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Here are the topics covered for 6th October 2023: National Carbon Accounting & Climate Polycrisis, Stubble Burning, Paediatric Cancer, Uniform anti-terrorism structure,Green Drought, Tiangong
Table of Content
- GS-3: National Carbon Accounting & Climate Polycrisis, Stubble Burning, Paediatric Cancer, Uniform anti-terrorism structure
- Facts for Prelims: Green Drought, Tiangong
National Carbon Accounting & Climate Polycrisis
- Addressing the climate poly-crisis requires a holistic approach, considering diverse stakeholder perspectives, and prioritizing resilience, equity, and justice. Sectoral responses may lead to unforeseen consequences due to the interconnectedness of the crisis.
How can Climate Polycrisis addressed?
- The climate polycrisis involves complex challenges from climate change affecting the environment, socio-economics, and politics. In India, key sectors like energy, infrastructure, health, migration, and food production are interlinked and impacted.
- To address the climate polycrisis, a holistic approach is vital, considering diverse perspectives and emphasizing resilience, equity, and justice. Tackling challenges in isolated sectors can lead to unintended consequences due to their interconnected nature.
- Establishing an environmentally conscious economy requires a transformative “carbon infrastructure” integrated into policymaking at all levels. Measurement is foundational; comprehensive tracking of carbon emissions forms the basis of a carbon accounting system.
- A National Carbon Accounting (NCA) system would revolutionise society’s approach to carbon, requiring individuals and businesses to file carbon tax returns. This shift would reshape public finance and enable a progressive carbon tax based on individual contributions.
- Similar to financial accounting, carbon accounting would monitor emissions, facilitating goal-setting, predictions, and progress monitoring.
- NCA could introduce a national carbon budget, aligning development with ecological sustainability, alongside traditional economic metrics.
In summary, the implementation of a national carbon accounting system offers a comprehensive solution to address the climate polycrisis. It promotes transparency in carbon management, aligns development with environmental sustainability, and encourages innovative livelihoods and economic models.
- Stubble fires witness spike in Punjab; 63% rise since 2022.
- Punjab witnessed 656 incidents of stubble burning in 2023, going up by 241 cases compared to the 415 cases in the corresponding period last year.
- Stubble burning is when farmers intentionally ignite leftover crop residue in fields after harvest. It’s common in regions with intense crop cultivation. Annually in autumn, this practice significantly contributes to air pollution, particularly in the northern regions of the country, including the national capital and its surroundings.
Steps taken to control
- The government provides subsidies for Crop Residue Management machines, like surface seeders.
- The state mandates brick kilns and plants to use stubble as fuel or purchase it from farmers.
- In Punjab, burning crop residue is regulated under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) imposes penalties on violators, in line with the NGT order of 2015 banning stubble burning.
Why do farmers resort to stubble burning?
Farmers resort to stubble burning because:
- Efficiency and Cost: It is viewed as an effective and inexpensive method to clear fields for the next crop.
- Time Constraints: The short gap between paddy harvest and winter crop sowing (around three weeks) leaves little time for alternative methods.
In Punjab, nearly 20 million tonnes of paddy straw must be managed annually, with over 15 million tonnes burnt openly. This leads to environmental issues, soil nutrient loss, and health problems.
In conclusion, acknowledging stubble burning’s historical role, its environmental impact is undeniable. Pollutants, greenhouse gases, and soil degradation call for sustainable agriculture. Mechanical incorporation and biological decomposition offer viable alternatives. We must shift towards practices that preserve both our agricultural legacy and our planet’s health
- India accounts for 18% to 20% of the world’s burden of paediatric cancer cases but lack of awareness continues to be a challenge.
- According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, World Health Organisation, an estimated 4,00,000 children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years are diagnosed with cancer per year worldwide.
Paediatric Cancer in India
- India accounts for 18% to 20% of the world’s burden of paediatric cancer cases.
- Leukemias, lymphomas, brain and central nervous system were the most common malignancies in children.
- Paediatric cancers account for 2-3% of all cancers diagnosed in India. Blood cancers – leukaemia – are the most common cancers in children followed by brain tumours.
Why there is an increase in cases?
- Lack of awareness is one of the main challenges in childhood cancers.
- There are no specific symptoms; fever, headaches, vomiting and abdominal pain are some of the symptoms but these usually mimic common infections, resulting in late diagnosis.
- Paediatric cancer care centres are mostly concentrated in major cities.
- The cost of care is increasing rapidly. Bills can go up due to infections and treatments in intensive care units, raising the need for full insurance coverage.
- Paediatric cancers do not feature in the national cancer control policy.
- There needs to be better access to medicines and funding.
- Paediatric cancers should be treated by paediatric oncologists and surgeons, while there is a need for paediatric oncology nurses to provide care.
- Need to establish Public-Private partnerships to evolve a cost-effective formula, as some public sector hospitals are overburdened and many persons cannot afford treatment in private hospitals.
Uniform anti-terrorism structure
- Recently Union Home Minister suggested a uniform anti-terrorism structure under NIA for all States.
Why there is a need for a Uniform anti-terrorism structure?
- Union Home Minister said recently that along with a ruthless approach, a uniform anti-terrorism structure should be established under the purview of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in all the States.
- Terrorism often involves complex and coordinated efforts by extremist groups. A uniform structure ensures that various agencies work together seamlessly to respond effectively to threats and incidents.
- Terrorism threats and activities often transcend jurisdictional boundaries. A unified structure facilitates the timely sharing of intelligence and information among agencies, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of potential threats.
- A structured approach ensures that anti-terrorism efforts are conducted within the bounds of the law. This helps protect civil liberties while still effectively countering terrorism.
- Structure and standard operating procedure of investigation of all anti-terrorism agencies in all States should be made uniform for better coordination between Central and State agencies.
- Clear delineation of roles and responsibilities is necessary to avoid overlaps or gaps in operations.
- The equitable distribution of resources among agencies can be complex, especially when priorities and capabilities differ.
- Ensuring timely and accurate sharing of intelligence across agencies is crucial for early threat detection and prevention.
In conclusion, a uniform anti-terrorism structure is vital for India’s national security. It enables efficient collaboration, resource allocation, and timely intelligence sharing. This instils confidence, acts as a deterrent, and ensures responses adhere to legal and ethical boundaries. Ultimately, it safeguards citizens and upholds the nation’s integrity.
Fact for Prelims
Definition: “Green drought” describes vegetation that looks healthy and green but is actually under water stress.
Comparison with Typical Drought:
- In a regular drought, plants wither and turn brown, indicating distress.
- In a green drought, plants stay green due to stored water or specialized adaptations for minimal water usage.
- Deceptiveness: The deceptive appearance of health can lead people to underestimate the severity of the drought.
Challenges for Farmers and Ecosystems:
- The lack of typical visual cues for water scarcity makes green droughts particularly challenging.
- This can lead to delayed responses, potentially exacerbating impacts on agriculture, ecosystems, and water resources.
- The Tiangong space station is a Chinese space station being built in low Earth orbit between 340 and 450 kilometres above the Earth.
- It is part of China’s Manned Space Program and is the country’s first long-term space station.
- Tiagong can host a maximum of three astronauts, while the International Space Station(ISS) can hold a crew of seven astronauts. Tiagong is just 40% of the mass of ISS.
- The station is designed to be operational for at least ten years, but with regular maintenance and resupply missions, it could potentially remain in operation for much longer.