2nd November Current Affairs
November 2, 2022
4th November Current Affairs
November 4, 2022
Show all

3rd November Current Affairs

COP26 a year later

(GS-III: Environmental pollutions and degradation)

In News:

A year ago at the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, countries, banks and business leaders announced a slew of climate plans and pledges.

Cop 26 and its outocmes:

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) was held in Glasgow, UK with the aim to finalise the rules and procedures for implementation of the Paris Agreement and to get all countries to commit to a net-zero target by a specific year.

Outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference and current updates on it:

National emission plans: Nearly 200 countries agreed at the COP26 summit to improve their emissions-cutting pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, in time for COP27.

But only two dozen countries have so far done so.

Deforestation: More than 100 countries pledged last year to end deforestation by 2030.

To achieve that goal, however, the area deforested would need to shrink by 10% each year from the 2020 cover.

Instead, deforestation fell last year by just 6.3%, according to the Forest Declaration Platform which tracks progress on the goal.

Amazon deforestation last year hit its highest level since 2006.

Methane pledge: To date, 119 countries, and blocs including the United States and the EU pledged to slash methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.

But only 15 of them have come up with concrete plans to do so, according to a report by the World Resources Institute.

Quitting fossil fuels: Around 20 countries including Germany, and the United States pledged to stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022, except in “limited” circumstances that comply with climate goals.

Majority of them are yet to publish such policies, and questions remain about how strict those plans will be.

$100 billion by 2023: Rich countries’ failure to deliver promised finance to poorer nations has eroded trust at recent climate talks and made collective progress harder.

Rich countries fell $16.7 billion short of the target in 2020 and have signalled that it won’t be met until 2023.

Greening business: Launched ahead of last year’s U.N. talks, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) acts as the umbrella group for financial services firms looking to reach net-zero emissions across their portfolios.

Since joining, 118 asset managers, 44 asset owners, and 53 banks have set shorter-term targets to cut emissions.

Data reporting standards: Announced during COP26, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was set up to establish baseline standards for the reporting of environmental data from companies globally.

Despite its establishment, the European Union and U.S. regulators have moved to launch their own rules leading to ambiguity in the market.

Convicted legislators and their disqualification

In News:

Two Uttar Pradesh legislators were convicted on criminal charges in recent days, but only one of them has been disqualified.

When does conviction attracts disqualification?

Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951, contains provisions aimed at decriminalising electoral politics.

There are two categories of criminal cases that attract disqualification upon conviction.

Offences that entail disqualification for a period of six years upon any conviction.

If the punishment is a fine, the six-year period will run from the date of conviction, but if there is a prison sentence, the disqualification will begin on the date of conviction, and will continue up to the completion of six years after the date of release from jail.

All other criminal provisions form a separate category under which mere conviction will not entail disqualification.

A sentence of at least two years in prison is needed to incur such disqualification.

Is there legal protection for legislators against disqualification?

Under Section 8(4) of the RPA, legislators could avoid immediate disqualification until

But In Lily Thomas vs. Union of India, the Supreme Court struck down clause (4) as unconstitutional, thus removing the protection enjoyed by lawmakers.

Can the disqualification may be removed?

The Supreme Court has the power to stay not only the sentence, but also the conviction of a person.

In some rare cases, conviction has been stayed to enable the appellant to contest an election.

Power of Election commission: Under Sec. 11 of the Act, the EC may record reasons and either remove, or reduce the period of, a person’s disqualification.

For instance, in Sikkim Chief Minister S. Tamang case.

Fertilizer Subsidy

In News:

Considering the huge increase in the prices of fertilizers in the global market, the Centre has ‘doubled’ the Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizer subsidy for this Rabi season.

Fertilizer pricing in India:

Under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme (2010), the prices are fixed by companies (decontrolled ) but a fixed amount of subsidy decided on an annual basis is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers, except for Urea, based on the nutrient content present in them, so as to keep the prices within reasonable level.

Under the Department of Fertilizers under the Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.

Urea Pricing policy:

Due to natural gas-based feedstock, the MRP of urea is statutorily fixed by the Government of India. The Centre pays subsidy on urea to fertiliser manufacturers on the basis of cost of production at each plant and the units are required to sell the fertiliser at the government-set Maximum Retail Price (MRP).

How subsidies are paid?

The Direct benefit transfer (DBT) system was introduced in 2018. The retailer’s point-of-sale (PoS) machine is linked to the Department of Fertilizers’ e-Urvarak DBT portal . Farmers purchasing fertilizers provide identity proof (Aadhar or Kisan Credit Card) to certify sales. Only sales registered on the e-Urvarak portal get DBT for the companies.

International Day for Biosphere Reserves

In News:

November 3 will be the first ‘The International Day for Biosphere Reserves’, to be celebrated beginning 2022.

Biosphere reserves:

Biosphere Reserve (BR) is an international designation by UNESCO for representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over large area of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems or a combination thereof.

The World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) was formed in 1971, as a backbone for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, and living in harmony with nature.

Nilgiris stretching over Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala was the first biosphere reserve of India designated by UNESCO in 2000.

Spain has the maximum 53 biosphere reserves.

Governments alone decide which areas to nominate. Before approval by UNESCO, the sites are externally examined.

If approved, they will be managed based on a plan, reinforced by credibility checks while remaining under the sovereignty of their national government.

Ela Bhatt

In News:

Elaben Bhatt, 89, noted Gandhian, leading women’s empowerment activist and renowned founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) passed away recently

Life of Elaben Bhatt:

Born in Ahmedabad in 1933, she studied law and joined the legal cell of the Majur Mahajan Sangh or the Textile Labour Association (TLA).

Bhatt founded SEWA in 1972, which has since worked at empowering women in various ways.

She was felicitated with the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize and many other accolades.

She was also a Member of the Rajya Sabha and of the Planning Commission of India in the 1980s.

She served as a World Bank advisor and addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

She propounded the idea of ‘hundred-mile communities’ in her book Anubandh: Building Hundred-Mile Communities published in 2015.