GoalTide Daily Current Affairs 2020
Current Affair 1:
Report on United Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2019-20
Union Education Minister released the Report on United Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) 2019-20 for School Education in India.
Few important highlights of the Report:
- As per the UDISE+ report 2019-20, the Gross Enrolment Ratio at all levels of school education has improved in 2019-20 compared to 2018-19. Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) has improved at all levels of school education.
- According to the report, in 2019-20, enrolment of girls from primary to higher secondary is more than 12.08 crore. This is a substantial increase by 14.08 lakh compared to 2018-19. Between 2012-13 and 2019-20, the Gender Parity Index (GPI) at both Secondary and Higher Secondary levels have improved.
- The UDISE+ report shows a remarkable improvement in the number of schools with functional electricity, with functional computers, internet facility in 2019-20 over the previous year.
- Another major improvement is seen in the number of schools with hand wash facility. In year 2019-20, more than 90% schools in India had hand wash facility as compared to only 36.3% in 2012-13.
About Unified District Information on School Education (UDISE)
The Indian school Education System is one of the largest in the world with more than 15 lakh schools, nearly 97 lakh teachers and nearly 26.5 Crore students1 of pre-primary to higher secondary level from varied socio-economic backgrounds. The system strives to maintain standards and uniformity across the country while giving ample scope for the country’s diverse culture and heritage to grow and flourish.
A robust, real time and credible information collection mechanism is an essential prerequisite for an objective evaluation of the system, based on which specific interventions for improvement can be designed.
Unified District Information on School Education (UDISE) initiated in 2012-13 integrating District Information System for Education (DISE) for elementary education and Secondary Education Management Information System (SEMIS) for secondary education is one of the largest Management Information Systems on School Education.
What was the problem with UDISE system?
Under the UDISE system, the schools fed the data manually at the school level in paper version of the Data Capture Format (DCF). These paper DCFs were computerised at block level or at district level, collated at State/UT level and thereafter shared with the Central Government to build a national database.
With an aim to overcome the limitations of the UDISE system, the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL) has developed the UDISE+ system with many unique features and introduced it from the reference year 2018-19.
Current Affair 2:
India responsible for largest drop in open defecation since 2015: WASH report
India was responsible for the largest drop in open defecation since 2015, in terms of absolute numbers, according to a new report by the Wash Institute, a global non-profit organisation July 1, 2021.
Within India, open defecation had been highly variable regionally since at least 2006, the report said. In 2006, the third round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) found open defecation to be practiced by less than 10 per cent of the population in four states and the Union Territory of Delhi, but by more than half the population in 11 states.
By 2016, when the fourth round of the NFHS was conducted, open defecation had decreased in all states, with the largest drops seen in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana, the report said.
Other Progress on SDG 6
- The report also noted some progress towards the achieving SDG 6. Between 2016 and 2020, the global population with access to safely managed drinking water at home increased to 74 per cent, from 70 per cent.
- SDG 6 states that ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 entails that water must be accessible at source, available when needed and free from any contamination.
- The report has shown an improvement in at-source water resources including piped water, boreholes or tube wells, protected dug wells, protected springs, rainwater and packaged or delivered water.
- There was an increase in safely managed sanitation services to 54 per cent, from 47 per cent between 2016 and 2020.
- Onsite sanitation system, a system in which excreta and wastewater are collected, stored and / or treated on the plot where they are generated had shown a significant global increase.
- Handwashing facilities with soap and water increased to 71 per cent, from 67 per cent, according to the report. However, 3 in 10 people worldwide could not wash their hands with soap and water at home during the COVID-19 pandemic due to lack of water resources.
Current Affair 3:
Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)
The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is a series of biennial meetings between the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region. It provides a forum to increase maritime security cooperation, discuss regional maritime issues, and promote friendly relationships among the member states.
It is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime co-operation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues. In the process, it endeavours to generate a flow of information between naval professionals that would lead to common understanding and possibly cooperative solutions on the way ahead.
There are 36 littorals in the Indian Ocean which have been geographically grouped into the following four sub-regions
The symposium was first held in 2008 with India as host.
Current Affair 4:
Coalition for Negative Emissions (CNE)
The Coalition for Negative Emissions (CNE) was formed to support the development of negative emissions technologies globally and includes more than 20 businesses and other organisations from a variety of sectors, including utilities, aviation, banking, energy, and agriculture.
The Coalition aims to build momentum, shape policy, and develop the market for negative emissions globally. It is made up of a diverse range of companies across industries, from landowners and environmental stewards, large users and generators of energy, to technology start-ups and large manufacturers.
It works across differing sectors of global economies, but shares a common vision: to develop and deploy negative emissions at a scale that will create genuine impact across the world.
What are "negative emissions"?
To reach zero net emissions (see: What does “zero net emission” mean?) and limit global warming to 1.5°C, it is necessary to remove and permanently store CO₂ from the atmosphere. This is called Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). As it is the opposite of emissions, these practices or technologies are often described as achieving "negative emissions" or "sinks". There is a direct link between zero net emissions and CDR: The earlier zero net emissions are achieved; the less CDR is necessary.
Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) can be divided into the three main groups: biological, technological and geochemical processes.
Biological CDR enlarges natural sinks and includes several measures. Examples are: Afforestation and forest management, i.e. large-scale plantation of trees which store carbon in soil and biomass.
- Adapted land management to increase and permanently fix C from atmospheric CO2 in the soil. One example is to renature peatlands.
- Pyrolysis of biomass to form charcoal (biochar) that keeps carbon in the soil for many years.
Examples of technological CDR are:
Removing CO2 directly from the exhaust gases of industrial processes and storing it elsewhere, e.g., underground (Direct Air Capture with Carbon Storage, "DACCS").
Bioenergy utilization in combination with carbon capture and storage means burning biomass in power plants, immediately capturing the CO2 underground (Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage, "BECCS"). This process combines biological and technological CDR.
Geochemical CDR includes measures such as:
- Enhanced weathering
- Increasing ocean productivity
Current Affair 5:
Microplastics, as the name implies, are tiny plastic particles. Officially, they are defined as plastics less than five millimeters (0.2 inches) in diameter—smaller in diameter than the standard pearl used in jewelry. There are two categories of microplastics: primary and secondary.
Primary microplastics are tiny particles designed for commercial use, such as cosmetics, as well as microfibers shed from clothing and other textiles, such as fishing nets. Secondary microplastics are particles that result from the breakdown of larger plastic items, such as water bottles. This breakdown is caused by exposure to environmental factors, mainly the sun’s radiation and ocean waves.
Problems with Microplastics:
The problem with microplastics is that—like plastic items of any size—they do not readily break down into harmless molecules. Plastics can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose—and in the meantime, wreak havoc on the environment. On beaches, microplastics are visible as tiny multicolored plastic bits in sand. In the oceans, microplastic pollution is often consumed by marine animals.
Microplastics have been detected in marine organisms from plankton to whales, in commercial seafood, and even in drinking water. Alarmingly, standard water treatment facilities cannot remove all traces of microplastics. To further complicate matters, microplastics in the ocean can bind with other harmful chemicals before being ingested by marine organisms.
But why do cosmetic manufacturers include micro plastics as one of the ingredients?
Most of them act as bulking agent for the products, helping in increasing volume of the product. Other such chemicals help in formation of film (thick layer), controlling viscosity (thickness or fluidity of product), hair fixation, adding aesthetics (glitters in bubble bath) and lending adhesive quality, among other such effects.
We will learn here Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
What's new in Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016? There are many points, but we will cover all relevant points here.
1. Rural areas have been brought in ambit of these Rules since plastic has reached to rural areas also. Responsibility for implementation of the rules is given to Gram Panchayat.
2. First time, responsibility of waste generators is being introduced. Individual and bulk generators like offices, commercial establishments, industries are to segregate the plastic waste at source, handover segregated waste, pay user fee as per bye-laws of the local bodies.
3. Extended Producer Responsibility: Earlier, EPR was left to the discretion of the local bodies. First time, the producers (i.e. persons engaged in manufacture, or import of carry bags, multi-layered packaging and sheets or like and the persons using these for packaging or wrapping their products) and brand owners have been made responsible for collecting waste generated from their products.
4. State Pollution Control Board (SPCBs) will not grant/renew registration of plastic bags, or multi-layered packaging unless the producer proposes the action plan endorsed by the concerned State Development Department.
5. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has been mandated to formulate the guidelines for thermoset plastic (plastic difficult to recycle). In the earlier Rules, there was no specific provision for such type of plastic.
6. Plastic carry bag will be available only with shopkeepers/street vendors pre-registered with local bodies on payment of certain registration fee. The amount collected as registration fee by local bodies is to be used for waste management.
7. The State government or the union Territory shall, for the purpose of effective monitoring of implementation of these rules.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules, which were notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in March 2016, was amended and shall be called Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018.
Three basic amendments introduced:
- Rule 15 (Explicit pricing of carrying bags) has been omitted in the amendment. It earlier required every vendor, who sold commodities in a carry bag, to register with their respective urban local body and pay a minimum fee of Rs 48,000 annum (4000/month).
- Under section 9 (3), the term 'non-recyclable multilayered plastic if any' has been substituted by 'multi-layered plastic which is non-recyclable or non-energy recoverable or with no alternate use'. This gives plastic producers a scope to argue that their products can be put to some other use, if not recycled.
- The section13(2) now requires all brand owners and producers to register or renew registration with the concerned State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee if operational only in one or two states or union territories. Earlier, only the producers had to register to CPCB or SPCB regardless of their extent of the area of operation.