- Ordinances to boost rural India and agriculture
- Urban Forest scheme to develop 200 ‘Nagar Van’
- Aerosol characterization and radiative effects in Himalayas
- International Yoga Day 2020
- Favourable conditions for Southwest Monsoon
- MoHUA advisories on Effective Waste Management
Focus: GS-II Social Justice GS-III Agriculture
Why in news?
The President of India has promulgated the following Ordinances with the aim of giving a boost to rural India for farmers engaged in agriculture and allied activities;
- The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020
- The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020
The Prevalent System
Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing (APLM) Act 2017, and the Model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Contract Farming Act of 2018, are drafted and circulated by Central Government for adoption by the states.
Why are the ordinances required?
- There is a need for the farmer to sell agriculture produce at a place of his choice at a better price by increasing the number of prospective buyers.
- There is a need a national legal facilitative ecosystem to improve intra-state and interstate trade of agriculture produce.
- A facilitative framework is also necessary for farming agreements.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Ordinance 2020
- This Ordinance will provide for the creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders enjoy the freedom of choice relating to sale and purchase of farmers’ produce which facilitates remunerative prices through competitive alternative trading channels.
- It will promote efficient, transparent and barrier-free inter–State and intra-State trade and commerce of farmers’ produce outside the physical premises of markets or deemed markets notified under various State agricultural produce market legislations.
- It will also provide a facilitative framework for electronic trading and matters connected with it.
The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance 2020
- This ordinance will provide for a national framework on farming agreements that protects and empowers farmers to engage with agri- business firms, processors, wholesalers, exporters or large retailers for farm services and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner and for related matters.
Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (promotion and facilitation) Act, 2017 (APLMA, 2017
- The model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017 was presented in 2017 seeking to replace APMC act 2003.
- It is seen as a major agriculture marketing reform to help farmers directly connect with the different buyers and enable them to discover optimum price for their commodities.
- The purpose is to create a single agriculture market with a single license wherein agriculture produce as well as livestock could be traded.
- Only some States have adopted the APLMA Act fully, hence, lack of coverage is one of the main hindrances in addressing the issues of agri marketing.
Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology, Prelims
Why in news?
On World Environment Day, on June 2020 the government announced implementation of the Nagar van scheme to develop 200 Urban Forests across the country in next five years.
Success Story: Warje Urban Forest in Pune
- The initiatives of people of Pune along with Forest Department and local body has converted 16.8 ha of a barren hill into green forests.
- Warje Urban Forest project is now helping maintain ecological balance, serving both environmental and social needs.
Useful point: India has only 2.5 % of the world’s landmass, within which reside 16% of the worlds human population having less than 5% of fresh water sources. And yet, India has 8% of world’s biodiversity.
India also hosts 4 of the 35 global bio-diversity hotspots containing several endemic species.
What is a Nagar Van?
- A Nagar Van is a forested area lying in vicinity of cities which is accessible to the city dwellers and is suitably managed.
- These city forests provide wholesome natural environment for recreation, conservation education, biodiversity conservation and supported services like water and soil conservation, pollution abatement, reduction of heat islands effect of the city.
Nagar Van Scheme
- The Nagar Van Scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC).
- The aim of the scheme is to create/ develop at least one “City Forest” in each City having Municipal Corporation/ Class I Cities for providing wholesome healthy living environment, and contributing to growth of Smart, Clean, Green, Sustainable and Healthy Cities.
Other Objectives include:
- To create awareness on plants and biodiversity.
- Conservation education on important flora and fauna of the region including threat perception.
- Ecological rejuvenation of the cities
- In-situ Biodiversity conservation
- Making cities climate resilient
- Health benefits to citizens
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims
Why in news?
Researchers have found that aerosol radiative forcing larger than the global averages, implying some amount of radiative effects, in spite of the clean atmosphere over the trans-Himalayas.
- The research paper found that monthly-mean atmospheric radiative forcing of aerosols leads to increasing heat rates and Temperature over the Ladakh region is increasing over the 3 decades 1990-2020.
- Impact of aerosls still remains one of the major uncertainties in the climate change assessment.
What is Aerosol?
- An aerosol is a colloid of fine solid particles or liquid droplets, in air or another gas.
- In simple terms, Aerosols are minute particles suspended in the atmosphere.
- Aerosols can be natural (fog, forest exudates and geyser steam) or artificial (haze, dust, particulate air pollutants and smoke). The bulk of aerosols—about 90% by mass—have natural origins.
- Aerosols also can act as sites for chemical reactions to take place (heterogeneous chemistry).
- Aerosols interact both directly and indirectly with the Earth’s radiation budget and climate.
Can we see Aerosols?
- When the suspended particles in aerosols are sufficiently large, we notice their presence as they scatter and absorb sunlight.
- Their scattering of sunlight can reduce visibility (haze) and redden sunrises and sunsets.
Direct effects of Aerosols
As a direct effect most aerosols reflect sunlight and some also absorb it. Aerosols can, hence, alter the reflectivity, or albedo, of the planet. They are also likely to hasten the melting of ice in the Arctic.
Different Aerosols and their effects:
- Pure sulfates and nitrates reflect nearly all radiation they encounter, cooling the atmosphere.
- Black carbon absorbs radiation readily, warming the atmosphere but also shading the surface.
- Brown carbon or organic matter has a warming influence on the atmosphere.
- Salt particles tend to reflect all the sunlight they encounter.
Indirect effects of Aerosols
- As an indirect effect, aerosols in the lower atmosphere can modify the size of cloud particles, changing how the clouds reflect and absorb sunlight.
- Aerosols also can act as sites for chemical reactions to take place: the most significant amongst them are the ones that lead to the destruction of stratospheric ozone.
- Indirectly aerosols typically work in opposition to greenhouse gases and cause cooling.
Focus: GS-I Art and Culture, Prelims
Why in news?
Due to the COVID-19 Lockdown International Yoga Day 2020 is set to go digital internationally.
International Yoga Day
- International Yoga Day is observed on June 21 of every year since the United Nations declared it in 2015.
- Yoga is inscribed in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of India.
- The day of 21st June was suggested by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the UN because it is the longest day of the year (Summer Solstice).
- International Yoga Day aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
- Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India.
Additional Note: Summer Solstice
In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs on June 21 with the longest period of daylight. The Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun and the rays of the sun fall directly on the Tropic of Cancer.
Focus: GS-I Geography
Why in news?
Conditions are becoming favourable for further advancement of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of Central Arabian Sea.
- Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.
- Usually, the term monsoon is used to refer to the rainy phase of a seasonally changing pattern, although technically there is also a dry phase.
- The term is sometimes incorrectly used for locally heavy but short-term rains.
- India’s geography and geology are climatically pivotal: the Thar Desert in the northwest and the Himalayas in the north work in tandem to create a culturally and economically important monsoonal regime.
- As in much of the tropics, monsoonal and other weather patterns in India can be wildly unstable: epochal droughts, floods, cyclones, and other natural disasters are sporadic, but have displaced or ended millions of human lives.
Formation of Southwest monsoon rains
- The Thar Desert and adjoining areas of the northern and central Indian subcontinent heat up considerably during the hot summers.
- This causes a low-pressure area over the northern and central Indian subcontinent.
- To fill this void, the moisture-laden winds from the Indian Ocean rush into the subcontinent.
- These winds, rich in moisture, are drawn towards the Himalayas.
- The Himalayas act like a high wall, blocking the winds from passing into Central Asia, and forcing them to rise.
- As the clouds rise, their temperature drops, and precipitation occurs.
Branches of Southwest monsoon winds
The moisture-laden winds on reaching the southernmost point of the Indian Peninsula, due to its topography, become divided into two parts: the Arabian Sea Branch and the Bay of Bengal Branch.
1. The Arabian Sea Branch of the Southwest Monsoon first hits the Western Ghats of the coastal state of Kerala.
This makes Kerala the first state in India to receive rain from the Southwest Monsoon.
2. The Bay of Bengal Branch of Southwest Monsoon flows over the Bay of Bengal heading towards North-East India and Bengal, picking up more moisture from the Bay of Bengal.
The winds arrive at the Eastern Himalayas with large amounts of rain.
This makes Meghalaya one of the wettest places on Earth.
Southwest Monsoon season
- The period June to September is referred to as the ‘Southwest Monsoon’ period which is the principal rainy season for the Indian subcontinent.
- The whole country receives nearly 75% of its rainfall during this period.
- The total annual rainfall is maximum over the southernmost part of the state.
Note: Tamil Nadu is considered as a rain shadow region as it lies on the eastern (leaward side) side of western ghats.
Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology
Why in news?
Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched a series of advisories under the title ‘Saving Biodiversity through Effective Waste Management’.
The three key advisories released included:
- Advisory on Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
- Advisory on Landfill Reclamation
- Consultative Document (draft) on On-site and Off-site Sewage Management Practices
The Ministry also released a toolkit for a communication campaign on faecal sludge management titled‘Malasur- The Demon of Defeca’ which aims to heighten the risk perception of faecal sludge.
Success of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U)
- SBM-U was launched with a twin objective of making urban India Open defecation Free along with 100% scientific solid waste management.
- Almost all urban India is now Open-Defecation-Free (ODF).
- Scientific processing of solid waste, which stood at less than 20% at the start of the Mission in 2014, has more than tripled and now stands at 65%.