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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Feb 09, 2021

Current Affair 1:
World Sustainable Development Summit 2021

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today inaugurated World Sustainable Development Summit 2021 via video conferencing. The theme of the Summit is ‘Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all’.

About World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS)

The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is the annual flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Instituted in 2001, the Summit series has marked 20 years in its journey of making ‘sustainable development’ a globally shared goal.

Over the years, the Summit platform has brought together thought leaders, heads of state and government, scholars, corporates, youth groups, and civil society representatives from across the world. The Summit series has established itself as a responsible and an effective platform for mobilizing opinion-makers to identify and advance pioneering actions to address some of the most relevant issues concerning sustainable development.

Perhaps the only Summit on global issues, taking place in the developing world, WSDS now strives to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of global communities by assembling the world’s most enlightened leaders and thinkers on a single platform.

About TERI:

TERI is an independent, multi-dimensional organization, with expertise in research, policy, consultancy and implementation.

The institution believes that resource efficiency and waste management are the keys to smart, sustainable, and inclusive development. TERI’s work across sectors is focused on:

  1. Promoting efficient use of resources
  2. Increasing access and uptake of sustainable inputs and practices
  3. Reducing negative impact on environment and climate

Current Affair 2:
Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization Scheme

In the Union Budget 2021, Rs. 1050 crore budget has been allocated for Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) for the financial year 2021-2022.

Learn about the scheme:

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Agricultural Mechanization is one of the key drivers for sustainable development of agriculture sector which helps in increasing production by timely farm operations, reducing losses, reducing the cost of operations by ensuring better management of costly inputs. Mechanization also enhances the productivity of natural resources and reduces drudgery associated with various farm operations. Under the hash-tag #AtmaNirbharKrishi, created by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India, initiatives taken by Agriculture Mechanization and Technology Division are:      

In order to lay special emphasis towards promotion of agricultural mechanization in the country and to bring more inclusiveness, Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) had been initiated since April 2014. In the year 2020-21, budget of Rs. 1033 crores have been provided for the scheme, out of which Rs. 553 crores have been released to the State Governments.

 

The Scheme will be implemented at all the three levels: National, State and District.

 

Achievements under the scheme

Ever since the scheme was launched in 2014, Rs.4556.93 crores of funds have been released under the scheme for the States during the financial year 2014-2015 to 2020-2021. Under the scheme, around 13 lakh agricultural machines have been distributed so far. Also, 27.5 thousand Custom Hiring Institutions have been established as of now. The programs and schemes on farm mechanization have also increased the availability of the farm power per unit area. This power is used to perform various agricultural operations.

Current Affair 3:
Mission Innovation

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Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) working to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable.

MI was announced at COP21 on November 30, 2015, as world leaders came together in Paris to commit to ambitious efforts to combat climate change.

 

The goal

Accelerating clean energy innovation is essential to limiting the rise in global temperatures to well below 2?C. The global community has made remarkable progress in driving down the costs and increasing the use of key clean energy options. However, these impressive gains are still insufficient to meet our long-term climate goals while providing affordable, reliable and secure energy supplies. In support of these efforts, members launched MI in 2015 with the following goal:

“In support of economic growth, energy access and security, and an urgent and lasting global response to climate change, our mission is to accelerate the pace of clean energy innovation to achieve performance breakthroughs and cost reductions to provide widely affordable and reliable clean energy solutions that will revolutionize energy systems throughout the world over the next two decades and beyond”.

India is a member of MI:

Few initiatives by India in this direction:

Atma Nirbhar Mission: Self Reliant India:2020: The intended objective of this plan launched in 2020, is twofold, first, interim measures such as liquidity infusion and direct cash transfers for the poor and secondly long-term reforms in growth-critical sectors impacted by COVID19, to make them globally competitive & attractive and create new opportunities for growth in sectors like agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In line with National Policy on Biofuels, the Government of India revisited its Biofuel policy and has approved “Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN Yojana” for providing financial support to Integrated Bio-Ethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass & biomass & another renewable feedstock.

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020: The Government of India initiated the process of formulation of Science, Technology and Innovation policy with energy as a major pillar27.

National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage (2019) was launched by the Government of India, in 2019 to promote Clean, Connected, Shared and Holistic Mobility Initiatives & Phased Manufacturing Programmes for batteries and electric vehicle components.

As part of the SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) initiative scheme, Expression of Interest (EoI) have been requested for procurement of Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) from the entrepreneurs at an assured price. A total of 5000 CBG plants are planned in five years.

Several major initiatives have been introduced to better target the subsidies, notably through the PAHAL, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).

PAHAL, also known as the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG scheme, one of the largest direct support schemes, sends the subsidy for the LPG purchased directly to a citizen’s bank account. Key to the scheme’s success has been the Aadhaar identity system, which links subsidy payments to bank accounts, and the better targeting of subsidies directly to women, which has increased women’s financial inclusion and access to clean cooking. As of June 2019, 247 million LPG consumers have joined the PAHAL29.

Initiated by the Government of India in February 2019 (and followed by guidelines in July 2019), the KUSUM scheme aims to support farmers to replace existing diesel pumps with solar PV pumps (with both on-grid and off-grid features). The scheme aims to allow farmers to become prosumers and sell power to the DISCOMs at a predetermined price and aims to add solar and other renewable capacity of 28 GW by 2022.

The Indian Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) was launched in March 2019 by the MoEFCC. The ICAP provides a 20- year perspective and outlines actions needed to provide access to sustainable cooling. India is the first country in the world to have a Cooling Action Plan.

 

Current Affair 4:
Scientists find geological evidence of eastern Himalaya earthquake recorded in history

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Scientists have found the first geological evidence of an earthquake at Himebasti Village on the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, documented by historians as Sadiya earthquake in history, which is recorded to have caused massive destruction in the region and almost destroyed the town in 1697 CE.

This finding could contribute to a seismic hazard map of the eastern Himalaya, which can facilitate construction and planning in the region.

  1. Historical archives refer to often recurring earthquakes along the Eastern Himalaya for which geological evidence is lacking, raising the question of whether these events ruptured the surface or remained blind and how they contribute to the seismic budget of the region, which is home to millions of inhabitants.
  2. Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), a research institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, carried out a mega trench excavation at Himebasti village, Arunachal Pradesh, India, where the most recent event records the imprints of the 1697 Sadiya earthquake and analyzed it with modern geological techniques.
  3. They found the first geological surface rupture signatures in the form of exposed deposits associated with rivers and streams deformed by a thrust fault along a Northeast dipping fault zone. In order to constrain the causative faulting event at this site, the team dated twenty-one radiocarbon samples from the trench exposure.
  4. They also found large tree trunks embedded in the youngest flood deposits at the exit of the Subansiri River (Sadiya town is located roughly 145 km southeast of Subansiri river), suggesting the post-seismic aggradation of the river following an array of aftershocks till six months in an abortive fashion.  This work has been recently published in the journal ‘Scientific Report’.
  5. The study of the earthquake at Sadiya standing on a grassy plain, almost surrounded by forested Eastern Himalayas on the right bank of Lohit River, adds an important site to the seismic hazard assessment of the eastern Himalaya, which will benefit the inhabitants and help in providing better infrastructure across the Eastern Himalayan foothills which is one of the most densely populated regions in the world.

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