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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS IAS | UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 17th January 2023

  • IASbaba
  • January 17, 2023
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Maghi Mela

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Art and Culture

Context: Maghi Mela has been celebrated in the city of Sri Muktsar Sahib in Punjab for centuries in memory of 40 Sikh warriors who were killed fighting the Mughals in the Battle of Khidrana in 1705.

About Maghi Mela:

  • The Maghi fair is held to honour the memory of the forty Sikh warriors killed during the Battle of Muktsar in 1705.
  • It is held in the holy city of Sri Muktsar Sahib every year in January, or on the month of Magh according to the Nanakshahi calendar.
  • Guru Gobind Singh chose Maghi as one of the three festivals to be celebrated by Sikhs (the others are Baisakhi and Bandhi chor divas (Diwali).
  • Nanakshahi calendar was designed by Sikh scholar Pal Singh Purewal to replace the Bikrami calendar, to work out the dates of gurpurab and other festivals.
  • It is one of the most important festivals for Sikhs.

History of the battle:

  • Muktsar, originally called Khidrana, was named as Muktsar (“the pool of liberation”).
  • These forty Sikhs, led by their leader Mahan Singh, had formally deserted Sri Guru Gobind Singh in the need of hour, and signed a written memorandum to the effect.
  • When Mai Bhago, heard of this cowardly act, she scolded the Singh’s and inspired them refresh with spirit of bravery for which Sikhs are known.
  • Hence, the unit returned and joined the Guru who was already engaged in action at Khidrana.
  • All forty of them attained martyrdom.
  • The memorandum (bedawa) was torn down by the Guru himself just before Mahan Singh died.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

Site of Ashoka’s major rock edicts            Location in the State of

  1. Dhauli                                                           Odisha
  2. Erragudi                                                 Andhra Pradesh
  3. Jaugada                                                  Madhya Pradesh
  4. Kalsi                                                             Karnataka

How many pairs given above are correctly matched? (2022)

  1. Only one pair
  2. Only two pairs
  3. Only three pairs
  4. All four pairs

Q.2) Consider the following statements:

  1. 21st February is declared to be International Mother Language Day by UNICEF.
  2. The demand that Bangla has to be one of the national languages was raised in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.

Which of the above statements is/are correct? (2021)

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Miniature votive stupas at Nalanda

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Art and Culture

Context: Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has recently discovered two 1200-year-old miniature votive stupas during landscaping activities near Sarai Tila mound on the premises of ‘Nalanda Mahavihara’, a world heritage site in Nalanda district.

About Miniature votive stupas:

  • A Stupa is a hemispherical structure which symbolizes the burial mound of Buddha. It rose to prominence after the advent of Buddhism and peaked during Ashoka’s reign. Stupas evolved as Chorten in Tibet and pagodas in East Asia.
  • Archeologists suggest that the stupas must be around 1200 years old.

  • During the beginning of 7th century CE, small miniature terracotta stupas became popular as votive offerings.
  • Votive is the form of the stupa, with its distinctive domelike drum, originating in eight cylindrical structures in which the Buddha’s relics were placed after his death.

About Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar

  • The Nalanda Mahavihara site is in the State of Bihar, in north-eastern India.
  • It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE.
  • It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.
  • Nalanda was established during the Gupta Empire era and was supported by numerous Indian and Javanese patrons – both Buddhists and non-Buddhists.
  • The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions.

Source: Times of India

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Consider the following pairs:

Historical place                       Well-known for

  1. Burzahom                      Rock-cut shrines
  2. Chandraketugarh         Terracotta art
  3. Ganeshwar                     Copper artefacts

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

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

Q.2) Which one of the following statements is correct?

  1. Ajanta Caves lie in the gorge of the Waghora river.
  2. Sanchi Stupa lies in the gorge of the Chambal river.
  3. Pandu – lena cave shrines lie in the gorge of the Narmada river.
  4. Amaravati Stupa lies in the gorge of the Godavari river.

Exoplanets

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

Context: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced that the James Webb Space Telescope has discovered its first new exoplanet.

  • Researchers have labelled the planet as LHS 475 b, and it’s roughly the same size as Earth.

About Exoplanets:

  • An exoplanet is any planet beyond our solar system.
  • Most orbit other stars, but free-floating exoplanets, called rogue planets, orbit the galactic centre and are untethered to any star.
  • They can be gas giants bigger than Jupiter or as small and rocky as Earth.
  • They are also known to have different kinds of temperatures — boiling hot to freezing cold.
  • Scientists rely on indirect methods for discovering exoplanets, such as the transit method, which is measuring the dimming of a star that happens to have a planet pass in front of it.

About red dwarf stars:

  • Such types of stars are the most common and smallest in the universe.
  • As they don’t radiate much light, it’s very tough to detect them with the naked eye from Earth.
  • However, as red dwarfs are dimmer than other stars, it is easier to find exoplanets that surround them.
  • Therefore, red dwarfs are a popular target for planet hunting.

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Which one of the following statements best reflects the idea behind the “Fractional Orbital Bombardment System” often talked about in media?

  1. A hypersonic missile is launched into space to counter the asteroid approaching the Earth and explode it in space.
  2. A spacecraft lands on another planet after making several orbital motions.
  3. A missile is put into a stable orbit around the Earth and deorbits over a target on the Earth.
  4. A spacecraft moves along a comet with the same speed and places a probe on its surface.

Dolphins

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

Context: A new study has found that noise generated by human activity makes it harder for dolphins to communicate and coordinate with each other.

Highlights of the study:

  • Dolphins are social mammals that communicate through squeaks, whistles and clicks.
  • They also use echolocation in order to locate food and other objects.
  • As the levels of underwater noise increase, these mammals have to “shout” to each other.
  • Echolocation occurs when an animal emits a sound wave that bounces off an object, returning an echo that provides information about the object’s distance and size.
  • Therefore, anthropogenic noise coming from large commercial ships, military sonars or offshore drilling can severely impact their well-being.

About Dolphins:

River Dolphins:

  • There are only six extant species of river dolphins left in the world today and they are all endangered or critically endangered.
  • This is because pollution, dams, shipping and bycatch have taken their toll on this iconic species.
  • There are currently 42 species of dolphins and seven species of porpoises.
  • Dolphins are marine mammals.
  • They must surface to breathe air and give birth to live young.
  • A dolphin pregnancy last between nine and 16 months.
  • The mother feeds her offspring on milk.
  • The sons and daughters of resident orcas stay with their maternal family for life.
  • Dolphins eat fish, squid and crustaceans.
  • They do not chew they food but may break it into smaller pieces before swallowing.
  • All dolphins have conical-shaped teeth.
  • A Risso’s dolphin has 14 while a spinner dolphin can have 240.
  • The orca (killer whale) is the largest dolphin.
  • Hector’s dolphin and Franciscana are two of the smallest.
  • The four river dolphin species inhabit the large waterways of Asia and South America.
  • Dolphins have an array of vocalisations such as clicks, whistles and squeals which they use for their well-developed communication and echolocation skills.
  • Lifespan varies from around 20 years in the smaller dolphin species to 80 years or more for larger dolphins such as orcas.
  • Maui’s dolphin (a sub-species of the New Zealand dolphin) is the most endangered dolphin.

Consequences of noisy oceans:

  • Marine animals are known to use sound to navigate, find food and protect themselves.
  • As sound travels faster in water than air, it makes for an important mode of communication because it can convey a lot of information quickly and over long distances.
  • Scientists believe that fish species rely on sounds during reproductive activities, including mate attraction, courtship and mate choice.
  • Sounds made by drilling, commercial ships and military operations lead to disruption of marine life.

Source:  Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Certain species of which one of the following organisms are well known as cultivators of fungi? (2022)

  1. Ant
  2. Cockroach
  3. Crab
  4. Spider

Shukrayaan I

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: P. Sreekumar, the Satish Dhawan Professor at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and advisor to its space science programme, said that the organisation is yet to receive approval from the Indian government for the Venus mission and that the mission could as a result be postponed to 2031.

  • ISRO had originally hoped to launch Shukrayaan I in mid-2023 but cited the pandemic when it pushed the date to December 2024.
  • Optimal launch windows from Earth to Venus occur once around every 19 months.
  • But even more optimal windows, which further reduce the amount of fuel required at liftoff, come around every eight years.
  • Both the U.S. and the European space agencies have Venus missions planned for 2031 — referring to VERITAS and EnVision

Shukrayaan I or the Venus mission:

  • It will be an orbiter mission i.e. a spacecraft designed to orbit a celestial body without landing on its surface
  • The spaceship, GSLV Mark II will be used to launch the mission with a launch mass of 2,500 kg.
  • Its scientific payloads currently include a high-resolution synthetic aperture radar and a ground-penetrating radar.
  • It will be the first Venus orbiter to carry a sub-surface radar or ground-penetrating radar. It is used for imaging the subsurface of the target, in this case, a planet, using radar pulses. It means that the investigation method for the study of asphalt, metals, etc, of ISRO’s Venus orbiter will be non-intrusive.
  • The mission is expected to study Venus’s geological and volcanic activity, emissions on the ground, wind speed, cloud cover, and other planetary characteristics from an elliptical orbit.
  • It will help uncover the mysteries hidden beneath the sulfuric acid clouds that surround the planet and explore the surface and atmosphere of Venus in relation to the Sun and the Earth.
  • In the year 2020, scientists announced that they have detected Phosphine (a life-friendly element indicative of possible life on the planet) in the atmosphere of Venus. ‘Shukrayaan-I’ will also bring with it some instruments that will examine infrared, ultraviolet and submillimeter wavelengths to study the claims more deeply.

Source: The hindu

Previous Year Question

Q1) Consider the following statements: (2016)

The Mangalyaan launched by ISRO

  1. is also called the Mars Orbiter Mission
  2. made India the second country to have a spacecraft orbit the Mars after USA
  3. made India the only country to be successful in making its spacecraft orbit the Mars in its very first attempt

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

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

RBI’s contingency fund

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Economy

In News: THE SURPLUS available with the Reserve Bank of India for transfer or the RBI dividend to the Union government is likely to remain low in the current financial year ending March 2023 because of higher expenditure incurred by the central bank due to rising interest rates and higher costs in managing surplus liquidity in the system.

Contingency Fund

  • This is a specific provision meant for meeting unexpected and unforeseen contingencies, including depreciation in the value of securities, risks arising out of monetary/exchange rate policy operations, systemic risks and any risk arising on account of the special responsibilities enjoined upon the Reserve Bank.
  • This amount is retained within the RBI.

Currency and Gold Revaluation Account (CGRA)

  • It is maintained by the Reserve Bank to take care of currency risk, interest rate risk and movement in gold prices.
  • Unrealised gains or losses on valuation of foreign currency assets (FCA) and gold are not taken to the income account but instead accounted for in the CGRA.
  • Net balance in CGRA, therefore, varies with the size of the asset base, its valuation and movement in the exchange rate and price of gold.
  • CGRA provides a buffer against exchange rate/ gold price fluctuations. It can come under pressure if there is an appreciation of the rupee vis-à-vis major currencies or a fall in the price of gold.
  • When CGRA is not sufficient to fully meet exchange losses, it is replenished from the CF.

IRA-FS and IRA-RS accounts:

  • The unrealised gains or losses on revaluation in foreign dated securities are recorded in the Investment Revaluation Account Foreign Securities (IRA-FS).
  • Similarly, the unrealised gains or losses on revaluation is accounted for in Investment Revaluation Account-Rupee Securities (IRA-RS).
  • In the Investment Revaluation Account-Foreign Securities (IRA-FS), the foreign dated securities are marked-to market on the last business day of each week ending Friday and the last business day of each month and the unrealised gains or losses are transferred to the IRAFS.

Economic capital framework

  • Bimal Jalan-led panel was constituted to review the RBI’s Economic Capital Framework (ECF).
  • The RBI transfers surplus to the government as per the economic capital framework (ECF) adopted by the RBI board
  • The RBI normally pays the dividend from the surplus income it earns on investments and valuation changes on its dollar holdings and the fees it gets from printing currency, among others.
  • The RBI should maintain a Contingent Risk Buffer, which mostly comes from the CF, of between 5.5-6.5% of the central bank’s balance sheet.
  • RBI should put in place a framework for assessing the market risk of its off-balance sheet exposures in view of their increasing significance.
  • The surplus distribution policy should move away from targeting total economic capital alone.
  • A review of RBI’s economic capital framework should be conducted every five years.

Repo and Reverse repo:

  • Repurchase Agreements (Repo) are conducted whenever the Central Bank is mopping up excess liquidity from the domestic market.
  • A Repo is a collateralized loan involving a contractual arrangement between two parties, whereby one party sells a security at a specified price with a commitment to buy back the same at a later date.
  • The repo rate is the interest paid by RBI to Commercial Banks for lending money in the repo market.
  • Reverse Repos, on the other hand, are conducted whenever the Central Bank is injecting liquidity into the domestic market.
  • Reverse Repo transactions therefore, involve purchase of Government securities by RBI from Commercial Banks.
  • The reverse repo rate is the interest paid by commercial banks for borrowing money from the Central bank.
  • Under reverse repo, the RBI borrows from banks, while under the repo window, RBI lends to banks.
  • The reverse repo rate is 3.35 per cent and the repo rate is 6.25 per cent.

Sources: Indian express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) If the RBI decides to adopt an expansionist monetary policy, which of the following would it not do? (2020)

  1. Cut and optimize the Statutory Liquidity Ratio
  2. Increase the Marginal Standing Facility Rate
  3. Cut the Bank Rate and Repo Rate

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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

Saltwater crocodile

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Environment

In News: As per Saltie census 2023, The population of saltwater crocodiles in the water bodies of Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas in Odisha’s Kendrapara district has marginally increased in 2023.

  • Bhitarkanika is the abode of 20 whitish estuarine crocodiles
  • In 2006, the Guinness Book of World Records recorded a 23-foot long salt-water crocodile in Bhitarkanika as the largest crocodile in the world.

Saltwater crocodile:

  • Crocodylus porosus
  • The saltwater crocodile is the largest of all crocodilians, and the largest reptile in the world.
  • The species has a relatively large head, with a pair of ridges that run from the eye along the centre of the snout.
  • Adults are generally dark in colour, with lighter tan or grey areas, and dark bands and stripes on the lower flanks.
  • The juvenile is usually pale tan, with black stripes and spots on the body and tail, which gradually fade with age, although never disappear entirely.
  • Female saltwater crocodiles are smaller in size than their male counterparts, normally reaching a maximum length of 2.5 to 3 m.
  • As in all crocodilians, the eyes, ears and nostrils are located on top of the head, allowing the crocodile to remain almost totally submerged when lying in water, helping to conceal it from potential prey, while a special valve at the back of the throat allows the mouth to be opened underwater without water entering the throat.
  • The saltwater crocodile is considered to be more aquatic than most crocodilians, and is less heavily armored along the back and neck.
  • Juveniles are restricted to small insects, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, and small fish. Adults feed on crabs, turtles, snakes, birds, buffalo, wild boar, and monkeys.
  • Saltwater crocodiles hide in the water exposing only their eyes and nose. They lunge at prey, often killing it with a single snap of the jaws, then drag the prey under water where it is more easily consumed.
  • The total length of a crocodile is 7.5 times the length of the animal’s head.

Distribution:

  • Apart from the eastern coast of India, the saltwater crocodile is extremely rare on the Indian subcontinent
  • The saltwater crocodile is also found in Bangladesh.
  • A large population is present within the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary of Odisha while smaller populations occur throughout the Sundarbans.
  • Populations are also present within the mangrove forests and other coastal areas of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India.
  • Saltwater crocodiles were once present throughout most of the island of Sri Lanka.

Major Threats:

  • Illegal hunting for its meat and eggs, as well as for its commercially valuable skin.
  • Habitat loss and habitat alterations.
  • Negative attitude towards the species make conservation measures difficult to implement.

Source: DTE


Antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhoea

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Syllabus

  • Prelims – Science and Technology

In News: A strand of antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhoea outbreak has hit Kenya, according to researchers at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).

Gonorrhoea

  • Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by infection with the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium.
  • N. gonorrhoeae infects the mucous membranes of the reproductive tract, including the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women, and the urethra in women and men. N. gonorrhoeae can also infect the mucous membranes of the mouth, throat, eyes, and rectum.
  • Gonorrhoea is the second-most common disease to be sexually transmitted across the world after chlamydia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Transmitted through sexual contact with the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus of an infected partner.
  • Gonorrhea can also be spread perinatally from mother to baby during childbirth.
  • Ejaculation does not have to occur for gonorrhea to be transmitted or acquired.
  • Symptoms – urethral infection in men include dysuria or a white, yellow, or green urethral discharge, testicular or scrotal pain, etc.
  • In women it includes dysuria, increased vaginal discharge, or vaginal bleeding between periods.
  • People who have had gonorrhea and received treatment may be reinfected if they have sexual contact with a person infected with gonorrhea.
  • CDC now recommends a single 500 mg intramuscular dose of ceftriaxone for the treatment of gonorrhea.

Antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhoea

  • Overuse of antibiotics, genetic mutations of the bacteria and repeated use of poor-quality drugs makes it drug-resistant
  • Drug-resistant super gonorrhoea was first detected in samples taken from sex workers in the capital city, Nairobi, and other urban areas like Kiambu County.
  • The incurable infection that is asymptomatic in some cases, can cause significant health challenges, including permanent damage to their reproductive systems.
  • Other diseases that medics have expressed concern over due to total antimicrobial resistance include various strains of SARS-CoV-2, ebola virus disease, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever and marburg virus disease.

Source NewsOnAIR


Carbon Trading in the Agriculture Sector

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 (Economy and Environment)

Context: Recently, The Union Ministry of Power has notified the implementation of the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Act, 2022, from January 1, 2023. The amendment empowers the Union government to lay down a carbon credit certificates trading scheme in India.

About Carbon Trading and Carbon Credit:

  • Carbon trading is a market-based system that aims to offer financial incentives to persuade enterprises to lessen their environmental footprint.
  • In contrast to voluntary offsets, which allow consumers to pay to offset their carbon impact, carbon trading is a legally binding scheme.
  • Carbon trading seeks to place a price on CO2 using the caps and trade principle and is calculated by individual governments and policymakers.
  • The amount of emissions that are allowed for each carbon-producing industry, such as the power sector, the automobile industry, and air travel, is capped by the government.

Carbon Credit:

  • A carbon credit is a kind of tradable permit that, per United Nations standards, equals one tonne of carbon dioxide removed, reduced, or sequestered from the atmosphere.
  • Carbon allowances or caps, meanwhile, are determined by countries or governments according to their emission reduction targets.

Significance of Carbon Credit:

  • Carbon credits allow carbon dioxide emissions to be traded as a commodity in the market which compensates sellers for investing in emission reduction practices and thus incentivises the net reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  • Corporations that cannot directly reduce their GHG emissions can offset their emissions indirectly by purchasing carbon credits from other individuals and entities.
  • As the significance of climate and sustainability increases for countries, investors (especially ESG-driven investments), employees, and customers’ demand for these credits is also expected to significantly increase.
  • Various practices could be eligible for earning carbon credits, including renewable energy, afforestation, ecological restoration, agriculture, waste management, etc.

Advantages of carbon credit in Agricultural Sector:

  • Carbon credits could be generated in agriculture based on carbon dioxide sequestered and stored by the soil from the atmosphere as well as the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions during the cultivation process from ploughing to the management of stubble.
    • For instance, various activities related to agriculture such as tilling of fields before sowing seeds, use of chemical fertilizers, stubble burning, etc. result in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Agriculture is also the biggest contributor to GHG emissions within the entire food system.
    • Being a major source of emissions, agriculture could also serve as an important sink to store carbon and thus reduce, avoid or sequester carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The improvement in the carbon-storing capacity of the soil could improve fertility, crop yields, farmers’ income, water conservation, etc., thereby aiding in making agriculture resilient in the long run.
    • Use of the direct-seeding method to cultivate rice instead of transplantation of saplings in flooded fields can reduce methane emissions (generated from bacteria in flooded fields) and water consumption, and also improve soil nutrition.
  • The promotion of similar practices could help in reducing emissions and providing carbon credits to farmers.
    • Farmers can then sell these credits in the market and earn additional income, thus further incentivising them to implement such activities and improve soil carbon.
  • Encouraging activities like zero-tilling agriculture, agroforestry, improved water management, crop diversification and reduced use of chemical fertilizers can improve soil health and its capacity to store carbon.
    • It is estimated that soil carbon sequestration is a cost-effective measure to mitigate climate change and can sequester around 2.6 gigaton emissions per year.

Challenges before Carbon credit in the Agriculture sector:

  • This nascent level of agricultural carbon trading can be attributed to various reasons such as –
    • Low level of stakeholder awareness
    • Low level of methodology for determination of emissions reduced, avoided, or sequestered due to agriculture activities
    • Non-permanence of carbon sequestered in the soil
    • Verification of the quality of carbon credits
    • Monitoring of underlying projects,
  • Determination of the fair value of carbon credits to incentivise farmers to adopt sustainable practices etc.
  • The average landholding size of an Indian farmer is just over one hectare.
    • Therefore, the amount of carbon credits received may not be enough for a small farmer to adopt regenerative agriculture practices.
  • Low Participation of Agriculture Sector:
    • The carbon credits conceptually seem encouraging for climate change and agriculture but there is low participation of the agricultural sector in carbon trading markets.
    • For example, as per the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, agricultural activities accounted for only 1 per cent of all carbon credits issued for emissions reduction projects in 2021.

Way Forward:

Farmers need to be made aware of the existence and benefits of carbon credit programmes, so that all farmers practicing regenerative agriculture can benefit from it. Need of a streamlined policy to address these challenges which will help in expanding the currently under-utilized space for carbon credit trading from commercial agriculture.

Thus the governments at the state and central level could attempt to align existing natural farming, regenerative farming, and organic farming schemes so as to nudge farmers to participate in carbon credit programmes along with the associated organizations.

Source:  The Hindu

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) “Climate Action Tracker” which monitors the emission reduction pledges of different countries is a : (2022)

  1. Database created by coalition of research organisations
  2. Wing of “International Panel of Climate Change”
  3. Committee under “United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”
  4. Agency promoted and financed by United Nations Environment Programme and World Bank

Q.2) 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?

  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

Global Risks due to Climate Change

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Syllabus

  • Mains – GS 3 Environment

Context:

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) sixth assessment report highlights the risks of increasingly severe, interconnected and often irreversible impacts of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity, and human systems.
  • Similarly, the recent Global Risks Report 2023 released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), titled as Cooperation in a Fragmented World these Global Risks

Global Risk:

                      

  • ‘Global risk’ is defined as the possibility of the occurrence of an event or condition which, if it occurs, would negatively impact a significant proportion of global gross domestic product, population or natural resources, according to the WEF.
  • The findings by the WEF are concerning since the impact of natural disasters or extreme weather events disproportionately affects low- and middle-income countries.
  • Such events figure among the top five risks in 25 countries, especially developing coastal countries across Latin America, Africa and South-East Asia including India.
  • In 10 countries, natural disasters and extreme weather events were perceived to be the top most severe risk in the short term or in the next two years

Findings

  • ‘Failure to mitigate climate change’ as well as ‘failure of climate change adaptation’ are the two most severe risks facing the world in the next decade
  • ‘Natural disasters and extreme weather events’ is also the second-most severe risk that the world needs to be prepared for in the next two years
  • This is followed by ‘Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’.
  • Over the next 10 years or by 2033, the interconnections between biodiversity loss, pollution, natural resource consumption, climate change and socioeconomic drivers will makes for a dangerous mix
  • In the meantime, the current global pandemic and war in Europe has been held responsible for the energy, inflation and food crises.
  • ‘Cost of living’ ranks as the top most serious global risk in the short term (over the next two years).

Concerns for India:

  • India recorded extreme weather events on 291 of the 334 days between January 1 and November 30, 2022 according to India’s Atlas On Weather Disasters prepared by the Centre for Science and Environment and Down To Earth (CSE/DTE).
  • The country witnessed an extreme weather event of some sort in one or more of its regions for more than 87 per cent of the time over these 11 months.
  • These extreme events have a link with human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and the climate crisis as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in its sixth assessment report.
  • The IPCC assessment, titled Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis dedicated a chapter to weather extremes for the first time.
  • Further, Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have led to an increased frequency and / or intensity of some weather and climate extremes since pre-industrial times

Global challenges:

  • Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have all reached record highs.
  • Emission trajectories make it very unlikely that global ambitions to limit warming to 1.5°C will be achieved.
  • Existing measures to prevent or prepare for climate change have been “ineffective” or “highly ineffective”.
  • Biodiversity within and between ecosystems is already declining faster than at any other point during human history. But unlike other climate-related risks, ‘Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse’ has not been perceived to be of concern over the short term. It has been ranked as the fourth most severe risk in the long term or over the next ten years (by 2033).
  • Growing demands on public- and private-sector resources from these socio-economic short term crises attributed to geopolitical tensions, will likely reduce the speed and scale of mitigation efforts over the next two years.
  • These have, in some cases, also reversed progress on climate change mitigation, at least over the short term.
  • For example, the European Union spent at least 50 billion euros on new and expanded fossil-fuel infrastructure and supplies. Some countries including Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and France restarted coal power stations

Suggestions for future:

  • The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) adopted at 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is thus a significant breakthrough as far as global action on biodiversity is concerned.
  • COP 27 Commitments made in Sharm El-Sheikh like the loss and damage fund breakthrough agreement to provide funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters.
  • Accelerating Renewable Energy Transition in SIDS: Thirty-six small island developing States and their partners have come together to share strategies and galvanize momentum in the transition to renewable and resilient energy systems.
  • Cool Coalition: See how the world is coming together to deliver efficient, climate-friendly cooling for all, including through enhanced national climate plans. The coalition highlights promising innovations such as “cooling paper” that keeps temperatures down in buildings.
  • The Energy Efficiency Alliance: Three Percent Club: A coalition of government, corporate and non-governmental leaders, the alliance champions accelerated energy efficiency, helping individual countries prepare roadmaps to boost efficiency. The Three Percent Club sets a target of an annual 3 per cent improvement in energy efficiency.
  • Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment of UN: This initiative mobilizes the global private financial industry, in partnership with key private and public institutions, to integrate climate risks in investment decision-making. It now has 65 members with nearly $10 trillion in assets and has helped develop tools for modelling risk-informed cash flow and infrastructure priorities.
  • Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance: ORRAA connects governments, financial institutions, the insurance industry, environmental organizations and actors from the Global South to build resilience to ocean risk. It pioneers finance and insurance products aimed at incentivizing $500 million in investment in nature-based solutions by 2030.

Way forward

  • At COP26 negotiations in Glasgow, India led a joint statement around phasing out coal.
  • However, the progress towards the adaptation support required for those communities and countries increasingly affected by the impacts of climate change too will be insufficient.
  • With G20 presidency in hand, India needs to act in global interest based on the principle of co-benefits to deal with climate change as the world is inter-related.

Source DTE


Practice MCQs

Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) With reference to ‘Shukrayan I’, consider the following statements

  1. It is India’s first and world’s fourth Venus mission.
  2. It will be launched using GSLV Mk IIIs

Which of the following statements are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Q.2 With reference to ‘Saltwater crocodile’, their largest population is found in which of the following protected areas?

  1. Sundarbans
  2. Guindy National Park
  3. Bhitarkanika National Park
  4. Nagarjuna Srisailam Tiger Reserve

Q.3) With reference to recent discoveries in the field of Science, the term “ LHS 475 b” refers to

  1. Natural moon of Venus
  2. Exoplanet
  3. Black hole
  4. None of the above

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

ANSWERS FOR ’ 17th January 2023 – Daily Practice MCQs’ will be updated along with tomorrow’s Daily Current Affairs.st


ANSWERS FOR 16th January – Daily Practice MCQs

Answers- Daily Practice MCQs

Q.1) – d

Q.2) – d

Q.3) – c

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