06 December 2023 CNA
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. GS 1 Related B. GS 2 Related C. GS 3 Related SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 1. Understanding how the Global Positioning System (GPS) works ENVIRONMENT 1. The journey towards a plastic-free world D. GS 4 Related E. Editorials SOCIAL JUSTICE 1. The Ambedkar touch in rethinking social justice policies F. Prelims Facts 1. Global Stocktake draft calls for phasing out fossil fuels G. Tidbits 1. Glaciers shrank 1 m a year in a decade: WMO 2. India provides $250 mn Line of Credit to Kenya H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
A. GS 1 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
B. GS 2 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
C. GS 3 Related
Syllabus: General awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nanotechnology, bio-technology.
Mains: Global Positioning System (GPS): Origin, components and working.
Prelims: About Global Positioning System (GPS)
The Global Positioning System (GPS), initiated by the U.S. Department of Defence in 1973, has become a revolutionary force in navigation, impacting diverse sectors globally through its satellite-based technology.
- The Global Positioning System (GPS) has revolutionised various sectors, impacting civilian life, military operations, scientific studies, and urban planning.
- Originating from the U.S. Department of Defense in 1973, the GPS satellite constellation plays a crucial role in determining accurate locations globally.
Components of GPS
- Space Segment
- Consists of 24 satellites in six orbits around the Earth, ensuring that at least four satellites are visible from any point on Earth.
- Satellites broadcast signals containing information on their location, operational status, and emission time.
- Control Segment
- Involves ground-based control stations and antennas globally, tracking and managing satellite performance.
- The master control station is in Colorado, with an alternate station in California, along with ground antennae worldwide.
- User Segment
- Involves various sectors such as agriculture, construction, telecommunications, and military operations.
- The widespread use of GPS is evident with an estimated 6.5 billion Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) devices globally in 2021.
How GPS Works
- GPS satellites continuously broadcast radio signals encoded with information about their location and operational status.
- Receivers, like those in smartphones, calculate their distance from satellites by measuring signal travel time.
- Triangulating data from at least four satellites provides accurate three-dimensional spatial and one-dimensional temporal information.
Adjustments for Accuracy
- Adjustments are made to account for gravitational potential differences, satellite velocities, and relativistic effects.
- Atomic clocks on satellites, synchronised to within 10 nanoseconds of each other, ensure precise timekeeping for accurate measurements.
Satellite Atomic Clocks
- Atomic clocks onboard satellites exploit the resonant frequency of electrons, ensuring accurate timekeeping.
- Electrons absorb radiation at the resonant frequency, allowing scientists to fine-tune and measure time based on specific energy transitions.
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Worldwide
- Other countries, including China, the European Union, India, Russia, and more, operate their GNSS.
- International cooperation ensures compatibility, with regular meetings and committees like the International Committee on GNSS promoting collaboration.
Indian GNSS: NavIC and GAGAN
- India’s Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) consists of seven satellites providing ground-based navigation.
- NavIC uses rubidium atomic clocks and transmits in different frequency bands.
- India also operates the GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system, primarily for civil aviation applications and GPS corrections.
Nut Graf: GPS, with its space, control, and user segments, enables precise global navigation. From its inception, it has evolved into a vital technology, influencing industries and daily life worldwide.
Syllabus: Conservation, Environmental pollution and degradation and Environmental impact assessment.
Mains: Negotiations and challenges for ending plastic pollution.
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) faced challenges in developing a global plastics treaty during its third round (INC-3), including disagreements on core obligations, financial mechanisms, and trade restrictions.
- The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) convened in Nairobi for its third round of negotiations to develop a global plastics treaty by 2025, as mandated by the UN Environment Assembly Resolution 5/14.
- The make-or-break opportunity, known as INC-3, faced challenges despite progress over INC-2. The focus shifted from procedural debates to substantive discussions on the ‘zero draft’ text.
Zero Draft Negotiations
- The ‘zero draft’ of the binding plastic pollution treaty started strong but faced dilution of key obligations in primary polymer production, chemicals, and trade during negotiations.
- Disagreements arose over the treaty’s objective, with certain countries advocating for the inclusion of economic development goals alongside environmental objectives.
Controversy Over Reducing Polymer Production
- The proposal to reduce primary polymer production, crucial for addressing plastic pollution, stirred controversy as lobbyists from the fossil fuels and chemicals sector exerted influence.
- Some states contended that discussing such reduction exceeded the UNEA Resolution 5/14 mandate.
Debate on Plastic Lifecycle and Provisions
- Countries disagreed on the starting point of the plastic lifecycle, with some saying it begins at raw material sourcing and others at product design.
- Objections from a group of countries led to resistance against provisions targeting compounds and polymers of concern, emphasising a ‘null option.’
- Financial mechanisms, integral to the treaty’s implementation, faced divergence. Proposed options, like a plastic pollution fee on polymer producers or reducing financial flows into high-carbon footprint projects, were demanded to be deleted by the same group of like-minded countries.
- The inclusion of these provisions could necessitate cuts in fossil fuel subsidies and investments in environmentally unfavourable technologies.
Trade Restrictions and Misconstrued Opposition
- A bloc of countries opposed restrictions on the trade of polymers, chemicals, and plastic waste, claiming it impinged on national freedom.
- However, WTO rules allow sufficient scope for trade restrictions when necessary for health or environmental protection.
Resistance to Upstream Measures and Rules of Procedure
- The like-minded countries resisted upstream measures and diluted midstream measures, emphasising “national circumstances and capabilities.”
- The unsettled rules of procedure, carried over from INC-2, hindered progress in INC-3, with no final determination, passing the matter to INC-4.
Role of African Group and SIDS
- The African group and Small-Island Developing States (SIDS) advocated for strong binding provisions, prioritising human rights and public health perspectives.
- Despite their efforts, the draft text expanded, reflecting diverse member-state interests.
Nut Graf: INC-3 negotiations for a global plastics treaty encountered hurdles, with compromises on critical aspects. Industry influence, disagreements on financial mechanisms, and trade restrictions marked setbacks in the quest to address plastic pollution comprehensively.
D. GS 4 Related
Nothing here for today!!!
Syllabus: GS-2, Social sector; Welfare Schemes for Vulnerable Sections of the Population by the Centre and States and the Performance of these Schemes; Issues Relating to Development and Management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
Mains: Importance of Ambedkar’s ideas in rethinking social justice policies.
Contemporary democracy underscores the importance of social harmony and reforms for historically marginalized communities. Democratic institutions strive to ensure dignity and self-respect, particularly for Dalits and Adivasis in India.
The death anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar reminds his vision for the social welfare of Dalits. He envisioned a post-colonial India where these communities would play equal roles in the nation’s development.
Challenges for Social Justice in the Neoliberal Era:
- The advent of neoliberal economic development has disrupted traditional support for Dalits and Adivasis from state institutions.
- Positions of power are predominantly held by social elites, leaving marginalized groups with tokenistic representation.
- Despite promises, social justice policies have yielded limited impact on the substantial participation of the most disadvantaged social groups.
Dr Ambedkar’s Approach on Dalit Welfare: Ambedkar’s principles provide a critical perspective on neoliberal disregard for Dalit and Adivasi concerns. His approach proposes ethical corrective measures, fostering greater democracy and responsiveness in institutions. While not as radical as Marxism, Dr Ambedkar’s mechanism instils moral sensibilities in institutions, holding them accountable.
Need for Reforms:
- The detachment of the neoliberal market from social responsibilities exacerbates crony capitalism.
- Reforms are imperative to re-envision the market economy, aligning it with ethical values and addressing social inequalities.
Suggestions for reforms:
- Social justice policies must extend to the private economy, democratizing the working classes and alleviating poverty. Integrating these policies into the market economy can uplift Dalits and Adivasis to influential roles.
- Adivasi concerns regarding habitat protection, ecological order, and cultural autonomy need addressing within the framework of the market economy.
- Reparation policies should rectify historical wrongs and foster equitable participation in economic development.
- The new social justice framework should facilitate the emergence of a prominent class among Dalits and Adivasis.
- Affirmative action policies are crucial to democratize the business sector, enabling these groups to become leaders, entrepreneurs, and influencers.
Transitioning from Traditional Methods:
- Policymakers must view Dalits and Adivasis as active contributors rather than passive recipients of state welfare.
- These groups should be acknowledged as integral components of urbanization, industrial production, and technological innovation.
- Dr Ambedkar envisioned the modern state as a transformative force for Dalit and Adivasi emancipation.
- In the neoliberal era, the state has become a passive associate of big business, deviating from its social responsibilities.
Conclusion: Dr Ambedkar’s vision provides a roadmap to reinvigorate social justice in contemporary democracy. Reimagining the economic order entails integrating social justice into the market, empowering Dalits and Adivasis as active contributors to the nation’s development.
Nut graf: Dr Ambedkar’s vision for social justice in contemporary democracy emphasizes the importance of dignity and self-respect for historically marginalized communities. Despite challenges posed by neoliberal economic development and tokenistic representation, Dr Ambedkar’s approach offers ethical corrective measures, holding institutions accountable. Reforms, including extending social justice policies to the private sector and addressing Adivasi concerns, are crucial for uplifting Dalits and Adivasis.
F. Prelims Facts
Syllabus: GS 3 – Environment
Prelims: About Global Stocktake draft
- The COP-28’s Global Stocktake draft introduces a groundbreaking clause, calling for a worldwide phase-out of all fossil fuels, reflecting a shift in climate talks towards urgent emissions reduction to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Key Developments in the Draft Text
- Fossil Fuel Phase-Out Commitment
- The draft calls for an “orderly and just phase-out of fossil fuels,” marking the first time such language has appeared in this context.
- The summit’s location in the United Arab Emirates, a major oil producer, and the influence of COP leadership tied to the oil industry have played a role in shaping the language.
- Global Stocktake Overview
- The GST, the first since 2015, aims to evaluate the Paris Agreement’s implementation, assess progress towards temperature goals, and guide countries in updating emission reduction commitments.
- It covers various negotiation tracks, with separate drafts expected for finance and adaptation.
- Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Goals
- The draft includes a commitment to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030 compared to 2022 levels (to 11,000 GW) and double the annual rate of energy efficiency improvement to 4.1% by 2030.
- These goals were initially proposed during the G-20 leaders summit in Delhi but now include a specific focus on enhancing energy efficiency.
- Transition to Sustainable Lifestyles
- The draft emphasises the importance of transitioning to sustainable lifestyles and patterns of consumption and production to address climate change.
- Echoes the sentiments of India’s ‘Mission Life’ movement, championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Challenges and Critics’ Perspectives
- The draft, with 193 separate points over 24 pages, contains numerous options, leading to potential points of contention.
- Critics express disappointment, citing the lack of a clear roadmap for implementing the GST and highlighting the vague language regarding reporting progress and goals.
- The 2011-2020 decade, despite being the warmest recorded, witnessed the lowest number of deaths from extreme events, according to a report from the World Meteorological Organization.
- The WMO credits the improvement in early warning systems driven by advancements in forecasting and better disaster management for the decline in deaths.
- The report notes that the decade was the first since 1950 without a single short-term event causing 10,000 deaths or more.
- India saw improvements in cyclone forecasting, enabling better preparedness and evacuation measures.
- The report also highlights the visible recovery of the depleted ozone hole during the decade.
- Glaciers worldwide thinned by approximately 1 metre per year on average from 2011 to 2020.
- Greenland and Antarctica lost 38% more ice during the period compared to 2001-2010.
- The report emphasises the increased risks from extreme heat events due to human-caused climate change.
- Heatwaves led to the highest number of human casualties, while tropical cyclones caused the most economic damage.
- Public and private climate finance nearly doubled during the decade, but further increases are needed to meet climate objectives.
- India extended a $250 million Line of Credit for the modernization of agriculture in Kenya.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the initiative, emphasising joint military exercises and collaboration on counter-terrorism projects between India and Kenya.
- President William Samoei Ruto welcomed the Indian initiatives and described the Indian community in Kenya as a “bridge” between the two countries.
- Ruto noted that Indians residing in Kenya consider the country as their “first country.”
- The agriculture Line of Credit is intended for projects that will be taken up subsequently.
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
Q1. Consider the following statements, with reference to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
- It is the leading environmental authority in the United Nations system.
- UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment.
- It has six areas of concentration, including climate change, post-conflict, and disaster management, and ecosystem management.
How many of the statements given above are incorrect?
- Only one
- Only two
- All three
Explanation: All three statements are correct. UNEP is a leading environmental authority, with a mission to provide leadership, and it focuses on six areas, including climate change and ecosystem management.
Q2. With reference to Lake Victoria, which of the following statements is/are correct?
- Lake Victoria is the world’s largest freshwater lake and the second-largest tropical lake.
- Lake Victoria touches the Equator on its northern side.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation: Lake Victoria is the world’s largest tropical lake and the second-largest freshwater lake, touching the Equator on its northern side.
Q3. Consider the following statements, with reference to Article 342 of the Constitution of India:
- The President, after consultation with the Governor, can specify tribes or tribal communities as Scheduled Tribes for a State or Union Territory.
- The State Legislature can modify the list of Scheduled Tribes specified by the President through a subsequent notification.
- The criteria for specifying a community as a Scheduled Tribe is mentioned in the Constitution.
How many of the statements given above are correct?
- Only one
- Only two
- All three
Explanation: Statements 2 & 3 are incorrect. The President specifies tribes as Scheduled Tribes; the Parliament can modify the list, and the criteria are not mentioned in the Constitution.
Q4. The ‘Global Stocktake (GST)’ recently in the news, is related to the affairs of-
- Assessment of global economic growth projections
- Review of countries’ climate change commitments
- Annual reporting on sustainable development goals
- Analysis of global agricultural production
Explanation: The Global Stocktake (GST) is a periodic assessment of collective progress made by countries towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and preventing dangerous climate change.
Q5. With reference to the World Meteorological Organisation's report on the Global Climate 2011-2020, which of the following statements is/are incorrect?
- The 2011-2020 decade, despite being the warmest recorded, had the lowest number of deaths from extreme events.
- It highlights the recovery of the depleted ozone hole and increased ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica during this decade.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Explanation: Both statements are correct. The report says during the period depleted ozone hole visibly showed recovery, and Greenland and Antarctica lost 38% more ice as compared to the 2001-2010 period.
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions
- Neo-liberalism and free market economy can’t be an excuse to neglect social justice in society. Do you agree? Elaborate. (GS II, Social Justice) (250 words, 15 marks)
- How is the Government of India tackling the use of plastics across the nation? (GS III, Environment) (250 words, 15 marks)