IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


2nd September, 2019


The four big climate challenges for India


Managing the politics of global climate change policy

- India is the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

- According to data compiled by the Global Carbon Project, a research organization, around half of CO2 emissions since 1750 have come from Europe and the US.

- Their prosperity, driven mostly by unregulated industrialization, has made them better-equipped to adapt to climate change.

- This inequity lies at the heart of international climate negotiations. At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, developing countries have pressed developed ones to pay for their past excesses.

- Each country has set its own target to limit global temperature increase to just 1.5 ° Cover pre-industrialization levels according to Paris Summit.

 - However, analysis by Climate Action Tracker, a research unit tracking climate change policy, reveals that few countries have committed enough to actually meet the Paris target.

- The second largest contributor to worldwide emissions, the US, has pulled out of the agreement itself.


Reducing India’s coal dependency

- According to one estimate, 68% of India’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy production, which is dependent largely on coal.

- The government is trying to wean off coal by investing significantly in renewable energy, expanding capacity and incentivizing private sector investment.

- However, integration of Renewable power into grid can be costly.

- Government projects that by 2030, 40% of electricity generation can come from non-coal sources.

- India’s electricity demand is expected to triple by 2030, with coal sources projected to account for around 57% of electricity generation- still a significant figure.


Reforming climate-insensitive agriculture policy

- The minimum support price combined with helpful electricity and fertilizer subsidies, encourages farmers to grow water-intensive crops, such as paddy. It leads to condition where India is a net exporter of water due to the excess water used in agricultural exports.

- India’s agricultural policies aggravate water shortages, encourage crop burning and do little for climate change mitigation.

- Rationalising these subsidies can make farmers more judicious in application of inputs of fertilizer and water.


Balancing growth and environment

- Tackling climate change is a balancing act between the present and the future. 

- Fuel-guzzling cars, for instance, may delight their current users but can drain resources from the future.

- One way to do this would be to frame more holistic goalposts. 

- Current policies seek to maximize gross domestic product (GDP), which does not capture the potential for future prosperity entirely. 

- An alternative could be something like the UN’s Inclusive Wealth Index, which measures three different types of capital: Produced (infrastructure, etc.), human (education, etc.) and natural (land, forests, etc.) On this measure, India’s wealth grew at an average rate of 1.5% between 1990 and 2014, significantly lower than the equivalent GDP growth rate during the same period (6.1%).

-  India’s inclusive wealth growth came despite stagnating natural capital growth. 


Finally, citizen can also play a significant role. 

- This will also mean changing aspirations and tastes. For many Indians, owning a car is an aspiration—how do we change that?

- For many Indians, rice is the preferred staple—can we change this preference to a less water-intensive, but less tasty crop?

- People May agree to save the environment in theory, but , in practice, it is difficult as shown by efforts taken by governments to reduce the subsidies.

Reference: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/the-four-big-climate-challenges-for-india-1567354297958.html



2018 flood has left dams, reservoirs in Kerala prone to earthquakes

Research has highlighted that floods triggered by heavy rain has left reservoirs and dams highly prone to earthquakes.

21 Out of the 43 dams and reservoirs are now highly prone to tremors, a phenomenon called reservoir-induced seismicity (RIS).

About Reservoir-induced seismicity (RIS)

-        It occurs in deep reservoirs that have water columns more than 100 metres depth.

-        Huge water increases the stress on earth crust, while infiltration of water reduces stress. This change in stress cause RIS.

-        In 1967, 180 people were killed and 1,500 injured due to induced seismicity in Koyna reservoir in Maharashtra.

Reasons For RIS:

-        Seismically active Region.

-        Presence of Hydro-sensitivity : seismic episodes  after torrential rain.

-        Wide Open Faults.

-        Unauthorised Mining creating additional stress on earth.

-        Climate change, which cause extreme rainfall, is also a major cause for RIS.

Way Forward:

-        Optimize the Storage and water release to prevent RIS.

-        Identify vulnerable dams and effective management of water in those dams.

-        Countering climate change through effective measures.



The legacy of Firoz Shah, 14th-century ruler who built Kotla in Delhi

Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, which is set to be renamed Arun Jaitley Stadium after the former Finance Minister, takes its name from a 14th-century fortress built by Feroz Shah.

In his autobiography Futuhat-i-Firozshahi, Firoz Shah Tughlaq described himself: “Among the many gifts which God bestowed upon me, his humble servant, was a desire to erect public buildings. Therefore, I built many mosques, colleges, and monasteries.

Legacy of Feroz Shah:

-        He was the first ruler to build a fortress next to river Yamuna.

-        Transported and installed Ashoka’s Pillar in his empire as he was fond of old monuments.

-        He did public construction activity on a massive scale.

-        His priority were Welfare projects — gardens, serai (inn), water supply.

-        He brought down the prices of food articles in Delhi by augmenting water supply and construction of irrigation networks.

-        British had called him Father of the irrigation department because of his construction of numerous canals and irrigation network.

-        He repaired old structures like Hauz Khas, Qutub Minar and SurajKund. He replaced top two stories of Qutub Minar with smooth marble material. Qutubuddin and Illtutmish built the lower three stories in red sandstone.

-        He gave Patronage to poets, musicians and various linguistic communities to create a multi-cultural and multi-lingual society.

-        Premakyan, A Sufi potery written in Awadhi, grew under his patronage.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-the-legacy-of-firoz-shah-14th-century-ruler-who-built-kotla-in-delhi-5957126/



Mango locks to ones that slice off fingers: GI boost for Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul legacy

On Saturday, the lock was granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, based on an application filed by the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Workers Industrial Co-Operative Society.

Speciality of Locks:

-        Has the product life of more than five decades.

-        There are killer locks designed in such a way that the person who inserts the wrong key will get his fingers injured or even chopped off with a sharp knife that pops out.

-        Mango Locks involve combination of keys to be used in specific pattern to unlock it.


About GI tag:

-        GI tag identifies goods from a specific area to have special quality or reputation attributable to the region.

-        GI tag is governed by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999.

-        GI tag are identified as IPR under Paris Convention for protection of industrial property.

-        This Act is administered by Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, who is also Registrar of Geographical Indications.


-        It helps producers in differentiating their products.

-        It allows producers to challenge the counterfeit product and duplicate products in market.

-        It helps in protection, conservation and encouragement of a specific art.

-        It enables producers to build reputation and goodwill around their product.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/mango-locks-to-ones-that-slice-off-fingers-gi-boost-for-dindigul-legacy-5957086/