Context: Recently the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has become the latest United Nations agency to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
About International Solar Alliance:
- The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions. It was conceptualized on the side-lines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015.
- Vision : Let us together make the sun brighter.
- Mission: Every home no matter how far away, will have a light at home
- The Headquarters is in India with its Interim Secretariat being set up in Gurugram.
- With the amendment of its Framework Agreement in 2020, all member states of the United Nations are now eligible to join the ISA. At present, 109 countries are signatories to the ISA Framework Agreement, of which 90 countries have submitted the necessary instruments of ratification to become full members of the ISA.
- The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000’ strategy which aims to mobilise USD 1,000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030, while delivering energy access to 1,000 million people using clean energy solutions and resulting in installation of 1,000 GW of solar energy capacity.
- This would help mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 every year. For meeting these goals, the ISA takes a programmatic approach.
- Activities under the programmes focuses on 4 priority areas – Analytics & Advocacy, Capacity Building, Programmatic Support, and readiness and enabling activities, that help create a favourable environment for solar energy investments to take root in the country.
- The International Solar Alliance is headed by the Director General, who leads the operations and carries out the functions of the ISA Secretariat and is responsible to the ISA Assembly.
- The Director General has a term of four years and is eligible for re-election. E. Dr. Ajay Mathur holds the office of the Director General presently.
Important projects of the ISA:
One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG): The OSOWOG focuses on a framework for facilitating global cooperation, building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources (mainly solar energy) that can be seamlessly shared.
- The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
- It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.
ISA Solar Technology and Application Resource Centre (ISTARC):
- To develop and disseminate a range of training materials for all types of audiences and aim at the setting up of harmonized training programmes using a network of training facilities that would be recognized across the ISA Member countries.
Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Scheme:
- The Government of India has been supporting the ISA by providing training to master trainers in the field of solar energy through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Scheme.
- The duration of the training is 21 days and all costs are borne by the Government of India.
- In 2018-2019, 133 candidates from 25 countries were trained at the National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram, with the support of the ITEC programme.
Important Solar Energy Initiatives of India:
National Solar Mission :
- It is part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change
- To establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its diffusion across the country as quickly as possible.
- It targets installing 100 GW grid-connected solar power plants by the year 2022.
Other Government Schemes:
- Solar Park Scheme
- Canal bank & Canal top Scheme
- Bundling Scheme
- Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme
- First Green Hydrogen Mobility project: National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) Renewable Energy Ltd (REL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Union Territory of Ladakh to set up the country’s first Green Hydrogen Mobility project.
About International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):
- ICAO is funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).
- Industry and civil society groups, and other concerned regional and international organizations, also participate in the exploration and development of new standards at ICAO in their capacity as ‘Invited Organizations’.
- ICAO is therefore not an international aviation regulator, just as INTERPOL is not an international police force.
- They do not arbitrarily close or restrict a country’s airspace, shut down routes, or condemn airports or airlines for poor safety performance or customer service.
International Civil Aviation Day: 7 December
- Every five years, the ICAO Council establishes a special anniversary theme for International Civil Aviation Day. Between these anniversary years, Council representatives select a single theme for the full four-year intervening period.
- In recognition of ICAO’s 75th anniversary, the Council selected the following theme “75 Years of Connecting the World” for the 2019 celebrations.
- From now until 2023, the Council has decided that the theme will be: “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”.
- The ICAO Assembly is the Organization’s sovereign body. It meets at least once every three years and is convened by ICAO’s governing body, the Council.
- ICAO’s 193 Member States and a large number of international organizations are invited to the Assembly, which establishes the worldwide policy of the Organization for the upcoming triennium.
- The No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative highlights ICAO’s efforts to assist States in implementing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and it will help ensure that SARP implementation is better harmonized globally so that all States have access to the significant socio-economic benefits of safe and reliable air transport.
Source: Hindustan Times
Previous Year Question
Q.1) If a major solar storm (solar flare) reaches the Earth, which of the following are the possible effects on the Earth? (2022)
- GPS and navigation systems could fail.
- Tsunamis could occur at equatorial regions.
- Power grids could be damaged.
- Intense auroras could occur over much of the Earth.
- Forest fires could take place over much of the planet.
- Orbits of the satellites could be disturbed.
Shortwave radio communication of the aircraft flying over polar regions could be interrupted.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
- 1, 2, 4 and 5 only
- 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 only
- 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 only
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7