Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Feb 1, 2021

List of Today’s Factly Articles

Global Climate Risk Index 2021″ – India is 7th Worst Hit Nation

What is the News?

German watch, the Germany-based think tank, released the Global Climate Risk Index,2021.

About the Index 

  • Data Sources: The index is prepared based on the data from the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE11.  The data is identified as one of the most reliable and complete databases worldwide, on this matter. Other than that, It also uses Socio-Economic data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • Functions: It analyses quantified impacts of extreme weather events. This analysis is presented both in terms of fatalities and economic losses, due to extreme weather events.

Key Findings of the report for India:

  • India ranked at 7th Position in Climate Risk Index 2021. It means India is the 7th worst-hit country by extreme weathers. In 2020, India ranked 5th on the index.
  • Monsoon in India: In 2019, the monsoon continued for a month longer than normal in India. 110% of the long-period average was recorded, between June to September 2019.
  • Flooding caused by heavy rain was responsible for 1,800 deaths across 14 states. It led to the displacement of 1.8 million people.
  • Cyclones: There were 8 tropical cyclones in India. 6 of them intensified to become “very severe”. ‘Extremely Severe’ Cyclone Fani affected 28 million people killing 90 people in India and Bangladesh causing economic loss to the tune of US$8.1 billion.

Other Key Findings:

  • As per the report by German Watch, there were  11,000 extreme weather events globally between 2000 and 2019.  Due to these events, over 4,75,000 people lost their lives and economic losses were around the US $2.56 trillion (in purchasing power parities).
  • Top 3 countries: Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and the Bahamas were respectively the top three countries,  most affected in 2019.
  • Top 3 Countries most affected in the past 20 years: Between 2000-2019, Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the countries most affected by the impacts of such weather events.

Source: TOI


What is “Garbage to Power Plant”?

What is the News?

The Prime Minister mentioned the garbage to power (Waste to power) plant in his speech. The plant is being commissioned inside the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Agriculture Market.

About the Garbage-to-power plant:

  • Developed by:  CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology(IICT)
  • Technology: It is based on a biomethanation technology-based Anaerobic Gas lift Reactor(AGR). CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has patented the reactor.
    • Biomethanation: It is a process by which organic material is microbiologically converted to biogas, under anaerobic conditions.
  • How does the plant work?
    • To initiate the process of biomethanation, conveyor belts carry tonnes of vegetable waste to shredders.
    • The shredded waste is then converted into a semi-liquid mixture. It is then put into large containers or pits to start the process of anaerobic digestion. Organic waste is eventually converted into biofuel which has two major components, methane and carbon dioxide.
    • The fuel is then put into ‘100 percent biogas generators’ that converts the fuel into electricity and reaches the market’s electricity bulbs.

Source: The Hindu


16th Census of India likely to postpone to 2022

What is the News?
The Government of India is likely to postpone the 2021 census to 2022, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in the country.

First phase of the Census was scheduled to be rolled out on 1st April 2020. Under this phase, House Listing & Housing Census and updating of the National Population Register (NPR) was to be completed.

Key Features of the Upcoming 16th Census of India:

  • India’s last census or 15th Census of India was carried out in 2011.
  • The data collected by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India during the Census will be stored electronically.
  • The census will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages (under the 8th schedule) and English.
  • The option of “Other” under the gender category will be changed to “Third Gender”.
  • The data is proposed to be collected through a mobile app by the enumerators, and they will receive an additional payment as an incentive.

About Census:

  • The Census of India counts and collects demographic and socio-economic information on the Indian population. It is the largest such exercise.
  • The first non-synchronous census was conducted between 1865 and 1872 in different parts of the country.
  • However, the first synchronous census in India was held in 1881. Since then, censuses have been undertaken uninterruptedly once every ten years.
  • Since 1949 the census has been conducted by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Click Here to Read about National Population Register(NPR)

Difference Between NPR and Census:

  • The census involves a detailed questionnaire. In the 2011 Census, there were 29 items to be filled up aimed at eliciting the particulars of every person, including age, sex, marital status, children, occupation, birthplace, mother tongue, religion, disability, and whether they belonged to any Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
  • On the other hand, the NPR collects basic demographic data and biometric particulars.
  • The census is legally backed by the Census Act,1948. The NPR is a mechanism outlined in a set of rules framed under the Citizenship Act,1955.

Source: The Hindu


“3 Language Policy” is not applicable to the Central govt. offices

What is the News?
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has said that the three language policy is not applicable to offices of the Union government.

About the News

  • What was the issue? A question was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The questions were raised on the CRPF event in Karnataka for the foundation stone-laying ceremony. The plaques in this ceremony were only in English and Hindi. The questionnaire asked whether the Ministry had noticed that the three language policy was not followed at the programme.
  • What did the Ministry reply? The Home Ministry has said that the provision of the bilingual policy is applicable in the offices of the Central government. It is as per the provision of the Official Language Act,1963 and Official Language Rules,1976.

What is the three language formula?

  • The three-language formula first formulated by the Ministry of Education in National Policy on Education, 1968. This formula was implemented in the country except for Tamil Nadu.
  • It is commonly understood that the three languages referred to are Hindi, English, and the regional language of the respective States.
  • NEP 2020 continued with this policy, but it provided flexibility to the states in its implementation. It means it is not mandatory to adopt Hindi as one of the languages under the formula.

Source: The Hindu


NITI Aayog’s “Megacity plan for Little Andaman”

What is the News?

Niti Aayog has released a  megacity plan for Little Andaman. The plan is a part of its Vision Document titled “Sustainable Development of Little Andaman Island”.

Facts:

  • Aim: To leverage the strategic location and natural features of the Little Andaman island. A new greenfield coastal city will be developed as a free trade zone. The city will compete with Singapore and Hong Kong.

Zones: The document has proposed the development along the three zones:

  • Zone 1: It will spread along the east coast of Little Andaman. It will be the financial district and medi city and will include an aerocity and a tourism and hospital district.
  • Zone 2: It will spread over 85 sq km of pristine forest in Andaman. It will have a film city, a residential district and a tourism Special Economic Zone(SEZ).
  • Zone 3 — It will spread over 52 sq km of pristine forest. It will be a nature zone. It will be further categorised into three districts: an exclusive forest resort, a nature healing district and a nature retreat, all on the western coast.

Challenges for Mega-City

There are certain factors that could prevent the sustainable development of Little Andaman namely:

  • Lack of good connectivity with Indian mainland and global cities
  • Fragile biodiversity and natural ecosystems
  • Certain Supreme Court notifications can pose an impediment to its development.
  • Presence of indigenous tribes and concerns for their welfare
  • 95% of Little Andaman is covered in forest, a large part of it is the pristine evergreen type.
  • Some 640 sq km of the island is Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act.
  • Nearly 450 sq km is protected as the Onge Tribal Reserve, creating a unique and rare socio-ecological-historical complex of high importance.

Source: The Hindu


Medical boards for access to abortion untenable: Report

What is the News?
The Centre for Justice, Law and Society(CJLS), Jindal Global Law School has undertaken a study to analyse the feasibility of setting up Medical Boards. Boards are proposed in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy(MTP) (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

 Background:

  • MTP Amendment Bill,2020: The Bill seeks to amend Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971. It was passed in the Lok Sabha in 2020 and is likely to be brought before the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session.
  • Medical Board: The Bill proposes the constitution of a Medical Board in every State and Union Territory. These boards will decide on abortions in cases of foetal abnormalities where pregnancies are over 24 weeks. Each Board will have a gynaecologist, a radiologist or sonologist, a paediatrician, and other members prescribed by the governments.

 Key Findings of the study:

  • It found that the constitution of a Medical Board to decide on the termination of pregnancy is unfeasible. 82% of these posts are lying vacant in the country,
  • Between 2015 and 2019, the shortfall in specialists posts was between 71% and 81.8%.
  • The shortfall was more in the North-East states of Sikkim, Mizoram and Manipur. Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya had a 100% shortage of paediatricians.

Additional Facts:

Other key Features of MTP Amendment Bill, 2020:

  • Abortion: The Bill allows abortion to be done on the advice of one doctor up to 20 weeks, and two doctors in the case of certain categories of pregnancies between 20 and 24 weeks.
  • Special Categories: It has enhanced the gestation limit from 20 to 24 weeks for ‘special categories’ of women. It includes survivors of rape, victims of incest and other vulnerable women like differently-abled women and minors.
  • Protection of Identity: It also states that the name and other particulars of a woman whose pregnancy has been terminated shall not be revealed.

Source: The Hindu


HAL completes “Sukhoi Aircraft” order

What is the news?

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.(HAL) has manufactured the last two of the 272 Su-30MKIs aircraft. It will deliver them to the Indian Air Force.

Facts:

  • Sukhoi Su-30MKI: It is a twin-jet multi-role air superiority fighter developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • The aircraft has been modified to carry the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile BrahMos.

Additional Facts:

  • BrahMos Missile: It is a supersonic cruise missile. It is a joint venture between the Russian NPO and India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
  • The name BrahMos was formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
  • Key Features:
    • It is a two-stage missile with a solid propellant booster as the first stage and liquid ramjet as the second stage.
    • Versions: Various versions of the BrahMos are developed. It can be fired from land, warships, submarines, and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets.
    • Range: The range of BrahMos has been extended to around 400 kilometres as compared to its initial range of 290 kilometres. More versions of higher ranges currently are under development.

Source: The Hindu

Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Feb 2, 2021

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