Latest Current Affairs October, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of October, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.
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According to recently released Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas prepared by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), India among nations that face grave danger to soil biodiversity. The atlas was released as part of WWF’s biennial Living Planet Report (LPR) 2018. The key aspect of this year’s report was threat to soil biodiversity and pollinators, the two key drivers of biodiversity. These two key drivers loss were due to over exploitation of natural resources and agriculture.
Highlights of report
Soil Biodiversity: It encompasses presence of micro-organisms, micro-fauna (nematodes and tardigrades for example), and macro-fauna (ants, termites and earthworms).
Millions of microbial and animal species live and make up soils, from bacteria and fungi to mites, beetles and earthworms. Soil biodiversity, thus is total community from genes to species, and varies depending on environment.
The immense diversity in soil allows for great variety of ecosystem services that benefit species that inhabit it, the species that use it and its surrounding environment.
WWF’s ‘risk index’ for globe: It indicated threats from loss of above-ground diversity, pollution and nutrient over-loading, over-grazing, intensive agriculture, fire, soil erosion, desertification and climate change.
India was coloured red on atlas and is among countries whose soil biodiversity faces the highest level of risk. Other countries in this category include Pakistan, China, several countries in Africa and Europe, and most of North America.
India’s per capita ecological footprint: It was less than 1.75 hectares/person (it is in lowest band among countries surveyed). India’s high population made it vulnerable to ecological crisis, even if per-capita consumption remained at current levels.
Pollinators: 150 million bee colonies were needed to meet the pollination requirements of about 50 million hectares of agricultural land in India, only 1.2 million colonies were present.
Ecological loss: Population of fish, mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles has dwindled by average of 60% from 1970 to 2014 and fresh-water species have declined by 83% in same period. Globally, extent of wetlands os estimated to have declined by 87% since 1970.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
It is international non-governmental organization working field of the wilderness preservation and reduction of human impact on the environment. It was formerly named World Wildlife Fund. It is world’s largest conservation organization with over five million supporters worldwide, working in more than 100 countries, supporting around 1,300 conservation and environmental projects. It founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland. WWF aims to stop degradation of planet’s natural environment and build future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Currently, its work is organized around these six areas: food, climate, freshwater, wildlife, forests, and oceans. It publishes Living Planet Report every two years since 1998 and it is based on Living Planet Index and ecological footprint calculation.
The 19th meeting of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The meeting was attended by RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R. Patel, SEBI chairman, IRDAI Chairman along with heads and other senior officers of Government and financial sector regulators.
Key Highlights of Meeting
Economic Review: It reviewed health of economy, both domestic and global, financial sector performance and issues due to rising oil prices. It also discussed issue of real interest rate, current liquidity situation, including segmental liquidity position in NBFCs and mutual fund space.
Cyber Security in Financial Sector: It also reviewed developments regarding strengthening of Cyber Security in Financial Sector and progress made towards setting up of Computer Emergency Response Team in the Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) under Statutory Framework. It also deliberated on need for identifying and securing critical information infrastructure in financial sector.
Crypto Currency: It also deliberated on issues and challenges of Crypto Assets and Currency. It was briefed about deliberations of High-level Committee chaired by Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise appropriate legal framework to ban use o fprivate crypto currencies in India and encouraging use of distributed ledger technology (blockchain), as announced in Budget 2018-19.
RegTech and SupTech: It also discussed market developments and financial stability implications of use of RegTech and SupTech by financial firms and regulatory and supervisory authorities. It also discussed implementation of recommendations of Sumit Bose Committee on measures, such as promoting appropriate disclosure regime for financial distribution costs.
Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)
FSDC is super regulatory body for regulating financial sector which is vital for bringing healthy and efficient financial system in economy of the country. It was set up in 2010 by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
Mandate: To strengthen and institutionalise mechanism of maintaining financial stability, financial sector development, inter-regulatory coordination along with monitoring macro-prudential regulation of economy and promoting financial sector development.
Composition: Union Finance Minister is chairman of FSDC. Its members are heads of all financial sector regulatory authorities (i.e, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA), Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board, Finance Secretary and Secretary, Department of Economic Affair; Secretary, Department of Financial Services and Chief Economic Adviser.