Long-feared space junk has become an imminent threat

  Synopsis: With the increasing cost-effectiveness in rocket and satellite technologies, more countries and companies are planning more missions to orbit than ever before. This will ultimately result in more space debris that could trigger a mass collision in the future. This calls for countries and corporates to collaborate on the issue. Introduction In March,… Continue reading Long-feared space junk has become an imminent threat

Douse the farm fire – “Stubble burning Issue”

Synopsis: Despite various measures taken by both, state governments and central government, the issue of stubble burning continue to add to the air pollution in the North India and NCR region. It calls for a fresh relook at the issue. Introduction The stubble burning incidents are expected to increase this time compared to last year,… Continue reading Douse the farm fire – “Stubble burning Issue”

Indian Railways’ Chandigarh Railway Station awarded 5-Star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification by FSSAI

What is the news? Indian Railways’ Chandigarh Railway Station has been awarded a 5- star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification for providing high-quality, nutritious food to passengers. This certification is granted by FSSAI to railway stations adhering to standard food storage and hygiene practices. About ‘Eat Right Station’ program The ‘Eat Right Station’ certification is awarded… Continue reading Indian Railways’ Chandigarh Railway Station awarded 5-Star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification by FSSAI

Missing the woods: 18% of India’s 2,603 tree species threatened with extinction

Source: This post is based on the article “Missing the woods: 18% of India’s 2,603 tree species threatened with extinction“ published in Down to Earth on 2nd September 2021. What is the news? According to the State of the World’s Trees report, released by London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International, some 469 of India’s 2,603 tree… Continue reading Missing the woods: 18% of India’s 2,603 tree species threatened with extinction

Let’s talk land sinks: Are they enough to beat global warming

Source: This post is based on the article “Let’s talk land sinks: Are they enough to beat global warming“ published in Down to Earth on 2nd September 2021. Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment. Relevance: Protecting land is important in the fight against global warming. Synopsis: The world is not… Continue reading Let’s talk land sinks: Are they enough to beat global warming

How Israel’s expertise in climate innovation can help India

Source: This post is based on the article “How Israel’s expertise in climate innovation can help India“ posted in The Indian Express on 2nd September 2021. Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment Relevance: Lessons from Israel could be used to drive India’s climate actions. Synopsis: In the backdrop of emerging… Continue reading How Israel’s expertise in climate innovation can help India

India must commit to net zero emissions

Source: This post is based on the article “India must commit to net zero emissions” posted in The Hindu on 2nd September 2021. Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment. Relevance: Need for India to commit to net zero emissions. Synopsis: While all the major economies and big corporates are shifting… Continue reading India must commit to net zero emissions

Sand and dust storms impact over 500 million in India: Study

Source: This post is based on the article “Sand and dust storms impact over 500 million in India: Study” published in Down to Earth on 1st September 2021. Relevance: Impact of sand and dust storm. Synopsis: More than 500 million people in India and more than 80 per cent of the populations of Turkmenistan, Pakistan,… Continue reading Sand and dust storms impact over 500 million in India: Study

Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: UN Study

Source: This post is based on the article “Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: “UN Study” published in Down to Earth on 1st September 2021. What is the news? Recently, a study titled “Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Freshwater Aquatic, Terrestrial and Avian Migratory Species in the Asia and Pacific Region” was… Continue reading Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: UN Study

Substantial Investment Subsidies for Solar Power

Source: This post is based on the article “Substantial Investment Subsidies for Solar Power” published in Down to Earth on 1st September 2021. Relevance: Solar power’s role in addressing the issues of groundwater exploitation and DISCOM distress. Synopsis: Substantial investment subsidies on the solar pump has the potential to address the irrigation-energy nexus in the… Continue reading Substantial Investment Subsidies for Solar Power

India’s most GIFTed city

Source: This post is based on the article “India’s most GIFTed city” published in Business Standard on 1st September 2021. What is the news?  India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Gandhinagar seems to be moving up, at least on paper, after delays in land acquisition, infrastructure development snags and political crosswinds. About IFSC… Continue reading India’s most GIFTed city

A sign of Rlys’ poor health

Source: This post is based on the article “A sign of Rlys’ poor health“ published in Business Standard on 1st September. What is the news? Railways’ accounts reveal it spent ₹98 to ₹100 in 2019-20. In 2019-20, the capital expenditure of Indian Railways (IR) increased 60% over 2016-17. But an analysis by Business Standard shows… Continue reading A sign of Rlys’ poor health

Conserving groundwater: Role of women crucial in bringing about significant change

Source: This post is based on article “Conserving groundwater: Role of women crucial in bringing about significant change” published in Down to Earth on 31st August 2021. Relevance: Role of women to address the water crisis of India. Synopsis: Increased women participation in groundwater management will shift the intended objectives from technology to governance, demand… Continue reading Conserving groundwater: Role of women crucial in bringing about significant change

India is indeed walking the green talk

Source: This post is based on the article “India is indeed walking the green talk” published in The Hindu on 31st August 2021. Relevance: India’s effort to mitigate climate change. Synopsis: India is doing its part to fulfil its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under Paris Agreement. When compared with other countries, India is doing better… Continue reading India is indeed walking the green talk

Conserving Chitkul: Why the ‘last village of India’ cannot be allowed to drown in plastic

Source: This post is based on the article “Conserving Chitkul: Why the ‘last village of India’ cannot be allowed to drown in plastic” published in Down to Earth on 31st August 2021. What is the news? Plastic waste is making its way to even remote locations in the mountainous regions such as “Chitkul (in Himachal Pradesh)”… Continue reading Conserving Chitkul: Why the ‘last village of India’ cannot be allowed to drown in plastic

World freed from toxic leaded petrol: A global win

Source: This post is based on the article “World freed from toxic leaded petrol: A global win” published in the Down to Earth on 31st August 2021. Relevance: removal of lead from petrol Synopsis: It is a remarkable achievement for the global community to remove lead from petrol across the world. It will have positive… Continue reading World freed from toxic leaded petrol: A global win

Habitat of bird that flies non-stop for 5 days from Japan to Australia under threat

Source: This post is based on article “Habitat of bird that flies non-stop for 5 days from Japan to Australia under threat“ published in Down to Earth on 31st August 2021. What is the news? The Latham’s Snipe shorebird, flies non-stop for five days over thousands of kilometres of ocean for its survival, twice a… Continue reading Habitat of bird that flies non-stop for 5 days from Japan to Australia under threat

India warns arms cos of action for default in offset commitments

Source: Times of India What is the news? The Government of India has started taking action against foreign armament majors for failure to fulfill their offsets obligations in defence deals. It has threatened to ban a US company and put another 11 firms on watchlist for imposition of penalties. What are offset obligations? In defence… Continue reading India warns arms cos of action for default in offset commitments

Genetically changed mosquitoes could transform Africa’s long fight against malaria

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Tackling Malaria via genetic programming of Mosquitoes. Synopsis: Genetic programming of mosquitoes along with traditional methods of Malaria prevention could help us reduce the increasing cases of Malaria globally and help reduce associated mortality. Context For Malaria prevention, some countries heavily depend on using insecticide treated bed nets and house… Continue reading Genetically changed mosquitoes could transform Africa’s long fight against malaria

Infrastructure development and eco-conservation should go hand-in-hand

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Balancing economic development with environmental conservation. Synopsis: Infrastructural development, though necessary, must be rooted in regional ecological and environmental realities. Context Infrastructure development in the Himalayan region such as Hydropower is disturbing fragile ecosystem and leading to issues such as landslips, avalanches and the loss of lives and property. The avalanche… Continue reading Infrastructure development and eco-conservation should go hand-in-hand

Biofortified food can lead India from food security to nutrition security

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Tackling malnutrition Synopsis: Using science to address the complex challenge of malnutrition, particularly for low-income and vulnerable sections of the society, can be a good intervention. Bio-fortification of food can come handy to address the issue of malnutrition in India along with other measures. Context The Prime Minister recently announced that,… Continue reading Biofortified food can lead India from food security to nutrition security

Duopoly in telcom will hurt both consumers and govt

Source: Business Standard What is the news? The government is reportedly looking at a relief package for the stressed telecom sector while also exploring ways to allow operators to pay their dues linked to adjusted gross revenue (AGR) over 20 years rather than 10 years currently. Must Read: Two is too few – Issues with telecom sector Preventing a… Continue reading Duopoly in telcom will hurt both consumers and govt

No realistic plan of reducing import dependence in edible oils is possible without recognising the role of oil palm

Source: Indian express What is the news? Recently, the Government of India launched National Mission on Edible Oils-Oil Palm. The scheme aims at increasing the total area under oil palm from the current 3.5 lakh hectares (lh) to 10 lh by 2025-26. Must read: Cabinet approves implementation of National Mission on Edible Oils- Oil Palm… Continue reading No realistic plan of reducing import dependence in edible oils is possible without recognising the role of oil palm

Facial recognition spreads, concern over absence of data protection law

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Regarding Facial Recognition technology Synopsis: The greater rush for the use of FRT systems has raised various concerns, despite the strength of justification. Let’s have a brief look into the debate. Context Facial recognition technology (FRT) software systems are being installed at some of India’s busiest airports and train stations. The… Continue reading Facial recognition spreads, concern over absence of data protection law

Costly active pharma ingredients from China create healthcare hurdles in India

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? A recent report Pharma Industry: Trends and Prospects has identified various gaps in Pharma Industry of India due to its dependence on China for API’s. What is an API? Active pharmaceutical ingredients or APIs can be defined as the chemicals used to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs. The active… Continue reading Costly active pharma ingredients from China create healthcare hurdles in India

Land degradation in India hurts farmers and forest dwellers the most

Source: Down to Earth1, Down to Earth2 What is the news? The findings of ISRO’s “Land Degradation and Desertification Atlas” has highlighted that, the impact of desertification in India is not uniform throughout the country. It varies across irrigation system, region etc. Must read: Despite PM Modi’s assurance, land degradation, desertification increasing Impact Based on… Continue reading Land degradation in India hurts farmers and forest dwellers the most

The clean-up crew we need (On vulture conservation)

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Importance of vultures for an ecosystem Synopsis: Vultures play a very important role in an ecosystem by acting as its scavengers. However, their declining population has increased various concerns. Let’s have a brief look into it. Context India lost more than 95% of its vulture population through the 1990s and by… Continue reading The clean-up crew we need (On vulture conservation)

Financing India’s green future

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Increasing investment in decarbonising technology is important for achieving a green future Synopsis: India’s is among one of the few countries to achieve its target under Paris Commitment. However, we still require investment in green future to promote sustainable development. Context Currently, India is moving ahead of its target of reducing… Continue reading Financing India’s green future

Organic and conservation farming boost multifunctionality of ecosystems: Study

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? A recent study has found that the organic and conservation farming has the potential to boost multiple functions of an ecosystem.  About the study: The study assessed the overall performance of important cropping systems in Europe within adapted ecosystem services and using the ecosystem multifunctionality (the ability of… Continue reading Organic and conservation farming boost multifunctionality of ecosystems: Study

Smog control: Another symbol over substance

Source: Livemint What is the news? Earlier this week, Delhi installed Anti-smog tower in the city to purify the polluted air in the city. The step has received both positive and negative responses. There are concerns surrounding the Anti-smog tower as an effective tool to address the air pollution. Must read: Delhi’s New Smog Tower:… Continue reading Smog control: Another symbol over substance

The world may soon get a vaccine against Chikungunya

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? A multi-country Phase II / III clinical trial of a vaccine led by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) in partnership with Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) has begun in Costa Rica. It is funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) with support from the Ind-CEPI… Continue reading The world may soon get a vaccine against Chikungunya

India has done well to ratify the Montreal accord amendment

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Understanding India’s ratification to Kigali Agreement Synopsis: The recent announcement of Government of India to ratify the Kigali agreement is expected to bring various benefits including strengthening India’s global position in fight against climate change Context The government’s decision to ratify the amendment to the Montreal accord on phasing out ozone-depleting… Continue reading India has done well to ratify the Montreal accord amendment

Switch it off!: How light pollution disorients ecosystems

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Impact of light pollution Synopsis: Excessive use of light in urban areas has negative impact on human and animal life. Analysis of the impact and mitigation measures that can be taken. Context Watching the night sky, the stars and other astronomical objects is an absolute delight. While one may still… Continue reading Switch it off!: How light pollution disorients ecosystems

The dangers of India’s palm oil push

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Issues associated with Palm oil cultivation Synopsis: The recent push by Government of India to promote production of palm oil in Northeast and Andaman Nicobar islands has raised various concerns. A brief look. Context On August 15th, 2021, PM announced a support of Rs 11,000 crore to incentivize oil palm production.… Continue reading The dangers of India’s palm oil push

Emission reduction of 28% over 2005 levels, against the target of 35% by 2030 already achieved by India

Source: PIB What is the news? Recently, the ‘INDIA-ISA Energy Transition Dialogue 2021’ was organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). While addressing the keynote address, the Union minister highlighted major achievements of India in the field of energy efficiency and transition. India’s Achievements India… Continue reading Emission reduction of 28% over 2005 levels, against the target of 35% by 2030 already achieved by India

Climate crisis putting a billion children at ‘extremely high risk,’ warns new UN report

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? A recent report by UNICEF has stated the children across the globe are vulnerable to the climate crisis. Article highlights the findings of the report. Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI) Recently UNICEF along with ‘Fridays with Future’ launched a new report called “The Climate Crisis Is a Child’s… Continue reading Climate crisis putting a billion children at ‘extremely high risk,’ warns new UN report

The lure of 10 million jobs a year (On agri sector)

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: issues with creation of employment opportunities in farm sector Synopsis: There is a question over capacity of Agriculture sector to absorb more workforce in India. As per the latest data of the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) increasing number of people are joining agriculture for employment, in a shift… Continue reading The lure of 10 million jobs a year (On agri sector)

Why India needs an NHS-like healthcare model?

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Understanding issues in the Indian health sector Synopsis: India’s health care sector is plagued with various issues which have been exposed during Covid crisis. Let’s have a brief look at issues affecting Indian health sector. Context The Health ministry has claimed in Parliament that Punjab has reported only four “suspected” deaths… Continue reading Why India needs an NHS-like healthcare model?

The digital future of our country is distinctly being re-imagined

Source: Livemint Relevance: Impact of Digital India Synopsis: The Digital India mission has made a positive impact on India’s socio-economic development in past few decades. It also led to transformation of lives and livelihoods that at the grassroot levels. Platformization is the key At the core of India’s transformation into Digital India is India’s ‘platformization’… Continue reading The digital future of our country is distinctly being re-imagined

Climate change, a catalyst for Arctic cooperation

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Importance of Arctic region for global climate Synopsis: Apart from the geopolitical and strategic importance of the Arctic region, it is important for the global community to view it through ecological lenses. Context Along with the growing security concerns in the Arctic region, the region is also witnessing an unprecedented transformation… Continue reading Climate change, a catalyst for Arctic cooperation

Explore unconventional sources of edible oil

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Analysis of New Edible Oil mission Synopsis: The new edible oil mission launched by Central government offers both advantages and some issues. A brief look. Context In the backdrop of previous failed attempts to increase domestic oil seeds production, the government has recently set up Rs.11000 crore New Edible Oil Mission.… Continue reading Explore unconventional sources of edible oil

India must negotiate well on free trade pacts: Experts

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Negotiating Free Trade Agreement (FTA’s) Synopsis: India is on the verge of signing FTA’s with some important nations. Let’s have a brief look at the subject. Context: Recently, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal had said that India is at a ‘positive momentum’ with respect to inking trade deals with the… Continue reading India must negotiate well on free trade pacts: Experts

Missing School, Missing Meals

Source: Times of India Relevance: Covid-19 and its impact on the education sector Synopsis: The education sector in India is under pressure from pandemic-related issues, as identified by a parliamentary committee on Education. Let’s have a brief look at issues in the education sector of India. Context: Recently, the Parliamentary committee on education prepared a… Continue reading Missing School, Missing Meals

A Five-Year Plan To Restore About 1.4k Acres Of Aravalis

Source: Times of India What is the news? The Forest department is planning a conservation programme to restore the natural habitat of Gurugram Aravalis. Around 1400 acres of forest land between Gaurangpur and Gairatpur Bas will be restored over five years. What will be done under the 5-year project? Assessment study- An assessment of local… Continue reading A Five-Year Plan To Restore About 1.4k Acres Of Aravalis

Catch the rain, fix water crisis: How Odisha leads by example

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Fighting water crisis in India, Odisha model of rain water harvesting Synopsis: Urbanization poses a threat to our natural environment, it is leading to water scarcity, disasters, loss of biodiversity and more. However, sustainable urbanization can offer a solution for the emerging urban problems as reflected by Odisha model. Context… Continue reading Catch the rain, fix water crisis: How Odisha leads by example

Despite PM Modi’s assurance, land degradation, desertification increasing

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Causes behind increase in land degradation and desertification Synopsis: Problem of land degradation and desertification is increasing in India. A brief look at the findings of ISRO’s report on the issue and causes behind it. Context Recently, ISRO released the Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India, which highlighted that… Continue reading Despite PM Modi’s assurance, land degradation, desertification increasing

Rs 935 crore misappropriated in NREGA schemes in last four years, show data from Govt

Source: Indian Express What is the news? According to data sourced from the Management Information System (MIS) of the Ministry of Rural Development, in the last four years, Social Audit Units (SAU) under Rural Development Departments (RDD) across India have found financial misappropriation of Rs 935 crore under various schemes of the Mahatma Gandhi National… Continue reading Rs 935 crore misappropriated in NREGA schemes in last four years, show data from Govt

Meet the fishing cat: Protecting this shy species will save our precious wetlands

Source: Times of India What is the news? Around 87% of world’s wetland ecosystem have been lost due to anthropogenic activities threatening wildlife species such as fishing cat. About Fishing Cat: The fishing cat is one of only two animals among the 40 odd members of the cat family which can survive in wet landscape… Continue reading Meet the fishing cat: Protecting this shy species will save our precious wetlands

Why attempts to boost oil palm farming may work?

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Analysis of  National Mission on Edible Oils Synopsis: In light of the recently announced scheme to boost production of palm oil in India, a brief look at previous such attempts, their impact and the overall issues involved with palm oil cultivation. Context In order to boost domestic production of palm oil… Continue reading Why attempts to boost oil palm farming may work?

India’s looming water crisis and urgent measures to address it

Source: Livemint Relevance: Measures needed to address India’s water crisis Synopsis: The groundwater table in India is falling at faster rate than ever, and thus we need radical changes in agricultural practices along with other measures to address the water crisis of India. Context India is facing a water crisis. Water tables in many states… Continue reading India’s looming water crisis and urgent measures to address it