Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 15th October -2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 15-10-2021

                                                                                                  

  

Topics                                                                                                                                                    

  • Gati Shakti-National Master Plan launched by PM
  • The Biodiversity Conservation–the Kunming Declaration
  • The Environment Ministry– Draft Rules for Plastic Management
  • The New Species–Cicada species
  • Flower Scorpionfish

 

 

1.Gati Shakti-National Master Plan launched by PM

# GS3- Infrastructure

 Context

  • The PM Gati Shakti-National Master Plan for multimodal connectivity was just launched by the Prime Minister.

 In depth information

 Gati Shakti

  • The Prime Minister made the announcement on the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence.
  • It’s a nationwide master plan for connecting infrastructure developments across modes of transportation.
  • It will assist India in realising its ambition to become the world’s “business capital.”
  • Its goal is to reduce logistics costs by coordinating the design and execution of infrastructure projects.

Project focus areas:

  • It will help local manufacturers boost their global reputation and compete with their global counterparts. It also opens up the possibility of other economic zones in the future.
  • It will aid India’s manufacturing and export efforts. Every product that comes from India and is sold around the world is associated with India.
  • By 2024-25, the plan calls for 11 industrial corridors, a defence production turnover of Rs 1.7 lakh crore, and 38 electronics manufacturing clusters and 109 pharmaceutical clusters.
  • Railways must handle 1,600 million tonnes of freight by 2024-25, up from 1,210 million tonnes in 2020, and decongest 51% of the network by building additional lines and implementing two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).
  • By 2025, the goal for civil aviation is to increase the current aviation footprint to 220 airports, heliports, and water aerodromes.
  • Importance of high-quality infrastructure:
  • It is widely acknowledged that building high-quality infrastructure for long-term development is a tried-and-true method for generating a wide range of economic activity and large-scale employment.
  • Need for Integrated Infrastructure Development:
  • Due to a lack of coordination and sophisticated information exchange, there is a significant gap between macro planning and micro implementation, as departments conceive and function in silos.
  • According to a study, India’s logistics costs are around 13% of GDP, which is more than that of wealthy countries.
  • The competitiveness of India’s exports is severely harmed as a result of these high logistics costs.
  • It is well acknowledged that building high-quality infrastructure for Sustainable Development is a proven method for generating a wide range of economic activity and large-scale employment.
  • The plan complements the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP).
  • The NMP was announced in order to establish a clear framework for monetisation and to present potential investors with a ready-to-invest asset list.

Concerns

  • Low Credit Offtake: Despite the government’s strong banking sector reforms and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code’s recovery of around Rs. 2.4 lakh crore on bad loans, there are concerns about sliding credit offtake trends.
  • Banks provide credit off-takes to help firms obtain finance for future projects by promising future income and demonstrating the existence of a market.
  • Insufficient Demand: There is a dearth of private demand and investor demand in the post-Covid-19 scenario.
  • Structured Concerns: Project implementation is extremely delayed by global standards due to land acquisition delays and litigation issues.
  • In terms of land access and environmental clearances, obtaining approvals is extremely complex; also, pending litigation in court hinders infrastructure development.

Way Ahead

  • India’s goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy will rely heavily on infrastructure development.
  • India is interested in using cutting-edge technology and materials in road construction and is willing to adopt new material and technology guidelines.

 

2.The Biodiversity Conservation–the Kunming Declaration

#GS3-Environmental Pollution &Degradation, Government Policies &Interventions, International Treaties & Agreements

Context

  • The Kunming Declaration was recently accepted by over 100 countries at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s 15th Conference of the Parties, which is currently taking place in China.
  • The declaration’s approval will provide impetus for a new global biodiversity treaty.
  • Governments agreed on 20 targets to try to limit biodiversity loss and safeguard habitats by 2020 in a prior accord, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, signed in Aichi, Japan, in 2010.

In depth information

  • It made the vow as delegates from 195 countries convened in Kunming, China’s southernmost city, for the first of a two-part summit on protecting plants, animals, and ecosystems.
  • The summit’s goal is to create a new agreement with ambitions for 2030 and 2050.
  • It will provide the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework a much-needed boost.
  • Despite substantial donor differences on the project, it aims to safeguard biodiversity in developing nations during an important UN conservation gathering.
  • Agenda for the ’30 by 30′ project:
  • The “30 by 30” agenda, which would safeguard 30% of the Earth’s land and oceans by 2030, is a prominent proposal being addressed at the conference.

About The Biodiversity Conservation

  • It asks for immediate and comprehensive action to incorporate biodiversity considerations into all sectors of the global economy, although key issues such as supporting conservation in poorer countries and committing to biodiversity-friendly supply chains have been deferred.
  • It is not a legally enforceable international agreement.
  • It urges the parties to include biodiversity protection in their decision-making processes and to recognise the value of conservation in protecting human health.
  • Ecological Civilization:
  • Creating a Shared Future for All Life on Earth is the theme of the proclamation.
  • By signing this, the countries have agreed to support the formulation, adoption, and implementation of an effective post-2020 implementation plan for the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, as well as a capacity-building action plan.
  • The Protocol aims to conserve biological variety from the dangers that live modified organisms offer as a result of modern biotechnology.
  • Signatory countries will guarantee that post-pandemic recovery policies, programmes, and plans contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable usage, fostering sustainable and equitable development, according to the declaration.

 

3.The Environment Ministry– Draft Rules for Plastic Management

#GS3- Environmental Pollution & Degradation

 Context

  • The Environment Ministry recently released proposed rules for plastic management, which are slated to take effect on December 6, 2021.

In depth information

  • In India, around 660,787.85 tonnes of plastic trash will be created yearly by 2019.
  • It is estimated that roughly 60% of it is recycled.
  • Packaging makes up over 43% of the total, with the majority of it being single-use plastic.

Rules in Draft

  • Recycling:
  • Producers of plastic packaging material must collect all of their product by 2024 and ensure that at least a portion of it is recycled and used in succeeding supplies.
  • Certificates of Emission Reduction:
  • It also established a mechanism for producers and users of plastic packaging to collect and trade certificates known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) certificates.
  • Producers are given significant financial and/or physical responsibility for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer items under the EPR policy approach.
  • The following items are not recyclable:
  • Only a small percentage of plastic that cannot be recycled — such as multi-layered multi-material plastics — will be eligible for end-of-life disposal in places like road construction, waste to energy, waste to oil, and cement kilns, and only methods approved by the Central Pollution Control Board will be allowed.
  • Producers of plastic:
  • Producers of plastic will be required to report how much plastic they generate annually to the government via a centralised website.
  • Companies will be required to collect at least 35% of the target in 2021-22, 70% in 2022-23, and 100% in 2024.

There are three types of plastic packaging:

 Plastic that is rigid;

  • Single-layer or multilayer flexible plastic packaging, plastic sheets and covers made of plastic sheet, carry bags (including carry bags made of compostable plastics), plastic sachets or pouches; Multi-layered plastic packaging with at least one layer of plastic and at least one layer of material other than plastic.
  • By 2024, a minimum of 50% of their rigid plastic (category 1), as well as 30% of their category 2 and 3 plastic, will have to be recycled.

Noncompliance with the law:

  • If entities are unable to meet their commitments, they will be allowed to purchase certificates from organisations that have used recycled content in excess of their obligations on a “case by case” basis.
  • On a centralised internet platform, the CPCB will build a “mechanism” for such trades.
  • Noncompliance, on the other hand, will not result in a typical fine.
  • Instead, the laws will levy a “environmental compensation,” however the rules do not specify how much this compensation will be.

Compensation under new rule

  • Entities who fail to reach their annual targets or do not purchase enough credits to do so shall face a fee.
  • If they fulfil their goals in three years, they will be eligible for a 40% return.
  • The money, however, will be forfeited after that.
  • The funds raised in this manner will be placed in an escrow account and utilised for the collection and recycling/end-of-life disposal of uncollected and non-recycled/non-end-of-life disposal of plastic packaging trash that is subject to environmental compensation.

Significance

 Pollution is reduced throughout ecosystems:

  • As a result of recycling plastic rather than creating it from scratch, dangerous greenhouse gas emissions are reduced indirectly.
  • Plastic recycling reduces the amount of plastic garbage produced. As a result, pollution is reduced, and many animal species that are vital to the food chain are saved.
  • It necessitates less energy and
  • When compared to products made from recycled plastic, manufacturing plastic from scratch takes a lot more energy.
  • A tonne of recycled plastic saves around 7,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity, or enough to power a home for seven months.
  • Aids in the conservation of natural resources
  • In addition, the manufacturing process necessitates the use of raw materials like water, petroleum, natural gas, and coal.
  • As a result, plastic recycling conserves natural resources.
  • For example, recycling discarded and old plastic garbage can save around 40% of petroleum usage, which is necessary for the manufacture of new plastic items.
  • Saves Landfill Space That Is Quickly Depleting
  • Waste management that includes the reuse and recycling of plastics can save a lot of landfill space. Recycling one tonne of plastic can save 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Reduces Fossil Fuel Consumption Demand:
  • In a single year, millions of barrels of crude oil are used to meet the demand for plastics.
  • Because oil is a finite natural resource, recycling plastic and recovering as much raw material as feasible can drastically cut crude oil usage.
  • Encourages a Sustainable Way of Life:
  • Businesses have a significant impact on the way people live in the places where they operate.
  • Businesses that collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to raise awareness and promote the benefits of plastic reuse and recycling will undoubtedly result in a sea change in environmental protection.

 

4.The New Species–Cicada species

#GS3- Species in News

Context

  • The nearly century-old discovery of a new cicada species, Platyomiakohimaensis, in Nagaland’s Naga Hills emphasises the importance of conservation.
  • The Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot includes the Naga hills.

In depth information

 Cicadas are hemipteran insects whose auditory signals or songs are loud, complex, and species-specific.

  • Cicadas are typically found in natural woods with huge trees, where they live in the canopy.

Prevalence:

  • India and Bangladesh have the most generic variety of cicadas in the world, followed by China.
  • The monthly cicada Chremisticaribhoi (locally known as niangtaser and known as the ‘world cup cicada’) described in 2013 is restricted to the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary in Meghalaya, stretching north to Jirang block in Ri Bhoi district, which borders Assam.
  • Their spread is now limited to places adjacent to the Nongkyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.

Major Risks:

  • Natural environment is rapidly dwindling as a result of forest cutting and wildfires.
  • Unlike Butterflies, there isn’t much support for conservation.
  • The recently discovered cicada, Platyomiakohimaensis, is unique in that it only sings for a few hours around dusk.

 

5.Flower Scorpionfish

#GS 3-Conservation

 Context

  • Flower Scorpionfish (HoplosebastesArmatus), a fish previously solely found in the Pacific Ocean, has just been identified in the Indian Ocean.
  • The migration of this species from diverse places may have been prompted by a rise in the temperature of sea water as a result of global warming.

In depth information

  • It belongs to the Scorpaeniforme family of ray-finned fish.
  • In 1929, it was discovered in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan, over a century ago.
  • The scorpionfish family includes some of the ocean’s most toxic creatures.
  • The species’ head is disproportionately huge and larger than its body.
  • The species’ length ranged from 75 to 127 mm, with a body width of 14 to 22 mm.
  • Because of their variegated colour patterns, scorpionfish blend in flawlessly with their coral and rocky surroundings.

Habitat

  • They were previously only found in the Pacific Ocean. Its range, however, has expanded to include the Northwest Pacific and the Indian Ocean.

Scorpaeniformes

  • Any of a group of bony fishes that have a plate of bone running across each cheek, often known as mail-cheeked fish.
  • They can be found in all of the world’s oceans.
  • They are thought to have evolved in warm marine environments, but they have spread to temperate, even Arctic and Antarctic oceans, as well as Northern Hemisphere fresh waters.

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