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Current Affairs – 13 January 2021

30th National Energy Conservation Awards

IN NEWS:

  1. Ministry of Power, in association with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), organised the 30th National Energy Conservation Awards (NECA) functionas a Hybrid eventdue to the COVID pandemic.
  2. During the event, the Standards and Labelling Programme for Air Compressors and Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV on voluntary basis was initiated; SAATHEE (State-wise Actions on Annual Targets and Headways on Energy Efficiency) – A portal for State Designated Agency for state level activities was also launched.
  3. During the award ceremony, it was specifically mentioned that the impact of PAT Cycle II achieved emission reduction of 61 million ton of CO2.

ABOUT:

  1. The event included a virtual exhibition on achievements on Energy Efficiency. The awards were presented to the winners from different industries and sector establishments.
  2. Energy Efficiency is not only good for the world but also for companies and industries themselves.
  3. Despite this the country has made ambitious commitments to meet the global challenge posed by climate change. Our country has target to reduce the emission intensity to 33-35% by 2030 compared to 2005 level, as part of commitments made during COP 21.

NATIONAL ENERGY CONSERVATION AWARDS PROGRAMME:

  1. It was launched by the Ministry of Power in 1991, to provide national recognition to those industries and establishments which have taken special efforts to reduce energy consumption while maintaining their production.
  2. The awards were given away for the first time on 14th December, 1991, which was declared as the ‘The National Energy Conservation Day‘. It recognizes the energy efficiency achievements in 56 sub-sectors across industry, establishments and institutions.

STANDARDS AND LABELLING PROGRAMME FOR AIR COMPRESSORS AND ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION (UHD) TV:

  1. Aim: To enhance the level of energy conservation, this can then be used for a different purpose in the home or workplace. Besides saving energy, this programme could also facilitate reducing energy bills.
  2. It is to be carried out on a voluntary basis.

SAATHEE PORTAL:

  1. BEE has developed a Management Information System (MIS) portal called SAATHEE for the State Designated Agency (SDA) for state level activities.
  2. Useful in capturing the physical and financial status/ progress of Energy Efficiency activities being implemented by States/ UTs across the country. Thus, it will facilitate Real Time Monitoring.
  3. Help in decision making, coordination, control, analysis, and implementation and enforcement of the compliance process for various energy consumers at the pan India level.

 

Indian inflation slows

IN NEWS:

  1. Recently, data has been released by National Statistical Office (NSO) (Ministry of Statistics) which shows that India’s retail inflation decelerated to 4.59% in December 2020, from 6.93% in November, dipping below 6% for the first time since March 2020 as food prices cooled.
  2. It also showed that a nascent industrial recovery, which had begun in September, retreated in November as industrial output shrank 1.9%.

ABOUT:

  1. The lowest consumer price inflation (CPI) print in 14 months was due to sharp slowdown in food price inflation, which eased to 3.4% in December.
  2. India’s index of industrial production (IIP) for November gets lower by mining and manufacturing, which both shrank.
  3. Electricity production grew, rising 3.5% year-on-year. The NSO also revised upwards the index for the preceding three months by incorporating more production data. As per the final data for August 2020, the IIP had shrunk 7.1% in the month, narrower than the 8% estimated earlier.
  4. In September, industrial output had edged up 0.5% — higher than the 0.2% growth estimated earlier — after shrinking for six months. Industrial output grew 4.19% in October, higher than the 3.6% quick estimate.
  5. The November data once again shows that the uptick witnessed in the month of September and October was due to a combination of festive and pent-up demand and the recovery is still shallow and fragile. The unevenness and fragility of the current recovery is evident with only 10 out of 23 industry group showing positive growth in November.

INFLATION SURPRISE:

  1. Vegetable prices witnessed a 10.4% deflation in December, compared with inflation of 15.5% inflation in November. An accompanying moderation in the inflation rates for meat and fish, eggs and pulses, helped the consumer food price index record its slowest pace of increase in 16 months at 3.4%.
  2. Core inflation too eased marginally to 5.5% in December, helping overall inflation moderate after having remained above the central bank’s tolerance band for price gains — of plus or minus two percentage points from its medium-term target of 4% — for a prolonged period.

 

Demanding seize Trump’s powers

IN NEWS:

  1. In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump supporters storming the US Capitol building, which houses both the US Senate as well as the House of Representatives, Democrats in the House of Republicans introduced an article of impeachment against U.S. President.

25TH AMENDMENT OF THE US CONSTITUTION

  1. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution is primarily designed to clarify the presidential order of succession. Impeachment is a provision that allows Congress to remove the President of the United States.
  2. The fourth section of the amendment provides a multistep process for the vice president and a majority of the officials who lead executive agencies — commonly thought of as the cabinet — to declare that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
  3. That process ultimately requires a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress.
  4. The Twenty-fifth Amendment was an effort to resolve some of the continuing issues revolving about the office of the President; that is, what happens upon the death, removal, or resignation of the President and what is the course to follow if for some reason the President becomes disabled to such a degree that he cannot fulfill his responsibilities.
  5. Under the US Constitution, the House of Representatives (Lower House) has the “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”. The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.

WHEN WAS IT INTRODUCED AND HAS IT BEEN USED IN THE PAST?

  1. In the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the 25th Amendment was proposed by Congress on July 6, 1965, and ratified by the states on February 10, 1967.
  2. Grounds for impeachment: The President can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

 

More wildlife in Aravallis at Faridabad, Gurgaon

IN NEWS:

  1. According to a recent study,the wildlife corridor of the Aravallis in Gurgaon and Faridabad harbours a richer “variety of mammals” than the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary.

ABOUT:

  1. The study — a “systematic assessment” of mammals in the wildlife corridor formed by the Aravalli hills in Gurgaon and Faridabad with the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) in Delhi — has been carried out.
  2. Conducted over two seasons in 2019, the study is “supported” by WWF-India Small Grants Programme and CEDAR.

FINDINGS:

  1. In comparison to Asola WLS, both Gurgaon and Faridabad Aravallis were found to harbour extremely rich variety of mammals — despite the fact that Asola is a wildlife sanctuary and has more legal protection.
  2. This can be attributed to “the attitude of tolerance to wildlife” amongst the local population, “general low density of people”, and “subsistence agricultural practices” prevalent in the two districts.
  3. The study indicated that the hotspot of wildlife in this corridor is actually between Damdama and MangarBani, and wildlife moves from there to Asola through the Aravalli in Faridabad.
  4. This indicates that Asola will survive as long as the Aravalli region of Gurgaon and Faridabad survives. If this finishes, Asola will automatically finish as well. It is, hence, critical to protect this region.
  5. The density of leopards and other endangered species, including striped hyena, is approximately double in Gurgaon Aravallis of what it is in Faridabad and Asola.

THREAT TO WILDLIFE:

  1. Highways, especially the Gurgaon-Faridabad Expressway, and increasing construction are a “major threat” to the wildlife corridor. This expressway poses a major barrier to movement of wildlife between the Aravallis of Delhi and Haryana.
  2. Land use change and protect the wildlife corridor and habitat from further fragmentation, construction and deforestation are other threats.

SOLUTION:

  1. Construction of expressways and highways, and planning, also needs to take into account wildlife in the city, such as by constructing underpasses or flyovers that allow at least a portion of the wildlife to cross from one part to the other and prevent complete fragmentation of wildlife populations between Aravallis of Delhi and Haryana.
  2. Community-based conservation must be looked at — it is the low carbon lifestyle of the local people that is helping to conserve the area.
  3. The government needs to understand that even if protecting this section of the Aravalli, most species will be able to regenerate.