30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020

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IASbhai Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2020-21 is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS 2021.

“I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” – Vincent van Gogh

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis | Prelims & Mains 2021

Environment ministry relaxed NOx norms

      HEADLINES:

Environment ministry relaxed NOx norms; but did it need to?

      WHY IN NEWS:

Hindalco has demonstrated that it is feasible to achieve the limits that were watered down

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Air Pollution

      ISSUE: 

The Union Ministry of Environment relaxed NOx emission norms October 19, 2020 to 450 mg / Nm3, from 300 mg / Nm3, for power stations commissioned between 2003 and 2015.

CONTROLLED EMISSIONS

  • The NOx emissions of this coal-fired boiler are for the first time cut down by 60 per cent without use of any reagents like ammonia / urea etc.

Adopting primary methods to reduce emission with minimum need for new equipment, no auxiliary power consumption, no by-products for disposal.

  • The relaxations were brought about as the power sector strongly lobbied watering down the norms, alleging it was not possible to meet the 300 mg / Nm3 standard at all loads.
  • The power plants have consistently lobbied for relaxation of NOx emission norms.

NOx – A NEW GENERATION CHALLENGE

  • Oxides of nitrogen are a criteria pollutant emitted on burning coal.
  • It is harmful. In addition, it also triggers the formation of ground level ozone .
  • It leads to secondary particulate matter worsening health risks and needs to be controlled.
  • Coal-based power plants, besides the transport sector, are a major source of this pollutant.
  • There were no limits placed to control emissions of NOx from power plants before 2015.

The MoEF&CC introduced limits of 300 mg / Nm3.However, industry stiffly resisted the limit.

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) provided assurance to the committee that “A NOx emission level of 450 mg / Nm3 can be achieved by combustion modification.
  • To meet emissions below it would mean installation of slightly expensive pollution control equipment like selective non-catalytic reactors (SNCR) will be required.

ALTERNATIVES

  • Hindalco have met the norms just through primary control methods, with least investments.

Altering the air-fuel mixture, at various heights in the furnace are different primary methods to control oxides of nitrogen in power plants.

  • Alternative methods to controlling NOx like SNCR, on the other hand, require pipes, tanks and reagents, making the process more expensive.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Experts have questioned the failure of large companies like GE and BHEL to assure such low emissionby primary control methods.

NTPC has submitted to the SC that a standard of 100 mg / Nm3 on new power plants is unachievable due to technical incompatibility.

  • No decision has been taken over this yet.
     SOURCES:DOWNTOEARTH | 30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

0.85 million viruses in birds and mammals

      HEADLINES:

0.85 million viruses in birds and mammals can infect people: IPBES paper

      WHY IN NEWS:

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), in an extraordinary research paper.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Diseases

      ISSUE: 

Land use change is prime trigger for COVID-19 pandemic and responsible for 30 per cent of new diseases since 1960, it adds

30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Exotic reptiles being sold in Myanmar. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Exotic reptiles being sold in Myanmar.

IPBES REPORT

KEYPOINTS

The report’s said- that the cost to reduce the risks of future pandemics would be at least 100 times less than the cost to deal with these pandemics.

  • The IPBES report has been authored by 22 experts from across the world.
  • The researchers have warned that pandemics like novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) would hit us more frequently and also kill more than the current one.
  • The report has analysed the contribution of human-induced environmental damages in the emergence of new diseases.
  • Although COVID-19 has its origins in microbes carried by animals, like all pandemics, its emergence has been entirely driven by human activities.
  • We are yet to identify some 1.7 million viruses that exist in mammals and birds.
  • Out of these, 50 per cent have the potential or ability to infect humans.

PATH TO PANDEMICS

  • The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment.
  • Changes in the way we use land; the expansion and intensification of agriculture are early signs.

The unsustainable trade, production and consumption disrupt nature and increase contact between wildlife, livestock, pathogens and people.

  • The current pandemic would have cost around $16 trillion globally by July 2020.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • We have the increasing ability to prevent pandemics — but the way we are tackling them right now largely ignores that ability.

Our approach has effectively stagnated — we still rely on attempts to contain and control diseases after they emerge, through vaccines and therapeutics.

  • We can escape the era of pandemics, but this requires a much greater focus on prevention in addition to reaction.
  • The international community knows how costly infectious disease outbreaks are.
     SOURCES:DOWNTOEARTH | 30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Fit India Walkathon

      HEADLINES:

Union Sports Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju and actor Vidyut Jammwal to flag off 200-km long ‘Fit India Walkathon’ with ITBP

      WHY IN NEWS:

Union Sports Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, along with actor Vidyut Jammwal will flag off a 200-km long ‘Fit India Walkathon’ on October 31 .

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Sports : Health

      CONTEXT: 

FIT INDIA WALKATHON

AIM

  • ‘Fit India Walkathon’ aims to create awareness about fit and healthy lifestyle in India.
  • It comes on the heels of recently concluded ‘Fit India Freedom Run’ that saw the participation of over 6.5 crore people across India.

ORGANISERS

  • The event is being organised by Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) .

TIMELINE

  • The event will go on for 3 days (31st October – 2nd November) .

THE MAIN EVENT

Jawans and personnel of various central armed police forces (CAPFs) will participate and march for over 200-km.

  • The walkathon march will continue day and night and will also pass through the dunes of the Thar desert in the area located along the India-Pakistan border.
  • To take the Fit India Movement to every corner of the country is a key initiative of the Sports Ministry.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

It was the clarion call of our PM to make the Fit India Movement a People’s Movement.

     SOURCES: PIB | 30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Lowest core sector shrinking since March

      HEADLINES:

Lowest core sector shrinking since March

      WHY IN NEWS:

India’s eight core industry sectors shrank just 0.8% in September on a year-on-year basis, recording their lowest contraction since March 2020

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Commerce and Industry
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: IIP

      ISSUE: 

Rise in steel, electricity, coal output

30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

COMPILED BY

  • The Office of the Economic Adviser in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, which compiles the Index of Eight Core Industries.

OBSERVATIONS

  • Electricity and steel output clocking positive growth for the first time since March, and coal production rising for the second month in a row.

Surprisingly, fertilizer production which had grown consistently from May to August, marginally contracted in September by 0.3%.

  • Cement output improved in September, recording a 3.5% year-on-year drop — the lowest since March when production had collapsed 25.1%.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • “The final growth rate of Index of Eight Core Industries for June 2020 is revised to (-) 12.4%.
  • Earlier, output was estimated to have declined by 15% in June.
  • Similarly, August had recorded a 8.5% dip in the index as per earlier estimates, which has been moderated to a 7.3% decline.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR Ordinance 2020

      HEADLINES:

Centre sets up commission to tackle NCR pollution

      WHY IN NEWS:

22-year-old EPCA dissolved

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Pollution

      ISSUE: 

New body brought in through ordinance, awaits formal perusal by SC

COMMISSION FOR AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT

ENVIRONMENT POLLUTION (PREVENTION AND CONTROL) AUTHORITY (EPCA)

  • It was not a statutory body but drew legitimacy from the Supreme Court.
  • It has been looking at cases of air pollution as part of the judgment in M C Mehta vs Union of India (1988).
  • The EPCA was not, however, supported by a legal framework in the form of a law.

It did have the authority to issue fines or directions and guidelines to the governments in other states.

  • It had no state representatives, just two permanent members.
  • The Commission, on the other hand, will have representation from the state.

ROLE OF THE COMMISSION

  • The ordinance makes it clear that state as well as central bodies will not have jurisdiction over matters related to air pollution.

The panel will have at least six permanent members .

  • It will be headed by a former or incumbent Secretary to the Central government, or a Chief Secretary to a State government.

FOCUS

  • Coordination between states
  • Planning and execution of policy and interventions
  • Operations of industry and inspections
  • Research into the causes of pollution etc.
  • Experts say the ordinance means that the power to issue fines may also lie with the new Commission.

HOW DOES IT HELP?

  • Experts say the move doesn’t automatically guarantee action on the ground.

By forming a new commission, the government has taken the issue of air pollution out of the purview of the judiciary.

  • “The central government has got itself out of the clutch of Supreme Court and closed down SC-appointed EPCA.
  • New law is needed when the old one fails.
  • They have not even tried implementing old laws.
  • As per the Ordinance, only NGT, and not civil courts, is authorised to hear cases where the commission is involved.

CHALLENGES

  • According to the Ordinance, the committee has been formed to do away with “ad-hoc measures” and to replace them to “streamline participation” from states and experts.
  • The Commission has a large number of members from the central government, which has not gone down well with the states.

It is full of officials from the central government. States may not get a say with just one member each.

  • Taking away any say from the state government is not the way to go further.
  • Also, political differences will also now play a part in the functioning of the Commission because states are not happy with the overarching powers being vested in it.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

In case the directions issued by a state and the Commission clash, the decision of the Commission will be implemented.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

‘Green Delhi’ application

      HEADLINES:

CM launches app for registration of pollution-related complaints

      WHY IN NEWS:

Rai says they have already received 228 complaints on the ‘Green Delhi’ application

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Pollution

      ISSUE: 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday launched an app — Green Delhi.

INITIATIVE

  • It  will involve citizen participation and ensure timely action in the government’s fight against pollution.
  • The app enables citizens to register complaints, report pollution sources and violations of anti-pollution norms.

The aim is to enable every citizen to participate in our ‘Yuddh, Pradushan Ke Viruddh’ campaign.

RESOLVING ISSUES

  • Around 12 coordinators have been assigned to the green war room .
  • Coordinators will check every complaint and overlook the resolution of all the complaints as per the timeline, especially a specified timeline of 48 hours.
  • If the complaints are not resolved within 48 hours, they will coordinate with the senior officials of the departments and work to resolve the complaints

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“For the monitoring of the complaints, government has deploying 70 Green Marshals.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

Typhoon ‘Molave’

      HEADLINES:

Strong typhoon ‘Molave’ slams Vietnam, at least 2 dead, 26 missing

      WHY IN NEWS:

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered provincial authorities to prepare to move up to 1.3 million people in regions lying on the typhoon’s path.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 1 :Geography

      ISSUE: 

Typhoon Molave slammed into Vietnam with destructive force Wednesday, causing at least two deaths

TYPHOON MOLAVE

  • Winds of up to 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour killed a man by knocking him off his roof as he was trying to reinforce it in south-central Quang Ngai province.
  • At least 40,000 people have been evacuated to emergency shelters farther inland from coastal villages.
  • Provincial authorities shut down offices, factories and schools and asked people to remain indoors to prevent casualties.

TYPHOON MOLAVE

TYPHOONS

Typhoons are a kind of storm. The storms, depending on where they occur, may be called hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones.

  • TYPHOONS : In the China Sea and Pacific Ocean.
  • HURRICANES : In the West Indian islands in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
  • TORNADOS : In the Guinea lands of West Africa and southern USA.
  • WILLY-WILLIES : In north-western Australia and
  • TROPICAL CYCLONES : In the Indian Ocean Region.

The scientific name for all these kinds of storms is tropical cyclones.

  • Tropical cyclones are intense circular storms that originate over the warm tropical oceans with speed more than 119 kilometres per hour and heavy rains.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Vietnam is still recovering from severe flooding and landslides that killed 136 people and left dozens missing in three provinces.
  • The typhoon left at least nine people dead in the Philippines before blowing toward Vietnam.
  • Most of the thousands who took shelter during the storm have returned home, leaving those whose homes were destroyed remaining in evacuation camps.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | 30th Oct Current Affairs News Analysis

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