Expected Questions in Environment & Latest Developments Part 4 (Set 2) (Download PDF)

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CSIR develops affordable Water Disinfection System “OneerTM”: - CSIR has developed affordable Water Disinfection System “OneerTM”. Device will go long way in meeting requirements of potable water in rural & urban areas.

About “OneerTM”

  • It is useful for continuous treatment of water & eliminates all disease causing pathogens such as virus, bacteria, fungi, protozoa & cyst to provide safe drinking water to domestic & communities settings as per National & International standards prescribed for potable water (BIS, WHO etc. ).

  • Smaller unit of Oneer is particularly suitable for homes, street food vendors, & small establishments.

Significance

  • Oneer developed by CSIR-IITR, will provide access to safe & clean drinking water at cost of just 2 Paise/Ltr.

  • Community level model is of 450 LPH capacity which can be scaled up to 5000 to 1 lakh L/day; & is maintenance & membrane free.

  • Technology will be helpful especially for rural people since it can be solar powered.

  • One of components of programme is to enhance quality of life of ordinary people & remove drudgery.

Red Alert Issued for Districts of North Andhra Pradesh & South Odisha Coasts

  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences has taken urgent review of developing scenario of cyclonic storm ‘TITLI’ over Bay of Bengal & another cyclonic storm ‘LUBAN’ over Arabian Sea.

‘TITLI’

  • Cyclone ‘TITLI’ is expected to intensify further into Severe Cyclonic Storm & cross east coast of India b/w Kalingapatnam (north Andhra Pradesh) & Gopalpur (south Odisha).

  • Squally wind speed reaching 45 - 55 km ph gusting to 65 km ph is very likely to commence along & off along north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha & West Bengal coast.

  • Storm affected 16 out of 30 dist. in Odisha. More than 5.7 million people across 7,402 villages were affected. Landslide occurred in tribal village called Baraghara in Gajapati dist. which is home to 74 families.

  • Devastation was restricted to 2 dist. of Srikakulam & Vizianagaram in state of Andhra Pradesh. Total affected population was almost 12.5 lakh spread across 872 villages & 40,000 houses worth more than Rs. 400 cr. were destroyed by cyclone Titli.

‘LUBAN’

  • Cyclonic storm ‘LUBAN’ is expected to intensify into Severe Cyclonic Storm. It is very likely to move west-north-westwards towards Yemen & South Oman Coasts during next 5 days.

  • Gale wind speed reaching 85 - 95 km ph gusting to 105 km ph is prevailing over west central & adjoining southwest Arabian Sea.

  • 3,000 households have been displaced. This includes 650 households in Al Masilah district, 210 in Sayhut, 200 in Qishn, 250 in Huswain & 2,000 in Al Ghaydah.

3rd Ayurveda Day Celebrated

  • Ayurveda Day was observed across India on occasion of Dhanawantari Jayanti or Dhanteras w/aim to further promote Ayurveda as mainstream system of medicine.
  • Minister of State for AYUSH has announced that Ayurveda Departments will be opened in new 19 AIIMS.

Theme of Ayurveda Day: “Ayurveda for Public health”.

Objectives of Ayurveda Day

  • Focus on strengths of Ayurveda & its unique treatment principles

  • Reduce burden of disease & related mortality by utilising potential of Ayurveda

  • Exploring Ayurveda to contribute towards National health policy & National Health programmes

  • Promote Ayurvedic principles of healing in society

Ayurveda Day is observed on occasion of Dhanawantari Jayanti

  • Every year, Ministry of AYUSH observes Ayurveda Day on occasion of Dhanawantari Jayanti (Dhanteras).

  • Prevention of disease & promotion of health is main aim of Ayurveda. Lord Dhanvantari is considered as divine propagator of Ayurveda. He holds virtues of granting health & wealth. Therefore, Dhanvantari Jayanti was preferred for celebration of Ayurveda Day by Ministry of AYUSH to nationalise this system of medicine.

Events & programmes to be launched on occasion of Ayurveda Day

  • National Seminar on Entrepreneurship & Business Development in Ayurveda

  • National Dhanwantari Ayurveda Award

  • AYUSH-Health Management Information System (A-HMIS)

MNRE Circulates Draft Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS)

  • Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has prepared draft of Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS) incorporating various guidelines of Turbine Certification Scheme.
  • It is prepared in consultation w/Chennai based National Institute of Wind Energy.

Indian Wind Turbine Certification Scheme (IWTCS)

  • It is consolidation of all relevant national & international standards, technical regulations & requirements issued by Central Electricity Authority (CEA), guidelines issued by MNRE & other international guidelines.

  • It enlists guidelines for benefit of all stakeholders from concept to lifetime of wind turbine, including Indian Type Approved Model (ITAM), Indian Type Certification Scheme (ITCS), Wind Farm Project Certification Scheme (WFPCS) & Wind Turbine Safety & Performance Certification Scheme (WTSPCS).

  • It incorporates best practices from other nations in order to ensure quality of wind energy projects.

  • IWTCS aims to assist & facilitate following stakeholders

  • Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)

  • End Users –Utilities, Developers, IPPs, Owners, Authorities, Investors & Insurers

  • Certification Bodies

  • Testing Laboratories

NMCG Approves Composite Sewerage Projects in Agra to Help Save Taj and Reduce Pollution in Yamuna

  • Executive Committee (EC) of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) approved 10 projects worth Rs. 1573.28 crore. In meeting, it was decided that comprehensive solution needed to be worked out to address Yamuna’s pollution issues in Agra.

  • Project for Rehabilitation/Renovation of Agra Sewerage Scheme (Interception & Diversion Works) has been conceived at total cost of Rs. 857.26 cr. including O&M cost for 15 years.

Major Components of Projects

  • Tapping of 61 nalas/drains, construction of 3 Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP’s) of total capacity 166 MLD.

  • Construction of 10 decentralized STPs of 9.38 MLD & renovation of 2 existing STPs.

  • Laying of rising main of 17.61 km.

  • Renovation of Sewage Pumping Station (SPS).

  • Renovation of STPs renovation of interception work, up gradation of STPs (for chlorination), & operation & maintenance for 15 years.

List of Projects Approved

  • Interception & Diversion works (I&D) & Sewage Treatment Plant at Kasganj

  • Interception & Diversion works (I&D) & Sewerage Treatment Plant at Sultanpur, UP

  • Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) at Chhapra, Fatuha, Bakhtiyarpur and Khagaria in Bihar

  • I&D work including pumping stations & STPs under Burdwan Municipality, in West-Bengal, approved at total project cost of Rs. 234.31.

Sewerage Scheme for Himachal Pradesh

  • Sewerage scheme for Zone-II & III of Paonta Town, Himachal Pradesh, approved at total project cost of Rs. 11.57 cr.

  • Scheme is envisaged in 3 zones.

  • There are 38 main outfalls identified. All outfalls to Banka River must be Intercepted & Diverted to proposed lift stations (LS), MPS & proposed Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).

Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India and Wellcome Trust, UK- (India Alliance), Completes 10 Year of Partnership

  • Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under Union Ministry of Science & Technology & Wellcome Trust (WT) of UK celebrated 10 years of their joint partnership at event in New Delhi.
  • DBT & Wellcome Trust jointly support 3 tier fellowship programme on biomedical research at post-doctoral level.

4 frontlines in battle to safeguard planet

  • President suggested 4 frontlines in battle to safeguard planet, species & future.

  • 1st is environment; 2nd is lifestyle diseases; 3rd is infectious disease; final is diseases of brain.

Department of Biotechnology - Wellcome Trust partnership

  • Partnership was announced in 2008.

  • Aim of setting up fellowship jointly w/Wellcome Trust was to create system comparable to best in world, taking India on path of becoming leader in key areas of life sciences & biomedical research.

  • Partnership in its next phase will look to set up mechanisms to strengthen veterinary research, develop mechanisms to engage w/Universities around country to equip researchers to apply & receive competitive funding for their research.

  • Current programme is being delivered by Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), public trust registered as DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance.

India Declines UAE’s Rs. 700 Crore Offer for Kerala Floods

  • UAE has promised assistance worth Rs. 700 cr. for state’s reconstruction. Union Govt. has decided to decline all offers of financial help from foreign countries.
  • State has reportedly suffered damages worth over Rs. 20,000 cr. , which includes damaged highways covering abt 10,000 kms, damaged buildings, crops lost & shutdown of one of state’s 3 international airports - Cochin International Airport- following heavy flooding.

  • State govt. has demanded min. of Rs. 2000 cr. to help w/rehabilitation & reconstruction work.

Foreign Aid Offer

  • UAE: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE’s PM, has offered Rs. 700 cr. to Kerala, as acknowledgment of close connection b/w Dubai & Kerala.

  • Qatar: Nation has offered Rs. 35 cr. to state of Kerala, while Maldives, country w/which India’s ties had gone down recently, stepped up w/offer of $50,000.

Centre has refused UAE aid

  • Union Govt. has decided not to accept offers of financial help from foreign countries, as it wants to convey that country is capable of handling flood situation on its own both, financially & logistically.

  • Govt. communicated its position on foreign aid to all its embassies & missions.

  • Main reason behind decision is policy that UPA-I govt. had undertaken after 2004 tsunami disaster. Change in stance is viewed as proclamation of country’s self-worth & national pride.

  • India has given emergency relief aid to several nations including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal & even Pakistan during their time of need.

Background of Kerala Floods

  • To deal w/situation, state’s CM has demanded Rs. 2600-cr. MGNREGA special package for central schemes.

  • Southern Naval command has called off its 14-day long rescue operations. Naval personnel reportedly rescued total of 16,005 people during ‘Operation Madad’, which was launched on 9th August for assisting state administration & undertaking disaster relief operations.

NASA Launches Parker Solar Probe Mission to Study Sun’s Corona

  • US space agency NASA launched Parker Solar Probe, historic mission to touch sun. Main aim of mission is to send satellite closer to Sun than any before.
  • Rocket carrying solar probe lifted off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US.

Significance of Parker Solar Probe mission

  • Mission is named after astrophysicist Eugene Parker, 91, physicist who 1st theorised existence of solar wind in 1958. It is 1st space craft to be named after living person.

  • It holds memory card containing more than 1.1 million names submitted by public to travel w/spacecraft to Sun.

About Mission

  • It will perform closest-ever observations of star when it travels thru Sun’s outer atmosphere - called corona.

  • Mission is expected to unlock mysteries of star’s fiery outer atmosphere & its effects on space weather during its 7 year long journey.

  • Overall cost of mission is expected to be around 1.5 billion US dollars.

Other Details of Mission

  • Spacecraft will deploy its high-gain antenna & magnetometer boom.

  • It will perform 1st of 2 part deployment of its electric field antennas.

  • Probe carries 4 instrument suites designed to study magnetic fields, plasma & energetic particles & capture images of solar wind.

Background of Mission

  • Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s ‘Living with a Star’ program to explore aspects of Sun-Earth system that directly affect life & society.

  • Spacecraft is designed & built by APL, which operates it.

Earth Faces ‘hothouse’ Risk

  • Earth is at risk of entering irreversible hothouse condition – where global temperatures will rise by 40 to 50 even if targets under 2015 Paris climate deal are met.
  • Hothouse Earth climate will in long-term stabilise at global average of 4 - 50 C higher than pre-industrial temperatures w/sea level 10 - 60 metres higher than today.
Image of Earth Hothouse

Image of Earth Hothouse

Image of Earth Hothouse

Key Highlights of Study

  • Global average temperatures are just over 10 C above pre-industrial & rising at 0.170 C per decade. Keeping global warming to within 1.5 - 20 C as agreed in 2015 Paris climate agreement by around 200 countries may be more difficult than previously assessed.

  • Feedbacks include permafrost thaw, weakening land & ocean carbon sinks, loss of methane hydrates from ocean floor, increasing bacterial respiration in oceans, boreal forest dieback, Amazon rainforest dieback, reduction of northern hemisphere snow cover, loss of Arctic summer sea ice & reduction of Antarctic sea ice & polar ice sheets.

  • Feedbacks tipping elements can potentially act like row of dominoes. Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another.

Thermal Battery Plant Unveiled in Andhra Pradesh

  • World’s 1st ever thermal battery plant owned by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST) was inaugurated in Amravati, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Plant aims to create new energy storage form that is expected to have commercial applications, while maintain low carbon footprint & less dependent on external factors like weather.

Key Facts of Thermal Battery Plant

  • BEST is planning to create battery capacity of 1000MW.

  • This is expected to be upgraded to 10GW capacity by 2025.

  • Thermal battery is based on alternative sources of energy production, & its presence is expected to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It provide energy solutions for electrical grids, transport & telecom services.

  • Plant is based on technology patented in India by Dr Patrick Glynn in 2016.

Working of thermal battery technology

  • Energy transfer in this battery helps to store heat when heat travels from one part of battery setup to other.

  • Thermal battery consists of 2 parts viz. cool zone (sink) & hot source (source).

  • Both these sides consist of compounds known as phase-changing materials (PCMs), which can change their state of matter on basis of physical & chemical reaction.

  • When sink of thermal battery receives heat, it transforms physically or chemically, thereby storing energy, while source cools down.

  • For power transmission, thermal batteries can function as long as there is heat source.

Lake on Mars

  • Researchers 1st discovered underground lake on Mars. Lake under snow on Mars is about 20 kms wide & ice layer is frozen here.
Image of Lake on Mars

Image of Lake on Mars

Image of Lake on Mars

Key Facts of Lake on Mars

  • Researchers are looking for possibilities of life in past & present on Mars.

  • Because of weak atmosphere, climate of Mars is cooler than before, which has resulted in change in water ice present here.

  • Potential signs of liquid water were found on surface of Mars, but this is 1st proof of water found, which is present.

  • Lake which is to be found in study, its water is not worth drinking. This flowing water is located about 1.5 kms below snowy surface.

  • This lake is very cold & it contains lots of salt & other minerals.

  • Its temp. is below freezing point of water (at which temp. water becomes ice), yet lake water is not stored due to presence of magnesium, calcium & sodium.

Look of the Lake

  • This new discovery has been possible w/help of Marsis. Marsis is radar device on Mars Express Orbiter. This vehicle was launched in 2003.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 5, 2018

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