Daily Prelims Notes 14 November 2022
- November 14, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN
Daily Prelims Notes
14 November 2022
Table Of Contents
- RE, BE, Actuals
- Project mBridge: Connecting economies through CBDC
- Bharatmala Pariyojana Scheme
- World Uncertainty Index
- General Network Access (GNA)
- Agri exports
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
- G20 meet in Bali
- Why has France ended its military operations in Sahel
- India to unveil its long-term low carbon strategies today
- The gene revolution
- One in every 100 women has undiagnosed cervical cancer in Maharashtra: Experts call for vaccination
- Can’t fly drone without passport: Rule dampens Gujarat’s dream to be drone hub
- COP27: Hopes for a sustainable global transport system at an all-time high
- 2D Nanos for low-cost LCDs-
- Nanoparticles to aid cancer treatments-
- Multipurpose antibody database joins the fight against covid
- Securing the Green Transition
- World Diabetes Day- 14 November
The Revised Estimate will be made public along with the Budget Estimate (BE) for Fiscal Year 2023-24 (FY24).
- Normally RE for a fiscal year is finalised on the basis of expenditure made in the first six months of that year, while BE for next fiscal year is prepared on the basis of expenditure made in the first nine months of the current year.
- First indication of RE is reflected in the first set of Supplementary Demands for Grants
- Data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) has shown that the Centre has spent nearly 12.15 per cent more during the first six months (April-September) period of FY23, than the corresponding period of FY22 and 46.2 percent of the total allocation.
- The trends in expenditure during the first six months indicate that there will not be any major cut in the budget allocation and indicates savings with the ‘just-in-time’ release of funds mechanism.
- This ensures money goes to various institutions only when they are ready to spend and after achieving certain milestones and not automatically transferred to their account.
Office of Controller General of Accounts
- The Comptroller and Auditor General’s (Duties, Powers, and Conditions of Service) Act of 1971 established the need for accounting and audit to be separated.
- Section 10 of the Act gave the President the authority, after consulting with the CAG, to relieve the Comptroller and Auditor General of the responsibility of compiling the accounts of any Union Government department.
- In June 1975, the Government of India approved a scheme for accounting and audit separation.
- The President issued an ordinance, which was followed by the passage of an Act amending the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (DPC) Act 1971, relieving him of the responsibility of compiling accounts for Ministries/Departments of the Government of India.
- The Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in the Ministry of Finance leads the organization and is in charge of the administration of the Management Accounting System.
- Through an integrated government-wide financial information system, the goal is to provide reliable information that promotes transparency in the use and reporting of public funds.
- The Office of the CGA prepares monthly and annual analyses of the Union Government’s expenditure, revenues, borrowings, and various fiscal indicators.
- The mandate of the Controller General of Accounts is derived from Article 150 of the Constitution.
- The duties and responsibilities of CGA are outlined in this statutory mandate, which is incorporated in the Allocation of Business Rules 1961.
- General principles of Government accounting relating to Union or State Governments and accounting forms, as well as the development or revision of rules and manuals relating to them.
- Reconciliation of the Union Government’s cash balance with the Reserve Bank in general, and, in particular, Reserve Deposits pertaining to Civil Ministries or Departments.
- Supervising the maintenance of adequate accounting standards by Central Civil Accounts Offices.
- Consolidation of monthly accounts, preparation of review of trends in revenue realisation and significant features of expenditure, and preparation of annual accounts (including summary, Civil Appropriation Accounts) showing under the respective heads,the annual receipts and disbursements for the Union Government.
- Administration of Central Treasuries Rules and Central Government Account (Receipt and Payment Rules 1983).
- Coordination and assistance in the implementation of management accounting systems in Civil Ministries or Departments.
- Cadre management of Group ‘A’ (Indian Civil Accounts Service) and Group ‘B’ Officers of the Central Civil Accounts Offices.
- Matters pertaining to Central Civil Accounts staff belonging to Groups ‘C’ and ‘D’; I Pension disbursement through Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in respect of Central Civil Pensioners, Freedom Fighter, High Court Judges, Ex-MPs and Ex-Presidents.
BE, RE and actuals
- Every year, the finance ministry estimates the revenues and expenditures for the following year.
- Revenues are projected based on the estimated tax collection and income from the sale of assets (such as from public sector companies). Based on the revenue, the budget for different sectors, such as health, education and police, is determined.
- Expenditures can exceed revenue, and the difference between expenditure and revenue is called the revenue deficit, which can be met through borrowing from the Reserve Bank of India, provident funds or external agencies like the World Bank.
- On February 1 this year, the budget presented will have estimates for the next fiscal year, that is, 2022-23.
- The finance ministry allocates an amount to each ministry, scheme and department for the next financial year. This is the budget estimate (BE).
- BE represents the “intention to spend” of the government and are not legally binding
- The BE can be changed if the funds are insufficient or exceed the needs of the ministry or scheme. The department/ministry has to ask for a supplementary grant in November if they need more, based on which the finance ministry allocates more money.This amount is called the revised estimate (RE).
- The RE numbers presented are for the current year. Therefore, this budget will have the RE of 2021-22.
- Revised estimates or RE, which will tell how much the budget was revised from the BE.
- Actual expenditure, as the name suggests, is the amount actually spent by the ministry/department/scheme. Since this is derived after auditing receipts, they are available only after the money has been spent. This year, the actual expenditures in the budget documents will be from 2020-21.
- Actual amount spent, or expenditure, which will be available only until 2020-21, as actual expenditure is published after two years.
- Some variation between BE, RE and actuals is inevitable given that the expenditures are projections made at the start of the year. However, if there are vast differences and revisions, it reduces the credibility of the numbers and affects the implementation of government schemes.
- The finance ministry allocates an amount to each ministry, scheme and department for the next financial year. This is the budget estimate (BE).
The payment system underpinning cross-border financial flows needs recalibration with the launch of CBDC by various countries.
Multiple CBDC (multi-CBDC) arrangements that directly connect jurisdictional digital currencies in a single common technical infrastructure offer significant potential to improve the current system and allow cross-border payments to be immediate, cheap and universally accessible with secure settlement.
- It is a multi-CBDC platform, known as mBridge.
- It is a joint effort co-led by -The Bank of International Settlement Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Bank of Thailand, the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates .
- A platform based on a new blockchain – the mBridge Ledger – was built by central banks to support real-time, peer-to-peer, cross-border payments and foreign exchange transactions using CBDCs.
- It also ensures compliance with jurisdiction-specific policy and legal requirements, regulations and governance needs.
- A pilot involving real corporate transactions centred around international trade was conducted on the platform among participating central banks, selected commercial banks and their customers in four jurisdictions.
Kerala’s 625-km coastal highway project connecting nine districts has received a fillip following a recent meeting convened by the State PWD Minister.
- The coastal highway will pass through Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod.
- It will be funded by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board
- The Kerala Road Fund Board project management unit will construct 468 km, and the remaining work to be taken up by National Highways Authority of India under the BharatMala Pariyojana Scheme.
- The project can be taken up through a PPP route.
- The project will be highly beneficial for the hassle-free movement of container laden trailers from Malabar region to Vallarpadam Terminal or to the proposed Vizhinjam terminal.
Bharatmala Pariyojana Scheme.
- Bharatmala Pariyojana is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways.
- All key aspects of the scheme will be managed by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry of the country.
- The ambitious umbrella programme will subsume all existing Highway Projects including the flagship National Highways Development Project (NHDP), launched by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998.
- Highlights of Bharatmala Pariyojana
- Improvement in efficiency of existing corridors through development of Multimodal Logistics Parks and elimination of choke point
- Enhance focus on improving connectivity in North East and leveraging synergies with Inland Waterways
- Emphasis on use of technology & scientific planning for Project Preparation and Asset Monitoring
- Delegation of powers to expedite project delivery – Phase I to complete by 2022
- Improving connectivity in the North East
- Economic Corridor – As per the guidelines of the road construction project, the construction of 9000kms of Economic Corridors will be undertaken by the central government.
- Feeder Route or Inter Corridor – The total length of the roads, which fall under the Feeder Route or Inter Corridor category, is a whopping 6000kms.
- National Corridor Efficiency Improvement – 5000kms of roads, constructed under the scheme will fall in the category of National Corridor for the better connection between roads.
- Border Road and International Connectivity – Connecting the cities and remote areas, which are situated in the border regions, the project has kept provision for constructing 2000kms roads that fall in the Border Road or International Connectivity category.
- Port Connectivity and Coastal Road – To connect the areas that are dotted along the shorelines and important ports, the central government has ordered the construction of 2000km of roads.
- Green Field Expressway – The main stress will be given on the construction and development of GreenField Expressway for better management of traffic and freight.
- Balance NHDP Works – Under the last segment, the project will see a construction and maintenance of about 10,000kms of new roads.
- Under Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana, implementation of 34,800 km of national highways in 5 years (from 2017 to 2022) has been approved at an estimated outlay of Rs. 5,35,000 crore.
- Phase-II envisages around 48,000 km of road network across India by 2024.
The commerce ministry has terminated an anti-dumping investigation into import of solar cells from China, Thailand and Vietnam following a request from the Indian Solar Manufacturers Association(ISMA).
Dumping and Anti-dumping measures:
- In international trade parlance, dumping happens when a country or a firm exports an item at a price lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.
- Dumping impacts the price of that product in the importing country, hitting the margins and profits of manufacturing firms.
- Dumping is legal: Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, dumping is illegal only if the foreign country can reliably show the negative effects the exporting firm has caused its domestic producers.
- Anti-dumping duties are imposed when it is conclusively proved that a particular item is being exported at a price lower than what is prevailing in the domestic market of the exporter and is leading to disruption in the domestic market, injuring the local producers
- An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value.
- The duty is imposed only after a thorough investigation by a quasi-judicial body–the Directorate General of Trade Remedies-in India. It is aimed at ensuring fair trade practices and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers.
- Post initiation of the probe, the government can levy customs duties..
- The DGTR recommends the duty, and the Department of Revenue takes the final decision to impose it.
- The imposition of anti-dumping duty is permissible under the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime.
- Anti-Dumping Duty is applicable only for a selective period. If dumping still continues, the industry can apply for a sunset review at the end of 5 years.
- Globally, once a sunset review is applied for, the duty is extended for 1 year pending investigation.
- In India, industries have been asked to apply for sunset review 9 months before the expiry of the duty.
- Anti-dumping rules, 1995 provide for termination of a probe in certain situations which include withdrawal of application by the affected domestic industry at whose instance the investigation was initiated.
- Different from Countervailing Duties – ADD is a customs duty on imports providing a protection against the dumping of goods at prices substantially lower than the normal value whereas countervailing duty is a customs duty on goods that have received government subsidies in the originating or exporting country.
WTO’s Provisions Related to Anti-Dumping Duty:
- Validity: An anti-dumping duty is valid for a period of five years from the date of imposition unless revoked earlier.
- Sunset Review: It can be extended for a further period of five years through a sunset or expiry review investigation.
- A Sunset review/ expiry review is an evaluation of the need for the continued existence of a program or an agency. It allows for an assessment of the effectiveness and performance of the program or agency.
- Such a review can be initiated suo moto or on the basis of a duly substantiated request received from or on behalf of the domestic industry.
Directorate General of Trade Remedies, the apex national authority under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry administers all trade remedial measures.
- Trade remedial measures include anti-dumping, countervailing duties and safeguard measures.
- Its job is to provide trade defence support to the domestic industry.
- It provides safeguards to the exporters in dealing with increasing instances of trade remedy investigations instituted against them by other countries.
The World Uncertainty Index and the Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) index indicate periods of high uncertainty.
The World Uncertainty Index
- It is a quarterly measure of uncertainty—by the International Monetary Fund.
- It is a measure that tracks uncertainty across the globe by text mining the country reports of the Economist Intelligence Unit.
- These reports cover the economy, policies, and politics of each country.
- The WUI is computed by counting the percent of word “uncertain” (or its variant) in the Economist Intelligence Unit country reports.
- The WUI is then rescaled by multiplying by 1,000,000. A higher number means higher uncertainty and vice versa.
- The index is available for 143 countries-all countries in the world with a population of at least 2 million.
- It captures uncertainty related to economic and political events,
- IMF also computes –World Trade Uncertainty (WTU) index-that measures uncertainty related to trade for 143 individual countries on a quarterly basis from 1996 onwards, using the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) country reports
The Global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index
- The monthly Economic Policy Uncertainty (EPU) index run by a group of academics in the US is available both globally and for several countries including India.
- It is a GDP-weighted average of national EPU indices for 20 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Each national EPU index reflects the relative frequency of own-country newspaper articles that contain a trio of terms pertaining to the economy (E), policy (P) and uncertainty (U).
The regulatory framework — called General Network Access (GNA) regulations — seeks to do away with predetermined point-to-point transmission access.
- On December 16, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission came out with a draft proposal to facilitate a regulatory framework for General Network Access (GNA) .
- It aims to tide up the problem of transmission constraints and foster open access to help develop a seamlessly integrated electricity market.
- At present, a power generator has to work out how the electricity will be wheeled to the consumer under the point-to-point access concept.
- GNA will enable them to supply from any point, as long as the quantum contracted for is met.
- The concern is that these connectivity regulations could potentially end up favouring the bigger players in the sector.
General Network Access (GNA)?
- GNA means open access to the inter-State transmission system.
- Technically speaking, GNA is a non-discriminatory access to the inter-State transmission system for an estimated maximum injection and for a consumer to draw for a specified period. This is in keeping with the concept of “one nation, one grid”.
- If the concept becomes a reality, then it will ensure that a generator focuses only on producing power and the consumer on buying it. How it will be transmitted will no longer be a restriction or a challenge.
- Today a power generator has to also work out how the supply will be done due to the point-to-point access concept which, according to the producers, is restrictive. GNA will allow them to supply from any point, as long as the quantum contracted for is met.
Eligibility criteria-According to the draft, the following entities shall be eligible as applicants for grant of GNA or for enhancement of the quantum of GNA:
- State Transmission Utility on behalf of distribution licencees connected to intra-State transmission system and other intra-State entities;
- A buying entity connected to intra-State transmission system; Draft Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Connectivity and General Network Access to the inter-State transmission System) Regulations, 2021;
- A distribution licencee or a bulk consumer, seeking to connect to ISTS, directly, with a load of 50 MW and above;
- Trading licencees engaged in cross-border trade of electricity in terms of the Cross Border Regulations;
- Transmission licencee connected to ISTS for drawal of auxiliary power.
- Entities not covered here, but as on the date of coming into force of these regulations, are connected to the inter-State Transmission or for whom Connectivity granted under Connectivity regulations has become effective, shall be eligible for applying for grant of GNA to the inter-State transmission system for the quantum equal to the quantum of connectivity.
How is GNA different from the point-to-point access concept?
Conceptually GNA does away with pre-determined specific point-to-point access and allows access or drawal on the entire beltway, thus providing generators and procurers the choice of injection and drawal.
What is the reason for replacing the existing regulations?
- proper planning of transmission system and
- assured recovery of transmission charges from the applicant.
India’s agriculture exports are growing, and could hit a new high this fiscal.
- India’s agriculture exports have grown 16.5% year-on-year in April-September 2022-23 and are set to surpass the record $50.2 billion achieved in 2021-22 (April-March).
- Interestingly, even commodities whose exports have been subjected to curbs — wheat, rice and sugar — have shown impressive rise.
- The impressive growth in exports is however offset by imports and the resultant surplus of $17.8 billion was much below the $27.7 billion surplus in the previous all-time-high export year of 2013-14.
- Important data for Ap-Sept (2022-23):
- India has turned into a net cotton importer.
- In traditional plantation spices such as pepper and cardamom, the country has become as much an importer as an exporter.
- Another traditional export item where India has largely turned an importer is cashew.
- Almost 60% of India’s total agri imports is accounted for by a single commodity: vegetable oils.
- Vegetable oils are today the country’s fifth biggest import item after petroleum, electronics, gold, and coal.
India’s agricultural trade (april-sept 2022-23):
|Top 5 agri commodities imported||Top 5 agri commodities-exported|
|Vegetable oil||Marine products|
|Raw cotton||Basmati rice|
- Traditionally, Basmati rice is one of the top export commodities. However, now there is an unusual spike in the export of non-basmati rice.
- Indian buffalo meat is seeing a strong demand in international markets due to its lead character and near organic nature. The export potential of buffalo meat is tremendous, especially in countries like Vietnam, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
- The Ministry of Food Processing Industries shows that the contribution of agricultural and processed food products in India’s total exports is 11%.
- Agri export Initiatives:
- Agriculture and processed food production export Development Authority (APEDA) is an apex body that promotes export trade of agricultural products in India. Set-up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry under APEDA Act 1985.
- APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the scheduled agricultural products. Some of the initiatives of APEDA:
- Hortinet: An integrated traceability system covering 40-plus vegetables. It provides Internet based electronic services to the stakeholders for facilitating farm registration, testing and certification of Grape, Pomegranate and Vegetables for export from India to the European Union in compliance with standards.
- A traceability System for Basmati rice (a registered GI product)
- Grapenet – a web based certification and traceability software system for monitoring fresh grapes exported from India to the European Union.
- FarmerConnect portal to help farmer producers’ organisations, cooperatives and exporters. This helps them to create profiles and post their sale offers on the web platform. Exporters can also post their enquiries or needs, and view matching sale offers.
- Virtual Trade Fair –A meeting place for exhibitors, visitors, exporters and industry to exchange information on new products and establish new partnerships.
- SaaS model: Hybrid solution combining its traditional web-based SaaS model for its stakeholders, augmented by an authentic, private Blockchain layer for further data security and authentication.
- Other Agencies-Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Tobacco Board, Tea Board, Coffee Board, Rubber Board and Spices Board to boost the exports of agricultural produce.
- Agriculture Export Policy in 2018-Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 was launched to double the agri exports from present $ 30 bn to $ 60 bn by 2022 and $ 100 bn thereafter, and integrate the farmers with global chains.
- Transport and Marketing Assistance for Specified Agriculture Products– The scheme aims for assisting the international component of freight handling and marketing of agricultural products.
- 100% FDI is allowed in some activities of agriculture through the automatic route.
- Recently, IAEA has said that it did not see the recent misfire of a BrahMos missile as any cause of “specific concern” and that the incident did not in anyway raise any questions on the safety of nuclear weapons or material in India
What is IAEA:
- The International Atomic Energy Agency is the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field.
- The Statute of the IAEA was approved on 23 October 1956 by the Conference on the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was held at the Headquarters of the United Nations.
- It came into force on 29 July 1957.It was established in 1957 as an autonomous organization within the United Nations system.
- IAEA reports to both the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations.
- It is headquartered at the UN Office at Vienna, Austria.
What is the history and origin of IAEA.
- TheS. Ratification of the Statute by President Eisenhower, on 29 July 1957, marks the official birth of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
- ‘Atoms for Peace’ was the organisation’s first name when it was formally established in 1957.
- The primary mandate of the organisation was and continues to be promoting safe, secure and peaceful nuclear technologies.
- The IAEA is entrusted with the task of upholding the principles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1970.
- The IAEA, along with its former Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
- The headquarters of the IAEA is in Vienna, Austria.
- The IAEA has regional offices in Geneva, New York, Toronto and Tokyo; and research laboratories in Austria, Italy and Monaco.
- Currently, it has 175 members.
- The latest members are Saint Kitts and Nevis; and Tonga, which joined the IAEA in 2022.
- India joined IAEA in 1957.
What is the functions of International Atomic Energy Agency:
- Works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide for Promoting and assisting the research, development and practical applications of peaceful uses of nuclear technologies.
- Establishing and administering safety guards to ensure that such research/development, by the IAEA is not used for military purposes.
What is IAEA Governance structure:
- General Conference of IAEA: It is made up of each of the IAEA’s member nations, and it convenes annually for its regular session. The yearly regular budget is established by the General Conference, and it also handles extra-budgetary budget and voluntarily provided contributions to the Technical Cooperation Fund.
- Board of Governors: It consists of 35 members. Each board member has one vote. The Board generally meets five times a year. Its key functions are-
- Recommendations to the General Conference on IAEA activities and budget.
- Responsible for publishing IAEA standards.
- Responsible for making most of the policies of the IAEA.
- Appoints the Director General subject to General Conference approval.
- Secretariat: Vienna International Centre, in Vienna, Austria, serves as home to the IAEA Secretariat. The Director-General and six Deputy Director-Generals oversee the Agency’s six principal divisions. The professional and administrative personnel of the IAEA make up its Secretariat
- BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile featuring Indian propulsion system, airframe, power supply, and other major indigenous components has been successfully test-fired.
- BRAHMOS is a joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation of India (DRDO) and the NPOM of Russia.
- Brahmos is named on the rivers Brahmaputra and Moskva.
- It is a two-stage (solid propellant engine in the first stage and liquid ramjet in second) air to surface missile with a flight range of around 300 km.
- Brahmos is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft, with a weight of 2.5 tonnes.
- Brahmos is a multiplatform e it can be launched from land, air, and sea and multi capability missile with pinpoint accuracy that works in both day and night irrespective of the weather conditions.
- It operates on the “Fire and Forgets” principle e it does not require further guidance after launch.
- Brahmos is one of the fastest cruise missile currently operationally deployed with speed of Mach 2.8, which is 3 times more than the speed of sound. Advanced versions of range above 1000kms and speed upto Mach 5 are under development.
- Recently PM heads to Bali for G-20 meet
What is G20 Summit:
- G-20 was a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 individual countries and the European Union.
- It was established in 1999 and was elevated to a forum of Heads of Government in 2008 to effectively respond to the global financial crisis of 2008.
- G-20 is a forum, not a legislative body and its agreements and decisions have no legal impact, but they do influence countries’ policies and global cooperation..
- The G20 members includes USA, Canada, Mexico,Argentina, Brazil,EU, Germany, France, UK, Italy,South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Turkey,India; Indonesia; Australia,Russia, China, South Korea and Japan
- The G20 membership accounts for
- Two-thirds of the world’s population,
- 85% of global gross domestic product,
- 80% of global investment
- 75% of global trade.
- Contribute 79% of the world carbon emissions
- G20 does not have any permanent secretariat or headquarters.
- The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.
- How G20 works:
- Since the G20 has no permanent secretariat.The agenda and work are coordinated by representatives of the G20 countries, known as ‘Sherpas’.
- The presidency of the G20 rotates every year among members, and the country holding the presidency, together with the previous and next presidency-holder, forms the ‘Troika’.
- Troika ensures continuity of the G20 agenda.
- During India’s presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil will form the troika.
- On November 9, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the end of the decade long Operation Barkhane in Africa q3
What is Operation Barkhane:
- Operation Barkhane was an anti-insurgent operation that started on 1 August 2014 and was led by the French military against Islamist groups in Africa’s Sahel region.
- The operation was led in cooperation with five countries, all of which are former French colonies that span the Sahel: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali Mauritania and Niger.
- The countries are collectively referred to as the “G5 Sahel”.
- The operation was named after a crescent-shaped dune type that is common in the Sahara desert.
- The French military initially intervened in Mali in early 2013 as part of Operation Serval, which successfully regained the northern half of the country from Islamist groups.
- However, in 2014, the mission was scaled up, renamed Operation Barkhane and was aimed at counterterrorism.
- The objective was to assist local armed forces to prevent the resurgence of non-state armed groups across the Sahel region.
What is G5 Sahel:
- It Is an institutional framework for coordination of regional cooperation in development policies and security matters in west Africa.
- It was formed on 16 February 2014 in Nouakchott, Mauritania,at a summit of five Sahel countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.
- It adopted a convention of establishment on 19 December 2014, and is permanently seated in Mauritania.
- The coordination is organised on different levels. The military aspect is coordinated by the respective countries’ Chiefs of Staff.
- The purpose of G5 Sahel is to strengthen the bond between economic development and security, and together battle the threat of jihadist organizations operating in the region like AQIM, MUJWA, Al-Mourabitoun, Boko Haram
What is Sahel Region:
- The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic realm of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south.
- Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea.
- The name is derived from the Arabic term for “coast, shore”; this is explained as being used in a figurative sense in reference to the southern edge of the vast Sahara.
- The Sahel part includes from west to east parts of northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina Faso, the extreme south of Algeria, Niger, the extreme north of Nigeria, the extreme north of Cameroon and the Central African Republic, central Chad, central and southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Eritrea and the extreme north of Ethiopia.
- At the climate change conference at Egypt, India will unveil its long-term decarbonization plans in pursuit of its goal to reach a net-zero status by 2070.
- Under the Paris Agreement, countries are mandated to submit long-term action plans with estimated low-emission pathways by 2050 that are consistent with the global goal of keeping temperature rise within 1.5 degrees or 2 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times.
- This is apart from the short-term action plans, called nationally-determined contributions or NDCs, that the countries have to submit, detailing the climate actions they are taking over five- or ten-year periods.
The long-term plans-
- The long-term action plans were supposed to be submitted by 2020 itself, but could not be done due to the pandemic.
- So far, 62 countries have submitted their long-term strategies, including the three largest emitters — China, the United States and the European Union.
- India is the fourth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
- It will have details of the key sectoral low-carbon transition pathways till the goal of net zero is realized by 2070.
Why it is different from NDCs-
- Long-term strategies are different from the NDCs.
- NDCs contain specific actions or targets that have to be achieved by 2030.
- The long-term strategies have to reveal estimated low-carbon pathways that will lead to a country attaining net-zero status.
How India is planning to achieve Net-Zero Target-
- India stressed that meeting climate goals required the phasing out of all fossil fuels and not just coal.
- Selective singling out of sources of emissions, for either labelling them more harmful or as “green and sustainable” even when they all are all sources of greenhouse gas emissions, had no basis in the best available science.
- India’s proposals did not mention coal but used the latest IPCC reports to emphasise that a phase-down of all fossil fuels was required.
- At last year’s Glasgow meeting, India had forced a last-minute change in one of the decisions on the elimination of coal, getting the phrase “phase-out” replaced with “phase-down”.
India’s stand on mitigation work programme-
- India, backed by some other countries, blocked the introduction of a proposal by the developed nations to focus a new mitigation work programme on the top 20 emitters of greenhouse gases.
- There are a number of developing countries amongst the top 20 emitters with no historical obligations to reduce their emissions.
- These countries are against the reopening of the Paris Agreement which clearly mentions that climate commitments of countries have to be nationally determined and not forced by outside.
India’s reliance on Coal-
- Nearly 55 per cent of India’s energy needs come from coal-based power, even after a massive expansion of the renewable energy sector.
- India would continue to depend on coal as a major source of power generation for three to four decades, even though new coal-fired power plants are unlikely to come up.
Subject: Science and Technology
- As soon as the government took the decision to release India’s first genetically modified (GM) food crop — Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 (DMH-11)—for “environment release”, some activists approached the Supreme Court to ban it for various reasons.
Opposition to GM food crops is not new-
- There has been a global campaign in this regard by many activists.
- Yet GM crops have spread around the world since 1996.
- By 2019, roughly 190 million hectares were under GM crops, led by corn and soybean in the US, Brazil, Argentina, and canola (rapeseed/mustard) in Canada, with no harmful impact on human or animal health or the environment.
Status of GM crops around the globe-
- Bangladesh has marched ahead with Bt brinjal.
- More than 70 countries have accepted the use of GM crops.
- In India, the first GM crop, Bt cotton, was released in 2002.
India’s exposure to GMOs-
- GMOs have been in our food systems for years.
- India heavily depends on imported edible oils as 55-60 per cent of India’s domestic requirement is imported.
- About three-four million tonnes every year — comes from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the US, etc, which is all from GM technology (in soybean and canola).
- We eat plenty of our own cotton seed (binola) oil, and about 95 per cent of our cotton is now GM.
- Cotton seed is also fed to cattle which gives the milk its fat content.
- Poultry feed, such as soya and corn, is being imported.
Lessons from the Bt cotton decision-
- Cotton production increased remarkably from a mere 13.6 million bales (1 bale = 170 kg) in 2002-03 to 39.8 million bales in 2013-14, registering an increase of 192 per cent in just 12 years, ushering the famous “gene revolution”.
- Cotton productivity increased from 302 kg per hectare in 2002-03 to 566 kg per hectare in 2013-14, an increase of 76 per cent, while the area under cotton cultivation expanded by 56 per cent, of which about 95 per cent is under Bt cotton.
- Farmers’ incomes increased significantly.
- Bt cotton led Gujarat’s “agrarian miracle” of a very high (above 8 per cent) annual growth rate in agri-GDP during 2002-03 to 2013-14.
- It made India the second-largest producer after China, and the second-largest exporter after the US, of cotton in the world today.
Concerns expressed by some environmentalists-
- Enhanced sucking pest damage in Bt cotton;
- Increase in secondary pests such as mired bugs and Spodoptera;
- The emergence of pest resistance;
- Environmental and health implications in terms of toxicity and allergenicity that can cause hematotoxin reactions in the human body
- Farmers’ exposure to a greater risk of monopoly in the seed business.
- The collapse of the Honey Bee population.
- The best way to do so is by raising productivity in a sustainable manner.
- The field trials of GM mustard at different locations showed 25-28 per cent higher yield and better disease resistance compared to indigenous varieties.
- This can go a long way in augmenting domestic mustard oil supplies and farmers’ incomes.
- It was expected that India would be at the forefront of the gene revolution and emerge as a major export hub to other Asian and African countries.
- But once the safety tests are done and the scientific body (GEAC) has given the green signal, what is needed is political leadership to keep the decision-making science-based.
Subject :Science and Technology
- A recent statewide health screening programme revealed that for every 100 women examined, one was detected with undiagnosed cervical cancer in Maharashtra.
More on the news-
- Despite this, the long-pending demand to include Human papillomavirus (HPV) — a vaccine for cervical cancer — in the national immunisation programme remains unfulfilled.
- In the state, a total of 73,554 women above the age of 30 years were examined, of which 925 were detected with undiagnosed cervical cancer.
About Cervical cancer-
- Cervical cancer is a common sexually transmitted infection.
- Long-lasting infection with certain types of HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer.
- Even after getting infected, the virus can sometimes take years before it causes any symptoms.
- Cervical cancer is considered the most common type of cancer witnessed among women which also has a high mortality rate due to late detection.
- According to a study globally, 27 per cent of total cervical cancer cases are from India, which is home to 16-17 per cent of the world’s women population.
- The existing vaccines have proven helpful in preventing cervical cancer globally.
- So if it is included in the national immunisation programme in which it would be given free of cost to girls, it would help reduce the burden.
- It can be prevented to a large extent with the administration of HPV immunisation among girl children before they turn 14 years.
- Although HPV vaccination was introduced in 2008, it has yet to be included in the national immunisation programme.
Vaccine against Cervical Cancer-
- Currently, two vaccines licensed globally are available in India — a quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil, from Merck) and a bivalent vaccine (Cervarix, from GlaxoSmithKline).
- Each dose costs Rs 2,800 (Gardasil) or Rs 3,299 (Cervarix).
- These vaccines are expensive because of less demand.
- But once it is included in the immunisation programme and with mass awareness programmes, its demand will increase which might help bring down its price.
- The Indian Academy of Paediatrics Committee on Immunisation (IAPCOI) recommends that HPV vaccines be given as a two-dose regimen, six months apart for girls below the age of 14 years.
- For those who are 15 and older, the vaccine is given in a three-dose regimen.
- In July, the Serum Institute of India (SII)’s vaccine Cervavac — India’s first quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) against cervical cancer — received the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DGCI) approval for market authorisation.
Subject :Science and Technology
Drone policy of Gujarat-
- Amid the Gujarat government’s push to promote the use of drones in several sectors including forestry, agriculture, geology, mining and disaster management, the state is facing a shortage of certified drone pilots.
Reason for shortage of drone pilots-
- The reason is a mandate by the Director General of Civil Aviation requiring candidates enrolling for drone pilot training to have a passport.
- The state government announced its drone policy in August to encourage commercial use of drones, generate 25,000 jobs in the process and India to become the world’s drone hub.
- At Kaushalya — The Skill University (KSU) in Ahmedabad, only 25 candidates who applied this year for the drone training course had valid passports.
- The university, a DGCA-approved and the only state university in Gujarat offering drone pilot training, received over 640 applications out of which 325 candidates submitted the required documents and 154 candidates were finally called for scrutiny.
- It has decided to provide one-month basic training, instead of the minimum 40-hour course as mandated by the DGCA, to those who do not have passports.
- Private training institutes in the state are also struggling to admit students due to the passport mandate.
Drone regulation in India:
- The ministry of civil aviation had notified the Drone Rules, 2021 that eased the regulation of drone operations in India by reducing the number of forms that need to be filled to operate them from 25 to five and decreasing the types of fees charged by the operator from 72 to four.
- As per Drone Rules, 2021, any person who intends to obtain the authorisation to establish a Remote Pilot Training Organisation (RPTO) shall submit an application to the Director General of Civil Aviation in Form D5 on the Digital Sky Platform, along with the specified fees.
New drone rules:
- The digital sky platform shall be developed as a business-friendly single-window online system.
- No flight permission is required up to 400 feet in green zones and up to 200 feet in the area between 8 and 12 km from the airport perimeter.
- No pilot licence is required for micro drones (for non-commercial use), nano drones and for R&D organisations.
- No restriction on drone operations by foreign-owned companies registered in India.
- Import of drones and drone components to be regulated by DGFT.
- No security clearance is required before any registration or licence issuance.
- No requirement for a certificate of airworthiness, unique identification number, prior permission and remote pilot licence for R&D entities.
- Coverage of drones under Drone Rules, 2021 increased from 300 kg to 500 kg. This will cover drone taxis also.
- Issuance of Certificate of Airworthiness delegated to Quality Council of India and certification entities authorised by it.
- The manufacturer may generate their drone’s unique identification number on the digital sky platform through the self-certification route.
- The maximum penalty under Drone Rules, 2021 reduced to INR 1 lakh. This shall, however, not apply to penalties in respect of violation of other laws.
- Drone corridors will be developed for cargo deliveries.
- Drone promotion council to be set up to facilitate a business-friendly regulatory regime.
Need for stricter rules and regulations:
- Recently, Drones were used for the first time to drop explosive devices, triggering blasts inside the Air Force Station’s technical area in Jammu.
- Over the past two years, drones have been deployed regularly by Pakistan-based outfits to smuggle arms, ammunition and drugs into Indian territory.
- According to government figures, 167 drone sightings were recorded along the border with Pakistan in 2019, and in 2020, there were 77 such sightings.
- With the rapid proliferation of drone technology and the exponential growth of its global market in recent years, the possibility of a drone attack cannot be ruled out even in the safest cities in the world.
- Drones are becoming security threats, particularly in conflict zones where non-state actors are active and have easy access to technology.
Drone Categories in India:
- Registration is required for all but the Nano category.
- Nano: Less than or equal to 250 grams
- Micro: From 250 grams to 2kg
- Small: From 2kg to 25kg
- Medium: From 25kg to 150kg
- Large: Greater than 150kg
Significance of Drones:
- Use of drones in commercial, safety, law and order, disaster management and surveillance operations reduce manpower requirements and costs.
- Drones offer low-cost, safe and quick aerial surveys for data collection and are useful for industries such as power, mining, realty and oil and gas exploration.
- Leaders at COP27, are discussing the transport sector, which is one of the top polluters globally.
- While the transition towards low-carbon transport is a priority, there is a need to develop solutions that also meet the other goals of transport, including access for all, efficiency, and safety.
Promise given by major stakeholders in the transport sector-
- The Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UTIP), an international association of public transport, expects COP27 to bring sustainable transport to the forefront of this year’s climate talks.
Ambitious but realistic goals
- The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has committed to reducing GHG emissions from shipping.
- The organisation’s strategic plan for 2018-2023 firmly supports the implementation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Developments Goals and identifies them as one of IMO’s main directions.
- Shipping contributes to almost 3 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions annually.
- It is critical for the global economy with about 90 per cent of trade carried on ships.
- For the industry to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target in-line with the Paris Agreement, the sector must meet its 2030 breakthrough goal of having scalable zero-emission fuels that make up 5 per cent of the international shipping fuel mix.
- The IMO’s commitment is to reduce carbon intensity per transport work by at least 40 per cent by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70 per cent by 2050, and total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050.
- A correspondence group was established by MEPC 78 to develop draft guidelines on the lifecycle GHG intensity of marine fuels (LCA Guidelines).
- In October this year, the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s assembly sets the goal of “net-zero carbon emissions by 2050”.
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) commitments-
- From COP26, a major decision was taken by a group of nations to sign the International Aviation Climate Ambition Declaration.
- Its key aims are to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), and the development and deployment of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
- Global airlines have shown commitments to SAF in the run-up to the COP27 with British Airways, Air France-KLM and Qatar Airways leading the way.
Initiatives taken are-
- British Airways, LanzaJet and Nova Pangaea Technologies have signed an agreement to accelerate the Project Speedbird initiative to develop cost-effective SAF for commercial use.
- Air France-KLM signed multi-year contracts with SAF providers Neste and DG Fuels for a total volume of 1.6 million tons.
- These contracts represent a first step by the Group towards achieving its 10 per cent SAF incorporation targets by 2030 and will cover approximately 3 of those 10 per cent.
What is Green Transport?
- Green transport (Sustainable transport), refers to modes of transportation that do not negatively impact the environment and ecological balance as well as human health.
Components for evaluating sustainability include:
- Vehicles (car, bus, aeroplane, ships etc.)
- Source of energy (wind and solar energy, electricity, and biomass etc)
- Infrastructure (roads, railways, airways, waterways)
- Improves Air Quality:
- Replacing many separate emissions-producing vehicles with fewer transit vehicles that generally emit less pollution on a per person basis.
- Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
- By moving more people with fewer vehicles, public transportation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Public transportation produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than private vehicle
- Reduces Congestion:
- Along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating compact development, public transit also reduces congestion and traffic on the roads.
- By reducing congestion, transit reduces emissions from cars stuck in traffic.
- Promotes Health:
- Because sustainable transit reduces emissions and air pollution, it also promotes community health.
- Other sustainable modes of transportation, like biking and walking, also provide physical exercise to commuters while emitting zero emissions. This betters their health, as well as that of the entire community.
- E- Mobility
- Electromobility is the use of electric cars, as well as e-bikes or pedelecs, electric motorbikes, e-buses and e-trucks.
- The common feature of all of them is that they are fully or partly driven electrically, have a means of storing energy on board, and obtain their energy mainly from the power grid.
- E-mobility comes with zero or ultra-low tailpipe emissions of local air pollutants and much lower noise, and, by being one of the most innovative clusters for the automotive sector, can provide a major boost to economic and industrial competitiveness, attracting investments, especially in countries.
Subject: Science and Technology
- A new easier technique of manufacturing liquid crystal displays (LCDs) which can reduce the cost of the devices has been developed.
Problems with the conventional technique-
- An essential requirement of these LCDs is the uni-directional planar alignment of the constituent liquid crystals (LC) over large areas.
- Although the conventional polymer rubbing method yields quality LC alignment, it possesses unavoidable and undesirable drawbacks such as the production of electrostatic charges and dust particles that interfere with display operation, and even cause damage to the electronic components of the display.
- While electrostatic charges increase the failure rate, dust creates defects which seriously compromise the performance of the device.
- Other problems include a multistep process for coating and the necessity for high-temperature curing.
- This has led to a surge in demand to replace this rubbing method with new non-contact techniques.
How 2D nanomaterials solve this problem-
- The latest among these techniques is to employ 2D nanomaterials — graphene, hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), transition metal dichalcogenides, and so on — as alignment layers. But this requires high deposition temperature, precursors and yields hazardous by-products. Besides, when the CVD method is used, unidirectional LC alignment is observed over only small regions.
- A team of scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bengaluru, has developed a novel way of employing 2D materials to overcome the drawbacks of current methods.
- Using h-BN nanoflakes as the specific material researchers employed a solution-processed deposition technique and found it to be effective in getting the LC alignment over a much larger area.
- They also found the resultant crystals to be quite robust with no evidence of decay in LC orientation over several months.
Subject :Science and Technology
- Conventional therapies in cancer treatment face challenges in the delivery of drugs in the body and just the quantity needed, due to the toxic nature of the medicines used that have unwanted side effects.
Which kind of nanomaterials can be used?
- In nanomedicine, three kinds of nanomaterials are studied predominantly – organic, inorganic and hybrid involving both.
- They include dendrimers, liposomes and exosomes, quantum dots, fullerenes, polymeric micelles, nanoemulsions, RNA nanoparticles and nanotubes.
- Examples of organic molecules are dendrimers — which have a branched structure — and liposomes that are akin to lipids, with each having a property that helps inhibit a cancer cell.
Use of Nanomaterials in Cancer treatment-
- Nanomaterials have ‘enormous’ potential in cancer treatment.
- They help alter the drug toxicity profile with enhanced surface characteristics which can diffuse inside the tumour cells.
- They deliver an optimal concentration of nano drugs at tumour sites and reduce toxicity.
- The spherical gold nanoparticles synthesised in the lab using marine bacteria Vibrio alginolyticus were effective in decreasing cell viability in the breast cancer cell lines.
- 12 nanomedicines that have been clinically approved for the treatment of cancer.
- Liposomes form the bulk of the mentions — in 4 cases — and are used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia and osteosarcoma.
- Nanoparticles (particles less than 100nm in length) trump traditional drugs and their delivery mechanisms across three areas: surface characteristics, the ability to alter the toxicity of active cancer cells, and tumour-specific constituents.
- An inorganic nanoparticle such as gold, silver or platinum, acts as a drug carrier.
- The electrostatic forces between adjacent molecules help in the drug delivery to the tumour site.
- Nanomaterials are useful when only a specific amount of drug needs to be delivered and anything in excess would only cause side effects of the drug.
- When nano drugs reach the cancer site, they inactivate the multiplying property of the cancer cell by mutating the ‘signalling pathways’ that aid the proliferation of cells.
Liposomes as a drug carrier-
- Liposomes disseminate inside a cell and easily disintegrate with time.
- In the use of metals, there is always the danger of accumulation of drug residue which could have an impact on the patient in future.
- Liposomes are drug-delivery molecules that play a vital role in pharmaceuticals and in the biomedical arena.
- Marine-derived liposomes act as drugs.
- They are organic nanomaterials that are effective in drug delivery due to their biocompatibility, enhanced drug solubility, and non-toxic nature, in addition to being biodegradable.
- Liposomes can be derived from plants and marine sources.
Other Uses of Nanotechnology in Health Care:
- Nanotech detectors for heart attack.
- Nanochips to check plaque in arteries.
- Nanocarriers for eye surgery, chemotherapy etc.
- Diabetic pads for regulating blood sugar levels.
- Nanoparticles for drug delivery to the brain for therapeutic treatment of neurological disorders.
- Nano sponges are polymer nanoparticles coated with a red blood cell membrane, and can be used for absorbing toxins and removing them from the bloodstream.
- Nanoflares are used for detection of cancer cells in the bloodstream.
- Nanopores are used in making DNA sequencing more efficient.
Recent Use of Nanotechnology:
- Antiviral nano-coating on face masks and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits.
Risks of Nanotechnology:
- Since this field is still at its nascent stage, the likely risks are contentious.
- Regulatory authorities like the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Health and Consumer Protection Directorate of the European Commission have started assessing the potential risks posed by the nanoparticles.
- Nanotoxicology is the study of the potential health risks of nanomaterials.
- The human body can easily take up nanomaterials as they are small in size. However, there is a need for detailed research on how it would behave inside an organism. The behaviour of nanoparticles based on their size, shape and surface reactivity must be thoroughly analysed before launching them into the market.
- Nano pollution is the generic term that is used to describe the waste generated by nanodevices or nanomaterials during the manufacturing process.
Subject :Science and Technology
- Since the outbreak of Covid-19, a number of databases on coronaviruses have been created. However, there is none as yet that provides useful information such as the binding affinity (how tightly an antibody binds to the virus) and how coronavirus antibodies effectively kill the viruses.
About the CoV-AbDab database-
- A group of scientists from IIT Madras have collected Information related to binding affinity and inhibitory concentration of neutralising antibodies.
- Also, the amino acid sequence information of all coronavirus-related antibodies was included in a sequence database called CoV-AbDab.
- The result was the creation of Ab-CoV, a database of 1,780 coronavirus-related antibodies, including 211 nanobodies.
- The database additionally gives information about each antibody, such as how the antibody was obtained, which strain of virus it binds to and which part of the spike-protein (epitope) does it bind to.
- Ab-CoV is a database of 1,780 coronavirus-related antibodies, including 211 nanobodies.
- Ab-CoV has a wide range of search and display options.
- Users can directly search and download based on antibody name, viral protein epitope, neutralised viral strain, antibody, nanobody, etc.
- It also has the option to view the structures of antibodies or viral proteins as a 3D model.
- The Ab-CoV database will be a vital resource for coronaviruses-related studies.
- It also has the potential to assist researchers in antibody engineering, analysing immune escape for known and future variants of SARS-CoV-2, computational studies of neutralising antibodies, to relate structural features with binding affinity specific to SARS-CoV-2, and for the design of therapeutic interventions.
- Some data has already been used to understand the relationship between structural features and binding affinities of spike protein-antibody complexes as well as antibody repurposing.
- Electric vehicles (EVs) are key in the global quest to decarbonise.
- In India, which also faces serious air pollution issues, the transition to EVs is critical.
- However, there is a China-size risk in the supply chain for electric vehicles.
EV supply chain globally-
- According to a recent report by the International Energy Association, every part of the EV supply chain is highly concentrated in China.
- The first stage of the supply chain is the key minerals required for batteries, namely lithium, nickel, cobalt and graphite.
- In graphite, China has an 80 per cent share of global mining output.
- In cobalt, the Democratic Republic of Congo mines two-thirds of the global supply and Chinese companies control a big share of that country’s mining.
- Lithium and nickel are not concentrated in China, Australia mines over 50 per cent of the world’s lithium and Indonesia mines 35 per cent of global nickel.
- Overall, this is a far greater concentration than in oil and gas.
- The first stage of the supply chain is the key minerals required for batteries, namely lithium, nickel, cobalt and graphite.
- The next stage of the supply chain is the processing of ore/mineral concentrate into metal. China dominates across the board.
- Globally, over 60 per cent of lithium processing, over 70 per cent of cobalt processing, 80 per cent of graphite processing and about 40 percent of nickel processing takes place in China.
- The next stage is cell components-
- China produces two-thirds of global anodes and three-fourths of cathodes.
- The only other producing countries of note are South Korea and
- In the Battery cells, China has a 70 per cent share.
- In EVs themselves, China has a share of around 50 per cent in global production.
- Europe is a distant second with 25 per cent.
- The US is a small player in the EV supply chain, producing only 10 per cent of vehicles and containing just 7 per cent of battery production capacity.
China is now the biggest spender on climate/energy transition.
- According to a report by Bloomberg’s New Energy Fund (NEF), in 2021, out of a total global spend of $750 billion in climate-related investments (90 per cent of which went into renewable energy and electric transport), China alone spent $266 billion.
- The US was a distant second with $114 billion.
- The major countries of Europe combined would equal the US.
- India was in 7th place with $14 billion invested.
- However, while almost 40 per cent of Chinese and US spending was on EVs, more than 95 per cent of India’s spending is on renewable energy.
- In Europe, about 75- 80 per cent of the spending is on EVs, which is why it leads the US in this sector.
- In India, EVs have not received sufficient investment.
A two-pronged strategy is needed for India-
- First, on the minerals and materials.
- India has been slow at acquiring overseas mines of these critical minerals.
- A recently formed government venture, KABIL, which is a JV between three minerals and metals PSUs, is tasked with the job of identifying and acquiring overseas mines.
- A public-private partnership is vital.
- Second, the vibrant start-up ecosystem must be leveraged because it is more likely to be innovative than legacy firms.
Electric Vehicles and India
- About two in every hundred cars sold today are powered by electricity with EV sales for the year 2020 reaching 2.1 million.
- The global EV fleet totalled 8.0 million in 2020 with EVs accounting for 1% of the global vehicle stock and 2.6% of global car sales.
- Falling battery costs and rising performance efficiencies are also fueling the demand for EVs globally.
Need for Electric Vehicles:
- India is in need of a transportation revolution.
- The current trajectory of adding ever more cars running on expensive imported fuel and cluttering up already overcrowded cities suffering from infrastructure bottlenecks and intense air pollution is unfeasible.
- The transition to electric mobility is a promising global strategy for decarbonising the transport sector.
India’s Support of EVs:
- India is among a handful of countries that support the global EV30@30 campaign, which aims for at least 30% new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030.
- India’s advocacy of five elements for climate change — “Panchamrit” — at the COP26 in Glasgow is a commitment to the same.
- Various ideas were espoused by India at the Glasgow summit, such as renewable energy catering to 50% of India’s energy needs, reducing carbon emission by 1 billion tonnes by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2070.
- The government of India has taken various measures to develop and promote the EV ecosystem in the country such as:
- The remodelled Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME II) scheme
- Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) for the supplier side
- The recently launched PLI scheme for Auto and Automotive Components for manufacturers of electric vehicles.
Subject : Schemes
National Programme for prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and strokes (NPCDCS)
- The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) was launched in 2010 in 100 districts across 21 States, in order to prevent and control the major Non- Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
- The main focus of the programme is on health promotion, early diagnosis, management and referral of cases, besides strengthening the infrastructure and capacity building.
The main strategies of the programme are-
- Health promotion through behavior change with involvement of community, civil society, community-based organizations, media etc.
- Outreach Camps are envisaged for opportunistic screening at all levels in the health care delivery system from sub-centre and above for early detection of diabetes, hypertension and common cancers.
- Management of chronic Non-Communicable diseases, especially Cancer, Diabetes, CVDs and Stroke through early diagnosis, treatment and follow up through setting up of NCD clinics.
- Build capacity at various levels of health care for prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, IEC/BCC, operational research and rehabilitation.
- Provide support for diagnosis and cost-effective treatment at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health care.
- Provide support for development of database of NCDs through a robust Surveillance System and to monitor NCD morbidity, mortality and risk factors.
The funds are being provided to States under NCD Flexi-Pool through State PIPs of respective States/UTs, with the Centre to State share in ratio of 60:40 (except for North-Eastern and Hilly States, where the share is 90:10.