IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs (Prelims + Mains
Focus)- 09th October 2018
India faces threat of deadly heat waves
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains III – Environment; Climate Change
According to recent UN climate report –
- India to face threat of deadly heat waves
- If the average global temperature rises by more than one degree Celsius from the present, India could “annually” expect conditions like the 2015 heat wave that killed at least 2,000
- The report stated that capping the rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius would require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport and cities.
NRC in Tripura soon?
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II and III – Indian Polity; Centre State Relations; Internal Security; Government policies and interventions
- Supreme Court issued notice to the government on a public interest litigation petition to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tripura, as is being done in Assam.
- NRC is being updated to weed out illegal immigration from Bangladesh and neighbouring regions.
- The petition contended the “influx” of illegal immigrants into Tripura amounted to ‘external aggression’ under Article 355 of the Constitution.
Do you know?
- Article 355 entrusts the duty upon Union to protect the states against “external aggression” and “internal disturbance” to ensure that the government of every State is carried on in accordance with the provisions of Constitution.
To know about NRC and its background, visit the below page –
Odisha, Andhra on red alert as cyclone Titli inches close
Part of: GS Prelims and Mains II – Geography
- India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued red alert to Odisha and Andhra.
- It said the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal has intensified into cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ and is moving towards the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast.
Do you know?
- Earlier, Cyclone Mekunu had hit parts of coastal Karnataka, Mangalore and Udupi.
- ‘Mekunu’ is a Maldivian name as it is located to the northwest of Maldives and west of Lakshadweep.
- The Indian Ocean is an active zone at present and is throwing in a number of disturbances. Moreover, a Cyclone named Luban, the first of the Post Monsoon season had already developed over the Arabian Sea.
- What makes coastal India more susceptible to tropical cyclones?
Person in news: William Nordhaus and Paul Romer
- Two economists — one focusing on climate change and the other on technology — were awarded the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
- Frances H Arnold, George P Smith and Gregory P Winter win Nobel prize in chemistry.
- Briton and two Americans honoured for using evolutionary principles to develop proteins that have been used in new drugs and medical treatments.
- Three scientists won the Nobel Physics Prize for inventing optical lasers that have paved the way for advanced precision instruments used in corrective eye surgery.
- Arthur Ashkin of the U.S., Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada.
- Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018.
TOPIC: General Studies 2 and 3
- Indian diaspora
- Disaster management and resource mobilisation
The diaspora and disasters
- Between August 8 and 20, the devastating floods in Kerala claimed nearly 500 lives, displaced over a million people, and directly affected over a sixth of the State’s total population.
- The State government’s latest report estimates the losses to be more than the State’s annual plan. In the fiscal 2017-18, Kerala’s annual plan outlay was pegged at Rs. 26,500 crore.
- This was the worst flood in Kerala since 1924. In the deluge then, the State received 650 mm of rain compared to 2,344 mm this time. However, the impact was similar.
Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF)
- The difficult task of rebuilding the State has begun and contributions to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) have crossed more than Rs. 1,680 crore.
- The Chief Minister is confident that the State would be able to overcome the shortage of funds by mobilising its own resources and through support from different quarters.
- For Kerala, the most important support system is the Malayali diaspora across the world.
- Successful diaspora groups are among the largest contributors to the CMDRF.
- According to the KMS (Kerala Migration Survey) 2018, there are over 2.1 million Malayali emigrants globally and 1.3 million return migrants.
- The Department of Non-Resident Keralite Affairs, headed by the Chief Minister of Kerala, looks after the welfare of the 3.4 million migrants globally, in addition to the nearly 2 million internal migrants within India.
- These are Keralites who have direct connections to their households — fathers, mothers, spouses, and, in some cases, elderly children.
- There are around 2-3 million (over the last 60 years since the formation of the State in 1956) Malayalis who have moved from Kerala permanently with their family and live within the country or abroad.
Advantages for Kerala
- The advantage Kerala has at this point is to engage with its migrants and diaspora who have been instrumental in rebuilding the destination economies after natural calamities and economic crises.
- The standing of the Malayali diaspora is evident from the extraordinary support Kerala has received from other sovereign states with large diaspora populations such as in West Asia, multinational corporations employing Malayalis, and by the diaspora itself.
- With the depreciation of the Indian rupee, the State can relaunch foreign currency deposit schemes such as the hugely successful India Millennium Deposit Scheme.
- This scheme was introduced in 2000 by the Centre to leverage higher values of foreign currencies so as to overcome financial and economic crises.
- This diaspora will be invaluable in mobilising resources, talent, and knowledge which will be integral in rebuilding the State.
- Unfortunately, not much attention has been paid to the role of diaspora groups in post-disaster situations.
- In a globalised world, the international dimensions of disaster response and recovery, and the significant policy role played by the diaspora can be critical.
- For example, after the earthquake in 2010 in Haiti, the Haitian diaspora in the U.S. served as a conduit for doctors, nurses, engineers, educators, advisers and reconstruction planners.
- Haitian-Americans continue to be vital in long-term recovery — as supplies, remittances, sharing human and financial resources, lobbying governments, international organisations and corporations for disaster relief and redevelopment funding, and in facilitating eased travel restrictions.
- In Nepal, after the 2015 earthquake, the Non-Resident Nepali Association collected $2.69 million, mobilised over 300 volunteers including doctors and nurses, and pledged to rebuild 1,000 disaster resilient houses.
- In the tsunami in South Asia (2004) and the Pakistan earthquake (2005), diaspora and migrant remittances flowed generously, demonstrating the counter cyclical nature of remittances.
- In Kerala, the migrant community and diaspora moved swiftly to organise an Internet-driven response.
- By sharing and re-sharing vital information on affected regions and people, supplies, and precautionary measures (on social media platforms), they were instrumental in expanding the flow of information that would later be used by politicians, private and military rescue operations, and relief workers.
- For example, a Kerala Health Department report has made it clear that there will be a 100% increase in the demand for pharmaceutical drugs.
- These can be sourced quickest through transnational diaspora networks.
- As the diaspora is one of the greatest assets of Kerala, communities should improve relations with diaspora groups. Return migrants should also act as liaison agents.
- Diaspora communities will also inevitably shape political and economic responses to a disaster.
- The linking of social capital between diaspora, civil society organisations, advocacy groups and government institutions, although necessary during rehabilitation, is bound to lead to unanticipated and undesirable outcomes.
- At least temporarily, the State may witness higher rates of emigration among the common people as they try to mitigate losses caused by the floods.
- For example, the KMS shows that migrants use over 40% of their remittances in purchasing land, construction and repayment of mortgage debt.
- Finally, we need to investigate the relationship between rehabilitation and migration further.
Connecting the dots:
- What is ‘pravasi bhartiya divas’? Discuss the role of Indian diaspora in socio-economic growth and development of India.
TOPIC: General Studies 3
- International organisations and reports on climate change and its mitigation
- Climate financing
The 1.5°C challenge
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases its ‘special report’ on keeping warming to under 1.5°C as compared to pre-industrial times.
- The 2015 agreement, which has become the cornerstone of climate change mitigation efforts worldwide, proposed to keep the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
- But the report that was released on recently has found this threshold to be inadequate.
What is IPCC?
- The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.
- The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
- More on: IPCC Fact Sheet
Observations of the report
- The IPCC believe that complete decarbonisation is not an impossible goal.
- In a break from its tradition of not recommending policy prescriptions, the global body has called for up-scaling low-carbon technologies and increased energy efficiency.
- But such interventions will not be enough and investments will have to move towards afforestation and technology-centred approaches, including ones that involve sucking the greenhouse gas before it reaches the atmosphere.
- The report also emphasises adaptation methods.
Warnings by report
- The world is already 1°C hotter than what it was 150 years ago.
- It could witness greater frequency of droughts and floods, more intense tropical cyclones and increased ocean acidification and salinity if the planet heats by a further 0.5°C. That could happen anytime between 2030 and 2050.
- A more than 1.5°C warming will be precarious, and a 2°C rise would be catastrophic.
- This means that current mitigation efforts — calibrated to stave off calamitous events by 2075 — will require drastic up-scaling.
- What is worrying is that the world is not even on course to meet the comparatively conservative demands of a 2°C-rise-in-temperature scenario.
- One of the criticisms of the Paris Accord-mandated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) is that they are insufficient to meet these demands.
- Another major concern is about climate financing, which has remained unresolved.
- The imperative of making communities resilient in the face of global warming and the focus on novel technologies require that urgency is accorded to shoring up climate finances.
- Unfortunately, funding has been the Achilles’ heel (a weakness or vulnerable point) of global climate change negotiations.
- As of December 2017, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) — the main instrument of fulfilling the developed countries’ collective promise of putting $100 billion annually into the hat by 2020 — had disbursed less than 10 per cent of its commitment.
- And in July, a meeting of the fund’s board ended without a decision on how to bolster the agency’s pool.
- The rulebook of the Paris Climate Accord, that is slated to be finalised by the end of the year, is mandated to take care of these concerns.
- It will now also need to factor in the challenges laid out by the IPCC report.
What is Green Climate Fund (GCF)?
- GCF was set up by the countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, as part of the Convention’s financial mechanism.
- It aims to deliver equal amounts of funding to mitigation and adaptation, while being guided by the Convention’s principles and provisions.
- GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change.
- When the Paris Agreement was reached in 2015, the Green Climate Fund was given an important role in serving the agreement and supporting the goal of keeping climate change well below 2 degrees Celsius.
- The Fund’s investments can be in the form of grants, loans, equity or guarantees.
- More on: Green Climate Fund
- If there is one message from the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it’s this: Checking global warming will require major changes in the Paris Climate Pact’s targets.
Connecting the dots:
- Checking global warming will require major changes in the Paris Climate Pact’s targets. Do you agree? Elucidate.
(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)
Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)
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Q.1) Which of the following are the objectives of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)?
- Increasing agricultural productivity
- Resilience to climate change
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Select the correct answer using code below
- 1 and 2
- 1 and 3
- 2 and 3
- 1,2 and 3
Q.2) Which of the following statements are correct?
- In the southern hemisphere, the cyclones spin clockwise
- In the northern hemisphere, the cyclones spin ant-clockwise
- Recurving cyclone move westward and poleward
Select the correct statements
- 1 and 2
- 2 and 3
- 1 and 3
- All of the above
Q.3) Which of the following factors have contributed to the increased severity of Arabian Sea cyclones post-monsoon?
- Arabian Sea surface becomes warmer than the other ocean basins during this period
- Interplay of global warming, climate variability and weather changes
Select the correct statements
- 1 Only
- 2 Only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.4) Which of the following are preconditions for the formation of a tropical cyclone?
- A low pressure center
- High temperature
- Presence of moisture
- Absence of Coriolis force
Select the code from the following:
- 1,2 and 3
- 2,3 and 4
- 1 and 2
- 1,3 and 4
Power politics at play
Time to avoid phrases that mock disabilities
Fight the good fight
Recalling an older power play
Caging the current account deficit
India’s S-400 balancing act