PIB Analysis : 3rd and 4th September

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Exercise Yudh Abhyaas
  2. Master plan for Tigers at High altitude
  3. Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme
  4. New Development Bank (NDB)
  5. SEARO Emergency Fund
  6. Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFTAM)
  7. Single use Plastic
  8. Third Round of India – Pakistan talk on Kartarpur
  9. National Award to Teachers
  10. Poshan Maah
  11. Facts for Prelims

1 . Exercise Yudh Abhyaas


About Exercise Yudh Abhyaas

  • As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training, Exercise Yudh Abhyas – 2019 is being conducted at Joint Base Lewis Mc Chord, Washington, USA from 05-18 September 2019.
  • Exercise Yudh Abhyas is one of the largest joint running military training and defence corporation endeavors between India and USA. This will be the 15th edition of the joint exercise hosted alternately between the two countries.
  • Exercise Yudh Abhyas will provide an opportunity to the armed forces of both countries to train in an integrated manner at Battalion level with joint planning at Brigade level. Multiple scenarios will be rehearsed during the joint exercise with a view to understand each other’s organisational structure and battle procedures which would result in a higher degree of jointmanship that would further facilitate interoperability between the armed forces of both countries to meet any unforeseen contingency across the globe. The exercise is also an ideal platform to learn from each other’s expertise and experiences of planning and execution of operations.
  • Both armies will jointly train, plan and execute a series of well developed operations for neutralization of threats of varied nature.
  • ln the end a joint exercise will be undertaken by both countries in an operational setting under a UN mandate.

2 . Status of Tiger Habitats in high altitude ecosystems


Context : Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar released a report on Status of Tiger Habitats in high altitude ecosystems today in New Delhi.

Details of the study

  • The instant situation analysis study provides the rationale for stepping up high altitude conservation of the tiger, while identifying possible viable habitats, corridor linkages, anthropogenic pressures, and induced landscape level changes for evolving an in-situ conservation roadmap.
  • Study led by the GTF, with range country governments of Bhutan, India and Nepal, along with conservation partners (WWF and country specific collaborators), has been supported by the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHPC) of the IUCN AND dFw.
  • Study as it reveals that even ecology at high altitude is compatible for the tiger growth
  • It provides the action strategy for a high altitude tiger master plan, with gainful portfolio for local communities and ensuring centrality of tiger conservation in development, through an effective coordination mechanism, involving stakeholders and line departments operating within the landscape.
  • Tiger habitats in high altitude require protection through sustainable land use, as they are a high value ecosystem with several hydrological and ecological processes providing ecosystem services and adaptation to mitigate the ill effects of climate change. Several high-altitude habitats in South Asia have the spatial presence of tiger, active in-situ efforts are called for ensuring their conservation.

3 . Ethanol Blended Petrol Programme


Context : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the following, including fixing higher ethanol price derived from different raw materials under the EBP Programme for the forthcoming sugar season 2019-20 during ethanol supply year from 1st December 2019 to 30th November 2020:

About the Approval

  • The price of ethanol from C heavy molasses route be increased from Rs.43.46 per lit to Rs.43.75 per litre,
  • The price of ethanol from B heavy molasses route be increased from Rs.52.43 per lit to Rs.54.27 per litre,
  • The price of ethanol from sugarcane juice/sugar/sugar syrup route be fixed at Rs.59.48 per litre,
  • Additionally, GST and transportation charges will also be payable. OMCs have been advised to fix realistic transportation charges so that long distance transportation of ethanol is not disincentivised,
  • OMCs are advised to continue according priority of ethanol from 1) sugarcane juice/sugar/sugar syrup, 2) B heavy molasses 3) C heavy molasses and 4) Damaged Food grains/other sources, in that order,

Benefits

  • All distilleries will be able to take benefit of the scheme and large number of them are expected to supply ethanol for the EBP programme.
  • Remunerative price to ethanol suppliers will help in reduction of cane farmer’s arrears, in the process contributing to minimizing difficulty of sugarcane farmers.
  • Ethanol availability for EBP Programme is expected to increase significantly due to higher price being offered for procurement of ethanol from all the sugarcane based routes, subsuming “partial sugarcane juice route” and “100% sugarcane juice route” under “sugarcane juice route” and for the first time allowing sugar and sugar syrup for ethanol production.
  • Increased ethanol blending in petrol has many benefits including reduction in import dependency, support to agricultural sector, more environmental friendly fuel, lesser pollution and additional income to farmers.

Background:

  • Government has been implementing Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) Programme wherein OMCs sell petrol blended with ethanol up to 10%.
  • This programme has been extended to whole of India except Union Territories of Andaman Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands to promote the use of alternative and environment friendly fuels.
  • This intervention also seeks to reduce import dependence for energy requirements and give boost to agriculture sector.
  • Government has notified administered price of ethanol since 2014. For the first time during 2018, differential price of ethanol based on raw material utilized for ethanol production was announced by the Government. These decisions have significantly improved the supply of ethanol thereby ethanol procurement by Public Sector OMCs has increased from 38 crore litre in ethanol supply year 2013-14 to estimated over 200 crore litre in 2018-19.

Effects on Sugar Industry

  • Consistent surplus of sugar production is depressing sugar price. Consequently, sugarcane farmer’s dues have increased due to lower capability of sugar industry to pay the farmers. Government has taken many decisions for reduction of cane farmer’s dues.
  • With a view to limit sugar production in the Country and to increase domestic production of ethanol, Government has taken multiple steps including, allowing diversion of B heavy molasses and sugarcane juice for ethanol production.
  • As the ex-mill price of sugar and conversion cost have undergone changes, there is a need to revise the ex-mill price of ethanol derived from different sugarcane based raw materials. There is also a demand from the industry to include sugar and sugar syrup for ethanol production to help in solving the problem of inventory and liquidity with the sugar mills

4 . New Development Bank (NDB)


Context : A one-day Joint India- NDB workshop on Enhancing NDB’s engagement with the India private and public sector was held here today.

About NDB

  • The NDB is the first Multilateral Development Bank established by developing countries and emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS).
  • The mandate of the Bank is to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.
  • India is one of the founding members, holding 20% stake in the Bank.
  • The Bank is headquartered in Shanghai.
  • As of now, NDB’s approved loan proportion to India is 28%, the second highest after China amongst the BRICS countries. States like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Assam are receiving funding from the Bank. NDB is now keen on expanding its operation in other states and union territories in India. The Bank is also looking forward to expand its lending to private sector in India.

Background

  • At the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi (2012), the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa considered the possibility of setting up a new Development Bank to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies, as well as in developing countries.
  • During the sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014), the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB).
  • The Bank shall have an initial authorized capital of US$ 100 billion. The initial subscribed capital shall be US$ 50 billion, equally shared among founding members.
  • The first chair of the Board of Governors shall be from Russia. The first chair of the Board of Directors shall be from Brazil. The first President of the Bank shall be from India.
  • The New Development Bank Africa Regional Center was established in South Africa concurrently with the headquarters.” (Fortaleza Declaration)

5 . WHO South East Asia Health Emergency Response Fund (SEARHEF)


Context : India pledges a contribution of 200,000 US dollars for the SEARO health emergency fund

About SEARO health emergency fund

  • The South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF) is a mechanism that allows for a more rapid response to disasters from natural and human-generated hazards.
  • The fund has been established by the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office and its 11 Member States.
  • Through the WHO country offices, the countries can obtain financial support from the fund within 24 hours of an emergency.
  • The fund will be used for emergencies,whether natural or man-made, in which the following may occur:
    • Declaration of a state of emergency;
    • official request for external assistance by the national government; or
    • appointment of a humanitarian coordinator by the UN Secretary-General for that particular emergency.
  • The fund is designed to provide financial support in the aftermath of an emergency for the first three months. 
  • Funding through SEARHEF will meet immediate needs and fill critical gaps. It is not intended to fund bulk relief, long-term recovery, reconstruction or rehabilitation work.
  • The fund does not replace existing and well established mechanisms such as flash appeals, the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) and Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). These will continue to be the main funding sources for emergency and humanitarian programmes.

6 . Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFTAM)


Context : India has announced a contribution of 22 million US Dollars to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFTAM) for the 6th replenishment cycle (2020-22), an increase of 10% over the amount contributed by us in the 5th cycle.

About GFTAM

  • The Global Fund is a partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.
  • As an international organization, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests more than US$4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries.
  • In partnership with governments, civil society, technical agencies, the private sector and people affected by the diseases, we are challenging barriers and embracing innovation.

Partnership between India and Global Fund

  • India shares a sustained partnership with the Global Fund since 2002 both as recipient and as a donor.
  • Global Fund support with investment of US $ 2.0 billion so far has made significant contribution in attaining targets related to HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria reduction and escalating our fight against these three diseases.
  • In the current funding cycle (2018-21), the Global Fund has allocated US$ 500 million to India. As a donor, India has contributed US$ 46.5 million so far till 2019 including US$ 20 million for the 5th Replenishment.

7 . Single use Plastic


Context : The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan today announced a blanket ban on all types of single use plastic products in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and all its PSUs including Food Corporation of India (FCI)

About Single use plastic

  • Single-use plastics (SUPs) are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include plastic bags, cups, plates, aerated drinks’ bottles, straws, stirrers, take-away food containers, processed food packers and wrappers.
  • Of these, foamed products such as disposable cutlery, plates and glasses are considered the most dangerous to the environment.
  • The benefits of plastic are undeniable. The material is cheap, lightweight and easy to make. In fact, SUPs are so convenient and cost-effective, it is hard to think of scenarios free of single use plastic. We wear it, eat and drink from it, work with it!
  • It is for this reason that the scale of plastic production has reached a massive 300 million tonnes every year. Of this, 50 percent is SUP

How does it affect the environment?

  • According to United Nations Environment Programme, if not recycled, plastic can take up to a thousand years to decompose.
  • The plastic discarded at landfills slowly degenerates into small fragments and leaches carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals into groundwater.
  • Being light in weight, plastic floats on water bodies, accumulates and clogs airways of marine animals. This not only leads to endangering marine life, but also the risk of harmful chemicals entering the human food chain.
  • The phenomenon, even if it might not be visible immediately, affects an entire ecosystem.
  • According to a report by CPCB, India generated about 26,000 tonnes of plastic waste daily in 2011-12. This is equivalent to the weight of 4,700 elephants. It is likely that waste generation will have surpassed these estimates in the current year.

Can’t plastic be recycled?

  • According to experts, 94 percent of plastics are recyclable. However, India recycles about 60 percent and the rest is dumped on to landfills and in the sea and other water bodies.
  • Experts also believe that plastic products have an end life and cannot be recycled more than three-four times. In fact, the CPCB has warned that recycled products are at times more harmful to the environment because of added chemicals and colours.

8 . Third Round of India – Pakistan talk on Kartarpur


Following decisions are taken in the third round of India-Pakistan talks

  • Agreement on visa free travel of Indian pilgrims, without any restrictions based on their faith. Persons of Indian origin holding OCI card too can visit Holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Corridor.
  • 5,000 pilgrims can visit Holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Corridor every day. Additional pilgrims, over and above the figure of 5,000, can visit on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion by Pakistan side. Pakistan has conveyed its assurance to increase this number.
  • The Corridor will be operational throughout the year, seven days a week. Pilgrims will have a choice to visit as individuals or in groups, and on foot.
  • Both sides agreed to build the bridge at Budhi Ravi Channel. Pending the construction of the bridge on Pakistan side, both sides agreed to the crossing point coordinates of the temporary service road being built.
  • The Pakistan side has agreed to make sufficient provision for preparation and distribution of ‘Langar’ and ‘Prasad’ for the pilgrims.

9 . National Award to Teachers-2018


Context : The President of India , Shri Ram NathKovind will confer National Award to Teachers-2018 in New Delhi tomorrow.

About National Award to Teachers

  • The national level awards are given to teachers on Teachers’ Day to celebrate the unique contribution of some of the finest teachers in the country and to honor those teachers who through their commitment have not only improved the quality of school education but also enriched the lives of their students.
  • For the year 2018, the online self nomination process followed by 3 tier selection process at District, State and National level was followed.
  • The Independent National Jury recommended name of 46 teachers.
  • The criterion adopted was to select those teachers who had shown innovation in their work and had added value to the school and to their students.
  • These nominated teachers gave a presentation before an independent Jury comprising a senior educationist. This ensured that all of them were given an opportunity to place before the jury their contribution and the work done by them.
  • The basic premise now is that the new scheme should be transparent, fair, and reward demonstrated excellence and performance and has been inspired by recent innovations in major national awards.
  • The award carries a Silver Medal, Certificate and Rs. 50,000/- as award money.

10 . Poshan Maah


About Poshan Maah

  • Under POSHAN Abhiyaan, this September is being celebrated as the Poshan Maah across country to address the malnutritional challenges. Rastriya Poshan Maah or National Nutrition Month is being launched across the country.
  • With Women & Child Development as the nodal Department, a month-long activities focussing on antenatal care, anaemia, growth monitoring, girls’ education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation, eat healthy as themes are being showcased in form of food melas, rallies, school level campaigns, anaemia test camps, recipe demonstration, radio & TV talk shows and seminars all across country.
  • The month-long intensive event plans to bring about convergence amongst various ministries/departments to rally people’s opinion and participation to reduce and finally eliminate malnutrition from the country.
  • Poshan Maah aims at making people aware of the importance of nutrition and giving individual access to government services to support supplement nutrition for their children and pregnant women/lactating mothers.
  • This year Poshan Maah focuses on five critical components – ‘First 1000 days of the Child, Anaemia, Diarrhoea, Hand Wash & Sanitation and Poshtik Aahar (wholesome meal with diet diversity)’, called ‘Paanch Sutras’. 

11 . Facts for Prelims


Leh Pargyil

  • Leo Pargyil is the third highest peak of Himachal and is considered to be among the most challenging and technically difficult peak to scale. It lies in the Zanskar range.

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