Monday, 1st November 2021

Table of contents

1   News Snapshot

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G-20 Summit, 2021

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Rise in Farmer Suicides

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Amendments to Energy Conservation Act, 2001

2   Featured News

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Emissions Gap Report 2021

3   Terms & Concepts

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This Day in History - Queen’s proclamation

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Image of the Day - National Unity Day

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India’s First Indigenous Long-Range Bomb

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Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS)

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Flash Flood Guidance System

4   Editorial of the day

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Why India needs a Ministry of Energy: IE

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There’s a mismatch between India’s graduate aspirations and job availability: IE

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Getting nutrition back on the school high table: TH

5   Case Study of the Day

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Cycling over City

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News Snapshot

G-20 Summit, 2021


In News

G20 leaders’ recent meeting in Rome committed to the key goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and pledged action on the use of coal, but fell short on a target of zero emissions.

About the news

  • Importance of G20 pledges: The pledges by the Group of 20 major economies, who emit nearly 80% of carbon emissions, are viewed as crucial to the success of COP26, at Glasgow.
  • India at G20: Commerce Minister of India hailed the communique for acknowledging India’s concerns on climate justice.
    • India managed to safeguard the interest of developing countries by ensuring that the statement acknowledges that developed nations need to deliver on affordable finance and innovative technology.
    • Decisions made at the G20 meeting, 2021

 

 

What is missing in the G20 communique?

  • Net Zero Deadline: There was no consensus on deadline for net zero emission targets. The final communique, spoke only of the key relevance of achieving global net zero on carbon emissions by or around mid-century.
  • Domestic Commitments: No mention on domestic commitments to end coal power generation.
  • Pathways to Goals: The pathway to achieve the goal was not clear in the statement. Under current national climate commitments, the world is on track for a temperature increase of 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

 

Sources:

Keywords: G20, climate crisis, net-zero targets, global warming, Rome, climate change, IR, multi-lateral organizations, Global economy, Taxation, Vaccines, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3
News Snapshot

Rise in Farmer Suicides


In News

The number of agricultural labourers who died by suicide in 2020 was 18% higher than 2019 as per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)’s report ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India, 2020’.

About the Farm Suicides in 2020

  • Farm Suicides: About 7% of all suicides in the country in 2020 was committed by people engaged in the farm sector, slightly higher than that in 2019.

  • Among farmers who cultivate their own land, with or without the help of other workers, the number of suicides dropped by 7%.
  • Among tenant farmers who cultivate leased land, there was a 23% drop in suicides.
  • Agriculture as a primary source: Most of these deaths were among those whose primary work and main source of income comes from labour activities in agriculture or horticulture.
  • Irony: The farm sector was one of the few bright spots in the Indian economy in 2020 because of healthy monsoon and the continuation of agricultural activities during the lockdown.
  • Reason for distress: The NCRB report does not include any indication of the specific causes of suicide among the farm community.
  • However, landless agricultural labourers who did not benefit from income support schemes such as PM Kisan may have faced higher levels of distress during the pandemic.
  • State wise impact: Maharashtra reported most suicides (4,006) from the farm sector, including a 15% increase in farm worker suicides.
    • Other states such as Karnataka (2,016), Andhra Pradesh (889), Madhya Pradesh (735) have reported higher suicides.
    • Karnataka saw a 43% increase in the number of farm worker suicides in 2020.
    • Andhra Pradesh was among the few States that saw an improvement, with 14% fewer people in the farm sector dying by suicide.

Other finding of the NCRB report

  • The NCRB report divides suicides into nine categories — daily wagers, housewives and people working in the farm sector, professionals/salaried persons, students, unemployed, persons, self-employed persons, retired persons, and others.
  • Suicides in India rose 10 per cent from 2019 to an all-time high of 1,53,052 in 2020, with student suicides seeing the highest percentage increase at 21.20 per cent.
  • Daily wage earners made up the largest share of total suicides at 37,666 in 2020

 

Source:

Keywords: Farmer Suicide, agriculture distress, agriculture laborers, NCRB, Paper 3, Society and Social Issues, Paper 1
News Snapshot

Amendments to Energy Conservation Act, 2001


In News

The Ministry of Power has proposed amendments to Energy Conservation Act, 2001 to boost renewable energy consumption.

 

About the News

  • The Government has identified new areas to achieve higher levels of penetration of renewable energy through certain amendments to Energy Conservation Act, 2001 to address the growing energy needs and the changing global climate
  • The objective will be to enhance demand for renewable energy at the end-use sectors such as industry, buildings, transport etc.
  • With the amendments, the focus is to empower institutions to contribute for Paris commitments and fully implement NDCs in a timely manner.

Provisions of the Amendments

  • Share of Renewable energy consumption: The minimum share/quantum of renewable energy in the overall consumption either directly or indirectly through grid by the industrial units or any establishment will be defined under the amendment.
  • There will be provision to incentivise efforts on using clean energy sources by means of carbon saving certificate.
  • This will help in reduction of fossil fuel based energy consumption and carbon emission to the atmosphere.
  • Promotion of Green Hydrogen: The provisions facilitate promotion of green Hydrogen as an alternate to the existing fossil fuels used by the Industries.
  • Sustainable Habitat: The proposal also includes expanding the scope of Act to include larger Residential buildings, with an aim to promote Sustainable Habitat.

 

How will the proposed amendments be beneficial?

  • Carbon Credits: The additional incentives in the form of Carbon credits against deployment of clean technologies will result in private sector involvement in climate actions
  • Carbon Market: The proposed amendments would facilitate development of Carbon market in India. This will help in reduction of fossil fuel based energy consumption and carbon emission to the atmosphere.
  • Adoption of clean technologies: The proposed changes to the EC Act will boost the adoption of clean technologies in various sectors of economy.
  • This will enable India to achieve its target of reducing emission intensity by 33-35% in 2030 against the levels of 2005 as per its commitment to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Salient features of Energy Conservation Act, 2001

This act gives the power to the central government and in some cases, the state also gets the power to:

  • Fix the energy usage standards for specific appliances and equipment.
  • Give direction that there should be a mandatory display of labels specific equipment and appliances.
  • Stop the building, import, and sale of the items which are not to the standards.
  • Inform energy concentrated businesses, different foundations, and business structures as assigned customers
  • Set up and recommend energy utilization standards and guidelines for assigned buyers
  • Prescribe or make changes in Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC) to local conditions for energy conservation and efficient use of energy in a new commercial building with a contract load of 500 kW.
  • Make and provide Central and State Energy Conservation Fund

 

Source:

Keywords: Energy Conservation Act, 2001, Clean Enenrgy, Green Enenrgy, Renewable Energy, NDCs, GS Paper 3
Featured News

Emissions Gap Report 2021


In News

The ‘Emissions Gap Report 2021: The Heat Is On’ has been recently released by the UNEP

About the News

  • The Emissions Gap Report 2021: The Heat Is On is the 12th edition in an annual series that provides an overview of the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
  • The Emissions Gap Report 2021 shows that new national climate pledges combined with other mitigation measures put the world on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century. To keep global warming below 5°C this century, the world needs to halve annual greenhouse gas emissions in the next eight years.
  • Nationally determined contribution (NDC): Submissions by countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement which presents their national efforts to reach the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal of limiting warming to well below 2°C.
    • New or updated NDCs were expected to be submitted in 2020 and should be submitted every five years thereafter. NDCs thus represent a country’s current ambition/target for reducing emissions nationally.

Key Findings of the Report

 

But, there are pathways for a Green Recovery

 

Conclusion: Climate action so far has been characterized by weak promises, not yet delivered. As the Emissions Gap Report 2021 shows, the updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement fall into the same trap. These pledges only take 7.5 per cent off predicted 2030 emissions, compared to the previous round of commitments. This is far from adequate. Reductions of 30 per cent are needed to stay on the least-cost pathway for 2°C and 55 per cent for 1.5°C.

Question: Discuss the major gaps in the emission status of the world. What can done to mend the gaps?

 

 

Sources:

Keywords: History, GS Paper 1, Queen’s proclamation
Terms & Concepts

This Day in History - Queen’s proclamation


On November 1, 1858, a grand Darbar was held at Allahabad. Queen’s proclamation to the "Princes, Chiefs, and People of India" also known as the ‘Government of India Act 1858’ was issued by Queen on this day. Lord Canning announced Queen Victoria’s proclamation to “the Princes, Chiefs and Peoples of India,” which unveiled a new British policy of perpetual support for “native princes” and non-intervention in matters of religious belief or worship within British India. The announcement reversed Lord Dalhousie’s pre-war policy of political unification through princely state annexation, and princes were left free to adopt any heirs they desired so long as they all swore undying allegiance to the British crown. The document was called “Magna Carta of the People of India” and declared that the principles of justice and religious toleration will act as the guiding policy of the queen’s rule.

 

Source:

Keywords: History, GS Paper 1, Queen’s proclamation
Terms & Concepts

Image of the Day - National Unity Day


National Unity Day or Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is celebrated on October 31 every year. The Government of India introduced the day in 2014 to mark the birth anniversary of Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of independent India. Vallabhbhai Patel was dubbed “Sardar” (chief) for his leadership skills in leading the country through the struggle for independence and beyond, and most notably during the integration of the princely states and the India-Pakistan War of 1947. For his commitment to the national integration of the newly independent country, Sardar Patel earned the sobriquet “Iron Man of India”. On National Unity Day, a pledge is read out in government offices, public sector undertakings (PSUs), and other public institutions in accordance of an official order by the government.

 

 

Sources:

Keywords: National Unity Day, Ekta Diwas, Sardar Patel, national integration, GS Paper 1
Terms & Concepts

India’s First Indigenous Long-Range Bomb


  • Context: An Indian Air Force (IAF) team and the DRDO have successfully flight-tested the long-range bomb (LRB) from a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet over Balasore in Odisha.
  • LRB is India’s first indigenously developed bomb and is part of the class of weapons with a range of 50 to 150 km.
  • It can carry a warhead of 1000 kilograms.
  • The bomb has been designed and developed by DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) laboratory in Hyderabad, in coordination with other DRDO laboratories.
  • The successful test of the LR Bomb makes India capable of staying well within its territory and hitting enemy targets at 100 kilometres with high accuracy.