19 APR | UPSC Current Affairs | GS 3: Environment & Economy Explained

Embodied Carbon

News: Embodied carbon is the carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout the whole lifecycle of a building or infrastructure.


  • Any CO₂ created during the manufacturing of building materials (material extraction.
  • CO₂ produced maintaining the building and eventually demolishing it, transporting the waste, and recycling it.

Green Credit Programme (GCP)

News: The Union Environment Ministry has clarified that the Green Credit Programme prioritizes ecosystem restoration over profit-driven tree planting amidst concerns of financial exploitation.

Green Credit Programme: The Green Credit Programme (GCP) is an innovative market-based mechanism.


  • Green Credit Initiative was launched by the Prime Minister of India on the side-lines of UNFCCC COP 28 in 2023 at Expo City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • It is an initiative within the Central Government’s Lifestyle for Environment or LIFE
  • PM Modi introduced the concept of ‘Lifestyle for the Environment (LiFE)’ at COP26 in Glasgow on November 1, 2021.
  • LiFE advocates for a global shift towards mindful and deliberate utilization urging worldwide to partake in this movement to protect and preserve the environment.

Aim: To incentivize voluntary environmental actions across individuals, farmers, communities, private sector industries, and companies.

Administration and Implementation:

  • The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) serves as the GCP Administrator.
  • ICFRE is organization under the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.
  • It is responsible for programme implementation, management, monitoring, and operation.
  • The ICFR is developing the Green Credit Registry and trading platforms to facilitate the registration, buying, and selling of green credits.

Registration and Verification Process:

  • To obtain green credits, individuals and entities must register their activities through the central government’s dedicated app/website (www.moefcc-gcp.in).
  • Once verified, the administrator issues a tradeable green credit certificate.

Methodology For Calculating Green Credits:

  • One Green Credit will be awarded per tree planted on identified land parcels.
  • It will be subject to a minimum density of 1,100 trees per hectare based on local climatic and soil conditions.

Utilization of Credits: These credits can be utilized either to:

  • Comply with forest laws mandating recompense for forest land diversion or
  • Fulfill environmental, social, and governance norms or
  • Trade on the green credit platform (developed by ICFRE)

Categories of Activities:

  • Tree Plantation-based Green Credit
  • Water-based Green Credit
  • Sustainable Agriculture-based Green Credit
  • Waste Management-based Green Credit
  • Air Pollution Reduction-based Green Credit
  • Mangrove Conservation and Restoration-based Green Credit
  • Ecomark-based Green Credit
  • Sustainable Building and Infrastructure-based Green Credit

Note: Any activity generating green credits under the GCP will also receive carbon credits under the Carbon Credit Trading Scheme if it leads to the reduction or removal of carbon emissions.

Ecomark Scheme

News: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is advocating for the implementation of the scheme.

Ecomark Scheme:

  • It offers accreditation and labeling for household and consumer products meeting specific environmental criteria while maintaining Indian quality standards.

Launch: Launched by MoEF&CC in 2023.


  • To raise consumer awareness regarding environmental issues and promote eco-conscious choices.
  • To incentivize manufacturers to adopt environmentally friendly production methods.
  • To ensure accurate labelling and prevent misleading information about products.


  • The Central Pollution Control Board administers the scheme in collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
  • BIS, as the national body for standards and certification, plays a crucial role in ensuring the scheme’s effective implementation and maintenance.


  • Products accredited under the scheme adhere to specific environmental criteria, thereby minimizing their environmental impact.
  • It will build consumer awareness of environmental issues and encourage eco-conscious choices.
  • It will also motivate manufacturers to shift towards environmentally friendly production.


News: Astronomers spot a massive ‘sleeping giant’ black hole less than 2,000 light-years from Earth.

Gaia-BH3: It is the most massive known stellar black hole in the Milky Way galaxy.

  • It was spotted in data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission.
    • Gaia is a European Space Agency astronomical observatory mission.
    • Its goal is to create the largest, most precise three-dimensional map of the Milky Way by surveying about 1% of the galaxy’s 100 billion stars.


Mass: It has a mass that is nearly 33 times that of our sun, and it is located 1,926 light-years away in the Aquila constellation, making it the second-closest known black hole to Earth.

    • The researchers used the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert and other ground-based observatories to confirm the mass of Gaia BH3.
    • The closest black hole is Gaia BH1, which is located about 1,500 light-years away and has a mass that is nearly 10 times that of our sun.

Most Massive Black Hole In Milky Galaxy: It is Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole located at the center of the Milky Way, which has about 4 million times the mass of the sun.

    • A black hole is an astronomical object with a gravitational pull so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape it.
    • A black hole’s “surface,” called its event horizon, defines the boundary where the velocity needed to escape exceeds the speed of light, which is the speed limit of the cosmos.

Imported Inflation

News: The appreciation of the U.S. Dollar would result in higher imported inflation for India due to weaker regional currency.

Imported Inflation Overview: Imported inflation refers to the increase in prices of goods and services within a country caused by rising import prices or costs.

  • It occurs when producers adjust prices upward due to increased input costs, ultimately contributing to inflation.

Factors Behind Imported Inflation:

Currency Depreciation:

  • A primary cause of imported inflation is currency depreciation, which forces locals to spend more of their currency to acquire foreign goods or services.
  • A depreciated currency amplifies import costs, leading to higher prices for imported items, thus fueling inflation.

Impact of Interest Rates:

  • The Asian Development Bank recently cautioned about the potential for imported inflation in India due to a projected rupee depreciation amid rising interest rates in the West.
  • Higher interest rates in Western countries often trigger currency depreciation in developing nations, elevating import costs and contributing to inflationary pressures.

Rising Import Costs:

  • Import costs can escalate even without currency depreciation, as evidenced by increases in international crude oil prices resulting from reduced oil output.
  • Such price hikes in critical imports like oil can ripple through an economy, raising prices across various sectors reliant on imported inputs.

Relation to Cost-Push Inflation:

  • Imported inflation aligns with the concept of cost-push inflation, where rising input costs drive up prices of final goods and services.
  • It underscores the notion that fluctuations in import prices can exert significant pressure on a country’s overall inflation rate.

Transportation Costs:

  • Fluctuations in transportation costs, influenced by factors like fuel prices and logistical challenges, can affect the final cost of imported goods.

Impact of Imported Inflation:

  • Imported inflation entails higher production costs for companies, necessitating adjustments in selling prices of goods and services.
  • Consequently, domestic prices experience an upward trajectory as companies pass on the increased costs to consumers.

Carbon-Carbon (C-C) Nozzle

News: ISRO has developed a lightweight Carbon-Carbon nozzle for rocket engines.

    What is a Rocket Nozzle?

⮚ A rocket engine nozzle is a propelling nozzle used in a rocket engine to expand and accelerate combustion products to high supersonic velocities.

⮚ A rocket nozzle comes in a variety of configurations like ideal, conical, bell, plug.

⮚ An ideal nozzle is defined as the one that produces an isentropic flow (i.e., without internal shocks) and gives a uniform velocity at the exit .


What is a Rocket Nozzle

Carbon-Carbon nozzle: The lightweight Carbon-Carbon (C-C) nozzle for rocket engines aims to enhance the vital parameters of rocket engines.


  • The C-C nozzle stands out for its Silicon Carbide coating, which resists oxidation. This coating reduces stress from heat and boosts corrosion resistance, enabling the nozzle to operate at higher temperatures in tough conditions.
  • It has its low density, high specific strength, and excellent stiffness that are crucial for enhancing the efficiency of rocket engines.


  • The PS4, the fourth stage of the PSLV, currently employs twin engines with nozzles made from Columbium alloy.
  • Replacing these with lighter C-C counterparts could cut mass by 67%, potentially boosting PSLV’s payload capability by 15 kg, improving space mission performance.

Men5CV Vaccine

News: Nigeria has made history by being the first country to introduce a highly effective vaccine against meningitis, known as Men5CV.

Men5CV Vaccine:

  • Men5CV is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • It is the world’s first vaccine to provide protection against all five strains of the meningococcal bacteria that cause meningitis.
  • The vaccine and emergency vaccination activities are funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.


  • Meningitis is a dangerous inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
  • It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites
  • It can lead to serious complications, including brain damage, hearing loss and learning disabilities, septicaemia (blood poisoning).
  • Bacterial meningitis, specifically caused by the meningococcus bacteria, is a particular concern in Africa.
  • Since 2010 Africa has seen the highest burden of meningitis infection in the world.

Tool Using Fish Species

News: Recent findings indicate that three fish species (Jansen’s wrasse, checkerboard wrasse, moon wrasse) in the Laccadive Sea, off the SW Indian coast, exhibit tool-use capabilities.

Tool Usage in Fishes:

  • Fishes in the Laccadive Sea exhibit tool usage by utilizing live or dead coral structures as anvils to crack open sea urchin shells for accessing edible portions.
  • Given the absence of hands, claws, or tentacles in fishes, they employ specialized behavioral patterns for tool utilization.
An anvil is a metalworking tool consisting of a large block of metal with a flattened top surface, upon which another object is struck (or “worked”).



Perception of Fish Intelligence and Tool Use:

  • Tool use among fish is perceived as rare due to their perceived lower intelligence, leading to assumptions of limited capability for complex cognitive tasks.

Tool Usage in Other Marine Species:

    • Octopuses: These cephalopods have been observed using coconut shells and various objects for shelter, as well as manipulating and reassembling equipment in aquarium settings.
    • Dolphins: Certain dolphin populations exhibit “sponging” behavior, employing marine sponges to protect their rostrums while foraging on the seafloor.
    • Sea Otters: Utilizing rocks and other hard objects, sea otters employ an anvil technique to break open shellfish, such as clams, for consumption.
    • Fish: The blackspot tuskfish, found in coral reefs, demonstrates learning & adaptability by using rocks to open clamshells, similar to how archer fish use water jets to shoot down prey above the surface
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