|About Daily Homework for Prelims and Mains|
|1. Make a separate notebook for this section.|
|2. Write down the questions provided daily.|
|3. Try to dig out all the facts related to given questions.|
|4. Daily revise the notes before next target|
FOR PRELIMS AND MAINS COMBINED
scale-up India’s Energy Efficiency Program
- The Government of India and the World Bank signed here today a $220 million Loan Agreement and a $80 million Guarantee Agreement for the India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Program.
- The financing under the India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Program will not only help EESL to continue achieving the results under its existing initiatives but also strengthen its institutional capacity and ability to meet its future expanding needs by leveraging private ESCO industry and increased access to a wider range of external commercial financing sources
About the programme
- The Program, to be implemented by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), will help scale-up the deployment of energy saving measures in residential and public sectors, strengthen EESL’s institutional capacity, and enhance its access to commercial financing.
- The investments under the Program are expected to avoid lifetime greenhouse gas emissions of 170 million tons of CO2, and contribute to avoiding an estimated 10 GW of additional generation capacity.
- This would be over 50 percent of the National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency target of 19.6 GW indicated in India’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Accord.
- The Program will help tackle the financing, awareness, technical and capacity barriers faced by new energy efficiency programs and support the UJALA program of the Government of India.
- This is one of the several steps being taken by the Government of India to meet its climate change commitments to reduce carbon intensity by 33-35 percent by 2030.
The Key Components of the Operation include:
- Creating sustainable markets for LED lights and energy efficient ceiling fans; facilitating well-structured and scalable investments in public street lighting; developing sustainable business models for emerging market segments such as super-efficient air conditioning and agricultural water pumping systems; and strengthening the institutional capacity of EESL.
- The World Bank will support EESL to access new sources of commercial funding, diversify its investor base, and establish a track record for future access to financial markets.
About UJALA Program
- The “Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All” (UJALA) program, EESL has already deployed more than 295 million LED bulbs, resulting in avoiding over 7,500 MW of new electricity generation capacity and bringing a significant drop in retail prices of high quality LED bulbs.
- The India Energy Efficiency Scale-Up Program will help EESL expand UJALA’s deployment of efficient ceiling fans, LED street lights and LED tube lights, along with its already-successful LED bulbs procurement and distribution.
Street Lighting National Program (SLNP)
- Under the Street Lighting National Program (SLNP) of EESL which has installed over 5.8 million LED street lights in three years across more than 500 municipalities
- The $220 million loan, from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to EESL, has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 19 years.
- Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is an energy service company (ESCO) of the Government of India and is the world’s largest public ESCO.
- It is 100% government owned, a joint venture of state-owned NTPC Limited, Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and POWERGRID.
- EESL was formed under India’s Ministry of Power to facilitate energy efficiency projects.
- Innovative business and implementation models can significantly reduce consumption and costs.
- EESL also acts as the resource centre for capacity building of state electricity distribution companies, electricity regulatory commissions (ERCs), state-designated agencies (SDAs), upcoming ESCOs, financial institutions, etc.
- India’s first -ever environment friendly biofuel powered flight between Dehradun and Delhi was propelled by blend of oil from jatropha seeds and aviation turbine fuel.
- This plane had carried blend of 25% of bio jet fuel (derived from jatropha seeds) and 75% of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) in one of the two engines of plane, while other carried only ATF.
- Bio jet fuel is greenhouse gas (GHG) neutral, carbon neutral, reduces air pollution.
- Capping its blending with aviation turbine fuel will help to bring down import bill on crude oil.
- The use of bio jet fuel will help in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 15% and sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions by over 99%.
- Jatropha is drought-resistant perennial plant that can grow in marginal or poor soil.
- It is grows relatively quickly and lives, produces seeds for 50 years.
- It is found to be growing in many parts of the country, especially in rugged terrain and can survive with minimum inputs and easy to propagate.
- It seeds has oil content of 37% which be combusted as fuel without being refined.
- It has been tested successfully as fuel for simple diesel engine.
- Its oil also acts as insecticide. Moreover, by products of its seeds like press cake is good organic fertilizer.
- Jatropha also has medicinal properties and is used for diseases like cancer, piles, snakebite, paralysis, dropsy etc.
- Aviation biofuel derived from Jatropha seeds It was indigenously developed by Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) lab based in Dehradun along with Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP).
India’s most polluted cities 30% of them have no clean up plan
- According to a list maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of the 102 cities singled out by the Centre for their alarming pollution levels, only 73 have submitted a plan of remedial action to the CPCB.
- Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Jaipur are among the prominent cities that are yet to submit their plans.
National Clean Air Campaign (NCAP)
- As part of the National Clean Air Campaign (NCAP) the CPCB has marked these non – attainment cities – to implement 42 measures aimed at mitigating air pollution.
- These included steps such as implementing control and mitigation measures related to vehicular emissions, re-suspension of road dust and other fugitive emissions, bio-mass, municipal solid waste burning, industrial pollution, and construction and demolition activities.
- The directives to take remedial measures were initially issued to Delhi NCR, and subsequently to the State Pollution Control Boards for implementation in other ‘non-attainment’ cities.
- The non-attainment cities are those that have fallen short of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for over five years.
- The aim of pollution mitigation measures was to cut overall pollution in these cities by 35% in the next three years.
- In May, the World Health Organisation said that Delhi and Varanasi were among 14 Indian cities that figured in a global list of the 20 most polluted cities in terms of PM2.5 levels.
- Other Indian cities with very high levels of PM2.5 particulates were Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Lucknow, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur, followed by Ali Subah Al-Salem in Kuwait and some cities in China and Mongolia.
About P.M 2.5
- Particle pollution is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets. EPA Victoria monitors the air for two categories of particle size: PM2.5 and PM10. These particles are very small and are measured in micrometres.
- PM2.5 particles are smaller than 2.5 micrometres (0.0025 mm) in diameter. Often described as fine particles, they are up to 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
- PM2.5 particles are small enough to be breathed deep into the lungs. This can cause health effects. Children, people over 65, pregnant women and people with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in fine particles. Symptoms may include wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Nepal this week for the fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) in Kathmandu.
- During his deliberations with regional leaders, the Prime Minister is likely to emphasise connectivity, counter-terrorism, radicalisation and maritime security in the Bay of Bengal, a key area of discussion during recent meetings.
- The Prime Minister will attend the 4th BIMSTEC Summit, whose theme is ‘Towards a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Bay of Bengal region’.
- Leaders from the nations last came together during a mini summit at Goa on the sidelines of BRICS Summit in October 2016.
About the BIMSTEC meeting
- In his fourth bilateral visit to Nepal, Modi will also be holding separate discussions with the Nepalese government.
- During August 30 and 31, the PM will be visiting Nepal and pushing for seamless connectivity through Bangladesh and Thailand for goods trade.
- India is revising its economic diplomacy with BIMSTEC nations at a time China continues to consolidate its position as a major regional power in the area.
- Before the summit the foreign secretaries of the BIMSTEC member states reviewed the progress achieved so far during the 19th Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) of the BIMSTEC held in Kathmandu on August 28, 2018.
- Several measures, including exploring the possibility of establishing BIMSTEC development fund, rationalisation of areas of cooperation and identification of core prioritised areas, were deliberated in the meeting
- The meeting also recommended for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the BIMSTEC grid interconnections, which is expected to further cooperation in energy sector among the member states
- The MoU will be signed during the two-day BIMSTEC summit which will commence on August 30 in Kathmandu
Issues To be finalized
- Significant breakthroughs may occur on the BIMSTEC Coastal Shipping Agreement and BIMSTEC Motor Vehicle Agreement, which are currently being negotiated.
- The most successful connectivity project so far involves the sub-group of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal who signed a Motor Vehicles Agreement in 2015.
- It enables vehicles to enter any of the four nations without the need for trans-shipment of goods from one country’s truck to another’s at the border.
- Trial runs of trucks between Bangladesh and India have also begun. However, other major projects such as the Kaladan Multimodal project which seeks to link India and Myanmar, or the Asian Trilateral Highway connecting India and Thailand, are yet to finalize
- A framework agreement to establish a free trade area was signed in 2004 but it is yet to be operationalized.
- The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an international organisation of seven nations of South Asia and South East Asia, housing 1.5 billion people and having a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion (2014).
- The BIMSTEC member states—Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal—are among the countries dependent on the Bay of Bengal.
- Fourteen priority sectors of cooperation have been identified and several BIMSTEC centres have been established to focus on those sectors.
- A BIMSTEC free trade agreement is under negotiation.
- Leadership is rotated in alphabetical order of country names. The permanent secretariat is in Dhaka
Drying Ganga – A Report’s insight
- Ganga, the 2600-km-long trans-boundary river of India, has witnessed “unprecedented low levels of water in several lower reaches” in the last few summer seasons.
- This is as per a study undertaken by a professor of IIT-Kharagpur
- The study was carried out under IITKGP Science and Heritage Initiative (SANDHI) Initiative
WHATS IN THE REPORT
- The report finds out that the drying of the river in the recent years during the summer seasons was “possibly related to the groundwater depletion in the Gangetic aquifers”.
- The study has found that the summer water flow in the river is severely depleted, so much so that there may be hardly any flow in the non-monsoon months in large stretches of the river from Varanasi to Kolkata in the coming years.
About the details of why water level reaches to its lowest
- River Ganga has witnessed unprecedented low levels of water in several lower reaches in last few summer seasons.
- It had used combination of satellite images of groundwater levels of Ganga, numerical simulations and chemical analyses to draw the conclusion.
- The decline of groundwater inflow (base flow) is also impacting health of river.
- Present day base flow to Ganga from adjoining aquifers may be third or more of total river water volume in pre-monsoon months.
- The base flow might have dipped by 50% from beginning of irrigation-pumping phase in 1970s.
- In forthcoming summers, for next 30 years, groundwater contribution to river Ganga will continue decreasing.
- This trend can lead to disastrous effect on riverine ecology and lead to food scarcity for 115 million people in Ganga basin.
How this report will help
- It can help general public understand wider implications of groundwater depletion.
- It also brings out scientific reasons for the decreased flows of the river Ganga, especially in the lower reaches.
- The findings will be extremely helpful in providing quantitative data for future planning of water resources projects in Ganga basin
STATIC PORTION – ENVIRONMENT + GEOGRAPHY
RAMSAR Sites in India
- Ramsar Convention is an only intergovernmental treaty which gives a solid framework to the nations for the conservation and use of wetlands and their resources and helps to protect such unique ecosystems.
- It is also known as “Convention on Wetlands”. It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar on 2nd February 1971 and came into force on 21 December 1975.
- So 2nd February is celebrated as “World Wetlands Day” every year.
- Currently, 169 countries are party to this convention. There are 2289 wetland sites, covering an area around 225399512 hectors, designated under this convention.
- The secretariat of Ramsar convention is located in Gland, Switzerland.
The mission of the Convention
- The mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and international actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
- Contracting parties vow for international cooperation to protect wetlands in following three ways known as “three pillars for co-operation”.
- Make judicial use of all their wetlands
- Designate suitable wetlands for the list of “Wetlands of International Importance” (Ramsar List) and ensure an effective management of the wetlands.
- International cooperation on transboundary wetlands shared wetland systems etc.
- Wetlands are one of the most productive ecosystems in the world and essential for human survival.
- It is a place where the land is covered by salty or fresh water. Swamps, Marshes, ponds, the edge of lake or ocean, river mouths and deltas etc. are the examples of the Wetlands.
- Wetlands are home to various species of mammals, birds, fishes and invertebrates. They support the cultivation of crops like rice, and also provide ecological services benefiting human race like water filtration, storm protection, flood control etc.
Designation and Management of Ramsar Sites
- When a country agrees to join the convention, it has to designate at least one wetland site as a wetland of international importance.
- The information on acceding country’s first Ramsar site is sent to UNESCO with other documents. UNESCO acts as a convention’s repository.
- Management of their Ramsar sites lies primarily with the contracting parties to maintain their ecological character and retain their essential functions and values for sustainable development.
- For transboundary sites management, the authorities on all sides of the border of a particular site should agree to collaborate and notify their intention to the convention secretariat at Gland.
Bodies of the Convention
- Government agencies of the contracting parties i.e. nations are known as country’s ‘Administrative authority’. They appoint a National Focal Point to coordinate national implementation of Ramsar projects and act as the daily focal point.
- Every three years, Parties meet at Conference of Parties (CoP), to administer convention.
- Most recent CoP 12 was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay in 2015. CoP 13 will take place in Dubai, UAE in 2018.
- Between CoPs, the parties are represented by the Standing Committee which meets annually.
- “Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP)” and “Communication, Education, Participation, and Awareness (CEPA)” are two technical advisory bodies of the convention.
- There are five International Organisational Partners (IOPs) to provide necessary support to parties.
- Birdlife International
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
- Wetlands International
- World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
List of RAMSAR Sites in India
- Currently, there are 26 sites in 15 states designated under Ramsar List. These are given below
- Jammu and Kashmir
- Hokera Wetland
- Surinsar- Mansar lakes
- Wular Lake
- Himachal Pradesh
- Chandertal Wetland.
- Pong Dam Lake
- Renuka Wetland
- Harike Wetland
- Kanjli Wetland
- Keoladeo National Park (1/10/1981)-Oldest entry in the list.
- Sambhar Lake
- Uttar Pradesh
- Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora stretch)
- Madhya Pradesh
- Bhoj Wetland
- Nal Sarovar (2012) – Latest Entry in the list.
- Andhra Pradesh
- Kolleru Lake
- Ashtamudi Wetland
- Sasthamkotta Lake
- Vembanad- Kol Wetland
- Tamil Nadu
- Point Calimere Sanctuary
- Chilika Lake (1/10/1981) – Oldest entry in the list.
- Bhitarkanika Mangroves
- West Bengal
- East Calcutta Wetlands
- Deepor Beel
- Rudrasagar Lake
- Loktak Lake
- Out of these 26 sites, currently, 2 sites in India are included in the Montreux Record.
- Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan (1990) – first site to be included in this list
- Loktak Lake, Manipur (1993)
- Chilika lake, Odisha was included in the list in 1993 but was removed in 2002.
- Montreux Record is a register of wetlands sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or likely to occur.
- Ecological character of a Ramsar site may degrade because of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
River System of India – Ganga River System
|Prime Watershed of River Origin in India|
|River categories on the basis of their origin|
|Top 5 largest rivers of India||Ganga > Godavari > Krishna > Yamuna > Brahmaputra|
Ganga River System
|Ganga Tributaries||Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Kosi, Son, Tons & Punpun|
|Ghaghara Tributaries||Sarda & Rakti|
|Kosi Tributaries||Arun, Tamur & Sun Koshi|
|Yamuna Tributaries||Chambal, Sind, Betwa & Ken|
|Chambal Tributaries||Kali Sindh, Parvati & Banas|
- Origin → As Bhagirathi from Gangotri Glacier (Uttarkashi – Uttarakhand)
- Alakananda unites with Bhagirathi at Devprayag, Uttarakhand → Henceforth known as Ganga
- Passing through Rishikesh, it debounches in plains of Haridwar
- From Haridwar, it flows Southward to reach Allahabad where it joins Yamuna
- Near Rajmahal Hills, it turns southeast & bifurcate at Farraka into Hoogly (Kolkata) & Padma (BD)
- At Bangladesh, Ganga merges with Brahmputra (Known as Jamuna in Bangladesh) at Goalundo Ghats
- Mixture is known as Padma River
- Then it merges with Meghna & finally falls in Bay of Bengal
- Meghna → Known as Barack river in India
- Major tributaries → Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Kosi, Son, Tons & Punpun
Major Tributaries of Ganga River System