November 2019

Daily Current Affairs (29-11-19)

POLITY & GOVERNANCE

NATIONAL YOUTH PARLIAMENT SCHEME

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Indian Constitution, Political System, and Governance [Paper-I]: Parliament and State Legislatures – structure, function, power and privilages, Public Policy and Governance

News

President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Web-Portal of “National Youth Parliament Scheme”.

About the Scheme

  • Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs conducts Youth Parliament Competition in various categories of schools and colleges/universities in order to develop democratic ethos in the younger generation.
  • It was first introduced in the Schools in Delhi in 1966-67.
  • The Kendriya Vidyalayas located in and around Delhi were incorporated into the ongoing Scheme for Delhi Schools in 1978.
  • Subsequently, as a separate scheme of Youth Parliament for Kendriya Vidyalayas at the National Level was launched in 1988.
  • Similarly, in 1997-98, two new Youth Parliament Schemes at the national level, one for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and the other for Universities/Colleges were launched.

Web Portal

  • The main objective of the portal is to increase the outreach of the youth parliament programme of the Ministry to hitherto untouched sections and corners of the country.
  • The salient features of the portal are:-
  • All recognised educational institutions of the country are eligible to participate in this programme.
  • The registration for participation will be done by the education institutions through the web-portal.
  • E-training modules, videos, photographs and scripts are available on the portal for online self-learning of the participants.
  • After successful registration, the educational institutions will be able to conduct youth parliament sittings in their respective institutions.
  • Each student taking part in the sitting will get a Digital ‘Certificate of Participation’ and each Teacher-in-charge and Head of Institution will get a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ through the web portal.
[Source: PIB]

 

GEOGRAPHY

COAL BED METHANE (CBM)

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Geography [Paper-I]: Marine and Continental Resources, Physical, Social, Economic Geography of World, India and Kerala

News

Ministry of Coal recently directed the state-run coal miner Coal India Limited (CIL) to produce 2 MMSCB (million metric standard cubic metres) per day of coalbed methane (CBM) gas in the next 2 to 3 years.

What is Coal Bed Methane (CBM)?

  • Like shale gas, CBM is extracted from unconventional gas reservoirs — where gas is extracted directly from the rock that is the source of the gas (coal in case of CBM).
  • It is formed during the process of coalification, the transformation of plant material into coal
  • The methane is held underground within the coal and is extracted by drilling into the coal seam and removing the groundwater.
  • The resulting drop in pressure causes the methane to be released from the coal.

CBM Reserves in India

  • India’s CBM resources are estimated at around 92 trillion cubic feet (TCF), or 2,600 billion cubic metres (BCM).
  • The country’s coal and CBM reserves are found in 12 states of India, with the Gondwana sediments of Eastern India holding the bulk.
  • The Damodar Koel valley and Son valley are prospective areas for CBM development, with CBM projects existing in Raniganj South, Raniganj East and Raniganj North areas in the Raniganj coalfield, the Parbatpur block in Jharia coalfield and the East and West Bokaro coalfields.

Benefits

CBM can be used for power generation, as compressed natural gas (CNG) auto fuel, as feedstock for fertilisers, industrial uses such as in cement production, rolling mills, steel plants, and for methanol production.

[Source: Indian Express]

 

ENVIRONMENT

UNEP EMISSIONS GAP REPORT 2019

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Environment [Paper-II]: Issues and concerns related to environment, its legal aspects, policies and treaties for the protection of environment at the National and the International level

News

  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report 2019 was released recently.
  • It was released ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-25) taking place in Madrid, Spain, from 2-13 December 2019.

What is Emissions Gap?

  • It measures the gap between what we need to do and what we are actually doing to tackle climate change.
  • The gap is the difference between the low level of emissions that the world needs to drop to, compared with the projected level of emissions based on countries’ current commitments to decarbonization.
  • The Emissions Gap could also be called the “Commitment Gap”.

Significance of Emissions Gap

  • It is important because if we can’t close it and meet the emissions reduction target, we will face increasingly severe climate impacts worldwide.
  • It is important that policymakers, and their citizens, know what the gap is, so that the commitments countries are making are sufficient to close the gap.

About the Emissions Gap Report

  • Produced annually since 2010, the UNEP flagship report assesses the gap between anticipated emission levels in 2030 and levels consistent with a 2°C/1.5°C temperature target.
  • It measures and projects three key trendlines:
  • The amount of greenhouse gas emissions every year up to 2030
  • The commitments countries are making to reduce their emissions and the impact these commitments are likely to have on overall emission reduction
  • The pace at which emissions must be reduced to reach an emission low that would limit temperature increase to 1.5oC, affordably

Key Highlights of 2019 Report

  • On the whole, countries must cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least three-fold ideally five-fold — to have a fighting chance at containing the severest effects of global warming.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions had risen 1.5% per year over the last decade and emissions in 2018, including from land-use changes such as deforestation, hit a new high of 55.3 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • Countries collectively failed to stop the growth in global GHG emissions, meaning that deeper and faster cuts are now required.
  • Fossil carbon-dioxide emissions from energy use and industry, which dominate total GHG emissions, grew 2.0% in 2018, reaching a record 37.5 Gt CO2 per year.
  • By 2030, emissions would need to be 25% and 55% lower than in 2018 to put the world on the least-cost pathway to limiting global warming to below 2˚C and 5°C respectively.
  • China, United States of America (USA), European Union and India are among the top four greenhouse gas emitters.
  • However, India’s per capita emissions are significantly below the United States, China, Russia, Japan and many countries.
  • Even if all current unconditional commitments under the Paris Agreement are implemented, temperatures are expected to rise by 3.2°C, bringing even wider-ranging and more destructive climate impacts.

Conclusion

  • The Report identifies two critical entry points for accelerating emissions reduction.
  • The first one is the decarbonization of the energy sector through renewables and energy efficiency, which could help reduce emissions by 12.1 Gt – or the equivalent of the annual output of nearly 2.5 million coal power stations – by 2050.
  • The second one is the electrification of transport, which could reduce the sector’s carbon emissions by up to 72% in 2050.
  • Each sector and each country has unique opportunities to harness renewable energy, protect natural resources, lives and livelihoods, and transition to a decarbonization pathway.

[Source: The Hindu, unenvironment.org]

 

FACTS OF THE DAY

SATAT INITIATIVE
  • Under SATAT initiative, 441 Letters of Intent has been awarded for production and supply of Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG).
  • Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative was launched by the Government of India to promote CBG as an alternative, green transport fuel for efficient management of biomass and organic waste.
  • As part of the SATAT scheme, Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies, Gail (India) Limited and Indraprastha Gas Limited had launched Expression of Interest (EoI) for procurement of CBG from the entrepreneurs at an assured price.
  • Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) can be produced from biomass and organic waste sources including paddy stubble.
  • It has properties similar to the commercially available natural gas and can be used as an alternative renewable fuel.
MISSION 41K
  • Indian Railways started Procurement of Power in Punjab for Northern Railway as Deemed Licensee under Open Access.
  • Indian Railways have been embarking upon various initiatives to reduce the cost of operations.
  • One of the major initiative in this regard has been direct procurement of power as deemed licensee instead of consumer.
  • “Mission 41K” document targets for saving of 41,000 Crore through Integrated Rail Energy Management System by 2025.
  • Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL), a Joint Venture of Ministry of Railways and RITES Ltd., has been endeavouring to achieve this target by gradual migration from Consumer to Deemed Licensee.
  • Deemed Licensee status enables Indian Railways to buy electricity directly from any generating company by paying wheeling charges to Central and State transmission system under open access as per The Electricity Act, 2003.
YUWAAH YOUTH SKILLING INITIATIVE
  • UNICEF has launched ‘YuWaah’ Generation Unlimited in India on November 1, 2019.
  • According to UNICEF, Generation Unlimited, called ‘YuWaah’ in India, is a multi-stakeholder alliance which aims to facilitate youth to gain relevant skills for productive lives and the future of work.
  • The target age group of YuWaah includes adolescent girls and boys.
  • Its key mission is to promote access to foundational, transferable and 21st century skills for youth inside and outside formal education systems, which includes defining foundational skills, life skills and flexible learning and identifying and scaling impactful delivery models.
  • YuWaah intends to create platforms to guide youth to market opportunities (career guidance, mentorship, internships, apprenticeships) and facilitate integration of career guidance in school education.
CHENNAI-KANYAKUMARI INDUSTRIAL CORRIDOR (CKIC)
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $451 million loan to strengthen power connectivity between the southern and northern parts of the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC), which is part of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC), in Tamil Nadu.
  • The project will help Tamil Nadu to meet the increasing demand for power supply from industry and commercial enterprises in the state through the transfer of power from new generation facilities, including renewable energy, in the southern CKIC to the industrial hubs in the state’s northern region.
  • The project will provide momentum to the industrial development of CKIC, which ADB has been assisting through strategic planning and investments in infrastructure while facilitating industrial investments.
  • ECEC is India’s first coastal economic corridor and stretches about 2,500 kilometers along India’s eastern coast—from Kolkata in the north to Kanyakumari in the south—traversing the four states of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu
  • ADB is the lead partner of the Government of India for developing ECEC.
SUMAN BILLA
  • Kerala cadre senior IAS officer Suman Billa will join the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
  • A 1996 batch IAS officer, he will assume charge as Director, Technical Cooperation and Silk Road Development at D1 level at UNWTO.
  • UNWTO is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
  • It is the leading international organization in the field of tourism, which promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

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