5th November 2020

Index

A) Art, Culture and History

1. The Indian Working Class and the National Movement (TH)

B) Science and Technology/Defence/Space

2. Enhanced version of PINAKA Rocket System successfully Flight Tested (PIB)

3. Leishmaniasis and the Neglected Tropical Diseases (PIB)

C) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

4. Key Declaration on Climate Change to be signed at the India CEO Forum on Climate Change (PIB)

5. Fly Ash in India (PIB)

6. Paris Climate Agreement (TH)

D) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

7. Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge (PIB)

8. Ganga Box Launch (PIB)

9. Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Schemes (PIB)

E) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments

10. SC lays down guidelines for matrimonial cases (TH)

F) Miscellaneous

11. Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project (PIB)

12. GANGA UTSAV (PIB)

13. Oct. services sector PMI signals first expansion since February (TH)

A) Art, Culture and History

1. The Indian Working Class and the National Movement (TH)

Context: The country’s first national trade union, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), turns 100 on 31st October 2020.

  • The first Congress of AITUC was held on October 31, 1920, by which time Tilak had died.
  • Rai presided over the congress of AITUC at Empire Theatre in Bombay.
  • With Lala Lajpat Rai as President and Mr. Joseph Baptista as Chairman of the Reception Committee, the organisation starts under excellent auspices, and there is an added significance in the presence at the session of Colonel Wedgwood, the doughty champion of human rights and a messenger of sympathy and good-will from the labour movement abroad. 
  • The success of the Quit India movement in 1942 depended on the participation of textile mill workers.

Analysis

  • The modern worker makes his appearance in India in the second half of the 19th century with the slow beginnings of modern industry and the growth of utilities like the railways and the post and the telegraph network.
  • The process of the disparate groups of workers in various parts of country emerging as an organized, self-conscious, all India class is inextricably linked with the growth of the Indian national movement because the notion of the Indian working class could not exist before the notion of the Indian ‘people’ had begun to take root.
  • Before the Indian nationalist intelligentsia began to associate itself with working class agitations towards the end of the 19th century, there were several agitations/strikes by the workers.
  • However, they were mostly sporadic, spontaneous and unorganized revolts based on immediate economic grievances, and had hardly any wider political implications.
  • There were also some early attempts by philanthropists to improve the condition of the workers.
  1. In 1878, Sorabjee Shapoorji Bengalee tried unsuccessfully to introduce a Bill in the Bombay Legislative Council to limit the working class hours for labour.
  2. In Bengal, Sasipda Banerjee set up a Workingmen’s Club in 1870 and brought out a monthly journal called Bharat Sramjeebi (Indian Labour), with the primary idea of educating the workers.
  3. In Bombay, Narayan Meghajee Lokhanday brought out an Anglo-Marathi weekly called Dina-Bandhu (Friend of the Poor) in 1880, and started the Bombay Mill and Millhands’ Association in 1890.
  • All these efforts were of a philanthropic nature and did not represent the beginnings of an organized working class movement.
  • Moreover, these philanthropists did not belong to the mainstream of the contemporary national movement.
  • The early nationalists in the beginning paid relatively little attention to the question of workers despite the truly wretched conditions under which they existed at that time.
  • Also, they had a strikingly different attitude towards the workers employed in Europeans enterprises and those employed in Indian enterprises.
  • One major reason for this was that, at this time, when the anti-imperialist movement was in its very infancy, the nationalists did not wish to weaken the common struggle against British rule by creating any divisions within the ranks of the Indian people.
  • Dadabhai Naoroji, in the very second session of the Indian National Congress (1886), made it clear that the Congress ‘must confine itself to questions in which the entire nation has a direct participation, and it must leave the adjustment of social reforms and other class questions to class Congresses.’
  • The nationalists correctly saw the Government initiative on labour legislations as dictated by British manufacturing interests which, when faced with growing Indian competition and a shrinking market in India, lobbied for factor legislation in India which would, for example, by reducing the working hours for labour, reduce the competitive edge enjoyed by Indian industry.
  • Further, the early nationalists saw rapid industrialization as the panacea for the problems of Indian poverty and degradation.
  • The scenario completely altered when the question was of Indian labour employed in British-owned enterprises.
  • Here the nationalists had no hesitation in giving full support to the workers.
  • This was partially because the employer and the employed, in the words of P. Ananda Charlu, the Congress President in 1891, were not ‘part and parcel of the same nation.’
  • The first organized strike by any section of the working class was occurred in a British-owned and managed railway.
  • This was the signalers’ strike in May 1899 in the Great Indian Peninsular Railway and the demand were related to wages, and other conditions of service.
  • In 1903, G. Subramaniya Iyer urged that “workers should combine and organize themselves into unions to fight for their rights…”

Swadeshi upsurge and the Working Class

  • The Swadeshi upsurge of 1903-8 was a distinct landmark in the history of the labour movement.
  • An official survey pinpointed the rise of the ‘professional agitator’ and the ‘power of organisation’ of labour into industrial strikes as the two distinct features of this period.
  • The number of strikes rose sharply.
  • Four prominent names among the Swadeshi leaders who dedicated themselves to labour struggles were Aswinicoomar Bannerji, Prabhat Kumar Roy Chowdhuri, Premtosh Bose and Apurba Kumar Ghose.
  • The first tentative attempts to form all-India unions were also made at this time, but these were unsuccessful.
  • The differential attitude towards workers employed in European enterprises and those in Indian ones, however, persisted throughout this period.
  • Perhaps the most important feature of the labour movement during the Swadeshi days was the shift from agitations and struggles on purely economic questions to the involvement of the workers with the wider political issues of the day.
  • The national upsurge on 16th October 1905, the day the partition of Bengal came into effect, included a spurt of working class strikes and hartals in Bengal.
  • Workers numbering 12,000 in the Burn Company shipyard in Howrah struck work on being refused leave to attend the Federation Hall meeting called by the Calcutta Swadeshi leaders.
  • In Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu, Subramaniya Siva campaigned for a strike in February-March 1908 in a foreign-owned cotton mil saying that strikes for higher wages would lead to the demise of foreign mills.
  • Perhaps the biggest political demonstration by the working class in this period occurred during Tilak’s trial.
  • The Swadeshi period was also to see the faint beginning of a socialist tinge among some of the radical nationalist leaders who were exposed to the contemporary Marxist and social democratic forces in Europe.

Non-Cooperation Movement and the Working Class

  • The period from 1919 to 1922 (Non-Cooperation and Khilafat Movement) not only saw a resurgence of working class activity but also it saw the working class got involved in the mainstream of nationalist politics to a significant extent.
  • The most important development was the formation of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) in 1920 by N M Joshi.
  • Lokamanya Tilak was one of the moving spirits in the formation of the AITUC, which had Lala Lajpat Rai, as its first president, Joseph Bapista as Vice President and Dewan Chaman Lal as its general secretary.
  • The manifesto issued to the workers by the AITUC urged them not only to organize themselves but also to intervene in nationalist politics.
  • Lala Lajpat Rai was among the first in India to link capitalism with imperialism and emphasize the crucial role of the working class in fighting this combination. He said, “Militarism and Imperialism are the twin-children of capitalism; they are one in three and three in one.”
  • At the second session of the AITUC, Dewan Chaman Lal while moving a resolution in favour of Swaraj pointed out that it was to be a Swaraj, not for the capitalists but for the workers.
  • Apart from Lala Lajpat Rai, several of the leading nationalists of the time became closely associated with the AITUC.
  • C.R. Das presided over its third and fourth sessions, and among the other prominent names were those of C.F. Andrews, J.M. Sengupta, Subash Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Satyamurti.
  • The Indian National Congress at its Gaya session in 1922 welcomed the formation of the AITUC and formed a committee consisting of prominent Congressmen to assist its work.
  • C.R. Das in his presidential address to the Gaya Congress, said that the Congress must “take labour and the peasantry in hand… and organize them both…”
  • In November 1921, at the time of the visit of the Prince of Wales, the workers responded to the Congress call of a boycott by a countrywide general strike.
  • Arjun Atmaram Alwe, an illiterate worker in a Bombay textile mill, became a major figure in the working class movement.
  • Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association (TLA), founded by Gandhiji in 1918, with 14,000 workers on its rolls, was perhaps the largest single trade union of the time.
  • TLA secured one of the highest hikes in wages (27.5 %) during a dispute in 1918.
  • Gandhiji’s philosophy for labour emphasized on “arbitration and trusteeship.”

The Working Class Movement in 1920s

  • Various Communist groups in different parts of India had by early 1927 organised themselves into the Workers’ and Peasants’ Parties (WPP).
  • In Bombay, following the historic six-month-long general strike by the textile workers (April-September 1928), the Communist-led Grini Kamgar Union (GKU) acquired a pre-eminent position.
  • In the AITUC too, by the time of the 1928 Jharia session, the broad Left including the Communists had acquired a dominant position.
  • This resulted in the corporatist trend led by people like N.M. Joshi splitting away from the AITUC at the subsequent session presided over by Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • The AITUC in November 1927 took a decision to boycott the Simon Commission.
  • The Government launched a two-pronged attack on the labour movement.
  1. On the one hand, it enacted repressive laws like the Public Safety Act and Trade Disputes Acts and arrested in one swoop virtually the entire radical leadership of the labour movement and launched the famous Meerut Conspiracy Case against them.
  2. On the other hand, it attempted, not without some success, to wean away through concessions (for example the appointment of the Royal Commission on Labour in 1929) a substantial section of the labour movement and commit it to the constitutionalist and corporatist mould.
  • From about the end of 1928, the Communists reversed their policy of aligning themselves with and working within the mainstream of the national movement.
  • This led to the isolation of the Communists from the national movement and greatly reduced their hold over even the working class.
  • Similarly, the Communists got isolated within the AITUC and were thrown out in the split of 1931.

The Working Class Movement in 1930s

  • Workers participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement all over the country.
  • In Bombay, the Congress slogan during the Civil Disobedience Movement was that the ‘workers and peasants are the hands and the feet of the Congress.’
  • There was a dip in the working class movement between 1931 and 1936.
  • Neither did the workers take an active part in Civil Disobedience Movement of 1932-34.
  • The next wave of working class activity came with provincial autonomy and the formation of popular ministries during 1937-39.
  • When the campaign for the 1937 elections began, the AITUC, barring a few centres, gave its support to the Congress candidates.
  • The Congress election manifesto declared that the Congress would take steps for the settlement of labour disputes and take effective measures for securing the rights to form unions and go on strike.
  • During the tenure of the Congress Provincial Governments the trade union movement showed a phenomenal rise.
  • One of the principal factors which gave a fillip to the trade union movement in this period was the increased civil liberties under Congress Governments and the pro-labour attitude of many of the Congress ministries.
  • It is significant that a peculiar feature of the strikes in this period was that a majority of them ended successfully, with full or partial victory for the workers.

World War II and the Working Class Movement

  • World War II began on 3September 1939 and the working class of Bombay was amongst the first in the world to hold an anti-war strike on 2 October 1939.
  • However, with the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union in 1941, the Communists argued that the character of the War had changed from an imperialist war to a people’s war.
  • It was now the duty of the working class to support the Allied powers to defeat Fascism which threatened the socialist fatherland.
  • Because of this shift in policy, the Communist party dissociated itself from the Quit India Movement launched by Gandhiji in August 1942.
  • They also successfully followed a policy of industrial peace with employers so that production and war-effort would not be hampered.
  • The Quit India Movement, however, did not leave the working class untouched, despite the Communist indifference or opposition to it.
  • The participation of workers was, however, low in pockets of Communist influence though in many areas the Communist rank and file, actively joined the call of Quit India despite the party line.
  • There was a tremendous resurgence in working class activity between 1945-47. The workers in large numbers participated in the post-war political upsurge.
  • Toward the end of 1945, the Bombay and Calcutta dock workers refused to load ships going to Indonesia with supplies for troops meant to suppress the national liberation struggles of South-East Asia.
  • Perhaps the most spectacular action by the workers in this period was the strike and hartal by the Bombay workers in solidarity with the mutiny of the naval ratings in 1946.
  • The last years of colonial rule also saw a remarkably sharp increase in strikes on economic issues all over the country.
  • The pent-up economic grievances during the War, coupled with the problems due to post-war demobilization and the continuation of high prices, scarcity of food and other essentials, and a drop in real wages, all combined to drive the working class to the limits of its tolerance.

B) Science and Technology/Defence/Space

2. Enhanced version of PINAKA Rocket System successfully Flight Tested (PIB)

Context: Enhanced PINAKA rocket, developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has been successfully flight tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

  • Development of Enhanced Pinaka system was taken up to achieve longer range performance compared to earlier design with reduced length.

Analysis

Pinaka missile system for the Army

  • It is an all-weather, indirect fire, free flight artillery rocket system.
  • The Pinaka missile systems would help to raise additional regiments over and above those inducted by the Army.
  • It has been indigenously designed and developed by DRDO.
  • The Pinaka, which is primarily a multi-barrel rocket system (MBRL) system, can fire a salvo of 12 rockets over a period of 44 seconds.
  • One battery of Pinaka system consists of six launch vehicles (six missiles), accompanied by the loader systems, radar and links with network-based systems and a command post.
  • One battery can neutralise an area one kilometre by one kilometre.
  • The Mark-I version of Pinaka has a range of around 40 kilometres and the Mark-II version can fire up to 75 kilometres.
  • The Mark-II version of the rocket has been modified as a guided missile system by integrating it with the navigation, control and guidance system to improve the end accuracy and increase the range.
  • The navigation system of the missile is linked with the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.
  • In comparison to artillery guns, rockets are less accurate, but with addition of guidance and navigation systems, this aspect is taken care of.
  • This is a flagship project showcasing public private partnership under the aegis of Government of India (DRDO & MoD) enabling “Aatmnirbharta” in cutting edge Defence technologies.

3. Leishmaniasis and the Neglected Tropical Diseases (PIB)

Context: To recognize the significant contributions towards defining the survival tactics of Leishmania donovani, Society of Biological Chemists (India) has chosen Dr Susanta Kar for this year’s Prof. A N Bhaduri Memorial Lecture Award.

  • Leishmania Donovani is a protozoan parasite that infects macrophages and is a causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (Kala Azar), a lethal infectious disease affecting millions worldwide.
  • The Society of Biological Chemists (India) or SBC(I) was founded in 1930, with its Head Quarters at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. This prestigious society was registered under the Societies Act in the then Princely State of Mysore.
  • The award is conferred in every two years. Recipient of the award should be below 50 years of age.
  • The Award is given for Biological Chemistry and Allied sciences, preferably related to parasitic infections.

Analysis

Leishmaniasis

  • The leishmaniases are a group of diseases caused by protozoan parasites from more than 20 Leishmania species.
  • These parasites are transmitted to humans by the bites of the infected female phlebotomine sandfly, which feed on blood to produce eggs.
  • Some 70 animal species, including humans, have been found as natural reservoir hosts of Leishmania parasites.
  • Most people infected by the parasite do not develop any symptom at all in their life.
  • Therefore, the term leishmaniasis refers to the fact of becoming sick due to a Leishmania infection and not the mere fact of being infected with the parasite.
  • There are 3 main forms of leishmaniases – Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) (also known as kala-azar, which is and the most serious form of the disease), Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) (the most common), and Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis.
  • Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis is usually a sequel of visceral leishmaniasis that appears as macular, papular or nodular rash usually on the face, upper arms, and other parts of the body.
  • The disease affects some of the poorest people on earth, and is associated with malnutrition, population displacement, poor housing, a weak immune system and lack of financial resources.
  • Leishmaniasis is linked to environmental changes such as deforestation, building of dams, irrigation schemes, and urbanization.
  • Leishmaniasis is climate-sensitive as changes in temperature, rainfall and humidity can have strong effects on vectors and reservoir hosts by altering their distribution and influencing their survival and population sizes.
  • In 2018, more than 95% of new VL cases reported to WHO occurred in 10 countries: Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
  1. In 2018 over 85% of new CL cases occurred in 10 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Tunisia.
  2. Over 90% of mucocutaneous leishmaniasis cases occur in Bolivia, Brazil, Ethiopia and Peru.
  3. (absolutely no need to cram the names of countries, just note that a particular form of the disease in more common in India than the others…GET CLEVER! GET SELECTED!).
  • India is endemic for CL and VL in the Indian sub-continent.
  1. CL occurs in the north-western states of India (foci in Rajasthan and Punjab). The most affected area in Rajasthan is Bikaner district.
  2. Historically, VL was widely prevalent in India.

Kala-azar (Visceral leishmaniasis, VL)

  • Kala-azar is characterised by bouts of fever, weight loss, anaemia, and an enlargement of the spleen and liver that shows up as a pot belly.
  • Often, cases of kala-azar are mistaken as malaria. The disease is debilitating and almost always fatal when left untreated.
  • Kala azar is largely a disease of the poor. It has been endemic to four states in India – Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • India has been trying to eliminate kala azar for decades but with little success.
  • In 2014, the government launched the Kala Azar Elimination Programme with support from international agencies to eliminate the disease by 2017.
  • The programme focusses on the four endemic states and has been on the verge of eliminating the disease but has been struggling to cross the finish line.
  • Eliminating kala azar in India is defined as achieving an annual incidence of less than one case per 10,000 people at the sub-district level. 
  • India first set itself a target to eliminate kala azar in 2010, then in 2015 and then in 2017.
  • For decades, the disease continued to linger and spread in endemic areas for lack of a good effective treatment and lack of political will.
  • However, in recent years eliminating the disease has been within reach.
  1. The development and use of a liposomal amphotericin drug in 2014 became what many kala azar experts call a “game changer”.
  2. When administered intravenously, the drug can cure the disease in a day.
  • The kala azar elimination programme also expects Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs to send people who have had fever for more than two weeks to a hospital.
  • ASHAs are health workers in rural areas who help people in their communities to access public health services and help with providing antenatal care, bringing women to health facilities for institutional deliveries, and implementing immunisation programmes.
  • Kala Azar is one of the most neglected tropical diseases.

What are “neglected tropical diseases”?

  • There are four primary criteria that define an illness as a neglected tropical disease (NTD):
  • First, there is a significant burden of mortality and morbidity.
  • Secondly, a majority of incidents of the disease occur in the world’s tropical and sub-tropical regions, and it particularly impacts the poor.
  • Thirdly, the disease is amenable to treatment, as well as prevention.

Finally, the overall level of investment in research addressing the disease, from prevention to diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation, is exceptionally low in comparison to its impact.

Some of the neglected tropical diseases identified by WHO are:

  1. Buruli ulcer
  2. Chagas disease
  3. Dengue and Chikungunya
  4. Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease)
  5. Echinococcosis
  6. Foodborne trematodiases
  7. Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness)
  8. Leishmaniasis
  9. Leprosy (Hansen’s disease)
  10. Lymphatic filariasis
  11. Mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses
  12. Onchocerciasis (river blindness)
  13. Rabies
  14. Scabies and other ectoparasites
  15. Schistosomiasis
  16. Soil-transmitted helminthiases
  17. Snakebite envenoming
  18. Taeniasis/Cysticercosis
  19. Trachoma
  20. Yaws (Endemic treponematoses)

C) Geography, Environment and Biodiversity

4. Key Declaration on Climate Change to be signed at the India CEO Forum on Climate Change (PIB)

Context: A ‘Declaration of the Private Sector on Climate Change’ is slated to be signed and released during the high-level virtual event at the India CEO Forum on Climate Change.

Analysis

  • India CEO Forum on Climate Change organized by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), as the pioneering initiative of the government, inviting industry representatives, exchanges views on climate change issues and discusses opportunities to collaborate in regard to fulfilling India’s national as well as international climate change commitments.
  • India is a signatory to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • As part of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), India has three quantitative climate change goals viz.
  1. reduction in the emissions intensity of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level,
  2. achieving about 40 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030, and
  3. creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • The private sector also benefitted from India’s participation in Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol and going forward Article 6 of the Paris Agreement offers further opportunities for meeting the climate change and sustainable development objectives.
  1. Article 6 of the Paris Agreement created both market and non-market mechanisms through which Parties could cooperate to achieve their mitigation goals.
  2. The member-nations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have been trying to finalise measures under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement to commodify carbon emissions cuts, and to make it financially attractive to reduce emissions. 

5. Fly Ash in India (PIB)

Context: NTPC Ltd., India’s largest power producer and a PSU under Ministry of Power, has started to collaborate with cement manufacturers across the country to supply fly ash as part of its endeavour to achieve 100% utilisation of the by-product produced during power generation.

  • NTPC produces approximately 65 Million Tonnes of Ash annually, out of which 80% is Fly Ash.
  • Fly ash can be used for production of cement and fly ash bricks/tiles, fireproof ceramic material, road embankment construction, mine filling, low-lying land development, and ash dyke raising.
  • This topic was comprehensively covered in 15th Oct file.

6. Paris Climate Agreement (TH)

Context: The United States formally left the Paris Agreement, a global pact forged five years ago to avert the threat of catastrophic climate change.

  • 188 Parties out of 197 Parties to the UNFCC Convention are Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  • The 2015 Paris accord, which aims to keep the increase in average temperatures worldwide “well below” 2 degrees Celsius, ideally no more than 1.5C, compared to pre-industrial levels.
  • A further seven countries have signed, but not ratified the pact.
  • have not ratified the agreement.
  • The Paris accord requires countries to set their own voluntary targets known as NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) for reducing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
  • The U.S. is the world’s second biggest emitter after China of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and its contribution to cutting emissions is seen as important, but it is not alone in the effort.

Analysis

Paris Climate Agreement

  • The Paris Climate Agreement, or simply the Paris Agreement, was an agreement that was drafted during the Paris Climate Conference in Le Bourget, France.
  • This agreement was made within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The agreement was sealed on December 12, 2015 and went into effect on November 4, 2016.
  • As of 2019, 196 states plus the European Union have signed.
  • Further, 180 nations and the European Union have ratified the agreement.
  • International agreements can be signed, but they only become binding through ratification.
  • These nations are working together to keep the temperature of the planet from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels.
  • By 2020, the goal is to keep the temperature under 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Nations that have signed the Paris Agreement have made a pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use green energy sources.
  • Under the accord, a $100 billion fund was established to help developing nations also move to green energy sources.
  • The Paris Climate Agreement is concerned with greenhouse gases emissions’ mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
  • The Agreement seeks to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty” through long-term goals addressing mitigation, adaptation and finance. 
  • The aim of the Agreement is “enhancing the implementation” of the UNFCCC through the following mitigation measures:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance available to check greenhouse gas emissions and to promote climate-resilient development.

  • Article 6 of the Paris Agreement created both market and non-market mechanisms through which Parties could cooperate to achieve their mitigation goals.
  • The member-nations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have been trying to finalise measures under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement to commodify carbon emissions cuts, and to make it financially attractive to reduce emissions. 

Here are some of the hold outs:

Turkey

  • Turkey has a peculiar beef with the Paris Agreement, stemming from its decision to sign up to the convention as a developed country.
  • Turkey has since argued that it is a developing country and has won special circumstances, allowing it to opt out of supplying finance.
  • But it still cannot access climate cash, a condition president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has said must change if Turkey is to ratify the agreement.

Iran

  • Its emissions pledge in Paris was uninspiring; the country suggested it would intend to mitigate its GHG emissions by 4% in 2030 compared to a business as usual scenario.
  • Iran’s reluctance to ratify the Paris Agreement stems from an unwillingness to shift their economy. Economic sanctions from the international community are also a sticking point.
  • The spiralling protests against the now rescinded subway fare hike have forced Chile to withdraw as host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade summit later this month, as well as the annual COP25 climate summit scheduled in December.

Global Stocktake

  • The Paris Agreement offers a framework for increasing climate action over time.
  • The “global stocktake” is a moment every five years for all countries to pause and account for what has been achieved so far, and what must still be done, to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • The first full global stocktake will occur in 2023, but will be preceded by an initial stocktaking exercise in 2018 (known as the facilitative dialogue).
  • This facilitative dialogue will provide an opportunity for countries to reflect on collective progress already made and opportunities to take further action prior to submitting new or enhanced NDCs ahead of 2020.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

  • The Paris Agreement requests each country, both developed country Parties and developing country Parties, to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs.
     
  • NDCs are the efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • All Parties are requested to submit the next round of NDCs by 2020 and every five years thereafter (e.g. by 2020, 2025, 2030) to the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change secretariat, regardless of their respective implementation time frames.
  • NDCs are recorded in the NDC registry which is publicly available and maintained by the UNFCCC secretariat. 
  • NDCs reflects the country’s ambition for reducing emissions, taking into account its domestic circumstances and capabilities,
  • In order to enhance the ambition over time the Paris Agreement provide that successive NDCs will represent a progression compared to the previous NDC.
  • As part of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), India has committed to reducing 33-35% of emission intensity of its GDP during 2005-2030.
  • Emission intensity is the volume of emissions per unit of GDP. Reducing emission intensity means that less pollution is being created per unit of GDP.
  • However, a more concrete measure of emission reduction is an “absolute reduction”.  That‘s the reduction in the total emissions. To tackle climate change total emissions must go down so an absolute reduction is the most relevant measure.

D) Schemes/Policies/Initiatives/Social Issues

7. Nurturing Neighbourhoods Challenge (PIB)

Context: Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs launched three initiatives, namely, the Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge focusing on shaping cities for young children and their families; the Data Maturity Assessment Framework to evaluate data ecosystems of cities; and an on-line training programme for City Data Officers (CDOs) of 100 Smart Cities.

Analysis

The Nurturing Neighborhoods Challenge, a 3-year initiative, will support cities to develop, pilot, and scale solutions that enhance the quality of life of young children, their caregivers and families in the public realm.

  1. Through the challenge, selected cities will receive technical assistance and capacity-building to reimagine parks and open spaces; improve access to early childhood facilities; adapt public spaces with early childhood-oriented amenities; and create accessible, safe, walkable streets for young children and families.
  2. The challenge will be open to all Smart Cities, other cities with more than five lakh population, and capitals of States and UTs.
  • The Data Maturity Assessment Framework (DMAF) – cycle-2 will support cities in the creation of ‘culture of data’ under the DataSmart Cities initiative of the smart cities Mission.
  • The assessment for this cycle has been expanded to include cities other than Smart Cities.

8. Ganga Box Launch (PIB)

German development agency (GIZ) has collaborated with National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) for project, ‘Support to Ganga Rejuvenation’, in which participatory and hands-on learning, transformational learning resources are designed for the Indian schools to bring about attitudinal and behavioural change in the school children towards conservation and rejuvenation of the Ganga river.

  • Ganga Box, an innovative learning tool, was launched as part of this project by the Jal Shakti Minister.

9. Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Schemes (PIB)

  • Union Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Cultureinaugurated the “Tourist Facilitation Centre” facility constructed under the project “Development of Guruvayur, Kerala” under PRASHAD Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism.
  • The project for “Development of Guruvayur” under the scheme was approved by the Ministry of Tourism in March 2017. 
  • The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the objective of integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.  
  • The scheme aimed at infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ Money exchange, eco-friendly modes of transport, area Lighting and illumination with renewable sources of energy, parking, drinking water, toilets, cloak room, waiting rooms, first aid centers, craft bazars /haats/ souvenir shops/ cafeteria, rain shelters, Telecom facilities, internet connectivity etc.  
  • Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Schemes were comprehensively covered in 15th Sep file.

E) Polity/Bills/Acts/Judgments

10. SC lays down guidelines for matrimonial cases (TH)

  • The Supreme Court held that deserted wives and children are entitled to alimony/maintenance from their husbands from the date they apply for it in a court of law.
  • The view that maintenance ought to be granted from the date when the application was made is based on the rationale that the primary object of maintenance laws is to protect a deserted wife and dependent children from destitution and vagrancy.
  • If maintenance is not paid from the date of application, the party seeking maintenance would be deprived of sustenance, owing to the time taken for disposal of the application, which often runs into several years.
  • The plea of the husband that he does not possess any source of income ipso facto does not absolve him of his moral duty to maintain his wife, if he is able-bodied and has educational qualifications.
  • The expenses of the children, including their education, basic needs and other vocational activities, should be factored in by courts while calculating the alimony.
  • Other factors such as “spiralling inflation rates and high costs of living” should be considered, but the wife should receive an alimony which fit the standard of life she was used to in the matrimonial home.
  • The judgment was based on a matrimonial plea from Maharashtra on the question of payment of maintenance by a man to his wife and son under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The case had been dragging on for years.

F) Miscellaneous

11. Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project (PIB)

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister has approved the 210 MW Luhri Stage-I Hydro Electric Project located on river Satluj which is situated in Shimla & Kullu districts of Himachal Pradesh.

12. GANGA UTSAV (PIB)

  • Ganga Utsav is a 3 – day festival celebrating river Ganga.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) had been celebrating the day of declaration of river Ganga as ‘National River’ on 4th November of every year with an objective to promote stakeholder engagement and ensure public participation under aegis of Ganga Knowledge Center.
  • The utsav celebrates mystical and cultural river Ganga through storytelling, folklores, dialogues with eminent personalities, quizzes, displaying traditional artforms, dance & music performance by renowned artists, photo galleries and exhibitions and much more.

13. Oct. services sector PMI signals first expansion since February (TH)

  • Indian services sector activity ended the seven-month sequence of decline and registered growth in October, supported by improved market conditions amid easing COVID-19 restrictions, a monthly survey said.
  • At 54.1 in October, up from 49.8 in September, the seasonally adjusted India Services Business Activity Index posted above the 50.0 no-change mark for the first time since February.
  • A print above 50 means expansion and a score below that denotes contraction, as per the IHS Markit India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).

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