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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs- 20th July, 2015

  • IAS baba
  • July 20, 2015
  • 15
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs July 2015, National, UPSC
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs- 20th July, 2015

 

NATIONAL

Blue Economy, Green Gain

  • Blue Economy is a term referring to a healthy ocean, supporting higher productivity. It encompasses marine products, including minerals and maritime activities, such as shipping services.

Blue economy infrastructure:

  • The aim of blue economy infrastructure is to create environment-friendly infrastructure in the ocean.
  • With this infrastructure, larger cargo consignments can move directly from the mother-ship to the hinterland through inland waterways, obviating the need for trucks or railways.

Blue economy infrastructure In INDIA :

  • What makes it especially attractive in India is the vast coastline of almost 7,500 kilometres, with no immediate coastal neighbours except for some stretches around the southern tip. This is not possible, for example, in the Persian Gulf region because of the proximity to trade routes and contiguous countries. The Strait of Hormuz has several overlapping maritime jurisdictions.
  • Also, when land acquisition is such a contentious issue in India, shifting some infrastructure to the seas is a good economic and political strategy.
  • In 2014, Ministry of shipping had launched an ‘offshore infrastructure (by creating an ocean-based transshipment mechanism) project’ for transporting imported coal to the thermal power station at Farakka in West Bengal.
  • The Transshipment has worked out to be financially viable and environmentally friendlier, compared to traditional handling of cargo at ports.
  • A major network of inland waterways has historically developed on the east coast. On the west coast, it exists only in Goa and Kerala. The eastern waterways can be easily connected to ports for transshipment traffic. The Ganga, Brahmani, Godavari and the Mahanadi basin systems have dormant waterways, but they all lie on the east coast. The proposed project to rejuvenate them will bring cargo to their mouths.
  • For an offshore transloading zone, the availability of calm waters during the monsoons is a problem. But this can be overcome by conducting such operations closer to the coast and seasonally, in calmer waters.

Benefits:

  • As ship sizes become bigger, transhipment or the lighterage operations on the high seas are becoming more viable.
  • Transloading bulk cargo at sea will complement major ports and other underutilised non-major ports. For both shallow and deepwater ports, offshore cargo handling will be a capacity-multiplier.
  • While relieving infrastructure shortages and pressure on an already overburdened rail and road network, this will also bring immense benefits by reducing costs, delays and pollution.
  • As transloading takes place on the high seas, it creates an opportunity to spread the cargo across more ports. By creating a well-distributed network for handling bulk cargo along the entire coastline, the transaction cost can be
  • Ports can multiply operations because each cargo shipment is of small parcel size, with no extra capital expenditure for dredging or for large berths or infrastructure required for large ships.
  • A large network of small ports operating would also lead to less physical congestion or unclogs bottlenecks at ports. This has several advantages – faster clearances mean less waiting time for ships, which also helps the environment by reducing fuel burn; it also saves the demurrage charges (a charge required as compensation for the delay of a ship or freight car or other cargo beyond its scheduled time of departure)

Connecting the Dots:

  • What steps should Indian Government take to complement Blue economy infrastructure complement with the onshore infrastructure?
  • Is the Blue economy infrastructure a viable option? Would this lead to territorial water disputes with the neighbouring countries?
  • Interlink this concept with inter-linking of rivers in India.

No Indian educational institution in global list of top 300 universities

There may be several top class universities in the country but not even a single institute from India figures in the top 300 overall ranks in the global rankings released recently by Centre for World University Rankings.

world ranking universities-min

Why is there no room for an Indian university in the top global rankings?

  • India’s inability to push even one single university to the ranks of the top 300 universities in the World Rankings released is yet another reminder of how far we are away from building centres of educational excellence.
  • But what makes the hurt more galling is that other Bric nations like China, Russia and Brazil could at least make their presence felt in this marquee list in which we still seem to be miles away.

What is the justification given by IIT Chairman?

  • Global ranking agencies include universities started 500-600 years ago abroad, which have billions of dollars as their resource and endowments while the Indian counterparts have no big funds.
  • It is not right to compare foreign universities which neither have any government control nor any legislation, with the Indian ones that are under government control and don’t have any big autonomy

IAS BABA’s View

  • It should be a cause for serious concern that a country of India’s size, which is growing in economic strength and has a great intellectual history, still does not have a top-300 entrant.
  • It does not seem to be making enough progress up the rankings.
  • The world rankings are extremely competitive, as many countries put serious resources into improving the global profile and performance of universities, as part of their economic growth plans; India needs to ensure it does not fall far behind.

Connecting the Dots:

  • Is this a bad scenario for a nation trying to reinvent itself as a new knowledge hub despite being stuck at the fringes of the higher education scene?
  • What is your stand on why is there no room for an Indian university in the top global rankings?

ENVIRONMENT/ECOLOGY

Rise in global temperature might make outdoor work impossible in India

  • If the world warms up by four degrees Celsius, there is a 30 per cent probability that temperatures will be so high that even moderate outdoor work cannot be carried out in the hottest month in northern India, a study on the risks of climate change has said.

environment

What are some alarming facts said by climate scientists?

  • The study also said that on a high emission pathway, flooding in the Ganges basin could be six times more frequent, becoming a 1 in 5 year event over the course of the century.
  • It also said that with 1 meter of global sea level rise, the probability of what is now a “100-year flood event” becomes about 1000 times more likely in Kolkata.
  • It finds that migration from some regions of the world could become “more a necessity than a choice” and that the risks of state failure could rise significantly affecting many countries simultaneously.

What are the Key assessment areas of the Report?

The assessment considers three key areas

  • The future pathway of global emissions
  • The direct risks arising from the climate’s response to those emissions
  • And the risks arising from the interaction of climate change with complex human systems.

IAS BABA’s View

  • The most important decision any government has to make about climate change is one of priority – how much effort to expend on countering it, relative to the effort that must be spent on other issues.
  • This risk assessment aims to inform that decision.
  • In a year when important climate negotiations are scheduled, this kind of multi-country risk assessment hopes to inform a wide range of stakeholders about the risks for which human societies need to prepare.

Connecting the Dots:

  • Write a note on causes of Global Warming.
  • How can humans cope with the kinds of temperatures that scientists fear may become ever more common?
  • Is it time to consider other approaches to climate policy?

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