Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | 7 June, 2021

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IEA releases “World Energy Investment Report 2021”

What is the News?
The International Energy Agency(IEA) has released the World Energy Investment Report 2021.

About the World Energy Investment Report 2021:

  • The report presents the latest data and analysis of how energy investment flows are recovering from the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes full-year outlook estimates for 2021. 

Key Findings of the World Energy Investment Report 2021:

  • Global energy investments are set to recover by nearly 10% in 2021 to $1.9 trillion reversing the decline in 2020.
    • However, the energy transition is moving more funds toward electricity and renewables and away from fossil fuels.
  • Power Sector: Global Power Sector which saw flat investments in 2020 is set to receive the highest ever funding i.e. up by about 5% to more than $820 billion. Among them, Renewables are forecast to account for 70% of the total.
  • Fossil Fuels: The technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage(CCS) are yet to attain commercial success. So, the investments in oil are expected to grow by about 10%.
  • Coal Sector: The approvals for coal-fired plants are some 80% below where they were five years ago. But coal is not out of the picture as there is a slight increase in coal-fired plants in 2020 driven by China and some other Asian economies.
  • The Energy efficiency sector will also see a substantial rise (10%) in investment. But the low fossil fuel price may act as a deterrent.
    • Energy Efficiency refers to a method of reducing energy consumption by using less energy to attain the same amount of useful output.
  • Increase in Emissions: The present scenarios will not deter the increase in carbon dioxide emission after the contraction in 2020. The Global emission is set to grow by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021.
  • Net Zero Plan: The commitments to the Net Zero plan is gaining momentum, but its transition to actual action is not visible.
    • Net-zero emission is the method of balancing the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere by the greenhouse gas absorption from the atmosphere.

Suggestions provided by the World Energy Investment Report 2021:

  • Clean energy investment would need to double in the coming years to maintain temperatures well below a 2 °C rise. It needs to be more than triple in order to keep the door open for a 1.5 °C stabilisation.
  • A democratic decision-making process and de-corporatisation of the energy sector is the need of the future for the survival of civilization on this planet.

Source: Down To Earth

“Clean Energy Ministerial” and “Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative”

What is the news?

India along with the United Kingdom has launched a new workstream to promote industrial energy efficiency under the Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI).

  • The workstream was launched at the 12th Chief Energy Ministerial(CEM).

About Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM):

  • The Clean Energy Ministerial(CEM) was launched at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference Of Parties in Copenhagen in 2009.
  • Objective: It is a high-level global forum to promote policies and programs for the development of clean energy technology. It also aims to share experience & best practices encouraging the transition to a global clean energy economy.
  • Focus Areas: The CEM is focused on three global climate and energy policy goals:
    • Improve energy efficiency worldwide
    • Enhance clean energy supply
    • Expand clean energy access.
  • Member Countries: 29 Countries. India is a member.

About Industrial Deep De-carbonization Initiative (IDDI):

  • IDDI is an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
  • Purpose: It is a global coalition of public and private organizations that are working to stimulate demand for low carbon industrial materials. IDDI works to
    • Standardize carbon assessments
    • Establish ambitious public and private sector procurement targets
    • Incentivize investment into low-carbon product development
    • Design industry guidelines
  • Coordinated by: The initiative is coordinated by UNIDO and is co-led by the UK and India. The initiative also has the support of Germany and Canada.

About United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

It is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability.

Source: PIB

INTERPOL launches “I-Familia” to identify missing persons

What is the News?

Interpol has launched a new global database named “I-Familia”.

About I-Familia:

  • I-Familia is a global database launched to identify missing persons through family DNA. It will help the police to solve cases in member countries.
  • Interpol applies cutting-edge scientific research and uses the DNA of relatives to identify missing persons or unidentified human remains around the world.
    • DNA kinship matching is used mostly in cases where a direct sample of the missing person is not available.
  • Components: I-Familia has three components:
    • Dedicated global database to host the DNA profiles provided by relatives. It is held separately from any criminal data;
    • DNA matching software called Bonaparte developed by Dutch company Smart Research; and
    • Interpretation guidelines developed by Interpol.

Source: The Hindu

TERI organises “World Sustainable Development Summit 2021”

What is the News?

The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has addressed the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021.

About World Sustainable Development Summit:

  • The World Sustainable Development Summit is an annual event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) since 2001.
  • The summit was earlier known as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.
  • Purpose: The summit brings together Nobel laureates, political leaders among others on a common platform to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development and climate change.
  • The theme for 2021: Redefining our common future: Safe & Secure Environment for All

Key Takeaways from the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021:

  • The availability of water is continuously declining. Agriculture sector alone consumes 85% of available water.
  • Thus, water conservation methods should be used in Agriculture to manage available water resources efficiently.

About The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI)

  • TERI is a non-profit research institute. It was established in 1974 as Tata Energy Research Institute and renamed to The Energy Resources Institute in 2003.
  • Purpose: It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment, and sustainable development for India and the Global South.
  • Location: New Delhi.

Other Initiatives by TERI:

  • Lighting a Billion Lives(LaBL): It is an initiative of TERI to provide clean lighting access to the bottom of the pyramid communities.
  • Green Olympiad: It is conducted by TERI in association with MoEFCC. It is an international environment examination that is annually organized for middle and high-school students.
  • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA): It was conceived by TERI and developed with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. It is a national rating system for green buildings in India.

Source: AIR

Hydrographic survey ship “INS Sandhayak” decommissioned

What is the News?

Indian Navy’s oldest hydrographic survey ship INS Sandhayak was decommissioned at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam after serving the nation for 40 years.

Note: Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of the navigable portion of the Earth’s surface and adjoining coastal areas.

About INS Sandhayak:

  • INS Sandhayak was the lead ship of the Sandhayak class of survey ships.
  • The ship operated as a hydrographic survey ship in the Indian Navy, under the Eastern Naval Command.
  • Purpose: The ship conducted shallow coastal and deep-sea hydrographic surveys. The ship also collected oceanographic and geophysical data.
    • In addition to conducting surveys, it also assisted as military transport and casualty-carrying vessels in times of war and natural disasters.
  • Developed by:
    • The ship was conceptualised by the then Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India, Rear Adm FL Fraser.
    • The ship was developed by Garden Reach Ship Builders Limited(GRSE), Kolkata.
    • The ship was then commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1981.
  • Operations: The ship has been an active participant in many significant operations such as
    • Operation Pawan (assisting the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka in 1987) and
    • Operation Rainbow (rendering humanitarian assistance in Sri Lanka post Tsunami of 2004).
  • The ship also participated in the maiden joint INDO-US HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) exercise ‘Tiger-Triumph’ in 2019.

Source: The Hindu

“World Environment Day” 2021 observed globally

What is the News?

World Environment Day was observed on the 5th, June 2021.

About World Environment Day:

  • World Environment Day (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1972 on the first day of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.
    • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created as a result of this conference.
    • In 1974, the first WED was held with the theme “Only One Earth”.
  • Aim: To spread awareness and to encourage people to take steps to protect the environment.
  • Host Country: It is being hosted by Pakistan
    • The idea for rotating the center of these activities through selecting different host countries began in 1987.
  • The theme for 2021: The theme is “Ecosystem Restoration” and will focus on resetting our relation with nature.
  • This WED will also mark the formal launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030.
    • Ecosystem restoration is the act of helping degraded and destroyed ecosystems to recover and also protecting and conserving the ecosystems that are still intact.
    • Examples of degraded ecosystems are polluted rivers, deforested landscape, overexploited forests and non-fertile agricultural land.
    • 2011 – 2020 was the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

Initiatives by India on World Environment Day:

  • Indian Government has declared the theme for World Environment Day, 2021 as “Promotion of biofuels for a better environment”.
  • ‘Report of the expert committee on the road map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025’ was released
  • An E-100 pilot project has been launched in Pune for the production and distribution of ethanol across the country.
  • Stats: In 2020, the Government of India had set a target of reaching 10% ethanol blending in petrol (10% of ethanol mixed with 90% of diesel) by 2022 & 20% ethanol blending by 2030.
    • However, the target date for achieving 20% ethanol-blending with petrol has been brought forward by five years to 2025 from the earlier target of 2030. This is to cut pollution and reduce import dependence.

Source: World Environment Day

Govt launches “Performance Grading Index 2019-20”

What is the news?

Performance Grading Index 2019-20, for States and Union Territories, has been released by the Education ministry.

What is the Performance Grading Index (PGI)?

  • Performance Grading Index (PGI) is a tool to provide insights on the status of school education in States and UTs. This includes key levers that drive their performance and critical areas for improvement.
  • Released by: Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education.
  • Parameters: The index is structured in two categories namely: Outcomes and Governance & Management. These categories comprise a set of 70 indicators aggregate with a total weightage of 1000. These indicators are related to:
    • Learning outcomes
    • Access
    • Infrastructure and facilities
    • Equity and
    • Governance and management.
  • Data: The index is based on the data drawn from the Unified District Information System for Education, National Achievement Survey (conducted by NCERT in 2017), Mid-Day Meal, Public Financial Management System, and the Shagun portal — all maintained by the department of school education.
  • First Released in: The Index was first published in 2019 with the reference year 2017-18.

Key Findings of the Performance Grading Index 2019-20:

  • Punjab scored highest: Punjab has recorded the highest score in the index with a total of 929 out of 1,000. This is a huge improvement from 769 in 2020.
    • Punjab has overtaken Chandigarh which topped in the previous edition but has now dropped to 2nd place with a score of 912.
  • Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have all scored higher than 90% in the Index for 2019-20.
  • Gujarat drops from second to 8th place.
  • Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh also saw a severe drop in their scores. Thus pushing both States to an overall performance that was worse than in the previous edition of the index.
  • The new Union Territory of Ladakh was included separately for the first time in this edition and had the lowest score of just 545.

Significance of this Performance Grading Index:

  • Encourage states: The index would encourage states and UTs towards undertaking multi-pronged interventions leading to optimal education outcomes.
  • Identification of gaps: The index will help the states and UTs to pinpoint the gaps. Accordingly, they can prioritize areas for intervention to ensure that the school education system is robust at every level.

Source: The Hindu

A study on “effectiveness of vaccines” found more anti-bodies from Covishield

What is the news?

A study was conducted by the healthcare workers (HCW) in India to understand the effectiveness of vaccines in India.

About the effectiveness of vaccines:

  • The study involved 515 healthcare workers from 13 states and 22 cities, 305 male of whom were male.
  • These healthcare workers have been administered either of the two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin. Further, they are chosen with or without a past history of Covid-19 infection.

Key Findings regarding the effectiveness of vaccines:

  • Higher Seropositivity: Among the 515 healthcare workers, 95% showed seropositivity (higher antibodies) after two doses of both vaccines.
    • Seropositivity: It refers to the presence of specific antibodies in an individual.
  • Higher Antibodies: Covishield vaccine has produced more antibodies than the Covaxin doses.
    • Antibody: It is a protein produced by the body’s immune system when it detects harmful substances called antigens.
  • Breakthrough infections: A total of 27 breakthrough infections (4.9%) were recorded among the respondents. However, there were relatively fewer instances of ‘breakthrough infections’ after taking Covaxin than Covishield.
    • Breakthrough infection: It is a case of illness in which a vaccinated individual becomes sick from the same disease for which the vaccine was administered.
  • Side Effects: There were mild to moderate adverse events associated with both the vaccines, but there were no serious side effects observed during the study.

Source: The Hindu


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