Daily Current Affairs

To The Point Notes



1.Global Environment Facility (GEF) Approves $736.4 Million for Nature Protection

About the GEF

  • Established in 1992.
  • Mission: Address global environmental issues.
  • Unique Partnership: Collaborates with 18 agencies (UN bodies, development banks, NGOs) to tackle environmental challenges in 183 countries.
  • Financial Mechanism for 5 Conventions:
    • Minamata Convention on Mercury
    • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
    • UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
    • UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
    • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Innovator and Catalyst: Supports projects like preserving ecosystems, building green cities, boosting food security, and promoting clean energy.
    • Leverages $5.2 in additional financing for every $1 invested.
  • GEF Trust Fund: Assists developing countries in meeting environmental goals.
  • Impressive Impact: Over $22 billion in financing provided, mobilizing another $120 billion for over 5,000 projects.

Highlights of the 67th GEF Meeting (June 2024)

  • $736.4 million approved for nature protection and renewal projects.
  • Funding sources: GEF Trust Fund, Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF), Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Multi-Trust Fund, Blended Finance Project.
  • GBFF Work Programme:
    • First program approved ($37.8 million).
    • Focus: Improve sustainability across 30 million hectares of protected areas (land & sea).
    • Support for indigenous-led conservation in Brazil and Mexico.
  • GEF Trust Fund Projects in India:
    • $6.7 million for expanding protected areas and community conservation.
    • $10.7 million for wetland, forest, and grassland conservation along the Central Asian Flyway.




2.New Diatom Genus Discovered in India

About Indiconema

  • New genus of Gomphonemoid Diatom found in Eastern and Western Ghats.
  • Distinguished by unique valve symmetry: pore fields at both head and foot poles (unlike other Gomphonemoids with only a foot pole pore field).
  • Name “Indiconema” reflects its limited distribution within India.
  • Biogeography:
    • One species each found in Eastern and Western Ghats.
    • This shared distribution pattern is similar to other endemic-rich groups in these mountain ranges.

What are Diatoms?

  • Microscopic algae crucial for life on Earth.
  • Produce ~25% of global oxygen (every 4th breath we take).
  • Base of the aquatic food chain.
  • Indicators of aquatic health (sensitive to water chemistry changes).
  • Evolution of monsoons and varying wetness across India has shaped the diatom flora.

Importance for Biodiversity

  • India’s diverse landscapes support rich diatom diversity.
  • Estimated 30% of diatom taxa in India are endemic (unique to the region).
  • Diatoms contribute significantly to India’s unique biodiversity.




3.World Investment Report 2024

Global Investment Environment (2024)

  • Challenging environment due to:
    • Weakening growth prospects
    • Economic fracturing
    • Trade & geopolitical tensions
    • Industrial policies & supply chain diversification
  • MNEs adopting a cautious approach to overseas expansion.
  • International project finance and cross-border M&As weak in 2023:
    • M&As (mostly developed economies) fell by 46%.

Greenfield Investment Projects

  • Project numbers increased by 2%, driven by developing countries (+15%).
  • Developed economies saw a 6% decline in new project announcements.
  • Largest greenfield announcement: $34 billion green hydrogen project in Mauritania.

FDI in Developing Asia (2023)

  • Declined by 8%.
  • China (world’s #2 recipient) saw a rare decline in inflows.
  • Sizeable declines in India, West & Central Asia.



4.EVM Memory Verification Requests


  • Requests Received: 11 candidates have applied for memory verification of EVMs and VVPATs after the recent Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
  • Supreme Court Order: First such requests since the Supreme Court’s April 24 order allowing verification upon request by runners-up in any election.

About the Requests

  • Vote Rematching: Involves rematching votes polled in 5% of the EVMs in each constituency.
  • Expense Bearing: Candidates must bear the verification expenses, refundable if tampering is found.

Procedure by Election Commission of India (ECI)

  • Responsible Authority: District Election Officer (DEO) manages the process.
  • Request Scope: Second and third candidates can request checks for up to 5% of EVMs and VVPATs per Assembly constituency or Lok Sabha segment.
  • Request Submission: Written request to DEOs with a deposit of Rs 40,000 plus 18% GST per set of EVM to the manufacturer.
  • Checking Period: Commences 45 days after results declaration, within which Election Petitions can be filed.

Key Dates and Figures

  • Supreme Court Order Date: April 24.
  • Deposit Amount: Rs 40,000 plus 18% GST per EVM set.
  • Verification Start: 45 days post-results declaration.



Art and Culture

5.Mudgal Fort

Location: Raichur district, Karnataka (30-minute drive from Lingasugur)

  • History: Over 1,000 years old
  • Rulers: Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Deccan Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire
  • Rise to Prominence: Bahmani Sultanate (strategic stronghold)
  • Key Events: Clashes between Vijayanagara Empire and Adil Shahi Sultanate for control of the fort
  • Significance:
    • Cultural Heritage: Reflects diverse influences, architectural marvels, and historical artifacts
    • Strategic Importance: Control of the fort shaped the Deccan Plateau’s political landscape
  • Future:
    • Conservation Efforts: Ongoing projects to preserve the fort’s structures and artifacts
    • Tourism Potential: Attractions for history enthusiasts, archaeologists, and travelers (opportunities for local economic development and cultural exchange)


Art and Culture

6.Delos: An Ancient Greek Sanctuary Under Threat

Location: Cyclades archipelago, Aegean Sea (near Mykonos, Greece)


  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1990)
  • Birthplace of Apollo (god of light, arts, and healing) and Artemis (goddess of the hunt) in Greek mythology
  • Major economic and religious hub during the Roman era (population of 30,000)
  • 2,000-year-old buildings offering insights into daily life (Hellenistic and Roman periods)

Current Threats:

  • Rising Sea Levels (Climate Change Impact):
    • Up to 20 meters rise in some areas over the past decade
    • Erosion of ancient building foundations (especially trade and storage areas from 1st-2nd centuries BCE)
    • Collapses observed each spring
  • Material Degradation:
    • Rising temperatures and humidity affecting the chemical composition of ancient monuments
    • Accelerated deterioration due to exceeding tolerance levels for materials
  • Tourist Pressure:
    • Tourists from nearby Mykonos pose risk by straying into restricted areas
    • Limited supervision during peak seasons exacerbates the issue

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