Topic 1: EU market scheme
Context: The 27 member states in the EU approved a revamp to the bloc’s carbon market, which is set to make it more costly to pollute for businesses in Europe, sharpening the main tool the EU has to discourage carbon dioxide emissions in the industrial sector.
What is the carbon market?
- Since 2005, European factories and power plants have had to purchase permits to cover their CO2 emissions, with the prices becoming more prohibitive as their usage increases against norms for their sectors.
- The idea is to create financial incentives for keeping emissions in check, and penalties for failing to, and to generate funds for climate-related projects.
- power-generation industries,
- energy-intensive industries and
- the aviation sector.
- Which gases are covered?
- For now CO2.
- Eventually it will be expanded to cover greenhouse gases other than CO2, such as methane and nitrogen oxides.
- The new rules:
- The new rules increase the overall ambition of emissions reductions by 2030 in the sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading Market (ETS) to 62% compared to 2005 levels.
- The free permits granted to companies for lower levels of emissions will be gradually phased out.
- The changes to the ETS are part of the EU’s “Fit for 55” package of climate plans, a reference to its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 compared with a 1990 benchmark.
- A plan to incorporate parts of the shipping industry into the ETS, meaning they too will need to buy permits to cover their emissions at times.
- A new, separate ETS will be established for the buildings and road transport sectors and some others, mainly small industry according to the EU.
- The EU will also introduce its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which concerns products imported from outside the EU for carbon-intensive industries.
- Its aim is that the greenhouse gas reduction efforts of the EU are offset by increasing emissions outside its borders through the relocation of production to countries where policies applied to fight climate change are less ambitious than those of the EU.
- The EU is setting up what it calls a Social Climate Fund.
- It will be used by member states to finance measures and investments to support vulnerable households, micro-enterprises and transport users and help them cope with the price impacts of an emissions trading system for the buildings, road transport and additional sectors.
Topic 2: Law for filing of FIR in sexual harassment cases
Context: The Supreme Court issued notice to Delhi Police on a petition filed by seven wrestlers seeking an FIR against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president on allegations of sexual harassment.
- Section 154 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure enables the police to register an FIR after information is received about a cognizable offence.
- A cognizable offence/case is one in which a police officer may make an arrest without a warrant.
- Sections pertaining to sexual harassment and sexual assault of the Indian Penal Code fall within the category of cognizable offences.
Process of filing FIR:
- The registration of an FIR is the first step towards the probe.
- It sets into motion the investigation and the police may seek custodial interrogation of the accused, file a chargesheet based on the evidence, or file a closure report if the probe reveals no merit in the allegations made in the FIR.
- The law also has provision for the registration of a ‘Zero FIR’.
- Here even if the alleged offence has not been committed within the jurisdiction of the police station approached, the police can file an FIR and transfer it to the police station concerned.
Is failure to register an FIR an offence?
- The Justice J S Verma Committee recommended insertion of a section where if an officer-in-charge of a police station refuses or fails to record information related to a cognizable offence, he shall be punished.
- Based on the committee’s recommendation, section 166A was inserted in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.
The FIR provisions under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act
- The POCSO Act mandates reporting of sexual offences against children.
- Any person who has an apprehension that an offence under POCSO Act has been committed shall provide such information to the Special Juvenile Police Unit or the local police.
- The section also requires the registration of an FIR, ascribing information received with an entry number and a record in writing.
- Section 21 of the Act even states that any failure to report the commission of an offence or failure to record such an offence shall be punished with imprisonment extending to six months or a fine or both.
- The Act, therefore, also makes it mandatory for a report to be filed on receiving a complaint, including from a child.
Other remedies if police refuse to file an FIR
- A person who has been aggrieved after a police in-charge refused to file an FIR can send the information to the Superintendent of Police.
- The SP, after verification that the information discloses the commission of an offence, shall either investigate the case herself or direct for a probe by any police officer subordinate to her.
- If a person is aggrieved by the police’s refusal to file an FIR, a complaint can be made before a magistrate.
- The magistrate court can then order registration of a case at the police station.
- The complaint before the magistrate would be treated as an FIR and the police can initiate its investigation.
Topic 3: Gujjar-Bakherwals
Context: A new terror push in Jammu, likely alienation of Gujjar-Bakherwals
- They are nomadic pastoralists of Jammu and Kashmir.
- They undertake a biannual migration with their flock between the pastures of Kashmir and Ladakh during summers, and the plains of Jammu in winters.
- They have been known for their immense knowledge of the ecosystems that they traverse.
- Across their migratory routes, their daily activities benefit the environment as they:
- conserve local soil and water,
- seasonally maintain the grasslands,
- regulate the frequency of forest fires by limiting excessive growth, and
- keep invasive plant species in check by weeding them out.
- Despite their symbiotic relationship with the environment, they are falsely blamed for biodiversity destruction by the government agencies leading to policy making that goes against the members of the community.
- These policies favour sedentism, which goes against the nature of the Gujjar-Bakarwal community.
- Today, the nomadic lifestyle of the community is considered backward by the state as it does not rely on private ownership of land, which is considered modern within the Indian socio-economic framework of land use.
- The Muslim identity of the Gujjar-Bakarwal community has lead to stereotyping, harassment and mass evictions.
Topic 4: Nuclear liability law
Context: The issues regarding India’s nuclear liability law continue to hold up the more than a decade-old plan to build six nuclear power reactors in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur, the world’s biggest nuclear power generation site under consideration at present.
Law governing nuclear liability in India
- Laws on civil nuclear liability ensure that compensation is available to the victims for nuclear damage caused by a nuclear incident or disaster and set out who will be liable for those damages.
- The international nuclear liability regime consists of multiple treaties and was strengthened after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
- The umbrella Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) was adopted in 1997 with the aim of establishing a minimum national compensation amount.
- India is signatory to the CSC.
- The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act:
- To keep in line with the international convention, India enacted the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLNDA) in 2010, to put in place a speedy compensation mechanism for victims of a nuclear accident.
- The CLNDA provides for strict and no-fault liability on the operator of the nuclear plant, where it will be held liable for damage regardless of any fault on its part.
- It also specifies the amount the operator will have to shell out in case of damage caused by an accident at ₹1,500 crore and requires the operator to cover liability through insurance or other financial security.
- In case the damage claims exceed ₹1,500 crore, the CLNDA expects the government to step in and has limited the government liability amount to the rupee equivalent of 300 million Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) or about ₹2,100 to ₹2,300 crore.
- The Act also specifies the limitations on the amount and time when action for compensation can be brought against the operator.
- Reactors in India:
- India currently has 22 nuclear reactors with over a dozen more projects planned.
- All the existing reactors are operated by the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
Supplier liability clause as an issue in nuclear deals
- Foreign suppliers of nuclear equipment from countries as well as domestic suppliers have been wary of operationalising nuclear deals with India as it has the only law where suppliers can be asked to pay damages.
- Concerns about potentially getting exposed to unlimited liability under the CLNDA and ambiguity over how much insurance to set aside in case of damage claims have been sticking points for suppliers.
- While liability for operators is capped by the CLNDA, this exposes suppliers to unlimited amounts of liability.
Existing projects in India
- The Jaitapur nuclear project has been stuck for more than a decade.
- Other nuclear projects, including the nuclear project proposed in Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh, have also been stalled.
- Despite signing civil nuclear deals with a number of countries, including the U.S., France and Japan, the only foreign presence in India is that of Russia in Kudankulam — which predates the nuclear liability law.
What is the government’s stand?
- The central government has maintained that the Indian law is in consonance with the CSC.
- The provision “permits” but “does not require” an operator to include in the contract or exercise the right to recourse.
Topic 5: Mahanadi water dispute
Context: A controversy has erupted over Chhattisgarh’s release of Mahanadi water into the lower catchment area of the river system.
The Mahanadi River
- The Mahanadi rises in a pool 6 km from Farsiya village in Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district, and falls into the Bay of Bengal close to the temple town of Konark in Odisha’s Puri district.
- River basin:
- The river basin is spread over Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and small parts of Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
- Some 54.27% of the basin area is agricultural land, and 4.45% is water bodies.
- In 1983, the Chief Ministers of Odisha and undivided Madhya Pradesh agreed to resolve all water disputes by a mechanism of Joint Control Board.
- The aim was to review the progress, from time to time of survey, investigation, planning, execution and preparation of joint inter-state irrigation and power projects.
- Chhattisgarh was created.
- Odisha filed a complaint in the Supreme Court, and in the following month a suit under Article 131 of the Constitution (disputes between states and the Union, or among states) to plead for the setting up of a Tribunal under Section 3 of the Inter-state Water Disputes Act, 1956.
- Chhattisgarh asked Odisha to form the “Joint Control Board” proposed by the 1983 agreement.
- The Centre formed an 11-member negotiation committee to resolve the dispute.
- Odisha insisted on the Tribunal instead, and stayed away as the committee met in February 2017.
- The Supreme court directed the Centre to notify a Tribunal to adjudicate the dispute.
- The Centre notified the Tribunal.
- It has been asked to determine water sharing among basin states on the basis of:
- the overall availability of water
- contribution of each state,
- the present utilisation of water resources in each state and
- the potential for future development”.
Topic 6: SWAGAT initiative
Context: PM to participate in programme marking 20 years of SWAGAT initiative.
- SWAGAT (State Wide Attention on Grievances by Application of Technology) was started by the Prime Minister of India in 2003, as the then CM of Gujarat
- It was a first of its kind tech-based grievance redressal programme in the country
- It helps common man air his grievances directly to CM
- The main purpose of this programme was to act as a bridge between the citizens and the government using technology by solving their day-to-day grievances in a quick, efficient and time-bound manner.
- More than 99% of grievances submitted till date have been resolved.
- The SWAGAT Online Programme has four components:
- the State SWAGAT
- District SWAGAT
- Taluka SWAGAT
- Gram SWAGAT.
- The Chief Minister himself attends public hearings during State SWAGAT.
Topic 7: Logistics Performance Index 2023
Context: India sees remarkable improvement on 4 out of 6 LPI indicators.
- Released by: World Bank
- India improves in the logistics ranking of the World Bank by jumping 6 places to Rank 38 out of 139 countries.
- It is the 7th edition of Logistics Performance Index (LPI 2023).
- PM Gatishakti:
- In 2021, the Government of India launched the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan (PMGS-NMP) for infrastructure planning and development.
- It is a GIS based tool which integrates existing and proposed infrastructure initiatives of different Central Ministries, to ensure first and last-mile connectivity, for seamless movement of people and goods
- In 2021, the Government of India launched the PM GatiShakti National Master Plan (PMGS-NMP) for infrastructure planning and development.
- National Logistics Policy:
- The National Logistics Policy (NLP) acts as a guiding document for States / UTs seeking to formulate logistics policy.
- The policy is centred around upgradation and digitisation of logistics infrastructure & services.
- NLP lays emphasis on the shift towards more energy-efficient modes of transportation and greener fuels to reduce the carbon footprint.
- Logistics Data Bank:
- Logistics Data Bank project applies radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to containers and offers consignees end-to-end tracking of their supply chain.
- LEADS study:
- At a sub-National level, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has been conducting LEADS (Logistics Ease Across Different States) study since 2018.
- It helps to identify and resolve logistics inefficiencies and improve trade facilitation across supply chains.
- PLI scheme:
- On a national level, India has notified Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for boost to creating global champions in manufacturing.
- Other initiatives
- PM Mitra Textile Parks, Bulk Drug Parks, other areas of manufacturing and 43 Towns of Export Excellence meticulously focusing on specific sectors for exports and provision of related infrastructure.
- Sagarmala aims to improve connectivity to ports and reduce cargo dwell time and
- Bharatmala focussed on improving road connectivity of major corridors have played a pivotal role in improving India’s logistics efficiency.
Topic 8: Panchang
Context: Delhi University to launch ‘Panchang’ for revival of India’s intellectual heritage
- Panchang is the annual compilation of planetary moments.
- Panchanga means the day, nakshatra (star), tithi, yoga and karana every day.
- Dissemination of ancient Indian knowledge.
- It will be much more detailed and informative than the Western calendar.
- It contains all festivals and other important dates as well as tithi, vaar, karan, nakshatra and yog.
Topic 9: Silent Dehydration
Context: A recent study found that 75 per cent Indians are dehydrated to some degree.
- Silent dehydration:
- One of the biggest challenges with silent dehydration is that it can affect anyone, regardless of age or health status.
- Children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to dehydration, as are people who engage in strenuous physical activity or who are exposed to hot temperatures for extended periods of time.
- What is dehydration:
- Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in.
- This can happen due to a variety of factors, including:
- excessive sweating,
- diarrhoea, vomitting, and
- not drinking enough water.
- Impact of dehydration:
- When the body loses water, it also loses important electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride.
- These electrolytes are important for proper cell function, and their loss can lead to serious health problems.
- One of the biggest challenges with dehydration is that the symptoms can be subtle, and many people may not realize that they are dehydrated until it is too late.
- Common Symptoms:
- thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, and headache.
- Severe symptoms:
- dizziness, confusion, rapid heartbeat, and even seizures.
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
- Eat foods that are high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, to help keep you hydrated.
- Drinking sports drinks or by eating foods that are high in electrolytes, such as bananas, avocados, and leafy greens.
- Seek medical attention.