We have initiated some changes in the 9 PM Brief and other postings related to current affairs. What we sought to do:
- Ensure that all relevant facts, data, and arguments from today’s newspaper are readily available to you.
- We have widened the sources to provide you with content that is more than enough and adds value not just for GS but also for essay writing. Hence, the 9 PM brief now covers the following newspapers:
- The Hindu
- Indian Express
- Business Standard
- Times of India
- Down To Earth
- We have also introduced the relevance part to every article. This ensures that you know why a particular article is important.
- Since these changes are new, so initially the number of articles might increase, but they’ll go down over time.
- It is our endeavor to provide you with the best content and your feedback is essential for the same. We will be anticipating your feedback and ensure the blog serves as an optimal medium of learning for all the aspirants.
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Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 2
GS Paper 3
- Charting a trade route after the MC12
- How to define a farmer
- How inflation could rescue the govt’s fiscal deficit act in FY22
- The right time for India to have its own climate law
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
- Stubble burning impacts lung health, says study
- On Climate TRACE: Satellites could help track if nations keep their carbon pledges
- Draft Mediation Bill issued for Public Consultation
- Telling Numbers: Roadkill and extinction risk for leopards in North India
- 102 Community Resource Persons-Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP) certified in a week as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav
- After a much-needed capacity boost, NCLT readies to fast-track cases
- India must tread with caution on early-harvest deals, say experts
- China taking incremental, tactical actions to press claims along frontier with India: Pentagon
- Cities will be too hot to live in future, says new UNEP report
- Keeping the faith: On WHO approval to Covaxin
Mains Oriented Articles
GS Paper 2
What we need to fix our judicial system
Source: This post is based on the article “What we need to fix our judicial system” published in the Indian Express on 6th November 2021.
Syllabus: GS 2 Structure, Organization, and Functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary.
Relevance: understanding issues of judicial infrastructure and processes.
News: The recent case involving the son of a famous celebrity highlighted the “bail-jail” connectivity issue.
A recent case has highlighted an important issue, that grant of bail by a court does not automatically immediately releases an accused. Bail orders are required to be deposited in the physical letterbox of prisons, within a timeframe of the day. A delay means, an accused spending an extra day or days in prison.
After the incident, the supreme court had directed the creation of the FASTER (Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records) System, which would transmit e-authenticated copies of the interim orders, stay orders, bail orders, and records of proceedings to the duty holders. However, after looking at the past result of such initiatives, the hope for reforms is very little.
What are the reasons behind issues in bail-jail” connectivity?
In 2014, the phase 2 document for the e-courts project was launched. However, it has failed to set up the transmission of information between key institutions in the criminal justice system. It is suffering from various issues.
|Read more: The Pros and Cons of e-Courts project|
First, The E committee, which runs the e-Court project, is headed by the Chief Justice of India. So the onus of the project and its implementation lies completely with the judiciary. The e-Committee is not accountable to anybody. Neither the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) nor Public Account committee of the Lok Sabha has reviewed the e-courts project.
Second, The Department of Justice (DoJ), under the Ministry of Law and Justice, commissioned two evaluations of the project. These evaluations were very limited in their scope.
Third, A budget was already approved by the government for Phase I and II of the project. But it did not achieve the expected outcome.
Fourth, ensuring Judicial independence has resulted in a lack of public scrutiny. For example, even financial audit reports are not revealed by high courts under RTI.
GS Paper 3
Charting a trade route after the MC12
Source: This post is based on the article “Charting a trade route after the MC12” published in The Hindu on 6th November 2021.
Syllabus: GS3- Effects of Liberalization on the Economy
Relevance: Issues with WTO
News: An improvement in global trade scenario provides an ideal setting for Trade Ministers to revisit trade rules which can help maintain the momentum in trade growth.
The World Trade Organization (WTO)’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) is being convened in Geneva, Switzerland at the end of this month. The MC12 is being held at an important juncture when the global trade scenario is quite upbeat.
What is the current outlook on global trade?
Expansion: Recent WTO estimates show that global trade volumes could expand by almost 11% in 2021, and by nearly 5% in 2022, and could stabilise at a level higher than the pre-COVID-19 trend.
Buoyancy: It has played an important role in supporting growth in economies such as India where domestic demand has not yet picked up sufficiently.
What are the key points which MC12 should consider?
Securing a share in the growth for economically weaker countries is mandated by the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization. There is also need to discuss adoption of WTO rules on electronic commerce, investment facilitation, and fisheries subsidies.
Issue of IPRs: there is demand that technologies necessary for producing vaccines, medicines, and other medical products for COVID-19 treatment should be available without the restrictions imposed by intellectual property rights (IPRs).
Equitable access to vaccines: Pharmaceutical companies controlling the global markets have used their IPRs to deny developing countries access to technologies and know-how, thus undermining the possibility of production of vaccines in these countries.
Proposal of India and South Africa: both countries had tabled a proposal in the WTO in October 2020, for waiving enforcement of several forms of IPRs. This proposal, supported by nearly two-thirds of the organisation’s membership but it was opposed by the developed countries batting for their corporates.
Fisheries, e-commerce: the current drafts on this issue are completely unbalanced as they do not provide the funds to rein in large-scale commercial fishing that are depleting fish stocks the world over, and at the same time, are threatening the livelihoods of small fishermen in countries such as India.
Discussion on e-commerce firms: the proposal by the members of the OECD and the G-20 members to introduce global minimum taxes on digital companies has made headlines. But in the WTO, discussions on e-commerce are being held in the WTO since 1998.
The more substantive outcome was the decision to “establish a comprehensive work programme” taking into “account the economic, financial, and development needs of developing countries”.
Objective of the negotiations on e-commerce is to facilitate expansion of e-commerce firms: In 2021, the issues on negotiating table are relating to the liberalisation of the goods and services trade and guarantee for free flow of data across international boundaries, all aimed at facilitating expansion of businesses of e-commerce firms.
Divisions over investment: the current focus of the WTO is to promote the global interests of oligopolies. For example, investment facilitation agreement.
In 2001, the Doha Ministerial Declaration had included a work programme on investment, but it was soon taken off the table as developing countries were opposed to its continuation. The opposition was due to the fact that the discussions were geared to expanding the rights of foreign investors through a multilateral agreement on investment.
One-sided negotiations: The negotiations on e-commerce and investment facilitation owe their origins to the so-called “Joint Statement Initiatives” (JSI) in which a section of the membership has developed the agenda with a view to producing agreements in the WTO. This will then be offered to the rest of the membership on a “take-it-or-leave-it” basis. India and South Africa have forcefully argued in a submission against the JSIs early this year.
How to define a farmer
Source: This post is based on the article “How to define a farmer” published in Indian Express on 6th November 2021.
Syllabus: GS3 – Issues related to Agriculture
Relevance: Problems of small and marginalised farmers.
News: Categorising farmers based on dependence on farm income, land ownership is inappropriate.
Harish Damodaran and Samridhi Agarwal argue that India’s farming population is much smaller than is usually estimated. They used the 2019 Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households (SAAH) survey to establish their argument.
They claim that while the official estimate of the number of agricultural households in India was 93.09 million in 2019, the number of “serious”, “full-time” or “regular” agricultural households was only 36 million.
They categorise only farmers that earn at least half of their total household income from crop cultivation as serious/regular.
The authors go on to suggest that the agricultural policy should target only serious/regular farming households as they “genuinely depend on farming”.
However, their argument is flawed on several counts. Some of the key problems with the Damodaran-Agarwal argument is highlighted in this article.
What are the key problems with the Damodaran-Agarwal argument?
Firstly, the categorisation of farmers as serious/regular based on a single ratio of farm income dependence and an arbitrary threshold of 50% is a non-serious exercise. Such identification completely ignores the varied historical trajectory of development and livelihood diversification in diverse regions of India.
For example, in a poor yet mineral-rich state like Jharkhand, livelihood diversification may have been driven by poverty and local conditions of both farm and non-farm work, which may have intensified such coping mechanisms over time. Such a situation does not make the poor farmers who use their land for subsistence, and pursue other occupations in the lean season, any less dependent on farming.
Secondly, Using the term “Kisan” to identify farmers complicates the social and economic relations, including exploitative ones, that exists within agriculture. Farmers are not a homogenous category. They are differentiated into classes and castes. More realistic and useful categories of rich/middle/poor farmers or capitalist/petty-producer/agricultural labour is needed to identify those engaged in agriculture.
Thirdly, it does not take in to account the contribution made by the remaining 70%, that is, marginal farmers possessing less than 1 hectare of land. According to Damodaran-Agarwal, their 50% “serious farmer” threshold is crossed at the all-India level by farmers with more than 1 hectare of land. This is possessed by only 30% of agricultural households.
Fourthly, the recommendations by Damodaran and Agarwal also have serious ramifications for socially disadvantaged communities. The historical and contemporary practices of caste-based exclusion and the failure of the state to undertake meaningful redistributive land reforms means that a large majority of the Dalit community remains landless.
Withdrawing state support to smallholders will have a disproportionate impact on the socially marginalised groups and would further push them into asset poverty.
Fifthly, the land and natural resource question was not addressed. If 70% of agricultural households are identified as non-serious farmers who should be moved out of agriculture, what happens to their land resources!
Moving non-serious farmers out of agriculture will lay the foundation for agri-business monopolies. Also, it is unlikely that agro-based industries will be able to create enough jobs to absorb the millions displaced from their lands.
Finally, the authors seem to be unaware of the function of agriculture as a social safety net in providing a source of sustenance to millions.
Damodaran and Agarwal do not discuss that the SAAH data also shows a fall in real average crop incomes between 2013 and 2019. The fall in returns from cultivation is driven by rising input prices and dwindling output prices.
Marginal and small farmers face disproportionate hardships in acquiring subsidised inputs or getting remunerative prices from public procurement. Smallholders also rely more on informal sources of moneylending, which adds to indebtedness.
What is the way forward?
For several decades now, successive governments have pursued policies that have led to worsening agrarian distress.
This has pushed millions into low-paying petty jobs and continues to plague those who are compelled to depend (even partially) on agriculture for survival.
The solution to the problem of Indian farmers needs a serious rethink of the economic policies and surely cannot lie in simply excluding them by redefinition.
How inflation could rescue the govt’s fiscal deficit act in FY22
Source: This post is based on the article “How inflation could rescue the govt’s fiscal deficit act” published on 6th November 2021 in Indian express
Syllabus: GS Paper 3, Indian Economy – Inflation and fiscal consolidation
News: Inflation is increasing, which is going to be helpful for the government in achieving the fiscal deficit target for FY22.
According to the finance ministry data, government is likely to achieve 6.8 per cent fiscal deficit target for FY22. It is due to following factors:
- The aggregate borrowing of the states is 10 per cent less than their projections.
- The average cost of borrowing of the center is within the acceptable limit.
- Sale of BPCL and the listing of LIC may bring in the projected Rs 1.75 trillion to the government receipts.
- A higher inflation (consumer price index or wholesale price index).
- A higher-than-expected tax revenue.
How a higher inflation affects fiscal deficit?
A fiscal deficit is a difference between total expenditure and total receipts of the government. It is calculated as a percentage of the nominal GDP. The Nominal GDP is calculated on the current prices, which includes the inflation component. Higher inflation thus s shrinks the fiscal deficit.
However, in the long run, high inflation will have a negative impact on the fiscal deficit, due to the consequent rise in the interest rates.
What are the challenges in the way of fiscal consolidation?
Fiscal consolidation, which includes rationalizing the government expenditure, attracts foreign borrowers. However, it will not be an easy task due to following factors. 1) Increasing food and fertilizer subsidies on social sector schemes like PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. 2) The bar on Government’s expenditures on salary and office expenses has been lifted. 3) States and centers will have to cut their capital expenditures, which may halt the boost to the economy.
The right time for India to have its own climate law
Source: This article is based on “The right time for India to have its own climate law” published in The Hindu on 6th November 2021.
Syllabus: GS Paper 3- Environment – Climate Change
News: India has announced its environmental targets are Glasgow. To achieve those targets efficiently, India needs a climate law.
Our Prime Minister has recently a ‘Panchamrit solution’ which aims at reducing fossil fuel dependence and carbon intensity (reduce one billion tonnes of total projected carbon emissions by 2030). But before adopting new energy pathways, we must also consider the question of climate hazard, nature-based solutions, and national accountability.
Thus, India should frame a climate law to achieve its goals of climate justice, carbon space, and environmental protection.
Why do we need a climate law?
Inadequacy in present laws: Our existing laws like Environment (Protection) Act (EPA), are not adequate to deal with climate change. For example, Clause 24 of EPA says that if an offence is committed under the EPA or any other law, the person will be punished under the other law (for example, Code of Criminal Procedure). It means the EPA is subordinate to every other law.
To ensure comprehensive climate action: There is a need to integrate climate action — adaptation and mitigation — and monitor progress. Comprehensive climate action is not just technological i.e. changing energy sources or carbon intensity, but also nature-based i.e. restoration of ecosystems, reducing natural hazards, and increasing carbon sinks.
To avoid inequality: Climate actions need to ensure that our stated renewable energy goals like 500 Gigawatts by 2030 goal do not increase inequality or poverty.
Ensuring compliance: environmental interventions are not followed properly at present. For example, NGT order to NTPC to cover coal wagons with tarpaulin on railways is not followed. It not only increases emission from coal, but also results in presence of respirable coal dust in the air.
What steps can be taken?
Setting up a ‘Commission on Climate Change’ that monitors action plans for climate change with the power and the authority to issue directions. The Commission could have quasi-judicial powers with powers of a civil court to ensure that its directions are followed in letter and spirit. It will ensure compliance with the environmental guidelines.
A legally enforceable National Climate Change Plan to ensure liability and accountability at short-, medium- and long-term levels.
Prelims Oriented Articles (Factly)
Stubble burning impacts lung health, says study
What is the News?
A study was conducted to analyse the impact of pollution from stubble burning on Human Health.
About the study
The study was conducted in six villages in Punjab. It analysed two periods: one was the normal period and the other period was when crop burning was at its peak, to measure the change in air quality during both periods
What are the key findings of the study?
Reduced Lung Function: Pollution from stubble burning has significantly reduced lung function and was particularly harmful to women.
High PM2.5 levels: The concentrations of PM2.5 (category of unburnt carbon particles considered most harmful to respiratory health) were found to increase more than twice between the two-time frames.
More Symptoms: During the crop residue burning period, a two to three-fold increase was noted in most of the respiratory symptoms. The highest number of respiratory complaints were reported by the elderly population (>40-60) and the lowest in the younger age group(>10-18).
Source: This post is based on the article “Stubble burning impacts lung health, says study” published in “The Hindu” on 6th November 2021.
On Climate TRACE: Satellites could help track if nations keep their carbon pledges
What is the News?
Climate TRACE with the help of satellites could help track the global greenhouse gas emissions.
What is Climate Trace?
Climate TRACE (Tracking Real-Time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions) was launched in 2021 before COP26. It is a global coalition of nonprofits, tech companies, and universities.
Purpose: It was created to collect and share greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic (human) activities to facilitate climate action.
How does Climate TRACE calculate emissions? It uses Artificial Intelligence(AI) and machine learning to analyze data from satellite imagery and sensor data to come up with accurate emissions estimates in near-real-time.
Significance: Climate TRACE is the world’s first comprehensive accounting of GHG emissions based primarily on direct, independent observation.
Source: This post is based on the article “Satellites could help track if nations keep their carbon pledges” published in “Business Standard” on 6th November 2021.
Draft Mediation Bill issued for Public Consultation
What is the News?
The Ministry of Law and Justice has placed the Draft Mediation Bill, 2021 in public domain seeking feedback and suggestions from all stakeholders.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a way of resolving conflicts where two or more parties decide to reach an agreement with the support of a third, neutral party that guides them through the process.
What are the objectives of the Draft Mediation Bill,2021?
To promote, encourage, and facilitate mediation, especially institutional mediation, to resolve disputes, commercial and otherwise.
To bring standalone law on Mediation on domestic and international mediation issues, as India is a signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation.
To include the international practice of using the terms ‘conciliation’ and ‘mediation’ interchangeably.
What are the key features of the Bill?
Firstly, the Bill proposes pre-litigation mediation. At the same time, it safeguards the interest of the litigants to approach the competent adjudicatory forums/courts for urgent relief.
Secondly, the successful outcome of mediation in the form of a Mediation Settlement Agreement(MSA) has been made enforceable by law.
Thirdly, the mediation process protects the confidentiality of the mediation process and provides for immunity in certain cases against its disclosure.
Fourthly, Mediation Settlement Agreement could be registered with State/District/Taluk Legal Authorities within 90 days to ensure maintenance of authenticated records of the settlement so arrived.
Fifthly, the bill provides for the establishment of the Mediation Council of India.
Lastly, it provides for community mediation.
Source: This post is based on the article “Draft Mediation Bill issued for Public Consultation” published in “PIB” on 6th November 2021.
Telling Numbers: Roadkill and extinction risk for leopards in North India
What is the News?
According to a study published in the Global Ecology and Biogeography journal, the leopard population in north India faces an 83% increased risk of extinction due to roadkill.
What are the key findings of the study?
Source: Indian Express
The study has identified four species from around the world at the highest risk of extinction due to road kills.
Among them, the Leopard population of North India faces an 83% increased risk of extinction due to roadkill. It estimates that the time for the North Indian leopard population’s extinction is at 33 years.
The leopard is followed by the maned wolf and the little spotted cat, both of Brazil, and the brown hyena of Southern Africa.
Other populations found highly vulnerable include the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) in South India.
Hotspot Regions of Roadkills
The study has identified Sub-Saharan Africa and south-eastern Asia as regions where roads can lead to loss of mammalian biodiversity.
Therefore, these are the areas where future road development and road mitigation need to be carefully considered.
Source: This post is based on the article “Telling Numbers: Roadkill and extinction risk for leopards in North India” published in “Indian Express” on 6th November 2021.
102 Community Resource Persons-Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP) certified in a week as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav
What is the News?
Around 102 Community Resource Persons-Enterprise Promotion(CRP-EP) have been certified under the Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme(SVEP).
SVEP is a sub-scheme under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission(DAY-NRLM).
The program supports the Self-Help Group (SHG) members and their family members to set up small enterprises in the non-farm sector.
The program supports them by developing an ecosystem for enterprise development in rural areas, consisting of Community Enterprise Fund (CEF) for enterprise funding and Cadre of Community Resource Persons-Enterprise Promotion(CRP-EP) for providing Business Support Services.
What does the Cadre of Community Resource Persons-Enterprise Promotion(CRP-EP) do?
CRP-EP provides Business Support Services in rural areas. The services provided by them include preparation of business plans, training, and accessing loans from Banks.
They are selected from the community where the program is being implemented, as they understand the local context and their familiarity with the NRLM ecosystem.
Moreover, they are also trained before they start working with the entrepreneurs.
Source: This post is based on the article “102 Community Resource Persons-Enterprise Promotion (CRP-EP) certified in a week as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” published in “PIB” on 6th November 2021.
After a much-needed capacity boost, NCLT readies to fast-track cases
What is the News?
The Government of India has appointed eight judicial and ten technical members at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
What is NCLT?
National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT) is a quasi-judicial body constituted under section 408 of the Companies Act, 2013 in 2016.
Committee: The tribunal was established based on the recommendation of the V. Balakrishna Eradi committee on the law relating to insolvency and the winding up of companies.
Purpose: The tribunal deals with matters mainly related to companies law and insolvency law.
Term of Members: The Companies Act fixes the term of office of chairperson and members of all NCLTs at five years or 65 years, whichever is earlier.
Appeals: Decisions of the NCLT may be appealed to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). The decisions of NCLAT may further be appealed to the Supreme Court of India on a point of law.
Source: This post is based on the article “After a much-needed capacity boost, NCLT readies to fast-track cases” published in “Business Standard” on 6th November 2021.
India must tread with caution on early-harvest deals, say experts
Source: This post is based on the article “India must tread with caution on early-harvest deals, say experts” published in Business Standard on 05 November 2021.
What is the news?
India is about to sign at least three early-harvest agreements and negotiating free trade agreements (FTAs) with the UK, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, and Australia. Until now, India has signed an early-harvest deal with Thailand and Singapore.
India is approaching with a strategy to first ink a mini trade or early-harvest agreement(EHA), which will be a precursor to an FTA that will be signed eventually.
However, some experts cautioned citing past experiences with trade deal, saying the country must be circumspect in such deals.
What are the advantages of signing EHAs?
Signing EHA’s is a good strategy since it signals commitment from both nations and starts trade in a small way. FTA talks with India, signals the world wanting to do business with India.
|Must Read: India’s ‘early harvest’ trade deals could run into trouble|
What are concerns/issues regarding trade deals which India must consider?
Some experts believe the targets are too big right now and we are understaffed at present.
India should be mindful of the past experience of FTAs, especially concerning EHAs, since they have resulted in adverse developments for India. Besides, it also expanded trade deficit.
FTA with Thailand also had an EHA component. It resulted in an inverted duty structure and India suffered quite a bit.
Bilateral deals should be cast as widely as possible and not riddle them with exceptions. It is the exceptions that make them bad.
China taking incremental, tactical actions to press claims along frontier with India: Pentagon
Source: This post is based on the article “China taking incremental, tactical actions to press claims along frontier with India: Pentagon” published in Times Of India on 05 November 2021.
What is the news?
Referring to China and India standoff, the US’s latest annual report on ‘Military and Security Developments Involving China’ states that China has been undertaking incremental and tactical actions to press its claims along the frontier with India.
It said that the Chinese military is also gaining “valuable real-world operational and tactical experience” due to the “acute tensions and clashes” in eastern Ladakh since May last year.
What are the key points mentioned in report?
Construction of dual-use villages: China is building civilian village inside disputed territory between the Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh. This village, on the banks of River Tsari Chu, is on “disputed territory” under Beijing’s control for over 60 years.
-It can act like “extended cantonments” for military use, are a major source of concern for India.
China is fast-expanding its military power across the entire spectrum. It’s nuclear warheads could triple to 700 within the six years and would top 1,000 by 2030.
Technologically advanced China’s C4I (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) systems: Under this, China installed a fibre-optic network in western Himalayas(in Pangong Tso and Gogra-Hot springs areas) to provide faster communications and increased protection from foreign interception.
Both China and India continue to maintain large-scale deployments along the LAC and make preparations to sustain these forces while disengagement negotiations have made limited progress.
China has expressed its aim to prevent stand-off from worsening into a wider military conflict, to return bilateral relations with India to a state of economic and diplomatic cooperation.
China seeks to prevent border tensions from causing India to partner more closely with the US. China has warned US to not interfere with China’s relationship with India.
Cities will be too hot to live in future, says new UNEP report
Source: This post is based on the article “Cities will be too hot to live in future, says new UNEP report” published in “Down To Earth” on 03 November 2021.
What is the news?
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report titled “Sustainable Urban Cooling Handbook” stated that cities will be the hotspots as global warming continues unabated.
What are the key findings of the report?
Overheated cities will face climate change costs that are more than twice those of the rest of the world because of the urban heat island effect.
The study also suggests that higher temperatures can lead to greater energy use for cooling, increased air pollution, worsening water quality and loss in worker productivity.
Depending on the climate zone, the urban heat island effect can raise urban temperatures as much as 5oC, compared with surrounding rural areas.
The urban population exposed to high temperatures — that is average summertime temperature highs above 35˚C is expected to increase by 800% to reach 1.6 billion by 2050.
-It disproportionately impact impoverished urban population as it needs procurement of mechanical cooling solutions.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) projects that in 2030, the equivalent of 80 million full-time jobs could be lost worldwide due to heat stress.
This will result in global economic losses of $2.3 trillion. They will lose around 5% of working hours due to excessive heat.
-The impact will be unequally distributed around the world: Low-income countries, especially in the hot regions of southern Asia and western Africa, are likely to be the worst hit.
The situation could be worsened by potential major electric grid failures during extreme weather and can expose large populations to severe heat stress both outside and within buildings.
What has India done to resolve cooling problems?
In 2019, India published the India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) and laid down the roadmap.
ICAP focuses on adaptive thermal comfort, passive cooling design strategies across sectors.
It promotes insulation, shading and enhanced natural ventilation, to reduce requirement of active-cooling. This reduced cooling demand then can be met using the energy efficient and climate-friendly technologies.
What is the way forward?
The world needs urban heat island adaptation and mitigation measures along with a shift to more sustainable cooling solutions to provide cooling without perpetuating more warming.
-To be done through urban planning and design, energy-efficient building, efficient cooling technologies and practices and sustainable refrigerant use approaches for lower climate impact and greater access and equity than business-as-usual cooling approaches.
Keeping the faith: On WHO approval to Covaxin
Source: This post is based on the article “Keeping the faith: On WHO approval to Covaxin” published in The Hindu on 6th November 2021.
What is the news?
Recently, World Health Organization (WHO) has granted Emergency Use Listing (EUL) to Covaxin. It took 20 weeks to approve the Covaxin after the data was supplied to WHO.
All about Covaxin
|Read here: covaxin vaccine|
What is the advantage of the approval?
1) Increase the global supply of vaccines. 2) Ease travel for Indians who are covaxin vaccinated.
What is the status of global vaccination?
WHO’s aims to vaccinate at least 40% of people in all countries by the year-end. But, According to British Medical Journal, the level of current vaccinations are very low.
Only around 1% of people in low-income countries have received their vaccine shot. 70 countries are yet to vaccinate 10% of their populations.
30 countries, including much of Africa, have vaccinated less than 2% of their population. In Latin America, only one in four of the population has received a vaccine dose.