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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2021

Dec 03, 2021

Current Affair 1:
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Authority

You will read the entire paragraph.

In order to provide for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants it has been considered necessary to recognize and protect the rights of the farmers in respect of their contribution made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of the new plant varieties.

For the purposes of this Act, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority has been established.

What is the meaning of protection of plant varieties?

The protection on the variety means no one can sell, export, import or produce the seed or propagating materials of such protected (registered) plant variety without the registered breeder’s (owner’s) permission.

Members: you don’t need complete list of members. Just see IF Union Minister is chairperson or not. NO, he is not.

Current Affair 2:
Committee on Governance Assurances

The “Committee on Governance Assurances” is constituted by both the “Lok Sabha” & the “Rajya Sabha” to ensure that the assurances made by the government are implemented in a reasonable timeframe.

Data indicates that while the share of pending assurances has reduced over a period, some long-pending assurances are still a cause for concern.

Around 60 % of the assurances made so far in the Current Lok Sabha are pending

As of 01 December 2021, a total of 1617 assurances are made in the current i.e., 17th Lok Sabha. Out of these, 606 assurances are fully implemented, while one assurance is partially implemented. A further 40 assurances were dropped. Around 60% of these assurances made i.e., 970 assurances are still pending.

                                                                                                      

61% of the assurances made in Rajya Sabha during the current Lok Sabha are pending

 

Current Affair 3:
Why Hydrogen is hyped as a good fuel for energy transition?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, which is probably why it deserves pole position on the periodic table. It’s a colourless, odourless and non-toxic gas that consists of a single proton and a single electron. It’s also highly combustible. Each kilogram of hydrogen or H2 contains about 2.4-times as much energy as natural gas.

It is. Industry has long been in on the benefits and has been using hydrogen for decades in the petrochemicals sector – mainly for oil refining, producing ammonia for fertilisers, and in the production of methanol and steel.

But it has also been touted as a means of speeding up our transition to clean energy. Even the European Commission has described hydrogen as “the missing part of the puzzle to a fully decarbonised economy”.

What’s so good about it?

It’s a clean, versatile fuel that doesn’t produce any direct greenhouse gas emissions – all it takes to release the energy is oxygen, and the only by-product is water.

It could potentially help some polluting sectors slash their CO2 emissions. Think heavy-duty transport or buildings, where hydrogen could be blended into existing natural gas networks for heating. But it could also be used to store renewable energy in the power sector and replace fossil fuels in chemicals and fuel production.

Let’s not get carried away.

Thing is, hydrogen doesn’t exist on this planet in its pure form. It’s great stuff once you can get your hands on it, but unlike fossil fuels, it’s not just lying around waiting to be dragged from some ancient slumber. In fact, separating it from other substances so we can store and use it requires time and energy. Which also equates to money.

The hydrogen catch is how it’s made.

The most common form of H2 used today has been labelled gray hydrogen. Every ton of the gray variety comes with a footprint of about 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions because the production process – also known as steam methane reforming or SMR – relies on gas or fossil fuels.

Blue hydrogen sounds a lot cleaner. But that’s just colour trickery because it is, in fact, also produced with methane. The only seemingly redeeming feature is that the CO2 emissions from the production process are captured and stored underground.

Pink hydrogen, which has a 1980s ring to it, relies on nuclear power. So, while it might work in some countries where nuclear is big, it’s not a global solution. It’s also not pink.

Other versions include brown, black, yellow, turquoise and green hydrogen.

To cut to the chase, the only one that makes any real sense in terms of reducing our carbon footprint, is green. That’s because green hydrogen is made via electrolysis (splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen) with the help of renewable energy. This means zero CO2 emissions and no mess to clear up. And it wouldn’t harm global water supplies either.

That said, it currently makes up less than 1% of global hydrogen production.

 

Current Affair 4:
Oil Palm Plan Should Avoid ‘Catastrophic Mistakes’

More than 100 scientists and conservationists wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office today, urging that the Centre’s newly-launched National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP), which aims to increase the extent of area under oil palm cultivation in India.

We are concerned that such a large expanse of new oil palm plantations in the next ten years might replace and therefore come at the cost of natural and semi-natural habitats,” they wrote in the letter. Apart from habitat fragmentation, which could potentially increase human-wildlife conflict, it could also impact the crucial ecosystem services that these forests provide to people in these landscapes.

 

What more?

Introduction:

According to estimates, India is the world’s largest consumer and importer of palm oil. To ease the country’s dependence on imports, the Union cabinet approved the implementation of National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) in August this year.

The mission will focus on increasing the area under and productivity of oilseeds and oil palm with a special focus on the north east and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It has an outlay of Rs 11,040 crore. Of this, the Centre will contribute Rs 8,844 crore; the rest will come from the respective states, according to a government press release.

Currently, 3.7 lakh hectares is under oil palm cultivation in India. MNEO-OP will enable bringing an additional area of 6.5 lakh hectares under oil palm by 2026, and a further 6.7 lakh hectares by 2030.

About National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)

It a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme with a special focus on the North east region and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.  Due to the heavy dependence on imports for edible oils, it is important to make efforts for increasing the domestic production of edible oils in which increasing area and productivity of oil palm plays an important part.

There are two major focus areas of the Scheme.

  1. The oil palm farmers produce Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) from which oil is extracted by the industry. Presently the prices of these FFBs are linked to the international Crude Palm Oil (CPO) prices fluctuations.  For the first time, the Government of India will give a price assurance to the oil palm farmers for the FFBs. This will be known as the Viability Price (VP).
  2. The second major focus of the scheme is to  substantially increase the assistance of inputs/interventions.  A substantial increase has been made for planting material for oil palm and this has increased from Rs 12,000 per ha to  Rs.29000 per ha. Further substantial increase has been made for  maintenance and inter-cropping interventions. A special assistance @ Rs 250 per plant is being given to replant old gardens for rejuvenation of old gardens.

Current Affair 5:
Different forms of Nitrogen

Just see the chart:

 

 

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