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19th October Current Affairs

Tipping points of global warming

(GS-III: Environmental pollution and degradation)

In News:

A study has found that even at the current levels of warming in the world, several climate ‘tipping points’ could be crossed, setting off irreversible, catastrophic, and self-perpetuating changes.

Findings:

Visible changes: Several studies in the past 15 years have identified different tipping points such as the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet, a spontaneous reduction in Amazon forest cover, melting of glaciers, or softening of the permanently frozen grounds in the polar regions that have large amounts of carbon trapped in them.

Each of these tipping points is correlated with each other with different levels of temperature rise.

The latest study has identified nine global and seven regional tipping points.

Tipping points at work:

Rising temperatures are causing large-scale changes in the climatic systems.

It has also intensified the Glacial melt, thinning of Arctic ice, and rise in sea levels.

However, it is still possible, at least theoretically, to arrest these changes, or even reverse them over time.

According to the IPCC assessment report, with the current level of efforts, the world is on the path to becoming more than 2 degrees warmer by the year 2100.

Threats to permafrost: The softening or melting of permafrost layers is already releasing some carbon into the atmosphere.

Permafrost layers hold as much as 1,700 billion tonnes of carbon, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide and methane.

In comparison, the global emissions of carbon in a year are in the range of 40 billion tonnes.

Self-sustaining and cyclic system: Once the tipping point is crossed, this becomes a self-sustaining and cyclic system. The system does not reverse even if the global temperatures stop rising.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sixth assessment reports suggest that most of these tipping points would be crossed between 1 and 2 degree Celsius temperature rise.

Policy response:

Increase efforts to restrict global warming.

Take the initiative to study the effects of rising temperatures.

Countries need to increase the ambition of their climate action in the next few years.

Because of the impacts of the Ukraine war on the energy supply chains across the world progress is likely to slow down.

Impact on India:

A one-metre rise in sea level will displace 7.1 million people in India.

The sixth assessment report of the IPCC released earlier this year said that global emissions of greenhouse gases needed to peak by 2025 and reduce by 43 per cent from current levels by 2030 if the 1.5 degree Celsius target was to be achieved.

What are Climate tipping points?

Climate Tipping Points or CTPs are markers of a larger climate system that when triggered beyond a threshold, perpetuates warming on its own.

Bilkis Bano case

In News:

The Union Home Ministry framed guidelines that 12 categories of convicts, including “prisoners convicted for the offence of rape” are not eligible to be released prematurely under a special remission scheme to commemorate 75 years of Independence.

Key Highlights:

The State government said: It considered the plea for early release of the 11 prisoners as per the policy of 1992.

CBI and the CBI court: The convicts cannot be released as the crime is “heinous, grave and serious” and the “crime was committed only on the ground that the victims belong to a particular religion.

Section 435 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: It states that a State government should act after consultation with the Central Government in certain cases of remission.

Prison is a State subject

Prisoners Eligible for Special Remission:

Women and transgender convicts of ages 50 and above and male convicts of 60 and above.

Physically challenged or disabled convicts with 70% disability and more who have completed 50% of their total sentence period.

Terminally ill convicted prisoners who have completed two-thirds (66%) of their total sentence

Poor or indigent prisoners who have completed their sentence

Persons who committed an offence at a young age (18-21)

Prisoners Excluded from the Scheme:

Persons convicted with death sentence or where the death sentence has been commuted to life imprisonment

Persons convicted for an offence for which the punishment of death has been specified as one of the punishments.

Persons convicted with a sentence of life imprisonment.

Convicts involved in terrorist activities.

Persons convicted for dowry death

Counterfeiting currency notes

The offence of rape & human trafficking

Offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012

Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, etc.

Remission:

It is the complete ending of a sentence at a reduced point.

Remission is distinct from both furlough and parole in that it is a reduction in sentence as opposed to a break from prison life.

UIDAI tops the Grievance Redressal Index

In News:

UIDAI tops the Grievance Redressal Index for the second consecutive month.

Details:

Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), releases a grievance redressal index on monthly basis.

UIDAI’S Strength:

UIDAI’S grievance redressal ecosystem comprised of UIDAI HQ, its Regional Offices, Technology Centre, and contact centre partners. It enables UIDAI to resolve around 92% of grievances within a week.

UIDAI is gradually rolling out an Open-Source CRM solution, which enables it to support multi-channels like phone calls, email, Chatbot, web portals etc for lodging, tracking and resolving grievances.

It has launched IVRS services in 12 languages.

What is UIDAI?

UIDAI was founded in 2009 but became a statutory body in 2016 under the Aadhar act. It is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (Aadhaar) to all the residents of India. It comes under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.

PM Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PM KSK)

In News:

Context: 600 PMKSK  have been launched (under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers)  to cater to a wide variety of input needs of the farmers – Testing needs, extension services, fertilizers, seeds, equipment etc.

Details:

Government plans to develop more than 3 lakh fertilizer shops across the country as Samruddhi Kendra.

This was launched in the Kisan Sammelan 2022. Apart from Smruddhi Kendra, the government also launched One nation One fertilizer ( already explained in yesterday’s article); launched ‘India Edge’ an e-magazine on fertilizers; inaugurated Agri Startup Conclave.

India is 1st largest importer of fertilizer, 2nd largest fertilizer-consuming country (the largest consumer is China) and 3rd largest producer of it (the largest producer is China).

Forex Exchange Reserves

In News:

India’s forex reserves have tumbled to around $530 bn from a peak of $642 billion in September last year.

Reasons behind the decline of Forex reserves in India:

Fall in the value of holdings in dollars and other currencies by RBI

Central bank’s intervention in the currency market to protect the rupee.

For instance, to defend the rupee RBI has sold a net $43.15 billion worth of dollars since the start of 2022.

Impact: 

Widening Current Account deficit which is expected to stay above 3% of GDP for the current fiscal year, ending March 2023.

Volatile Capital flows, economists expect the balance of payments to be negative, depleting reserves further.

While reserves at current levels are adequate to cover more than eight months of imports

A fall below eight months of import cover (about $500 billion) could start catching the market’s attention.

What is RBI doing about it?

The RBI had announced measures to liberalise foreign exchange inflows, including giving foreign investors access to a larger portion of government debt and banks wider room to raise more deposits from non-residents.

What measures need to be taken:

Focussing on strengthening structural macro buffers.

Floating sovereign bonds, like the Resurgent India bonds (RIBs) and India Millennium Deposit bonds (IMDs) in the past, to help boost forex reserves.