Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 14th October -2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 14-10-2021

                                                                                                

 

Topics                                                                                                                                                    

  • Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)-Net-zero Target for India
  • The Quad partners-The Malabar Exercise
  • GI For Karuppur kalamkari Paintings, Kanyakumari Clove & Kallakurichi Wood Carvings
  • The Black Hole mergers
  • Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)

 

1.Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)-Net-zero Target for India

#GS3- Infrastructure Energy Environmental Pollution & Degradation

 Context

  • A study titled “Implications of a Net-Zero Target for India’s Sectoral Energy Transitions and Climate Policy” was recently published.
  • The research was released by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water, an independent think group (CEEW).

In depth information

 India’s Net Zero Ambition

Emission:

  • India, as the country with the third-highest CO2 emissions, is under pressure to set stronger goals for reducing CO2 emissions.
  • India is aiming to minimise its emissions in order to achieve a global temperature rise of less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Reduce the intensity:

  • Under the Paris Agreement of 2016, India pledged to reduce the emission intensity of its gross domestic product by 33-35 percent by 2030 and to have 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity.
  • India is under new pressure to increase its renewable energy target under the Paris Agreement to 450 GW by 2030 and phase out coal.
  • However, it has opposed a legally binding commitment to carbon neutrality.

Situation right now:

  • Despite the fact that India has yet to commit to a net-zero goal, it is the only G20 country to have met its Paris Agreement emission reduction targets.
  • It is also a founding member of the International Solar Alliance and has just announced the National Hydrogen Mission, which aims to advance green hydrogen innovation, production, storage, and use.
  • The need of achieving net-zero globally to reduce the total rise in temperatures to 1.5-2 degrees in the future decades was also emphasised in a recent IPCC report released earlier this year.

The findings of the CEEW Report

  • Solar power capacity:
  • To reach net-zero emissions, India’s total installed solar power capacity will need to expand to 5630 gigawatts (GW) by 2070.
  • Land requirement:
  • As a result, the total land demand for India’s power generation assets, particularly solar, would be around 4.6 percent.
  • Recycling:
  • To handle the solar PV waste created, India would need to develop the necessary recycling capacity. India now has 100 GW of installed renewable energy capacity, with solar accounting for 40 GW, with a goal of increasing that capacity to 450 GW by 2030.
  • Coal usage:
  • To reach net-zero by 2070, coal usage, particularly for power generation, would have to peak in 2040 and then drop by 99 percent between 2040 and 2060.
  • Crude oil usage:
  • Furthermore, crude oil use across all sectors would need to peak by 2050 and then drop by 90% between 2050 and 2070.
  • Green hydrogen:
  • Green hydrogen has the potential to meet 19% of the industrial sector’s overall energy needs. These predictions presume that hydrogen will be a key component of the transition, with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies playing a minor role.
  • Economic Cost:
  • If India achieves net-zero emissions by 2070, the transition might cost the country about 4.1 percent of GDP in the net-zero year. However, if India postponed the time frame until 2050, the economic impact would be substantially higher, around 7% in that year.

Usage:

  • Electric or battery-powered passenger vehicles would account for 84% of all automobiles sold in the country.
  • Furthermore, battery-electric technology would power 79% of all trucks, with hydrogen powering the remaining 29%.
  • Electricity will have to be used as the principal cooking fuel in all households across the country.
  • Share of wind and nuclear energy in India’s electricity generation mix: The share of wind and nuclear energy in India’s electricity production mix would have to rise to 1792 GW and 225 GW, respectively.

Challenges

  • For large and diversified developing countries like India, a thirty-year gap between peaking and the net-zero year would be crucial. This will enable a smooth transition by providing enough time for policymakers and other stakeholders to plan and adapt to a new energy system.
  • Energy Prices:
  • As we move closer to a net-zero future, energy prices may rise in the short term, and employees in the fossil-fuel industry may lose their employment.
  • India is heavily reliant on coal for energy. Coal accounts for over 70% of energy generation in India, according to the International Energy Agency’s India Energy Outlook 2021.

Ahead of Schedule

  • Developed countries should provide considerable financial and technological assistance to developing countries in order to assist them in setting ambitious emissions reduction objectives while guaranteeing an equitable transition.
  • Developed economies should make significant progress toward their goal of net-zero emissions, rather than waiting until 2050. This will allow poor countries to undertake an equitable and long-term energy transformation.
  • In the future, India should work with other countries to co-invest and co-develop new green technology in order to create new jobs and markets. One such technology that could eventually replace coal in the industrial sector is green hydrogen.
  • In the coming years, India should engage in research and development and become an export centre for green hydrogen and electrolysers.

 

2.The Quad partners-The Malabar Exercise

#GS2-Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements.

 Context:

  • The United States recently stated that the multi-nation Malabar exercise’s scope, in terms of more like-minded warships participating in the manoeuvres, could be expanded in the future. It was also for the Quad partners to talk about the prospect of expanding.

In depth

The Malabar Exercises are now in their second phase.

  • Malabar’s first phase was place in August near Guam, and was hosted by the US Navy.
  • Phase II will take place in the Bay of Bengal from October 12 to 15.
  • Phase II of the exercise would expand on the synergy, coordination, and interoperability established in Phase I.
  • Advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare exercises, seamanship evolutions, and armament firings would all be part of the programme.
  • The 25th edition of Malabar is being held in two phases, with all protocols being followed during the pandemic.
  • It reflects the member countries’ commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo­Pacific region as well as a rules-based international order.

What is quad grouping, and how does it work?

  • Japan, India, the United States, and Australia make up the quadrilateral structure.
  • All four countries have the characteristics of being democratic countries with mutual interests in unrestricted marine trade and security.
  • Shinzo Abe, the Japanese Prime Minister, first proposed the proposal in 2007. However, due to Australia’s withdrawal, the plan was unable to move further.

The significance of the cluster is as follows:

  • Quad allows like-minded countries to exchange ideas and engage on projects of mutual interest.
  • Members share a vision of an Indo-Pacific that is open and free.
  • It is just one of many ways for India, Australia, Japan, and the United States to connect, and it should not be viewed as exclusive.

 

3.GI ForKaruppur kalamkari Paintings,Kanyakumari Clove&Kallakurichi Wood Carvings

#GS1 Art Forms

 Context

  • Three Tamil Nadu items, Karuppur Kalamkari Paintings, Kanyakumari Clove, and Kallakuruchi wood carvings, have recently been awarded the Geographical Indication (GI) label.

In-depth information on Kalamkari:

  • Thanjavur is home to the Karuppur Kalamkari Paintings.
  • These are typical figurative and patterned dye-painted garments.
  • Ceiling cloth, cylindrical hangings, umbrella coverings, and chariot covers are all manufactured for temples.
  • Canopies, umbrella covers, thombai (cylindrical hangings), and ‘thoranams’ (door hangings) in the Thanjavur Kalamkari tradition featured motifs ofyazhi, peacock, swan, flowers, and pictures of deities. They’re commonly found in temples and mutts.
  • Kalamkari is a traditional art form that has been practised by artisans from Sikkalnaikkanpettai near Kumbakonam for many years.
  • In the past, royal patronage was bestowed upon artisans.
  • This traditional art form is being practised in villages near Sikkalnaikkapettai and Tiruppanandal in Thanjavur district, as well as in Karuppur in the Udayarpalayam taluk of Ariyalur district.

Wood Carvings in Kallakurichi:

  • These carvings are used to create designs and ornamentation. These are native to the Madurai area.
  • Pens, palm stems, date trees, bamboo stick brushes, and coconut tree stems are all used.
  • On the basis of an application filed by Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, the Geographical Indications Registry gave this certificate (Poompuhar).

Kanyakumari Clove:

  

  • This clove is known for its high aromatic content, with a volatile oil level of 21% (normally 18%) and 86 percent Eugenol.
  • There are 1100 tonnes of clove in India, with 1000 tonnes originating from Tamil Nadu and 65 percent from Kanyakumari.
  • Cloves are noted for their peculiar nature in the hilly parts of the western ghats with Black soil.

 

4.The Black Hole mergers

#GS3-Space Technology

 Context

  • Scientists from the Chennai Mathematical Institute and Ors. analysed data from the LIGO-VIRGO observatories and calculated the fraction of binary Black Hole mergers discovered so far that might generate Intermediate-Mass Black Holes.

In depth information

 Mergers of Black Holes:

 

  • It is the occurrence of two or more black holes merging.
  • Three supermassive black holes have already merged, according to Indian astronomers.
  • When two or more black holes merge, different forms of black holes emerge. Intermediate-Mass Black Holes and Binary Black Holes, for example.
  • The mass of an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) is between 102 and 105 solar masses, which is much larger than stellar black holes but less than supermassive black holes.
  • ‘Hierarchical growth’ is one of the ideas for the development of intermediate mass black holes.
  • If the black holes are found in a tight cluster of stars, the remnant (black hole) of a merger can form a binary with another black hole nearby. This could someday unite to form a second, more gigantic residue. This mechanism, which occurs in a hierarchical order, can explain the development of intermediate mass black holes.
  • When two black holes orbit each other and combine, gravitational waves (GW) are produced.

Kicks in Mergers:

  • During mergers, a leftover black hole acquires the opposing momentum known as “kicks.” It’s a reaction to the loss of energy and linear momentum caused by gravitational waves during mergers.
  • The kicks can be fairly powerful, reaching speeds of up to 1000 kilometres per second.
  • If the black hole’s kick velocity is greater than the star cluster’s escape velocity, it escapes and moves out of the environment. Further hierarchical mergers are hampered as a result of this.
  • The masses and spins of the merging black holes can be used to calculate the extent of the kick received by the remnant.
  • The kick estimates help understand which mergers have the possibility of forming Intermediate-Mass black holes.

 

5.Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP)

#GS2 and GS3-Environmental Pollution &Degradation,Government Policies & Interventions

 Context

  • The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) recently said that the measures in the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) under the “very poor” and “severe” categories will only be implemented if air quality continues to deteriorate and remains at regulated levels for 48 hours.

In depth information

  • A Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has been prepared for implementation under different Air Quality Index (AQI) categories, namely Moderate & Poor, Very Poor, and Severe, in response to the Supreme Court’s order in the matter of M. C. Mehta vs. Union of India (2016) regarding air quality in the National Capital Region of Delhi.
  • “Severe+ or Emergency” has been added as a new category.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change notified the Plan in 2017.
  • It established procedures to be followed when air quality deteriorates.
  • Because the plan is incremental, when the air quality goes from ‘Poor’ to ‘Very Poor,’ the measures stated in both sections must be implemented.
  • It keeps PM10 and PM2.5 levels from exceeding the national AQI’s ‘moderate’ rating.

Implementation:

  • Until 2020, states were required to implement GRAP measures by the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA).
  • In 2020, the EPCA was abolished, and the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) took its place.
  • CAQM is a statutory body that coordinates and oversees various attempts to enhance air quality in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as the underlying corrective strategy.

Other measures include:

  • In 2016, the Supreme Court imposed an EPC of 1% on the sale of diesel cars with displacements of 2000cc and higher in Delhi and the NCR.
  • The Supreme Court imposed an Environmental Compensation Charge (ECC) on trucks entering Delhi in 2015.

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