Explained: Ozone pact in climate fight

Source: Indian Express What is the news? India recently ratified the Kigali Agreement to the Montreal Protocol after 5 years of negotiation. It is expected to help energize collective global effort to address global warming as well as climate change. Background: In 1989 Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer of the upper… Continue reading Explained: Ozone pact in climate fight

How can  the new rebate scheme help exporters? (On RoDTEP scheme)

Source: Livemint What is the news? Recently, the Commerce Ministry released details of new scheme RoDTEP scheme to help exporters to stay competitive and increase exports at a time when there is an increase in demand from developed economies. Background Read here: Govt notifies RoDTEP rates, guidelines How does the new scheme work? The refund… Continue reading How can  the new rebate scheme help exporters? (On RoDTEP scheme)

SC: Arrest shouldn’t be done as routine

Source: Times of India What is the news? According to Supreme Court, arbitrary arrest should not be done when the accused is cooperating in the probe and there is no reason to believe that s/he will abscond or influence the investigation. Context The court passed the order on a plea of an accused seeking anticipatory… Continue reading SC: Arrest shouldn’t be done as routine

Why the Global South needs birds and bees more than the North?

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Implications of the decline in pollinator population Synopsis: World’s biodiversity is facing a risk from reduction of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, birds, bats, etc. It is believed that the risk is greater for most of the developing world. A brief look. Context A recent study on the causes and… Continue reading Why the Global South needs birds and bees more than the North?

A delayed intervention (On need to exports)

Source: The Hindu What is the news? After delaying by 8 months, the Government has notified the rules and rates under Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme. Based on these, exporters can claim rebates on the taxes paid on their exported items. Must read: RoDTEP scheme Current scenario India is looking… Continue reading A delayed intervention (On need to exports)

NE is cancer capital of India, finds govt study

Source: Times of India What is the news? A recently released report by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research highlighted that Arunachal Pradesh’s Papum Pare district and Mizoram’s capital Aizawl recorded the highest incidence of new cancer cases among both male and female. The report is… Continue reading NE is cancer capital of India, finds govt study

How Punjab and Haryana are switching to sustainable cropping techniques to preserve groundwater?

Source: Down to Earth Syllabus: GS3 – Major Crops – Cropping Patterns in various parts of the country, – Different Types of Irrigation and Irrigation Systems Relevance: Preservation of groundwater Synopsis: This Kharif season, in order to reduce groundwater depletion, both Punjab and Haryana are using Direct-Seeded Rice (DSR) method and crop diversification, to sow… Continue reading How Punjab and Haryana are switching to sustainable cropping techniques to preserve groundwater?

Celebrating Einstein’s century (On 100th year of Einstein receiving Nobel prize)

Source: The Hindu What is the news?  2021 will mark the 100th year of Einstein receiving the Nobel Prize in physics for “his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect” Law of photoelectric effect It argues that light is made of photons and when light shines… Continue reading Celebrating Einstein’s century (On 100th year of Einstein receiving Nobel prize)

Second-generation bioethanol: It is time to launch it headlong

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Going from waste to wealth for producing clean energy Synopsis: Second generation bioethanol can help us reduce our oil import dependency. A brief look at its advantages. Context On the eve of 75th Independence Day, Indian PM announced a new goal of transforming India into an ‘energy-independent’ nation by 2047.… Continue reading Second-generation bioethanol: It is time to launch it headlong

Finding work is work in progress (COVID’s impact on jobs)

Source: Times of India Relevance: Dealing with economic implications of COVID Synopsis: Reversing the pandemic hit to the job market is only a first step. The real jobs challenge still lies ahead. A brief look at the impact of COVID on the job market and the future challenges. Context Economy is coming to pre-covid level… Continue reading Finding work is work in progress (COVID’s impact on jobs)

Single-use plastic ban: Reading the fine print reveals ominous loopholes

Source: Down to Earth   Relevance: New Plastic Waste Management Rules 2021 and issues associated with it Synopsis: The recently announced Plastic Waste Management Rule 2021 prohibits 20 identified single-use plastic items by 2022 to tackle the issue of plastic pollution. However, civil societies have raised some concerns with the new provisions. Must read: Beating… Continue reading Single-use plastic ban: Reading the fine print reveals ominous loopholes

A third of India’s coastline underwent erosion in 28 years, Bengal worst affected

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? According to a recent technical report by the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), between 1990 and 2018 nearly 32% of India’s coastline underwent sea erosion and 27% of it experienced expansion. NCCR carried out a national shoreline change assessment mapping for Indian coast using 28 years… Continue reading A third of India’s coastline underwent erosion in 28 years, Bengal worst affected

African cheetahs in Kuno-Palpur: Have we assessed disease risks well

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? The forest minister of Madhya Pradesh had announced in July that 10 male and 10 female cheetahs will be flown from South Africa to Gwalior in two phases in November. They will then be sent by road to the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Background After the Supreme court order… Continue reading African cheetahs in Kuno-Palpur: Have we assessed disease risks well

In Karur, a conservation dilemma regarding the slender loris

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? The district forest officer (DFO) of Karur district has recently submitted a proposal for implementing a species recovery programme to protect and improve the population of the endangered slender loris. Threats to the species Since there is great demand for keeping these animal as pets, they are… Continue reading In Karur, a conservation dilemma regarding the slender loris

Palm oil and environmental, social challenges in India: The road ahead

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: importance of palm oil for India Synopsis: Oil palm is a valuable economic crop and a source of employment across developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Importance of palm oil and various challenges associated with its production. A brief look. Context Oil palm is a valuable economic crop… Continue reading Palm oil and environmental, social challenges in India: The road ahead

India’s water crisis: It is most acute for women

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Implications of water crisis on women Synopsis: Water crisis affects women disproportionately compared to men. An analysis Context India has 16% of the world’s population, but possesses only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. India is water-stressed due to changing weather patterns and repeated droughts. And the worst sufferers of… Continue reading India’s water crisis: It is most acute for women

Beating plastic pollution (On plastic waste management rules)

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Issue of Plastic waste management Synopsis: Effective implementation of New Plastic Waste Management Amendment rules offers a solution to address plastic pollution Context Central government on 12th of August notified The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules which acknowledges the gravity of pollution caused by plastic articles of everyday use. The decisions… Continue reading Beating plastic pollution (On plastic waste management rules)

India’s climate mitigation plans face a threat as Earth warms

Source: Business standard Relevance: Implications of climate change on the renewable energy sector in India. Synopsis: Threats posed by climate to India’s renewable energy sector and possible solutions. Context India recently renewed its target for renewable energy installation to 450 GW by 2040 from earlier 175 GW by 2022. But this plan is threatened by… Continue reading India’s climate mitigation plans face a threat as Earth warms

India to recalibrate air quality norms next year

Source: Times of India What is the news? India is likely to have new national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in 2022, which will consist of more pollutants including ultra fine particulate matter of less than PM2.5. CPCB has awarded the work of updating NAAQS to the IIT Kanpur led team of experts. The team… Continue reading India to recalibrate air quality norms next year

India’s first leopard reserve offers lessons in coexistence, conservation

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Ecosystem conservation via community participation. Synopsis: Communities have long co-existed with leopards in Jhalana (Rajasthan) which is India’s first leopard reserve declared in 2016. Benefits of leopard conservation Stray dog population is kept under check Forest acts as a temperature and pollutant sink Leopards scavenge carcasses of cattle that villagers would otherwise… Continue reading India’s first leopard reserve offers lessons in coexistence, conservation

Learning from China (On economic growth & development)

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Agriculture reforms on the line of China are necessary to improve living standards Synopsis: The focus of India’s economic policy has to be on quality education, skill development, and agriculture reforms. Lessons from China. Context Post independence we have achieved several milestones like, reducing poverty, improving literacy, increasing life expectancy etc.… Continue reading Learning from China (On economic growth & development)

The temptation of a sunscreen to cool the planet

Source: Mint Relevance: Fighting climate change and its impacts. Synopsis: Analysis of Solar-Geo engineering as a possible solution against effects of global warming. An analysis. Context In the background of the latest IPCC report on climate change, expectations from 26th United Nation Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) have increased. However, as the effects of global warming… Continue reading The temptation of a sunscreen to cool the planet

Our GDP needs the HDP

Source: Indian Express Relevance: Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth for all. Synopsis: Despite the progress achieved in the field of technology; inequality and deprivation are still an important issue that needs to be addressed in India. Measuring Human Development Product might be a solution because GDP just indicates economic growth, while Human Development Product can… Continue reading Our GDP needs the HDP

Bihar plans GPS trackers for endangered Greater Adjutant Storks

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? In a first, Bihar has decided to tag endangered greater adjutant storks (Leptoptilos dubius), locally known as ‘Garuda’, with GPS trackers to monitor their movement as a part of efforts to conserve them. Bhagalpur’s Kadwa Diara floodplains area is the third-most popular breeding centre for the greater adjutant… Continue reading Bihar plans GPS trackers for endangered Greater Adjutant Storks

At 100GW, India now 4th in solar, wind energy capacity

Source: Times of India What is the news? India’s renewable energy capacity, excluding large hydroelectric projects, hit 100 GW (gigawatts) on 12th Aug 21, making it the world’s fourth largest in terms of total installed green energy capacity. The 100 GW renewable capacity accounts for 26% of India’s total installed generation capacity of 383 GW.… Continue reading At 100GW, India now 4th in solar, wind energy capacity

Explained: What will happen to fish as oceans warm?

Source: Indian Express What is the news? The rise in oceanic temperature due to global warming is affecting the aerobic capacity of the fish and could impair their physiological performance in the future. Context The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has warned that ocean warming will continue over the 21st century and… Continue reading Explained: What will happen to fish as oceans warm?

Private insurance companies benefited the most from PM Fasal Bima Yojana: Report

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? Under the flagship scheme for crop insurance PMFBY, it is the private insurance companies that have benefited the most than the public insurance companies. Context The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (crop insurance scheme) may have benefited some farmers, but insurance companies have made most of the… Continue reading Private insurance companies benefited the most from PM Fasal Bima Yojana: Report

Panel ‘disappointed’ about no data on complaints resolved under PMFBY

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Issues with PMFBY Synopsis: Grievance redressal mechanism set up under PMFBY suffers from various issues, thus impairing the overall efficiency of the scheme. A look at the issues involved and measures that can be taken. Context The parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture was ‘surprised and disappointed’ to know that there… Continue reading Panel ‘disappointed’ about no data on complaints resolved under PMFBY

Bacteria in Canadian Arctic seawater can help clear up oil spills: Study

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Bioremediation using bacteria to address oil spills in the ocean What is the news? A new study has confirmed that bacteria with nutrients in the cold seawaters of the Canadian Arctic can help decompose diesel and other petroleum oil after oil spills. These accidents deteriorate the coastal water quality and… Continue reading Bacteria in Canadian Arctic seawater can help clear up oil spills: Study

Why ISRO’s launch of Earth-watching satellite failed?

Source: Mint, India Express, The Hindu What is the news? Recently, ISRO’s attempt to put EOS-03 satellite using GSLV-F10 into the orbit failed. What went wrong? The upper stage, powered by a cryogenic engine fuelled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at very low temperatures, failed to ignite. The rocket lost the power to carry… Continue reading Why ISRO’s launch of Earth-watching satellite failed?

Our e-com opportunity to raise export earnings

Source: Livemint What is the news? The finance ministry’s report on Indian economy for July indicates that Indian economy is witnessing a revival. Recent rise in consumer demand among the rich nations is providing an opportunity to Indian exporters to expand their market. Parameters indicating economic revival Increase in Purchasing Manager’s Index for manufacturing sector… Continue reading Our e-com opportunity to raise export earnings

Investing in degraded forest land for the health of our economic system

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Importance of effective management of land resources. Synopsis: Arresting forest land degradation can help India achieve its SDG targets in a most cost-effective manner. Significance of a healthy forest ecosystem and its benefits. Context Speaking at the high-level virtual dialogue on desertification, land degradation and drought organised by the United Nations… Continue reading Investing in degraded forest land for the health of our economic system

Animal Spirits Are Back (On upsurge in investment)

Source: Times of India Relevance: Private investment to boost economic growth post-COVID Synopsis: The post-demonetisation, post-GST, and post-Covid economy is witnessing the rise of a new middle sector among Indian companies, that want to grow. Context The pandemic that caused economic damage all over the world has led most governments to provide enormous stimulus support… Continue reading Animal Spirits Are Back (On upsurge in investment)

Parliamentary panel flags Fasal Bima plan woes

Source: Times of India Relevance: Analysis of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana (PMFBY). Synopsis: Issues with PMFBY and recommendations to make it more efficient. Context A parliamentary panel has expressed concerns over withdrawal or non-implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana (PMFBY) in few states and held that more such examples will defeat the very… Continue reading Parliamentary panel flags Fasal Bima plan woes

In a world first, South Africa grants patent to an artificial intelligence system

Source: The Hindu What is the news? Recently, South Africa granted a patent to an Artificial Intelligence system named DABUS, for invention of “food containers based on fractal geometry”.  The AI has designed interlocking food containers that are easy for robots to grasp. It should be noted that the UK’s Intellectual Property Office and the… Continue reading In a world first, South Africa grants patent to an artificial intelligence system

Road ahead from Gogra: On India-China border issue

Source: The Hindu, Indian express What is the news? After the talks on July 31, India and China have taken one more step towards restoring peace and normalcy on the LAC by disengaging at patrolling point 17A at Gogra post. However, it is viewed as a faint beginning of the process to disengage. It took 12 military talks… Continue reading Road ahead from Gogra: On India-China border issue

PM Modi outlines five-point framework for maritime security debate at UNSC

Source : The Hindu, Indian express, Mint, Times of India What is the news? Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a debate on maritime security at UNSC. 5 Principle Framework from India– Indian PM laid down the framework: Removal of barriers to maritime trade: First framework called for removal of barriers to maritime trade, in this… Continue reading PM Modi outlines five-point framework for maritime security debate at UNSC

A circular economy for plastic

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Dealing with plastic waste Synopsis: The Plastic pact model to address plastic pollution is now being brought to India by CII and WWF India. An analysis of the plastic waste issue and solutions offered by plastic pact model. Why plastic waste needs to be managed? A 2019 report by the Center… Continue reading A circular economy for plastic

What good are BITs?

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Harnessing the potential of Bilateral Investment Treaties to promote economic growth Synopsis: Many of us in India are irritated when the country’s state agencies lose cases (example Cairn energy case), and large penalties have to be paid on account of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs). But from India’s viewpoint, it is efficient… Continue reading What good are BITs?

Making trade work for climate

Source: Business standard Relevance: On Carbon border tax and its impact Synopsis: An analysis of the complexities involved in dealing with climate change via measures like carbon border tax. Context The European Union’s (EU’s) plan for a carbon border tax (CBT) —that is, duty on imported goods like aluminium, steel, cement, and electricity from countries… Continue reading Making trade work for climate

For top military posts, MoD weighs merit over seniority

Source: Times of India What is the news? The Defence ministry is “examining” a proposal that the commanders-in-chief (Cs-in-C) in the Army, Navy and IAF should primarily be selected on merit rather than seniority. A tri-service committee of the vice chiefs of the Army, Navy and IAF is likely to be formed to study the… Continue reading For top military posts, MoD weighs merit over seniority

Mending fences: On Goodwill among northeastern states

Source: Indian express Relevance: Assam-Mizoram dispute, its negative impact from regional, national and international perspective, steps that can be taken to resolve such disputes. Synopsis: Border tensions between Assam and Mizoram have calmed down. We need to build upon the momentum and ensure that peace and order is maintained in the North East because the… Continue reading Mending fences: On Goodwill among northeastern states

Securing the Indian ocean

Source: Indian express Relevance: Strengthening maritime security Synopsis: Maintaining and strengthening maritime security is a key concern for India. With an open debate on the issue in UNSC, India has a chance to showcase that maritime security requires a multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder approach. Context India has convened an open debate of the UN Security Council… Continue reading Securing the Indian ocean

Major Administrative Reforms by the govt

Source: PIB What is the news? In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions stated various administrative reforms brought by the government, to encourage greater efficiency, to transparency and create corruption free governance by increasing accountability and reduce scope for discretion. Reforms Initiated Launch of… Continue reading Major Administrative Reforms by the govt

Explained: Status check on world climate

Source: Indian Express What is the news? In the last few weeks, the world has seen unexpected floods in Europe and China, record-breaking heat-waves in the United States, and deadly forest fires in Siberia, and Turkey and Greece. Amid gloomy predictions of a continued rise in the frequency and intensity of such extreme weather events,… Continue reading Explained: Status check on world climate

Harness power of nature-based solutions to fight climate crisis: G20 ministers

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Fighting climate change Synopsis: India can leverage the global best practices regarding Nature-based solutions (NbS) to fight against the climate crisis. Significance of NbS and discussion of its major roadblocks. Background In the recently concluded meeting of The environment, energy and climate ministers from the ‘Group of 20’ on in… Continue reading Harness power of nature-based solutions to fight climate crisis: G20 ministers

South Asia’s emerging digital transformation

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Digitization and its benefits, scope, issues and way forward Synopsis: Adoption of digital technology has increased manifold during the pandemic, and it will continue its upward trajectory. An analysis of the issues involved with digitization and how South Asia can leverage its potential to come out of economic stagnancy. Context Covid-19… Continue reading South Asia’s emerging digital transformation

Biden govt. non-committal on support for India’s UNSC bid

Source: The Hindu What is The News? While the U.S. has in the past backed India’s bid for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Biden administration has remained non-committal on the issue. US opinion on the issue U.S. has offered a qualified support for building a consensus for enlargement of… Continue reading Biden govt. non-committal on support for India’s UNSC bid

Chinese Tech Under Scrutiny, Indian Tech can gain: GoI’s first move in global action that’s made Beijing nervous

Source: TOI Relevance: Government policies and their impact on Indian economy Synopsis: A sharp crash in share prices of prominent Chinese tech companies due to steady expansion of government regulation, has led to decline in the market capitalization of China’s big tech companies to the tune of $800 billion. For Indian Tech companies, it is… Continue reading Chinese Tech Under Scrutiny, Indian Tech can gain: GoI’s first move in global action that’s made Beijing nervous