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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 5th November 2022

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  • November 5, 2022
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Cordy gold nanoparticles

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: Bodoland University’s collaborative work on fungus-powered biosynthesised nanogold particles earns international patent.

About Cordy gold nanoparticles:

  • Cordy gold nanoparticles (Cor-AuNPs), the outcome of a collaborative experiment by scientists from four Indian institutions, has earned an international patent from Germany.
  • These nanoparticles, derived from the synthesis of the extracts of Cordyceps militaris and gold salts, could make drug delivery in the human body faster and surer.
  • Cordyceps militaris is a high-value parasitic fungus.
  • Gold salts are ionic chemical compounds of gold generally used in medicine.
  • Penetration in the cells is more when the drug particles are smaller.
  • Cordyceps militaris, called super mushroom for its tremendous medicinal properties, adds bioactive components to the synthesis of gold nanoparticles for better penetration.
  • The wild Cordyceps mushroom is found in the eastern Himalayan belt.
  • Biosynthesised nanogold particles indicate a new application of nanoparticles in the development of therapeutic drugs that can be delivered as ointments, tablets, capsules, and in other forms.

About Cordyceps militaris:

  • Cordyceps militaris is a species of fungus in the family Cordycipitaceae, and the type species of the genus Cordyceps.
  • It was originally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as Clavaria militaris.
  • Cordyceps militaris is entomopathogenic fungus, i.e., it parasitizes insects.
  • It can be cultivated in a variety of media, including silkworm pupae, rice, and liquid nutrition.
  • It is a potential harbourer of bio-metabolites for herbal drugs and there is evidence from ancient times for its applications for revitalization of various systems of the body.
  • It contains a protein CMP18 which induces apoptosis in vitro via a mitochondrion-dependent pathway.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Question

Q.1) With reference to “Gucchi” sometimes mentioned in the news, consider the following statements:

  1. It is a fungus.
  2. It grows in some Himalayan Forest areas.
  3. It is commercially cultivated in the Himalayan foothills of north-eastern India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

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

India Infrastructure Project Development Fund Scheme (IIPDF Scheme)

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Governance

Context: The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance notifies Scheme for Financial Support for Project Development Expenses of PPP Projects – India Infrastructure Project Development Fund Scheme (IIPDF Scheme).

  • The India Infrastructure Project Development Fund IIPDF’s primary objective would be to fund potential PPP projects’ project development expenses including costs of engaging consultants and Transaction Advisor, thus increasing the quality and quantity of successful PPPs.
  • It aims to provide necessary support to the PSAs, both in the Central and State Governments, by extending financial assistance in meeting the cost of transaction advisors and consultants engaged in the development of PPP projects.
  • It is a Central Sector Scheme.
  • Funding under IIPDF Scheme is in addition to the already operational Scheme for Financial Support to PPPs in Infrastructure (Viability Gap Funding Scheme).
  • Through the VGF scheme infrastructure projects undertaken through PPP mode that are economically justified but commercially unviable are supported.

Source:  PIB


COP 27: A field guide to climate jargon

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

Context: Representatives from the world’s nations meet in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt to flesh out the rules of a new global climate pact. Decades of climate talks have spawned a host of acronyms and jargon.

Glasgow Pact:

  • Reached at the 2021 U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the Glasgow Pact marked the first time a U.N. climate agreement mentioned the goal of reducing fossil fuel use.
  • The pact marked a breakthrough in efforts to resolve rules guiding the international trade of carbon markets to offset emissions.

Paris Agreement:

  • It was the successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
  • This international climate treaty expired in 2020.
  • Agreed in December 2015, the Paris Agreement aims to limit the rise in the average global surface temperature.
  • To do this, countries that signed the accord set national pledges to reduce humanity’s effect on the climate that are meant to become more ambitious over time.
  • The Paris accord legally bound its signatories collectively to limit greenhouse gas emissions to keep the temperature rise well below 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) this century.
  • But the countries also promised to “pursue efforts” to keep the rise below 1.5C (2.7F).

Kyoto Protocol(KP):

  • In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol (3rd COP) was concluded and established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The KP was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997. The KP came into force in 2005.
  • There are currently 192 Parties.
  • USA never ratified Kyoto Protocol.
  • Canada withdrew in 2012.
  • India ratified Kyoto Protocol in 2002.
  • Objective of KP: Fight global warming by reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to “a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”
  • Kyoto protocol aimed to cut emissions of greenhouse gases across the developed world by about 5 per cent by 2012 compared with 1990 levels.
  • KP is the only global treaty with binding limits on GHG emissions.
  • Common but differentiated responsibilities :
    • The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR), was enshrined in the Kyoto accord.
    • It says that developed countries, which produced more emissions in the past as they built their economies, should take the lead in fighting climate change.
    • The Paris Agreement sought to bind major rapidly developing economies such as China and Brazil into the global effort to cut emissions.
    • It does not, however, require them to make any immediate pledges to cut their emissions.

Greenhouse gases:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil), solid waste, trees and other biological materials, and also as a result of certain chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement).
    • Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere (or “sequestered”) when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.
  • Methane (CH4): Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O): Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste, as well as during treatment of wastewater.
  • Fluorinated gases: Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride, and nitrogen trifluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes.
    • Fluorinated gases are sometimes used as substitutes for stratosphericozone-depleting substances (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and halons).
    • These gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities, but because they are potent greenhouse gases, they are sometimes referred to as High Global Warming Potential gases (“High GWP gases”).
  • GHGs under Kyoto Protocol:
    • Carbon mono-oxide
    • nitrous oxide
    • methane
    • Sulphur hexafluoride
    • Hydrofluorocarbons
    • Perfluorocarbons

Greenhouse Effect:

The greenhouse effect is a process that occurs when gases in Earth’s atmosphere trap the Sun’s heat. This process makes Earth much warmer than it would be without an atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is one of the things that makes Earth a comfortable place to live. The process of global warming follows the given steps:

  • Solar radiation reaches the Earth’s atmosphere – some of this is reflected back into space(shortwave radiations).
  • The rest of the sun’s energy is absorbed by the land and the oceans, heating the Earth.
  • Heat radiates from Earth towards space (longwave radiation).
  • Some of this heat is trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, keeping the Earth warm enough to sustain life.
  • Human activities such as burning fossil fuels, agriculture, and land clearing are increasing the number of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
  • This is trapping extra heat and causing the Earth’s temperature to rise.

COP27:

  • The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), made up of representatives from each country that signed the Paris Agreement and which meets every year.
  • COP27, the 27th annual meeting, is being held under an Egyptian presidency in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Nationally Determined Contributions:

  • Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) are (intended) reductions in greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • The UNFCCC, in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Synthesis Report, has called for more ambitious climate action plans by the countries in order to achieve the Paris Agreement target of containing global temperature rise to 2°C by the end of the century (ideally it is 1.5°C).
  • The NDC Synthesis Report covers submissions up to 31st December 2020 and includes new or updated NDCs by 75 Parties, which represent approximately 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The report was sought ahead of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 26) to the UNFCCC which is scheduled to take place from 1st- 12th November 2021, in Glasgow, UK.
  • Countries have to update and expand their NDCs every five years.

Just Transition:

  • The term used to describe a shift to a low-carbon economy that keeps the social and economic disruption of moving away from fossil fuels to a minimum while maximising the benefits for workers, communities and consumers.

Climate Finance

  • Developed countries agreed in 2009 to contribute $100 billion together each year by 2020 to help poorer countries adapt their economies and lessen the impact of rising seas, or more severe and frequent storms and droughts.
  • In 2015 they agreed to extend this goal through to 2025, but the target has yet to be met.

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following statements:

  1. The Climate Group is an international non-profit organisation that drives climate action by building large networks and runs them.
  2. The International Energy Agency in partnership with the Climate Group launched a global initiative “EP100”.
  3. EP100 brings together leading companies committed to driving innovation in energy efficiency and increasing competitiveness while delivering on emission reduction goals.
  4. Some Indian companies are members of EP100.
  5. The International Energy Agency is the Secretariat to the “Under2 Coalition”.

Which of the statements given above are correct? (2022)

  1. 1,2, 4 and 5
  2. 1,3 and 4 only
  3. 2,3 and 5 only
  4. 1,2, 3, 4 and 5

Q.2) With reference to the ‘’New York Declaration on Forests’’, which of the following statements are correct?  (2021)

  1. It was first endorsed at the United Nations Climate Summit in 2014
  2. It endorses a global timeline to end the loss of forests
  3. It is a legally binding international declaration
  4. It is endorsed by governments, big companies and indigenous communities.
  5. India was one of the signatories at its inception

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. 1, 2 and 4
  2. 1, 3 and 5
  3. 3 and 4
  4. 2 and 5

Enemy properties

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Syllabus

  • Prelims: Governance

Context: Uttar Pradesh Government has decided to initiate a State-wide drive to free enemy properties from encroachment and prepare a report of the updated status of all such properties.

  • After the 1965 India-Pakistan war, the Union government enacted the Enemy Property (Custody and Registration) Order and formed the Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI) department to look after properties left behind by the people who migrated to Pakistan or other countries with whom India has hostilities.
  • Uttar Pradesh has roughly 1,519 enemy properties out of which 936 belonged to Raja of Mahmudabad, whose descendants have moved to Pakistan.

About enemy property:

  • In the wake of the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, there was migration of people from India to Pakistan.
  • Under the Defence of India Rules framed under The Defence of India Act, 1962, the Government of India took over the properties and companies of those who took Pakistani nationality.
  • These “enemy properties” were vested by the central government in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
  • The same was done for property left behind by those who went to China after the 1962 Sino-Indian war.
  • The Tashkent Declaration of January 10, 1966 included a clause that said India and Pakistan would discuss the return of the property and assets taken over by either side in connection with the conflict.
  • However, the Government of Pakistan disposed of all such properties in their country in the year 1971 itself.

Regulation of Enemy properties in India:

  • The Enemy Property Act, enacted in 1968, provided for the continuous vesting of enemy property in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India.
  • Some movable properties too, are categorised as enemy properties.
  • In 2017, Parliament passed The Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2016, which amended The Enemy Property Act, 1968, and The Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.
  • The amended Act expanded the definition of the term “enemy subject”, and “enemy firm” to include:
    • the legal heir and successor of an enemy, whether a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an enemy; and
    • the succeeding firm of an enemy firm, irrespective of the nationality of its members or partners.
  • The amended law provided that enemy property shall continue to vest in the Custodian even if the enemy or enemy subject or enemy firm ceases to be an enemy due to death, extinction, winding up of business or change of nationality, or that the legal heir or successor is a citizen of India or a citizen of a country which is not an enemy.
  • The Custodian, with prior approval of the central government, may dispose of enemy properties vested in him in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and the government may issue directions to the Custodian for this purpose.

Source: The Hindu


Recalling Laika from the pathbreaking space flight- Sputnik 2 mission

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Syllabus

  • Prelims: Science and Technology

Context: On November 3, 1957, the Soviet Union launched ‘Sputnik 2’ and made history — for carrying the first-ever living creature to orbit the Earth, a dog named Laika. The flight, which was meant to test the safety of space travel for humans, ended up as a one-way trip for Laika.

Why was she chosen: The dog was promoted to cosmonaut (a term referring to an astronaut in the Soviet or Russian space program) based on her ‘small’ size and ‘calm’ demeanour. The mission wanted female dogs as they were considered anatomically better suited for close confinement.

But why did the Soviet Union want to send animals to space?

Before humans actually went to space, one of the theories was that humans might not be able to survive long periods of weightlessness.

  • According to US space agency NASA, “American and Russian scientists utilised animals — mainly monkeys, chimps, and dogs — in order to test each country’s ability to launch a living organism into space and bring it back alive and unharmed.”
  • Soviet rocket scientists wanted to send dogs to space to understand microgravity and other aspects of what spaceflight might do to a human body.
  • According to Smithsonian Magazine, rocket engineers selected the animals most obedient and most tolerant of loud noises and air pressure changes for the experiment.
  • 1st Animal Experimentation done with: Some fruit flies that the US launched on a mission in February 1947. Before Laika, there were 36 dogs the Soviets sent into space.
  • NOTE: First Human to Orbit Earth: Yuri Gagarin

About Sputnik 2:

  • Sputnik 1, which launched on October 4, 1957, was a beach-ball-size sphere that just emitted beeps as it circled Earth.
  • A month later, Sputnik 2 was launched.
  • Sputnik 2, launched on November 3, 1957, carried the dog Laika, the first living creature to be shot into space and orbit Earth.
  • It contained several compartments for radio transmitters, a telemetry system, a programming unit, a regeneration and temperature-control system for the cabin, and scientific instruments.
  • Sputnik 2 re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on 14 April 1958.
  • The satellite burned up in the atmosphere.

Source: The Indian Express


Nagaland to undertake first Avian counting exercise

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Syllabus

  • Prelims: Environment

Context: Nagaland is undertaking the first avian documentation exercise to go beyond Amur falcons, the migratory raptor that put the State on the world birding map.

Amur Falcon:

  • Amur falcon is a small raptor of the falcon family.
  • It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China before migrating in large flocks across India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern Africa.
  • The raptor (bird of prey) — the size of a pigeon — makes its home in Nagaland, flying a staggering 22,000 km from there to South Africa, then onto Mongolia and back to Nagaland. The bird has one of the longest and most fascinating migratory paths in the avian world.
  • The falcon breeds in south-eastern Siberia and north-eastern China, where the Amur River divides the Russian Far East and China.

  • The Centre decided to develop Doyang Lake in Nagaland, famous as a roosting site for longest traveling raptors Amur Falcons, as an eco-tourism spot for bird-watchers.
  • It is listed as Least Concern species under IUCN’s red data list . They are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • It is also listed in Appendix II of CITES ( The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Illegal trade and hunting :

  • An estimated one lakh Amur Falcons were trapped and killed by villagers for the commercial meat trade in different years.
  • Both the trade and the appetite for the Amur falcon seem to be growing: while some birds were transported in trucks for sale in places far from the trapping spot, others were discarded, simply because too many had been caught.
  • According to conservation India , each bird is sold for a price between Rs. 16-25 (always sold as number of birds for Rs. 100 ($ 1.9 / £ 1.2).
  • This sale usually happens door-to-door in Pangti village (where most hunters are from) as well as nearby Doyang and Wokha towns. Hunters (and sellers) know that Amur killing is illegal and banned by the Deputy Commissioner (Wokha district) since 2010.

Source:  The Hindu


Arctic fires could release catastrophic amounts of C02

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 1 (Geography) and GS 3 (Environment)

Context: The recent fires in Siberia have spewed some 150 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. Global warming is responsible for bigger and bigger fires in Siberia, and in the decades ahead they could release huge amounts of carbon now trapped in the soil, says a recently released report in Science journal (November 2022).

Findings of the report:

  • In 2019 and 2020, fires in this remote part of the world destroyed a surface area equivalent to nearly half of that which burned in the previous 40 years, said this study.
    • These recent fires themselves have spewed some 150 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, the scientists estimate, contributing to global warming in what researchers call a feedback loop (a vicious cycle of carbon emission and global warming).
  • The area above the Arctic circle heats up four times faster than the rest of the planet and “it is this climate amplification which causes abnormal fire activity,” reports the study.
  • Researchers concentrated on an area five and a half times the size of France and with satellite pictures observed the surface area burned each year from 1982 to 2020.
  • In 2020, fire charred more than 2.5 million hectares (6.2 million acres) of land and released, in CO2 equivalent, as much as that emitted by Spain in one year, the scientists concluded.
  • That year, summer in Siberia was on average three times hotter than it was in 1980. The Russian city of Verkhoyansk hit 38 degrees Celsius in summer, a record for the Arctic.

About Polar amplification:

  • Polar amplification happens when changes to the earth’s atmosphere lead to a larger difference in temperature near the north and south poles than to the rest of the world.
  • This phenomenon is measured against the average temperature change of the planet.
  • These changes are more pronounced at the northern latitudes and are known as the Arctic amplification.
  • It occurs when the atmosphere’s net radiation balance is affected by an increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) .

Reasons for Polar Amplification:

  • The ice-albedo feedback, lapse rate feedback, water vapour feedback (Change in Water Vapour amplify or weaken temperature range) and ocean heat transport are the primary causes.
  • Sea ice and snow have high albedo (measure of reflectivity of the surface), implying that they are capable of reflecting most of the solar radiation as opposed to water and land.
  • As the sea ice melts, the oceans surrounding poles will be more capable of absorbing solar radiation, thereby driving the amplification.
  • The lapse rate or the rate at which the temperature drops with elevation decreases with warming.

The consequences of Arctic Warming/ Polar Amplification:

  • Glacial retreat
  • Thinning of Ice Sheet
  • Rise in Sea Level
  • Impact on Biodiversity: The warming of the poles and the seas in the region, the acidification of water, changes in the salinity levels, is impacting biodiversity, including the marine species and the dependent species.
  • Thawing of Permafrost: it releases carbon and methane which are among the major greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.
  • Experts fear that the thaw and the melt will also release the long-dormant bacteria and viruses that were trapped in the permafrost and can potentially give rise to diseases.
    • The best-known example of this is the permafrost thaw leading to an anthrax outbreak in Siberia in 2016, where nearly 2,00,000 reindeer succumbed.

Source of Permafrost:

  • Arctic soils store huge amounts of organic carbon, much of it in peatlands. This is often frozen or marshy, but climate warming thaws and dries peatland soil, making large Arctic fires more likely.
  • Fire damages frozen soil called permafrost, which releases even more carbon. In some cases, it has been trapped in ice for centuries or more. This means that carbon sinks are transformed into sources of carbon.
  • An elevated amount of CO2 was released in 2020 but things “could be even more catastrophic than that in the future,” said the report.
  • Higher temperatures have a variety of effects: more water vapor in the atmosphere, which causes more storms and thus more fire-sparking lightning. And vegetation grows more, providing more fuel for fire, but it also breathes more, which dries things out.

Way forward:

  • N. Secretary-General warned recently that the planet is heading towards irreversible “climate chaos” and urged global leaders at the upcoming climate summit in Egypt (UNFCCC COP 27) to put the world back on track to cut emissions, keep promises on climate financing and help developing countries speed their transition to renewable energy.
  • Indian Environment Minister says that clarity will be sought on climate finance and technology transfer from developed countries, while more support would be offered to developing countries.
  • Our climate crisis is intertwined with other complex issues. This means that we must insist on multi-pronged, interconnected climate solutions.
    • Forests are at the intersection of the climate change crisis and the biodiversity crisis. Forests, which are home to 80% of terrestrial wildlife, also absorb a net 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 a year.
  • A new study has found that their biophysical aspects tend to cool the earth by an additional 0.5%. The conservation of forests, along with other nature-based solutions, can provide up to 37% of the emissions reductions needed to tackle climate change.

Hence, we need a forest-led climate action plan to prevent frequent forest fires caused by climate change and global warming.

Climate change and related extreme weather events like forest fires, work in feedback loops that need to be broken. For this, we need concerted efforts by government, business sector, civil societies , NGOs and individuals.

Source: The Hindu


Governor

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 2 (Polity and Governance)

Context: Recently, Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam (DMK) leader urged “all like-minded MPs” to support a proposal to remove the Tamil Nadu governor, R N Ravi.

Appointment and Removal of Governor:

  • Under Article 155 and 156 of the Constitution, a Governor is appointed by the President and holds office “during the pleasure of the President”.
  • If this pleasure is withdrawn before completion of the five-year term, the Governor has to step down.
  • As the President works on the aid and advice of the Prime Minister and the council of ministers, in effect, the Governor can be appointed and removed by the central government.
  • Thus, a Governor is a representative of the Union government in states.
  • Article 163 of the Constitution says the Governor will normally be aided and advised by the Council of Ministers except in those functions which require his discretion.
  • While the Governor’s duties and responsibilities lie in a particular state, there is no provision for impeaching the Governor.

Relation between Governor-Elected Govt:

  • Although a governor need to be apolitical head who must act on the advice of the council of ministers, the Governor enjoys certain powers granted under the Constitution, such as
  • giving or withholding assent to a Bill passed by the state legislature,
  • assenting to the convening of the state legislative assembly,
  • determining the time needed for a party to prove its majority, and which party must be called first do so, generally after a hung verdict in an election.
  • All these powers have been flashpoints recently — to cite two instances, when the Maharashtra Governor had Devendra Fadnavis sworn in as the chief minister in 2019 amid a hung verdict, only for his government to fall in 80 hours; and when the Punjab Governor in September refused to allow a special session of the Assembly for a vote of confidence in the AAP government.
  • There are no provisions laid down in the Constitution for the manner in which the Governor and the state must engage publicly when there is a difference of opinion.
  • The management of differences has traditionally been guided by respect for each other’s boundaries.

Judicial rulings on the relation:

  • Since the Governor holds office “on the pleasure of the President”, questions have been raised time and again on whether the Governor has any security of tenure, and if the President is obligated to show reasons for recalling a Governor.
  • In Surya Narain Choudhary vs Union of India (1981), the Rajasthan High Court held that the pleasure of the President was not justiciable, the Governor had no security of tenure and can be removed at any time by the President withdrawing pleasure.
  • In BP Singhal vs Union of India (2010), the Supreme Court elaborated on the pleasure doctrine. It upheld that “no limitations or restrictions are placed on the ‘at pleasure’ doctrine”, but that “does not dispense with the need for a cause for withdrawal of the pleasure”.
  • the Bench, while noting that the President can remove the Governor from office “at any time without assigning any reason and without giving any opportunity to show cause”, the power to remove can’t be exercised in an “arbitrary, capricious or unreasonable manner”.
  • “The power will have to be exercised in rare and exceptional circumstances for valid and compelling reasons.
    • A Governor cannot be removed on the ground that he is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the Union Government or the party in power at the Centre. Nor can he be removed on the ground that the Union Government has lost confidence in him,”

Recommendations of various commissions:

  • The Sarkaria Commission had recommended that Governors are not sacked before completing their five-year tenure, except in “rare and compelling” circumstances.
  • Punchi Commission (2010): Recommendations have also been made for a provision to impeach the Governor by the Assembly.

Way Forward:

  • The recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission and the Punchi Commission report need to be examined closely to make proper amendments to the functions of the post of governor.
  • Governor’s office should be apolitical. There should be a panel involving the opposition, ruling party, civil society and the judiciary in the selection process of Governor.
  • Governor should be appointed only after consultation with the CM of the state where he/she will work.

Source:  Indian Express


Financing Sustainable Green Housing

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3(Environment)

Context: As per the latest Emission Gap Report, we are far from the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C. So here, Green Housing can play a decisive role to achieve the goal.

  • Housing is a major greenhouse gas emitting sector, consuming about 24 percent of the country’s electricity and emitting over 20 percent of total GHG.
  • In India, Households’ electricity consumption has trebled from 2000 to 2017 and this is projected to surge eight times over 2018-50.

About Green Housing:

  • It refers to a house where there is a natural environment, which saves electricity and water costs as well as causes less damage to the environment.
  • Advantages and Key Features:
    • They are designed in such a way that they reduce the emission of harmful gasses during and after construction and reduce soil pollution in nature.
    • Green homes not only save money on higher bills but also provide many health benefits.
    • Less power and water.

SUNREF Green Housing programme:

  • National Housing Bank (NHB) launched the SUNREF Green Housing India programme in 2017, in partnership with the AFD and with the support of the European Union (EU).
  • This programme aims at:
    • Reducing the negative impacts of the housing industry on the environment.
    • Scaling up green and affordable housing projects in India.
    • Providing low and middle income groups with green affordable housing.
    • Increasing savings in energy and water bills by encouraging the development of green residential houses with efficient building material use.

Need of Green Housing:

  • Country’s electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emission percentages are expected to increase as housing demand accelerates. It will make it difficult to achieve green transition targets.
  • In the big cities, the land for construction is exhausted, the gardens and parks are few, and people do not get fresh air in the urban areas.
  • Conventional housing materials such as concrete and steel are made with energy-intensive processes.

Challenges before Green Housing:

  • Builders have no economic incentives to implement sustainability, as ‘green’ homes do not command premium pricing.
  • Buyers not be motivated to pay more, especially if it is rented out.
  • Commercial banks are unlikely to provide debt as they wish to avoid an increase in the ‘loan-value to house-value’
  • Banks rarely provide capital for retrofitting as the borrowers are reluctant to provide their houses as collateral.

Way Forward:

  • The use of low-carbon materials, following sustainable construction processes, and recycling building materials can lower the GHG footprint.
  • An appropriate blend of active and passive design elements when constructing, should be promoted.
  • Retrofitting roofs, windows, and doors that have higher energy performance.
    • It can reduce heating and cooling demands by up to 40 per cent.
  • Replacing incandescent lights with LEDs.
    • It can reduce energy consumption by about 80 per cent.
  • Manufacturer guarantees and warranties can be augmented with standardized performance certifications from government agencies.
  • The Government and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and Domestic Development Banks (DDBs) can support the green housing sector through a credit enhancement mechanism.
  • Offering of Subordinate loan and partial credit guarantees on energy-efficient homes can be useful.
  • Public institutions can nudge the private players with innovative financing models and policies to fund the much-needed low-carbon housing sector.

Given the advantages it offers, the incentives that the government is providing to this construction and the growing demand by the environment-conscious consumers, the future for green housing seems very bright.

Source: The Hindu


Daily Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) With reference to Governor of State, consider the following statements:

  1. Sending a report to the President of India for imposing the President’s rule.
  2. Appointing the ministers of a state.
  3. Reserving certain bills passed by the State Legislature for consideration of the President of India.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

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

Q.2) Consider the following statements regarding United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

  1. It is an intergovernmental treaty to control of emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) that cause global warming.
  2. It was signed at the 1972 Rio Earth Summit.
  3. It has been ratified by 200 plus countries and has a near-universal membership.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Q.3) Consider the following statements regarding Amur Falcons:

  1. It is endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
  2. It is listed as Endangered species under IUCN’s red data list .
  3. It is also listed in Appendix II of CITES ( The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

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

Comment the answers to the above questions in the comment section below!!

ANSWERS FOR ’5th November 2022 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 4th November – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – b

Q.3) – c

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