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V2C6: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE

INTRODUCTION

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aims to achieve a sustainable future, free from social, economic, and environmental inequalities and ensure a greener and healthy planet for future generations.

India’s performance in the composite SDG index has improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019. The SDG nexus approach helped India to attain these achievements. India is among the few countries in the world where the forest cover has increased considerably. The forest and tree cover has reached 80.73 million hectares which are 24.56 percent of the geographical area of the country.

The SDG India Index2019 is more comprehensive than the first edition and highlights the progress being made by the States/UTs on a wider set of 100 indicators spread across 16 goals.

  • The Index includes a qualitative assessment on the SDG goal and has a new section on profiles of States/ UTs.
  • As per the SDG Index 2019, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Goa, Sikkim, Chandigarh, and Puducherry are the front runners. None of the States/ UTs falls in the Aspirant category in 2019.
  • The composite score for India has improved from 57 in 2018 to 60 in 2019. This is due to countrywide performance in five goals where India has scored between 65 and 99. They are:
    • Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation); Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy);
    • Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure); Goal 15 (Life on Land) and
    • Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Social Institutions).
  • The goals that demand special attention are:
    • Goal 2 (Zero Hunger) and Goal 5 (Gender Equality) – where the overall country score is below 50.
  • The overall country score lies between 50 and 64, indicates the scope for improvement in the coming years.

SDG India Index

The States/UTs are ranked based on their aggregate performance across the 16 SDGs. The SDG score varies from 0 to 100. A score of 100 implies that the States/UTs have achieved the targets set for 2030. A score of 0 implies that the particular State/UT is at the bottom of the table.

States with scores:

  • Equal to/greater than 65 are considered as Front-Runners (in Green);
  • As Performers (in Yellow) in the range of 50 – 64; and
  • As Aspirants (in Red) if the score is less than 50.

SDG NEXUS APPROACH

  • The target-based approach can help reinforcement of policies and their implementation. However, this approach needs to be further explored.
  • The ‘nexus’ approach employs the principles of integrating management and governance across sectors and scales. It necessitates looking at systems instead of individual components or short-term outcomes; looking at the inter-related feedbacks from other sectors; and promoting cooperation among sectors while reducing competition for scarce resources.
  • This approach aims to achieve the balance between environmental, social, and economic boundaries while simultaneously ensuring the well-being of the people

EXAMPLES OF NEXUS IN SELECT SECTORS

Education and Electricity Nexus

  • Electricity in schools is a part of basic infrastructure requirements to provide quality education. It is observed that with electricity, the schools’ access to modern methods and techniques of teaching helps the holistic development of students and increases their attraction towards learning. It is observed that States with lower literacy rates have low electricity rates at the schools and vice-versa.
  • Globally it is observed that schools with electricity outperform the non-electrified schools in terms of staff retention, drop-outs, and other educational indicators. Health and Energy Nexus
  • Many of the health improvement schemes – providing pediatric care, new-born emergency services, and successful vaccination rely heavily on the availability of electricity at the health centers. With the growing importance of the indicators under the SDG goals, it is important that reliable electricity connections are provided at the health care centers.

CLIMATE CHANGE

India submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement on a “best effort basis” keeping in mind the developmental imperatives of the country.

In its NDC, India promised to:

  • Reduce its emission intensity of GDP by 33 to 35 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030;
  • 40 percent of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030; and
  • Increase its forest cover and additional carbon sink equivalent to 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2030.
  • The Paris Agreement is to be implemented in the post-2020 period in line with the guidelines adopted under the Paris Agreement Work Programme.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) was launched in 2014 with the twin objectives of ensuring 100% scientific solid waste management and making urban India open defecation free (ODF), to achieve total environmental improvement.

India in the year 2019 had undertaken one of the world’s largest renewable energy expansion programmes in the world by announcing 175 Gigawatt (GW) targets for renewables by 2022 and has already achieved 83 GW.

As per the Second Biennial Update Report (BUR), the emission intensity of India’s GDP has reduced by 21% over the period of 2005-2014.

INDIA’S CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES

India has decided to revise the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) launched in 2008 in line with the NDCs under the Paris Agreement to make it more comprehensive in terms of priority areas.

  • Climate Change Action Program (CCAP) of 2014is a central sector scheme that aims to build and support capacity at central and state levels, strengthening scientific and analytical capacity for climate change assessment, establishing an appropriate institutional framework and implementing climate actions.
  • The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) 2017 prescribes energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed in India to achieve a 50 percent reduction in energy use by 2030.
  • The National Biofuels Policy 2018 targets 20% blending of ethanol in petrol and 5% blending of biodiesel in a diesel by 2030.
  • National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (2015)is a Central Sector Scheme with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as the National Implementing Entity
National Missions The Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme under National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) is designed on the concept of reduction in Specific Energy Consumption. National Solar Mission aims to increase the share of solar energy in the total energy mix. The cumulative targets under the mission for Grid Connected Solar Power Projects consists of 40 GW Grid connected Rooftop projects and 60 GW large and medium size land based solar power projects. National Water Mission focuses on monitoring of ground water, aquifer mapping, capacity building, water quality monitoring and other baseline studies. National Mission for a Green India envisages a holistic view of greening and focuses on multiple ecosystem services along with carbon sequestration and emission reduction. National Mission on Sustainable Habitat is being implemented through three programmes: Atal Mission on Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), Swachh Bharat Mission, and Smart Cities Mission. National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture aims at enhancing food security and protection of resources. National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem aims to evolve suitable management and policy measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan Ecosystem. National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change seeks to build a knowledge system that would inform and support national action for ecologically sustainable development.

ALIGNING FINANCIAL SYSTEM WITH SUSTAINABILITY

  • Green bonds are debt securities issued by financial, non-financial or public entities where the proceeds are used to finance 100% green projects and assets.
  • Climate Bonds remain focused on green bonds, which are specifically linked to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. India has the second-largest emerging green bond market after China.
  • India joined the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) in October 2019. The Platform acknowledges the global nature of financial markets which has the potential to help finance the transition to a green, low carbon and climate-resilient economy by linking financing needs to the global sources of funding.

GREEN CLIMATE FUND

Under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, the intent and obligation of climate finance are unambiguous, that developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to developing countries to undertake adaptation and mitigation actions in accordance with the country’s needs and priorities.

  • In 2009, developed countries committed to a goal of mobilizing jointly US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and decided that a significant portion of such funding should flow through the GCF.
India and COP 25 COP 25 to the UNFCCC was held at Madrid, Spain under the Chilean Presidency.   The COP 25 decision, titled Chile Madrid Time for Action, emphasizes the continued challenges that developing countries face in accessing financial, technology and capacity-building support, and recognizes the urgent need to enhance the provision of support to developing country Parties for strengthening their national adaptation and mitigation efforts. The decision recalls the goal of developed countries of mobilizing jointly US$ 100 billion a year by 2020. Under the review of Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damage, the decision recognizes urgency of scaling-up of action and support, including finance, technology and capacity building, for developing countries for averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage. The decision also established the Santiago network for catalyzing technical assistance for implementation of relevant approaches in developing countries. India hosted ‘India Pavilion’ at COP-25 with the theme ‘150 years of celebrating the Mahatma’, designed to depict Mahatma Gandhi’s life and messages around sustainable living

INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE (ISA)

It is the first treaty-based inter-governmental organization headquartered in India. With 83 signatory countries, ISA creates a multi-stake holder ecosystem where sovereign nations, multilateral organizations, industry, policy makers and innovators work together to promote the common and shared goal of meeting energy demands of a secure and sustainable world.

In 2019, ISA has taken up the role of

  • An ‘enabler’ by institutionalizing 30 Fellowships from the Member countries with a premier institution (IIT Delhi) in the host country, and training 200 Master Trainers from ISA Member countries;
  • A ‘facilitator’ by getting the lines of credit from EXIM Bank of India and from Agence Francaise de Development (AfD), France.
  • An ‘incubator’ by nurturing initiatives like the Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative
  • An ‘accelerator’ by developing tools to aggregate demand for more than 1000 MW solar rooftop, 10,000 MW of Solar Mini-Grid and 270,000 solar water pumping systems.
  • The ISA’s Programme on Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture use focuses on providing greater energy access and a sustainable irrigation solution through the deployment of Solar Water Pumping Systems in member countries.
  • In the field of innovative financing instruments, the Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative, launched by the World Bank and AfD in support of the ISA, aims at supporting the development of bankable solar programs in developing countries leveraging private sector investments.

COALITION FOR DISASTER RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE

India launched the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) on the sidelines of UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019.

  • It is an international partnership of national governments, UN agencies, multilateral development banks, private sector, and knowledge institutions that will promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks, thereby ensuring sustainable development.
  • It aims to enable the achievement of objectives of expanding universal access to basic services and enabling prosperity as enshrined in the SDGs, while also working at the intersection of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Paris Climate Agreement.

INDIA AND THE UNCCD

India hosted the 14thsession of the Conference of Parties (COP 14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 2019.

  • The commemoration of World Day to Combat Desertification 2019 envisaged the release of COP 14 Logo with the Slogan “Restore Land, Sustain Future”.
  • India reiterated its support, among other actions, for enhanced South-South Cooperation that aims to share India’s experiences with cost-effective and sustainable land management strategies; and a “Global Water Action Agenda” to maximize synergies through holistic land and water management.
  • As a party to the UNCCD, India has voluntarily committed to raising its ambition of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from21 million to 26 million hectares between now and 2030.
  • COP 14 adopted the New Delhi Declaration: Investing in Land and Unlocking Opportunities. Attention was also drawn to the role of the private sector in land restoration, including through promoting sustainable value chains.

INDIA AND ITS FORESTS

India’s forest and tree cover are increasing considerably. The States/UTs showing a significant gain in forest cover are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir whereas States showing a loss in forest cover are Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram.

  • India is one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world. This is evident in the Shannon-Weiner Index for Diversity which is used for measuring species richness and abundance.
  • India State of the Forest Report 2019 assessed Shannon-Weiner Index for 16 biodiverse areas.
  • The index shows that:
    • Tropical Evergreen forest is high in Karnataka followed by Kerala.
    • Tropical moist deciduous forests cover is high in Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
    • Tropical dry deciduous forest is high in Arunachal Pradesh and semi-evergreen forests are high in Karnataka.
    • Tropical Littoral and swamp forests are high in UP and
    • Tropical thorn forests are seen widely in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Forests help to store more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem (India State of Forest Report, 2019).
  • The net change in carbon stock in India shows that net change is highest in soil organic carbon followed by Above Ground Biomass (AGB) and Deadwood.
  • Litter carbon registered negative growth rate as compared to the 2017 assessment.

AGRICULTURE RESIDUE BURNING: A MAJOR CONCERN

Open burning of crop residues in the agricultural fields has become an environmental concern in India, particularly during paddy harvesting season.

  • Varieties of surplus crop residues are burnt especially in northern states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, and Rajasthan depending on the agro-climatic region; however, about 50 percent of all crops residue burnt in the country are residues of rice crop.
  • Agricultural burning contributes significantly to PM2.5 concentrations.
  • The stubble burning incidents in the month of October and November 2019 has led to an increase in PM 2.5 and PM10 in Delhi in these months as compared to that of September 2019.

Various studies suggest ways to address this issue, which include:

  • Promote the practice of conservation of agriculture with low lingo-cellulosic crop residues like rice, wheat, maize, etc.
  • Create markets for crop residue-based briquettes and mandate nearby thermal power plants to undertake co-firing of crop residues with coal.
  • Create infrastructure for setting up biomass depots for the storage of bailed crop residues.
  • Create a special credit line for financing farm equipment and working capital for private sector participation.
  • Promote the use of crop residue-based biochar briquettes in local industries, brick kiln, and hotel/ Dhaba as an alternate fuel.
  • Pollution control as a parameter for deciding incentives and allocation to States/UTs.
  • ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’ is a central sector scheme implemented for the period from 2018- 19 to 2019-20.
  • Under this Scheme, the agricultural machines and equipment for in-situ crop residue management with 50 percent subsidy to the individual farmers and 80 percent subsidy for the establishment of Custom Hiring Centres.

CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION (C&D) WASTE: ITS IMPACT

Unscientific disposal of C&D waste is one of the key contributors to air and water pollution.

  • C&D is a key contributor to particulate matter emissions in Delhi. Therefore, investing in a circular economy driven approach in C&D waste management shall have a large payoff in terms of avoiding health and environmental damage.

WAY FORWARD

India’s National agenda mirrors the SDGs and its policies ensuring the balance among three pillars of development economic, social and environmental. SDGs can be achieved through high standards of governance, monitoring, and implementation at all levels. In the spirit of cooperative federalism, the States and the Central Government should walk together to bring a change that India needs.

In India, the Delhi PPP model in C&D waste management can be a beacon for the other states/cities to replicate, enabling the Swachch Bharat Mission and supporting the SDGs.

Questions

  1. Consider the following statements about the “Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)”:
    1. It will conduct country-specific and global activities and provide member countries with technical support and capacity development.
    2. It was launched by India on the sidelines of UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019
    Which of the above statements is/are correct?
    A. 1 only
    B. 2 only
    C. Both 1 and 2
    D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
India launched the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) on the sidelines of UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit in September 2019. This international partnership of national governments, UN agencies, multilateral development banks, private sector, and knowledge institutions will promote the resilience of new and existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks, thereby ensuring sustainable development.
Developed through consultations with more than 35 countries, CDRI envisions enabling a measurable reduction in infrastructure losses from disasters, including extreme climate events. CDRI will conduct country-specific and global activities and provide member countries technical support and capacity development, partnerships to facilitate and encourage investment in disaster-resilient infrastructure systems.

2. The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage has been established under the aegis of
(a) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(b) World Trade Organization
(c) United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
(d) World Bank

Solution: A
The Conference Of the Parties (COP) established the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (Loss and Damage Mechanism), to address loss and damage associated with impacts of climate change, including extreme events and slow onset events, in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change at COP19 (November 2013) in Warsaw, Poland. The mechanism is established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to assist developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change by: •Enhancing knowledge and understanding of comprehensive risk management approaches to address loss and damage
•Strengthening dialogue, coordination, coherence and synergies among relevant stakeholders
•Enhancing action and support, including finance, technology and capacity-building
· Hence option (a) is the correct answer.

3. In which of the following context, the ” Chile Madrid Time for Action”, is often seen in the news?
A. Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC
B. US-China trade tension
C. European Green Deal
D. None of the above

Ans. (A)
The 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC was held at Madrid, Spain under the Chilean Presidency.

The COP 25 decision, titled ‘Chile Madrid Time for Action’, emphasizes the continued challenges that developing countries face in accessing financial, technology and capacitybuilding support, and recognizes the urgent need to enhance the provision of support to developing country Parties for strengthening their national adaptation and mitigation efforts.

The decision also recalls the commitment made by developed country Parties to a goal of mobilizing jointly US$ 100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries.

On the issue of global ambition for combating climate change, the decision adopted provides for a balanced and integrated view of ambition that includes not only efforts for climate change mitigation, but also adaptation and means of implementation support from developed country parties to developing country parties.

4. Consider the following statements about the Green Climate Fund(GCF):
1. It was established within the framework of the UNFCCC.
2. In 2009, developed countries committed to a goal of mobilizing jointly US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries through the GCF.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund established within the framework of the UNFCCC as an operating entity of the Financial Mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

The GCF is based in Incheon, South Korea. In 2009, developed countries committed to a goal of mobilizing jointly US$ 100 billion a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and decided that a significant portion of such funding should flow through the GCF.

5. Consider the following statements about the ” International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF)”:
1. It is launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
2. India is also part of this initiative.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (B)
The International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) is part of the European Commission’s ongoing work to support a global transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient and sustainable economy. The members of the IPSF are the European Union and relevant authorities from Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Kenya, and Morocco.

To scale up the environmentally sustainable investments, India joined the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) in October 2019. The Platform acknowledges the global nature of financial markets which has the potential to help finance the transition to a green, low carbon and climate-resilient economy by linking financing needs to the global sources of funding.

The main objectives are exchanged and disseminate information to promote best practices in environmentally sustainable finance; compare the different initiatives and identify barriers and opportunities to help scale up environmentally sustainable finance internationally while respecting national and regional contexts.

6. With reference to the ‘Green Bonds’, consider the following statements:
1. They are issued by financial, non-financial or public entities.
2. India has the second-largest Emerging green bond market.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
A green bond is a type of fixed-income instrument that is specifically earmarked to raise money for climate and environmental projects. These bonds are typically asset-linked and backed by the issuing entity’s balance sheet, so they usually carry the same credit rating as their issuers’ other debt obligations.

Green bonds are debt securities issued by financial, non-financial or public entities where the proceeds are used to finance 100 per cent green projects and assets. India has the second-largest Emerging green bond market after China.

A number of Government agencies have contributed to issuance: Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC). In 2018, the SBI entered the market with a US$ 650 million Certified Climate Bond.

7. Consider the following statements about the “National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC)”:
1. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the National Implementing Entity (NIE) for this scheme.
2. It is funding concrete adaptation projects in agriculture, horticulture, agroforestry, environment, and other rural livelihood sectors to address climate change-related issues.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
Learning Zone:
The National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) is a Central Sector Scheme which was set up in the year 2015-16. The overall aim of NAFCC is to support concrete adaptation activities which mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

The Scheme has been taken as Central Sector Scheme with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as the National Implementing Entity. It is funding concrete adaptation projects/programmes aligned with the relevant Missions under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and the State Action on Climate Change (SAPCCs) in agriculture, horticulture, agroforestry, environment, allied activities, water, forestry, urban, coastal and low-lying system, disaster management, human health, marine system, tourism, habitat sector and other rural livelihood sectors to address climate change-related issues.

8. Consider the following statements about the ” Energy Conservation
Building Code (ECBC)”:
1. It was launched by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) in 2007.
2. This code does not apply to residential buildings.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (A)
Bureau of Energy Efficiency had launched the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) 2007 to establish minimum energy performance standards for buildings in India.

Buildings consume a significant proportion of our energy resources and the ECBC is an essential regulatory tool to curb their energy footprint.

It is also launched for the residential sector. ECBC 2017 prescribes energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in energy use by 2030 translating to energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by 2030 and peak demand reduction of over 15 GW in a year.

9. Consider the following statements about the ” Climate Change Action
Program (CCAP)”:
1. It is a central sector scheme which was launched in 2014.
2. It aims at establishing an appropriate institutional framework and implementing climate
actions.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
The “Climate Change Action Program (CCAP) was launched in 2014 which is a central sector scheme, with a total cost of ` 290 crores for five years, to build and support capacity at central and state levels, strengthening scientific and analytical capacity for climate change assessment, establishing an appropriate institutional framework and implementing climate actions.

10. Consider the following statements about the ” The Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme”:
1. It is a flagship programme of Bureau of Energy Efficiency under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE).
2. It is a regulatory instrument to reduce specific energy consumption in energy-intensive industries.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme is a flagship programme of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency under the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE). NMEEE is one of the eight national missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) launched by the Government of India in the year 2008.

PAT is a regulatory instrument to reduce specific energy consumption in energy-intensive industries, with an associated market-based mechanism to enhance the cost effectiveness through certification of excess energy saving which can be traded. The energy-intensive industries including the thermal power plants are the major players in this entire scheme of PAT. It refers to the calculation of Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) in the baseline year and projected SEC in the target year covering different forms of net energy going into the boundary of the designated consumers’ plant and the products leaving it over a particular cycle.

11. Consider the following statements about the ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’ scheme:
1. It is a Central Sector Scheme under which the agricultural machines and equipment are given to the farmers on subsidy for in-situ crop residue management.
2. Some of the funding is also provided for the ex- situ management of the crop residue.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (A)
Paddy Stubble burning is mainly practised in Indo-Gangetic plains of the States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to clear the fields for Rabi Crop sowing. In 2018, a new Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for

In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’ has been launched with the total outgo from the Central funds of Rs. 1151.80 crore.

Under this Scheme, the agricultural machines and equipment for in-situ crop residue management such as Super Straw Management System for Combine Harvesters, Happy Seeders, Hydraulically Reversible MB Plough, Paddy Straw Chopper, Mulcher, Rotary Slasher, Zero Till Seed Drill and Rotavators are provided with 50 per cent subsidy to the individual farmers and 80 per cent subsidy for the establishment of Custom Hiring Centres.

12. In the context of the distribution forest area across the world, consider the following statements:
1. India accounts for 2 per cent of the total global forest area in 2015.
2. Percentage-wise, Brazil accounts for more global forest area than the United States.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
India accounts for 2 per cent of the total global forest area in 2015 as per the Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) by FAO. Brazil and the USA account for 12% and 8 % of the Global Forest area respectively.

13. With reference to the Economic Survey 2019-12, consider the following statements:
1. The forest and tree cover constitute 24.56 per cent of the geographical area of the country.
2. Out of the total forest area, the maximum area is comprised of the moderately dense forest area.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (C)
India is among a few countries in the world where forest and tree cover have increased considerably. The forest and tree cover has reached 80.73 million hectares which are 24.56 per cent of the geographical area of the country.

In terms of canopy density classes, the area covered by Very Dense Forest (VDF) is 99,278 sq. km (3.02 per cent), Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) is 3,08,472 sq. km (9.39 per cent) and Open Forest (OF) is 3,04,499 sq. Km (9.26 per cent)

14. Shannon Weiner Index is seen in the news sometimes. In which of the following context is it used?
A. Biodiversity
B. Forest density
C. Climate adaptability
D. Sustainability

Ans. (A)
A “Shanon Weiner Diversity Index” is a quantitative measure that reflects how many different types (such as species) there are in a dataset (a community) and that can simultaneously take into account the phylogenetic relations among the individuals distributed among those types, such as richness, divergence or evenness.

The Shannon diversity index value ranges between 0 and 1. The lower values indicate more diversity while higher values indicate less diversity.

15. With reference to the forest diversity in India, consider the following statements:
1. Tropical Littoral and swamp forests are high in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
2. Tropical thorn forests are seen widely in Rajasthan.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both 1 and 2
D. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans. (A)
The Shannon-Weiner Index for Diversity shows that Tropical Evergreen forest is high in Karnataka followed by Kerala. Tropical moist deciduous forests cover is high in Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Tropical dry deciduous forest is high in Arunachal Pradesh and the semi-evergreen forest is high in Karnataka.

Tropical Littoral and swamp forests are high in UP and tropical thorn forests are seen widely in Andhra Pradesh.

16. The SDG India Index released by the NITI Aayog categorises the States/UTs into FrontRunners, Performers and Aspirants categories based on their score. With reference to the index, consider the following statements:
1. The higher the score of a State/UT, the farther away it is from achieving the SDG targets.
2. The 2019 Index places Gujarat and Maharashtra in the front runner’s category.
3. None of the States/ UTs fall in the Aspirant category in 2019.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 2 only
(d) 1 and 3 only

Solution: B
NITI Aayog, in Dec 2019, released the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which comprehensively documents the progress made by India‘s States and Union Territories towards achieving the 2030 SDG targets.
•The SDG India Index 2019 is more robust than the first edition on account of wider coverage of goals, targets, and indicators with greater alignment with the MoSPI‘s National Indicator Framework (NIF). The Index spans 16 out of 17 SDGs with a qualitative assessment on Goal 17. This marks an improvement over the 2018 Index, which covered only 13 goals.
•A composite score was computed in the range of 0–100 for each State/UT based on its aggregate performance across 16 SDGs, indicating the average performance of every State/UT towards achieving 16 SDGs and their respective targets. If a State/UT achieves a score of 100, it signifies it has achieved the 2030 national targets. The higher the score of a State/UT, the closer it is towards achieving the targets.
•Classification criteria based on SDG India Index score is as follows:
o Aspirant: 0–49
o Performer: 50–64
o Front Runner: 65–99
o Achiever: 100
As per the SDG Index 2019, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Goa, Sikkim, Chandigarh and Puducherry are the front runners (Gujarat and Maharashtra are the Performers). •It is noteworthy that none of the States/ UTs fall in the Aspirant category in 2019.

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December 2022
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