UPSC CA: 24th September 2020

Plastic Parks Scheme- Need and Challenges

Context: 

  • The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has approved to set up ten plastic parks in the country under the Plastic Park scheme. The Scheme was launched in 2019.

Key Facts:

  • The plastic parks will be set up in Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.
  • A plastic park is a dedicated zone of plastic and related industries.
  • 6 Out of the 10 plastic parks are being implemented currently. While the draft plan for the four is underway.
  • The Government of India will share Rs 40 crore per project and rest of the cost will be borne by the state government.

About the scheme:

  • The plastic Park scheme has been launched with an aim to increase the competitiveness and value addition in the plastic processing industry. This will be achieved through research and development in the field.
  • The scheme would boost the plastic trade. 
  • Currently, India’s share in the Global market of plastics is very low. The Global trade of plastics is 1 trillion USD while India’s share is just 1%.
  • Plastic industry is classified into two categories:
    • Upstream Category- which is associated with the manufacturing of polymers.
    • Downstream Category- which are involved in conversion of processable polymers into useful end products.

 

National GIS-Enabled Land Bank System:

Context: 

  • Government has integrated Industrial Information System (IIS) portal with the GIS System of six States in first phase to provide updates on land availability and plot level information to investors anywhere in the world on real time basis.

About National GIS-enabled land bank system:

  • It was launched in August 2020 by Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It aims to solicit the details of industrial land with plot level information, connectivity thereto, basic facilities, other facilities available and contact details of authorities/developer of the park.  
  • It is being supported by Invest India, National Center of Geo-Informatics (NCoG), National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG).
  • It is being developed by integration of Industrial Information System (IIS) with State GIS Systems.
  • IIS portal is a GIS-enabled database of industrial areas/clusters across the states.

 

46th Foundation Day of Central Pollution Control Board

Context: 

  • The government organised a webinar to commemorate the 46th foundation day of Central Pollution Control Board on September 23, 2020.

About Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB):

  • It is a statutory organisation under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
  • It was constituted in September, 1974.
  • It entrusts powers and functions Under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
  • It provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • It is a technical wing of the Government for doing the environmental research, monitoring and regulation it and to enforce in the country.

Functions of CPCB:

  • To promote cleanliness in States by prevention and control of water pollution
  • To improve the air quality and to prevent and control air pollution.
  • To set sector specific standards for pollutions.
  • To do real time surveillance of industries.
  • To conduct river basin studies to take remedial actions on river pollution.
  • To establish extensive monitoring network and data management for public dissemination
  • To set national air quality standards and
  • To fix water quality criteria.

Environmental (Protection) Act of 1986:

  • In the wake of the Bhopal Tragedy, the Government of India enacted the Environment Protection Act of 1986 under Article 253 of the Constitution.
  • Passed in March 1986, it came into force on 19 November 1986.
  • The Act is an “umbrella” for legislations designed to provide a framework for Central Government, coordination of the activities of various central and state authorities established under previous Acts, such as the Water Act and the Air Act.
  • In this Act, main emphasis is given to “Environment”, defined to include water, air and land and the inter-relationships which exist among water, air and land and human beings and others.
  • The purpose of the Act is to implement the decisions of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment of 1972, in so far as they relate to the protection and improvement of the human environment and the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property.

 

‘World Risk Index (WRI) 2020 launched

Context: 

  • India was ‘poorly prepared’ to deal with ‘climate reality’, due to which it was more vulnerable to extreme natural disasters, according to the World Risk Index (WRI) 2020.

About World Risk Index:

  • WRI, released annually since 2011, is part of the World Risk Report 2020 (which was recently released by United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft, in cooperation with the University of Stuttgart in Germany).
  • It indicates which countries are in the greatest need to strengthen measures for coping with and adapting to extreme natural events.
  • The WRI is calculated on a country-by-country basis, through the multiplication of exposure and vulnerability.

Key Highlights:

  • India ranked 89th among 181 countries on the WRI 2020.
  • India was fourth-most-at- risk in south Asia on the index, after Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives fared better than India in their abilities to cope with extreme disasters.
  • India and other south Asian nations did improve their ranking marginally. Bhutan improved its ranking the most, followed by Pakistan.
  • However, all south Asian countries fared poorly in the 2020 index (as compared to 2019) on strengthening their abilities to prepare and adapt to extreme events. 

Global Highlights:

  • Oceania was the continent most at risk, followed by Africa and the Americas.
  • Vanuatu was the country with the highest disaster risk worldwide. It was followed by Tonga and Dominica.
  • The Central African Republic was the most vulnerable country, followed by Chad, Congo, Niger and Guinea-Bissau.

 

Trade and Development Report 2020

Context: 

  • Trade and Development Report 2020 report launched by UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Key Highlights:

  • Global economy will contract by an estimated 4.3% this year, leaving global output by year’s end over $6 trillion short of what it was before the coronavirus began to spread.
  • India’s GDP is forecast to contract 5.9% in 2020 and recover to 3.9% next year.
  • Biggest absolute falls in output will be in the developed world, with some countries set to register a double-digit decline over the year.
  • World is grappling with the equivalent of a complete wipeout of the Brazilian, Indian and Mexican economies.

About Trade and Development Report:

  • The Trade and Development Report (TDR), launched in 1981, is issued every year for the annual session of the Trade and Development Board.
  • The Report analyses current economic trends and major policy issues of international concern, and makes suggestions for addressing these issues at various levels.

 

Flight Test of ABHYAS

Context: 

  • Successful flight test of ABHYAS – High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) was conducted by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) from Balasore in Odisha.

About Abhyas:

  • Abhyas High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) is designed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), DRDO.
  • It is a drone that will be used as a target for evaluation various missile systems.
  • It is powered by a small gas turbine engine and has MEMS (Micro-electromechanical) based Inertial Navigation System (INS) for navigation along with the Flight Control Computer (FCC) for guidance and control.
  • It is programmed for fully autonomous flight.

 

Kritagya Hackathon

Key points:

  • A hackathon named “KRITAGYA” has been planned by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP).
  • A joint initiative by NAHEP and Agricultural Engineering Division.
  • It aims to promote potential technology solutions for enhancing farm mechanization with special emphasis on women friendly equipments.
  • The ICAR commenced NAHEP, a Government of India and World Bank project, in November 2017 to support the National Agricultural Research and Education System in providing more better quality education to the students.