UN’s study of Dams
Context– A report from the United Nations University Institute on Water, Environment, and Health (UNU-INWEH), widely known as the UN’s water think tank, was just published.
Potential storage reduction:
- According to the research, 6,316 billion cubic metres of original worldwide storage in 47,403 big dams in 150 nations would be reduced to 4,665 billion cubic metres by 2050, resulting in a 26 percent storage loss.
- The loss of 1,650 billion cubic metres of storage capacity is about equivalent to India’s, China’s, Indonesia’s, France’s, and Canada’s total annual water demand.
Reduced dam storage in Asia-Pacific:
- The Asia-Pacific area, the world’s most intensively dammed region, is expected to lose 13% of its initial dam storage capacity by 2022.
- By mid-century, it will have lost roughly a quarter (23%) of its initial storage capacity.
- Water storage is critical for preserving water and food security in the area, which is home to 60% of the world’s population.
The dams of India:
- According to the report, over 3,700 dams in India will lose 26 percent of their entire storage capacity by 2050.
Reason of loss:
- This storage loss will be caused by silt deposition, which will jeopardise future water security, irrigation, and power generation.
- Sediment has already stolen around 50,000 major dams globally of 13 to 19 percent of their total initial storage capacity.
The dams of China:
- Meanwhile, China, the world’s most heavily dammed nation, has lost roughly 10% of its storage capacity and will lose another 10% by 2050, according to the analysis.
- A dam is a structure designed to contain water across a stream, river, or estuary.
- India has 4,407 major dams, the third most in the world behind China (23,841) and the United States (9,263).
- Huge: A dam is termed large if it is more than 15 metres high or between 5 and 15 metres high but holds more than 3 million cubic metres of water.
- A low dam is one that is less than 30 metres high.
- A medium-height dam is between 30 and 100 metres tall, whereas a high dam is beyond 100 metres tall.
The importance of dam construction:
- Infrastructure for water storage is vital for development.
- Large dams and reservoirs supply hydroelectricity, flood control, irrigation, and drinking water, and they frequently serve numerous purposes at the same time.
Major threats to dams:
- Many huge dams erected in the twentieth century may be showing signs of ageing all around the world, and many may already be operating at or beyond their design lives.
- In India, 2025 will be a watershed year, with over 1,000 dams turning 50 or older.
- Sediment accumulation reduces reservoir capacity over time and impacts reservoir life expectancy.
- The collection of silt and debris behind the reservoir, known as siltation, reduces the dams’ storage capacity.
- Because a major part of India’s dams are earthen—built by compacting successive layers of earth rather than concrete—they are more prone to corrosion.
- The nation receives concentrated rainfall every year for a certain period of time, as opposed to scattered rainfall, which contributes to the vulnerability of the dams.
- In India, downstream communities are frequently vulnerable to flood disasters, and flooding has caused 44% of dam breaches.
- Because the Himalayan mountain system is continually changing and developing, causing many tectonic movements, certain Himalayan dam systems, notably the Tehri Dam, are in an active seismic region.
- The Central Water Commission’s latest assessment on the Srisailam project on the Krishna river discovered that siltation lowered the dam’s storage capacity.
- Several other investigations have clearly demonstrated that the real siltation rates are several times higher than what was projected.
- As a result, with the removal of reservoir silt from dams, a prompt examination of the structure should be performed.
Source – The Hindu
Rise in RBD Palm Oil Import
Context- The local oil refining sector is being harmed by a dramatic increase in the import of refined, bleached, and deodorised (RBD) palm oil, according to the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India.
Reasons for the increase in RBD palm oil imports
- The difference in import tariff between CPO (crude palm oil) and refined oil is just 7.5%, promoting the purchase of refined oil over CPO.
- Cutthroat competition: Malaysian and Indonesian exporters of RBD palm oil profit from a $60 tax advantage over CPO, thus they discount palmolein, helping their refiners.
Consequences of the rise in imports of RBD palm oil
- The Indian refining sector has low capacityutilisation (30% presently against 60-70% in 2020).
- For e.g. Only 18 million tonnes were used, compared to a capacity of 38-40 million tonnes.
- Importing crude palm oil and processing it into refined palmolein will cost the refining sector Rs. 6000 a tonne.
- The Prime Minister’s appeal for atmanirbhar and value creation within the country is jeopardised by increased imports.
- Sustained import patterns may result in the Indian refining sector being merely packers rather than manufacturers and refiners.
- Compromising large expenditures made in the local refining sector to increase capacity and the likelihood of developing Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the sector.
- Domestic oilseeds have finally begun to trade above the minimum support price (MSP), resulting in higher farm revenue. If RBD imports continue to rise, these gains may be reversed.
Edible oil inflation
About Palm Oil
- Palm oil is often referred to as palm fruit oil. Palm oil is extracted from the oil palm tree’s fruit (Scientific name: Elaeisguineensis).
- It may have eclipsed soybean oil as the world’s most extensively produced vegetable oil.
- Palm oil is physically processed rather than chemically refined, lowering the danger of residual contamination.
- Carotenoids (provitamin A), tocotrienols, and tocopherols are abundant in virgin palm oil (Vitamin E).
- It does not include cholesterol because it is a vegetable oil and not an animal or dairy product. It also has no trans fatty acids.
- Oil palm is the only fruit that produces both palm oil and palm kernel oil.
- Oil palm has been a major agricultural crop since its introduction. The increased planting, processing, and refining of palm oil has resulted in the creation of a diverse range of processed palm oil products.
- They can be used to make frying oils, margarines, shortenings, soap, oleo chemicals, and other items.
- It is a cooking oil, a component of margarine, and a component of many processed goods. Palm oil is one of the few vegetable oils that, like coconut oil, is quite heavy in saturated fats and consequently semi-solid at room temperature.
- Palm oil is a key contributor to the destruction of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests, endangering the habitat of already endangered species such as the Orangutan, pygmy elephant, and Sumatran rhino.
- More than 40% of prospective oil palm farming areas in India overlap with biodiversity-rich landscapes, particularly in the North-East and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP)
- It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with a particular emphasis on the Northeast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- The Mission seeks to boost oil palm acreage by 6.5 lakh hectares by 2025-26 and raise crude palm oil production to 11.2 lakh tonnes by 2025-26 and up to 28 lakh tonnes by 2029-30.
- The suggested plan will be the replacement for the present National Food Security Mission-Oil Palm initiative.
2 major focus areas of the Scheme.
- Oil palm growers produce Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs), from which the industry extracts oil. Currently, the pricing of these FFBs are tied to variations in worldwide Crude Palm Oil (CPO) prices.
- For the first time, the Government of India will provide price security to oil palm growers in the shape of the Viability Price for FFBs (VP).
- Budget Proposals 2023-24: Raising the tariff differential between CPO and refined palmolein to at least 15%.
- Increasing refined duty from 12.5% to 20% while leaving crude palm oil duty unchanged.
- Restricted List: The government can immediately reinstate the import of RBD palmolein and refined palm oil to the restricted list.
Source – The Hindu
Preservation of Ozone Hole
Context– According to a recent scientific study, the ozone hole is now predicted to be entirely fixed by 2066.
- The ozone layer above Antarctica, where the hole is most visible, will take a long time to fully mend.
- If present practises were maintained, the ozone layer was predicted to return to 1980 levels over Antarctica by 2066, 2045 for the Arctic, and 2040 for the remainder of the planet.
- The ozone layer is predicted to be back to where it was in 1980 by 2040 throughout the remainder of the planet.
How it became possible:
- Successful removal of some hazardous industrial compounds known as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs).
- Implementation of the Montreal Protocol of 1989.
- Almost all of the Montreal Protocol-prohibited chemicals have now been phased out of usage, resulting in a slow but steady recovery of the ozone layer.
- Ozone (a molecule with three oxygen atoms, or O3) is found mostly in the high atmosphere, or stratosphere, between 10 and 50 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.
- It is essential for planetary life because it absorbs UV light from the Sun.
- UV rays have been linked to skin cancer as well as a variety of other illnesses and malformations in plants and animals.
Damage to the ozone layer
- Before climate change, the most serious environmental hazard was ozone depletion, which was discovered in the early 1980s.
Is it a hole or just a reduction?
- Though the problem is usually referred to as the formation of a “hole” in the ozone layer, it is essentially merely a decrease in ozone molecule concentration.
- Ozone is found in extremely low amounts in the stratosphere even in its typical condition. There are just a few molecules of ozone for every million air molecules where the ‘layer’ is meant to be the thickest.
Sharp drops in Ozone concentrations:
- Scientists began to discover a substantial decrease in its prevalence in the 1980s.
- Over the South Pole, the decline was far more dramatic.
- It was later linked to the unique meteorological conditions that prevail over Antarctica:
- Wind speed and
Biggest hole during months:
- The ozone hole above Antarctica is at its largest in September, October, and November.
The following is the main cause:
- The use of a class of industrial chemicals containing chlorine, bromine, or fluorine.
- The most frequent were chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were widely utilised in the air conditioning, refrigeration, paint, and furniture sectors.
Protocol of Montreal:
- With this goal in mind, the Montreal Protocol was revised in 2016 to extend its jurisdiction over hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which have supplanted CFCs in industrial usage.
- HFCs do not cause significant ozone layer harm, which is why they were not originally prohibited, but they are extremely potent greenhouse gases.
- The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol aims to phase down 80-90 percent of HFCs currently in use by 2050.
- This is predicted to keep global warming at 0.3 to 0.5 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels by the turn of the century.
- Scientists had not seen atmospheric ozone concentrations below 220 Dobson Units (DU; a measure of the total quantity of ozone in an air column above the Earth’s surface).
1980s and beyond:
- Scientists combining ground-based and satellite data discovered in the early 1980s that the Earth’s natural sunscreen was diminishing substantially over the South Pole each spring.
- The ozone hole was named after the weakening of the ozone layer above Antarctica.
- The highest depth of the hole in 1979 was 194 Dobson Units (DU). It decreased to 173 DU in 1982, 154 DU in 1983, and 124 DU in 1985.
- The image below is from a NASA series that shows the extent and form of the ozone hole every year from 1979 through 2019.
- The ozone hole is indicated by the red and yellow patches in the photos. The maps depict the ozone hole on the day with the lowest ozone concentrations each year.
- For the first time, ozone concentrations dipped below 100 DU in 1991. The deepest hole was discovered in 1994, when concentrations dropped to 73 DU on September 30.
- It covers the whole globe and preserves life by absorbing the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays.
- Plants and planktons, which provide sustenance for the majority of ocean life, cannot survive and thrive in high UV exposure.
UV-B rays’ health consequences
- Humans would be more vulnerable to skin cancer, cataracts, and immune system impairment if the Ozone Layer protection was weakened.
- Life on Earth may have been impossible without it owing to dangerous UV-B radiation.
- Because they are potent greenhouse gases, eliminating them provides a significant climate change advantage.
- Several of them are hundreds or thousands of times more hazardous than carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas and the primary cause of global warming.
- Global adherence to the Montreal Protocol insures a temperature increase of 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius by 2050.
- That is, if the usage of CFCs and other related compounds had continued to expand at the rate it did before to their ban, the globe would be 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius warmer than it is now.
- The usage of ODSs, while widespread, was limited to a few sectors.
- Their replacements were easily accessible, albeit at a little greater initial cost.
- As a result, the impact of prohibiting certain ozone-depleting compounds was restricted to these specific industries.
- These industries have recovered from the initial disturbance and are prospering again thanks to various incentives.
- Carbon dioxide emissions are directly related to energy production.
- Carbon dioxide emissions are produced by almost every economic activity. Even renewable energy, such as solar and wind, have significant carbon footprints right now due to the usage of fossil fuels in their manufacture, transportation, and operation.
- Methane emissions, the other primary greenhouse gas, are mostly caused by agricultural operations and cattle.
- The influence of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not restricted to a few businesses or economic sectors, but impacts the whole economy, as well as human lives, habits, and behaviours.
Ahead of the game
- Ensuring that existing ozone-depleting substance limitations are appropriately enforced and that worldwide ozone-depleting substance consumption is minimised.
- Ensuring that ozone-depleting compounds (both in storage and in current equipment) are handled with in an ecologically responsible way and replaced with climate-friendly alternatives.
- Assuring that ozone-depleting compounds are not diverted to unlawful applications.
- Reducing the use of ozone-depleting chemicals in non-consumption uses under the Montreal Protocol.
- Making certain that no new chemicals or technologies arise that might endanger the ozone layer (e.g. very short-lived substances).
Source – The Hindu
Governor skipping the text of customary address to the assembly
Context– While the chief minister was pointing out that the governor skipped a specific piece of the speech that he was supposed to read, the governor exited the assembly session of the house. This has once again sparked concerns about the governor’s powers and functions.
History of governor powers and assembly addresses
- A good governor must remain above politics and be perceived as neutral and fair. In 1937, when the Congress won elections in seven provinces, it accepted office on the condition that the British governors would not intervene in the working of its ministries and refrain from using “discretion and special powers”.
- However, following independence, India granted governors the same unique rights.
- Rajasthan Governor Sampuranand skipped a section of his address in 1967. The Rajasthan High Court decided in Yogender Singh Handa v. State of Rajasthan (1967) that any portion of the governor’s address was sufficient to declare the entire address read.
- When her appeal for “quiet, hush, allowing me to address” was denied on February 8, 1965, West Bengal Governor Padmaja Naidu departed the legislature without delivering the ceremonial address. The Speaker took the chair, said that the governor had been happy to deliver her address, and placed a copy of it on the House table.
Powers and functions of the governor
- The governor is an important member of the legislative assembly. He calls the House to order and dissolves it.
- He has the right to address the first session of the House under Article 176(2(b). This address is a vital aspect of constitutional symbolism and has a great deal of weight.
- The governors have no authority to call an assembly session, according to the Constitution. Parliamentary democracy being the basic structure of our Constitution, this is the prerogative of the Cabinet though Article 174 does say that the governor from time to time summons the assembly to meet at such time and place “he thinks fit”.
- Governors have no right to dispute the purpose of holding House sessions. In Nabam Rebia (2016), a five-judge panel of the Supreme Court stated that the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, J P Rajkhowa, who advanced the session of the assembly without consulting the chief minister, had exceeded his jurisdiction since he had no discretion in convening the assembly session.
Is it legal for the governor to miss the required assembly speech?
- In AndulGafoor Habibullah v. Speaker, West Bengal Assembly (1966), Justice B N Banerjee of the Calcutta High Court decided that the governor could not refuse to make his address and so fail to fulfil his constitutional duties.
- The address specified in Article 176 is required. The HC, on the other hand, decided that when the governor fails to give his speech under Article 176 and walks out of the House after placing the address on the table, this is only an irregularity, not an illegality.
- It cannot be contested under Article 212, which states that the legitimacy of House proceedings cannot be challenged on the basis of minor procedural irregularities. In this instance, the petitioner claimed that because the House did not begin its proceedings with the normal speech by the governor, the operations of the House were vitiated.
- Editing or removing the speech by the governors may result in a constitutional crisis. The chief minister may refuse to defend the address in his answer at the end of the discussion on the governor’s address, and the House may reject the resolution on the governor’s speech if the chief minister commands a majority.
- When the governor’s/speech president’s is defeated, it is deemed a no-confidence motion, and the chief minister or prime minister, depending on the circumstances, must resign.
- Such a resignation over something that the government did not put in the ceremonial address but that the governor stated on its own would be not only unfair and immoral, but also undemocratic.
- In 1967, Punjab’s Chief Minister, Gurnam Singh, resigned after the governor’s address was rejected on the House floor. When a motion praising the governor was rejected in the UP assembly, UP CM C B Gupta was forced to quit under identical circumstances. As a result, the governor has no leeway in altering the address.
- Governor is neither an adornment nor a glorified cypher. His powers are restricted, but he plays a crucial constitutional role in state government and establishing federalism. He is the state’s chief minister, and all chief ministers, including Tamil Nadu’s, must recognise that. All governors must uphold their pledge to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.
Source – Indian Express
Malnutrition in the North-eastern states of India
Context– There has been a significant increase in the number of malnourished children in India between the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 (2015-16) and the fifth round (2019-2020), and the progress accomplished during the first half of the decade appears to have been undone. Malnutrition in India’s north-eastern states is worse than the national average.
What exactly is malnutrition?
- Malnutrition is defined as a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients being deficient, excessive, or imbalanced.
- Malnutrition has long-term consequences for a child’s motor, sensory, cognitive, social, and emotional development. It stifles productivity and intellectual advancement.
The term malnutrition covers two broad groups of conditions
- Stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age), and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies are all examples of undernutrition (a lack of important vitamins and minerals).
- The other is noncommunicable illnesses caused by being overweight or obese (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer).
Malnutrition in North East India
- Stunting in children under the age of five has increased in four Northeastern states: Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. Meghalaya has the highest rate of stunting at 46.8%, followed by Nagaland (32.7%), Tripura (32.3%), and Mizoram (28.9%). The proportion of children that are stunted, wasting, underweight, or overweight has grown in Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
- According to the NFHS-5, stunting levels have decreased in Assam, Manipur, and Sikkim. In Assam, stunting has dropped by about one percentage point, despite increases in overweight (2.3% to 4.9%), underweight (29.8% to 32.8%), and stunting (17% to 21.7%), while wasting and underweight have decreased by more than 2% in each case.
- Sikkim has done far better than other NE states in reducing the number of stunted, wasting, and underweight children, as has Manipur, with a decrease in wasting from 6.8% to 9.9% among under-five children.
- Every state in the Northeast showed an increase in the number of overweight persons, adding to the states’ rising double burden of malnutrition.
- Higher immunity is demonstrated by appropriate diets and eating behaviours.
- Only in Meghalaya and Tripura have the percentages of nursing children obtaining appropriate supplemental meals increased. Early breastfeeding start is declining in six of the eight northeastern states, with the highest rates in Sikkim (33.5%) and Assam (15.3%).
- Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates have decreased significantly in Sikkim, Tripura, and Manipur. Sikkim has the lowest EBF at 28.3 percent, much below the national average of 63.7 percent. Tripura increased its practise of timely introduction of semi-solid food by 39.5 percentage points, whereas Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh decreased somewhat.
- The Minimum Adequate Food (or diet adequacy) is a metric that combines feeding frequency and diet diversity. There is a substantial variety across the northeastern states, ranging from 8% to 29.8%. With the exception of Assam, all states have outperformed the country on this metric.
- Only Meghalaya and Nagaland have seen decreases, while the other six states have seen increases. It is heartening to see a declining trend in underweight women (BMI < 18.5) in all eight northeastern states.
- Anaemia among women of reproductive age has grown in six of the eight northeastern states, with Tripura having the highest rate at 67.2% and Assam having the lowest at 65.9%.
How can malnutrition be addressed in the Northeast?
- Stunting is caused by a variety of reasons in the Northeast, including poor maternal health, a lack of prenatal care, inadequate infrastructure and healthcare facilities, inadequate feeding and nutrition for women, and restricted access to education, safe drinking water, and sanitary facilities.
- According to a 2015 research on indigenous peoples in the Northeast, a lack of bathrooms, drinking water, and cooking fuels in the home setting contributes to child malnutrition.
- In most criteria, Manipur, Mizoram, and Sikkim outperform the national average. Better mother nutrition before conception, during pregnancy, and after delivery reduces newborns’ odds of being stunted. The likelihood of stunting lowers as the number of underweight mothers falls, according to data from Sikkim, Manipur, and Mizoram.
- The utilisation of supplemental food in anganwadicentres (ANC) varies widely among the northeastern states, ranging from roughly 35% in Arunachal Pradesh to 70% in Tripura. ANC coverage in the Northeast ranges from 20.7% in Nagaland to 79.4% in Manipur.
- With the exception of Manipur, where 30.3% of pregnant women finished the entire 180-day course of IFA pills, all states had lower percentages of iron and folic acid (IFA) consumption than the national average of 26%. Nagaland has the lowest rate, which is at 4.1%. Overall, service availability and uptake vary greatly between the NE states.
Innovative programmes to improve maternal and child health
- For example, the government of Assam encouraged rural women to create “nutrition gardens” where they could produce vegetables.
- “Kan Sikul, Kan Huan” (My School, My Farm) programme in Mizoram’s most destitute and disaster-prone area-Lawngtlai.
- Lunchbox exchange: The “dibbiadaanpradaan (lunchbox exchange)” project in Assam’s Hailakandi district to promote improved nutrition and menu diversity.
- To bridge the nutrition gap in the Northeast, malnutrition must be tackled holistically by scaling up direct nutrition interventions and integrating them with nutrition-sensitive measures. Building on the POSHAN Abhiyaan and health programmes, it may be advantageous in the long run to strengthen monitoring and assessment of present efforts.
Source – Indian Express
NCPCR draft guidelines for trying Minors as Adults
Context- The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has issued draught guidelines for determining whether certain juveniles should be prosecuted as adults under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.
Adults and Juvenile Justice Act of 2015
- The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2000 was replaced by the JJ Act of 2015.
- It permits teenagers aged 16 to 18 who are in dispute with the law and commit heinous crimes to be prosecuted as adults.
- The Act also aimed to develop an adoption legislation that was generally accessible in India.
- It went into effect on January 15, 2016.
Preliminary assessment as per the JJ Act
- The Act requires the Board to assess the child’s mental and physical capability for committing the alleged act, the child’s ability to grasp the consequences of the offence, and the circumstances surrounding the offence.
- It indicates that the Board may consult with experienced psychologists, psychosocial workers, or other experts. The Act further states that the evaluation is not a trial and is simply intended to determine the child’s competence to commit and understand the consequences of the alleged act.
- Following the evaluation, the Board may issue an order stating that the child must be tried as an adult and transferring the matter to a children’s court with the appropriate authority.
- If the youngster is tried as a juvenile, he or she might be committed to a special home for up to three years. If prosecuted as an adult, the kid may be condemned to prison, with the exception of death or life imprisonment without the prospect of release.
Why has the NCPCR released draught guidelines now?
- The Supreme Court is hearing a case involving the alleged murder of a Class 2 pupil in Haryana by a 16-year-old.
- The preliminary assessment assignment under the JJ Act is a “sensitive task,” according to the Supreme Court.
- It added that the ramifications of the assessment on whether the kid is to be tried as an adult or a juvenile are “severe in character and have a lasting effect for the whole life of the child”.
- It stated that competence is required for the evaluation and instructed that adequate and detailed rules be put in place.
- It had left the decision to the Central Government and the National and State Commissions for the Protection of Child Rights.
Major draft guidelines by NCPCR
- According to the draught, which is based on current Act requirements, the preliminary examination must identify the following aspects:
- To assess the child’s ‘locomotor’ talents and capabilities, particularly in terms of gross motor functions such as walking, running, lifting, and throwing…abilities that would be necessary to engage in most antisocial acts.
- To assess the child’s capacity to make social decisions and decisions. It also guides examinations for mental health issues, drug misuse, and life skills deficiencies.
- The child’s psychosocial weaknesses. This includes life events, trauma, abuse, and mental health issues, implying that the offending behaviour is a result of a variety of other factors.
- To determine the child’s knowledge or grasp of the social, interpersonal, and legal repercussions of the claimed offence. These include what others will say or think about him, how it will influence his personal connections, and his awareness of pertinent laws.
- It also emphasises that the experts must be given every chance to connect with the youngster in order to establish a rapport. Experts in child psychology and psychiatry are possible. It also specifies that they must get ongoing training.
- The Board will also depend on the Social Investigation Report, the Social Background Report, an Individual Care Plan, witness testimonies, and interactions with parents, guardians, school personnel, peer groups, and neighbours.
- The government should revise the JJ Act of 2015.
- Such an amendment would go a long way toward achieving the necessary balance between the rationales supporting the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, as well as accomplishing the goals stated by both.
Source – Indian Express
Bhopal Gas Leak Tragedy
Context- The Supreme Court has questioned the government on how the settlement can be reopened since Union Carbide has already paid over $ 470 million to victims of the Bhopal gas disaster, and it has also voiced worry over Rs 50 crore in undisbursed monies.
Why is this in the news?
- Union Carbide, now a subsidiary of Dow Jones, has failed to meet its obligation to provide reasonable compensation.
- Around 19 years after compensation was agreed upon, the Indian government filed a curative appeal in 2010 seeking more than ten times the amount it provided in 1989 from Dow.
Bhopal Gas Tragedy
- On the night of December 2, 1984, one of the worst industrial disasters in history began in Bhopal.
- A neighbouring Union Carbide pesticide facility began leaking dangerous Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) gas, resulting in the Bhopal Gas disaster.
- Within the first few days, an estimated 3,000 people died.
- Similarly terrible figures of persons suffering from life-long health difficulties would become apparent over time.
Health hazards of the disaster
- Its effects were such that, in addition to killing thousands of people in a short period of time, it caused sickness and other long-term issues for many of those who inhaled the gas.
- Water supplies around the facility were considered unsafe for consumption, and numerous handpumps were closed.
- Many Bhopal women’s reproductive health has been impacted to date.
- Children born to people who were exposed to the gas have congenital health issues.
How did govt respond to the disaster?
- The episode highlighted the absence of particular regulations in India at the time for dealing with such problems. This changed following the Bhopal disaster.
- The Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 empowered the central government to take appropriate steps and control industrial activities for the sake of environmental and public safety.
- The Public Liability Insurance Act of 1991 was also passed in order to give public liability insurance in order to provide rapid assistance to anyone harmed by an accident when handling any hazardous chemical.
Source – Indian Express
Facts For Prelims
Context– Ottanthullal (or Thullal in short) is a Kerala recite-and-dance art form.
- It is known for its comedy and social satire, and it is distinguished by its simplicity in comparison to more complicated dance traditions like as Kathakali and Koodiyattam.
- Bharatmuni’sNatya Shastra principles are strictly followed.
- It is played alone and from the temple grounds during temple festivities.
- The songs are composed in Malayalam and are quite fast.
- In addition to the dancer, there is a vocalist who repeats the slokas.
- Mridangam, Elathalam, and Maddalam are the musical instruments employed.
- Thullalkaran is the name of the performer.
- Thullal was introduced in the 18th century by a prominent Malayalam poet named KunchanNambiyar.
- The makeup is similar to Kathakali.
Earth Radiation Budget Satellite
Context: After 38 years in orbit, the defunct NASA spacecraft Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) has recently returned to Earth.
Earth Radiation Budget Satellite Facts:
- It was launched aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1984.
- It was one of three satellites in NASA’s Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) project.
- It carried three sensors for measuring the Earth’s radiative energy budget as well as stratospheric components such as ozone.
- The ERBS was created to explore how the Earth absorbs and re-radiates solar energy.
- Understanding this mechanism aids in the discovery of weather patterns on Earth.
- Until 2005, data from ERBS assisted researchers in understanding how the Earth received and radiated solar energy.
- It monitored the quantities of ozone, water vapour, nitrogen dioxide, and aerosols in the Earth’s stratosphere.
- Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II), an ERBS instrument, obtained data that revealed that the ozone layer was depleting on a worldwide scale.
- This contributed to the creation of the Montreal Protocol Accord, an international agreement signed in 1987 that resulted in a reduction in the usage of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
- Its findings aided researchers in determining the consequences of human activity on the Earth’s radiation balance.
Young Professionals Scheme
Context: On January 9, the governments of India and the United Kingdom launched the Young Professionals Scheme, which would allow up to 3,000 of their degree-holding citizens aged 18 to 30 to live and work in each other’s nations for two years.
Concerning the Young Professionals Scheme:
- The Young Professionals Scheme was established as part of an India-United Kingdom collaboration. The Migration and Mobility Memorandum of Understanding, which will be signed in May 2021, was announced in November during the G20 conference in Bali.
- The initiative will allow degree-holding nationals aged 18 to 30 to live and work in each other’s nations for two years.
- For two years, they would be permitted to work, study, or travel.
- The programme will initially operate for three years.
- The system allows for up to 3,000 people to switch visas every year.
- It is not even required for a candidate to have a job lined up before applying for the visa.
- So, while in their host nation, the selected candidates might hunt for a career, an educational opportunity, or simply visit.