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Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Jan 29,2021

A comparison of CBG (Compressed Bio Gas) and CNG

Why in News?
Verbio AG, a German company is setting up compressed biogas(CBG) plant in  Bhutal Kalan village in Punjab. Increasing CBG production is much more beneficial compared to the Production of CNG.

Facts:

  • Compressed Biogas(CBG): It is a purified form of biogas. It can be produced from waste including municipal solid waste, sludge from wastewater treatment plants, market residues, agricultural residues, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud among others.

Process of Producing CBG: CBG from biomass involves a two-pronged approach.

  1. First Step: Biogas is produced through the anaerobic decomposition of biomass.
    • Anaerobic Process: In this process, microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels.
  2. Second Step: Biogas contains 55 to 60% methane, 40 to 45% carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace amounts of hydrogen sulphide. The second process involves purifying the gas to remove carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide gases to prepare CBG.

How is CBG different from Compressed Natural Gas(CNG)?

  1. Chemically, CBG is the same as CNG — both are compressed methane — and have the same calorific value.
  2. But, CNG is a by-product of petroleum, and CBG can be produced from any biomass, be it crop residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal wet waste, or effluents from a sewage treatment plant.
  3. Hence, this makes CBG a commercially viable option as it can be directly used to replace CNG in transportation fuel. Just like CNG, CBG too can be transported through cylinders or pipelines to retail outlets.

Other advantages of CBG:

  1. Compressed biogas has the potential to minimize India’s need to import fuel.
  2. The solid by-products of CBG can be used as bio-manure. According to experts, bio-manure produced using paddy straw can result in a 20% increase in crop yield.
  3. The other by-product from CBG is CO2. It is used to produce a liquid or solid CO2. It has a high demand for food preservation or to be used in fire extinguishers.

Government Initiative to promote CBG:

  1. Sustainable Alternative to Affordable Transport(SATAT) Initiative: It was launched in October 2018 to promote the Compressed Biogas (CBG)
  2. The scheme targeted the production of 15 million metric tonnes (MMT) of CBG by 2023.
  3. Public sector undertakings oil marketing companies(OMCs) including IOCL partnered with potential entrepreneurs under this initiative to set up plants and supply CBG to them for sale as automotive and industrial fuels.

Source: Down To Earth

4th edition of “Future Investment Initiative” Forum

Why in News?

The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has addressed the 4th edition of the Future Investment Initiative(FII) Forum.

Facts:

  • Future Investment Initiative(FII): It is an annual investment forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Forum discusses trends in the world economy and investment environment.
  • Hosted by:  Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF). The first event was held in 2017.
  • Purpose of 4th FII: To find solutions on how business and government can expand access to healthcare, train healthcare workers, remove regulatory barriers and encourage investment in advanced health technologies.

Key Highlights from the address: Union Minister has highlighted the five big trends which are influencing global business, due to COVID-19:

  • The impact of Technology and Innovation
  • Importance of Infrastructure for Global Growth
  • Changes coming in human resource and future of work
  • Compassion for environment
  • Business-friendly governance with a focus on the whole of society and government approach.

Source: PIB

Stopping hate on TV is essential to prevent riots: SC

What is the news?
The Supreme Court in a recent hearing has said that stopping hate on television is essential for law and order.

  • What was the case? A batch of petitions alleged that certain sections of the media communalized the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. It linked the congregation to a spike in the spread of COVID-19 infection

Key Highlights of the Supreme Court Order:

  • The Supreme Court said that the Fair and truthful reporting is not a problem. The problem arises when the reporting is used to agitate others.
  • Hence, it asked the Central Government about its powers under Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1994. Under this act, the government can control the broadcast of content (by electronic media) that has a tendency to incite violence.
  • Government Response:
    • The Solicitor General said that the Government has powers to regulate or prohibit the transmission or re-transmission of any channel or programme for public order.
    • There is also a group under the Ministry to monitor broadcast content for violation.
    • However, the problem arises during live, discussion-based programmes, as there cannot be pre-censorship of such programmes.

Source: The Hindu

India Justice Report 2020

What is the News?
India Justice Report 2020 has been released by TATA Trusts.

India Justice Report 2020:

  1. Prepared by: The report has been prepared by Tata Trusts along with the Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, CHRI, DAKSH and, TISS-Prayas and, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
  2. Parameters: The report analyzed the performance of 18 large and mid-sized states and eight smaller states. It is based on four pillars of the justice delivery system: 1) judiciary, 2) police, 3) prisons  4) legal aid.
  3. It also analysed expenditure, vacancies, representation of women and members of SC, ST, and Other Backward Classes of these states.

Key Findings:

Overall Ranking of States:
  1. Maharashtra has retained the top spot on delivery of justice to people among large and mid-sized states followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, and Kerala.
  2. Among the small states( with a population of less than 1 crore), Tripura has topped the list followed by Sikkim.
Women’s Representation:
  • Women’s representation has marginally increased in police, prisons and the judiciary.Women now accounts for
    • 10% of all police personnel up from 7% in 2017;
    • 13% prison staff (10% in 2016) and
    • 3% of judges (26.5% in 2017-18).
 Police
  1. Women: Bihar leads the list of 25 states for employing most women in its police force at 25.3%. However, women account for only 6.1% in the officer category in Bihar.
    1. Tamil Nadu has the highest percentage of women police officers (24.8%) followed by Mizoram (20.1%).
  2. Representation of Castes: Karnataka is the only state to meet its quotas for SC, ST and OBC in both officer cadre and constabulary.
  3. People Police Ratio: For every 1,00,000 people, there is just 156 police personnel.
  4. Vacancies: Vacancies among the police were 20%. There was a shortfall of police officers in all states except Sikkim. Telangana and West Bengal with vacancies of 40% each had the highest shortfall.
Judiciary
  • Judges ratio per citizen: India has one judge per 50,000 citizens as against the recommended number of one per 20,000.
  • Women: Only 29% of judges in High Courts across the country are women. Four states — Bihar, Uttarakhand, Tripura, and Meghalaya — have no woman judge in their high courts.
  • Vacancies: Except for Chandigarh, no single High Court in states or Union Territories had a full complement of judges. One in every three posts for High Court judges is vacant, and in the subordinate courts, one in every four.

Prisons:

  • Under trials: Two-thirds of all prisoners are undertrials, awaiting a conviction.
  • Vacancies: Over the last three years, the average vacancy levels across all prison staff remained at a little over 30%.

Source: Indian Express

India Signs Strategic Partnership Agreement with IEA

What is the News?

Indian Government has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the International Energy Agency(IEA).

 About the Strategic Partnership agreement

  • The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation with India in global energy security, stability, and sustainability. Both IEA members and India will jointly decide the terms of the partnership. It will include a phased increase in benefits and responsibilities for India as an IEA strategic partner.
  • Implementation: The IEA Secretariat will be responsible for
    • The implementation of the agreed activities in India.
    • Facilitating discussion between the IEA members and India, to further develop the strategic partnership.
  • Significance: This strategic partnership will lead to an extensive exchange of knowledge. It would also be a stepping stone towards India’s full membership of IEA.

International Energy Agency(IEA):

  • It was established in 1974 as an autonomous intergovernmental organization under the OECD framework.
  • Objective: To ensure reliable, affordable, and clean energy for its member countries and beyond.
  • Focus areas: It has four main areas of focus: a) Energy security b) Economic development c) Environmental awareness and d) Engagement worldwide.
  • Members: It has 30 member countries and eight association countries. India became an associate member in 2017.
  • Oil Stock: IEA member countries need to maintain total oil stock levels equivalent to at least 90 days of the previous year’s net imports.
  • Secretariat: Paris, France.
  • Reports: World Energy Outlook report is released annually.

Clean Energy Transitions Programme (CETP)

  • It was launched at the IEA Ministerial Meeting in 2017. It will provide technical support to governments, whose energy policies can facilitate the global transition towards a sustainable energy future.
  • Priority Countries: The CETP’s priority countries are Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Africa. These countries collectively accounted for 41% of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion in 2018 and two-thirds of emissions from developing economies.

Source: PIB

Every fourth senior citizen in India rates health as poor: LASI

Why in News?
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has released the Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI) Wave-1 Report.

Facts:

 About LASI:

  • About the study: It is a full-scale national survey of scientific investigation. It investigates the health, economic and social determinants and consequences of the ageing population in India. It was commissioned in 2016.
  • Conducted by: The National Programme for Health Care of Elderly, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. It undertakes the Study through International Institute for Population Sciences(IIPS), Mumbai in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health, University of Southern California, USA, United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) and National Institute on Ageing.

Key Findings:

Self Rated Health:

  • Every fourth Indian above the age of 60 and every fifth Indian above the age of 45, reported poor health.
  • The prevalence of poor self-reported health (SRH) in those above 60 (24%) is twice than in the 45-59 age group.
  • Among these age groups, a higher percentage of women and individuals from rural areas reported poor health.

Disabilities among ageing Population:

  • About 8% of Indians aged 45 years and above, reported having at least one form of impairment. The prevalence is almost twice among senior citizens(10.5%) than those between 45 years and 59 years.
  • A high percentage of senior citizens in rural areas had a physical or mental impairment than their urban counterparts.
  • The major disabilities reported are locomotive impairments (five per cent), followed by visual (three per cent), mental (two per cent), hearing (two per cent) and speech impairments (one per cent).
  • Karnataka and Dadra & Nagar Haveli have the highest proportions of senior citizens with disabilities. Meghalaya, Lakshadweep, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh reported the least.

Additional Facts:

  • According to the Elderly in India: Profile and Programmes, 2016, senior citizens comprised 21% of Indians with some form of disability.
    • Disability: It is an umbrella term for impairments and physical limitations hindering the smooth activity and participation in daily social life.
  • Decade of Healthy Ageing: The United Nations has declared 2021-2030 as the “Decade of Healthy Ageing”. It called upon governments, civil society, international agencies, and others to come together to improve the lives of older people in their families and the communities in which they live.

Source: Down To Earth

India ranks 10th in Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index

Why in News?
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the ‘Asia-Pacific Personalized Health Index’.

India has been ranked 10th out of 11 Asia Pacific countries in the index.

Facts:

Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index

  • The index measures the progress of Asia Pacific countries in adopting personalised healthcare. It includes enabling the right care to be tailored for the right person at the right time.
  • Countries covered: The index ranks 11 countries of Asia Pacific namely Australia, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and New Zealand.
  • Indicators: It measures performance against 27 different indicators of personalised health across four categories called ‘Vital Signs’. These include:
    • Health Information Indicator: It takes into account data, infrastructure, and technical expertise driving personalized healthcare.
    • Health Services Indicators: It takes into account planning, organization, and delivery of services with respect to personalized healthcare.
    • Personalized Technologies indicator: It takes into account the devices, applications, platforms, and reimbursement structures that will drive personalized healthcare based on the needs of stakeholders.
    • Policy Context indicator: It takes into account the polities, frameworks, partnerships, people, and drivers that will facilitate personalized healthcare.

Other Takeaways from the index:

  • Topped by: Singapore has topped the index followed by Taiwan (2nd), Japan (3rd), and Australia (4th).
  • Bottom in the index: Indonesia was ranked 11th in the index.

Source: Indian Express

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