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Factly :-News Articles For UPSC Prelims | Mar 8, 2021

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“Miyawaki method” to create dense green patches

What is the News?

Bombay Municipal Corporation(BMC) has been using the Miyawaki method to create tiny urban forests in Metropolitan areas of Mumbai.

What is the Miyawaki Method?

  • Miyawaki is an afforestation method based on the work of Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki in the 1980s.

Process of Miyawaki Method:

  • Initially, native trees of the region are identified and divided into four layers — shrub, sub-tree, tree, and canopy.
  • After that, The quality of soil is analysed and biomass is mixed with it. Biomass mixing help to enhance the perforation capacity, water retention capacity, and nutrients.
  • A mound is built with the soil and the seeds are planted at a very high density. Furthermore, the ground is covered with a thick layer of mulch.
  • Multi-layered saplings are planted close to each other. This blocks sunlight from reaching the ground and prevents weeds from growing. It also keeps the soil moist.
  • The close cropping also ensures that the plants receive sunlight only from the top. It enables them to grow upwards rather than sideways.

Benefits of Miyawaki Method:

  • Faster Process and Dense Forest: This method creates mini forests. They grow 10 times faster and become 30 times denser and 100 times more biodiverse than those planted through conventional methods.
  • Faster Regeneration of Land: Miyawaki forests are designed to regenerate land in far less time. It takes over 70 years for a forest to recover on its own.
  • Self Sustainable: The saplings become self-sustainable after the first three years.
  • Environmental Benefits: These mini forests help lower temperatures in concrete heat islands, reduce air and noise pollution, attract local birds and insects, and create carbon sinks.

Source: Indian Express


China Approves Dam Building on “Brahmaputra River”

What is the news?

Chinese Government approves dam-building on Brahmaputra river under its draft of the New Five year plan (2021-2025).

What does the five-year plan provide?

  • The New Five-year plan approves the dams to be built on the lower reaches of the Brahmaputra river. The river is also known as Yarlung Zangbo in Tibet.
    • The lower reaches refer to the sections of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet before it flows into India.
  • The plan also calls for building a hydropower base on the lower reaches of the Brahmaputra river. Clean energy bases in the upper and lower reaches of the Jinsha River are also under the proposal (the upper course of the Yangtze River in western China).

About Brahmaputra River:

  1. Brahmaputra River also called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, Siang/ Dihang River in Arunachal Pradesh. It is a trans-boundary river that flows through Tibet, India, and Bangladesh.
  2. Origin: The river rises in the Chemayungdung Glacier in the Kailash Range in Tibet. It descends rapidly from Tibet forming a Grand Canyon and then flows eastward and reaches Namche Barwa. It then takes a U-turn and enters India in Arunachal Pradesh and known as dihang.
  3. Important Tributaries of River Brahmaputra:
    • Major left bank tributaries: Burhi Dihing, Dhansari (South), Kailang, Lohit, Dibang
    • Major right bank tributaries: Subansiri, Kameng, Manas, Sankosh, Teesta.
  4. Perennial River: the Brahmaputra is a perennial river. It has several peculiar characteristics due to its geography and prevailing climatic conditions.
    • Perennial Rivers can be defined as the river with the continuous flow throughout the year, such as the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra.
  5. Significance: Most rivers on the Indian subcontinent have female names. But this river has a rare male name that literally translates as ‘Son of Brahma’. The river is also revered by Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists.
  6. Biodiversity: The rich rainforests of this basin is home to many species of flora and fauna. It hosts National Parks like the Kaziranga, Manas, and Kanchanjunga.
  7. Importance of Brahmaputra River for India:
    • The river Brahmaputra and its tributaries carry more than 30% of the total water resource potential of India.
    • The river is also extremely important for livelihood and for transportation of people and materials in the North East India.

Source: The Hindu


UNEP releases “Food Waste Index Report 2021”

What is the news?

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) releases the Food Waste Index Report 2021.

About Food Waste Index Report, 2021:

  • Aim: The Report aims at supporting the goals of SDG 12.3. It does so by presenting the most comprehensive food waste data collection and analysis.
    • SDG Target 12.3: It aims to halve global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses, including post-harvest losses, along supply chains by 2030.

Key Findings of the report:

  1. Food Waste: An estimated 17% (931 million tonnes) of total global food production was wasted in 2019. Among them, 61% of the global waste came from households, 26% from food service and 13% from retail.
  2. Food Wastes across income groups: Household per capita food waste generation is broadly similar across country income groups. It suggests that action on food waste is equally relevant in high, upper‐middle and lower-middle-income countries.
  3. Hunger Across the World: In 2019, some 690 million people were impacted by hunger and three billion were unable to afford a healthy diet.

Impact of Food Waste:

  • Environment Impact: Around 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed.
  • Economic Impact: Food loss and waste cause about $940 billion per year in economic losses.

Suggestions for Reducing Food Waste:

  • Include Food Waste in NDC’s: None of the Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) to the Paris Agreement mention food waste and only 11 countries mentions food loss. Hence, countries can raise climate ambition by including food systems in their NDCs.

About Food Systems Summit:

  • UN Secretary-General will convene the Food Systems Summit in 2021. It is part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
  • Purpose: The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs. Each of the actions relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems.

Source: Down To Earth


WHO released “World Report on Hearing” 

What is the news?

The World Health Organization(WHO) releases its first-ever World Report on Hearing. This report released on World Hearing Day (observed on 3rd March).

About World Report on Hearing:

  • The report has been developed in response to the World Health Assembly resolution adopted in 2017. The resolution aims to provide guidance for the Member States to integrate ear and hearing care into their national health plans.
  • Purpose: The report presents data on hearing loss. It outlines available cost-effective solutions to prevent hearing loss.

Key Findings of World Report on Hearing:

  • Around 5% of the world population (430 million people) suffers from disabling hearing loss. Further, one-third of people above 65 years of age affected by hearing loss.
  • Nearly 2.5 billion people (1 in 4 people) will be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050. At least 700 million of these people will require access to ear and hearing care and other rehabilitation services unless governments start preventive actions.

Suggestions by World Report on Hearing

The World Report on Hearing mentions the acronym “H.E.A.R.I.N.G.”. Stands for:

  • Hearing screening and intervention
  • Ear disease prevention and management
  • Access to technologies
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Improved communication
  • Noise reduction and
  • Greater community engagement

The report suggested governments can provide access to quality ear and hearing care to everyone through this “H.E.A.R.I.N.G.” initiative.

India specific findings of World Report on Hearing:

  • Disabling hearing loss has affected 2.9% of the Indian population. Further, hearing loss will affect communication, education and work-related problems for them.
  • Over 27,000 children are born deaf every year in India. This is because hearing impairment or loss is often neglected or in most cases, the diagnosis is delayed.
  • According to a 2018 WHO report, 2% of India’s population, mainly children, suffer from the condition of Otitis Media.
    • Otitis media is an infection in the middle ear. It can occur as a result of a cold, sore throat, or respiratory infection.

Indian initiative towards improving ear and hearing care:

The Indian government is implementing a National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness. The salient points about the programme are,

  • Nodal Ministry: It was launched in 2006 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Objectives: The program aims:
    • To prevent the avoidable hearing loss on account of disease or injury.
    • Early identification, diagnosis and treatment of ear problems responsible for hearing loss and deafness.
    • To develop institutional capacity for ear care services by providing support for equipment and material and training personnel.
  • Funding: The programme is funded completely by the Government of India.
  • Target: The programme aims to target over 6% of India’s population with Disabling Hearing Loss.

Source: WHO


DRDO tests Solid Fuel Ducted “Ramjet Technology”

What is the news?

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) successfully flight-tested Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology.

What is Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)?

  • Developed by: Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)
  • Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet is a missile propulsion system.
  • The system is based on the concept of the Ramjet Engine principle. It utilizes a solid fuelled air-breathing ramjet engine.

Significance of SFDR Technology:

  • The successful demonstration of the technology will enable DRDO to develop long-range air to air missiles. So far such technology is available only with a handful of countries in the world.
  • The technology can also achieve longer ranges as they do not require oxidizers as they take oxygen from the atmosphere.

What is Ramjet?

  • A ramjet is a form of air-breathing jet engine that takes up oxygen from the atmosphere during flight. Thus, it doesn’t require an oxidizer as part of the solid motor.
  • However, ramjet-powered vehicles require an assisted take-off like a rocket. It assists to accelerate it to a speed where it begins to produce thrust.
  • Further, ramjets work efficiently at supersonic speeds around Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and can operate up to speeds of Mach 6. But the ramjet efficiency starts to drop when the vehicle reaches hypersonic speeds.

Scramjet:

  • The scramjet engine is an improvement over the ramjet engine. It efficiently operates at hypersonic speeds and allows supersonic combustion. Thus, it is known as Supersonic Combustion Ramjet or Scramjet.

Dual Mode Ramjet:

  • A dual-mode ramjet (DMRJ) is a type of jet engine where a ramjet transforms into a scramjet over Mach 4-8 range. It means it can efficiently operate both in subsonic and supersonic combustor modes.

Source: The Hindu


All-Woman crew of SCI Vessel makes history

What is the News?

Union Minister has flagged off an all-women crew onboard Shipping Corporation of India(SCI) vessel named “MT Swarna Krishna”. This initiative was taken to celebrate International Women’s Day.

What is the significance of this initiative?

  • This is the first time in the world maritime history that a ship is being sailed by all women officers.
  • The move also demonstrated the gradual shift in the perception of seafaring as a male-oriented profession and the principles of Diversity & Inclusion that SCI upholds.

 MT Swarna Krishna Vessel:

  • MT Swarna Krishna was built in 2010. It is a shipping tanker of the Shipping Corporation of India Limited(SCI).

Shipping Corporation of India Limited(SCI):

  • Established in: SCI is a Government of India Public Sector Enterprise. It was established in 1961 by an amalgamation of Eastern Shipping Corporation and Western Shipping Corporation.
  • Purpose: It operates and manages vessels that service both the national and international lines.
  • Strategic Disinvestment: In 2019, the Union Cabinet had accorded ”in-principle” approval for strategic disinvestment of SCI.
  • Headquarters: Mumbai.

International Women’s Day:

  • International Women’s Day(IWD) (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
  • In 1975, the United Nations celebrated Women’s day for the first time. Then in 1977, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Women’s Day.
  • Theme for 2021: The theme is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.  And the campaign theme is #ChooseToChallenge.

Source: The Hindu


PM received “Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award”

What is the News?

The Prime Minister received the Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award.

Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award:

  • Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award was instituted in 2016.
  • Awarded by: the Cambridge Energy Research Associates Week (CERAWeek).
  • Purpose: The Global Energy and Environment Leadership award recognize the commitment of leadership to the future of global energy and the environment. Awarded for: Providing solutions and policies for energy access, affordability, and environmental stewardship.

CERAWeek:

  • It was founded in 1983 by Daniel Yergin. It is an annual energy conference organized by the information and insights company IHS Markit in Houston, US.
  • The conference provides a platform for discussion on a range of energy-related topics.

Source: The Hindu\

 

9 PM Daily Current Affairs Brief – March 8, 2021

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