Daily Current Affairs for UPSC CSE
- BCCI decision on equal pay
- Facts for Prelims
1 . Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee
Context: Welcoming the decision of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to provide environmental clearance for genetically modified mustard, Director of Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), said it will lead to finding a science-based solution for a major challenge — the import of edible oil.
- He said the environmental release of GM mustard would provide an opportunity for mustard breeders to develop diverse and high-yielding hybrids.
- There was no need to go for the clearance of the Environment Ministry as the hybrid was environmentally released by the GEAC.
- Now the responsibility is on the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) for testing the hybrid. Now, the hybrid can be commercially cultivated after producing large quantity of its seeds.
- In this season, as there are not many seeds available, the available male line and female line of the hybrid have to be multiplied.
- The ICAR has an established system to coordinate research projects, known as the All India Coordinated Research Project, in which scientists test the hybrid and varieties developed by different institutions.
- Now, the GEAC has given environmental clearance for Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11).
- Therefore, this hybrid can now be tested in the all-India coordinated trial of AICRP for its yield advantage.
- If it is found for higher yielding, then it will be released for commercial cultivation.
- The most important aspect of technology was that it had used barnase and bar genes system for creating diverse parent and the chances of yield enhancement was more.
- Regarding the effect of GM mustard on honeybees and other pollinators, he said,“Barnase and bar genes are protein and honey is basically sugar without any protein content. So, the question of honey being affected by this does not arise. These genes are safe.
About Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC)
- The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) functions in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
- As per Rules, 1989, it is responsible for appraisal of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.
- The committee is also responsible for appraisal of proposals relating to the release of genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products into the enviornment including experimental field trials.
- It is chaired by the Special Secretary/Additional Secretary of MoEF&CC and co-chaired by a representative from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
- Presently, it has 24 members and meets every month to review the applications in the areas indicated above.
Functions of GEAC
- To appraise activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production from the environmental angle.
- To appraise proposals relating to the release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment including experimental field trials.
- The committee or any persons authorized by it has powers to take punitive action under the Environment Protection Act.
2 . BCCI decision on Equal Pay
Context: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that it will be implementing a new pay equity policy for its contracted women cricketers, effectively paying men and women cricketers the same match fees.
What will the decision mean for the players?
- Women cricketers will be paid the same match fee as the men: Test matches at Rs 15 lakhs, ODI matches at Rs 6 lakhs and T20I at Rs 3 lakhs.
- Until now, while this was the match fee for each Test, ODI and T20 for the men, Indian women’s cricketers earned Rs 4 lakhs for test matches, and Rs 1 lakh for T20s and ODIs.
- In cricket, apart from the match-wise fees, there is a retainership payment system.
- For women cricketers, Rs 50 lakh for Grade A cricketers, Rs 30 lakh for Grade B and Rs 10 lakh for Grade C cricketers are paid annually apart from the match fees.
- Men cricketers, who play a higher number of games, are paid between Rs 7 crore and Rs 1 crore depending on their grade, starting with an A Plus grade.
- There will be no change in this, as of now.
Is India the only country to bring pay parity in sports?
- No, the first country to do so was New Zealand in July 2022.
- New Zealand Cricket, the governing body for professional cricket in the country, and the players’ association signed a five-year deal so that both international and domestic level-women players will receive the same match fees as men across all formats and competitions.
- There will also be equity on matters such as travel, accommodation, and the wider playing and training environment. The men’s team also continues to have higher retainers than the women.
- Australia has also recently begun ambitious plans to popularise cricket in the country this year, with a focus on bringing women’s cricket on par with men’s cricket.
- Cricket Australia, the governing body for professional and amatuer cricket in the country, aims to double the number of boys playing the game in the age group of 5-12 years to 2,10,000 and quadruple the number of girls in the same age bracket to 60,000.
- It has also increased women’s pay significantly in the last few years.
- Similarly, the Committee of Administrators that runs the affairs of the Table Tennis Federation of India, said in May 2022 that it would offer equal prize money for men and women in all the national zonal tournaments – including national championships across age groups.
- In another significant step, the US Soccer Associations for men and women negotiated agreements for equal pay this year as well.
- This was a rarity, given most sports see the men get a higher fee due to a variety of reasons – they play more games per season, and they get more advertisements and corporate sponsorship based on the size of their audiences.
- However, it has been argued that a basic equal fee could motivate more women to join and view sports, and eventually command a similar following as the men’s matches.
3 . Facts for Prelims
- The National Intelligence Grid or NATGRID is the integrated intelligence master database structure for counter-terrorism purpose connecting databases of various core security agencies under Government of India collecting comprehensive patterns procured from 21 different organizations that can be readily accessed by security agencies round the clock.
- NATGRID came into existence after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
- During the inauguration of NATGRID campus in Bengaluru, MHA stated that a new national database is in the process of being made which will bring a paradigm shift in the current ways of functioning of agencies once it’s ready also adding that the government has entrusted the task of developing and operating a state-of-the-art and innovative technology system.
- It is accessible to 11 central agencies in the first phase and in later phases will be made accessible to police of all States and Union Territories and only authorized personnel are allowed access to the platform on a case-to-case basis for investigations into suspected cases of terrorism.
UN Annual Emissions Gap report
- The United Nations Environment Programme, in its annual Emissions Gap report, found that updated national promises since last year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow would only shave less than 1% off global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
- Climate pledges leave the world on track to heat by as much as 2.6 degrees Celsius this century, warning that emissions must fall 45% this decade to limit disastrous global warming.
- The world has warmed nearly 1.2 C since the start of the Industrial Revolution and already faces increasingly ferocious climate-enhanced weather extremes like heatwaves, storms and floods.
- A manufacturing facility for C-295 transport aircraft will be set up at Vadodara in Gujarat by Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. (TASL) in partnership with European aviation major Airbus.
- This is the start of an entire ecosystem for the aviation sector.
- This facility will act as the regional maintenance, repair and overhaul hub for all C-295.
- Of the 56 C-295 aircraft to be procured by India as per a ₹21,935-crore deal, 40 will be built at this facility.
- These will replace the legacy Avro aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- The C-295 is an aircraft of 5-10 tonne capacity used for tactical transport of up to 71 passengers or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations to locations that are not accessible by current heavier aircraft.
- It can operate from short or unprepared airstrips.
- The first 16 fly-away aircraft are scheduled to be received between September 2023 and August 2025.
- The first made-in-India aircraft is expected from September 2026 and completed by 2031 at the rate of eight aircraft per year.