‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Conservation Environmental Pollution & Degradation – Trump targets India, China as U.S. exits climate pact

Says Paris agreement gives undue advantage to the world’s leading polluters

    What you need to know:

  • The U.S has stopped implementation of its commitments under the Paris climate agreement signed by 195 countries in 2015, President Donald Trump, ignoring pleas from international allies and a significant section of U.S. political and business leaders.
  • The accord “would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty…,” Mr. Trump, who had campaigned in the 2016 election promising to pull out from it, said.
  • The Paris agreement gives undue advantage to India and China, “the world’s leading polluters”, at the cost of U.S. interests, Mr. Trump said, unravelling a critical area of mutual interest and cooperation between New Delhi and Washington in recent years.

   Obama’s legacy:

  • India ratified the agreement last year, and former President Barack Obama considered it as a defining legacy of his tenure. “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants… India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it: India can double their coal production. We’re supposed to get rid of ours,” the President said, adding that the agreement “is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the U.S.”
  • India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries,” Mr. Trump said, of the financing commitments by developed countries under the pact that is widely considered inadequate to deal with the challenges of climate change.

   Decision questioned:

  • The President’s decision was immediately challenged by the Democrats and business leaders. “Disappointed with today’s decision. Google will keep working hard for a cleaner, more prosperous future for all,” CEO Sundar Pichai posted on Twitter. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Robert Iger resigned from the President’s economic advisory council in protest. GM said it considered clean energy technologies as a good business opportunity.

    Source: World News

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Awareness in the field of Space – ISRO abuzz with Monday’s heavy-lift rocket launch

India eyes slot in 4-tonne club of developed nations

    What is important to know:

  • An anxious Indian space establishment is keeping its fingers crossed over the launch of its new and most powerful rocket on June 5.
  • The indigenous GSLV-Mark III makes a bid to breach a heavy-lift rocket club that can put four-tonne satellites into space.
  • The U.S., Russia, Europe, China and Japan are already there. The first development vehicle, called GSLV-MkIII D-1, is slated to fly from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota at 5.28 p.m., says the Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • The success of the first full flight of Mk III will mean that soon, Indian communication satellites can be lofted into space from within the country.
  • It will also improve ISRO’s ability to reach heavier satellites to both — the higher geostationary transfer orbit or GTO of 36,000 km; and to low-Earth orbit or LEO of up to 800 km. ISRO Chairman and Secretary, Department of Space, A.S.Kiran Kumar, told The Hindu, “MkIII should enable us to launch communication satellites totally in India without going out.

   Primary aim:

  • We are improving our capacity to put higher payloads into GTO and LEO. What we now have with MkII is capability for lifting 2.2 tonnes to GTO.
  • This rocket will give us a higher weight capability than what we now have, for both GTO and LEO. Since 1995, we launch all Earth observation satellites [which are smaller] ourselves on the [lighter lifting] PSLV rocket. Once we are through with GSLV MkIII, we will be able to launch all communication satellites ourselves.
  • Independence apart, an indigenous launch vehicle also means lower cost of putting spacecraft to orbit, said K.Sivan, Director of the lead rocket development centre, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.

   Larger payload soon:

  • The first payload, communication satellite GSAT-19, however, has been kept below 4 tonnes — at a safe 3,136 kg. “We will subsequently increase the payload,” Mr. Kiran Kumar said. Communication spacecraft are generally put into GTOs first (the orbit is adjusted over days.) The need for a 4T launcher has become urgent in recent years.

    Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Welfare Scheme for vulnerable sections of Country – India has 31% of world’s poor kids

Of the country’s 217 million children, nearly 50% endure multidimensional poverty, says Oxford survey

    Brief:

  • About 31% of the world’s “multidimensionally poor” children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), a poverty reduction project grounded in economist Amartya Sen’s ‘capability approach’.
  • In terms of countries, fully 31% of the 689 million poor children live in India, followed by Nigeria (8%), Ethiopia (7%) and Pakistan (6%),” noted the survey, titled ‘Global Multidimensional Poverty Index [MPI], 2017’. OPHI is an economic research centre at the Oxford University, led by Professor Sabina Alkire, and the study is based on a survey conducted among 103 countries.

   10 indicators:

  • A “multidimensionally poor” child lacks at least a third of ten indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
  • The health dimension comprises of indicators such as nutrition, child mortality, and education. Under standard of living are indicators such as access to cooking fuel, improved sanitation, safe drinking water and electricity.
  • In terms of the number of such multidimensionally poor children as a proportion of the total population, India stood 37th among 103 countries. Out of India’s 21.7 crore children, 49.9% were multidimensionally poor.
  • However, the survey pointed out that the data for India, based on the Indian Human Development Survey of 2011- 2012., were “somewhat outdated”.
  • In terms of absolute numbers, India accounts for both the highest and a staggering number of multi-dimensionally poor people.
  • Sadly, more than 52.8 crore Indians are poor, which is more people than all the poor people living in SubSaharan Africa combined,” the survey noted. “Of the 145 crore people (from the 103 countries) who are multidimensionally poor, 48% are children.
  • That is a total of 68.9 crore children,” said thereport. According to the study, 87% of such children live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. “In Ethiopia, Niger, and South Sudan, over 90% of the children are MPI poor,” it stated.
  • Describing the findings as “deeply disturbing”, Director of OPHI Sabina Alkire said, “This is a wake-up call to the international community which has adopted the global Sustainable Development Goals and takes seriously Goal 1, the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions.”

   Source: Hindu