IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


28th November, 2019


World action to combat global warming inadequate, says UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme says countries must cut greenhouse gas emission by at least three-fold.

Findings of UNEP report:

-       It has warned that countries’ action to combat global warming was inadequate.

-       Unless global greenhouse gas emissions fall by 7.6% each year from 2020 to 2030, the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.

-       Greenhouse gas emissions had risen 1.5% per year over the last decade.

-       Emissions in 2018, including from land-use changes such as deforestation, hit a new high of 55.3 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent.

-       Global temperatures have already risen about 1°C since pre-industrial times.

-       Fossil carbon-dioxide emissions from energy use and industry grew by 2.0%.

-       India, Russia and Turkey are projected to be more than 15% lower than their NDC (Nationally Determined Contribution) target emission levels. It allows them to raise their NDC (Nationally determined contribution).

About UNEP:

-       The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority.

-       It sets the global environmental agenda.

-       It promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system.

-       It serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

-       It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference) in June 1972.

-       It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.

-       It is implementing agency for Global Environment facility and multilateral fund for implementation.

India’s Commitment in Paris agreement:

-       India has promised to reduce the emission intensity of its economy by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

-       It has also committed to having 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

India Per Capita emission:

-       A report by the International Energy Emissions Agency said India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden.

-       The U.S., the largest emitter, contributed 14%.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/world-action-to-combat-global-warming-inadequate-says-unep/article30085933.ece


When Painted Storks and Pelicans come home to roost in AP's Kolleru Lake

The Atapaka Bird Sanctuary on the West Godavari-Krishna district border at Kaikaluru in Kolleru Lake has become the lone safe breeding ground for the two migratory bird species.


Breeding of the birds:

-       Grey Pelicans

-       Painted Storks


Reasons for choosing this sanctuary:

-       It surrounded by an artificial pond, has a good vegetation cover supporting for arranging nests by the avian guests.


About Kolleru lake:

-       It was established in November 1999, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

-       The sanctuary protects part of the Kolleru Lake wetland, which gained Ramsar Convention for International importance in 2002.

-       It lies between Krishna and Godavari river delta.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/when-painted-storks-and-pelicans-come-home-to-roost-in-kolleru-lake-in-ap/article30085868.ece



Assam tribunals wreak havoc, says rights group

The Supreme Court and the Guwahati High Court have enabled the Foreigners’ Tribunals to create a statelessness crisis in Assam, Amnesty International India said.


Observation of Amnesty International:

-       It called for a review of the existing legislative regime governing the determination of nationality in India.

-       The FTs (Foreign Tribunals) are often dismissive, use derogatory language, control their own procedures and apply them in arbitrary ways.

-       Judiciary has in the case of Assam aided the government institutions and the FTs in committing abuses with impunity.

-       People appearing before the FTs are not afforded the fair trial protections and human rights guarantees that flow from Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

-       Tribunal has reversed the burden of proof on the person thus hurting right to a fair investigation.

-       It puts a bar on the extension of deprivation of nationality from one family member to another family member.

-       Guwahati HC has failed to consider the vulnerabilities of these people.

-       Foreign tribunals are not held accountable by Courts, state government and Centre government.



Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-otherstates/assam-tribunals-wreak-havoc-says-rights-group/article30101982.ece


1,025 transgressions by China in three years

There were 1,025 transgressions by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the past three years, Government said.

Reasons behind transgressions:

-       There is no commonly delineated LAC in the border areas between India and China.

-       There were areas along the LAC where both sides had differing perceptions of the boundary.

Government Steps:

-       Ensure that Defence forces were in a state of readiness to meet operational and security challenges.

-       Government exchanged views on outstanding boundary issues with Chinese premiere on recent visit.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/1025-transgressions-by-china-in-three-years/article30101707.ece

‘Information security stepped up at KKNPP after cyberattack’

A comprehensive safety audit was conducted on the administrative network of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) following a recent cyber attack.

Steps taken by Government:

-       Complete check of the administrative network of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant was done by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).

-       Hardening of internet and administrative intranet connectivity.

-       Restriction on removable media.

-       Blocking of websites and IPs which have been identified with malicious activity.

-       Isolated network with firewalls cannot be accessed through the internet from any part of the world.

-       Strict ban on bringing communication gadgets, including mobile phones, WiFi devices and USBs.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/information-security-boosted-at-kknpp-after-cyber-attack/article30101901.ece


Cabinet approves MoU signed between India and Myanmar on bilateral cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons

The MoU aims:

-       To strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries and to increase bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking.

-       To strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking and to protect and assist the victims of trafficking

-       Ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country.

-       To strengthen immigration and border controls cooperation and implementation of strategies with relevant Ministries and Organizations to prevent trafficking in persons.

-       Setting up Working Groups/ Task Force to make efforts to prevent human trafficking

-       Develop and share database on traffickers and victims of trafficking in a safe and confidential manner and exchange information through designated focal points of India and Myanmar

-       Capacity building programmes for the agencies concerned of both countries.

-       Formulation and adoption of Standard Operating Procedures for Rescue, Recovery, Repatriation and Integration of the victims of trafficking.

Source: PIB

Steps taken Government against circulation of fake currency notes through Indo-Nepal Border

-       Vigil is being maintained at the India-Nepal border to check the smuggling and circulation of FICN (Fake Indian Currency Note).

-       Training programmes have been conducted for the Nepalese Police officers on combating the circulation of fake currency notes.

-       Intelligence and security agencies of Central and State Governments keep a close watch on the elements involved in the circulation of fake currency.

-       FICN Coordination Centre (FCORD) has been established by the Government to share intelligence/ information among different security agencies of the states/ central government.

-       A Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) have also been created in National Investigating Agency (NIA) to investigate terror funding and FICN cases.

Source: PIB





ISRO’s launch tally hits 5 main satellites this year



The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has touched a tally of launching five main satellites so far in 2019 after sending up earth imaging satellite Cartosat-3.

ArsTechnica report findings:

-       China is set to top the chart of space-faring nations for the second year in a row.

-       India ranks fifth along with newbie New Zealand.

-       They each have 6% of the orbital launch pie.

-       Space majors totally made 87 orbital launches as on November 27.

-       China launched 28 satellites.

-       By the end of 2019, India’s launches may climb two numbers.

ISRO target:

-       13 more missions in next four months will include 6 launches and 7 satellites.

-       The year has seen 11 missions - 5 launches and 6 satellites (including GSat-31 satellite flown on a foreign launcher).

-       The total number of missions will remain lower than stated targets of 32 missions.

Reasons behind missing the targets:

-       ISRO is not a production house but a scientific institution.

-       Close to 60% of resources are tied up in mission of Human Space Flight.

-       Chandrayaan 2 equalled efforts of five or six mission due to inclusion of complex elements such as an orbiter, a lander, a rover and a launch vehicle.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/isros-launch-tally-hits-5-main-satellites-this-year/article30101748.ece



Australia to return 3 idols to India in January

-       Three culturally significant artefacts — a pair of ‘Dwarapala’ (door guardians) from Tamil Nadu and one ‘Nagaraja (serpent king)’ from either Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh will be returned to India by Australia.

-       Both India and Australia are party to the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transport of Ownership of Cultural Property.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/australia-to-return-3-idols-to-india-in-january/article30101688.ece


Govt. extends 15th finance panel term

The Union Cabinet has approved the extension of the term of the 15th Finance Commission.


-       Finance Commission will submit 2 reports.

-       The first report, for financial year 2020-21, will be submitted in the coming months before the Union Budget.

-       The second report for the period 2021-26 will be presented by October 30, 2020.

-       15th Finance Commission’s recommendations will be applicable for six years and not the conventional five-year period.

-       It will help medium-term resource planning for the State governments and the Central government.

Reasons behind extension:

-       It will enable the Commission to examine various comparable estimates for financial projections in view of reforms and the new realities to finalise its recommendations for the period 2020-2026.

-       Commission completed its visit to States recently due to imposition of Model code of conduct.

-       Commission has seen its terms of reference expanded demanding extension of tenure.

-       Reorganization of J & K also demanded extension of tenure, because Commission then has to alter its calculations for every State and this takes time.

-       It is not unprecedented for extension of commission tenure.

Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/govt-extends-15th-finance-panel-term/article30101633.ece




India’s Nuclear Energy Target

Current status:

-       Seven (07) reactor units with a capacity of 5300 MW are under construction.

-       The Government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction of ten (10) more reactor units of 700 MW each.

Steps taken to augment the Nuclear Energy:

-       Accord of administrative approval and financial sanction of - ten (10) indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode & two (02) units of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) to be set up in cooperation with Russian Federation.

-       Creation of Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) in the context of Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010.

-       Amendment of the Atomic Energy Act to enable Joint Ventures of Public Sector Companies to set up nuclear power projects.

-       Entering into enabling agreements with foreign countries for nuclear power cooperation.

Source: PIB