For upcoming CDS 2 2016 Paper Environmental IMPACT
New Color Classification Scheme: –
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has released a new Four-colour Classification Scheme for industries based on their pollution potential.
The four-colour classification scheme of industrial sectors based on the Pollution Index (PI) which is a function of the (i) Emissions (air pollutants) (ii) Effluents (water pollutants) (iii) hazardous wastes generated and (iv) Consumption of resources.
The PI of any industrial sector is a number ranging from 0 to 100. Increasing value of PI denotes the increasing degree of pollution load from the industrial sector.
Based on the on ‘Range of Pollution Index‘, industrial sectors have been categorized into four colors category. Under the new categorization system,
Red category: PI score of 60 and above. These are severe polluting industries. Total 60 industries including sugar, thermal power plants, paints and others are under in it.
Orange category: PI score of 41 to 59. They moderately are polluting industries. Total 83 industries like coal, washeries and automobile servicing are placed under it.
Green category: PI score of 21 to 40. They are significantly low polluting industries. Total 63 industries are under in it.
White category: PI score below and up to 20. They are non-polluting industries. Total 30 industries are under in it. These industries are exempted from requirement of environmental clearance.
New Plastic Waste management Rules
Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has notified new Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules.
These new rules seek to curb over 6000 tonnes of uncollected plastic waste generated daily by industries. The PWM Rules 2016 will replace the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011. These rules more stringent and are related to usage and production of plastic for more eco-friendly society.
Key new rules:-
Introduction of concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and Responsibility of waste generators.
Rural areas have been included and Gram Panchayats have been given more responsibility.
Banned plastic carry bags thinner than 50 microns. It is mandatory for producers to keep record of vendors to whom they supply raw material for manufacturing packaging plastics.
Retailers and street vendor providing will be fined if their products in plastic packaging which do not conform to the new rules.
Individual and bulk waste generators like offices, industries, commercial establishment must segregate the plastic waste at source.
These individual and bulk waste generators should handover the segregate waste and pay user fee as per bye-laws of the local bodies.
Persons organizing public events like marriages, public gatherings are responsible for the management of waste generated during these events.
Minimum thickness of the plastic bags increased from 40-50microns. Manufacturing and use of non-recyclable multi-layered plastic will be phased out in 2 years.
Paris Climate Agreement
India has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change on the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. India’s Permanent Representative to UN, Syed Akbaruddin handed over the Instrument of Ratification signed by President Pranab Mukherjee to the United Nations in New York.
With this, India became 62nd country to ratify the agreement. These 62 countries including India are responsible for almost 52% of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions.
The Paris Agreement on climate change will enter into force one month after 55 countries that account for 55% of global GHG emissions ratify the agreement.
The Paris Agreement was adopted by more than 190 nations at the 21st Conference of Parties of UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) held in Paris in December 2015.
It seeks to accelerate and intensify the actions and investment needed for a sustainable low carbon future.
The agreement caps limit global temperature rise (global warming) to well below 2 degrees Celsius. It also seeks to funnel trillions of dollars to poor countries facing climate catastrophe.
India being world’s third largest emitter of GHGs, accounting for 4.1% of the total global emission was seeking more time earlier to complete its national processes as it feared that any hasty decision may impact its developmental projects. India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) pledge estimated a cost 2.5 trillion dollars for its climate-action plan. India will ask developed nations to provide 100 billion dollars per year in climate finance for developing nations.
Delhi Not The Most Polluted
As per recently released World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Urban Air Quality Database for 2016, Delhi is no longer most polluted in the world in terms of air quality.
The dirtiest air was recorded at Zabol City in Iran, which has annual PM2.5 measure of 217 due to months of dust storms in the summer.
WHO’s Urban Air Quality Database for 2016, was based on the annual average of PM2.5 readings of 3000 cities in 100 countries.
Key highlights of Air Quality Database:-
Top 10 Cities (PM2.5):- Iran’s Zabol (217), India’s Gwalior (176) and Allahabad (170), Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh (156) and Al Jubail (152), India’s Patna (149) and Raipur (144), Cameroon’s Bamenda (132), China’d Xingtai (128) and Baoding (126).
India Related Facts:– India is home to four of the top seven cities in the world with the worst air pollution. New Delhi ranked as the 11th worst city in the survey. It had an annual average PM2.5 measurement of 122.
Global Facts:- More than 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits.
People dwelling in low-income cities are the most impacted. In high-income countries, 56% of cities meet WHO air quality guidelines.
In case of low- and middle income countries, 98% of cities with more than 100000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines.
Black Necked Crane
The black-necked crane is a medium-sized crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India and Bhutan. It is 139 cm long with a 235 cm wingspan, and it weighs 5.5 kg.
Higher classification:- Grus
Status :- Listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and as Endangered on the IUCN Red List
Scientific Name :- Grus nigricollis
In Summer:- Tibetan plateau
In Winter :- India (J & K and AP) and Bhutan
It is the state bird of J&K
Sea Level Rise – at Its Fastest
A group of scientists says it has now reconstructed the history of the planet’s sea levels arcing back over some 3,000 years — leading it to conclude that the rate of increase experienced in the 20th century was “extremely likely” to have been faster than during nearly the entire period.
The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Seas rose about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) from 1900 to 2000, the new study suggests, for a rate of 1.4 millimeters per year. The current rate, according to NASA, is 3.4 millimeters per year, suggesting that sea level rise is still accelerating.
In the second study, scientists reconstructed the level of the sea over time and confirmed that it is most likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, with rate of increase growing sharply over the past century. They also confirmed that if emissions were to continue at the rate over next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100.
The rise in the sea level contributes only in a limited degree to the huge, disastrous storm surges accompanying hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy. Proportionally, it has a bigger effect on the nuisance floods that can accompany what are known as king tides. The change in frequency of those tides is striking. For instance, in the decade from 1955 to 1964 at Annapolis, Md., an instrument called a tide gauge measured 32 days of flooding; in the decade from 2005 to 2014, that jumped to 394 days.
Scientists who studied pollution in the Capital were surprised to find the presence of fly ash in the air given that Delhi doesn’t have any big thermal power plants.
Fly ash is a powdery component released on combustion of coal, especially from thermal power plants. Burning of coal in the open also releases the harmful toxin.
The Badarpur thermal plant is the only functional plant in Delhi. The Delhi government said it would shut down the Rajghat and the Badarpur power plants, after the IIT Kanpur report said fly ash was a prominent pollutant in Delhi’s air in summers.
The IIT Kanpur report said that one particular source of fly ash has not been identified but Delhi’s power plants are part of the problem.
“In summer, coal and fly ash contribute to about 30% of PM10. Unless sources contributing to fly ash are controlled, one cannot expect significant improvement in air quality. It appears that these sources are more fugitive in nature than regular point sources.
According to IIT Kanpur scientists, the best way to avoid fly ash from entering the air is to keep the fly ash pond moist by maintaining a millimeter-thick layer of water over it.
New Technique For Co2 Sequestration
Carbon sequestration refers to the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir. In simple language, Carbon Sequestration encompasses all forms of carbon storage such as oceans, plants, soil and underground geologic formations. On this basis, Carbon sequestration is of three types as follows:-
Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration:-
Indirect sequestration whereby ecosystems (e.g., forests, agricultural lands, and wetlands) are maintained, enhanced or manipulated to increase their ability to store carbon.
Geologic Carbon Sequestration:-
CO2 can be stored, including oil reservoirs, gas reservoirs, unminable coal seams, saline formations and shale formations with high organic content.
These formations have provided natural storage for crude oil, natural gas, brine and CO2 over millions of years. Geologic sequestration techniques would take advantage of these natural storage capacities.
Ocean Carbon Sequestration:-
Oceans absorb, release and store large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.
There are two approaches for oceanic carbon sequestration which take advantage of the oceans’ natural processes. One approach is to enhance the productivity of ocean biological systems (e.g., algae) through fertilization. Another approach is to inject CO2 into the deep ocean.
Soil Carbon and Carbon sequestration
Soil carbon refers to the carbon held within the soil, mainly as organic content. Soil carbon is the largest terrestrial pool of carbon ( around 2,200 Gigatonnes). Soil carbon plays a key role in the carbon cycle and thus is important in global climate models. It has been shown that 1kg of carbon released from the soil constitutes 3.64kg of Co2 in the atmosphere.
The exchange of carbon between soils and the atmosphere is a significant part of the world carbon cycle, which is extensive both spatially and temporally. Carbon, as it relates to the organic matter of soils, is a major component of soil and catchment health. With reference to Carbon sequestration, the soil is one of the largest reservoirs, where carbon could be restored.
What are the Farming Practices that help in Carbon sequestration?
Mulching →because it helps to retain moisture and organic matter
Zero Tillage → Does not help directly in carbon sequestration but helps in stopping release of soil Carbon
Crop Rotation → Helps by increasing soil organic content, so foster Carbon sequestration
Strip Cropping and Contour Bunding → Increase carbon inputs so help in carbon sequestration
Switching from Field to Tree crops → Helps to retain carbon and nutrients in soil
Rotational Grazing and Pasture Management
Can Organic Farming help in Carbon Sequestration?
Organic Farming is supportive for Carbon Sequestration. One example is Organic Mulch. Organic mulch is basically a type of compost made from decaying plants or trees. It can be one of the ways of sequestering carbon. Organic mulching refers to covering the soil with any organic matter such as applying compost or farm yard manure over the soil surface followed by adding a layer of dry organic matter over it.
Here, the compost contains an array of beneficial microbes, where the dry matter is rich in carbon and the green matter is rich in nitrogenous substances. When decomposition of these components takes place the carbon nitrogen ratio in the soil becomes 10:1, ideal for the proliferation of microbes.
How dumping of Iron can Induce Carbon Sequestration?
Dumping of Iron to the upper ocean can significantly induce the Carbon sequestration in Oceans. This is because introduction of iron to the upper ocean will stimulate phytoplankton bloom. This is due to a phenomenon called “Iron fertilization”, whereby introduction of iron to the upper ocean to stimulate a phytoplankton bloom is adopted. Like all plants, phytoplankton takes up C02 from air and converts it to carbon compounds like carbohydrates. The plant quickly dies and starts sinking, taking the carbon with it. What happens thereafter is the key to the technique’s efficacy: If it sinks well below the ocean surface, the carbon would effectively have been put away for a long period (Carbon sequestration). This has led to several experiments in recent times.
NEMO to Scan the Air
The Space Applications Centre (SAC) of Isro and Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) of University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies are collaborating on developing the ‘Next Generation Earth Monitoring and Observation and Aerosol Monitoring’ (NEMO-AM) satellite.
This is among Isro’s most important high-performance nano-satellite missions for the country.
The NEMO mission is designed to cover, each day, up to 50,000 square kilometer area of the country’s 32.87 lakh sq km.
The NEMO-AM satellite with its powerful imaging sensor analyses the sunlight reflected from the earth’s surface. This light, which passes through the earth’s atmo sphere before reaching NEMO will be analyzed by the satellite from different angles to deter mine the nature of suspended particles and aerosol concentration in the ambient air of India cities.
The data will be handy for estimating emissions from vehicles, tracking pollutants plumes, and supporting activities to forecast air quality in cities and towns. New policies can be framed around this data.
NEMO’s data can be of great help in decision-making and environmental management activities of both the public and private sectors in a city or town or industrial area.
The NEMO-AM will be integrated in July-August next year at SAC in the presence of a team from Canada SFL. The satellite will be tested and launched in the subsequent month.
The nano-satellite will monitor suspended particles and aerosols that have made the air of major Indian cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Amritsar and Allahabad among the most polluted in the world.
SAC is providing the necessary software for instruments that are to be made in Canada. The nano-satellite will be launched 500 km above the earth.
The tiny particles and aerosols in the exhaust of vehicles, emissions from industrial chimneys and even dust particles from construction work fill the air we breathe. These aerosols and particulate matter of size 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) enter our lungs and restrict the free flow of air.
Wild Life Protection Act: National Parks, Sanctuaries and other Protected Areas
The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 is first umbrella act to protect plants as well as animals. It was last amended in 2006 to give statutory status to Project Tiger. Currently, Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2013 is pending in parliament.
Key Provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act:-
The act extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act. It defines five types of protected areas viz. National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Community Reserves, Conservation Reserves and Tiger Reserves. The act has six schedules with varying degrees of protection to different kinds of animals and plants.
Wild Life Sanctuary:-
A wildlife sanctuary is defined by State Government via a Notification. There is no need to pass legislation (act) by the state assembly to declare a wildlife sanctuary. Fixation and alternation of boundary can be done by state legislature via resolution. No need to pass an act for alternation of boundaries. No alternation of boundaries in wildlife sanctuaries can be done without approval of the NBWL (National Board of Wildlife) Limited human activities are permitted in the sanctuary.
Similar to the Wildlife Sanctuaries, a National Park is defined by state government via notification. The state government can fix and alter boundaries of the National Parks with prior consultation and approval with National Board of Wildlife. There is no need to pass an act for alternation of boundaries of National Parks. No human activities are permitted in a National Park.
Similarities / Difference between a National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
Commercial exploitation of forest produce in both areas is NOT allowed; except for local communities. No wild mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile, fish, crustacean, insects, or coelenterates listed in four Schedules of the WLPA can be hunted either within or outside both of them, and also other conservation areas.
No grazing or private tenurial rights land rights are allowed in National Parks. In Wildlife sanctuaries, they may be provided at the discretion of Chief Wildlife warden.
Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves:-These areas provide a greater role and opportunity for local communities, stakeholders and civil society to protect many areas of conservation value that cannot be designated under strict categories such as wildlife sanctuaries or national parks.
Tiger Reserves:-Tiger Reserves are declared by National Tiger Conservation Authority via Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 under centrally sponsored scheme called Project Tiger. To declare an area as Tiger Reserve, the state governments can forward their proposals in this regard to NTCA. Central Government via NTCA may also advise the state governments to forward a proposal for creation of Tiger Reserves. Tiger Reserves are managed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). No alternation of boundary can be done without the recommendation of National Board for Wild Life and without the advice of the Tiger Conservation Authority.
Schedules of the Wild Life Protection Act:-There are six schedules in wildlife protection act with varying degrees of protection. Out of the six schedules, Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection and offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties. The penalties for Schedule III and Schedule IV are less and these animals are protected. Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted. Such animals include Common crow, Fruit bats, Mice & Rats only. Schedule VI contains the plants, which are prohibited from cultivation and planting. These plants are as follows :-
Beddomes’ cycad (Cycas beddomei)
Blue Vanda (Vanda soerulec)
Kuth (Saussurea lappa)
Ladies slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum spp.)
Pitcher plant (Nepenthes khasiana)
Red Vanda (Rananthera inschootiana)]
Whose permission is needed to hunt a man-eater?
India does not have a robust scientific or policy mechanism to minimise tiger human conflicts. A Standard Operating Procedure was released by the National Tiger Conservation Authority a few years back to deal with emergency arising due to straying of tigers to human settlements. The guidelines prohibit killing the tiger unless it has been declared a maneater. Only the chief wildlife warden of a state can permit hunting of man-eaters.
LIST OF NATIONAL PARKS OF INDIA
The International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016, an international military exercise hosted and conducted by Indian Navy was inaugurated in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
Theme of this edition on IFR is “United through Oceans” and its objective is to enhance mutual trust and confidence with neighbouring navies by inviting their ships to participate in the event.
Total 11,000 guests are expected to attend the mega naval exercise including members of foreign delegations. It is perceived to be the biggest exercise conducted in India so far.
Naval ships from 50 countries and various dignitaries will also participate in the event and close to 4000 sailors have participated in the fleet review.
The 4 day review (from 4 to 8 February) aims at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparedness, high morale and discipline.
For the first time Chinese navy called as People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA-N) is also participating in the event.
In this edition of IFR special emphasis is given to Make In India on three dimensions — indigenisation, innovation and ingenuity.
Indian Navy’s ships participating in this event includes, INS Vikramaditya- India’s biggest aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, destroyers INS Mysore, Kolkata, frigates-Satpura, Shivalik, Teg amongst others.
The last IFR conducted by the Indian Navy in 2001 in Mumbai, Maharashtra in which navies of 29 countries from across the globe had participated.
BAE to Supply HAWK Mk 132
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which has conducted weapons tests with its license-built BAE Systems Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainer, is looking at its export potential.
In May last year, the state-owned company had teamed up with UK-based defence major BAE Systems to upgrade the Indian Air Force’s Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainers.
The Hawk is equipped with inertial navigation and global positioning systems, head-up display, as well as hands-on throttle and stick controls.
Sources indicated that the Hawk was chosen because, besides being a trainer, it also has capability in air-to-air and air-to-ground attack roles, though it is primarily aimed at training pilots in weapon delivery. HAL is looking to manufacture the combat version of military aircraft Hawk with an export potential, and has conducted some initial trials with rocket pods.
“Hawk could be fitted with the same weapons as the IAF’s Jaguars, which are being modernised. The upgraded Jaguar’s are to be armed with MBDA’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (Asraam), amongst a range of smart weapons,” sources said, adding that MBDA Missile Systems, a European developer and manufacturer of missiles, delivered the first Asraam to the UK at the start of this week.
MBDA has also worked with BAE Systems to supply an Asraam air dominance missile to the US in January.
Sources added that the upgraded Jaguar is to also get the Textron CBU-105 sensor fused weapons. “The ‘Make in India’ programme does not mean just weaponisation, but can offer the Indian-made Hawk for export to markets around the world,” added sources.
At Aero India 2015, BAE secured a 5-year contract worth £18.5 million to provide HAL a comprehensive package comprising ground support equipment, and training for the Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainer.
This was in support of HAL’s plans to establish a dedicated repair and overhaul facility for the aircraft, further to a major servicing milestone anticipated this year.
The package is meant to further develop HAL’s “in-country capabilities that are helping to deliver an enhanced training capability to the IAF and the Indian Navy”.
India is the largest operator of the Hawk advanced jet trainer with 123 aircraft ordered till date, of which over 90 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
Sino- India Cooperation 2016
For the first time, border troops of India and China have held their first joint tactical exercise codenamed Sino-India Cooperation 2016 in Chushul-Moldo in Jammu and Kashmir.
This exercise is complement to the Hand-in-Hand series of India-China Joint Exercises and the recently conducted joint exercise in Sikkim.
Sino-India Cooperation 2016 is mainly focussed on joint actions coordinated to tackle the aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
It was based on a situation of a national disaster occurring on the border areas and the subsequent rescue mission coordination by joint teams of both countries.
It also part of the ongoing initiatives undertaken by both countries to ensure greater interaction between troops stationed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to ensure peace and tranquillity along the border.
The increased bilateral interaction between Indian and Chinese border troops is considered as very positive step for enhancing confidence and building relations between the two armies.
India will soon launch “Project Mausam”, a PM Narendra Modi government’s utmost noteworthy foreign policy project for answering China’s rising impact in the Indian Ocean region. After the astonishing triumph of China’s “Maritime Silk Road” scheme, India plans to soon takeoff its own Project Mausam, a transnational program aimed to restore its ancient maritime routes and cultural links with republics in the region.
Titled “Project Mausam”: Maritime Routes and Cultural Landscapes crossways the Indian Ocean, the project emphasizes on the natural wind phenomenon, particularly monsoon winds used by Indian sailors in ancient times for maritime trade, that has formed relations amongst nations and groups linked by the Indian Ocean. Project Mausam purposes to determine the versatile Indian Ocean “world” — expanding from East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka to the Southeast Asian archipelago.
Though India is also amongst the nations asked to join China’s maritime silk route plan, India has been worried by the curiosity displayed by Sri Lanka and Maldives in the Chinese offer, which supposedly looks to restore ancient economic links. India government will try to pull on its ancient connections with nations in this region as it proposes an alternative, which could counter-balance the maritime silk route of China. India also faces the difficult job of matching China’s stress on building landmark infrastructure in the region, including ports in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Whereas the facilities are held to be civilian, India doubts China obtaining operational control of these.
Anti – Radiation Missile
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has decided to conduct captive flight trials of an advanced, state-of-the-art Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) in April-May 2016.
During captive flight trials DRDO scientist will evaluate performance of the missile’s heat seeker, structural capability, navigation and control system and aerodynamic vibrations.
Later by end of 2016, actual ground testing will be conducted and later it will be fired from Su-30 during the actual flight trial.
About Anti-Radiation Missile:-
ARM is an air-to-surface tactical missile indigenously developed by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) including its heat seeker.
It is capable of targeting enemy’s air defence capabilities by attacking radars and communication facilities by picking up the radiation or signals from these facilities.
The missile uses dual pulse propulsion system as in the case of LR-SAM (Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile) instead of thrust propulsion.
ARM has range of 100 to 125 km and will be mounted on combat aircraft Sukhoi (Su-30) and Tejas-Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
The ARM missile will be inducted into Indian Armed Forces till 2018 after successfully conducting a number of developmental trials. On its induction, India will join other few nations including the US and Germany having ARMs.
DIIA to Boost R&D Efforts
Defence industry players have come together to launch DIIA, an industry association with a mandate to accelerating indigenous design & development in the Indian defence sector.
DIIA feels that self-sufficiency in defence can be achieved through government policies that pro-actively encourage indigenous R&D.
Make in India initiative
It will provide a platform for like-minded organisations to rally around, collaborate and co-operate to forge ahead in making the ‘Make in India’ a sustainable initiative.
Indigenously designed, developed and manufactured products should be given higher preference is the main point that the association will promote.
Ashok Atluri, Chairman, DIIA, said, “To say that India is one of the largest importers of defence equipment is acceptance of a great shortcoming. When you look at the value chain of high-technology complex defence equipment, only 30-40 per cent of the costs contribute towards cost of manufacturing whereas almost 60 per cent of the value is captured at the design and development level.”
Shift in focus
The focus was always on how to manufacture component or, sometimes, even equipment in India. But the IP has always been developed/owned by someone else.
Elaborating further on DIIA’s role, Atluri added in a press note that, “DIIA will interact with government decision makers to ensure a policy that encourages design and development of defence equipment with IP ownership in Indian companies.”