Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

Sarat Chandra IAS Academy -UPSC Civils Daily Current Affairs 25th October -2021

CURRENT AFFAIRS 25-10-2021

 

                                                                                                  

Topics                                                                                                                                                    

  • CoP26 -commitment to Net Zero
  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA)-Fourth General Assembly
  • Public Safety Act (PSA)
  • Zero Waste Cities Challenge
  • Amur Falcons

 

1.CoP26 -commitment to Net Zero

#GS3-Conservation related issues.

 Context:

  • On November 1, the United Nations’ Conference of Parties (CoP) will convene for its 26th meeting in Glasgow.
  • The goal for this meeting is to have all nations commit to a ‘net zero’ year, or a year by which a country’s fossil fuel emissions will peak and eventually be neutralised by removing extra carbon from the atmosphere.

In depth information

India’s Position

  • India hasn’t ruled out the prospect of reaching an agreement on a “net zero” aim.
  • According to a report by the Council for Energy, Environment, and Water, India will need to achieve a net-zero aim by 2070.
  • India will not budge in response to demands from wealthy countries that it fulfil earlier promises such as the Kyoto Protocol.
  • India may amend its Nationally Determined Contributions even if it does not set a net zero target (NDC)
  • India and the United Kingdom have agreed to expand their green relationship and improve climate initiatives.

India’s Challenges:

  • Achieving “net zero” entails making big and deep reduction to fossil fuel use, which could have an impact on India’s and other developing countries’ development paths.
  • In order for India to meet its net-zero goal by 2070, coal use, particularly for power generation, would have to peak in 2040 and then drop by 99 percent between 2040 and 2060.
  • Furthermore, crude oil use across all sectors would have to peak by 2050 and then drop by 90% between 2050 and 2070.

Ahead of The time

  • International cooperation: In sectors such as energy policy, carbon markets, technology transfer, and economic recovery, deeper political engagement with stronger policy backing is required.
  • Focus on zero-emissions transportation while decarbonizing investment.
  • New technologies to decarbonize sectors like as steel, cement, and chemicals, as well as agriculture, provide tremendous room for ambition to be raised.

 

2.The International Solar Alliance (ISA)-Fourth General Assembly

#GS2- Important International Institutions, Various Agencies & Fora, their Structure & Mandate

 Context :

  • The International Solar Alliance (ISA) held its fourth general congress virtually recently.
  • The Union Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy (GoI) and the President of the ISA Assembly presided over this virtual meeting.

In depth information

  • India: Solar and renewable energy: It’s time to band together to make solar and renewable energy accessible to everybody.
  • Energy access: It is more vital to solve the problem of energy access than it is to solve the problem of energy transition.
  • The ISA has the potential to provide energy access to 800 million people around the world.
  • Energy transition: For individuals who do not have access to energy, the energy shift is worthless.
  • It’s past time for wealthy countries to put the energy transition funding pledged at previous climate summits to good use.
  • Credit guarantees: ISA will cover credit guarantees and help these countries drive green energy projects.
  • The onus is on industrialised countries to determine whether they want to expand their economies through clean energy or by burning coal and firewood.

Energy access on a global scale:

  • This is a critical year for gaining access to modern, sustainable energy.
  • The International Solar Alliance prioritises the ideas discussed at the United Nations General Assembly’s inaugural energy summit.
  • Closing the energy access gap by 2030, decarbonizing energy systems through increased solar and wind power capacity, and mobilising large-scale financing and technological dissemination in renewable energy are all important goals.
  • The United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) is working hard to ensure that no one is left behind. As a result, the conference is centred on international cooperation.

Management of solar PV panels and battery utilisation waste, as well as the Solar Hydrogen programme, have both been launched.

  • Hydrogen initiative: It aims to make it possible to use solar energy to manufacture hydrogen at a lower cost than what is currently accessible (USD 5 per KG) by lowering it to USD 2 per KG.
  • Making hydrogen cost competitive with natural gas poses significant supply and performance concerns.
  • Reduced prices, on the other hand, can open the door to a slew of other advantages.
  • MSME clusters can use hydrogen to replace diesel generators, which is feasible even at today’s solar hydrogen pricing.
  • The debate also centred on how ISA’s waste management programme will be critical in light of the increasing volume of waste and harmful materials, the lack of waste-specific legislation, and the high cost of trash treatment.

Collaboration between India and the United Kingdom

  • The United Kingdom has made the shift to sustainable energy a primary priority.
  • The transition to green power, as well as figuring out how to develop and run energy systems and meet our global power demands sustainably, affordably, and reliably, are the primary challenges.
  • To tackle these problems, we’ll need new transmission lines, minigrids, and off-grid energy access alternatives, all of which will be backed up by contemporary power systems.
  • At COP26, the United Kingdom and India will jointly present the ‘Green Grids Initiative’ and ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid.’
  • This is aimed at mobilising worldwide technological, financial, and scientific cooperation because the scope and pace of the clean power transition goal may be achieved by working together.

OSOWOG stands for One Sun, One World, One Grid.

  • The concept of a unified global solar grid was initially proposed at the ISA’s First Assembly in late 2018.
  • Its goal is to create and scale inter-regional energy systems to exchange solar energy around the globe, taking advantage of time zones, seasons, resources, and costs disparities between countries and regions.
  • OSOWOG will also aid in the decarbonisation of energy production, which is now the main source of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • OSOWOG has joined forces with GGI to form a unified GGI-OSOWOG initiative, which aims to contribute to the collaborative, rapid development of resilient grids globally – building on continental, regional, and national grid infrastructure programmes – in order to better synergize its efforts and actions with other similar initiatives around the world.
  • Multi-pronged: At COP26, the UK COP Presidency, the Government of India, and the ISA Presidency are expected to announce this collaboration to facilitate expanded technical, financial, and scientific cooperation to assist deliver the two programmes’ shared ambition.
  • Another step toward a worldwide ecosystem of linked renewables shared for mutual benefit and global sustainability, this collaboration will be one of the most resilient strategies to reduce climate change and promote the global energy transition.

 

3.Public Safety Act (PSA):

#GS3-Security challenges, linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

 Context:

  • Following the killings of non-locals in Jammu and Kashmir, about 700 persons have been arrested throughout the union territory, with a handful being imprisoned under the strict Public Safety Act (PSA).

In depth information

  • The Public Safety Act, often known as the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA), is a preventative detention law enacted in 1978.
  • A person is taken into custody under this legislation to prevent him or her from acting in a way that jeopardises “the security of the state or the maintenance of public order.”

Some previous instances

Applicability:

  • The statute authorised the government to hold anyone above the age of 16 for up to two years without charge or trial.
  • It allows for administrative detention for up to two years “in the case of persons acting in any manner harmful to the security of the State,” and up to one year “in the case of persons acting in any manner injurious to the maintenance of public order.”

What are the methods for enforcing it?

  • It takes effect when the Divisional Commissioner or the District Magistrate issues administrative orders.
  • Any facts about the detention “that it judges to be against the public interest to reveal” are exempt from disclosure by the detaining authority.

What makes the law so contentious?

  • Detention without Trial: The PSA allows for a person’s detention without a formal charge and without a trial.

No Right to File a Bail Application: The detained individual has no right to file a bail application with the court, and he or she cannot hire a lawyer to represent him or her in front of the detaining authority.

Section 8 of the PSA reads as follows:

  • It specifies a wide range of reasons for detention and leaves the decision to district collectors and district magistrates.
  • There Is No Difference Between Minor and Major Offenses:
  • It allows for detention for up to a year for disturbing public order and up to two years for activities endangering the state’s security.

Is it possible for the courts to intervene?

  • The Supreme Court (SC) ruled that when a person is detained under the PSA, the DM has a legal obligation to consider all of the circumstances before taking away that person’s liberty.
  • It has also been decided that when a person already in police custody is issued a PSA, the DM must document “compelling reasons” for holding that individual.
  • While the DM can hold a person many times under the PSA, each time he or she passes a new detention order, the DM must present new facts.
  • In addition, the detained individual should be given all of the materials on which the detention order was based so that he or she can make an effective representation.
  • The reasons for detention must be explained and communicated to the detained person in the language he or she understands.

 

4.Zero Waste Cities Challenge

#GS3- Environmental Impact Assessment

 Context:

  • The finalists of WasteAid’s Zero Waste Cities Challenge were recently announced by the Circular Economy Network of WasteAid.
  • It has chosen two winners, Shree Guru Plastic and Inside Out, for their efforts to promote the circular economy and reduce the use of plastics.

Detailed Information about the Zero Waste Cities Challenge

  • In Johannesburg, Ho Chi Minh City, and Guwahati, WasteAid (a UK-based international NGO) began its Zero Waste Cities Challenge.
  • In South Africa, Vietnam, and India, the competition was introduced to uncover grassroots solutions to resource efficiency, garbage collection, and recycling.
  • It’s part of a citywide initiative to promote a circular economy and equitable livelihood options.
  • In each of the three locations, €10,000 will be awarded to two innovative ideas that improve resource efficiency and waste reduction.
  • Its goal is to uncover entrepreneurs with creative company ideas that help reduce or recycle garbage while also creating green jobs.

Current situation

  • Currently, only a fraction of waste generated in Guwahati is recycled, and the remaining waste ends up at landfill or littered in the environment.
  • WasteAid believes that local innovations hold the key to a green economy and can make the environment cleaner and healthier for the city’s population.
  • WasteAid has already organized a riverbank clean-up along the banks of the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati and witnessed overwhelming response, with 130 volunteers taking part in the initiative.
  • WasteAid’s Guwahati-based project manager, Dinesh Bandela, said: “With the event, we were able to stop 44 Kg of plastic from reaching the ocean.
  • The participation showed citizen engagement and awareness towards inclusive waste management, and enabled us to learn more about the Circular Economy initiatives taking place in Guwahati”.

 

5.Amur Falcons

#GS3- Species in News

 Context

  • The Amur Falcons have arrived in Manipur’s Tamenglong district for their regular visit.

In depth information

Every year, these falcons migrate to the district from nesting grounds in China and Russia before embarking on a 30,000-kilometer journey to Africa for the winter.

  • ‘Falco amurensis’ is the scientific name for this species.
  • The Amur falcon is a tiny falcon family raptor.
  • They breed in Siberia and Northern China, then travel to Southern Africa to spend the winter.
  • Migrates from India to Southern Africa, crossing the Arabian Sea.
  • Dragonflies and insects are its main sources of food.
  • Illegal capturing and killing during migration are threats, and the species is vulnerable to habitat degradation due to agricultural practises and land reclamation.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List classifies birds as having the least concern.
  • Under the Manipur Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, hunting the bird was punishable by three years in prison and a fine of 25,000 rupees.

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