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Current Affairs 11 December 2020 for UPSC Exam

Contents

  1. Emissions Gap Report 2020
  2. CEEW study on extreme weather events
  3. Partners in Population and Development (PPD)
  4. Rise in AI adoption in India
  5. Maoist threat stalling key roadworks

EMISSIONS GAP REPORT 2020

Focus: GS-II Governance and Polity

Why in news?

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its annual Emissions Gap Report 2020.

Highlights of the Emissions Gap Report 2020.

Record high GHG emissions-

  • Global GHG emissions continued to grow for the third consecutive year in 2019, reaching a record high of 52.4 Gigatonne carbon equivalent (GtCO2e).

Record carbon emission-

  • Fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (from fossil fuels and carbonates) dominate total GHG emissions including LUC (65 per cent) and consequently the growth in GHG emissions.
  • Preliminary data suggest that fossil CO2 emissions reached a record 38.0 GtCO2 in 2019.

Forest fires increasing GHG emissions-

  • Since 2010, GHG emissions without LUC have grown at 1.3 per cent per year on average, with preliminary data suggesting a 1.1 per cent increase in 2019.

G20 countries account for bulk of emissions-

  • Over the last decade, the top four emitters (China, the United States of America, EU27+UK and India) have contributed to 55 per cent of the total GHG emissions without LUC.
  • The top seven emitters (including the Russian Federation, Japan and international transport) have contributed to 65 per cent, with G20 members accounting for 78 per cent.
  • The ranking of countries changes dramatically when considering per capita emissions.

Growth in global GHG emissions is slowing-

  • There is some indication that the growth in global GHG emissions is slowing.
  • However, GHG emissions are declining in Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies and increasing in non-OECD economies.
  • Many OECD economies have had a peak in GHG emissions, with efficiency improvements and growth in low-carbon energy sources more than offsetting the growth in economic activity.
  • Despite improving energy efficiency and increasing low-carbon sources, emissions continue to rise in countries with strong growth in energy use to meet development needs.

On consumption-based emissions-

  • There is a general tendency that rich countries have higher consumption-based emissions (emissions allocated to the country where goods are purchased and consumed, rather than where they are produced) than territorial-based emissions, as they typically have cleaner production, relatively more services and more imports of primary and secondary products
  • In the 2000s, the gap between consumption and production was growing in rich countries but stabilised following the 2007–2008 global financial crisis.
  • Even though rich countries have had higher consumption-based emissions than territorial-based emissions over the last decade, both emission types have declined at similar rates.

COVID-19 pandemic impact on the emission level-

  • CO2 emissions could decrease by about 7 per cent in 2020 (range: 2–12 per cent) compared with 2019 emission levels due to COVID-19, with a smaller drop expected in GHG emissions as non-CO2 is likely to be less affected.
  • However, atmospheric concentrations of GHGs continue to rise.
  • Studies indicate that the biggest changes have occurred in transport, as COVID-19 restrictions were targeted to limit mobility, though reductions have also occurred in other sectors.

About Emissions Gap Report

  • The UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report gives a yearly review of the difference between where greenhouse emissions are predicted to be in 2030 and where they should be to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
  • The annual report from UNEP measures the gap between anticipated emissions and levels consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming this century to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  • The UNEP is a leading global environmental authority established in 1972 and Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • It sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for global environment protection.

The UNEP Publishes:

  1. Emission Gap Report,
  2. Global Environment Outlook,
  3. Frontiers,
  4. Invest into Healthy Planet.

-Source: The Hindu


CEEW STUDY ON EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS

Focus: GS-II Governance and Polity

Why in news?

  • A Study by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) found that in the last 50 years, the frequency of flood events increased almost eight times.
  • This is the first time that extreme weather event hotspots in the country have been mapped.

Details

  • Over 75 per cent districts in India, home to more than 63.8 crore people, are hotspots of extreme climate events such as cyclones, floods, droughts, heat and cold waves.
  • Events associated with floods such as landslides, heavy rainfall, hailstorms, thunderstorms, and cloudbursts increased by over 20 times.
  • The frequency, intensity, and unpredictability of these extreme events have risen in recent decades – while India witnessed 250 extreme climate events in 35 years between 1970 and 2005, it recorded 310 such weather events in only 15 years since then.
  • The frequency of floods surged significantly in the last two decades, it was found. – In 2019 alone, India witnessed 16 extreme flood events, which affected 151 districts. The study found that over 9.7 crore people are currently exposed to extreme floods in India.
  • Six of India’s eight most flood-prone districts in the last decade—Barpeta, Darrang, Dhemaji, Goalpara, Golaghat, Sivasagar—are in Assam.
  • India is already the fifth most vulnerable country globally in terms of extreme climate events, and it is all set to become the world’s flood capital.
  • The CEEW analysis indicates that while the number of rainy days during monsoon have decreased, single-day extreme rainfall events are increasing, leading to flooding.
  • According to the study, the yearly average of drought-affected districts increased 13 times after 2005.
  • The study also found a shift in the pattern of extreme climate events, such as flood-prone areas becoming drought-prone and vice-versa, in over 40 per cent of Indian districts.

-Source: The Hindu


PARTNERS IN POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (PPD)

Focus: GS-II Governance and Polity

Why in news?

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare digitally addressed the Inter-Ministerial Conference by Partners in Population and Development (PPD), a conference on South-South Cooperation in Population and Development.
  • Exchanging knowledge, skills, and technical expertise through South-South Cooperation has proven to be effective in addressing development challenges in member countries.
  • It was highlighted that India is steadfast in its reaffirmation of the commitments made at the Nairobi Summit, to work towards ending all maternal deaths, fulfilling unmet needs for family planning, reducing gender-based violence and ending harmful practices against women and girls.

Partners in Population and Development (PPD)

  • Partners in Population and Development (PPD) is an intergovernmental initiative created specifically for the purpose of expanding and improving South-South Cooperation in the fields of reproductive health, population, and development.
  • PPD was launched at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), when ten developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America formed an intergovernmental alliance to help implement the Cairo Program of Action (POA).
  • The POA, endorsed by 179 nations, stresses the need to establish mechanisms to promote development through the sharing of experiences in reproductive health (RH) and family planning (FP) within and among countries.
  • India is a member along with 27 developing countries.

Nairobi Summit

  • In November 2019, the Nairobi Summit, also known as ICPD+25, was held in Nairobi, Kenya, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ICPD (held in Cairo in 1994).
  • The UNFPA and the Government of Kenya hosted the Nairobi Summit, which brought together governments, UN agencies, private sector organizations, women’s groups and youth networks to discuss and agree on initiatives to further advance the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.
  • Three Zeros by 2030: Pledges were announced to achieve zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

-Source: The Hindu


RISE IN AI ADOPTION IN INDIA

Focus: GS-II Governance and Polity

Why in news?

  • As per a report by PwC (a global network of firms), India reported a 45% increase in the use of Artificial Intelligence, the highest among all countries, following the outbreak of the virus.
  • The report attributes the growing AI adoption to the shift in buying behaviour and new business challenges (owing to Covid-19 pandemic).
  • The USA recorded a 35% rise, the UK 23% and Japan 28% following the outbreak of the virus.
  • The sectors with highest Covid-19 led disruption adopted AI solutions in a more definitive manner. In the travel and hospitality sector, 89% firms have implemented AI in some form.

India’s Steps in relation with AI

  • India has launched National AI Strategy and National AI Portal and has also started leveraging AI across various sectors such as education, agriculture, healthcare, e-commerce, finance, telecommunications, etc.
  • Recently, India joined the ‘Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI)’ as a founding member to support the responsible and human-centric development and use of AI.

Click Here to read more about the Rise of AI Economy

-Source: The Hindu


MAOIST THREAT STALLING KEY ROADWORKS

Focus: GS-II Governance and Polity

Why in news?

With critical road projects to provide connectivity in Left Wing Extremism-affected areas often coming to a halt due to security reasons, Chhattisgarh has proposed a new plan to the Centre, suggesting that it divide the remaining contracts into small packets so that local contractors can take up the jobs.

Details

  • Ninety per cent of the Road Requirement Plan — for connectivity in hotspots of 34 districts worst-affected by Maoist insurgency in eight states — stands completed, but progress remains a problem in Chhattisgarh.
  • This, the state said, will not only speed up but also complete the remaining portions of the Centre’s Road Requirement Plan for extremism-affected areas, the progress of which has been held up mainly in Chhattisgarh.

Road Requirement Plan for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas

  • Road Requirement Plan for Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Affected Areas Scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for improving road connectivity in 34 LWE affected districts of 8 States.
  • 8 States are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.
  • This scheme envisaged construction of 5,422 km roads lengths in LWE affected States.

Left Wing Extremism (LWE)

  • Left Wing Extremism (LWE) organizations are the groups that try to bring change through violent revolution. They are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic processes at ground level.
  • These groups prevent the developmental processes in the least developed regions of the country and try to misguide the people by keeping them ignorant of current happenings.
  • Left Wing Extremists are popularly known as Maoists worldwide and as Naxalites in India.

Government Initiatives to fight LWE

  • Greyhounds was raised in 1989 as an elite anti-naxal force.
  • Operation Green Hunt was started in 2009-10 and massive deployment of security forces was done in the naxal-affected areas.
  • LWE Mobile Tower Project envisioned to improve mobile connectivity in the LWE areas, the Government in 2014, approved installation of mobile towers in LWE affected States.
  • Aspirational Districts Programme was launched in 2018, it aims to rapidly transform the districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.
  • SAMADHAN Doctrine

SAMADHAN doctrine is the one-stop solution for the LWE problem.

It encompasses the entire strategy of government from short-term policy to long-term policy formulated at different levels.

  • S- Smart Leadership,
  • Aggressive Strategy,
  • M- Motivation and Training,
  • Actionable Intelligence,
  • D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas),
  • H- Harnessing Technology,
  • Action plan for each Theatre, and
  • N- No access to Financing.

-Source: The Hindu

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