Expected Questions on Environment & Latest Developments 2019 - IAS/(Part-1) (Set-3) (Download PDF)


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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channelto get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. comYou can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF”.

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Expected Questions on Environment 2019 - Part 1

Dr. Manishika Jain discusses Expected Questions on Environment 2019 for IAS/NET

Centre signs pact with Canadian University for Research on Environmental Issues

Central govt. has signed MoU w/University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada to work on various environmental issues including climate change, forest resource mgmt. & wildlife.

Features of MoU

  • MoU was signed for next 10 years to explore opportunities for collaborations in field of forestry science.
  • Opportunities for collaboration will be explored thru organizations like Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE), Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Forest Survey of India (FSI), Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy & Directorate of Forest Education, U’Khand &UBC.
  • MoU will assist in exchange of students, researchers & faculty, developing research projects, livelihood opportunities & augment income of forest-based communities.
  • MoU will assist industries to optimise utilisation of forest-based resources w/access to technology to diff. stakeholders by respective organisations.

New campus of Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology Inaugurated

Minister for Earth Sciences inaugurated Atal Bhavan, new campus of Centre for Marine Living Resources & Ecology (CMLRE), at Puthuvype, Cochin, in Kerala.

Centre for Marine Living Resources & Ecology

  • CMLRE is organizing, coordinating & promoting ocean development activities in country which includes mapping of living resources, preparing inventory of commercially exploitable living marine resources, their optimum utilization thru ecosystem mgmt. & R&D in basic sciences on Marine Living Resources & Ecology.

Mandate of CMLRE

  • To develop mgmt. strategies for marine living resources thru Ecosystem monitoring & modelling efforts.
  • Strengthening of research on marine living resources & Ecology including establishment of a data centre for storage & dissemination of data/information to end users.
  • Coordinating national programmes relating to Southern Ocean Living Resources (Antarctic marine living resources).
  • CMLRE - established at Kochi in 1998 by upgrading the erstwhile SagarSampada Cell w/ exclusive facilities for implementing Marine Living Resources Programme.

Mandate of CMLRE

  • Programme envisages survey, assessment & exploitation of marine living resources & studies on response of marine resources to changes in physical environment.
  • Objective - developing ecosystem model for mgmt. of living resources in Indian EEZ. Fishery Oceanographic Vessel Sagar Sampada is fully utilized for these studies.

India Bans Import of Solid Plastic Waste

Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change has amended Hazardous & other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016 to completely ban import of solid plastic waste.

Ban on Imports

  • Amendment notified by Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change fixes a loophole which previously allowed import of plastic waste into India for processing.
  • Ban on import of plastics is in lines w/principles of sustainable development.
  • To ensure ban doesn’t adversely impact ease of doing business amendment allows reverse import of defective electrical & electronic assemblies & components manufactured in & exported from India, w/I year of export.
  • Reverse import can be undertaken w/o any prior permission from Environment Ministry.
  • Hazardous & other waste mgmt. rules provide exemption to exporters of Silk waste from requiring permission from Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change.
  • India is exploring various options to discourage use of single-use plastics & is emphasising recycling of plastic waste to reduce burden on environment thereby providing economic benefits.

IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report

  • IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report was compiled by Greenpeace in association w/IQAir AirVisual.
  • Index measures presence of fine particulate matter PM2.5 in air.

Findings of Report

  • 7 of top 10 most polluted cities in world are in India.
  • Gurugram led all cities in pollution levels in 2018, even as its score improved from pre. year.
  • 5 most polluted cities in world are Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwadi (India) & Faisalabad (Pakistan).
  • 22 of top 30 most polluted cities are in India. Remaining 5 are in China, 2 is in Pakistan & one is in Bangladesh.
  • Beijing ranked 122nd in list of most polluted cities last year based on PM2.5 data.
  • Faisalabad in Pakistan, Hotan in China & Lahore were only 3 non-Indian cities in top 10.
  • 64 % of over 3000 cities studied exceeded WHO’s annual exposure guideline for fine particulate matter PM2.5.

Findings of Report

  • 100 % of measured cities w/I Middle East & Africa exceeded this guideline, while 99 % of cities in South Asia, 95 % of cities in Southeast Asia & 89 % of cities in East Asia exceed this target.
  • Report identifies some of major sources or causes of ambient air pollution which include emission of a complex mixture of air pollutants from Industries, households, cars & trucks.
  • Report adds that fine particulate matter comes from fuel combustion, both from mobile sources such as vehicles & from stationary sources such as power plants, industry, households, agriculture or biomass burning.

India Cooling Action Plan

  • Plan was released by Union Minister of Environment, Forests & Climate Change.
  • Aimed at reducing emissions & providing thermal comfort to citizens.
  • Provides a 20-year perspective to address cooling requirements across various sectors & recommends ways to provide access to sustainable cooling & thermal comfort for people.
  • Under plan, govt. has planned to achieve at least 30 % reductions in cooling energy requirement by improving energy efficiency of room ACs & fans, better servicing & optimized operations in cold chains.
  • Plan proposes Reduction of cooling load of building sector thru fast-tracked implementation of building energy codes, adoption of thermal comfort standards, enhancing consumer awareness thru eco-labelling of cooling products, push towards public transport & faster adoption of hybrid & electric vehicles.
  • Plan recommends use of climate-appropriate & energy efficient building design for construction of houses for economically weaker sections (EWS) under govt. affordable housing schemes.
  • Plan states that plan to phase out of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFC) is already underway, & under 2nd phase, most common refrigerant – HCFC-22 would be phased out from 6 major room AC brands by 2022.
  • Recognize “cooling & related areas” as a thrust area of research under national S&T Programme

Targets under India Cooling Action Plan

  • Reduce cooling demand across sectors by 20 % to 25 % by 2037 - 38.
  • Reduce refrigerant demand by 25 % to 30 % by 2037 - 38.
  • Reduce cooling energy requirements by 25 % to 40 % by 2037 - 38.
  • Implementation of Plan would be overseen by inter-ministerial Empowered Steering Committee act as a Cooling Secretariat to coordinate actions w/other ministries.

Global Chemical Outlook II

Report seeks to alert policymakers & other stakeholders to critical role of sound mgmt. of chemicals & waste in sustainable development.

  • Global goal to minimise adverse impacts of chemicals & waste set out in 2006 under UN’s global non-binding chemicals program, Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Mgmt. (SAICM) will not be achieved by 2020
  • Despite international agreement, reached at high-level UN conferences & significant action already taken scientists continue to express concerns regarding lack of progress made.
  • Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for classification & labelling is not implemented in more than 120 countries, mostly developing nations & economies in transition.
  • Countries still lack pollutant release transfer registers (PRTRs), poison centres & capacities for hazard & risk assessment & risk mgmt.
  • As of September 2018, only 37 % of countries had confirmed legally binding controls on lead in paint. Further, even if regulations on specific chemicals are in place, implementation & enforcement may pose challenges

Findings of Report

  • Chemical production & consumption is shifting to emerging economies, in particular, China.
  • Asia-Pacific region is projected to account for more than 2/3rd of global sales by 2030 & cross-border e-commerce is growing 25 % annually.
  • Progress remains insufficient & there is urgent need to take concerted action to develop basic chemicals mgmt. systems in all countries.

Global Environment Outlook 2019: Findings about India

United Nations Environment Programme has released Global Environment Outlook 2019.

Report makes following observations about India:

  • India could save at least $3 trillion (Rs 210 trillion approx. ) in healthcare costs if India implements policy initiatives which are consistent w/ensuring that globe didn’t heat up beyond 1.5 ℃ Celsius by turn of century.
  • Among India’s commitments under INDC, India is on track to achieve target of lowering emission intensity of its GDP by 33 - 35 % compared to 2005 levels by 2030 & increasing total cumulative electricity generation from fossil-free energy sources to 40 % by 2030.
  • To achieve goal to limit global temp. increase to 1.5 ℃, India needs to abandon plans to build new coal-fired power plants.
  • Paris Accord of 2015 aims to keep global temp. rise this century well below 2 ℃ above pre-industrial levels & to pursue efforts to limit temp. increase even further to 1.5 ℃. But there is limited progress by countries since then in committing to greenhouse gas emissions cut since then.

Climate Vulnerability Index for India

Department of Science & Technology has decided to commission a study to assess climate risks faced by States in India. This decision comes in backdrop of completion of vulnerability study across 12 Himalayan States.

Vulnerability Study by the Himalayan States

  • Study was undertaken in 12 Himalayan states viz. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, U’Khand & J&K. Vulnerability was measured on a scale 0 - 1 w/ 1 indicating highest possible level of vulnerability. The study indicates that:
  • Assam & Mizoram w/vulnerability score of 0.72 & 0.71 topped vulnerability index.
  • Assam is highly vulnerable to climate change because of factors like low per capita income, deforestation, a large number of marginal farmers, least area under irrigation, lack of alternative sources of income and high rates of poverty.
  • Vulnerability score was calculated based on 8 parameters such as percentage of area in districts under forests, yield variability of food grain, population density, female literacy rate, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below poverty line (BPL), average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), & area under slope > 30%.
  • Report finds that low per capita income, low open forest area per 1,000 households % lack of irrigation coverage as most imp. drivers of vulnerability in Himalayan states.
  • Other indicators include percentage of area under slope, yield variability of food grains, forest cover, irrigation cover & access to healthcare.
  • In Arunachal Pradesh, key factors are low female literacy & a high percentage of population above BPL.
  • In Nagaland, key issues are loss of forest cover, steep slope & high yield variability.
  • Scores of other states are J&K (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya & West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh & Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) & U’Khand (0.45).

- Published/Last Modified on: April 9, 2019


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