GS Paper I- History and Geography of the World and Society.

India Ranks 78th On WEF Energy Transition Index; Lower Than Brazil, China.

Background

  • India has been ranked at 78th, lower than its emerging market peers like Brazil and China, among 114 countries on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) energy transition index that was topped by Sweden.
  • The report titled Fostering Effective Energy Transition, ranks countries on how well they are able to balance energy security and access with environmental sustainability and affordability. According to the report India has taken “bold measures” to improve energy access, energy efficiency, and to improve the deployment of renewable sources of energy.
  • However, energy transition in the country will require “large investments, and an enabling environment and robust regulatory frameworks to support the transition”. India is at the crossroads in its energy transition journey. Ranking 78th on the Energy Transition Index, the report said.

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Among its emerging market peers Brazil stood at the 38th place, Russia at 70th and China at 76th place. The overall list was topped by Sweden, followed by Norway at the 2nd position and Switzerland at the 3rd rank.
  • Other countries on the top 10 include Finland (4th), Denmark (5th), the Netherlands (6th), the UK (7th), Austria (8th), France (9th) and Iceland (10th). On India, the report said, energy needs in the country are primarily met by fossil fuels with implications for environmental sustainability and increasing energy import costs.
  • Furthermore, a considerable share of India’s population still lacks access to electricity and clean cooking fuel, it noted. In the Energy Transition Index (ETI), India ranks in the third performance quartile and third readiness quartile, making it an emerging country that is approaching the leapfrog category, the WEF report said.
  • Interestingly, between 2013 and 2018, India improved its performance score by 5.6 percentage points, mainly with improved energy access, reduced subsidies and reduced import costs, the report noted. Recent initiatives to improve electricity access have experienced some success and the outlook is positive; however, the road to continuous access to power and clean cooking fuel for all is long, it added.
  • India has the largest government-mandated renewable energy programme, with a target of 175GW renewable energy capacity by 2022, and it announced plans to shift completely to electric vehicles by 2030.

Sources- Livemint.

GS Paper II- Governance.

Narendra Modi Opens 105th Indian Science Congress In Imphal.

Background

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16th March, 2018 inaugurated the 105th Indian Science Congress at the Manipur University in Imphal. The northeastern state is hosting the prestigious event for the first time.
  • Addressing a huge gathering, Modi said that technology will help education, healthcare and banking service reach the masses. The country must be ready to implement technology which is vital for its growth and prosperity.
  • Stating that science needs to make India ‘clean, green and prosperous,’ the PM urged the scientists to interact with students on different topics.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • Modi, who stressed on making advancements in construction of houses, social security and power sector through scientific methods, talked about utilizing land and human resources of the state in boosting science.
  • He said an ethno medical research centre has been set up in Manipur to study wild herbs available in the northeast for their medicinal properties. He added that the state is also going to benefit from a project taken up by National Bamboo Mission at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore.
  • He said that it is time to redefine ‘R&D’ as ‘Research’ for the ‘Development’ of the nation. The theme of this year’s Science Congress is reaching the unreached.
  • PM Modi listed out the Science initiatives launched recently for the North-East.
  • He urged scientists to give 100 hours every year to 100 students to fuel scientific temperament amongst the youth.
  • Union Minister for Science & Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan said that science in India is at its highest and we are improving on world ranking in the field of science and technology. Addressing the inaugural session of 105th Indian Science Congress at Manipur University in Imphal, the union minister said that India has the potential to be counted among the top three scientific nations in the world by 2030.
  • About 5000 delegates, including scientists, scholars, corporates and students from different parts of the country and abroad, took part in the five-day-long event.
  • Chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh said there was a time when the people of Manipur and the northeast had a strong feeling that they had no to look after them. But after Modiji became the Prime Minister, the people of Manipur and the northeast have found one, he added.
  • He said that it is indeed a matter of pride for a small state like Manipur to organise such a big science extravaganza for the first time. This event will be a game-changer for all of them, he added.

Sources- TOI, India Education Diary.

GS Paper III- Bio-Diversity.

New Species Of Water Strider Found In Nagaland.

Background

  • Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered a new species of water strider from Nagaland. The species, named Ptilomera nagalanda Jehamalar and Chandra, was found in the river Intanki, Peren district.
  • Water striders are a group of insects adapted to life on the surface of water, using surface tension to their advantage.
  • Scientists working on the water striders say that their presence serves as an indicator water of water quality and they are found on water surface.

 

 

 

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The presence of black stripes on the dorsal side differentiates this species from other known species of the subgenus Ptilomera. The discovery was published in the science journal Zootaxa.
  • So far, only five species of water striders under the subgenus Ptilomera were known in India.
  • These includes Ptilomera agriodes found in peninsular India, Ptilomera assamensis found in northeastern India, Ptilomera laticaudata, northern and northeastern India, Pltilomera occidentalis from Uttarakhand and Ptilomera tigrina found in the Andaman islands.
  • With the discovery of Ptilomera nagalanda the number of species of water striders belonging to the subgenus has increased to six.
  • Other than being a good indicator of water quality, water striders also play an important role in the food chain by feeding on mosquito larvae.
  • There are nearly 100 species of water striders found in India across different water bodies such as open ocean, ponds, pools, lakes, rivers, streams etc.
  • What is unique about Ptilomera is that they are only found in rocky, fast flowing streams and rivers that are not exposed to a lot of sunlight.
  • Ptilomera has hair on the middle legs that help the insects resist the strong current of streams.
  • Water striders have three pairs of legs.
  • The front legs are relatively shorter than the mid and hind legs and used to catch and hold prey. The striders possess needle-like mouth parts that are used for sucking the juice of prey.

 

Sources- The Hindu.