Daily Prelims Newsletter for upsc 05 Jan 2022

Daily Prelims Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

05 Jan 2022-Wednesday

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

Crops that Produce Bioenergy

News Context:

  • According to recent research, switching from annual to perennial bioenergy crops might have a cooling impact on the areas where they are grown.
  • Bioenergy crops are specialized plants that may be cultivated and maintained at a cheaper cost for the purpose of producing biofuel.

About:

  • Biofuel production via the use of fast-growing, photosynthetically efficient bioenergy crops is establishing itself as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
  • Bioenergy crops are one such energy source that has the potential to have a good influence on the environment by lowering carbon dioxide levels, greenhouse gas emissions, and soil erosion.
  • These crops induce carbon to the soil and fix carbon in the atmosphere. They might be utilized for the phytoremediation of soils polluted with heavy metals.

Categories of Bio-Energy Crops:

  • The five categories of bioenergy crops are as follows:
  1. Corn, sorghum, rapeseed, and sugarcane are first-generation bioenergy crops.
  2. Switchgrass, miscanthus, alfalfa, reed canary grass, and Napier grass are examples of second-generation bioenergy crops.
  3. Boreal plants, crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants, eucalyptus, and microalgae are all examples of third-generation bioenergy crops.
  4. Halophytes used in bioenergy include Acacia, Eucalyptus, Casuarina, Melaleuca, Prosopis, Rhizophora, and Tamarix.
  5. Perennial herbaceous and woody plant species such as gigantic miscanthus, switchgrass, jatropha, and algae are devoted to energy production.

Other Key Points:

  • The area under cultivation of bioenergy crops is 3.8% ±5% of the world’s total land area.
  • However, they have significant biophysical impacts at the regional level, resulting in a worldwide net shift in air temperature.
  • These crops’ biophysical cooling or warming effects may amplify or diminish the efficacy of bioenergy crop production with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in regulating temperature increases.
  • This varies according to the cultivation map and the kind of bioenergy crop.
  • In comparison to herbaceous crops, woody crops generate greater changes in energy fluxes within cultivation zones, and their cooling impact is stronger and healthier across various cultivation maps.

Carbon Capture and Storage: A Strategy for Global Warming Mitigation

Context:

  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the process of collecting carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere, transferring it, and storing it (carbon sequestration).

About:

  • By collecting carbon dioxide emissions, the gas is prevented from rising into the atmosphere and contributing to (further) global warming.
  • The Carbon Capture and Storage procedure consist of three steps:
  • Capture: Carbon Dioxide is captured from other gases generated in businesses such as coal– and natural-gas-fired power plants, steel mills, and cement plants.
  • Transport: CO2 is compressed and transferred to a storage facility by pipelines, road transport, or ships.
  • Storage: CO2 is injected into deep underground rock formations for long-term storage, either in the pores of sedimentary rock formations, or in defunct oilfields (that originally contained oil or gas), or in subterranean coal seams.

Approach for Carbon Capture and Storage

  • The simplest method of disposal is to bury the gas underground.
  • CCS may be approached in basically two ways: Based on Technology and Based on Nature:

Solutions based on Technology

  • Machines are used to catch fumes and extract carbon dioxide from them.
  • Carbon dioxide collected from the atmosphere might potentially be put into active oil and gas wells to force the hydrocarbons out.
  • Additionally, scientists have postulated that carbon dioxide may be injected into gas hydrates (frozen gas-water mixtures), where it would displace the gas in the hydrate.

Solutions based on Natural Ways:

  • Natural solutions do not ‘capture’ carbon dioxide, but rather compensate for them by drawing it up from the atmosphere.
  • These solutions include mostly the growth of trees. Mangroves are thought to have a tremendous capacity for carbon sequestration.
  • CCS, if implemented on the scale necessary, would undoubtedly contribute to global warming mitigation.

Challenges:

  • The globe produced 36.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2019. CCS projects are currently insignificant in comparison to emissions.
  • “Carbon Capture and Storage” is expensive.
  • Typically, if CCS is used in a thermal power plant, the process consumes between 6% and 10% of the electricity generated. Then there are other capital and operating expenses.

The Way Forward:

  • The ideas of the Indian government are more akin to “nature-based solutions.”
  • It is quite unlikely that India would develop CCS technology without financial backing from industrialized nations.

In Nagaland, the AFSPA has been extended for another six months.

Why in the News?

  • The Konyak Civil Society Organizations, the umbrella group for Konyak organizations, has condemned the extension of the “Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) 1958.
  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, has been extended for six months in Nagaland, effective from 30th December 2021.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958:

  • The AFSPA was introduced in 1947 as a reincarnation of the British-era law designed to stifle uprisings during the Quit India movement.
  • In 1948, the ordinances were repealed by an Act, and the current statute was tabled in Parliament in 1958 by then-Home Minister G.B. Pant.
  • It was formerly called the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958.
  • Following the formation of the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland, the Act was amended to include them.

About AFSPA:

  • The ASFPA vests the armed forces and Central armed police forces stationed in “disturbed areas” with unrestricted authority to kill anybody operating in violation of the law and to arrest and search any properties without a warrant and with immunity from prosecution and legal action.
  • The legislation was first enacted in 1958 to address the Naga Hills insurrection, followed by the Assam insurgency.

Areas of Disturbance:

  • The Act was revised in 1972, conferring the authority on the Central and State governments to designate an area “disturbed.”
  • At the present, the Union Home Ministry issues periodic “disturbed area” notifications extending the AFSPA to just Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The State governments of Manipur and Assam issue the notification.
  • Tripura repealed the Act in 2015, and Meghalaya remained subject to the AFSPA for 27 years, till it was repealed on 1st April 2018 by the MHA. The Act was enforced in a 20-kilometer stretch near the Assam border.
  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir has its own Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1990.

In Nagaland, the AFSPA has been extended for another six months.

Why in the News?

  • The Konyak Civil Society Organizations, the umbrella group for Konyak organizations, has condemned the extension of the “Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) 1958.
  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, has been extended for six months in Nagaland, effective from 30th December 2021.

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958:

  • The AFSPA was introduced in 1947 as a reincarnation of the British-era law designed to stifle uprisings during the Quit India movement.
  • In 1948, the ordinances were repealed by an Act, and the current statute was tabled in Parliament in 1958 by then-Home Minister G.B. Pant.
  • It was formerly called the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958.
  • Following the formation of the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland, the Act was amended to include them.

About AFSPA:

  • The ASFPA vests the armed forces and Central armed police forces stationed in “disturbed areas” with unrestricted authority to kill anybody operating in violation of the law and to arrest and search any properties without a warrant and with immunity from prosecution and legal action.
  • The legislation was first enacted in 1958 to address the Naga Hills insurrection, followed by the Assam insurgency.

Areas of Disturbance:

  • The Act was revised in 1972, conferring the authority on the Central and State governments to designate an area “disturbed.”
  • At the present, the Union Home Ministry issues periodic “disturbed area” notifications extending the AFSPA to just Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The State governments of Manipur and Assam issue the notification.
  • Tripura repealed the Act in 2015, and Meghalaya remained subject to the AFSPA for 27 years, till it was repealed on 1st April 2018 by the MHA. The Act was enforced in a 20-kilometer stretch near the Assam border.
  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir has its own Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1990.

Pledge to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons by P-5

Why in the News?

  • Recently, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council pledged to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent nuclear war.
  • The pledge was made in an unprecedented joint declaration ahead of a review of the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • The declaration comes as tensions between Russia and the United States have reached levels not seen since the Cold War as a result of Russia’s force buildup near the Ukrainian border.
  • The statement also comes as World powers are trying to reach an agreement with Iran on reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) 2015, which was put on hold when the US walked out of the agreement in 2018.

Points to Remember

The Pledge says:

    • We must stop the proliferation of these weapons. It is impossible to win a nuclear war, therefore it should never be fought.
  • As nuclear-weapon nations, we have an obligation to prevent conflict and reduce strategic risks.
  • As long as nuclear weapons exist, they should be used to defend, deter, and avoid conflict.
  • There are plans to preserve and enhance their national mechanisms to prevent nuclear weapons from being used in an unauthorized or unexpected manner.

China’s Stand:

  • China raised concerns that tensions with the United States, particularly over the island of Taiwan, may escalate to conflict.
  • China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has pledged to one day reclaim it, by force if necessary. 

Russia’s Stand:

  • Russia welcomed the nuclear powers’ statement and expressed optimism that it would lessen global tensions.

Non-Proliferation Treaty

  • In order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was established as an international agreement in order to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and advance the goal of nuclear disarmament.
  • After signing in 1968, the treaty was ratified and put into effect in 1970. It currently has 190 member nations and India is not it’s a member.
    • In exchange for access to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, governments must give up any current or future intentions to create nuclear weapons.
  • It is the first multilateral pact in which the nuclear-weapon states have made a legally enforceable commitment to disarmament.
  • The NPT defines nuclear-weapon states as those that produced and exploded a nuclear weapon or other nuclear explosive devices prior to January 1, 1967.

Position of India:

    • India is one of only five nations that either did not sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) or signed but subsequently withdrew, thereby joining a group of countries that also includes Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, and South Sudan.
  • In the past, India has seen the NPT as discriminatory and has refused to sign it.
  • India opposed non-proliferation treaties because they discriminated against non-nuclear nations and legitimized the nuclear weapons monopoly of the five nuclear powers.

Rani Velu Nachiyar

Why in News:

On the occasion of Rani Velu Nachiyar’s birthday, the Prime Minister has paid respect to her.

Who was Rani Velu Nachiyar, and what was her significance?

    • Rani Velu Nachiyar, a Tamil Nadu queen of the 18th century, struggled against British control to reclaim her kingdom in the Sivagangai district.
    • She was widely regarded as the first queen to take up colonial rule at the time.
  • Veeramangai is her popular name which means brave woman.

Rani Velu Nachiyar’s Biography

    • Nachiyar Velu was born in 1730. She was Ramanathapuram’s princess. As an only kid, she was taught archery, horseback riding, martial arts, and even how to handle various weapons.
    • She married Sivagangai Mannar Muthuvaduganathur at the age of sixteen, and the couple had a daughter called Vellachi.
    • In 1772, British soldiers joined forces with the Nawab of Arcot to assault Sivagangai. Her spouse was killed fighting for his kingdom during the Kalaiyar Koil battle.
    • Velu Nachiyar fled with her daughter Vellachi and spent a few years in Dindigul. She forged alliances with other countries and planned her retribution against the British throughout this period.
  • Velu Nachiyar was successful in recapturing her realm and therefore reclaiming her title as queen of Sivagangai.
  • For more than a decade, she proudly governed Sivagangai. During her rule, the queen also established the Udaiyaal, a women-only army.

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