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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 9th October, 2015

  • October 9, 2015
  • 4
IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs Analysis, IASbaba's Daily Current Affairs October 2015, National, UPSC
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IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 9th October, 2015

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Climate goals on target:

Paradox:

The criticism that India’s use of coal for generation of electricity is projected to double by 2030But, according to the International Energy Agency, India will use less coal for electricity generation than the U.S. even in 2040.

India moves steadily towards target:

  • India has achieved an emissions intensity reduction of 18.6 per cent and will now aim for 33 to 35 per cent reduction.

Recent position:

  • Currently, renewable energy, nuclear energy and hydropower together contribute 30 per cent of the overall installed capacity.

Future prospects in non-conventional energy:

  • India will have 40 per cent of the total installed power capacity in 2030 based on non-fossil fuel-based sources.
  • With power production expected to triple, this will amount to 320 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity.
  • Nuclear would increase more than ten times to 63GW and hydro power is expected to double to 84 GW, with land availability being the key concern.
  • The government also plans to develop a 1,40,000-km tree-line along both sides of the national highways. Since sequestration depends on forest management, this element will require greater focus on implementation.

Fund Mobilization:

  • India is seeking investments of U.S. $100 billion over seven years to boost the domestic solar energy capacity by 33 times to 1,00,000 megawatts by 2022.
  • Additional carbon sinks of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent will be created by 2030.

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions:

INDC state that India’s “objective in Paris in December 2015 is to establish an effective, cooperative and equitable global architecture”. Three key elements of this framework are promoting

  • Sustainable production processes and sustainable lifestyles across the globe
  • Creation of a regime where facilitative technology transfer replaces an exploitative market-driven mechanism and
  • A common understanding of universal progress.

Limitations:

  • The importance of peaking of emissions is misplaced, as it does not address modification of longer term trends in natural resource use.
  • The current emphasis on emission reductions really focuses on symptoms rather than causes and solutions.

Securing future by increasing efficiency:

It has been estimated that currently three ‘basic’ human needs — housing, food, mobility — directly account for 80 per cent of resource use, 40 per cent of energy demand and 36 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions; nearly two-fifth of the cumulative emission reductions required by 2050 could come from efficiency improvements, making energy efficiency essentially a fuel..

Smart ideas that India can take up:

  • India should have integrated its Smart Cities campaign into a plan for low carbon development of cities.
  • A greater focus on sharing rather than owning cars would impact the fastest growing emissions.
  • Changing lifestyles must begin in schools.
  • Better linkages are also needed — for example, afforestation in catchments of hydro projects to check silting.

Way Forward:

Faced with global ecological limits, focus has to shift from ‘environmental risk management’ to ‘economic growth within ecological limits’.

It is in responding to this mega-trend that India’s climate policy could have been more forward looking. The focus everywhere is shifting from production patterns to consumption patterns.

About INDC:

The action plan is built around three elements:

  • Reduction in emissions intensity, or emissions per unit of GDP,
  • An increase in forest cover, and
  • A greater role for renewable energy in power generation.

What are India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) on climate change going to look like?

  • India’s INDCs will contain an emissions reduction target, as well as a target for reducing energy intensity.
  • India’s cumulative emission is only 3 per cent
  • INDCs announced by India are comprehensive, progressive and ambitious
  • India has to put economic growth before committing itself to cut down emissions
  • Cutting down emission will slow down the economy, therefore needs is a comprehensive strategy

Connecting the dots:

  • What does India’s recently framed INDC intends at? How can emission reduction be achieved in context of climate policy?
  • It is clear that India will need huge investment to move from conventional energy generation to non-conventional energy generation. How can India meet the need of huge investment for infrastructure creation?

 

NATIONAL

Mistaken Quest for a ‘Purified’ Democracy

Right to Vote

  • In India, Right to Vote is a Statutory
  • ‘Undertrial prisoners’, those in ‘police custody’ and the ones serving the sentence are not allowed to vote even if their name is listed in the electoral roll.

Where are the participants?

  • This is a grave miscarriage of the notion of equality as more than 65% of the inmates, holding the power to vote, languishes behind the bars without being proven guilty.
  • The consistency of Section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act with the world’s largest democracy fails as it excludes 4,00,000 of its prospective voters who holds the onus to bring about wide-ranging changes.
SC’s Judgement Arguments against SC
 Curb Criminalisation + Maintain ‘purity’ by excluding ‘pollution’ elements of democracy Merely preventing them to Vote will not solve the issue+ Requires ‘strong’ measures & punishment for the guilty
  Resource Crunch + Impracticability + Wastage of Time ‘Civil Liberties’ cannot be evaluated on the basis of these justifications+ Democratically inhumane+ Side-stepping on the obligatory nature of the issue at hand

Drawbacks

  • Negation of Civic Liberty & Capacity takes place leading to further deterioration of one’s Social Status
  • Breeds further alienation from the normal course of community-life pushing him/her towards finding an identity with the convicted.

Background

Representation of the People Act, 1951:

  • Article 324 to 329 of Part XV of the Constitution deals with the electoral system in our country
  • Constitution allows Parliament to make provisions in all matters relating to elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.
  • In exercise of this power, the Parliament has enacted laws like Representation of the People Act 1950 (RPA Act 1950), Representation of the People Act 1951 (RPA Act 1951) and Delimitation Commission Act of 1952.

Representation of Peoples Act 1950 (RPA Act 1950):

  • Qualification of voters
  • Preparation of electoral rolls
  • Delimitation of constituencies
  • Allocation of seats in the Parliament and state legislatures

Convicted or not, rule applies to those in jail and police custody; not applicable to those out on bail.

IASbaba’s Views:

  • Along with the electoral reforms, there needs to be a mechanism at place to deal with laws that mark a radical shift of the Judiciary from a ‘justice-providing seat’ to a seat of defeating the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.
  • A proper framework should be worked upon in terms of the severity of the crime committed, duration of prison term, judgement on case-by-case basis, as well as the elimination of economic inequality that exists between persons who are out on bail while awaiting trial and the undertrials.
  • Re-examination of aims behind disenfranchising undertrials needs to be incorporated and the perusal of age-old method of chain of exclusions need to be countered with well-framed questioning of the legitimate justification for their deprivation.

Connecting the Dots:

  • There is an urgent need for the Supreme Court of India to revisit the electoral reforms to stand justified against the ‘purity’ tainted litmus test of time. Comment
  • ‘Right to Vote, even if not fundamental, contains in itself a privilege that can be robbed off an individual.’ Examine the perils of the statement and comment on the entrenched social prejudices that come into play as a consequence.

 

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