, in line with the government’s promise to focus on water.

About Jal Shakti Abhiyan

  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan is a timebound, mission mode water conservation and irrigation efficiency campaign for water security in rural areas
  • Though water is a State issue, the campaign would be coordinated by 255 central IAS officers of Joint or Additional Secretary-rank, drawn from ministries. The campaign seems to follow the model of last year’s Gram Swaraj Abhiyan, where central officials monitored the implementation of seven flagship development schemes in 117 aspirational districts across the country
  • The Jal Shakti Abhiyan would aim to accelerate water harvesting, conservation and borewell recharge activities already being carried out under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme of the Rural Development Ministry, along with existing water body restoration and afforestation schemes being undertaken by the Jal Shakti and Environment Ministries.
  • Progress would be monitored in real time through mobile applications and an online dashboard at indiawater.gov.in.
  • Block and district-level water conservation plans would be drafted, and Kisan Vigyan Kendras would hold melas to promote better crop choices and more efficient water use for irrigation.

Intervention Areas

  • Water conservation and Rain water harvesting
  • Renovation of water bodies
  • Renovation of borewell recharge structures
  • Watershed development
  • Intensive Afforestation

3 . Methane

Context : Last week, NASA’s Curiosity rover discovered high amounts of methane in the air on Mars, leading to excitement whether this was an indication of life on the Red Planet, or beneath its surface. 

What is methane?

  • On Earth, methane (CH4) is a naturally occurring gas. Most of the methane on Earth is produced in biological processes — some of it by microbes, and some occurring as underground natural gas that had been formed by earlier generations of microbial life. Many of these methane-producing microbes live in the digestive systems of animals, especially cows.
  • However, methane can also be produced by abiotic processes (those that do not involve living organisms). It has been found to occur in formations such as rocks, springs and aquifers, and studies have concluded that it was formed there by chemical reactions between carbon and hydrogen atoms at low temperature.
  • Once it is released into the atmospheres of either Earth or Mars, methane is relatively short-lived.
  • Source of methane in Mars is yet to be known.

4 . Facts for Prelims

Housing Finance Companies and National Housing Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has started monitoring the liquidity position, asset-liability gap and repayment schedules of housing finance companies (HFCs) on a daily basis after the liquidity crisis hit these firms, resulting in defaults.
  • Housing Finance Companies are regulated by National Housing Bank
  • National Housing Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India. Reserve Bank of India contributed the entire paid-up capital.The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs and business of NHB vest, under the Act, in a Board of Directors. The Head Office of NHB is at New Delhi.

IB and RAW Chiefs

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Arvind Kumar as the new head of the Intelligence Bureau and Samant Kumar Goel as the chief of the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW).

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