National Tribal Dance Festival
African-origin Siddi Tribe who came to India 850 years ago, performed their cultural dance form at the 3rd National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
About the National Tribal Dance Festival:
It is one of Chhattisgarh’s grand festivals which celebrates diverse tribal communities and their culture not just in India but from across the globe.
The three-daylong event is organised under the Tourism and Culture department of Chhattisgarh state.
Some major tribal/folk dances of India:
The Employees’ Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014 of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation was recently upheld by the Supreme Court of India, which exercised its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution.
Choice of higher pension: Trade unions were resisting the government’s argument that workers at all levels should have more liquidity. The SC, through its ruling, has let the workers decide whether they should opt for the higher provident fund or choose higher pension payouts.
About Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO):
EPFO is a statutory organisation within the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
It was established with the passage of the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
EPFO is responsible for regulating and managing provident funds in India, as well as managing social security agreements with other countries that have bilateral treaties with India.
Report on Gig Workers – NASSCOM
The National Association of software and service companies (NASSCOM) has released a report on the status of Gig Workers.
The Code on Social Security, 2020 defines a Gig worker as a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship.
Key findings from the report:
Top Giggable skills: Software development, UI/UX design, and data analytics.
Adaptation Gap Report 2022
According to the UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2022, global adaptation planning, financing and implementation efforts are insufficient to prepare vulnerable communities around the world to adapt to the rising risks of climate change impacts.
Progress on adaptation plans: A third of the 197 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have incorporated quantified and time-bound targets for adaptation.
And 90 per cent of them have considered gender and disadvantaged groups, the report read.
Low Finance: International adaptation finance flows are five-10 times lower than required and this gap continues to grow. Finance for adaptation increased to $29 billion in 2020 — only a four per cent increase over 2019.
Nature-based solutions to link actions on mitigation and adaptation in terms of planning, financing and implementation, which would provide co-benefits.
Ensure a new business model for turning adaptation priorities into investable projects
Ensure the availability of climate risk data and information
Implementation and operationalisation of early warning systems
About the Adaptation Gap Report:
It has been published by UNEP since its first edition in 2014.
The aim of the reports is to inform national and international efforts to advance adaptation.
From 2020 and onwards, the Report consists of two main parts:
A recurrent assessment of global progress on adaptation in three areas: planning, financing and implementation.
A deeper assessment of the status of adaptation within a particular sector or theme under the same three elements as part one.
About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
The UNEP was established in 1972 following the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm.
UNEP, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, collaborates with its 193 Member States and other stakeholders to address environmental concerns through the UN Environment Assembly, the world’s top environmental decision-making body.
It publishes annually – the Emissions Gap Report, and the Adaptation Gap Report.
Air pollution in Delhi-NCR
(GS-III: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment)
Delhi pollution: From late October onwards, meteorological factors and ‘stubble’ burning to add to the already high pollution base in the Indo-Gangetic basin, particularly the pollution due to the Particulate Matter (PM), Haze and Smoke.
Particulate matter (PM) is made of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air. Any type of burning or dust-generating activity is a source of PM E.g., Emissions (from vehicles and industrial plant smokestacks)
Particulate matter—PM2.5 (diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less) and PM10—far exceeds national and World Health Organization limits and are considered the main culprit for high pollution of Delhi and its surrounding regions called NCR.
Reasons for Delhi NCR region facing extreme particulate pollution:
Location of Delhi: It lies to the northeast of the Thar Desert, to the northwest of the central plains and to the southwest of the Himalayas. As winds arrive from the coasts, bringing with them pollutants picked up along the way, they get ‘trapped’ right before the Himalayas.
Cold temperature during winter: During summer hotter air rises higher above the surface and takes the pollutants along with it. However, during October-November, the air is not that hot. The pollutants are trapped and tend to get concentrated at lower levels of the atmosphere, resulting in the smoke and haze situation.
Lack of wind esp. after the end of the monsoon: Average wind speed in winter in the Delhi NCR region is one-third of the summer months. This makes the pollutant concentration in the region.
Dust Storm: -According to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), 40% of the particulate pollution in Delhi on those specific days could be sourced to a “multi-day dust storm” that originated in the Middle East.
Stubble burning: The root cause of stubble burning can be traced back to the 1960s-70s when India introduced several measures as part of its Green Revolution to feed its rising population.
Governmental policy:In an attempt to address the growing water crisis, the Punjab and Haryana governments introduced laws, which delayed Kharif cropping and thus worsened the pollution due to stubble burning.
Manufacturing activity, Power Generation, Construction, and Transport: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) have declared vehicular emission as a major contributor to Delhi’s increasing air pollution.
Minimum Citizen participation: Unlike in other parts of the world, there is little citizens’ movement for controlling pollution.
Poor Regulations: Regulation is most often seen as imposing bans, not hand-holding and persuading industry – most of them small factories – into adopting environment-friendly measures
India has not recognised in policy and law that air pollution is a killer.
On Adult: The Lancet report that had said that 12.5 per cent of deaths in India occurred due to air pollution
On children: More than 116,000 infants in India died within a month of birth in 2019 due to air pollution — outdoor and indoor — according to the State of Global Air 2020 report.
On Mother: Studies say that because of exposure of the pregnant mother to very high pollution levels, actually affects the placenta and the foetus.
On Education: Lost hours due to the closure of schools e.g. Severe air pollution in Delhi has led to the closure of the primary school.
On Economy: Closure of industries/factories. Limits on the construction activity etc.
Steps Taken by the government:
Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP): In pursuant to the Supreme Court’s order in the matter of C. Mehta vs. Union of India (2016)regarding air quality in the National Capital Region of Delhi, a Graded Response Action Plan has been prepared for implementation under different Air Quality Index (AQI) categories namely, Moderate & Poor, Very Poor, and Severe.
National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)- It has the goal of reducing the concentration of coarse (PM10) and fine particles (PM2.5) in the atmosphere by at least 20% by the year 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.
To mitigate stubble burning: A Series of short-term ex-situ and in-situ solutionshave been rolled out by the Union and State governments.
In-situ solutionsinclude Turbo happy seeders and bio-decomposers, while the ex-situ solutions include collecting and using stubble as fuel in boilers, to produce ethanol, or simply burning away alongside coal in thermal power plants.
Other measures: mobile enforcement teams to check vehicular pollution, public awareness campaigns, investment in mass rapid transport systems, and phasing out old commercial vehicles.
Delhi’s “Green War Room” signalling the fight against the smog, is analyzing satellite data on farm fires from Punjab and Haryana to identify and deal with the culprits.
Cleaner transport: The government’s recent push for electric vehicles shows promise, while the response of industry and the buy-in from customers will be key.
Better farming practices-Needed is the political will to act, as poor farmers complain that they receive no financial support to dispose of post-harvest stubble properly.
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute has proposed a low-cost way to deal with the problem of stubble burning by spraying a chemical solution to decompose the crop residue and turn it into manure. Better coordination is needed
Facing a growing environmental and health calamity, antipollution efforts are being strengthened. But to succeed, the different levels of government must harness the political will to invest more, coordinate across boundaries, and motivate businesses and residents to do their bit.