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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

Blue Flag Certification

4th December 2019

Why in news?

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ Certification for select beaches in the country.

Blue Flag Certification:

  • Blue Flag is an international award presented to well manage beaches with excellent water quality and environmental education programmes.
  • The certification is issued by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
  • Blue Flag criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria.
  • The Award is given to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators as an indication of their high environmental and quality standards.
  • Awards are issued on an annual basis to FEE member countries.

Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE):

  • The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development through environmental education.
  • FEE conducts mainly five programmes such as
  • Blue Flag,
  • Eco-Schools,
  • Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE)
  • Learning about Forests (LEAF) and
  • Green Key
  • It was established in 1981.
  • It’s headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Note – 13 pilot beaches have been identified for the certification from India.

National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP)

Why in news?

In a reply to a question in RajyaSabha the Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, said that the Government has developed a standard operating procedure for all ports in the country to deal with oil spills and other accidents that can damage the marine ecology surrounding the ports.

More about:

  • Under the Scheme 10 Major Ports and 8 Non Major Ports have been provided financial assistance so far for procurement of Oil Spill Response (OSR) equipment as per specifications suggested in NOSDCP-2015.

National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP):

  • National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan (NOSDCP) delineates the role and responsibility of various authorities including ports during an oil spill.
  • Plan aims to develop appropriate and effective systems for the detection and reporting of spillage of oil.
  • Annual calendar is published for conduct of different levels of exercises involving various stakeholders for exercising their capabilities in mitigating risk of oil spills in their area of jurisdiction.
  • As per NOSDCP, ports are required to be capable of handling tier-I level of oil spill within their jurisdiction.

Oil Spillage:

  • An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment,
  • Especially the marine ecosystem,
  • Due to human activity, and is a form of pollution.

Facts for Prelims

Hornbill Festival :

  • 20th Edition of Hornbill Festival begins in Nagaland.

Hornbill Festival:

  • Hornbill Festival was established on 1st December 1963, but the first festival was held in 2000.
  • Hornbill Festival is celebrated in Nagaland.
  • Duration: It is annually held from 1 – 10 December.
  • Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departmentsof the Government of Nagaland.
  • The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.
  • The Hornbill Festival provides a colorful mixture of dances, performances, crafts, parades, games, sports, food fairs and religious ceremonies.


  • The 8th India-China joint training exercise ‘HAND-IN-HAND 2019’ with the theme counter terrorism under United Nations mandate is scheduled to be conduct at Umroi, Meghalaya.
  • The aim of the exercise is to practice joint planning and conduct of counter terrorist operations in semi urban terrain.


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