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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS ANALYSIS

02nd November 2021

S. No.Topic NamePrelims/Mains
1.    Supreme Court’s Views on a Complete Ban on FirecrackersPrelims & Mains
2.    About the COP 26 MeetingPrelims & Mains
3.    Mission Ganga enters the Guinness RecordsPrelims & Mains
4.    India declares to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2070Prelims & Mains
5.    About the ‘BASIC’ NationsPrelims Specific
6.    Rescue Guide Plan released for the Ganges River DolphinsPrelims Specific

 

  1. Supreme Court’s Views on a Complete Ban on Firecrackers: 

GS II

Topic – Judiciary and Separation of Powers:

  • Why in News:
  • The Supreme Court has ruled that a complete ban on firecrackers may not be possible.
  • The Court set aside an order of the Calcutta High Court that had ordered the complete banning of firecrackers on October 29.
  • What does the Supreme Court say:
  • Measures should be put in place to prevent the use of toxic chemicals in firecrackers.
  • The Chief Secretaries, DMs and other senior police officials shall be personally held liable if the banned substances are used in firecrackers in any of the states (Supreme Court’s order dated October 29, 2021).
  • Judgment (Arjun Gopal Case):
  • The court ruling of 23 October 2018 banned the sale and production of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR and regulated the use of firecrackers nationwide.
  • Barium-based firecrackers were directly banned.
  • Online firecracker sales are strictly prohibited.
  • The decision came as a result of a request to ban the manufacture and sale of firecrackers nationwide in order to prevent air pollution.
  • Recent observations by the Supreme Court regarding the use of firecrackers:
  • The Supreme Court has ruled that it will not violate the right to life of other citizens “under the guise of minority employment” while considering a ban on firecrackers.
  • There should be a balance between employment, unemployment and the right to life.
  • How do firecrackers work:
  • Firecrackers use gasoline and oxidisers to generate combustion reactions, and the resulting explosion spreads the light in very hot conditions.
  • The metal salts in the explosive substance gets excited and emit light.
  • What is the issue:
  • The metals in this explosive mixture, which have a variety of electrons in the shells outside their nucleus, produce different light waves in this reaction, producing amazing colours.
  • But as many studies show, the combustion of firecrackers is highly elevated source of air pollution.
  • Another study in Milan, Italy, estimated an increase in the levels of several elements in the air in one hour such as 120 times in Strontium, 22 times in Magnesium, 12 times in Barium, 11 times in Potassium and six times in copper.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board conducted a study in Delhi in 2016, and found that levels of Aluminum, Barium, Potassium, Sulfur, Iron and Strontium had risen sharply on the night of Deepavali.
  • Similar episodic spikes have been recorded in China and U.K. pollution. eruptions affect human and animal health, and exacerbate the already bad air quality in Indian cities.
  • This has led to courts demanding that the explosives be completely shut down, with court orders restricting the type of chemical used and its volume. Many crackers also break official audio restrictions.
  • Can green crackers make a difference:
  • The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, through the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI), Nagpur, has released firecrackers that “reduce light and noise emissions” and 30% of a small particle that uses Potassium Nitrate as an oxidant.
  • These crackers are named Safe Water Releaser, which reduces the use of Potassium Nitrate and Sulphur, but is more compatible with regular crackers, Safe Minimal Aluminum, where the use of Aluminium is lower and Safe Thermite Crackers with Sulfur and Low potassium Nitrate.
  • Way Forward:
  • Although the ban on firecrackers has to be worked upon, it is important to consider the fundamental rights of fireworks manufacturers and the health rights of more than 1.3 billion people in the country.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • What are Green Crackers?
  • Major products used in its production.
  • What makes firecrackers colourful?
  • Source – https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-sets-aside-calcutta-hcs-total-ban-of-firecrackers-in-west-bengal-184781
  1. About the COP 26 Meeting:

GS III

Topic – Conservation related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • The UK will host the UN COP 26 Conference on Climate Change from October 31 to November 12, 2021.
  • This year marks the 26th Group Conference (thus called COP26) and will be held at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow.
  • About the COP Conference:
  • The COP comes under the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC) which was established in 1994.
  • The UNFCCC was established to work “to stabilize the atmosphere’s greenhouse gases.”
  • COP members have been meeting annually since 1995 (COP1 was held in 1995 in Berlin).
  • It lists various member obligations that include:
  • Develop ways to reduce climate change.
  • Collaboration in preparing to address the impact of climate change.
  • Promoting education, training and public awareness about climate change.
  • According to the UNFCCC, COP26 will work for four purposes:
  • Protect the global net-zero in the middle of the century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
  • Practice to protect communities and natural areas.
  • Fiscal consolidation: To achieve our first two goals, developed countries must live up to their promise to consolidate at least $ 100bn in climate finance by 2020.
  • ‘Complete the Paris Legal Letter’: Leaders will work together to draft a detailed list of rules that will help fulfil the Paris Agreement.
  • About the UNFCCC:
  • The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Conference, which marked the beginning of the first joint international community effort to tackle climate change.
  • Also known as the Rio Convention, the UNFCCC established a framework for stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • The UNFCCC came into operation in 1994, and almost all nations of the world have already signed up.
  • It is a parental agreement for the 2015 Paris Agreement. It is also the parent agreement of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • What is the UNFCCC?
  • What is the Copenhagen conference?
  • Who is organizing the Petersberg Climate Dialogue?
  • What is a COP?
  • Source – https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/11/02/cop26-climate-summit-live-updates/
  1. Mission Ganga enters the Guinness Records:

GS III

Topic – Conservation related issues & Water Conservation:

  • Why in News:
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga recorded Guinness World Record on the first day of Ganga Utsav with the highest number of handwritten notes uploaded to Facebook in an hour.
  • Background:
  • The event was organized to raise awareness about Ganga revitalization and increase festival access.
  • People posted poems or articles on ‘Maa Ganga’ on Namami Gange’s Facebook page.
  • About the National Mission for Clean Ganga Policy Document:
  • Cities along the Ganga River will have to incorporate river conservation plans as they prepare their Master Plans.
  • These “river-resistant” systems must operate and consider entry and land ownership queries.
  • There is a need for a systematic rehabilitation program for such organizations that emphasizes alternative livelihoods in addition to the migration strategy.
  • The Master Plan should not authorize the usage of certain harmful technologies, but may “create an environment” to facilitate the use of modern technology (without naming suppliers) in river management.
  • Performance of various states:
  • Recommendations are currently for towns in the greater Ganga River region. There are 97 of them covering 5 States – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal.
  • About the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG):
  • It was registered as a community on 12 August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
  • It has served as an arm of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) established under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), 1986.
  • Facts about Ganga River:
  • The Ganga is the third largest river in the world by descent.
  • The mouth of the Ganga River forms the world’s largest delta, known as the Sundarbans, and it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About NGRBA.
  • What is NMCG?
  • Components of the Namami Gange Program.
  • World Bank Group.
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mission-ganga-enters-guinness-book-of-world-records/article37295699.ece
  1. India declares to achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2070:

GS III

Topic – Conservation related issues:

  • Why in News:
  • In an effort to combat climate change, Prime Minister Modi made the following announcements at the ongoing COP26 conference in Glasgow:
  • India will achieve the net zero carbon emission target by 2070.
  • By 2030, India will ensure that 50% of its energy will be sourced from renewable resources.
  • India will also reduce its carbon emissions by 2030 by billion tonnes.
  • It will also reduce its emission intensity per unit of GDP by less than 45%.
  • India will also install mechanisms to produce 500 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, which is an increase of 50 GW from its existing target.
  • What needs to be done à Some suggestions for India:
  • In the spirit of climate justice, rich developed countries should provide at least $ 1 billion in climate funding to help developing and high-risk countries.
  • The Principles of Equality and Common but Different Responsibilities and Critical Skills (CBDR-RC) and, recognition of the very different national conditions of countries should be respected.
  • Sustainable lifestyles in certain traditional communities should be included in the school curriculum.
  • Lessons from India’s efforts to adapt to programs such as the Jal Jeevan mission, the Swach Bharat mission and the liquor mission should be expanded globally.
  • The focus should be on climate change as much as there is mitigation.
  • Which countries have announced net-zero targets till now:
  • In 2019, the New Zealand government passed the Zero Carbon Act, which obligated the country to reduce carbon emissions by 2050.
  • The UK parliament has passed a law requiring the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by 100 percent.
  • S. President Joe Biden has announced that the country will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 by 2030.
  • World War Zero was launched in 2019 to bring together potential partners to tackle climate change and the goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions in the country by 2050.
  • Under the “Fit for 55” program, The European Commission has called on all 27 member states to reduce gas emissions by 55 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
  • China has announced it will be net-zero by 2060 and that it will not allow its emissions to rise further than they are by 2030.
  • What does net-zero mean:
  • Net-zero, also called carbon-neutrality, does not mean that the country will reduce its emissions to zero. That would be gross-zero, which means reaching a state where no one is issued at all, a situation that is difficult to understand.
  • Basically, net-zero is a state in which emissions are compensated for by the absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
  • Prelims Hot-Link:
  • About the Climate Leaders Conference.
  • What is net-zero?
  • Countries are committed to net-zero.
  • About the Paris Agreement.
  • Source – https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/experts-hail-indias-announcement-to-achieve-net-zero-carbon-emission-by-2070/article37295055.ece
  1. About the ‘BASIC’ Nations:

Prelims Specific Topic:

  • The BASIC group was formed as a result of an agreement signed by the four countries on November 28, 2009.
  • They are a group of four major developing countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.
  • This emerging world alliance, founded and led by China, then formed the final Copenhagen Agreement with the United States.
  • Next, the group works to define a common position on pollution reduction and climate change funding, as well as to trying to persuade other countries to sign the Copenhagen Agreement.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2021/nov/01/developed-nations-failed-to-meet-yearly-usd-100-billion-support-goal-environment-minister-bhupender-2378369.html

  1. Rescue Guide Plan released for the Ganges River Dolphins:

Prelims Specific Topic:

  • The Jal Shakti Department has issued guidelines for the safe rescue and release of trapped dolphins in the Ganges River.
  • This document has been prepared by the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Uttar Pradesh Government Department of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (EFCCD).
  • The manual has been approved by the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group.
  • About the Ganges Dolphin:
  • The Ganges dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal.
  • It is listed as ‘endangered’ under the IUCN Red List Assessments, under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act (1972), under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • These species, estimated at 4,000 worldwide, are found mainly on the Indian subcontinent.
  • The Ganges dolphin can live only in freshwater and is invisible to the naked eye.
  • Threats:
  • Dolphins often accidentally enter the canals of northern India and cannot swim upstream.
  • They are at risk of being harmed by humans.

https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/ministry-releases-guide-for-safe-rescue-release-of-ganges-river-dolphins/article37292366.ece

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