📰 THE HINDU – CURRENT NOTE 25 January
💡 Survey of India to re-measure Mount Everest height
- An expedition from the Survey of India would depart for Nepal in two months to conduct the exercise that will re-measure the height of Mount Everest.
- The doubts expressed by section of the scientific community about the shrinking of the towering mountain peak after devastating earthquake in Nepal two years ago.
- The height of Mount Everest is planned to be measured this time by two methods — using Global Positioning System(GPS) and a ground method.
- GPS is a survey instrument, looks like a transistor. In 10minutes at top of mountain it tells the exact height.
- Ground method-Triangulation. The height can be calculated from ground by observation.
- A deadly 7.8—magnitude earthquake struck Nepal in 2015, killing thousands of people and altering the landscape across the Himalayan nation.
- In 1855 Survey of India measured the height of Mount Everest at 29,028 ft. Mount Everest officially stands at 8,848 metres (29,028 feet) above sea level.
💡What’s in a name? The future of an ecosystem, apparently
- International conference on ecology and conversation organised by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) — to commemorate their 20th year at Bengaluru.
- We are losing biodiversity here because these grasslands have become targets for government afforestation programmes. Currently, landscapes of grasslands and wooded areas to be considered as savannahs.
- A savannah implies sparse tree cover, grasslands which are prone to forest fires, and abundant herbivores. Many of our “forests” are ecologically like savannahs, but are being managed like forests.
- If the “misnaming, misunderstanding and mismanaging” are corrected, then we can treat these forest areas (for instance, Bandipur or Nagarahole) as savannahs where an optimum number of forest fires can be gauged and herbivore population maintained to protect biodiversity in the ecosystem.
- During British Raj forest officers surveyed the vast expanse of grasslands and woodlands in the country, they decided to term them ‘forests’.
- Environment management could help India reduce costs incurred in firefighting ecological disasters.
- Good ecosystem management, such as preserving catchment basins, planting trees, can help prevent crises like drought in Karnataka.
- By putting innovation and a respect for nature together can help realise. And the possibilities ranged from underwater vertical gardens in South Africa and recyclable diapers to sustainable goat rearing in Mongolia and fair price organic tea in Assam.
- Rather than expecting governments to spend money to save the ecosystem, business ventures which benefit communities and take lessons from nature can make a marked difference.
💡Climate change plan to get new missions
- India’s eight-point plan to fight climate change will soon become a 11-point plan with new missions to address the impact of climate change on health, coastal zones and waste-to-energy on the anvil.
- Since 2012, the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change India has instituted a National Action Plan on Assessment, Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change, that has specified eight national missions.
- These include a National Water Mission, Green India Mission, National Solar Mission, National Mission on Sustainable Habitat, National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency, National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, and a National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.
💡Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana wins Cabinet nod
The Cabinet gave its post-facto approval for introduction of the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana 2017 on 24th January.
About the Scheme:
- The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) during the current financial year to provide social security to persons aged 60 years and above against a future fall in their interest income due to uncertain market conditions.
- The scheme will provide pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of 8% per annum for 10 years, with monthly/quarterly/half-yearly or annual basis options.
- The difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by the government as a subsidy.
💡Cabinet clears redevelopment of Pragati Maidan
- The Cabinet approved a proposal to redevelop Pragati Maidan by setting up a world class Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre at a total cost of Rs. 2,254 crore.
About the Plan:
- The ITPO will utilise Rs. 1,200 crore out of its free reserves towards funding of the project. It will raise institutional loan / soft loan / external aid / land monetisation for the balance amount of Rs. 1,054 crore with government guarantee for the amount of institutional loan.
- Pragati Maidan of India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) is a Mini Ratna Company under the Department of Commerce.
💡India to ratify amended version of Kyoto Protocol Move is aimed at putting pressure on developed nations
- The Union Cabinet gave its approval to ratify the deal that is set to expire in 2020 and was shunned by several developed countries, most prominently the United States.
- India will soon ratify an amended version of the Kyoto Protocol to put pressure on developed countries to deliver on climate change commitments.
- Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under this commitment period in accordance with sustainable development priorities will attract some investments in India as well.
- The refusal of the U.S., the second largest polluter, to be part of the Protocol and lack of commitments by Canada, Japan and other major developing countries meant that global emissions actually rose during this period.
- Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol incentivised several firms in India to retrofit their polluting plants with newer technology in the hope of earning carbon credits. However after an initial spike, carbon credit prices — that could be traded in emission-trading markets like shares — have crashed to rock-bottom prices.
- The 1997 Kyoto Protocol came into effect in 2005 and obligated the rich and industrialised countries to reduce emissions by 5.2% of 1990 levels during the 2008-2012 period.
- Until now, 75 countries have ratified the so-called Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol, which spans from 2012 to 2020, and falls far short of the 144 needed to bring it into force .