Ojaank IAS Academy




01 february 2023 – Current Affairs

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Global recession

GS Paper- III

Context- There have recently been rising fears that the world economy would enter a recession. These worries were sparked mostly by the US economy’s downturn in the first half of 2022. Negative growth in two consecutive quarters is widely regarded as an indicator of recession, but it is not formally recognised.
Background: The state of the US economy
  • According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the United States’ real Gross Domestic Product (GDP corrected for inflation) fell at an annual rate of 1.6% in the first and second quarters of 2022, respectively.
  • However, the US economy increased by 3.2% in the third quarter, indicating a considerable comeback.
  • According to the most recent BEA advance estimates, the US real GDP rose at an annual pace of 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter.
  • Despite a minor dip from the third quarter, the US economy’s continuous expansion towards the end of 2022 is a healthy indication, alleviating fears of a recession in 2023.
Economic recovery in the United States
  • The fourth quarter’s positive growth may be ascribed mostly to an increase in consumer spending of 2.1% on an annualised basis, as well as a rise in private inventory investment in 2022. Although this is a big decrease from the 5.9 percent growth in 2021, it accounts for the expected post-Covid economic rebound in 2021.
  • In December 2022, the unemployment rate was measured at 3.5%, matching pre-pandemic levels. In addition, total nonfarm payroll employment climbed by 2,23,000 in December, beating the Dow Jones forecast of 200,000.
  • While the labour market remains tight, inflation in the United States has slowed in recent months. Consumer prices declined 0.1% in December, the greatest month-over-month drop since April 2020, mostly to lower motor vehicle and fuel costs.
  • Although not a perfect correlation, the drop in unemployment claims in January indicates that the recent huge layoffs, notably in the IT industry, have not yet translated into an increase in claims, implying the likelihood of finding new work.
  • Domestic consumption is likely to rise considerably as China returns to pre-Covid levels of economic activity by improving GDP. Global commerce is predicted to improve as a result of the ease of cross-border mobility and eventual increase in exports of consumer and industrial goods.
What exactly is a recession?
  • A recession is defined as a dramatic drop in economic activity that lasts months or even years.
  • A recession is declared when a country’s economy sees negative GDP, rising unemployment, dropping retail sales, and declining income and manufacturing metrics for a protracted period of time.
  • Recessions are seen as an inescapable component of the economic cycle, or the regular rhythm of expansion and contraction in a country’s economy.
Possibility of a global recession
  • Despite the drop in consumer prices, the headline CPI in the United States increased by 6.5% year on year in December 2022. Despite the moderate pace of growth in headline CPI, sustained rise in core inflation excluding food and energy remains a key concern across economies.
  • As a result, central banks are projected to continue raising interest rates in the coming months. CPI inflation in Australia rose to 7.8 percent on an annualised basis in the fourth quarter of 2022, raising the prospect of interest rate rises.
  • Furthermore, a rise in China’s demand for commodities following the reopening might drive up commodity prices, causing inflation. For example, rising Chinese demand for natural gas would imply more rivalry with the European market, resulting in higher commodity prices, which might put additional inflationary pressures on Europeans already facing high energy costs.
  • Rising interest rates would result in increased borrowing costs, thereby dampening consumer expenditure. While housing and construction, which are susceptible to high borrowing prices, have slowed dramatically.
Positive signals include the US economy’s ongoing expansion and China’s reopening of its borders. Rising inflation is nevertheless a source of concern across the world. The preponderance of ambiguous signals, on the other hand, implies that the beginning and severity of a worldwide recession in 2023 remain uncertain.
Source – The Hindu

Mental Health

GS Paper- II

Context- When compared to other nations at the same socioeconomic level, India has one of the highest suicide rates. According to the World Health Organization, India’s suicide rate in 2019 was 12.9/1,000,000, which was higher than the regional average of 10.2 and the world average of 9.0. Suicide has surpassed car accidents as the main cause of mortality among those aged 15 to 29 in India.
Background Information about Mental Health
  • While every precious life lost due to suicide is one too many, it is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of mental health in the country, particularly among young adults. Women are more likely to suffer.
  • Across the globe, the frequency of certain mental health issues is consistently greater in women than in males.
Prevalence of Mental ill-health
  • According to a research published in the Lancet, it might have raised the prevalence of depression by 28% and anxiety by 26% globally in just one year between 2020 and 2021.
  • Again, considerable increases have been observed among younger age groups, owing to viral uncertainty and fear, financial and job losses, mourning, increased childcare obligations, school closures, and social isolation.
  • The increased usage of some types of social media is further worsening young people’s stress. Social media detracts from better face-to-face connections and diminishes involvement in meaningful activities. More significantly, it undermines self-esteem through negative social comparison.
Socio-economic implications of Mental ill-health
  • Mental illness is a primary cause of disability worldwide, and it is inextricably related to poverty, creating a vicious cycle of disadvantage. People living in poverty are more likely to suffer from such problems.
  • People with serious mental health disorders, on the other hand, are more likely to slip into poverty due to job loss and increasing health-care costs.
  • Stigma and prejudice frequently erode their social support networks. This feeds the terrible cycle of poverty and mental illness.
  • Unsurprisingly, nations with more wealth inequality and social division have a higher incidence.
Approach to protect, promote and care for the mental health of people?
  • The first step should be to eradicate the profound stigma that hinders patients from obtaining therapy on time and makes them feel ashamed, alone, and powerless. Stigma grows in the dark and disperses in the light. To break through the gloom and show a light, we need a mission.
  • To minimise stress, promote a healthy lifestyle, screen and identify high-risk populations, and reinforce interventions such as counselling services, mental health must be integrated into public health programmes. Special attention must be paid to schools.
  • Furthermore, we should give special attention to vulnerable populations, such as victims of domestic or sexual assault, jobless youth, marginal farmers, armed forces members, and individuals operating under tough conditions.
  • Inadequate care and stigma exacerbate each other. Only 20-30% of persons with such diseases are now receiving proper therapy.
  • Inequitable service uptake and results will result from improved coverage without equivalent financial protection. All government health-care initiatives, including Ayushman Bharat, should include the broadest feasible spectrum of services.
Why is the wide treatment gap?
  • One key cause for a large treatment gap is a lack of resources.
  • Mental health concerns get less than 2% of the government health budget, which is the lowest among the G20 countries.
  • There is a serious scarcity of specialists, with one estimate claiming that the country has fewer psychiatrists than New York City.
  • To bridge the gaps in health infrastructure and human resources, significant expenditures will be required.
  • Currently, most private health insurance policies cover just a subset of mental health issues. Similarly, only a small number of WHO-prescribed pharmaceuticals are included on the list of essential medicines.
We need an immediate and well-resourced whole-of-society strategy to safeguarding, promoting, and caring for our people’s mental health, much as we did with the Covid epidemic. “There is no health without mental health,” remarked Brock Chisholm, WHO’s first Director General.
Source – The Hindu

Israel-Palestinian violence on West Bank soars

GS Paper-II

Context -The US has encouraged Israel and the Palestinians to de-escalate tensions amid a surge in violence in the West Bank area.
What is the location of West Bank?
  • The West Bank is a landlocked area in Western Asia along the Mediterranean coast that comprises the majority of the Palestinian territories.
  • It is bounded to the east by Jordan and the Dead Sea, and to the south, west, and north by Israel.
Discussion point: Anti-Semitism
  • Many theocratic regimes have an explicit policy of anti-Semitism (hate of Jews) (created by divine orders of religion).
  • This covers the whole Arab world, Turkey’s self-proclaimed caliphate, and even Pakistan.
  • Jews, the world’s micro-minority religion, were refused entry into their country.
What is the Israel-Palestine Conflict?
  • The territory claimed by Jews and Palestinians was under the Ottoman Empire and subsequently the British Empire in the early twentieth century.
  • Palestinians – Arabs from the same region — seek to establish a state called Palestine in that region.
  • The dispute between Israelis and Palestinians is about who owns what land and how it is administered.
  • Jews escaping persecution in Europe at the time desired to build a Jewish state on what they believed to be their historic homeland.
  • At the time, the Arabs objected, claiming ownership of the area. At the time, the region was known as Palestine.
  • The United Kingdom announced its support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
  • Arabs resisted, resulting in bloodshed.
Jews enter the West Bank: Israel’s Arab hinterland
  • According to a history provided by the University of Central Arkansas, 75,000 Jews moved to Palestine between 1922 and 1926, and 60,000 Jews departed in 1935.
  • It goes on to say that Palestinian Arabs asked the UK to stop Jewish emigration, but the UK refused. There were violent episodes that resulted in the deaths of around 500 persons.
  • The British Mandate for Palestine went into force in 1923.
  • The League of Nations, the unsuccessful forerunner of the United Nations, produced the document (UN).
  • The mandate charged the United Kingdom with establishing a Jewish national homeland in the region.
  • In 1936, the British administration proposed partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab kingdoms.
How did the situation deteriorate?
  • In 1947, Britain sent the Palestine question to the United Nations, which devised a partition plan.
  • It made two proposals. The overwhelming idea is two independent nations connected economically, whereas the minority option is a single bi-national state made up of autonomous Jewish and Palestinian districts.
  • The Jewish community supported the first of these measures, while the Arab community rejected both.
Why is a two-state solution required?
  • Apart from addressing the fundamental desire of both Jews and Arabs for their own states, advocates of two-state solutions argue that it must be supported since its alternatives are just unworkable.
  • A unified Israel, West Bank, and Gaza would reduce Jews to a minority.
  • At the same time, Jews would be a considerable minority in such a state, which would annoy the Arab majority.
  • Moral justification for a two-state solution
  • It states that one person’s objectives should not be prioritised over the desires of others.
  • It is a conflict between two diverse groups of people over collective rights.
  • Jews are the world’s micro-minority, existing on a very small area of territory.
  • Depriving Israeli Jews of a Jewish state or Palestinians of a Palestinian state would be a surrender of one group’s aspirations to the vision of another.
Way forward
According to India, the only way to establish long-term peace between Israel and Palestine is through a negotiated two-State solution.
This may be accomplished by establishing a sovereign, autonomous, and sustainable Palestinian state within safe and recognised boundaries.
Source – The Hindu

SC to hear plea against Electoral Bonds Scheme

GS Paper- II

Context- The Supreme Court will consider whether petitions challenging the constitutionality of the electoral bonds programme should be submitted to a Constitution Bench.
What exactly is a Constitution Bench?
  • The Supreme Court of India’s benches are referred to as the constitution bench.
  • The Chief Justice of India has the authority to convene and refer cases to a Constitution Bench.
  • When the following conditions apply, constitution benches are set up:
  • Article 145(3) mandates the formation of a court of at least five judges to hear any dispute “involving a serious point of law as to the interpretation” of the Indian Constitution.
  • When the President seeks the Supreme Court’s opinion on a factual or legal point under Article 143 of the Constitution. Article 143 of the Constitution grants the Supreme Court advisory authority. According to the rule, the President has the authority to ask the Supreme Court issues that he deems relevant for public welfare.
  • When two or more Supreme Court three-judge benches give opposing rulings on the same point of law, a bigger bench is required to get a definitive understanding and interpretation of the law.
  • The Constitution benches are formed on an as-needed basis when the aforementioned prerequisites are met.

Constitution benches have decided many of India’s best-known and most important Supreme Court cases, such as:

  • K. Gopalan v. State of Madras (Preventive detention)
  • Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala (Basic structure doctrine) and
  • Ashoka Kumar Thakur v. Union of India (OBC reservations) etc.
What are Electoral Bonds?
  • Electoral bonds are financial instruments that may be acquired by any person or organisation in order to make payments to political parties without disclosing the donor’s identity.
  • It is similar to a promissory note that may be purchased from specified State Bank of India branches by any Indian person or company established in India.
  • The person or corporation can then give to any qualifying political party of his or her choosing.
  • Individuals or parties will be able to acquire these bonds digitally or by check.
About the scheme
  • The bond can be purchased by an Indian citizen or an organisation formed in India.
  • Such bonds can be acquired for any amount in multiples of 1,000, 10,000, 10 lakh, and 1 crore from any of the State Bank of India’s designated offices.
  • The purchaser will be permitted to acquire electoral bonds only if all existing KYC requirements are met and payment is made from a bank account.
  • The bonds will be valid for 15 days (15 days time has been prescribed for the bonds to ensure that they do not become a parallel currency).
  • Donors who donate less than 20,000 to political parties through the purchase of electoral bonds are not required to reveal their personal information, such as Permanent Account Number (PAN).
Objective of the scheme

Transparency in political funding: Ensuring that the cash raised by political parties are accounted for or clean money.

Who has the authority to redeem such bonds?
  • The Electoral Bonds may only be redeemed by an eligible Political Party through a bank account with an Authorized Bank.
  • Only political parties that have been registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and have received at least 1% of the votes cast in the last General Election to the Lok Sabha or the State Legislative Assembly are eligible to obtain Electoral Bonds.
Restrictions that are done away
  • Previously, under the Companies Act, no foreign corporation could give to any political party.
  • According to Section 182 of the Companies Act, a company may give up to 7.5 percent of its average three-year net profit as political donations.
  • Companies were required to report information of their political donations in their yearly financial statements under the same clause of the Act.
  • The administration proposed an amendment to the Finance Bill to guarantee that this provision does not apply to firms that issue electoral bonds.
  • Thus, Indian, foreign, and even shell businesses can now give to political parties without informing anybody.
Issues with the Scheme
  • While the donor’s identity is recorded, it is not made public or available to the party. As a result, voter transparency is not improved.
  • Furthermore, income tax deductions may not be available for contributions made through electoral bonds. This forces the donor to choose between anonymity and tax savings.
  • The donor’s privacy is jeopardised because the bank will know their identify.
  • Because the government can see who gave what money and to whom, these bonds will benefit any party in power.
  • The electoral bonds programme and revisions in the Finance Act of 2017 allows for “unlimited donations from individuals and foreign organisations to political parties without any record of the sources of money”.
Way ahead
  • However, the concerns about the electoral bond plan extend beyond its obvious unconstitutionality.
  • The fear about the danger of misappropriation of monies is extremely real.
  • The EC has demanded that a law be established requiring political parties to have their finances audited by an auditor chosen from a panel selected by the CAG or EC. This should be highlighted.
  • Another viable solution would be to create a National Election Fund to which all donations might be routed.
  • This would alleviate the funders’ fictitious fear of political retaliation.
Source – The Hindu

Methane Emission

GS Paper- III 

Context- Rumin8, an Australian firm, is working on a dietary supplement that uses red seaweed as a source of synthetic material to suppress methane generation.
The company is anticipated to perform research on animal dietary additives in order to reduce methane emissions, which are the second most abundant greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide.
What exactly is methane?
  • Methane (CH4) is the most basic hydrocarbon, with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.
  • It is the primary component of natural gas and is colourless, odourless, and extremely combustible.
  • Because of its high heat absorbency, it is a significant greenhouse gas. Since 1750, the quantity of methane in the atmosphere has increased by around 150%, owing mostly to anthropogenic activity.
  • Methane is the second most prevalent anthropogenic GHG after CO2, accounting for approximately 20% of world emissions.
Ruminant methane production
  • Agriculture is the single greatest source of anthropogenic methane (CH4) emissions, with ruminants being the most significant contributor.
  • Ruminants, unlike other animals, have sophisticated digestive tracts that have four compartments rather than one.
  • Plant material is initially transported to the rumen, the stomach’s biggest compartment inhabited by microbes such as fungus, bacteria, protozoa, and archaea.
  • In exchange for sustenance and shelter, these microbes break down normally indigestible cellulose-rich plants, releasing protein and energy for their host animal.
  • However, during this process, known as enteric fermentation, one bacterium, the archaea, mixes CO2 and hydrogen produced by the cellulose-digesting microorganisms to produce methane.
Other Methane Sources
  • Animals are not the only source of agricultural methane. Another 8% of human-linked emissions are attributed to paddy rice production, in which flooded fields prevent oxygen from accessing the soil, producing perfect circumstances for methane-emitting bacteria.
  • Methane is also produced and transported through the production and transportation of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions are also caused by other agricultural activities, land usage, and the breakdown of organic material in municipal solid waste dumps.
Emission by India
  • After China, the United States, and Russia, India is now the world’s fourth greatest methane emitter.
  • The agriculture industry in India generates five times as much methane as the energy sector, while having the world’s biggest cow herd and being the second greatest rice producer.
  • According to the Global Methane Tracker 2022, agriculture contributes for 61% of global methane emissions, while India’s energy sector accounts for 16.4% and garbage accounts for 19.8%.
How does  Methane Emissions affect the Environment?
  • Methane is the principal contributor to the creation of ground-level ozone, a dangerous air pollutant and greenhouse gas that causes one million premature deaths each year.
  • Methane is 80 times more effective at warming than carbon dioxide during a 20-year period.
  • Methane has been responsible for around 30% of global warming since pre-industrial times and is spreading faster than at any previous time since records began in the 1980s.
How much methane can we really cut?
  • CO2 remains in the atmosphere for millennia, but methane degrades quickly and is mostly gone by a decade, implying that action can significantly slow the rate of global warming in the short term.
  • Within a decade, human-caused methane emissions might be decreased by up to 45 percent. This would save roughly 0.3°C of global warming by 2045, contributing to a 1.5°C global temperature rise and putting the world on pace to meet the Paris Agreement objectives.
  • Every year, the resulting reduction in ground-level ozone would also save 260,000 lives, 775,000 asthma-related hospital visits, 73 billion hours of missed labour due to high heat, and 25 million tonnes of agricultural losses.
Steps Taken by India to reduce Methane Emissions
  • The India Greenhouse Gas Program, which was launched in 2012 and is managed by WRI India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), is an industry-driven voluntary framework for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The National Animals Mission since 2014 involves feeding livestock with balanced feeds which “may assist minimise methane emissions from livestock”.
  • The Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources (Gobar-Dhan) plan, which began in 2018, and the New National Biogas and Organic Manure Programme, which began in 2017, both give farmers with incentives for cow manure recovery, which is utilised in the creation of bio-energy.
  • Several other schemes, such as Direct Seeded Rice, which uses less water during initial paddy cropping and thus reduces methane emissions, and Waste to Energy plants, which generate biogas from agricultural, urban, industrial, and municipal solid waste, among others, will reduce methane emissions indirectly.
  • The Central Salt and Marine Chemical Research Institute (CSMCRI) created a seaweed-based animal feed additive formulation with the goal of lowering methane emissions from cattle.
  • HaritDhara (HD), an anti-methanogenic feed additive developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), can reduce cow methane emissions by 17-20%.
  • Norms for Bharat Stage VI: India just switched from BS-IV to BS-VI emission standards. BS6 emission requirements are more stringent than BS4.
Global Efforts to cut methane emissions
  • The Worldwide Methane Pledge was announced in November 2021 at COP26, sponsored by the United States and the European Union, and now has 111 nation partners, accounting for 45% of global human-caused methane emissions. Countries that sign the Pledge agree to reducing methane emissions by at least 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.
  • New Zealand was also one of the first countries to suggest legislative remedies in October 2022, when it proposed charging greenhouse gases emitted by farm animals when burping and peeing.
  • Researchers are also attempting to develop gene-editing techniques to reduce methane emissions in these animals. Scientists in New Zealand announced the launch of the world’s first genetic programme to combat climate change by breeding sheep that produce less methane.
  • Use of Seaweed: According to a 2021 study published in the journal PLUS ONE, adding seaweed to cow feed can lower methane generation in their stomachs by more than 80%.
Way Ahead
  • Farmers may give their animals more nutritional feed, resulting in bigger, healthier, and more productive animals, thus producing more with less.
  • Scientists are also working with different types of feed to minimise methane emissions from cows, as well as strategies to handle dung more efficiently, such as covering it, composting it, or utilising it to make biogas.
  • Experts advocate alternate soaking and drying methods for staple crops such as paddy rice, which may cut emissions in half.
  • Instead of permitting continuous flooding of fields, paddies might be watered and drained two to three times during the growing season, minimising methane generation while not affecting productivity. This technique would also use one-third less water, making it more cost effective.
Source – Indian Express

Finance Commission

GS Paper-II 

Context– The government will shortly begin the process of establishing the Sixteenth Finance Commission, with the Finance Ministry announcing the terms of reference for the constitutional body.
  • The terms of reference for the Sixteenth FC will be developed following internal government discussions led by the Finance Ministry.
  • The appointment of an Officer on Special Duty to oversee the process will be the first step in forming the Commission.
  • When the Commission is formed, this officer usually becomes a member-secretary.
  • The coexistence of another permanent constitutional body, the GST Council, would be a significant new task for the 16th FC.
  • Because the Council’s choices on tax rate increases may affect the Commission’s revenue projections for sharing budgetary resources.
Concerning the Finance Commission
  • It is a body authorised by the Constitution that is at the heart of fiscal federalism.
  • According to Article 280 of the Constitution, it is formed by the President.
  • On April 6, 1952, the First Finance Commission was established by Presidential Order under the chairmanship of Shri K.C. Neogy.
  • The Constitution requires the establishment of a Finance Commission (FC) every five years; the mandate of the 15th FC was prolonged by a year until 2025-26, breaking the cycle.
  • The 9th Finance Commission, established in June 1987, was the final FC to be given a six-year mandate.

Core Responsibilities:   It is the duty of the Commission to make recommendations to the President as to— 

  • The distribution of the net revenues of taxes to be shared between the Union and the States, as well as the allocation of the various parts of such proceeds among the States;
  • The principles that should govern grants-in-aid made from the Consolidated Fund of India’s income;
  • The actions required to enhance a state’s Consolidated Fund in order to complement the resources of the state’s Panchayats based on the recommendations of the state’s Finance Commission;
  • The steps required to enhance a state’s Consolidated Fund in order to supplement the resources of the state’s municipalities based on the recommendations of the state’s Finance Commission; Any other item presented to the Commission by the President in the interests of sound finance.
  • The Commission defines its process and has such powers in carrying out its tasks as Parliament may provide by legislation.

Importance: Its operations are distinguished by lengthy and thorough discussions with all levels of government, hence reinforcing the cooperative federalism idea.

Its ideas also aim to improve the quality of government expenditure and promote fiscal stability.

Current Commission: The Fifteenth Finance Commission was established on November 27, 2017, in the aftermath of the abolition of the Planning Commission (as well as the distinction between Plan and non-Plan expenditure) and the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), which fundamentally altered federal fiscal relations.

  • The present Commission’s Terms of Reference include suggesting monitorable performance requirements for significant national flagship programmes and investigating the prospect of establishing permanent non-lapsable funding for India’s defence needs.
  • The division of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — one of Jammu and Kashmir and one of Ladakh – introduces a new dynamic.
Source – Indian Express

Facts For Prelims

Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Mughal Gardens was renamed Amrit Udyan

Context: The Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House) in Delhi’s famed Mughal Gardens have been renamed ‘Amrit Udyan.’
The Garden’s History:
  • When the Indian capital was relocated from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, around 4,000 acres of land were purchased to build the Viceroy’s House and a Mughal-style Garden. Sir Edwin Lutyens was tasked with developing the Raisina Hill structure. The designs of Sir Edwin Lutyens merged aspects of classical European architecture with Indian influences.
Persian Char Bagh style
  • The Mughals (1526-1858) were known to value gardens; for example, Babur (in Babur Nama) mentions that his favourite type of garden is the Persian char Bagh style (literally, four gardens).
  • Charbagh is a Persian-style garden arrangement in which the main house is placed in the centre of a quadrilateral garden separated into four smaller pieces by pathways or flowing water.
  • The Mughals introduced this style to India, and the most notable examples are Humayun’s tomb, Nishat Bagh (Sri Nagar), and the Taj Mahal.
  • The char Bagh building was designed to resemble heaven, where mankind dwell in perfect harmony with all aspects of nature.
  • The usage of streams to demarcate the garden’s distinct quadrants is a significant aspect of these designs.
  • Fountains were frequently designed to represent the “cycle of life.”

‘Nitrate radicals’ are likely making air pollution worse in China, India

Context: According to a new study, areas of India and China are hotspots for the formation of nitrate radicals at night, which can increase the quantity of harmful ozone and PM2.5 particulate matter in the atmosphere.

Concerning Nitrate Radicals:

  • The nitrate radical is a nitrogen oxide composed of three oxygen atoms linked to a nitrogen atom.
  • Nitrogen oxides are reactive gases that help to control the production of air pollutants such as ozone and PM 2.5 particles.
  • Nitrate radicals oxidise gas pollutants such volatile organic compounds (VOCs), producing ozone and secondary organic aerosol.
  • Ozone is an air contaminant that has an impact on both human health and crop output.
  • PM2.5 contains a significant amount of secondary organic aerosol.

In a first, Indian Oil Corporation starts exporting aviation gasoline

Context: The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has begun exporting aviation fuel (for the 1st time by India)
  • It is employed in the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and tiny planes.
  • The start of petroleum exports signifies India’s entry into a $2.7 billion global industry.
  • Currently, the IOC is India’s sole fuel producer.
What exactly is Aviation Gasoline Fuel?
  • When compared to imported fuels, aviation gasoline is a high-octane aviation fuel with greater performance and quality criteria.
  • This fuel is typically used at flying schools for piston-engine aircraft.
  • The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has begun exporting aviation fuel (for the 1st time by India)
  • It is employed in the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and tiny planes.
  • The start of petroleum exports signifies India’s entry into a $2.7 billion global industry.
  • Currently, the IOC is India’s sole fuel producer.
What exactly is Aviation Gasoline Fuel?
  • When compared to imported fuels, aviation gasoline is a high-octane aviation fuel with greater performance and quality criteria.
  • This fuel is typically used at flying schools for piston-engine aircraft.

India may use emergency law to lift coal power output

Context: India intends to invoke an emergency statute next month to compel power facilities that use imported coal to increase output in anticipation of record usage this summer.
Power demand in India and coal imports:
  • When compared to the previous year, India’s electricity consumption increased by more than 11% to 121 billion units in December 2022.
  • The majority of coal imported into India is coking coal and high-grade coal, which are often more expensive than thermal coal (mainly from Indonesia and Australia)
  • With an installed power capacity of 408.71 GW as of October 31, 2022, India is the world’s third-largest producer and user of energy.
Why are power plants based on imported coal not running at full capacity?
  • In recent years, these facilities (some of which are owned by Adani Power and Tata Power) have struggled to compete with power supplied from inexpensive local coal.
  • Consumption by state: India’s industrial western states Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have seen a sharp increase in electricity demand in recent months, have urged that the legislation be invoked.
  • The Electricity Act of 2003 oversees the generation, transmission, distribution, trade, and consumption of electricity in India.

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