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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 10th November 2021

  • IASbaba
  • November 10, 2021
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(PRELIMS + MAINS FOCUS)


New climate pledges barely affect global heating: UN

Part of: Prelims and GS III – Environment

Context According to the UN, the number of emissions pledges around the COP26 climate summit will likely do little to slow global warming.

  • It has urged nations to sharply accelerate their greenhouse gas cuts this decade.

Key takeaways 

  • Nations have presented a range of new and enhanced commitments in recent weeks as the UN climate summit sets its sights on limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • India has also vowed to be carbon neutral by 2070.
  • Nationally determined contributions, or NDCs of countries are very far off from the target which has put Earth on course to warm a “catastrophic” 2.7 degrees Celsius this century.
  • Besides, a fresh assessment of their new pledges by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) found the outcome was “very similar”, largely because the most ambitious emissions cuts are envisaged after 2030.
  • The report highlights the challenges facing climate negotiations because of the yawning gap between the emissions cuts needed this decade to keep warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and the continuing increases in greenhouse gases pumped into the atmosphere.
  • UNFCCC said that countries’ renewed NDCs would see emissions climb 13.7% by 2030 before sharply declining thereafter.
  • To keep in line with 1.5C, emissions must instead fall 45% by then.

Portable Oxygen Cans

Part of: Prelims and GS-II – Health 

Context After oxygen cylinders, it’s everyday-use portable oxygen cans that are now witnessing brisk sales across the country, with escalating air pollution levels and increased travel and outdoor activities. It is also being used by those recovering from COVID-19.

 Key takeaways 

  • Sales of these portable oxygen cans have doubled post-Diwali, and are expected to triple in the coming weeks.
  • Delhi-NCR alone claims to bring in 65% of the sales, while Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune also are witnessing a steady climb in demand for this product.
  • Not recommended: Medical doctors are not ready to give an all-clear for the product, stating that it can actually delay medical intervention and lead to a false sense of well-being.
    • According to doctors, these cans are not useful and they should not be recommended
  • Not a substitute: Technically, a patient in need of oxygen will require at least 1 litre per minute. While these portable oxygen spray cans can have up to 12 litres of oxygen, they will last for about 10 minutes or even less. They shouldn’t be seen as a medical intervention.
    • These oxygen spray cans will hardly help in times of acute respiratory failure. One requires a continuous, high flow of oxygen supply with a proper setting.
  • Restricted use: These spray cans may only be used in areas with severe air pollution, for certain sports activities, high-altitude climbing and expeditions, mountaineering, sky expeditions etc.
  • Hazardous: As oxygen supports combustion, storing these at homes is also hazardous.

LEADS Report 2021

Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Infrastructure 

Context Recently, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has released the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) Report (Index) 2021.

About LEADS Report

  • The LEADS report is aimed at gauging the logistics performance of states and Union Territories (UT) and identifying areas where they can improve logistics performance.
  • It was launched in 2018.
  • States are ranked based on quality and capacity of key infrastructure such as road, rail and warehousing and on operational ease of logistics 

Ranking of States

  • Top Performers: Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab 
    • This is the third year in a row that Gujarat remained on top of the rankings.
  • Delhi stands at the top rank among Other UTs.
  • North Eastern States and Himalayan Region: Jammu and Kashmir followed by Sikkim and Meghalaya.

PNS Tughril

Part of: Prelims and GS III – International relations

Context China recently delivered to Pakistan’s Navy Chinese warship, to be deployed by Pakistan in the Indian Ocean.

Key takeaways 

  • The delivery of the Type 054A frigate is the latest example of increasingly close military cooperation.
  • It has been named PNS Tughril by the Pakistani Navy, and it is “the first hull of four Type 054 frigates being constructed for the Pakistan Navy”.
  • It is equipped with state-of-the-art combat management and an electronic warfare system along with modern self-defence capabilities.
  •  It can simultaneously execute a number of naval warfare missions in a highly intense multi-threat environment.

Padma awards

Part of: Prelims

Context: The President of India presented the Padma awards for the year 2020 -2021.

  • For the year 2020, the list comprises seven Padma Vibhushans, 10 Padma Bhushans and 102 Padma Shri awards.
  • The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day. 
  • The Awards are given in three categories: 
    • Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service).
    • Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order) and 
    • Padma Shri (distinguished service).
  • It was instituted in 1954.
  • All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards.
  • The awards are presented by the President of India 
  • The Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, Which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
  • The Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members. 
  • The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval.

(News from PIB)


Legal Services Day:

  • It is observed on 9th November
  • Article 8 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 provides that “Everyone has the right or an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted by the constitution or by law.” 
  • Article 39 A of the Constitution of India spells out the paradigm for ensuring justice to all. The Constitutional vision of “Equal Justice and Free Legal Aid” is imperative for a nation whose millions of people are living in abject poverty. Having fundamental rights doesn’t make a country great. People should be aware of the fundamental duties and oblige them. A common man can live a dignified life, if he is given proper legal aid.

India’s Services Export target

Part of: Prelims 

In News: India is poised to achieve services export target of $1 trn by 2030.

Services sector provides employment to nearly 2.6 crore people and contributes approximately 40% to India’s total global exports.

  • Services trade surplus was $89 bn in FY 2020-21 
  • The largest FDI recipient (53% of FDI inflows 2000-2021)
  • In 2020, India became the 7th largest services exporter in the world, moving up the ladder by two positions. 
  • Services PMI rose to a decade high of 58.4 in Oct’21

Indian services 

  • Have the twin power of universal acceptance & universal attraction.
  • Is boosting India’s transition from an assembly economy to a knowledge based economy.
  • from being the ‘Back office’ to the ‘Brain office’ of the world

News Source: PIB


The Minerals Concession Rules, 2021

Part of: Prelims and Mains GS-II: Government policies

In News: Ministry of Mines has notified the Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Mineral) Concession (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2021 to amend The Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Mineral) Concession Rules, 2016 [MCR, 2016].

Objectives:

  • Increasing employment and investment in the mining sector
  • Increase revenue to the States
  • Increase the production and time bound operationalisation of mines
  • Increase the pace of exploration and auction of mineral resources, etc.

Some of the rules – 

  • Provide for Sale of 50% of Mineral Produced from Captive Leases
  • Allows easy disposal of overburden/waste rock; part surrender of mining lease area allowed in all cases
  • Penalty Provisions in the Rules Rationalised

News Source: PIB


(Mains Focus)


ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE

  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • GS-3: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment. 

Challenges of Electric Vehicles

Context: Electric vehicles is considered as a major solution to a severe emissions problem but it is not without challenges.

Transport Sector & Emissions

  • The transport sector is responsible for almost a quarter of direct carbon-dioxide emissions from burning fuel. Of that, passenger cars account for 45%. 
  • Emissions goes beyond tailpipe exhaust: Every step of making a vehicle’s 20,000-30,000 parts, which involves a few thousand tonnes of aluminium, steel and other materials, produces emissions.

Issues with Electric Vehicles

  • Electric Vehicles may eventually solve the tailpipe-emission problem, they don’t address all the damage done to the environment while making them
  • Compared with traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, greenhouse gases released while making EVs account for a higher portion of life-cycle emissions.
  • As the EV gains momentum, battery production and research is powering ahead and sales are growing. That means material emissions will rise to over 60% by 2040 from 18% today.
  • Decarbonizing the production phase of a car is harder than the use phase
  • Currently battery units in EVs are heavy, increasing the total weight of the car, which in turn requires more energy to drive. To deal with this, carmakers are turning to aluminium for light-weight body designs, with EVs using 45% more of the Aluminium than traditional vehicles. Emissions from aluminium have started rising because it’s energy-intensive to mine and produce.
  • Companies try to make batteries that can take cars further, they are using nickel, cobalt and manganese, which generate still more greenhouse gases.
  • The high greenhouse gas emissions in the car manufacturing supply chain are “not even properly quantified by carmakers, because of poor disclosure of their suppliers’ emissions data

Way Forward

  • The best path forward starts with better disclosure on life-cycle emissions of EVs.
  • There is need to make better EV batteries, so as to get more energy into a smaller, lighter batteries. 
  • There is need for realistic solutions like battery recycling, prioritizing types that use less carbon-intensive materials, or emission caps on the battery and electric vehicle manufacturing process.

Connecting the dots:


HEALTH/ GOVERNANCE

  • GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Project Sampoorna for Malnutrition

Context: Project Sampoorna which was successfully implemented in Bongaigaon district of Assam is a model that can be easily implemented anywhere in reducing child malnutrition

  • The project has resulted in the reduction of malnutrition in children using near zero economic investment.

Vicious Cycle of Malnutrition

  • Malnourished child growing into an unhealthy adolescent, and then further into an anaemic pregnant young woman giving birth to an asphyxiated low birth weight baby.
  • This baby then facing possible developmental delays, only to grow into a malnourished child; and this child who struggles further for nutrition.
  • In order to break out of this vicious cycle, the low-hanging fruit had to be targeted — children’s nutrition.

About Project Sampoorna

  • Bongaigaon district in Assam has a total of 2,416 malnourished children; 246 cases of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and 2,170 instances of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).
  • Based on the success of the community-based COVID-19 management model (Project Mili Juli), Project Sampoorna was launched targeting the mothers of SAM/MAM children, the tagline being ‘Empowered Mothers, Healthy Children’.
  • The mother of a healthy child of the same Anganwadi Centre (AWC) was identified and paired her with the target mother; they would be ‘Buddy Mothers’ (2,416 pairs). 
  • They were usually neighbours and shared similar socio-economic backgrounds. The pairs were given diet charts to indicate the daily food intake of their children; 
  • Buddy mothers would have discussions about this on all Tuesdays at the AWC. Local practices related to nutrition would also be discussed.
  • 100 millilitres of milk and an egg on alternate days was arranged for all 2,416 children for the first three months, giving time for their mothers to stabilise themselves in the newly found jobs. 
  • The project has yielded encouraging results; maternal deaths for six months have fallen from 16 to three and infant deaths from 130 to 63.
  • By March 2021, 84.96% of SAM children and 97.3% MAM children were normal.
  • Children who had not improved were checked and treated by doctors under the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK). 

What were the hurdles for the project?

  • The major hindrance to the project was patriarchy. Mothers had to be empowered financially for sustained results
  • Therefore, they were enrolled in Self Help Groups (SHGs) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). By the end of three months, 74.3% of mothers were enrolled in SHGs and by the end of a year, it was 90%. 

Conclusion

  • Project Sampoorna had prevented at least 1,200 children from becoming malnourished over the last year. 
  • The National Nutrition Mission and the State government recognised our project in the ‘Innovation Category’. 
  • The model can easily be implemented anywhere in the world. 

Connecting the dots:


(Down to Earth: News)


Nov 9: At least 420 million hectares forest lost since 1990: Survey – https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/at-least-420-million-hectares-forest-lost-since-1990-survey-80107 

TOPIC:

  • GS-3: Agriculture
  • GS-3: Climate Change

Forest Loss

Context: Impact of agricultural expansion on global deforestation almost 90%, says FRA remote-sensing survey.

  • More than half of global forests (52.3 per cent) has been converted to cropland
  • Another 37.5 per cent was lost to livestock grazing between 2000 and 2018
  • Around 5.6 per cent of forest was converted for urban and infrastructure development
  • Most of the deforestation was in the tropical biomes during 2000-2018
  • A total of 420 million hectares of forest has been lost since 1990
  • Almost 90 per cent of deforestation worldwide was due to agricultural expansion. 

Slowdown was reported in South America and south and southeast Asia; tropical rainforests in these regions recorded the highest deforestation rates of all biomes.

Deforestation

  • Large-scale removal of trees from forests (or other lands) for the facilitation of human activities. 
  • Result in the loss of biodiversity, damage to natural habitats, disturbances in the water cycle, and soil erosion.
  • Contributor to climate change and global warming.

Reasons:

  • Agriculture – small-scale and large scale farming
  • Logging – cutting of trees for use as raw material
  • Mining and urban expansion – clearing of forest area for the construction of infrastructure

Main deforestation drivers (differ across the world’s regions)

  • Agriculture is the main driver of deforesation in all regions except Europe, where urban and infrastructure development have a higher impact
  • Conversion to cropland dominates forest loss in Africa and Asia, with over 75 per cent of the forest area lost converted to cropland
  • In South America, almost three quarters of deforestation was due to livestock grazing

What has NOT worked: 

  • Increasing agricultural food productivity to meet the demands of a growing population and halting deforestation are not mutually exclusive objectives. 
  • Globally, nature-based solutions such as forests, mangroves and peatlands could provide about a third of the most effective and cost-effective solutions to the climate crisis that we need now – as well as helping communities adapt to the changes that are now inevitable. But currently, they attract just 3% of total global climate finance. That makes no sense at all. 
  • If we were to lose any of the world’s great forests, we would have zero chance of stabilising the world’s climate, of staying within 1.5C of warming, of reversing the catastrophic loss of wildlife.

The Bonn Challenge

  • Pledged to restore 21 MHA of degraded and deforested land which was later revised to 26 MHA to be restored by 2030.
  • The first-ever country progress report under the Bonn Challenge was submitted by India – by bringing 9.8 million hectares since 2011 under restoration is an achievement.
  • However, continued degradation and deforestation need to be tackled effectively to achieve the remaining target of restoration by addressing various challenges.

The Way Forward

If we want to protect and restore nature at scale, we need to back the indigenous communities that have defended their forest homes for generations, without meaningful support or recognition and often in the face of chronic danger. Indigenous people’s lands are home to more than a third of the world’s intact forest landscapes and almost a quarter of the carbon stored in the world’s tropical forests.

Territorial rights of Indigenous peoples must be recognized, protected forest areas expanded and roads and industry avoided in still intact forests. These steps can set the stage for more sustainable forest economies.

India would do well to set up an ambitious goal of first retaining and then increasing its forest cover. Protecting tropical forests can secure seven to 10 times as much carbon through 2050 as replanting forests. Saving the trees can also ease the crisis of species extinction. And protecting these forests is crucial to maintaining the homes and ways of life of thousands of forest cultures.

A forest policy should be a broad vision taking into account the varied political, socioeconomic, and ecological contexts of the country. Adequate finance along with public-private partnership can propel the efforts towards restoration of the planned interventions. Active engagement of stakeholders and an inclusive approach can turn the table!

NOTE: FRA 2020 Remote Sensing Survey

  • Launched in 2018
  • To build country capacities to use remote sensing for forest monitoring
  • To generate independent, robust and consistent estimates of forest area and its changes over time at global, regional and biome levels.

Must Read: 

Can you answer the following questions?

  1. Tackling deforestation must be at the heart of our response to the climate crisis. Discuss. 
  2. Critically discuss the effects of deforestation on Indian economy.

(TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE)


Model questions: (You can now post your answers in comment section)

Note:

  • Correct answers of today’s questions will be provided in next day’s DNA section. Kindly refer to it and update your answers.

Q.1 LEADS report is released by Which of the following Ministries?

  1. Ministry of Environment 
  2. Ministry of Finance 
  3. Ministry of Housing .
  4. Ministry of Commerce and Industry 

Q.2 Consider the following statements regarding Padma Awards?

  1. All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards.
  2. The awards are presented by the Prime minister of India 
  3. The Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee which is constituted by the President every year.

Which of the above is or are correct? 

  1. 1 and 3 only 
  2. 2 only 
  3. 1 only
  4. 2 and 3 only

Q.3 Which of the following Indian state does not share a border with China?

  1. Sikkim
  2. Assam
  3. Himachal Pradesh
  4. Uttrakhand

ANSWERS FOR 9th Nov 2021 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE (TYK)

1 D
2 A
3 D

Must Read

On Net Zero:

Indian Express

On Job Quota law by Haryana:

Livemint

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