Expected Questions in Environment & Latest Developments Part 2 (Set 1)

⪻ Articles ⪼

Methanol Economy ″ NITI Aayog Working on Road Map on World Environment Day, 2018:-NITI Aayog is working on roadmap for full-scale implementation of methanol economy in country in near future, which would curb pollution, & reduce India՚s dependence on oil imports as well.

In Energy Sector

  • Other major area where methanol can reduce pollution is Energy sector. India has installed capacity of 22000 MW on HFO (Heavy fuel oil) alone. HFO is one of dirtiest fuel & most countries of world have abandoned it. Entire HFO usage can be replaced by Methanol.
  • Power Modules of Mobile Towers (about 750000) in India can fully be replaced by Methanol Reformer/Fuel Cell based platforms in next 2 years.
  • By adopting Methanol India can have its own indigenous fuel at cost of approx. ₹ 19 per litre at least 30 % cheaper than any available fuel.
The Methanol

Methanol Economy

  • Concept of “Methanol Economy” is being actively pursued by China, Italy, Sweden, Israel, US, Australia, Japan & many other European countries.
  • 10 % of fuel in China in transport Sector is Methanol.
  • Methanol Economy, if adopted by India can be one of best ways to mitigate Environmental hazards of growing economy.

UGC Directs Universities to Ban Plastic Cups, Bottles

UGC has directed all varsities & higher educational institutions to ban use of plastic cups, lunch packets, straws, bottles & bags on their campuses.

  • Directive by commission comes after Union Environment Ministry issued advisory, saying India is global host of this year՚s World Environment Day celebrations - Largest UN-led celebration on environment.
  • Theme for this edition is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ .
  • Ban take-away coffee cup, lunch wrapped in disposable plastic packaging, plastic bags, disposable food service cups, plates, containers made in polystyrene foam & plastic straws.
  • Restrict single-use plastic water bottle & encourage use of refillable bottles instead.
  • Commission has asked varsities to conduct networking activities on mass awareness on disposal of plastic & cleanliness drives under Swachh Bharat Mission in municipalities.
  • In run-up to World Environment Day celebrations on 5th June, Environment Ministry has asked schools stop use of plastics in their premises & constituted 19 teams to undertake cleaning of 24 beaches & equal number of polluted riverfronts & lakes across country.

World Bank Approves ₹ 6,000 Crore Atal Bhujal Yojana

World Bank has approved Water Resources & River Development Ministry՚s ₹ 6000 cr. worth central sector scheme, ‘Atal Bhujal Yojana’ . Scheme will be implemented over period of 5 years from 2018 - 19 to 2022 - 23 w/assistance from World Bank.

  • Scheme proposal is recommended by Expenditure Finance Committee & Ministry will be seeking Cabinet approval for project shortly.
  • Aims of Atal Bhujal Yojana: It aims to improve ground water management in priority areas in country thru community participation.
  • Priority areas are identified under scheme fall in states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, MP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan & UP.
  • They cover 2 major types of groundwater systems found in India, alluvial & hard rock aquifers, & have varying degrees of institutional readiness & experience in groundwater management.

Status of Ground Water in India

Status of Ground Water in India
  • Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) is regulating ground water development in 23 States/UTs.
  • As per assessment of dynamic ground water resources of country carried out jointly by CGWB & State Ground Water Departments, out of total 6584 numbers of assessment units (Block/Taluks/Mandals/watershed/Firkka) , 1034 units are categorized as ‘Over-exploited’ .
  • This may be due to increase in population, rapid urbanization & industrialization & other related factors.

NITI Aayog to Launch Composite Water Management Index

NITI Aayog announced to launch Composite Water Management Index w/aim to achieve objective of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ . Composite Water Management Index will be useful tool to assess & improve performance in efficient management of water resources.

  • Objectives of Composite Water Management Index
  • To inspire States & UTs towards efficient & optimal utilization of water & recycling, w/sense of urgency.
  • To formulate & implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
  • It will provide useful information for States & for concerned Central Ministries.
  • Composite water management index comprises of 9 parameters & 28 indicators.
  • These include various aspects of ground water, irrigation, restoration of water bodies, farm practices, drinking water, policy & governance.
  • For purpose of analysis, reporting states of index were divided into 2 special groups North Eastern & Himalayan states & Other States to take into account diff. hydrological conditions across these groups.
  • Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress & about 2 lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water.

Ranking of States/UTs

  • General States or Other States: Gujarat topped list followed by MP, AP, Karnataka & Maharashtra. Jharkhand, Haryana, UP & Bihar were worst performers among general States. Rajasthan held 1st position in terms of incremental change.
  • North-eastern and Himalayan states: Tripura has topped list followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim & Assam.
Mixed Bag

Third Partners Meeting of the Global Peatlands Initiative: Brazzaville Declaration Signed

Brazzaville declaration was singed to promote better management and conservation world՚s largest tropical peatlands-Cuvette Central region in Congo Basin from unregulated land use and prevent its drainage and degradation.

  • Declaration was signed on the sidelines of the Third Partners Meeting of the Global Peatlands Initiative, taking place in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 21 - 23 March 2018.
  • The agreement noted the importance of good land use and infrastructure planning that takes the nature of peatlands into account.
  • It was signed jointly by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , Republic of Congo and Indonesia on the sidelines of Third Partners Meeting of Global Peatlands Initiative held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Brazzaville Declaration

  • It aims to implement coordination and cooperation between different government sectors to protect the benefits provided by peatland ecosystems.
  • It recognizes the importance of the scientific breakthrough of mapping the world՚s largest tropical peatland area.

Global Peatlands Initiative (GPI)

  • The Global Peatlands Initiative is an effort by leading experts and institutions to save peatlands as the world՚s largest terrestrial organic carbon stock and to prevent it being emitted into the atmosphere.
  • It is an initiative who have partners are United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) , United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) , Wetlands International and other institutions.

BHEL Commissions 330 MW Hydro-Project at Kishanganga River in Jammu & Kashmir

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) , the country՚s largest power equipment manufacturer, announced that it has commissioned the third and the last 110 Megawatt (MW) unit of the 330 MW Kishanganga hydro power project in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) .

  • The firm had commissioned the first two units of the project of 110 Mw each in the month of March.
  • Details of Kishanganga Hydro Power Project in Jammu & Kashmir
  • The three units of Kishanganga hydro-electric project (HEP) have been commissioned within a span of 18 days.
  • Being developed by NHPC Ltd, the project is located on the river Kishanganga, a tributary of the river Jhelum, in Bandipora district of J&K.
  • Project would generate 1,350 Million Units (MUs) of electricity annually, facilitating reduction of greenhouse emissions.
  • The Kishanganga HEP is in accordance with the Indus Waters Treaty inked between India and neighboring Pakistan.

Equipment from BHEL

  • BHEL was entrusted with execution of the Electro-Mechanical (E&M) package for the project.
  • The equipment was supplied from BHEL՚s manufacturing units at Bhopal, Jhansi, Rudrapur and Bengaluru.
  • The execution of works on site was carried out by the company՚s Power Sector Northern Region division and Transmission Business Group
  • In J&K, BHEL has so far commissioned 33 Hydro sets with a cumulative capacity of 1,257 MW.
  • BHEL has so far bagged orders for 500 hydroelectric generating sets cumulatively of various ratings in India and abroad, with a capacity of more than 29,000 Mw.

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